THRIVE: Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your day!


Busy calendar? Is it because you have to be or because you let it be? Is it with the right people at the right time on the right topics? Invite God into your scheduling and allow Him to add/remove things from it based on His plans and purpose for your day! Invite the Holy Spirit to grant you wisdom and discernment about what meetings need to happen and which don’t. Invite the Holy Spirit into each meeting to give you the thoughts, the words, and the actions necessary to accomplish God’s will and for Him to receive the glory! Allow new things to be added when the Holy Spirit prompts. Allow existing things to be moved around when the Holy Spirit prompts. Focus on the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish today!

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to clean up your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to fill up your heart with love, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to heal and restore your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you guard your heart knowing that everything you do flows from it?

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

So who is in control of your day? Are you rejecting God’s wisdom and discernment or accepting it? Are you rejecting God’s purposes and plans for your day or accepting them? Are you rejecting God’s prompting or accepting it? Are you trying to go it alone or are you willing to go it with God and with others? Let’s choose to go through today with God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it so that we can accomplish God’s will for His glory!

THRIVE
LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ‘

Proverbs 4:23

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 20


Are you ready to talk with God in a direct way? Are you ready to avoid the fluffy stuff and start with straight-talking? Are you ready to speak with and listen to the Holy Spirit to help you get through today? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Allow Him to create a new heart in you and for you to be born again, becoming a new creation where the old stuff that was holding you back is gone and the new stuff that will help you finish the race called life strong!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

How do you know if you are doing it right?


Are you using visuals? Are you using a manual? Are you interpreting it right? Is there anything that might be distorting your view? Is there anything that might be putting things off course? Ever heard stories about how people were off track by a fraction of a fraction at the beginning but the further along they got the more off track they ended up? So how do you know if you are doing it right?

Do you have a source of truth? Do you have a guide to help you? Do you have someone to lead you? Do you have something that can direct and correct you (like the Bible)? If you don’t then how do you know if you are doing it right?

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

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


Watch Out for Warped Worship


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.’

Exodus 20:4-6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize all the visual stimulation that takes place today?
  • Do you absorb it through tv? movies? the internet?
  • Do you absorb it at home? at work? at school? somewhere in between?
  • Do those images or visuals teach you things?
  • What do you learn from them?
  • What do they say about what you are seeing?
  • Are you using yours eyes for good?
  • Are the ways or the things you are allowing to be seen by your eyes helping or hindering you?
  • Are they enhancing your view of God or are they distorting and diminishing your view of God?
  • Do you realize that it is possible for images to “dishonor God” and “mislead men” as is shared by J.I. Packer in his book Knowing God?
  • Have you ever considered how pictures have formed or distorted your views? What comes to mind when you think of the devil? Is it a little guy in a red suit with a forked tail and pitch fork? What comes to mind when you think of God? Is it an old guy with a white beard and a robe?
  • What has formed your view of God?
  • Do you allow art like images, statues, paintings, and other things to represent God?
  • Do you realize the impact of allowing this to happen?
  • Do you realize that God is so incredible that it is impossible for man’s abilities to represent the fullness and greatness of God?
  • How do you know what is right?
  • How do you know where to draw the line?
  • How do you know what is good enough to use to help others hear or learn about Jesus?
  • How do you know what art is good enough to depict the reality of Jesus’s life events?
  • Would you say you draw the line when it replaces the wonder and awe of God from His infinite greatness?
  • Would you say you draw the line when it limits God from His infinite greatness?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some depictions of God you’ve seen in popular culture?
  • In what ways do they accurately represent God, and in what ways do they distort our views of Him?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Nature has perfections in order to show that she is the image of God; and defects, to show she is only His image.”

Blaise Pascal

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you pursuing the truth? Are you able to determine the difference between right and wrong? Are your views accurate or are they being distorted by the world? Are you ready to turn to God and receive His gift of grace through Jesus? Is today your day to reset and get back on track? Is today the day you decide to start the journey to get back on track? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Do they even care?


How can you tell when someone really cares about you? How can you know that you are important to them? Is it in how they speak? Is it about how they are involved? Is it in how they act? Are they doing it out of care or obligation? Are they doing out of love or duty? Are they doing it out of respect or are they being coerced or compelled to do it?

We know God is love. We know that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us. We know what love is. So can we use all of these to help us know and decide if they care?


Today’s verse of the day comes from Proverbs 25:7 and says: “Open rebuke is better than love that is hidden. [Prov. 28:23; Gal. 2:14.]” We see it has a reference to Proverbs 28:23 which says: “He who rebukes a man shall afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue.” We see that it also references Galatians 2:14 which says: “But as soon as I saw that they were not straightforward and were not living up to the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) before everybody present, If you, though born a Jew, can live [as you have been living] like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how do you dare now to urge and practically force the Gentiles to [comply with the ritual of Judaism and] live like Jews?


Do they care enough to be watching? Do they care enough to be listening? Do they care enough to get involved? Do they care enough to trust you? Do they care enough to speak and share truth with you? How can you tell if they actually care?


Was it that you were too puffed up? Was it that pride was setting you up for the fall? Was it arrogance that blinded you from doing what was needed? What can you learn from the past four roles this year and the new one you find yourself in currently. What were you doing? What did you do? What did you learn through the progression? And so where are you at today?


