Revival: It’s the first Friday of 2022, so let’s go and get it, finishing the week strong!


What an incredible first week! Starting a REVIVE week with Repentance, moving on to Renewal, then to Reconciliation, and yesterday to Restoration. What an incredible way to kick off 2022, a year to THRIVE! These past few years have been tough and we survived them, to what degree is another story but we are here and now and so let’s decide to make the changes and embrace the changes necessary to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions out in the world. Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions through sports and education. Be it organizational changes that come because of unforeseen circumstances. Let’s turn to God and lean in and lean on Him in order to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Let’s not lean on our understanding but instead on everything and at all times, let’s trust God! Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then allow Him to take care of the rest! Let’s ask Him when we have questions! Let’s seek Him when we are in need of Him! Let’s knock when we need to have something opened! Let’s go about this life in God’s way! Let’s go through the highs and lows, the challenges or as some prefer to say opportunities, the troubles, and the trials remembering to count them all joy because we know that God has overcome the world and that when we persevere through the trials God will have refined us and in the end, we will be complete and lacking nothing! Let’s be steadfast like we read about in Philippians 4:6.

So today let’s find revival! Let’s ask God to help us have a revival first in us and then in the body of Christ and then in the world around us! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in me, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in your church, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in our community, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to live out our days in a relationship with You! Help us Lord to walk out each step of each day in Your presence! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to live in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to move in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to shape me to be more like Jesus each and every day of my life! I trust in You Lord! I will give my cares, casting my anxiety and concerns on You because you care for me! Help adjust and change my perspective Lord this year into one that can THRIVE because I have a new perspective on myself, You, my current situations and the future You have planned ahead of me! Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into a closer and deeper relationship with you. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into being the dads we have been created to be. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but everyone around me from my wife to my kids to my neighbors to my community to my workplace to the camps to the world at large. Help me Lord to daily come to You humbly and pray for a desperate move of You in and throughout my life and the world around me. Today Lord, I cry out for revival!

Let’s grab some scriptures to help solidify this idea today:

‘and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. ‘

2 Chronicles 7:14

‘‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams; Even on My bond-servants, both men and women, I will in those days pour out My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will bring about wonders in the sky above And signs (attesting miracles) on the earth below, Blood and fire and smoking vapor. The sun shall be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] shall be saved (rescued spiritually).’ ‘

Acts 2:17-21

‘Will You not revive us and bring us to life again, That Your people may rejoice in You? ‘

Psalms 85:6

‘Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.’

Ephesians 3:20-21

Let’s pray throughout this day:

  • Pray for God to bring spiritual revival to your own heart and life.
  • Pray for Jesus to bring spiritual revival to His Church.
  • Pray for a worldwide move of God that will bring salvation to multitudes around the globe.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 2 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to experience a revival? Are you ready to be a catalyst for revival? Are you ready to give your heart and your life up to God? Are you ready to have God clean house and transform you spiritually? Are you ready to get to live 2022 in a way you don’t just have to survive another year but so that you can THRIVE in it? The let’s pray together!


What is your calling? What is your purpose? What does success or completeness look like?


What is God calling you to do? Who is God calling you to be? Where is God calling you to go? When is God calling you? How did God call you?

We know that God created each of us on purpose. We know that God created each of us with purpose. We know that God created each of us for a purpose. Have you discovered yours or are you still seeking?

I remember learning many years back, early in my walk with God that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. There are times when God will call us to do something outside of our comfort zone. There are times when God will call us to His purposes even when we don’t feel qualified to do it. Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified? What’s holding you back? Do you think you aren’t qualified? Have you found your purposes? Do you realize what it is you are to do? Do you realize the similarity of response between when God calls and Nike? So are you ready to just do it when God calls?

Do you know what success will look like? Do you realize that what people view as success may differ from what God is looking to accomplish? Have you ever accomplished what God wanted you to do and found yourself thinking it wasn’t what you expected but rather it was so much better than what you expected? When will you know that you are done and it is complete? Are willing to keep going till God says you are done? Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last? People! Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last and focusing n the best? Faith, Hope, Love and the greatest of these is LOVE. Are you ready to be amazed at what God is able to do in and through you? Remember how Jesus knew success and completion? Remember His Words on the cross?

‘When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ‘

John 19:30

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR NOVEMBER 28TH


Ultimate Achievement


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.’

Philippians 4:1

We see how as Paul begins the final part of his letter to the Philippians that they mean the world to him.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever viewed Paul as a determined adventurer?
  • Ever viewed Paul as someone who perseveres no matter what dangers or obstacles come his way?
  • Ever considered Paul to be dedicated to God’s calling and purpose for his life?
  • Ever considered Paul dedicated to the cause?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how they were his joy and crown?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how much they meant to him?
  • Ever considered how he poured out his heart to the people?
  • Ever grasped the how dear people were to him?
  • Consider how much their faith in Christ brought joy to him.
  • Consider how much their generosity in supporting him doing the work of God brought joy to him.
  • Ever considered how on that day we come before Jesus what we will have to speak for? Paul points to the people as his crown, evidence of his faithfulness in God’s calling.
  • How about you? What message are you giving those who are in your life?
  • How about you? What do you communicate to the people who come into your day?
  • Do you communicate warmth and affection?
  • Do you communicate love and hope?
  • Do you have a problem being able to tell people you love them?
  • You can be tough like Paul and yet be very affectionate to the people too!
  • So today don’t be afraid to show love to others!
  • Today be ready and willing to pour out from the overflow of God love into the lives of those around you.
  • Not fake love but authentic love!
  • Not a going through the motions but a overflow from the heart that causes your mouth to speak in and out of love!
  • Let’s speak with authentic love so that it will build trust.
  • Let’s not make it up or fake it till we make it because then it will build up resentment.
  • So let God fill you to overflowing with His love so that you can then pour into the lives of those around you authentic and unconditional love!
  • Let’s ask God to give us His eyes to see people like He does.
  • Let’s ask God to give us His love to pour into the lives of others.
  • Let’s bring the life changing love of Jesus into this world around us.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, who is your “joy” and “crown”?
  • If you have difficulty expressing affection for people close to you, how would it help to see them the way God sees them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”

John Bunyan

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is it that you have need of? What are you pursuing? What are you seeking? Are you ready for the call? Are you ready for your purpose? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation so that we can walk it all out with Him. Let’s pray:

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

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

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


No Quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!


Ever gone through a tough time and had to push through? Ever gone through a tough time where it felt like someone was trying to shake you up by changing the rules or the roles? Ever gone through a tough time where someone promised one thing and did something else? Ever gone through a tough time when you were made the sacrificial lamb because of the numbers? Ever gone through a tough time when you weren’t sure if you could or couldn’t trust someone?

What was your response? Were you tempted to quit? Were you tempted to give up? Were you tempted to give in? Did it upset you? Did it frustrate you? Did it cause you to question?

What did you do about it? Where did you take those concerns? What direction or instruction did you receive? Were you going to a reliable source? How did you respond to those instructions? What if they said to forgive them? What if they said to forgive them, face it head-on, and then work to make things right? What if they said to forgive them and hang in there and not give up?

How long would it take for you to become obedient to that instruction? How bad would things have to get before you would consider being obedient to that instruction? Do you realize that by not being obedient there is a larger battle taking place inside of you than outside of you? Do you realize the impact it has on your mind, your body, and your soul? Do you have to hit rock bottom before you will stop trying to avoid or go it your own way? Do you have to obey immediately? Do you start following the instructions right away? Do you start to lean on God rather than your own understandings? Do you start to trust God with everything, acknowledging Him in all your ways so that He will make your path straight? Do you keep casting your cares on God because you know that He cares for you? Do you give it all up to God even though it is still happening rather than being worried or anxious? Do you keep knocking, keep asking, and keep seeking to show your trust that God will open the right door, answer your question, and reveal the truth to you in His perfect timing?

I remember a time when I had to forgive but nearly hit rock bottom before I was ready to obey.

A story about the power of forgiveness

I remember a time when after four bosses/reorgs there were four of us who ended up in a tough situation, three of us were put in a bad position, and I was lied about and set up to be the sacrificial lamb in order to meet the numbers. I remember learning about how when they had done the “stack ranking” two teams stood up for me when my own team was looking to throw me under the bus. I remembered that previous situation and my first response was to forgive and then to face the lies before working to get things fixed up. It was much quicker, had no downward spiral, provided a window to testify of God’s goodness, and later discovered that even though they had put me as a 0 in God’s books and in the outcome the amount I was saving through God’s direction worked out to be better than what the companies gave the person who had the highest rating. God is good! God is greater! God is higher! I can testify to how His way was better than my way. I can testify to how His way was higher than my way. I can testify to how His way gave me a platform to both share God’s goodness, God’s faithfulness, and God’s provision in the midst of this broken world.

2020 was the latest incident where I was being challenged because it kept feeling like a setup. It felt like I was being positioned to fail. I felt like I was being cut off and isolated. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on and why. 2020 had the theme of hindsight is 2020. It took all the way till December for the aha moment, for the light to bring clarity to why the pain, the suffering, the treatment took place. Through it all I forgave. Through it all, I prayed with my wife and kids. Through it all, I trusted God and cast all my cares on Him. And in December it all changed. And in December within 16 days I went from uncertainty to confidence to a completely new reality. The first 12 helped me heal. The last 4 I walked through a door I hadn’t realized God had been preparing all year for me to be ready to walk through. Trust God! Trust God’s Word! Trust God’s wisdom and discernment! Lean not on your own understanding but rather in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight! 2020 finished strong and was a setup to a great start to 2021.

I am not sure where you are at today. I am not sure who did what to you. I am not sure who said what to you. I am not sure how they did it or why they did it. I just know the first step that is key is to forgive them and then to turn to God for wisdom and discernment on what to do next. It may be to wait. It may be to act. It may be something totally unexpected. Be still and know that He is God! Trust in the Lord in all your ways! Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Be obedient to God’s leading, guiding, and prompting! Then testify of all He has done in and through you and your life to everyone God brings to you to encourage them!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 25th


Getting Back To Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. ‘

Nehemiah 4:15

You ever needed God to let you know what is really going on? Ever found out and then had the others wonder how you found out? Let’ check out the context of today’s verse and use the Amplified version to learn more.

