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!

Do you know your history?


Do you know much about your genealogy? Do you know much about where you came from? Do you know much about your ancestors? Do you know much about their stories? Do you know where it started and how it got to the point where you are where you are today?

One thing that is interesting in the Bible is when it goes through the names to map out who is who and where they were and where they got to. Imagine if we could do that for our own lives? Then we could learn from the past, pass on the learnings, and hopefully not be doomed the repeat the mistakes of the past over and over and over again.

We need to put and keep our trust and hope and focus on God! We need to avoid the pitfall of trying to go and do it all on our own and think that we can do it without God! We need to stay away from the pride and selfishness and trying to be autonomous before we find ourselves getting what we want and God lifting His hand of protection and allowing us to discover why He had set up the boundaries and the rules – not to keep us from having fun but for our own safety. We need to be living our lives loving God and loving people which is a Biblical worldview. We need to be living in a way that doesn’t trip up either of these 2 items. Be it the old or the new testament it all comes down to these 2 truths be it from what the prophets spoke to Israel or what Jesus taught – our first priority is to love God and our second equality important is to love one another! Stop the process of the lowest common denominator and let’s start calling people to higher standards so that things turn around and start getting better! Let’s follow after God to complete the work He has for us to do today! Let’s live lives that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Israel and Judah’s Descendants

1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 3The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah—the three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite woman. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Adonai, so He put him to death. 4Then Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. 5The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. 6The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara, five in all. 7The sons of Carmi: Achar, the troubler of Israel who violated the ban of devoted things. 8The sons of Ethan: Azariah. 9The sons of Hezron who were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai. 10Ram fathered Amminadab; Amminadab fathered Nahshon, the leader of the children of Judah. 11Nahshon fathered Salma; Salma fathered Boaz. 12Boaz fathered Obed; Obed fathered Jesse. 13Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab was second, Shimea third, 14Nethanel fourth, Raddai fifth, 15Ozem sixth, and David seventh. 16Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The three sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab and Asahel. 17Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. 18Caleb son of Hezron fathered children by Azubah his wife and by Jerioth. These were her sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20Hur fathered Uri and Uri fathered Bezalel. 21Afterward Hezron had relations with the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead—he had married her when he was 60 years old—and she bore him Segub. 22Segub fathered Jair, who had 23 cities in the land of Gilead. 23But Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, along with Kenath and its surrounding villages, 60 towns. All these were the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. 24After the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrath, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa. 25Now the sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron: Ram the firstborn, then Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26Jerahmeel had another wife whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin and Eker. 28The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29The name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim, but Seled died without children. 31The sons of Appaim: Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan. Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32The sons of Jada the brother of Shammai: Jeter and Jonathan—Jeter died without sons. 33The sons of Jonathan: Pelet and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 34Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. 35So Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant as a wife, and she bore him Attai. 36Then Attai fathered Nathan, and Nathan fathered Zabad. 37Zabad fathered Ephlal and Ephlal fathered Obed. 38Obed fathered Jehu, and Jehu fathered Azariah. 39Azariah fathered Helez, and Helez fathered Eleasah. 40Eleasah fathered Sisamai, and Sisamai fathered Shallum. 41 Shallum fathered Jekamiah, and Jekamiah fathered Elishama. 42Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and his son Mareshah the father of Hebron. 43The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44Shema fathered Raham, the father of Jorkeam. Rekem fathered Shammai. 45The son of Shammai was Maon and Maon was the father of Beth-Zur. 46Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez; and Haran fathered Gazez. 47The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmanna h, Sheba the father of Machbenah and the father of Gibea. The daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrath: Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51Salma the father of Beth-lehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Menuhites. 53The clans of Kiriath-jearim: the Itrites, the Puhtites, the Shumathites, the Mishraites; from them came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54The sons of Salma: Beth-lehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites, 55and the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. These were the Kenites who descended from Hammath, the father of the Rechabites.

–from 1 Chronicles 2

Let’s celebrate God! Let’s celebrate what He is and has done in and through our lives! Let’s testify of His great love! Let’s share His great love with everyone He brings into our lives as an overflow of what He is and has poured into us!

This One Was Born in Zion

1A psalm of the sons of Korah, a song. His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2Adonai loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3Glorious things are spoken of you, city of God. Selah 4“I will mention Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge Me— behold Philistia and Tyre, with Cush: ‘This one was born there.’” 5But of Zion it will be said: “This one and that one were born in her.” And Elyon Himself will establish her. 6Adonai will count in the register of the peoples: “This one was born there.” Selah 7Then singing and dancing— all my fountains of joy are in you!

–from Psalms 87

We aren’t here to put on a show, we are here to live lives that will testify to God’s great love for us! We aren’t here to trick or deceive, we are here to love and encourage and point people to the hope that is within us! Let’s live our lives prepared to speak to the source of the hope within us, JESUS! Let’s turn back to God! Let’s remember how this all began and turn back to Him before it is too late! Let’s stop the pendulum from going too far and allow it to swing back to God and let’s stick there with Him forever! Jesus was more than just a good man, a moral teacher, He came and gave it all, His life on the cross to make up for all that we have done, then He conquered the grave to break the chains of death, and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding. So turn to Him! Ask Him into your heart today! And start the most incredible journey of your life! It may not be easy, but you will never go it alone for He will be with you every step of the way!