Ever heard of healthy boundaries? Ever heard of healthy confrontations? Are there people in your life who tell it like it is and are able to speak the truth in love when you need it? Are you able to receive it, realizing that it is helping make you better? Yes, it may hurt in the moment but those true friends who speak the correction and rebuke the bad will help you grow and become a better you. Consider the verse following today’s verse of the day that says: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are lavish and deceitful.” They are telling you like it is and not holding back the truth in love and trying to deceive you like an enemy. We need friends like that who care enough to see us right we are at and love us too much to leave us there, just like God does. Let’s make sure that we have and put friends in our lives who will tell it like it is. Be it our spouse, our kids, our friends, so that God can work in and through them to help us grow and become better versions of ourselves as spouses, parents, and friends and followers of Jesus. Let’s be open for learning ways for us to grow. It may not be easy but it will be worth it. Let’s ask God to help us with all the relationships God has put into our lives and to not give up on them. Let’s ask God to help us love others even when it is hard. Let’s ask God to give us the courage and humility to have healthy confrontations when necessary in order for those relationships to grow. Let’s give it all up into God’s hands in Jesus’s name. Amen.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? They says hindsight is 2020 and so from these past 9 months that are in the rear view mirror are their lessons learned that you can know if they care? Are their lessons learned that can help you navigate through the process? Are their lessons learned that can help you navigate through the rest of the year? Are their lessons learned from it that can help you make a better today?

The 49 week challenge – Day 287

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 287 link to join me and sign up.

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

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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


Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD
– THE BIBLE comes to us from:

‘ So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.’

Hebrews 10:23-25

My Notes:


Verse 23

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering,…. Either in the grace or doctrine of faith, or in the profession of both; See Gill on Hebrews 4:14.

For he is faithful that promised; that is God; and it is true of Father, Son, and Spirit; but God the Father may be more especially designed: he is a promising God, and is known to be so by his people; he is eminently and emphatically the Promiser; and all other promisers, and the promises made by them, signify little; but the promises of God are exceeding great and precious, very ancient, free, and unconditional, irrevocable and immutable, and are admirably suited to the cases of his people, and will be fulfilled everyone of them: they include in them things temporal, spiritual, and eternal; things temporal, as that his people shall not want, that their afflictions shall work for good, and that he will support them under all their troubles; things spiritual, as that he will be their God, which takes in his everlasting love to them, and his gracious presence with them, and his protection of them; and that all grace shall be wrought in them, and every blessing of grace bestowed on them: and things eternal; as everlasting glory and happiness; the promise of eternal life was in God’s heart, made in the covenant, and put into Christ’s hands before the world began, and is declared in the Gospel: now God is faithful to all his promises, nor can he fail, or deceive; he is all wise and foreknowing of everything that comes to pass; he never changes his mind, nor forgets his word; and he is able to perform, and is the God of truth, and cannot lie; nor has he ever failed in anyone of his promises, nor will he suffer his faithfulness to fail; and this is a strong argument to hold fast a profession of faith.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Hebrews 10:23

Verse 24

And let us consider one another,…. Saints should consider one another as men, that they are but men, of like passions and infirmities; they should consider their different tempers, and make allowance for them, and their outward state and condition in the world: they should consider one another as saints, partakers of the same grace; as that they are all loved with the same love, all conceived and brought forth in the womb of God’s eternal electing grace, interested in the same covenant, redeemed by the same blood, and have the same graces and privileges, and an equal right to glory; having one and the same Spirit, the same grace of faith, the same righteousness, the same fountain to wash in, the same fulness to partake of, the same throne of grace to go to, and the same inheritance to enjoy: they should consider one another as church members, the grace and gifts of the another, their different age and standing in the church, their relation to each other as brethren; they should consider them under suffering or sorrowful circumstances, under afflictions, temptations, desertions, declensions, and as attended with infirmities and sins: and the end of such consideration should be,

to provoke unto love; to brotherly love, to stir it up, and stir up to it, which is apt to wax cold, that so it may be rekindled, and give a most vehement flame; for this is Christ’s new commandment, the bond of perfection, the evidence of regeneration, that which makes the saints’ communion comfortable and delightful, and without which a profession of religion is in vain.

And to good works; not for justification before God, and in order to procure salvation; but that God may be glorified, the Gospel adorned, the mouths of gainsayers stopped, faith evidenced to the world, and gratitude to God for his benefits shown, and for the profit and advantage of fellow creatures, and fellow Christians.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Hebrews 10:24

Verse 25

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,…. Or the episynagogue of one another; which word is used to distinguish Christian assemblies from Jewish synagogues, and to denote the coalition of Jews and Gentiles in one church state, and to express the saints’ gathering together to Christ; see 2 Thessalonians 2:1 and their act of meeting together in some one place to attend his worship, word, and ordinances. Now to “forsake” such assembling, signifies a great infrequency in attending with the saints, a rambling from place to place, and takes in an entire apostasy. It is the duty of saints to assemble together for public worship, on the account of God, who has appointed it, who approves of it, and whose glory is concerned in it; and on the account of the saints themselves, that they may be delighted, refreshed, comforted, instructed, edified, and perfected; and on account of others, that they may be convinced, converted, and brought to the knowledge and faith of Christ; and in imitation of the primitive saints. And an assembling together ought not to be forsaken; for it is a forsaking God, and their own mercies, and such are like to be forsaken of God; nor is it known what is lost hereby; and it is the first outward visible step to apostasy, and often issues in it.