‘ But when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious, completely enraged, and he ridiculed the Jews. He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of dust and rubbish, even the ones that have been burned?” Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should get up on it, he would break down their stone wall.” [And Nehemiah prayed] Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their taunts on their own heads. Give them up as prey in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their wrongdoing and do not let their sin be wiped out before You, for they have offended the builders [and provoked You]. So we built the wall and the entire wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart to work. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches were being closed, they were very angry. They all conspired together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to cause a disturbance in it.

But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. Then [the leaders of] Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, And there is much rubble; We ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.”

Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times (repeatedly), “From every place you turn, they will come up against us.” So I stationed armed men behind the wall in the lowest places, at the open positions [where it was least protected]; and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.”

Now when our enemies heard that we knew about their plot against us, and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Every builder had his sword secured at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [to summon the troops] stood at my side. I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, gather to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

So we carried on with the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem so that they may serve as a guard for us at night and a laborer during the day.” So neither I, my brothers (relatives), my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each took his weapon [even] to the water.’

Nehemiah 4:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever felt like someone was testing your limits to find out when you would quit or give up?
  • If we considered the measure of what it takes to make someone quite as an indicator Nehemiah shows it would take a lot.
  • We see in the midst of everything thrown his way, nothing was going to keep him down.
  • We see a guy who has a huge task in front of him and all of his help is demoralized.
  • We see how he motivated them and got them to rally around the idea so as to get started building the wall.
  • It didn’t take long though for them to start losing hope between the betrayal from the inside and the opposition from the outside.
  • Ever been insulted to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever been attacked to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever found out in advance and had to come up with a strategy to avoid any panic?
  • Ever came up with a strategy that thwarted the plans and kept everyone focused and on point?
  • Were you able to encourage them with God?
    • ‘When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.” ‘
      Nehemiah 4:14
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader this world needs?
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader your team needs?
  • Are you able to help them focus on the problem, on what’s important, and live up to God’s calling in and on their lives?
  • Let’s not grow weary in doing good!
  • Let’s take the victory and celebrate by getting the work God has called us to do done!
  • Let’s be like Nehemiah and know that we can’t stop and lose the momentum!
  • Let’s be like Nehemian and keep the focus on completing the good works God has given us to do!
  • Don’t waste time!
  • As leaders let’s focus on celebrating the success not by stopping or taking a break but instead by getting the job done!
  • Let’s take the energy and momentum that the success has created in order that we can get the job done and done well and done quickly.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When is taking a break a good thing to do? When is it best to get back to work immediately?
  • Describe Nehemiah’s leadership style.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The degree of hope you manifest by persevering through obstacles becomes a measure of your passion.”

Better Than Good
Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live
By Zig Ziglar 

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So have you been through some things and wondering what to do? Are you going through things and wondering what to do? Are you dealing with things and wondering what to do? Why not invite Jesus into the situation and get God’s perspective into what you should do? Ready for some wisdom and discernment from God? Ready to be bold and courageous in stepping out and doing what He instructs? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you living an inspired life?


Are you living a life that has been inspired? Are you living a life that is inspiring others? Are you living a life that with extraordinary qualities? Are you living a life where you are able to share those qualities with others? Are you living a life where you are open and available to receive those qualities? What is it that is your inspiration? What is your source of inspiration? Where do you turn for your inspiration? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with creativity? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with innovation? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with imagination? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with originality? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with insight and vision? How has your inspiration been profitable and for what? Have you been able to pass it along to others through reproof, correction, and instruction? Have you found that it is helping complete you? What is your source? What is your foundation? What is it or who is it that has enabled you and positioned you to live such a life?

Is it God? Is it God’s Word? I know for me they are the source. If not for you where does it come from?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 6th


Complete Inspiration


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’

II Timothy 3:16-17

Let’s take a moment and get a bit more insight and clarity by reviewing the context of these words using the Amplified translation:

‘But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate morally weak and spiritually-dwarfed women weighed down by [the burden of their] sins, easily swayed by various impulses, always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres [the court magicians of Egypt] opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, unqualified and worthless [as teachers] in regard to the faith. But they will not get very far, for their meaningless nonsense and ignorance will become obvious to everyone, as was that of Jannes and Jambres. Now you have diligently followed [my example, that is] my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, persecutions, and sufferings—such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but the Lord rescued me from them all! Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith]. But evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced [holding tightly to the truths], knowing from whom you learned them, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings (Hebrew Scriptures) which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus [surrendering your entire self to Him and having absolute confidence in His wisdom, power and goodness]. All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that every word of scripture is God breathed, is inspired by God?
  • Do you realize that God inspired the writers of the scripture to write with their personalities and backgrounds in order to provide us with an instruction manual for life, a love letter for God?
  • God’s Word is divine and never returns void!
  • God’s Word transforms lives!
  • God’s Word is profitable! It is profitable to us individually if and when we decide to invest the time to listen and study it!
  • God’s Word teaches us truth!
  • God’s Word teaches us about the greatness and grace of God!
  • God’s Word teaches us about our need for forgiveness!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to have relationship with God and with others!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to have every kind of relationship!
  • God’s Word teaches us which way to go, affirming when we are going about life the right way and shines the light on us to help us course correct when we are living a life of selfishness and disobedience.
  • God’s Word teaches us the right track to be on, the narrow path which leads to eternal life with God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to live lives that will honor, bless, and glorify God!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to live lives that are fulfilling!
  • God’s Word teaches us the importance of humility and willingness and obedience to God’s Word will shape us into the people God is able to use for His glory and honor and to accomplish His purposes!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to be impactful, being able to accomplish our purpose and help others to accomplish there’s!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to make a difference not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those God brings into and across our lives!
  • God’s Word is available in different translations, formats, and sources to facilitate our ability to get it, read it, study it, and learn from it.
  • God’s Word can be studied through messages shared by preachers and teachers of the Word!
  • So let’s decide today that God’s Word is important and valuable and decide to make time to study it in order to understand it and learn from it.
  • With so many resources available in print and online, let’s decide to read and study God’s Word more deeply! more often!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when Bible study really excited you.
  • What are some resource you can use and ways you can make Bible study a higher priority?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There are some promises in the Bible which I have never yet used; but I am well assured that there will come times of trial and trouble when I shall find that poor despised promise, which I thought was never meant for me, will be the only one on which I can float. I know that the time is coming when every believer shall know the worth of every promise in the covenant.”

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you needing some inspiration? Are you needing to get inspired? Are you looking for a way to live inspired? Will you receive it? Will you give it? Will you share it? Will you accept it? Could today be the day you go to God and God’s Word to not only become inspired but also to be able to overflow with inspiration? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do you realize that everything needed is taken care of? Do you realize you just have to make the decision to say “I’m yours”?


This morning I found it interesting that the song that started playing in my head was from Stevie Wonder titled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and how it pointed me back to how awesome God is. After realizing that God wants a relationship with me and that it isn’t about rituals and routines, it changed the meaning of songs as I hear the lyrics and realize and consider pointing the love from those songs up to and at God. If you check out the lyrics from the song there are so many aspects that point to stories from God’s Word like the prodigal or lost son as well as the Psalms when they questioned if God could ever take them back. The reality is God has an incredible redemptive plan which Jesus has already fulfilled. Jesus paid it all! He died on the cross once for all of us! Thanks to Jesus the offer of grace has been signed, sealed, and delivered! Now the piece that we see even in the title of the song is that we have to make the choice out of our own freewill to receive this gift of grace through Jesus and tell God “I’m Yours”! Have you done that? Are you ready for that? What would it take for you to make that decision?

Let’s consider of the lyrics from the Stevie Wonder song:

So it has been taken care of! You have to make the choice, the decision, will you accept it, receive it, and say “I’m Yours”?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 28th


Signed, Sealed, and Delivered


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’

II Corinthians 1:21-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Before you read this passage, how sure were you that you were heaven bound?
  • And now? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You don’t have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Could today be the day you decide to turn your life over to God? Could today be the day you decided to invite Jesus into your heart? Could today be the beginning of God’s way for your life? Could today be the day you start living by and in accordance with God’s Spirit rather than trying to do it all in your own might and your own power? Are you ready to give your life into God’s hand and stop worrying about tomorrow? Are you ready for the certainty that Jesus has you covered and has taken care of everything for you? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


He’s not done with me yet!


As I wake up this morning I know that God has more for me as He’s not done with me yet. He has people He wants me to touch with the love of Jesus. He has people He wants me to impact with compassion and care. He has people He wants me to share Jesus’ truth and love. He’s not done with me yet because there are still things He wants me to learn. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to do. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to experience. He’s not done with me yet!

If you are reading this then He’s not done with you yet either. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow! Yesterday is gone! So we need to make the most of each today we get to experience and to live it God’s way, with hope, with love, with truth, and with faith! We need to live our today with our eyes open to be able to see what is in front of us! We need to live our today with our ears open to hearing the prompting of the Holy Spirit! We need to live our today with our hearts and mind ready to be bold and courageous and do all God has called us to do! Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment so that we know! Let’s pray for protection and health so that we know we are walking out today under the hand and protection of God so that we can live out boldly and courageously! He’s not done with you yet either!