Religious Leaders Demand Signs

1Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Yeshua, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But He replied to them, “When evening comes, you say, ‘Fair weather coming, for the sky is red,’ 3and in the morning, ‘Stormy weather today, for the sky is red and gloomy.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times! 4An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” And leaving them behind, He went away. 5Now when the disciples came to the other side of the sea, they had forgotten to take bread. 6“Watch out,” Yeshua said to them, “and beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “We didn’t bring any bread.” 8But knowing this, Yeshua said, “O you of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9You still don’t get it? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? 10Or how about the seven loaves for the four thousand and all the baskets of leftovers you gathered? 11How is it that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Now beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” 12Then they understood that He wasn’t talking about the hametz in the bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Father Reveals His Son

13When Yeshua came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14They answered, “Some say John the Immerser, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15He said, “But who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17Yeshua said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven! 18And I also tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My community; and the gates of Sheol will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will have been forbidden in heaven and what you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven.” 20Then He ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah.

First Prediction: Death & Resurrection

21From that time on, Yeshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and be raised on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Never, Master! This must never happen to You!” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of men.” 24Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then ‘He will repay everyone according to his deeds.’ 28Amen, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

–from Matthew 16

 

You have to do your part! Finish Strong!


It’s more than just believing! Ever heard the phrase “faith without works is dead”?

Faith without works is dead

So we need to do our part! Where are you at today? He got you this far, so what will you do in faith believing that He will help you out to complete the work He has set before you to accomplish? We see how God helped get the promised land setup for the tribes of Israel, now it was a matter of them completing the process and possessing the land. Where are you at in your journey? Are you in place? Are you now going to press forward in faith and believe for all that God has for you? Will you settle for what you have like that is enough and all that God intended? Even though you know He has more for you?

Let’s take a look and see how our reading today speaks into this subject…

Keep and Do Torah

1Now it came about after many days, when Adonai had given rest to Israel from all their enemies around them, and Joshua was old and advanced in years, 2that Joshua summoned all Israel, their elders, their heads, their judges and their officials, and said to them: “I have grown old and am advanced in years. 3Now you have seen all that Adonai your God has done to all these nations because of you, for it was Adonai your God who was fighting for you. 4Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance, according to your tribes, these nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun. 5So Adonai your God, He Himself will thrust them out from before you, and drive them from before you, so you will possess their land, just as Adonai your God spoke to you. 6“Be very resolute to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Torah of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right or to the left, 7and not intermingle with these nations who are still remaining among you. Do not mention the names of their gods or swear by them or worship them or bow down to them. 8But cling to Adonai your God, as you have done to this day. 9For Adonai has driven out from before you great and mighty nations. As for you, no one remained standing before you to this day. 10One of you can put a thousand to flight, for Adonai your God, He Himself is fighting for you, just as He said to you. 11For your own sake, therefore, be most mindful to love Adonai your God. 12For if you ever go back and cling to the remnant of these nations that are still remaining among you, and intermarry with them, and you associate with them and they with you, 13know for certain that Adonai your God will no longer drive these nations out from before you. Instead they will become a snare and a trap for you, a scourge in your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which Adonai your God has given you. 14“Now today I am about to go the way of all the earth. You will know with all your heart and with all your soul that not one word of the good things which Adonai your God spoke concerning you has failed to happen. All of them have come to pass for you; not one word has failed. 15Now it will be that just as all the good things which Adonai your God has spoken to you have come upon you, so all the evil things will Adonai bring upon you, until He has wiped you off this good land which Adonai your God has given you. 16When you transgress the covenant of Adonai your God, which He commanded you, and go and worship other gods and bow down to them, then will the anger of Adonai burn against you, and you will perish quickly off this good land which He has given you.”

–from Joshua 23

Let’s do our part out of love! Let’s do our part out of trust! Let’s do our part our of hope! Let’s do our part because God first loved us! Let’s do our part because did His part! Let’s be obedient to all He has called us to do and to be!

Whom Will You Worship?

1Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned Israel’s elders, heads, judges and officials. So they presented themselves before God. 2Then Joshua said to all the people: “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘From ancient times your fathers—Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor—lived beyond the River and worshipped other gods. 3Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, 4then to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it as his own, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5“So I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst, and afterward I brought you out. 6I brought your fathers out of Egypt. When you came to the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Sea of Reeds with chariots and horsemen. 7But when they cried out to Adonai, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, then He brought the sea upon them, and it covered them; and your eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians. Then you stayed in the wilderness for a long time. 8“Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites who were living beyond the Jordan. Though they fought against you, I gave them into your hand, and you possessed their land when I destroyed them from before you. 9Then Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, rose and fought against Israel. He even sent and called for Balaam son of Beor to curse you. 10But I refused to listen to Balaam; instead, he had to keep blessing you. Thus I delivered you from his hand. 11“Then you crossed over the Jordan and came to Jericho, but the men of Jericho fought against you—the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—but I delivered them into your hand. 12Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove them out from before you—the two kings of the Amorites—not by your sword or your bow. 13I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities that you had not built and you have settled in them, vineyards and olive groves that you had not planted, that you are eating. 14“Now therefore, fear Adonai and worship Him in sincerity and in truth. Get rid of the gods that your fathers had worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and worship Adonai. 15If it seems bad to you to worship Adonai, then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve—whether the gods that your fathers worshipped that were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will worship Adonai!” 16Then the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake Adonai to worship other gods! 17For it was Adonai our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us all along the way that we travelled and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. 18It was Adonai who drove out from before us all the peoples, the Amorites that lived in the land. Therefore we also will worship Adonai, for He is our God.” 19But Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to worship Adonai, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not pardon your transgression and your sins. 20If you forsake Adonai and worship foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done good to you.” 21But the people said to Joshua, “No! For we will worship Adonai.” 22So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses to yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves Adonai, to worship Him.” “We are witnesses,” they responded. 23“Now therefore, get rid of the foreign gods that are in your midst, and incline your hearts to Adonai, God of Israel.” 24And the people said to Joshua, “We will worship none but Adonai our God, and we will obey none but His voice.” 25So Joshua cut a covenant with the people that day, and set for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26Then Joshua wrote these words in the scroll of the Torah of God. Also he took a great stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the Sanctuary of Adonai. 27Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone will be a witness to us. For it has heard all the words of Adonai which He has spoken to us. So it will be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” 28Joshua then dismissed the people, each to his own inheritance. 29Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Adonai, died at the age of 110 years. 30So they buried him in the territory of his own portion in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31Israel worshipped Adonai all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work of Adonai that He had done for Israel. 32Joseph’s bones, which Bnei-Yisrael had brought up from Egypt, they buried in Shechem, in the parcel of ground that Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for 100 pieces of silver. It became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 33Then Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeah, which had been given to Phinehas his son, in the hill country of Ephraim.

–from Joshua 24

So, who will you trust? Who will you worship?

Worship at His Holy Hill

1Adonai reigns, let the peoples tremble. He is enthroned upon the cheruvim— let the earth shake! 2Adonai is great in Zion and He is exalted above all the peoples. 3Let them praise Your great and awesome Name: holy is He. 4The might of a king loves justice. You have established fairness. You executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5Exalt Adonai our God and worship at His footstool: holy is He. 6Moses and Aaron were among His kohanim—also Samuel among those calling on His Name. They called on Adonai and He answered them. 7He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud. They kept His testimonies, and the decree that He gave them. 8Adonai our God, You answered them. A forgiving God You were to them, though You avenged their misdeeds. 9Exalt Adonai our God, and worship at His holy hill, for holy is Adonai our God.

–from Psalms 99

Let’s not forget but rather let’s give thanks! Pray for one another! Share praise reports with one another to encourage one another! Let’s celebrate the reconciling power of Jesus! Let’s share it with the people God has brought into our lives! Let’s serve others! Even as leaders let’s be servant leaders! Not ruling out of fear but serving out of love!

Greetings

1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by God’s will, and Timothy our brother, 2To the kedoshim, the faithful brothers and sisters in Messiah, who are at Colossae: Grace and shalom to you from God our Father!

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, whenever we pray for you. 4For we heard of your trust in Messiah Yeshua and the love you have for all the kedoshim 5because of the hope stored up for you in heaven. You heard before about this hope in the true message of the Good News 6that has come to you. In all the world this Good News is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has in you since you first heard it and came to truly know God’s grace. 7You learned it from Epaphras—our dearly loved fellow slave, who is a faithful servant of Messiah on our behalf. 8He also made clear to us your love in the Ruach. 9For this reason also, ever since we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We keep asking God that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding— 10to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11We pray that you may be strengthened with all the power that comes from His glorious might, for you to have all kinds of patience and steadfastness. With joy 12we give thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the kedoshim in the light. 13He rescued us from the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves. 14In Him we have redemption—the release of sins.

Ben-Elohim Is Supreme

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created— in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, whether thrones or angelic powers or rulers or authorities. All was created through Him and for Him. 17He exists before everything, and in Him all holds together. 18He is the head of the body, His community. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead— so that He might come to have first place in all things. 19For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of His cross— whether things on earth or things in heaven! 21Once you were alienated from God and hostile in your attitude by wicked deeds. 22But now He has reconciled you in Messiah’s physical body through death, in order to present you holy, spotless and blameless in His eyes— 23if indeed you continue in the faith, established and firm, not budging from the hope of the Good News that you have heard. This Good News has been proclaimed throughout all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.

The Mystery Revealed

24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and in my physical body—for the sake of His body, Messiah’s community—I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Messiah. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission, given to me for you, in order to declare His message in full— 26the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His kedoshim. 27God chose to make known to them this glorious mystery regarding the Gentiles—which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory! 28We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Messiah. 29To this end I labor, striving with all His strength which is powerfully at work in me.

–from Colossians 1