As the manner of some is; or custom; and this prevailing custom among these Jews might arise from contempt of the Gentiles, or from fear of reproach and persecution: and in our day, this evil practice arises sometimes from a vain conceit of being in no need of ordinances, and from an over love of the world, and from a great declension in the exercise of grace; the consequence of it is very bad. The JewsF1 reckon among those that go down to hell, and perish, and have no part in the world to come, הפורשים מדרכי צבור, “who separate from the ways of the congregation”; that is, who do not do the duties thereof, attend with it, and fast when that does, and the like:

but exhorting one another; to prayer, to attend public worship, to regard all the duties of religion, to adhere to Christ, and a profession of him, and to consider him, and walk on in him: or “comforting one another”; by meeting privately together, and conferring about experience, and the doctrines of grace; and by observing to one another the promises of God, relating to public worship; and by putting each other in mind of the bright day of the Lord, that is coming on:

and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching; either of death, or the last judgment, or rather of Jerusalem’s destruction; which at the writing of this epistle was near at hand; and was an affair that greatly concerned these Hebrews; and by various symptoms might be observed by them, as approaching; and which was no inconsiderable argument to engage them to a diligent discharge of their duty; unless the day of darkness, infidelity, and blasphemy in the last days of the world, should be intended, after which will succeed the latter day glory.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Hebrews 10:25

As day 287 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Are you ready to make things right?


If you learn of a wrong, will you do something to make it right? If you learn of a wrong you made, will you do something to make it right? If you learn of a wrong done by someone else, will you do something to make it right? Will you think about it or actually do something? Will you be someone who plans or someone who does? Will you ask the wronged party what reconciliation would require? Will you go beyond your thoughts and ideas and ask those who were impacted? Will you respond immediately or will you have to ponder it? Does it matter how you found out? Does it matter who did the wrong? Does it matter when it happened? Are you ready to make things right? Are you ready to take care of it right now?


Today’s reading gets us started in God’s Word with 2 Samuel 21 showing us how David responds to just such an occasion…

‘There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.” So the king summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. The people of Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal for Israel and Judah, had tried to wipe them out. David asked them, “What can I do for you? How can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord ’s people again?” “Well, money can’t settle this matter between us and the family of Saul,” the Gibeonites replied. “Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel.” “What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.” Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel. So let seven of Saul’s sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord . ” “All right,” the king said, “I will do it.” The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the Lord . But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab, the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the Lord . So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest. Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the mother of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night. When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, he went to the people of Jabesh-gilead and retrieved the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, the people of Jabesh-gilead stole their bodies from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them.) So David obtained the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed. Then the king ordered that they bury the bones in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land. Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants ; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?” After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants. During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam! In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea. These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.’

2 Samuel 21

‘The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. This is what the Lord says: “Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. For a nation will attack her from the north and bring such destruction that no one will live there again. Everything will be gone; both people and animals will flee. “In those coming days,” says the Lord , “the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the Lord their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the Lord with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten. “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, ‘We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the Lord , their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors.’ “But now, flee from Babylon! Leave the land of the Babylonians. Like male goats at the head of the flock, lead my people home again. For I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. They will join forces to attack Babylon, and she will be captured. The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss! Babylonia will be looted until the attackers are glutted with loot. I, the Lord , have spoken! “You rejoice and are glad, you who plundered my chosen people. You frisk about like a calf in a meadow and neigh like a stallion. But your homeland will be overwhelmed with shame and disgrace. You will become the least of nations— a wilderness, a dry and desolate land. Because of the Lord ’s anger, Babylon will become a deserted wasteland. All who pass by will be horrified and will gasp at the destruction they see there. “Yes, prepare to attack Babylon, all you surrounding nations. Let your archers shoot at her; spare no arrows. For she has sinned against the Lord . Shout war cries against her from every side. Look! She surrenders! Her walls have fallen. It is the Lord ’s vengeance, so take vengeance on her. Do to her as she has done to others! Take from Babylon all those who plant crops; send all the harvesters away. Because of the sword of the enemy, everyone will run away and rush back to their own lands. “The Israelites are like sheep that have been scattered by lions. First the king of Assyria ate them up. Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon cracked their bones.” Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. And I will bring Israel home again to its own land, to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan, and to be satisfied once more in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. In those days,” says the Lord , “no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve. “Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you,” says the Lord . “Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction. Babylon, the mightiest hammer in all the earth, lies broken and shattered. Babylon is desolate among the nations! Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you. You are caught, for you have fought against the Lord . The Lord has opened his armory and brought out weapons to vent his fury. The terror that falls upon the Babylonians will be the work of the Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Yes, come against her from distant lands. Break open her granaries. Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble. Destroy her completely, and leave nothing! Destroy even her young bulls— it will be terrible for them, too! Slaughter them all! For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come. Listen to the people who have escaped from Babylon, as they tell in Jerusalem how the Lord our God has taken vengeance against those who destroyed his Temple. “Send out a call for archers to come to Babylon. Surround the city so none can escape. Do to her as she has done to others, for she has defied the Lord , the Holy One of Israel. Her young men will fall in the streets and die. Her soldiers will all be killed,” says the Lord . “See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your day of reckoning has arrived— the day when I will punish you. O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them.” This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors hold them and refuse to let them go. But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest! “The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians,” says the Lord . “It will strike the people of Babylon— her officials and wise men, too. The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them. “Soon Babylon will be inhabited by desert animals and hyenas. It will be a home for owls. Never again will people live there; it will lie desolate forever. I will destroy it as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord . “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it. “Look! A great army is coming from the north. A great nation and many kings are rising against you from far-off lands. They are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. As they ride forward on horses, they sound like a roaring sea. They are coming in battle formation, planning to destroy you, Babylon. The king of Babylon has heard reports about the enemy, and he is weak with fright. Pangs of anguish have gripped him, like those of a woman in labor. “I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Babylon from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?” Listen to the Lord ’s plans against Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. The earth will shake with the shout, “Babylon has been taken!” and its cry of despair will be heard around the world.’