So how can we make today count? If today was going to be the last is there anything you need to do that God is calling and asking you to do? If today was going to be the last is there anything that if you didn’t get to do it you would feel regret or would be questioned why you didn’t when you speak to God? He’s not done with us yet, so let’s make today count!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 9th


A Work in Progress


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; ‘

Philippians 1:6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God has begun a good work in us and He will work it, complete it until the day Jesus returns!
  • We are living the transformed life because of receiving Jesus
  • Thanks to Jesus all of our sins are forgiven!
  • Thanks to Jesus we join God’s family, we are adopted into God’s family!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the gift of eternity with God!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives to be our comforter and our guide!
  • We need to let these truths and the work of God on our lives lead and guide us, as we allow these truths to sink in deeper!
  • We need to hold onto these truths because we have decided to receive Jesus and follow after Him!
  • We need to steep in them and allow them to work on adjusting our attitude and motivations, our thoughts and our habits!
  • We are work in progress till the day we get to see Jesus face to face!
  • We need to stop allowing the lies of the devil to cause us to be so self focused on perfection that we miss out on the process and progress we are making as we walk out this life with Jesus!
  • We need to take hold of the reality that this is a long term plan and process and so we need to mature through it!
  • If you are a new Christian or someone who has been a Christian for a while, don’t try to jump the process or even rush it, pursue it according to God’s plans and purposes!
  • Let’s take hold of everything we can learn in, through, and from God and His Word!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up distortions in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up bad habits in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up selfish attitudes in our lives!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done or already perfect and miss out on what God is, will, and can do in and through us!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done and already perfect and then start to swerve or drift off course!
  • Let’s allow God to make the corrections!
  • Let’s keep moving so that He is able to direct our path!
  • Don’t get stuck in Egypt by living in or by denial (phonetically da Nile)
  • You are not alone! And you are not on this journey alone!
  • God has provided you with the Holy Spirit so that you are never having to do this alone!
  • God has committed Himself to lead you and to guide you!
  • God has committed Himself to never leave you nor forsake you!
  • He is here to guide you along the way!
  • He knows the baggage you are carrying from life and He knows what need to be drop, left behind, and what needs to be picked up and discovered!
  • He knows the way we should go and so even when we get to the Y or T in the road, He will give us direction to be able to continue to move forward with Him!
  • We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit! We need to make time and be quiet in order to hear the still quiet voice!
  • We need to be willing to hear the voice of God and walk it out!
  • We need to be aware of all the voices we hear and know God’s voice so that we can know which voice is the voice of truth!
  • Let’s not assume we know all the answers but instead lets confirm with God to ensure we stay on track!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that if He calls us to it He will get us through it!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that He doesn’t call the qualified but rather He qualifies the called!
  • This thing called life is a journey and so let’s not rush it! Let’s go at God’s pace for us!
  • Let’s go at God’s pace and enjoy the thrill of our lives!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does it help you to know that you’re a “work in progress”?
  • It brings peace and relief to know that the lies of the devil that we need to be perfect are just that, lies.
  • It bring hope and joy to know God is with me through this incredible journey called life and what a thrill it has been and will be!
What do you need to do to walk more closely with God on the journey?
  • Start my day with Him
  • Start my day in His Word
  • Invite Him into every step and every decision of every day!
  • Don’t assume I know the answer, confirm with God the answer!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

Theodore Roosevelt

A promise like that from a person would be impossible, but that promise from the God who cannot lie is exciting.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you live today for the glory of God and without regret? Will you say the things that need to be said in love and truth for the glory of God? Will you do the things that need to be done in love and truth for the glory of God? He’s not done with you yet and so will live today to become a better version of you who looks more and more like Jesus each day?

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

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

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

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

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

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


I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart because I miss seeing everyone.


I am blessed with an incredible wife who is loving and supportive and am so in love with. I am blessed with incredible children who I love and have developed into such incredible people from teens to adulthood. I am blessed with incredible family from parents to sister to extended family who love and care for one another. I am blessed with an incredible church family with incredible pastors and leaders and congregation who are outreaching, embracing, and discipling people who are living life to the full and being generous in giving of their time, their effort, and their money to see the glory of God shared and spread around the earth. I am blessed with incredible friends I have gotten to meet throughout the years from my earliest school days through my career to this day. I am blessed with open doors that allow me to be a blessing to others through all God has put into my hands and my head and my heart. It’s about Jesus! It’s about love! It’s about sacrifice! It’s about generosity! It’s about getting connected! It’s about staying connected!

In the midst of this I know with the isolation there are so many opportunities that may have happened in a hallway conversation, a random encounter, a walk around the block that aren’t happening because of being isolated to try and stop the spread of a virus and also to keep me safe. It is this that causes me great sorrow in the midst of being surrounded by love. It is this that causes me unceasing anguish in my heart from the absence of not getting to see people because the day has gotten so busy that each day becomes a blur and feels almost like every other day and then only connecting with the people who happen to be in the specific meetings that were scheduled for the day. I miss the people, the interactions, and the connections strengthened and created through what used to be normal and was taken for granted. We can’t take life for granted! We can’t just go through the motions anymore! We need to slow down and become intentional! We need to enable what is before us to be clear and our purpose in life to be fulfilled! We need to first renew and strengthen our connection with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit! With this infilling, we then need to overflow into the lives of the people God has brought into our lives, first in our home, then in our neighborhood, and then into the community around us. No more taking things for granted or just going with the flow! Stop and consider what it is that God would have you do today! It’s not too late to invite Jesus into your life if you haven’t done that before! It’s not too late to start your day out talking with God and hearing from God through His Word. It’s not too late to let God direct your steps and make your path straight! It’s not too late to be humble and serve others! It’s not too late turn for our negative ways and back to God! Let’s take hold of the truth for the truth will set us free! Let’s not wait for heaven to be able to live out our lives to the full! Let’s not wait till we get to heaven to live our lives with hope today because we know that through Jesus we have a future with God that will never end and be filled with love to overflowing!

Let’s be the change! Let’s be the love! Let’s be the connections! Let’s make a difference!

With this temporary separation I realize how much more important it is for the message of Jesus to all these people is because if I live out all this life and then get to Heaven and discover that they aren’t there, they didn’t make it, I could have shared Jesus one more time with them, what could it be that I could have done to help them capture the reality of who God is and how much He loves them and how Jesus is the key to eternity with God. As much as it breaks my heart today, it would break my heart more if they never receive the hope that is within me through Jesus! So let’s take hold of this and capture what today’s reading tells us and how we can live out our lives to the full for the glory of God!

If you feel the calling now, jump to the bottom and pray with me for your salvation and then return to read God’s Word with me.


July is in the rearview mirror
They say that hindsight is 2020, what if we can make our vision of what is yet to come 2020? What if we took hold of the promises of God for a hope and a future and started living that out today! What if the windshield of life had clarity of life based on our learning from the lessons in our rearview mirror? Are you ready? Will today be your day?

The 49 week challenge – Day 222

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 222 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

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


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading begins in Romans 9:1-21 about loving people and being willing to give of one’s self for them:
    • ‘I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? ‘
      Romans 9:1-21
  • Today’s reading takes our lessons from the New Testament and connects them with the Old Testament starting in Genesis 25:
    • ‘Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah. Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east. Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi. This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them. This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord . The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. ) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.’
      Genesis 25:1-34
  • Today’s reading then continues into Exodus 9:
    • ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ” The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on people and animals throughout the land.” So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go. Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’ ” Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside. But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt—on people and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt.” When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields—both people and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said to them. “The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord , for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.” Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord . The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord ’s. But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.” (The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.) Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord ; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land. When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.’
      Exodus 9:1-35
  • Today’s reading then continues into Exodus 33:
    • ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’ ” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb. Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Moses said to the Lord , “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord , in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”’
      Exodus 33:1-23
  • Today’s reading then concludes with Joshua 11:
    • ‘When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph, and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. Joshua did to them as the Lord had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots. At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself. Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. Yet Israel did not burn any of the cities built on their mounds—except Hazor, which Joshua burned. The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed. As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. So Joshua took this entire land: the hill country, all the Negev, the whole region of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah and the mountains of Israel with their foothills, from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and put them to death. Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle. For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses. At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.’
      Joshua 11:1-23

As day 222 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

Have you matured?


When you think of your life and how you are living it, have you matured? When you consider the lessons and trials and the troubles, have you matured? When you consider your responses to trials and troubles, have you matured? Are you living your life in a way that shows that you know Jesus? Are you living your life where your responses to trials continues to improve as you mature and your faith and perseverance grow so that you can walk it out in joy? Are you living your life where your responses to troubles continue to improve as you mature, take heart, and become and overcomer?

Are you any different today from how you were before you heard about Jesus? Are you any different today from how you behaved before you met Jesus? Are you any different today from how you responded before you started to follow Jesus?

Let’s look to become mature in the Lord through Jesus so that we can be the James 1:2-4 people God has created us to become!

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

Have you matured?
Remember matured doesn’t mean aged…
Maturing is a process of developing.
Maturing is a process of growing.
Maturing is a process of flourishing.


2020 Hindsight – Walking with clarity of Vision

The 49 week challenge – Day 179

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 179 link to join me and sign up.


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

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

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


My Notes:

  • Will you choose to live by the Spirit or the flesh?
  • Will you live in a worldly way?
  • Will you accomplish your purpose and develop?
  • Will you do the work you have been called to do?
  • Will you build upon the foundation which is Jesus Christ?
  • Will you plant, water, … and allow God to make it grow?
  • Will you take care of your body as your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you take hold of the wisdom and discernment of God rather than trying to do it the way of the world?
  • Will you call out to Jesus?
  • Will you turn back to God?
  • Will your hope and trust be in Jesus?
  • Is your trust in Christ alone?
  • Are you laying your concerns out before God?
  • Are you exchanging your skills and talents and weaknesses for the wisdom and the power and the strength of God?
  • Will you live out your life in faith in God rather than the fears of the world?
  • Will you take hold of the truth of God?
  • Don’t look to take vengeance for vengeance belongs to the Lord!
  • Don’t be walking with pride!
  • Don’t be walking with wickedness!
  • Turn to God and allow Him to teach you so that you will be matured!
  • Build your life upon the uprightness of God!
  • Receive the help of God rather than trying to go it alone!
  • Receive the consolation from God!
  • Receive the protection and safety from God!
  • Take hold of what God has directed and command and look to accomplish it according to His will.
  • Partial obedience is disobedience

As day 179 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know how to fill that empty feeling in your heart? Did you know there is one thing that can fill it?


Ever have that feeling in your heart that there is an empty spot that needs filling? Ever tried to fill it with everything you can find? Ever found that it didn’t fill it up? Do you know what it takes to fill that spot? Do you realize it is like a puzzle and that one piece needs to be added to complete it? Do you realize that the one piece that will complete it is Jesus?