Jeremiah 50

‘Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.’

Luke 20:50-56

‘But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.’

Luke 24:1-12

‘You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.’

2 Timothy 3:1-9

‘God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings: “How long will you hand down unjust decisions by favoring the wicked? Interlude “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core. I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High. But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler.’” Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.’

Psalms 82

How quick can you correct wrongs?


Are you able to detect your mistake and then immediately start to correct it? Do you need to have time to think or ponder what you did before you realize you made a mistake and need to work on correcting it? Do you need someone else to tell you about the mistake before you can start to correct it?

Do you need consequences to realize how big of a mistake happened? Do you need consequences to realize how far off base you were? Do you need consequences to realize how much you missed the mark? Do you need consequences to realize how much correcting you need to do?

Do you need to be put to public shame before you realize your wrong? Do you need to be put to public shame before you turn and correct your wrong? What will it take for you to walk and live out your take with humility? What will it take for you to break off the chains of pride?


Today’s reading gets us started with 2 Samuel 12 in God’s Word…

‘So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord , the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord .” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.” After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?” When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord . After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate. His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.” David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord ”), as the Lord had commanded. Meanwhile, Joab was fighting against Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and he captured the royal fortifications. Joab sent messengers to tell David, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply. Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory.” So David gathered the rest of the army and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it. David removed the crown from the king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns. That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.’

2 Samuel 12

‘The Lord gave a message to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the other captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being sent to exile in Babylon. The captain of the guard called for Jeremiah and said, “The Lord your God has brought this disaster on this land, just as he said he would. For these people have sinned against the Lord and disobeyed him. That is why it happened. But I am going to take off your chains and let you go. If you want to come with me to Babylon, you are welcome. I will see that you are well cared for. But if you don’t want to come, you may stay here. The whole land is before you—go wherever you like. If you decide to stay, then return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. He has been appointed governor of Judah by the king of Babylon. Stay there with the people he rules. But it’s up to you; go wherever you like.” Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, gave Jeremiah some food and money and let him go. So Jeremiah returned to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he lived in Judah with the few who were still left in the land. The leaders of the Judean military groups in the countryside heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over the poor people who were left behind in Judah—the men, women, and children who hadn’t been exiled to Babylon. So they went to see Gedaliah at Mizpah. These included: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, and all their men. Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonians meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid to serve them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised. “As for me, I will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to meet with us. Settle in the towns you have taken, and live off the land. Harvest the grapes and summer fruits and olives, and store them away.” When the Judeans in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the other nearby countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a few people in Judah and that Gedaliah was the governor, they began to return to Judah from the places to which they had fled. They stopped at Mizpah to meet with Gedaliah and then went into the Judean countryside to gather a great harvest of grapes and other crops. Soon after this, Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They said to him, “Did you know that Baalis, king of Ammon, has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to assassinate you?” But Gedaliah refused to believe them. Later Johanan had a private conference with Gedaliah and volunteered to kill Ishmael secretly. “Why should we let him come and murder you?” Johanan asked. “What will happen then to the Judeans who have returned? Why should the few of us who are still left be scattered and lost?” But Gedaliah said to Johanan, “I forbid you to do any such thing, for you are lying about Ishmael.”’

Jeremiah 40

‘Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls.’

Luke 21:5-19

‘Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.’

Hebrews 12:3-17

‘Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning. Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.’

Psalms 73

Hobby Lobby and the Sabbath…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 2])


Ever considered if there is a fit way to prepare or eat food? Ever consider if there is a correct way to prepare or eat food? Ever consider if there is a proper way to prepare food?

How often do you consider the specifics of the food you are putting into your body? How often do you consider the preparations of the food you will put into your body? How often do you consider if the food that you are about to eat is good? Is it without blemish? Is it the good pieces? Is it parts that are healthy? Is there a way to know that the food hasn’t been tainted or the animal wasn’t ill? How much do you know or do you care about the foot you put into your body?

Today’s reading comes from Leviticus 1

Laws for Burnt Offerings

1The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, 2“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock.
3“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord4He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 6Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, 7and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8And Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; 9but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
10“If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish, 11and he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 12And he shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood that is on the fire on the altar, 13but the entrails and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
14“If his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons. 15And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. Its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16He shall remove its crop with its contents and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. 17He shall tear it open by its wings, but shall not sever it completely. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
–from Leviticus 1

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the impact on Taxes and Trade. It brings to us information around Kosher Foods and how it comes from the Bible. How God called the tribe of Levi to serve the religious leaders. Today’s reading spoke to us about the rules for burnt offerings. The rules about food preparation in the book of Leviticus integrated cleanliness, diet, and worship. We learn about how some continue to follow the dietary practices rooted in Leviticus today. This includes which foods are acceptable to eat and how to prepare them. The familiar term we hear is kosher which comes from the word kashrut…

Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת‎) is a set of Jewish religious dietary laws. Food that may be consumed according to halakha (Jewish law) is termed kosher /ˈkoʊʃər/ in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér (כָּשֵׁר‎), meaning fit (in this context, fit for consumption). –from wikipedia/bing search result

meaning fit, correct, or proper for consumption.

It is amazing all the life lessons and truths we can find in God’s Word. It is amazing how much God is interested in our good – be it physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

So how interested are you in your wellbeing? How interested are you in learning about how important you are to God and how God has provided a way that will help you in and through that? Will you invite Jesus into your life and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you through it?

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it. Help me Lord to consider what I allow into my body either through food, through what I see, through what I hear, through what I smell so that I can be healthy and glorify You. Help me Lord to be able to live a life that lifts you up and allows others to be pointed back to You. I ask Lord that in all things that You would receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ever found you aren’t always right? Ever done something wrong? How did you know?


Ever had someone correct you? Ever had someone reprimand you? Ever had someone scold you? Ever had someone chastise you? Ever had someone criticize you? Ever had someone chew you out?

Ever realize that when it comes from the right person with the right heart there is benefit to it? Ever realized that when there is the right intentions behind it that it is something we can receive and learn from? Someone who is able to rebuke us and correct us with the intention to help us in love will help us grow and develop into better people.

Consider what Proverb 3:12 has to say…

For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. –from Proverbs 3:12

Sometimes being rebuked is a good thing! Mostly when it is done in a kind way! Today’s reading from Psalm 141 speaks to a few ways which today’s devotional calls out in the following ways:

  • Lift your hands
  • Guard your lips
  • Watch your heart
  • Fix your eyes

–from Day 346: Bible In One Year 2018

These are based off of today’s reading which says…

O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry!
Listen when I cry to you for help!
2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you,
and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
3 Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips.
4 Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.
5 Let the godly strike me!
It will be a kindness!
If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.
Don’t let me refuse it.
But I pray constantly
against the wicked and their deeds.
6 When their leaders are thrown down from a cliff,
the wicked will listen to my words and find them true.
7 Like rocks brought up by a plow,
the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial.
8 I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord.
You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me.
9 Keep me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those who do wrong.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
but let me escape.

–from Psalms 141

Other times when it is good to be rebuked is when it is done out of love to help correct and instruct us like God does to those He loves!

19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

–from Revelation 3:7-22

The challenge to when we get rebuked, tested or disciplined is how will we respond! We all have a choice on how to respond! Today’s devotional give us these tips…

  • Make the most of every opportunity
  • Open your heart to Jesus

–from Day 346: Bible In One Year 2018

So as we consider how today’s reading speaks to these pointers we read…

7“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.
 
This is the message from the one who is holy and true,
the one who has the key of David.
What he opens, no one can close;
and what he closes, no one can open:
 
8“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. 9Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
10“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
13“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

The Message to the Church in Laodicea

14“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:
 
15“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
22“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

Let’s live passionate lives! Let’s not be lukewarm! Let’s share our happiness with the people God has brought around us so that the joy of the Lord which is our strength will be revealed to them!

So when the rebuke is kind or the rebuke is out of love we have learned what to do and today’s devotional shares that there is one more type and it is when we are rebuked in wisdom! Do you realize the position you are in to make a difference? Do you realize that you have been put in such a place for such a time as this? Will you receive the wise rebuke in order to accomplish the work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

Today’s devotional speaks to how this happened to Esther! Let’s consider Esther’s lead on how to respond to wise rebuke in our lives in order to accomplish God’s will and purpose!

Esther listened to Mordecai’s wise words. She asked the people to fast for her and said, ‘I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish’ (v.16). There is risk involved. We only have one life. We have to go for it. If we perish, we perish. But better to take the risk than never to have tried. May we rather be like Esther – utterly dependent on God and willing to risk our lives to save the lives of others.

–from Day 346: Bible In One Year 2018

Let’s jump into today’s reading from God’s Word on Esther…

 

 

Let us not forget the best place to turn and learn from which is God’s Word in the Bible! As we read from 2 Timothy 3, we hear:

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

–from 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

 

 

 

Living Water…


Are you finding that you are thirsting for something in your life? Are you looking to quench that thirst? Are you looking for living water where it will produce good fruit and healing? Are you looking for living water that will allow life to live and survive? Living water that can even tame the dead sea?