Hole in heart that only Jesus can fill.jpg

Do you realize that God isn’t out there somewhere but He is right here with us? Do you realize that when you turn back to God that He is coming after you? He gave you freewill and isn’t going to force anything on you, it will require a decision, a choice, a turning point where you choose to call out of God and receive Jesus into your heart. When we receive Jesus, we can take hold of the reality of who He is and what He provides for us! With God all things are possible! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! We can take heart when we face troubles because Jesus has overcome the world!

Be an overcomer

Day 56: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 56 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 56 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

With January in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV

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

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

John 6:37

As day 56 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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


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

Finish the week strong!


It’s amazing when the week kicked off learning about the how things happened over many previous months and how vision leaks and as it leaks it opens people up to critics and naysayers. It’s amazing how it can jump start your week and change your entire attitude when you put your focus back on making the main thing the main thing. It’s also amazing when you have the aha moment where you realize that if something is going to succeed it will require sharing the vision and the mission with the team, letting them know the what, the why, the when, the how and how the who is a key part of this is and how proper alignment can be done thru it. So today as we close out the week, with the use cases captured, with the presentation to the team scheduled, with an offsite next week, let’s complete what we have started and show it as we finish the week strong!


Day 31: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 31 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 31 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

‘ “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Matthew 5:21-48
  • We have been called to take the high ground. Let’s choose to pick up these commands!
  • Let’s walk and be light that shines into the darkness around us
  • Let’s spice up the places we go into and be salt in their lives
  • Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the people God brings into our lives because we may be the only church they know or hear about it.
  • Vows and Oath – don’t break your word, realize the obligations and the confirmation of them
  • Be careful who you have as advisers and ensure they are of good character
  • Are you ready for the responsibilities that are being given to you?
  • Are you ready to do good with these responsibilities you are being given?
  • Are you keeping an eye out to ensure that you are avoiding evil and their consequences?
  • Do you realize the power of words? Do you realize the power of God’s Word?
  • Do you realize everything belongs to God?

As day 31 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

When would you stop giving your all?


Does it depend who is counting on you? Does it depend on what the goal is? Does it depend on the current score? Does it depend on who is leading the charge? Does it matter on others? Is it all up to you? Is there any reason to stop before it is over? Will you run your life to win? Will you finish strong? Will you keep up the good fight? Will you complete the good work that has been prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Will you testify to the truth? Will you live your life as a living sacrifice to God so that it is pleasing to God? Will you give your all for God? Will you pursue His purpose and plan for your life? Will you be salt and light? Will you spread hope and joy? Will you share love and faith? Will you finish strong? Will you live to hear God say “well done good and faithful servant“? Will you fight the good fight? Will you finish the race? Will you keep the faith? Will you not stop until it is over?

We all have a choice to make today, so choose wisely!

Having watched my daughter play last night and keep giving her all till the game was over was inspiring. Having watched my kids finish strong in everything they do before moving on to the next stage of their lives has been inspiring. Seeing them give their all in order to achieve their goals reminds me that it isn’t over for me yet but that I need to keep up the good fight, I need to finish the race, I need to keep up the faith not only for myself but for my family and legacy too.

As I read this I know I have breath in my lungs and life to live and so it isn’t over yet. So this is the day that the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it! So this day I will be salt and light into the world around me sharing the power of Jesus in all that I do. God, give me opportunity to speak life and truth in love. God, give me opportunity to speak of the miracles of Jesus into my life. God, give me opportunities to point people to Jesus that they may join me in Your presence for eternity as children of God!


When will you stop giving your all?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 306 of 312)

Will you give God your all? Will you give your heart to Jesus?

Will you help change take place so that things will be better than they were? Will you be a part of the reformation?

Will you read the word of God? Will you trust the word of God? Will you believe the word of God?

Will you believe the blessings and the curses? Will you live to be a blessing and be blessed?

What will you do when the horsemen come? Will it matter if you see the black horses? white horses? dappled-gray horses? red horses?

Will you choose to receive Jesus before it is too late? Will you attach yourself to the branch which is Jesus rather than be pruned and tossed into the fire?

Realize the power in words and their impact on your life.

Will you think you are safe just because there is peace?

Why not turn to God and invite Him in and rather than peace that is temporary allow the peace that surpasses all understanding from God to guard your mind and your heart?

Let’s meditate on today’s Psalm:

‘Praise the Lord , who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me. O Lord , what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. Open the heavens, Lord , and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares. Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord .’

Psalms 144:1-15

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

Let’s pray:

Now that you completed the preparation, what’s next for you?


Are you ready for what this will mean? Are you ready for what is about to happen? Are you ready to see God move in and through the work you completed? Are you ready to see God’s presence even stronger in your life? Will you trust Him? Will you follow Him? Will you believe Him? Will you have faith to do what He asks? Will you have faith to do what He directs? Will you have faith to step into what He has next for you? Will you have faith to step out and try a new way? Will you have faith to keep your eyes on Jesus rather than the wave nor the storm? Will you have faith to step out into the miraculous? Will you have faith to lead with love? Will you have faith to live out your life as love? Will you walk out your life with such hope that others will see it and glorify Your Heavenly Father? Will you have enough hope to be able to allow it to overflow into the lives of the people around you? Now that you completed the preparation, what’s next for you?


Today’s reading begins in Exodus 40.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year. Place the Ark of the Covenant inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place. Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps. “Place the gold incense altar in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Then hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance. Set the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance. “Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy. Anoint the altar of burnt offering and its utensils to consecrate them. Then the altar will become absolutely holy. Next anoint the washbasin and its stand to consecrate them. “Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water. Dress Aaron with the sacred garments and anoint him, consecrating him to serve me as a priest. Then present his sons and dress them in their tunics. Anoint them as you did their father, so they may also serve me as priests. With their anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation.” Moses proceeded to do everything just as the Lord had commanded him. So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year. Moses erected the Tabernacle by setting down its bases, inserting the frames, attaching the crossbars, and setting up the posts. Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the protective layers, just as the Lord had commanded him. He took the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant and placed them inside the Ark. Then he attached the carrying poles to the Ark, and he set the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of it. Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and hung the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the Lord had commanded him. Next Moses placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain. And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table before the Lord , just as the Lord had commanded him. He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place. Then he lit the lamps in the Lord ’s presence, just as the Lord had commanded him. He also placed the gold incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain. On it he burned the fragrant incense, just as the Lord had commanded him. He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded him. Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.

Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.’

Exodus 40

Today’s reading next brings us to Job 34.

‘Then Elihu said: “Listen to me, you wise men. Pay attention, you who have knowledge. Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’ So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. For Job also said, ‘I am innocent, but God has taken away my rights. I am innocent, but they call me a liar. My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’ “Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job, with his thirst for irreverent talk? He chooses evil people as companions. He spends his time with wicked men. He has even said, ‘Why waste time trying to please God?’ “Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. He repays people according to their deeds. He treats people as they deserve. Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice. Did someone else put the world in his care? Who set the whole world in place? If God were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath, all life would cease, and humanity would turn again to dust. “Now listen to me if you are wise. Pay attention to what I say. Could God govern if he hated justice? Are you going to condemn the almighty judge? For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’ and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’ He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all. In a moment they die. In the middle of the night they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand. “For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do. No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from his eyes. We don’t set the time when we will come before God in judgment. He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone, and he sets up others in their place. He knows what they do, and in the night he overturns and destroys them. He strikes them down because they are wicked, doing it openly for all to see. For they turned away from following him. They have no respect for any of his ways. They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention. He hears the cries of the needy. But if he chooses to remain quiet, who can criticize him? When he hides his face, no one can find him, whether an individual or a nation. He prevents the godless from ruling so they cannot be a snare to the people. “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned, but I will sin no more’? Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me. If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’? “Must God tailor his justice to your demands? But you have rejected him! The choice is yours, not mine. Go ahead, share your wisdom with us. After all, bright people will tell me, and wise people will hear me say, ‘Job speaks out of ignorance; his words lack insight.’ Job, you deserve the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked. For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.”’

Job 34

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament in Mark 6.

‘Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.’

Mark 6:45-56

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 13.

‘If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.’

1 Corinthians 13

As today’s reading comes to a conclusion, let’s meditate on God’s Word as we go to today’s psalm from Psalms 69.

‘Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal. O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger. Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me. I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me. But I keep praying to you, Lord , hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me. Answer my prayers, O Lord , for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power. Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves. The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them. For God will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land. The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety.’

Psalms 69

What’s your part?


There is a plan. There is a purpose. We each have a part to play. Will you be prepared? Will you do your part? Will you accomplish your goal? Will you finish strong? Will you steward your part? Will you grow your part? Will complete your part? What is your part? Not sure? Why not ask God for wisdom? Why not cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Let’s do God’s will! Let’s take the seed He has put into our hands scatter it. Let’s consider the soil and what might be our part in preparing the soil to receive the seeds. Let’s consider our part in building relationships and softening people’s hearts that they may receive the will of God and the grace and mercy that comes through Jesus Christ. Don’t think you are better than others. Be a humble servant! Be a servant leader! When people see what you do, doing your part, may they glorify our Father in heaven.

Today’s reading gets us started in Exodus 30.

‘“Then make another altar of acacia wood for burning incense. Make it 18 inches square and 36 inches high, with horns at the corners carved from the same piece of wood as the altar itself. Overlay the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and run a gold molding around the entire altar. Make two gold rings, and attach them on opposite sides of the altar below the gold molding to hold the carrying poles. Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. I will meet with you there. “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord ’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or liquid offerings. “Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the Lord ’s most holy altar.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord . Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the Lord . (This payment is half a shekel, based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the Lord . When this offering is given to the Lord to purify your lives, making you right with him, the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring the Israelites to the Lord ’s attention, and it will purify your lives.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there. They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to the Lord —or they will die! They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be observed from generation to generation.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Collect choice spices—12 1 / 2 pounds of pure myrrh, 6 1 / 4 pounds of fragrant cinnamon, 6 1 / 4 pounds of fragrant calamus, and 12 1 / 2 pounds of cassia —as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel. Also get one gallon of olive oil. Like a skilled incense maker, blend these ingredients to make a holy anointing oil. Use this sacred oil to anoint the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and all its accessories, the incense altar, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the washbasin with its stand. Consecrate them to make them absolutely holy. After this, whatever touches them will also become holy. “Anoint Aaron and his sons also, consecrating them to serve me as priests. And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation. It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. Anyone who makes a blend like it or anoints someone other than a priest will be cut off from the community.’”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather fragrant spices—resin droplets, mollusk shell, and galbanum—and mix these fragrant spices with pure frankincense, weighed out in equal amounts. Using the usual techniques of the incense maker, blend the spices together and sprinkle them with salt to produce a pure and holy incense. Grind some of the mixture into a very fine powder and put it in front of the Ark of the Covenant, where I will meet with you in the Tabernacle. You must treat this incense as most holy. Never use this formula to make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the Lord , and you must treat it as holy. Anyone who makes incense like this for personal use will be cut off from the community.”’

Exodus 30

Today’s reading takes us back into Job starting in Job 20.

‘Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: “I must reply because I am greatly disturbed. I’ve had to endure your insults, but now my spirit prompts me to reply. “Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time, ever since people were first placed on the earth, the triumph of the wicked has been short lived and the joy of the godless has been only temporary? Though the pride of the godless reaches to the heavens and their heads touch the clouds, yet they will vanish forever, thrown away like their own dung. Those who knew them will ask, ‘Where are they?’ They will fade like a dream and not be found. They will vanish like a vision in the night. Those who once saw them will see them no more. Their families will never see them again. Their children will beg from the poor, for they must give back their stolen riches. Though they are young, their bones will lie in the dust. “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness, letting it melt under their tongue. They savored it, holding it long in their mouths. But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour, a poisonous venom in their stomach. They will vomit the wealth they swallowed. God won’t let them keep it down. They will suck the poison of cobras. The viper will kill them. They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil or rivers of milk and honey. They will give back everything they worked for. Their wealth will bring them no joy. For they oppressed the poor and left them destitute. They foreclosed on their homes. They were always greedy and never satisfied. Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about. Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves. Therefore, their prosperity will not endure. “In the midst of plenty, they will run into trouble and be overcome by misery. May God give them a bellyful of trouble. May God rain down his anger upon them. When they try to escape an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce them. The arrow is pulled from their back, and the arrowhead glistens with blood. The terrors of death are upon them. Their treasures will be thrown into deepest darkness. A wildfire will devour their goods, consuming all they have left. The heavens will reveal their guilt, and the earth will testify against them. A flood will sweep away their house. God’s anger will descend on them in torrents. This is the reward that God gives the wicked. It is the inheritance decreed by God.”’

Job 20

Today’s reading continues in Job with Job 21.

‘Then Job spoke again: “Listen closely to what I am saying. That’s one consolation you can give me. Bear with me, and let me speak. After I have spoken, you may resume mocking me. “My complaint is with God, not with people. I have good reason to be so impatient. Look at me and be stunned. Put your hand over your mouth in shock. When I think about what I am saying, I shudder. My body trembles. “Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful? They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them. Their bulls never fail to breed. Their cows bear calves and never miscarry. They let their children frisk about like lambs. Their little ones skip and dance. They sing with tambourine and harp. They celebrate to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity, then go down to the grave in peace. And yet they say to God, ‘Go away. We want no part of you and your ways. Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him? What good will it do us to pray?’ (They think their prosperity is of their own doing, but I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.) “Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished. Do they ever have trouble? Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger? Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm like chaff? Not at all! “‘Well,’ you say, ‘at least God will punish their children!’ But I say he should punish the ones who sin, so that they understand his judgment. Let them see their destruction with their own eyes. Let them drink deeply of the anger of the Almighty. For they will not care what happens to their family after they are dead. “But who can teach a lesson to God, since he judges even the most powerful? One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same maggots. “Look, I know what you’re thinking. I know the schemes you plot against me. You will tell me of rich and wicked people whose houses have vanished because of their sins. But ask those who have been around, and they will tell you the truth. Evil people are spared in times of calamity and are allowed to escape disaster. No one criticizes them openly or pays them back for what they have done. When they are carried to the grave, an honor guard keeps watch at their tomb. A great funeral procession goes to the cemetery. Many pay their respects as the body is laid to rest, and the earth gives sweet repose. “How can your empty clichés comfort me? All your explanations are lies!”’

Job 21

Today’s reading bring us into the New Testament starting with Mark 3.

‘Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”’

Mark 3:31-35

Today’s reading then continues into Mark 4.

‘Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”’

Mark 4:1-9

Today’s reading then brings us into 1 Corinthians 10.

‘I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.’

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

As we close in today’s reading let’s take a moment to meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 61.

‘O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude For you have heard my vows, O God. You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name. Add many years to the life of the king! May his years span the generations! May he reign under God’s protection forever. May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him. Then I will sing praises to your name forever as I fulfill my vows each day.’

Psalms 61

What does success look like to you?


When you think of success or victory how do you when it has happened? Do you setup KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you measure and track? Do you define success criteria so that when it happens you can tell and know? Do you have S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) to be able to track and know when you have succeeded? If you don’t setup or define success criteria or have S.M.A.R.T. goals, how will you know when you have arrived? have succeeded? have victory? What is your definition of success? What is your definition of victory? What is your destination?

How do you know when the tides change? How do you know when it is getting better? How do you know if what you are doing or have done made a difference? How do you know what the other factors that were in play did to impact what you’re trying to achieve?

If we consider God’s perspective, it is interesting because He knows the beginning and the end. There are no surprises to Him! So if something happens there is a purpose and a plan for the outcome He knows will happen. Are you giving your goals and your plans and your hopes and your dreams up to God? Are you making His plans your plans? In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straightSeek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Will you make His plans your plans? Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. So if we want to achieve true victory, we need to invite Jesus into our hearts and live lives after Him! Through Jesus we become new creations where the old is gone and the new has come! Through Jesus we get the victory thanks to Him! He defeated the power of death in our lives! He defeated the power of sin in our lives! He has won the victory for us if we will choose to receive it and live in it! Be it at the cross and the resurrection! Be it in the end as described in the book of Revelation! Jesus has won and for us to truly live in victory, we need to receive Him into our lives and live our lives for Him!

Yes, there will be temporary successes and temporary victories! To achieve eternal success and victories we need Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is the only way to achieve eternal victory and spend eternity with God!

We need to have a bigger perspective! Had people only had the view of what was going on in the moment, they probably saw the cross as a defeat, but that wasn’t the end of the plan and wasn’t how it ended with Jesus being put into the grave. Jesus said that on the third day He would rise again and so if we view what was going on through the cross and the resurrection, it is a time of incredible celebration because of the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death. He took away the power and the keys to cause fear and worry from the devil! He took away authority the devil was trying to portray He had! Jesus is above it all! No matter what we are facing today, Jesus is above it all and so we can have victory! Be it relational, Jesus is above it all! Be it financial, Jesus is above it all! Be it physical, Jesus is above it all! We just need to believe! Fear Not, Just Believe! Fear and worry change nothing! Prayer and Faith change everything!

So do you want to have victory? Then we need to take hold of it from a Biblical perspective and look at it through the prism or lens of Jesus Christ!

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ.

–from 1 Corinthians 15:57

So will you choose victory? Will you invite Jesus in so that you can find victory in your heart, over death, and over evil?

There are three things you can give in response to this amazing gift of victory through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Give thanks

‘Where, oh death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (vv.55–57).

The evangelist, David Watson, told the story of when he was called into the garden by the frightened cries of his daughter who was being chased by a bee. He wrapped his arms around her and then she felt his body go tense. He let her go and said to her, ‘You needn’t worry anymore, darling, the bee has stung me.’

On the cross, it was as though Jesus wrapped his arms around us and took the sting of death for us. We still die (if Jesus doesn’t return first) but, for everyone trusting in Christ, ‘the sting of death’ has been removed through the cross and resurrection. And, as David Watson said to his daughter, ‘Bees don’t sting twice.’ ‘Thank God!’ (v.57, MSG).

Give yourself

Do you sometimes wonder whether what you are doing in serving God is really making any difference? Are you tempted to think that it may all be a waste of time and effort?

Be encouraged: ‘Nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort’ (v.58, MSG). Paul writes that the appropriate response to the victory of Jesus is ‘to stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain’ (v.58).

Get on with ‘the work of the Lord’ (v.58). That is, the work that the Lord has called you to do. Do not be worried or threatened by what others are up to in different ministries. Different people have different callings. It is not for us to judge. They are seeking to serve God, possibly in a different way. Each of us should follow God’s call in our own lives.

Give yourself fully to whatever it is God has called you to do. Because of the resurrection you can stand firm and know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.

Give money

Part of giving yourself to the work of the Lord is through giving your money (16:2). We see here a number of principles of Christian giving. First, it is primarily ‘for God’s people’ (v.1) that is, the church. Second, it should be regular, ‘On the first day of every week’ (v.2). Third, everyone (‘each one of you’, v.2) should be involved. Fourth, it should be proportionate, in keeping with your income (see Deuteronomy 16:17): ‘Be as generous as you can’ (1 Corinthians 16:2, MSG).

–from Day 236: Bible In One Year 2017


The Way to Victory

Day 236: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Victory in our hearts … Proverbs 20:25-21:4
  2. Victory over death … 1 Corinthians 15:50-16:4
  3. Victory over evil … 2 Chronicles 21:4-23:21

Today’s reading from God’s Word: Day 236


Consider this…

  • The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
  • The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lordhe guides it wherever he pleases.
  • People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.
  • Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
  • The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
  • The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
  • For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Are you willing to live in the light rather than hide in the darkness?
  • Are you living resume values or eulogy values? Values that get the job done or values that leaves a legacy?

What’s it going to take to make things great again?