Do you realize the source of that living water?

37On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water’” will flow from within him. 39He was speaking about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. –from John 7


13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  –from John 4


7For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. 9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. 10All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. –from Zechariah 14

There are many references to living water in the Bible. You can review and read some of them here and here.

So let’s turn to God and put all of our hope and trust into Him! Trust Him with all your heart, mind, and soul! We all need Him! Without Him we are nothing! Let’s receive and accept His grace and mercy!

Before it is too late, let’s turn back to God! Before it is too late, let’s ask Him for forgiveness! Before it is too late, let’s ask Jesus into our hearts and be transformed! Before it is too late, let’s receive the gift of God that is Jesus Christ that we may be saved!

Let’s close with our reading from the New Testament…

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

A Final Charge to Timothy

10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

–2 Timothy 3

Before it is too late, let’s be rescued by God! Before it is too late, stick to God’s way of life, God’s purpose, God’s faith, God’s patience, God’s love, God’s endurance! Let’s share the Word of God with others! God’s Word will point people to the truth of the need of a savior and of salvation! All scripture is from God – He spoke it into the people who received it and penned it! God’s Word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness! God’s Word will ensure that His servants are thoroughly equipped for every good work that He has prepared in advance for us to do! So let’s go about doing good work!

Saved in Order to Do Good

1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Final Remarks

12As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.

–from Titus 3

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 47Ezekiel 48Psalm 262 Timothy 3Titus 3

Benefits of alignment with God…


Do you realize there is such thing as absolute truth? Do you realize there is such thing as right and wrong? Do you realize there is such thing as good and evil? Do you realize that we all get to choose? Do you realize that our choices have outcomes? Do you realize that our decisions and our actions have consequences? Do you realize that your thoughts do matter? Do you realize that your beliefs do matter? Do you realize that your actions are driven by them both?

So when you think about your life, how are you aligned? What is the impact of that alignment on yourself and on the world around you?

Are you being fair to one another? Are you taking advantage of others? Are you worshipping people or things that won’t help and are leading you down a trail to destruction? Are you putting your trust in things that will return void? will have no return? Are you living a life that being deceptive? stealing? killing? committing adultery? lying under oath? Do you see this being done by others? If you see something, do you say something?

Why not turn to God and align with Him by being obedient to His commands?

What will happen if you get what you want?

Will be the outcomes and consequences?


Let’s consider what Jeremiah has to share today as there are many parallels throughout time with what is taking place right now…

Jeremiah Speaks at the Temple

1The lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2“Go to the entrance of the lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! 3This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:
“‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. 4But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The lord’s Temple is here! The lord’s Temple is here!” 5But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; 6only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! 9Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? 11Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the lord, have spoken!
12“‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites. 13While you were doing these wicked things, says the lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. 14So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors. 15And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.’

Judah’s Persistent Idolatry

16“Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you. 17Don’t you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods! 19Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the lord. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”
20So this is what the Sovereign lord says: “I will pour out my terrible fury on this place. Its people, animals, trees, and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.”
21This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves! 22When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them. 23This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’
24“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. 25From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets—day in and day out. 26But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors.
27“Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. 28Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the lord their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips. 29Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the lord has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30“The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the lord. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it. 31They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! 32So beware, for the time is coming,” says the lord, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them. 33The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away. 34I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

–from Jeremiah 7

Do you hear what the news is telling you? Do you hear how it varies by source? Do you know what is truth? Do you realize which is truth and which is deception? Do you realize what is truth and what is false?

Do you see where you are at? Did you fall down? Will you get back up? Are you on the wrong road? Will you turn around in order to get back on track?

I really don’t want to see history repeat itself and watch people walk away from God and not turn back. I don’t want them to fall and not get back up. I don’t want them to be clueless of where they are at. The truth will set them free — if they are willing to hear it and receive it!

Don’t be deceived by greed! Don’t be deceived by frauds!

Do you know Jesus? Or do you have a peace which really isn’t peaceful.

Do you know Jesus and even in the midst of chaos or craziness you are able to find a peace that goes beyond all understanding?

Do you know Jesus? Or do you have a hope that is more like wishing?

Do you know Jesus and even in the midst of trials and troubles you have hope beyond your circumstances?

1“In that day,” says the lord, “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem. 2They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars—the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure. 3And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!

Deception by False Prophets

4“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the lord says:
“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
5Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?
Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?
They cling tightly to their lies
and will not turn around.
6I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
7Even the stork that flies across the sky
knows the time of her migration,
as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.
They all return at the proper time each year.
But not my people!
They do not know the lord’s laws.
8“‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the lord,”
when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?
9These wise teachers will fall
into the trap of their own foolishness,
for they have rejected the word of the lord.
Are they so wise after all?
10I will give their wives to others
and their farms to strangers.
From the least to the greatest,
their lives are ruled by greed.
Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.
They are all frauds.
11They offer superficial treatments
for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace
when there is no peace.
12Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions?
Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,
says the lord.
13I will surely consume them.
There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.
Their fruit trees will all die.
Whatever I gave them will soon be gone.
I, the lord, have spoken!’
14“Then the people will say,
‘Why should we wait here to die?
Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there.
For the lord our God has decreed our destruction
and has given us a cup of poison to drink
because we sinned against the lord.
15We hoped for peace, but no peace came.
We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’
16“The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard
all the way from the land of Dan in the north!
The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.
They are coming to devour the land and everything in it—
cities and people alike.
17I will send these enemy troops among you
like poisonous snakes you cannot charm.
They will bite you, and you will die.
I, the lord, have spoken!”