Will you return to God? Will you be faithful to God? Will you turn back to God? Will you come back into God’s presence like the lost son? God is great! God is faithful to His covenant! Do you love God? Do you faithfully keep His Word? Will you confess your sins? Will you confess the sins of the nation? Will you confess the sins of the people? Will you confess the sins of previous generations that have cause so many to walk away? Because of the sins the people have been scattered rather than coming together in unity. Will you choose today to humble yourself before God? Will you choose to honor God today? Will you give your life into God’s hands and ask for favor and completing the work He has given you to do?

Will you ask? Will you tell what God has put onto your heart? Will you go and do what God has instructed you to complete? Will you go and complete the work that God has given you? Will you inspect the situation? Will you survey the situation of things as they are today? Will you rally the troops? Will you put your hope and trust in God and not be deceived? Will you put your hope and your trust in God and not be deterred? Will you be a doer of the Word rather than just a hearer? Don’t be overwhelmed by the size or scope, but divide the work and allow the people assigned to do their part of the work. Stage by stage allow the work to be completed!

Don’t lose hope if or when people resist doing their part. Someone will step up to complete that work. Trust it all to God!

Are you ready to make it great again? Are you ready to be an instrument of God into the world around you? Are you ready to receive God’s vision and wisdom? How will you respond? Fear Not, just believe! If God calls you to it, He will bring you thru it!

Don’t lose hope … ask God for help! Don’t worry … ask God for help! Fear Not … ask God for help! Worry changes nothing … prayer changes everything!

So let’s meditate on God’s Word as this reading series draws to an end. With just over a week left before a new series, a new journey will begin, let’s reflect together on today’s reading from the New Testament and hear what God has to say to us.

Friendship with the World

1Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. 2You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. 4Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. 5Don’t think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” 6 But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! 9Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Warning against Judging One Another

11Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else?

Warning against Boasting

13 Now listen to me, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.” 14You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. 15What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud, and you boast; all such boasting is wrong.
17So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin.

–James 4

We need to walk in humility! We need to resist the devil! We need put our hope and trust in God! So how will you walk out today? Don’t boast! Trust in God! Let’s complete the good work God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s not be tricked or deceived! Let’s walk in love! Let’s live out love! Let’s allow God’s hand to complete the work it has begun in us so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not grow weary in doing good!

False Teachers

1False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. 2Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. 3In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
4God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 5 God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people. 6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. 7 He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people. 8That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. 9And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.
These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse! 15 They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22 What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–2 Peter 2

 


Today's Reading: Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah 3, Psalm 120, James 4, 2 Peter 2

Rewards of obedience…Consequences of disobedience…


Are you part of a group that is being punished for being disobedience even though you didn’t do anything? Ever been in such a situation and then what seemed like out of the blue someone comes by and calls you out because you shouldn’t be lumped in with them? Ever been in such a situation where it happened and you got a choice in how you would respond? Ever been in such a situation and wondered why this was happening or at least why would it have happened to you? Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your way straight!

In today’s reading Jeremiah was part of the group being taken away in chains. He had warned the people to change their ways and turn back to God but they wouldn’t listen. He was approached as he found favor in the commander of the guards who freed him from the chains and gave him two options – to go with them and that he would take care of him or he could go anywhere he wanted on his own.

It’s interesting how life can play out at times. Be it in the workplace or anywhere else, there may be times when we get put together with a group of people for various reasons. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to understand the time, have wisdom about our purpose, and courage and obedience to do what He calls us to do. I may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do. We know that in this world we will have troubles and we also know that Jesus overcome the world so we can take heart! We know that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, it will test our faith producing perseverance, that perseverance when it finishes its work in us will make us mature, complete, and lacking nothing! We know that when we aren’t sure what to do or where to go that we can turn to God and ask for wisdom because He will answer and provide generously without finding fault.

It may be that the deal they have for you might not really be as good as it sounds. I may by your own wisdom seem better from an advancement or positioning perspective, but it may not really be everything you thought it to be. This is why we can’t lean on our own understanding because we don’t know others true motives or intentions. Turn to God! Walk with Him! We are to pray without ceasing and this is because in doing so no matter what we face we are walking and talking with Him!

We aren’t able to do it all in our own strength! The law makes it very clear that we will have troubles measuring up. Jesus calls us to be above average for He has raised the bar. Examples are when He spoke of how to deal with those who would seem to be so against us:

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

–from Matthew 5:44

We were never made to do it alone! That is why we are to be a part of the body of Christ! We are to work together in unity! We are to love one another!

If or when we walk away from God don’t allow the lies of the devil keep you from turning back to God! Just like the story of the lost son, He is waiting for us to turn back and run back into His arms. Don’t lose hope or keep running away in fear, turn back to Him in humility and ask Him for forgiveness and allow Him to transform you life!

glad-you-are-back

As we consider where we are…as we consider where we have been…as we consider where we are headed…let’s reflect on the conclusion to our reading today…

1Follow Godʼs example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godʼs holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Godʼs wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordʼs will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

–Ephesians 5

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 40, 41, Psalm 38, Ephesians 5

82% might sound good, but we need to finish the race!


Ever heard people who are ready top stop when they get to 80%? Ever heard people who think 80% is enough or good enough? Well, today my daily reading program I have reached 82% but that isn’t good enough, I want to finish which means I have to keep going and pressing in and pressing on for another 65 days.

If someone runs 80% of a 100 meter or 100 yard dash does that do them any good? If someone runs 80% of a marathon does that do them any good? If someone plays 80% of a game will that be good enough?

Last night during the Saturday night service, we were in Philippians 3 where we here from Paul in his most intimate letter in the bible. We need to realize we haven’t completed yet! We need to realize we haven’t arrived yet! We need to realize that obtained everything God has planned for us yet! We need to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. We need to leave the past achievements and troubles behind us and press forward! We need to We need to forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t be afraid! Don’t complain! Don’t worry! Let’s press onward! Let’s strain towards what is ahead of us! Let’s get it done! Let’s finish strong!

The pendulum of life…


Take a look at history and watch the pendulum swing…

Good

Obedience

Aligned

Right

The pendulum goes back and forth evil

disobedience

misaligned

wrong

Throughout history we watch civilization align with God and then rebel against God. We see people and societies whose predecessors followed God get too comfortable and then take for granted the way things are not realizing the impact of their comfortable lives and then their rebellious behavior will have on the future. We see people get so far away from God that they get to a breaking point where a revival is needed to get things back on track and to a point where people celebrate in the Lord and walk aligned with God and try to get all the brokenness fixed up.

Take a look around you today. Where are you standing? Where is society on the spectrum? Where is it on the path of the pendulum? Will you help it? Which side will it be? How far down the downward spiral would things have to get before you start to look up to God and call out to Him? How far off kilter do things have to get before someone will try to make a change? Things had to get really bad and really dark before revival happened in the past, how much worse do they have to get before you, before society, before the world turns back to God?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day. I thank You Lord that Your plans are good. I thank You Lord that Your ways are better than our ways and your plans are better than our plans. I thank You Lord that through You all things are possible. Even though things may seem bad or seem tough or seem hard, I know I can keep and put my trust in You because with you all things are possible. Nothing is too big for You. Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place between people of different races, I lift this up to You asking for Your spirit of reconciliation to come into the middle of this.Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place within politics, I lift this up to You knowing and trusting in You because nobody is authority except for those You have allowed into those positions to help Your plan come together. Even what the enemy had planned for evil Lord, You can turnaround and use for good. Help us Lord to align with Your will and do what Your plans require. Help us Lord to do what is good and what is right so that Your will and Your plans will happen today. Help us Lord to walk in obedience to Your Word and Your way so that in all we think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory that You so deserve. Help us Lord to live our lives as humble servants so that people will come to the reality of Jesus and be saved. Lord, help us to live selfless lives, putting others first, so that our lives will be living sacrifices to You and living testimonies to the people around us! Lord I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s reading brings us to 2 Kings 21…

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” 9But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10Then the lord said through his servants the prophets: 11“King Manasseh of Judah has done many detestable things. He is even more wicked than the Amorites, who lived in this land before Israel. He has caused the people of Judah to sin with his idols. 12So this is what the lord, the God of Israel, says: I will bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. 13I will judge Jerusalem by the same standard I used for Samaria and the same measure I used for the family of Ahab. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down. 14Then I will reject even the remnant of my own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. 15For they have done great evil in my sight and have angered me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.”
16Manasseh also murdered many innocent people until Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with innocent blood. This was in addition to the sin that he caused the people of Judah to commit, leading them to do evil in the lord’s sight.
17The rest of the events in Manasseh’s reign and everything he did, including the sins he committed, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 18When Manasseh died, he was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. 21He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. 22He abandoned the lord, the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the lord’s ways.
23Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 24But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
25The rest of the events in Amon’s reign and what he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Josiah became the next king.

–from 2 Kings 21

Does it matter if the person is old and does what is wrong vs if the person is young and does wrong? Does it matter what the person’s race or nationality if they are doing what is wrong? Does it matter what the person’s sex is if they are doing what is wrong? No! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s not about their age, their race, their sex, it’s about their character! It’s all about the content of their heart which defines and represents their character!

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” 9But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10The lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11So the lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13And when he prayed, the lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the lord alone is God!
14After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. 15Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. 16Then he restored the altar of the lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the lord, the God of Israel. 17However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the lord their God.
18The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel. 19Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers. It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. 20When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.

–from 2 Chronicles 33

Let’s press on! Let’s not give up! Let’s take hold of the truth in God’s Word! Let’s take hope in the promises of Jesus! In this world we will have troubles but we can take hope because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for they do a work in us that will get us to the point if we will allow it to, to be complete and lacking nothing! God’s got it all in His hands and so we need to lean on Him rather than our own understanding so that He can make our paths straight!

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

1We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.
Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’
I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens
or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west,
or even from the wilderness—
should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges;
he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the lord holds a cup in his hand
that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices.
He pours out the wine in judgment,
and all the wicked must drink it,
draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
but I will increase the power of the godly.”