Jeremiah Weeps for Sinful Judah

18My grief is beyond healing;
my heart is broken.
19Listen to the weeping of my people;
it can be heard all across the land.
“Has the lord abandoned Jerusalem?” the people ask.
“Is her King no longer there?”
“Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols
and their worthless foreign gods?” says the lord.
20“The harvest is finished,
and the summer is gone,” the people cry,
“yet we are not saved!”
21I hurt with the hurt of my people.
I mourn and am overcome with grief.
22Is there no medicine in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why is there no healing
for the wounds of my people?

–from Jeremiah 8

Would you rather make a course correction or get corrected? Are you willing to do what is right no matter the consequences? Are you willing to be obedient to God no matter the warnings? Are you more interested in your eternity than your present?

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

1After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. 2There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. 3We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.
4We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. 5When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, 6and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.
7The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day. 8The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. 9He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.
10Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. 11He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
13But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.” 14When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Paul Arrives at Jerusalem

15After this we packed our things and left for Jerusalem. 16Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers. 17When we arrived, the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem welcomed us warmly.
18The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present. 19After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20After hearing this, they praised God. And then they said, “You know, dear brother, how many thousands of Jews have also believed, and they all follow the law of Moses very seriously. 21But the Jewish believers here in Jerusalem have been told that you are teaching all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn their backs on the laws of Moses. They’ve heard that you teach them not to circumcise their children or follow other Jewish customs. 22What should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.
23“Here’s what we want you to do. We have four men here who have completed their vow. 24Go with them to the Temple and join them in the purification ceremony, paying for them to have their heads ritually shaved. Then everyone will know that the rumors are all false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws.
25“As for the Gentile believers, they should do what we already told them in a letter: They should abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”

Paul Is Arrested

26So Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.
27The seven days were almost ended when some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the Temple and roused a mob against him. They grabbed him, 28yelling, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple—and even defiles this holy place by bringing in Gentiles.” 29(For earlier that day they had seen him in the city with Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, and they assumed Paul had taken him into the Temple.)
30The whole city was rocked by these accusations, and a great riot followed. Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple, and immediately the gates were closed behind him. 31As they were trying to kill him, word reached the commander of the Roman regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32He immediately called out his soldiers and officers and ran down among the crowd. When the mob saw the commander and the troops coming, they stopped beating Paul.
33Then the commander arrested him and ordered him bound with two chains. He asked the crowd who he was and what he had done. 34Some shouted one thing and some another. Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress. 35As Paul reached the stairs, the mob grew so violent the soldiers had to lift him to their shoulders to protect him. 36And the crowd followed behind, shouting, “Kill him, kill him!”

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

37As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, “May I have a word with you?”
“Do you know Greek?” the commander asked, surprised. 38“Aren’t you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert?”
39“No,” Paul replied, “I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people.” 40The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic.

–from Acts 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are being called to do something…


You are being called to go! You are being called to show! You are being called to speak!

Will you obey the calling? Will you go where you are supposed to go? Will you show them what you are supposed to show them? Will you tell them what you are supposed to speak to them?

What will it take for you to do what you are supposed to do? Will you try to run away? Will you try to hide? Will you put others at risk because of your stubbornness? Will you put yourself ahead of others rather than being obedient and doing what you are supposed to do?

Will you provide the news of hope? Will you provide the news of love? Will you provide the news of correction? Will you provide the news of direction? What will you do?


Let’s look at an example of being called… Let’s look at an example of wanting to resist the call…Let’s look and see how that plays out…

Jonah Runs From His Mission

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying: 2“Rise, go to the great city Nineveh and call out to her, for their evil has risen before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish, from the presence of Adonai. He went down to Jaffa and found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fee and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish—away from the presence of Adonai. 4Then Adonai hurled a forceful wind into the sea and there was such a mighty storm on the sea that the ship was about to shatter. 5So the sailors were afraid and cried out, each man to his own god. Then they cast the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest part of the ship, to lay down and fell fast asleep. 6So the chief sailor came near to him and said to him, “What, are you sleeping? Get up! Call out to your god. Perhaps the gods will consider us, so we will not perish!” 7Then each man said to his companion, “Come, let’s cast lots—so we may know because of whom this evil is happening to us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account is this evil happening to us? What is your profession and where did you come from? What is your land and from what nation are you?” 9He said to them, “I am a Hebrew and I fear Adonai God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear and they said to him, “What have you done?” For the men knew that he had fled from the presence of Adonai, because he had told them. 11So they said to him, “What should we do to you so the sea will become calm for us?”—for the storm was raging on. 12“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he said to them, “then the sea will become calm for you. For I know it is because of me that this great storm is upon you.” 13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to the land, but they could not, because the sea kept raging against them. 14So they cried to Adonai and said, “Please, Adonai, don’t let us perish on account of the soul of this man and don’t put innocent blood on us. For you, Adonai, have done as you pleased.” 15So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea—and the sea stilled from its raging. 16Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear of Adonai, and they offered a sacrifice to Adonai and made vows.