–from Psalms 75

Let’s trust in God! Trust Him no matter what happens! Like Paul who was in prison but trusted in God, no matter what would happen. Like Daniel and his friends who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace but trusted in God, no matter what happened. Let’s walk in faith believing and trusting in God and His Word! God has a plan and His plan is good! God can make a way even when there isn’t a way! So let’s trust in Him through every challenge, delight, joy, adventure, … we need to walk through knowing that He is working in it for good! For there is no darkness in Him! God is Love! Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 how it reads when we replace Love with God since God = Love and Love = God? Don’t lose hope! Don’t grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to work in and through you no matter the circumstances! Let’s give God the praise and redirect any to Him who is greater!

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

1About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

6The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.

The Death of Herod Agrippa

20Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”
23Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
24Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.

–from Acts 12

So don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Let’s stick to God’s Word! It’s our measuring stick, our source of truth! Let’s lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways let’s acknowledge Him who will make our path straight! Let’s tell the truth! Let’s live with integrity! Let’s be honest in the way we live! Let’s be pointing people to God! Let’s not be focusing on self, but rather let’s be giving it all up to God! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not stop speaking of the great love of Jesus! Let’s not stop speaking of what He has done for us! Let’s be salt and light! Let’s share the love, the grace, and the mercy with the world around us that they too will come to know Jesus and His sacrifice for all of us!

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

–from 2 Corinthians 4

What are you investing in?


Are you investing in something that will last? Are you investing in something that is trustworthy? Are you investing in something that has a good return? Are your investments a sign of good stewardship? Are your investments into things that will last? Are you investments into the right areas?

Investments…what does that mean to you? Time? Money? Effort? People? Property? Stocks? Stuff?

where-will-you-invest-and-spend-effort-time-money

Are you investing in things that will last forever? An example of such an investment is to invest in people – eternal souls. Are you investing in things that will glorify God? An example of such an investment is to be salt and light to the world around you. Another example is to walk in love. Another example is to be sharing the fruits of the spirit. Are you investing in things that will make a difference? Are you building a legacy?

How are you investing your time, energy, and money? 


Today’s reading brings us into Isaiah again which triggered the above questions…ponder them as you read through today’s reading and see what God has to say to you…

No Profit in Casting Idols

1“But now listen, Jacob My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.” 2Thus says Adonai who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Do not fear, Jacob My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5This one will say, ‘I am Adonai’s.’ That one will be called by the name Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘Adonai’s’ and will take the name Israel.”

First and Last

6Thus says Adonai, Israel’s King and his Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am the first, and the last, and there is no God beside Me. 7Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and announce it! Let him arrange it in order for Me— as I established the ancient nation. Let them declare to them what is coming and future events. 8Do not dread or be afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? So you are My witnesses! Is there any God beside Me? Is there any other Rock? I know of none.

Folly of Idols

9Those who fashion idols are empty. Their precious things do not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol for no profit? 11Behold, all his friends will be ashamed, for the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble. Let them stand up. Let them dread. Let them be put to shame together. 12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. Yet when he is hungry, his strength fails. When he drinks no water, he gets tired. 13A carpenter stretches out a line; he marks it with a pencil; he shapes it with planes; he marks it with a compass; he shapes it like the figure of a man —like the beauty of a man— so that it may sit in a shrine. 14He chops down cedars for himself, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine and rain nourishes it. 15Then it is something for a man to burn. so he takes one of them and warms himself. He also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an idol and bows before it. 16He burns half of it in the fire. With this half, he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17Yet with the rest he makes a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships. He even prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” 18They do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. 19No one reflects in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire and I also baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate—and then I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I bow before a block of wood?” 20He is feeding on ashes. A deceived heart has led him astray, so he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Isn’t what is in my right hand a fraud?” 21Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I formed you, you are My servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! 22I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23Sing, O heavens, for Adonai has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it! For Adonai has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified through Israel. 24Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am Adonai, Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens alone, spreading the earth abroad by Myself, 25causing the omens of boasters to fail, making fools of diviners, turning wise men backward and making their knowledge foolish, 26while confirming the word of His servant, fulfilling the counsel of His messengers, saying of Jerusalem, “She will be lived in” and of the cities of Judah, “They will be built, and I will raise up their ruins,” 27while saying to the deep, “Be dry, I will dry up your rivers,” 28while saying of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall fulfill all My purpose” while saying to Jerusalem, “You will be built” and to the Temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

–from Isaiah 44

God knows your name! God knows your every thought! God sees each tear that falls! God hears you when you call! God created you on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So let’s be good stewards of all we have – time, money, effort. Let’s use it to glorify God and point others to Him! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who have yet to meet Jesus! Let’s allow the Spirit to work in and thru us for to glory of God! Let’s be strengthen by the Lord to do the work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s keep our eyes on God and the work He has for us to do today! How will we invest our time? Will it make a difference to the people around us? Will their lives be impacted because we are there?

Cyrus the Anointed

1Thus says Adonai to His anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him, to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates may not be shut. 2I will go before you and make crooked places straight. I will shatter bronze doors and cut through iron bars. 3I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I am Adonai, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by name, I have given you a title of honor, though you have not known Me. 5I am Adonai—there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me, 6so they may know, from the rising to the setting of the sun, that there is no one besides Me. I am Adonai—there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness. I make shalom and create calamity. I, Adonai, do all these things. 8“Rain down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down justice. Let the earth open up, let salvation sprout, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Adonai, have created it.” 9Oy , to one who quarrels with his Maker, like a pot among the pots of the earth! Shall the clay say to the potter, “What have you made?” Or does your work say, “It has no handles”? 10Oy , to him who says to his father, “What have you begotten?” Or to a woman, “What have you born?” 11Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, “Ask Me about the things to come upon My children. Then you will commit to Me the work of My hands. 12I made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and I commanded all their host. 13“I stirred Cyrus up in righteousness and I will level all his roads. He will build My city and set My exiles free, with no price or bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. 14Thus says Adonai: “Egypt’s toil, Ethiopia’s merchandise, and the tall Sabeans will come over to you and be yours. They will walk behind you in chains. They will bow down to you, and pray, saying, ‘Surely God is with you!’ There is none else— no other God!”

Mystery of Creation

15Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16All of them will be ashamed, disgraced— idol-makers go in dishonor together. 17Israel has been saved by Adonai with an everlasting salvation. You will not be put to shame or disgraced, for ever and ever. 18For thus says Adonai— He is God who fashioned the heavens, who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it desolate but formed it to be inhabited— “I am Adonai—there is no other!” 19“I have not spoken in secret, in a place of a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in desolation.’ I, Adonai, speak righteousness, declaring uprightly.”

No Other God and Savior

20“Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! Those who carry their wooden idols have no knowledge, praying to a god who cannot save. 21Declare and present your case, Indeed, let them consult together. Who foretold this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Is it not I, Adonai? There is no other God beside Me —a righteous God and a Savior— there is none besides Me! 22Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God—there is no other. 23By Myself I have sworn— the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and is irrevocable: that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. 24They will say of Me, ‘Only in Adonai is righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25In Adonai all the seed of Israel will be justified and give praise.”

–from Isaiah 45

Ask the Spirit to fill you up. Ask the Spirit to give you divine appointments today. Ask the Spirit to give you words of encouragement, words of instruction, words of direction so that you can invest into everyone God brings across your path today. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the surface. Ask the Spirit to give you ears to be sensitive to what is really going on so that you can hear it. Ask the Spirit to help you be bold and courageous to not only hear what is being said, but to be able to speak the words He gives you to speak as He did with Peter.

The Ruach Fills the Disciples

1When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out. 5Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans? 8How is it that we each hear our own birth language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome 11(both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!” 12And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?” 13Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”

Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd

14But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day! 16But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes. 21And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’ 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed. 24But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it. 25For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope, 27because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay. 32“This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses! 33Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36“Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”

Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.” 40With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” 41So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins

42They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. 43Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries. 44And all who believed were together, having everything in common. 45They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. 46Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.

–from Acts 2

Have you already received Jesus? Have you already asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned back to God? Have you already been baptized in the name of Jesus?

What’s holding you back? It’s worth the investment!

Let’s be looking for the opportunity because God’s Word doesn’t return void and to this very day there are people being saved! How will you be investing into the lives who have received Him? How will you be investing into the lives who are yet to receive Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will you complete the work?


Will you use the resources God has given you for His purposes? Will you use the resources God has given you to glorify Him? Will you use the resources God has given you to exalt Him higher, so that when people see it, they will give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you use the resources God has given you to complete the work?

Solomon’s Palace Complex

1But it took Solomon 13 years to build and complete his own palace. 2He also built the Forest House of Lebanon: its length was 100 cubits, its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits, built on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars. 3It was paneled with cedar above the side chambers, which were on 45 pillars—15 in a row. 4And there were window frames in three rows, with window opposite window in three ranks. 5And all the doorways had rectangular frame, and with window opposite to window in three tiers. 6He also made a portico of columns, 50 cubits long and 30 cubits wide, with a porch in front, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof. 7He also made the Hall of the Throne where he would judge—the Hall of Justice. It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the ceiling. 8His house where he would dwell, set farther back of the hall, was of the same construction. He also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom Solomon had taken to wife. 9All these were made of expensive stones—stone cut to size and sawed with saws inside and outside—from the foundation to the top and from the outside to the great court. 10The foundation was also made of expensive stones—huge stones, stones eight cubits and stones ten cubits. 11Above were expensive stones, cut to measure, and cedar wood. 12The surrounding great courtyard had three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams, the same as the inner court of the House of Adonai and the portico of the House.

Hiram the Bronze Craftsman

13King Solomon sent for and had Hiram brought from Tyre. 14He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, while his father was a man of Tyre, a coppersmith, and he was filled with wisdom, understanding and skill to do any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and executed all his work. 15He fashioned the two bronze pillars, 18 cubits high and 12 cubits in circumference each. 16He also made two capitals of molten bronze to set upon the tops of the pillars (the height of each capital was five cubits), 17nettings of latticework and twisted threads of chain work for the capitals were on top of the pillars—seven for the one capital and seven for the other capital. 18So he made the pillars with two rows of pomegranates all around on the netting covering the capitals on top of each capital. 19The capitals that were on the top of the pillars in the portico were of lily design, four cubits high. 20So also the capitals on the two pillars—close to the belly next to the netting were the pomegranates in rows of 200 around both capitals. 21Thus he set up the pillars at the porticos of the Temple. He set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz. 22On the top of the pillars was lily design. So the work of the pillars was finished. 23Next he made the sea of cast metal, ten cubits across from brim to brim, circular in form, five cubits in its height and 30 cubits in circumference. 24Under its brim there were gourds encircling it, ten per cubit, completely surrounding the sea. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with it. 25It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts were inward. 26It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the petals of a lily; it held 11,000 gallons. 27Then he made ten bases of bronze—the length of each base was four cubits, the width four cubits and the height three cubits. 28The structure of the bases was as follows: they had borders, and borders between the frames, 29and on the borders that were below the frames were lions, oxen and cheruvim. On the frames there was a pedestal manner above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work. 30Each base had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. Its four legs had brackets; the brackets were beneath the laver, cast with wreaths at each side. 31Its opening inside the crown at the top was a cubit high, and its opening was round like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half, and also on its opening were engravings, and their borders were square, not round. 32The four wheels were underneath the borders, and the axles of the wheels were in the base. The height of a wheel was a cubit and half. 33And the structure of the wheels was like the structure of a chariot wheel; their axletrees, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast metal. 34There were four brackets at the four corners of each base; each bracket was of one piece with the base itself. 35On top of the base there was a band half a cubit high encircling it—its braces and its borders were part of it. 36On the plates of the braces and on its borders, he engraved cheruvim, lions and palm trees, wherever there was clear space around each, with encircling wreaths. 37He made the ten bases like this—all of them cast from the same mold, the same size and same shape. 38Then he made ten basins of bronze: one basin held 220 gallons. Each basin was four cubits, and on each of the ten bases was one basin. 39Then he set up the laver stands, five on the right side of the House and five on the left side of the House, and set up the sea of cast metal on the right side of the House eastward, toward the south. 40Then Hiram made the basins, the shovels, and the sprinkling bowls. So Hiram finished doing all the work that he performed for King Solomon on Adonai’s House: 41the two pillars, the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, the two nettings to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 42the 400 pomegranates for the two nettings, two rows of pomegranates for each to cover the two bowls of the capitals on top of the pillars, 43the ten bases and the ten basins on the bases, 44the one sea and the 12 oxen under the sea, 45the pots, the shovels and the basins. All these vessels Hiram made for King Solomon in the House of Adonai were made of polished bronze. 46The king had them cast in the plain of the Jordan, with clay of the ground between Sukkot and Zarethan. 47Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were too many—the weight of the bronze could not be determined. 48So Solomon made all the equipment that was to be in the House of Adonai: the golden altar, the table on which was the bread of the presence, of gold; 49the menorahs—five on the right side and five on the left in front of the inner Sanctuary—of pure gold; the flowers, the lamps and the tongs, of gold; 50the cups, the snuffers, the bowls, the wick trimmers and the fire pans, of pure gold; the hinges for the doors of the inner House, the Holy of Holies, and for the doors of the House, that is, of the Temple, of gold. 51When all the work that King Solomon did in Adonai’s House was finished, Solomon brought in the things that his father David had dedicated—the silver, the gold and the vessels—and put them in the treasuries of the House of Adonai.

–from 1 Kings 7 (TLV)

Will people see what you are doing, what you have done, what you are about to do and praise your Father in heaven? Will you live life to a higher calling?

The Temple Furnishings

1Moreover, he made a bronze altar 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and ten cubits high. 2He also made the Sea of cast metal ten cubits across from brim to brim, perfectly round. It was five cubits high and its circumference was 30 cubits. 3Beneath it, figures like bulls were set all around it, ten cubits encircling the Sea. The bulls were in two rows, cast in one piece with it. 4The Sea stood on 12 bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The Sea rested upon them and their hindquarters were all turned inward. 5It was a handbreadth thick, and the brim was like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held 3,000 vats. 6He also made ten basins for washing and placed five on the right side and five on the left. In them the items used for the burnt offering were rinsed, but the kohanim washed in “the Sea”. 7Next he made the ten menorot of gold in the manner prescribed for them and set them in the Temple, five on the right hand and five on the left. 8He also made ten tables and placed them in the Temple, five on the right side and five on the left. He also made 100 gold bowls. 9Then he made the courtyard of the kohanim and the great courtyard and doors for the courtyard. He overlaid the doors with bronze. 10He set the Sea on the south side at the southeast corner. 11Huram also made the pots, the shovels and the bowls. So Huram-abi finished the work that he had undertaken for King Solomon in the House of God: 12the two pillars, the bowls and the two capitals on the top of the pillars, and the two lattice-works to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 13and the 400 pomegranates for the two lattice-works (two rows of pomegranates for each lattice-work to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were upon the top of the pillars). 14He also made the stands, the basins upon the stands, 15and the one Sea with the 12 bulls under it, 16as well as the pots, the shovels and the meat hooks. All the utensils Huram-abi made for King Solomon for the House of Adonai were of polished bronze. 17The king had them cast with clay earth from the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zeredah. 18Solomon made all these utensils in such great quantities that the weight of the bronze could not be determined. 19Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the House of God, including the golden altar, the tables on which was the Bread of Presence, 20the menorot with their lamps of pure gold to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed 21with the flowers and the lamps and the tongs of gold, the purest gold, 22and the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons and the fire-pans of pure gold, and the doors of the House—the inner doors for the Holy of Holies and the doors of the House, that is, the Temple—were of gold.

–from 2 Chronicles 4 (TLV)

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Do you turn to Jesus our counselor, our comforter, our guide? Do you ask Jesus who is mediating for us, bridging the gap, and sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me? Do you turn to Jesus who gave it all, once for all, no additional sacrifice required after all He did?

Yeshua, Mediator of a Better Covenant

1Now here is the main point being said. We do have such a Kohen Gadol, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. 2He is a priestly attendant of the Holies and the true Tent—which Adonai set up, not man. 3For every kohen gadol is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, so it is necessary for this One also to have something to offer. 4Now if He were on earth, He would not be a kohen at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Torah. 5They offer service in a replica and foreshadower of the heavenlies—one that is just as Moses was instructed by God when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For He says, “See that you make everything according to the design that was shown to you on the mountain.” 6But now Yeshua has obtained a more excellent ministry, insofar as He is the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises. 7For if that first one had been faultless, there would not have been discourse seeking a second. 8For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says Adonai, when I will inaugurate a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not remain in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says Adonai. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Adonai. I will put My Torah into their mind, and upon their hearts I will write it. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11And no more will they teach, each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Adonai,’ because all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more.” 13In saying “new,” He has treated the first as old; but what is being made old and aging is close to vanishing.

–from Hebrews 8 (TLV)

Do you realize there is a purpose for the Sabbath? Do you realize it was created on purpose for a purpose? Do you realize the importance of it? Now don’t get me wrong, remember how the law can be summarized in the two Jesus gave us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your strength, and your soul! and Love your neighbor as yourself! So we aren’t to neglect helping someone because of the day of the week! Let’s consider how Jesus put it…Have you got your own inner circle? Who can you trust? Who do you share with? Do you have a Be attitude?

Shabbat in the Grain Fields

1Now during Shabbat, Yeshua was passing through grain fields; and His disciples were picking and eating heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not permitted on Shabbat?” 3Then answering them, Yeshua said, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, and those with him? 4How he entered into the house of God, took and ate the showbread which only the kohanim are permitted to eat, and even gave it to those with him?” 5He said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat.”

Shabbat Controversy at the Synagogue

6On a different Shabbat, Yeshua entered the synagogue and was teaching. A man was there, whose right hand was paralyzed. 7But closely watching Him were the Torah scholars and Pharisees, to see if He heals on Shabbat, so that they might find grounds to accuse Him. 8But He knew their opinions and said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Get up and stand in our midst.” And getting up, the man stood. 9Yeshua said to them, “I ask you, is it permitted on Shabbat to do good or to do evil, to save or to destroy a life?” 10Then looking around at everyone, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man did, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed among themselves what they might do to Yeshua.

Appointing the Twelve

12And it was during these days that Yeshua went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent all night in prayer to God. 13When day came, He called His disciples, choosing from among them twelve whom He also named emissaries— 14Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and Jacob and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; 15and Matthew and Thomas; Jacob the son of Alphaeus; Simon who was called the Zealot; 16Judah the son of Jacob; and Judah from Kriot, who became a traitor.

The Sermon on the Plain

17Then Yeshua came down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of His disciples and a multitude of people, from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, 18had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those disturbed by defiling spirits were being healed. 19Everyone in the crowd was trying to touch Him, because power flowed from Him and He was healing them all. 20And looking up at His disciples, He said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and jump for joy! For behold, your reward is great in heaven! For their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way.” 24But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25Woe to you who are full, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets the same way.” 27“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for the ones who mistreat you. 29To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from the one who takes your cloak, do not hold back your shirt. 30Give to every one who asks you; and whoever takes something of yours, make no demands upon him. 31“Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are doing good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do this. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to take, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of Elyon, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil ones. 36Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you.” 37Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.” 39He also spoke this parable to them: “The blind cannot show the way to the blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye, to take it out.” 43“For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again does a rotten tree produce good fruit. 44Each tree comes to be known by its own fruit. For figs are not gleaned out of briars; neither are bunches of grapes gathered from thorn bushes. 45“Out of the good treasure of his heart the good man brings forth good, and out of evil the evil man brings forth evil. For from the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.” 46“Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master’ and do not do what I say? 47Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what he is like. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And when a flood came, the torrent burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49“But the one who hears yet does not do is like a man who built a house upon land without a foundation. When the torrent burst against it, immediately it collapsed—and the destruction of that house was great!”

–from Luke 6 (TLV)

Let’s produce good fruit! Let’s shine for Jesus so that when people see us they glorify our Father in heaven!