–from Jonah 1

Do you believe? If you believe then why would you go away from where you have been called? If you believe then why would you turn away from what you are supposed to do? Do you really want to put others at risk? What would it take for you to reconsider your ways? What would it take for you to turn back to do what God has called you to do? How big would it need to be? How long before you will agree to do what you have been called to do?

1Now Adonai prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah’s Prayer of Distress

2Then Jonah prayed to Adonai his God from the belly of the fish, 3saying: “From my distress I cried to Adonai and He answered me. From the belly of Sheol I cried for help and you heard my voice. 4For you hurled me from the deep into the heart of the seas, and currents swirled around me. All your waves and your breakers swept over me.” 5And I said, “I have been banished from before your eyes. Yet I will continue to look toward your holy Temple.” 6Waters surrounded me up to my soul. The deep sea engulfed me— reeds clung to my head. 7To the bottoms of the mountains I went down. The earth with her bars was around me, forever! Yet You brought my life up from the Pit, Adonai my God. 8As my soul was fading from me, I remembered Adonai and my prayer came to You, toward Your holy Temple. 9Those who watch worthless empty things forsake their mercy. 10But I, with a voice of thanks will sacrifice to you. What I vowed, I will pay. Salvation is from Adonai.” 11Then Adonai spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

–from Jonah 2

God is the god of second chances. This is true for you and for those God wants you to speak truth, hope, live to in and through love! So will you share that with others? Will you give that gift to others? Will you be a catalyst for forgiveness? Will you be a catalyst for salvation? Will you help others to realize where they are at and help them to come to the reality of the love of God? The Love of Jesus? Jesus was in the grave for 3 days before He rose … paralleling what happened to Jonah. Jesus came to speak the message of hope and truth to the world … paralleling the message Jonah has to share with the people of Nineveh. There are many things from the old testament that foreshadows what was to happen in the new testament. So don’t be an impediment to what God wants to do in and through you and your life! Here the call and be the catalyst He wants you to be to help the lives of others.

Nineveh Repents

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Rise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out to it the proclamation that I am telling you.” 3So Jonah rose and went to Nineveh according to the word of Adonai. Now Nineveh was a great city to God—the length of a three day journey. 4So Jonah began to come into the city for one day’s journey, and he cried out saying: “Another forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” 5Then the people of Nineveh believed God and called for a fast and wore sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, covered himself in sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7He made a proclamation saying: “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, no man or beast, herd or flock, may taste anything. They must not graze nor drink water. 8But cover man and beast with sackcloth. Let them cry out to God with urgency. Let each one turn from his evil way and from the violence in his hands. 9Who knows? God may turn and relent, and turn back from his burning anger, so that we may not perish.” 10When God saw their deeds—that they turned from their wicked ways—God relented from the calamity that He said He would do to them, and did not do it.

–from Jonah 3

Don’t be sad when you are successful! Success can be one of the biggest challenges you will or could ever face. God’s plan in the story of Jonah isn’t any different from what we read in the new testament. God’s plan is one of salvation. In 2 Peter, we read…

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. –from 2 Peter 3:9

That is because…

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. –from John 3

God sent Jonah to Nineveh with the same hope that they would turn from their evil ways and turn back to Him and be saved! So if you are successful in sharing the good news and people’s lives are turned around, how will you respond? Don’t try to be the judge…leave that in God’s hands. You know God’s heart so don’t be surprised when He is as great as you believe! We all need God’s grace! We all need God’s love! We all need God’s salvation!

Jonah’s Displeasure at God’s Mercy

1But it greatly displeased Jonah and he resented it. 2So he prayed to Adonai and said, “Please, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my own country? That’s what I anticipated, fleeing to Tarshish—for I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and full of kindness, and relenting over calamity. 3So please, Adonai, take my soul from me—because better is my death than my life.” 4Yet Adonai said, “Is it good for you to be so angry?” 5So Jonah went out from the city and sat east of the city. There He made a sukkah and he sat under it, in the shade, until he saw what would happen in the city. 6Then Adonai God prepared a plant and it grew up over Jonah, to give shade over his head to spare him from his discomfort. So Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But God at dawn the next day prepared a worm that crippled the plant and it withered away. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint. So he implored that his soul would die, saying, “My death would be better than my life!” 9Then God said to Jonah, “Is it good for you to be so angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said, “I am angry enough to die!” 10But Adonai said, “You have pity on the plant for which you did no labor or make it grow, that appeared overnight and perished overnight. So shouldn’t I have pity on Nineveh— the great city that has in it more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left—as well as many animals?”

–from Jonah 4

So where will you stand today? So what will you do today? Will you make a difference? Will you be the difference? How will you choose to live?

We need to let them know before it is too late! We need to share God’s good news before it’s too late! We need to speak to them before the day of judgment! Let’s be as Jonah who did what God called him to do (hopefully without needing to be swallowed by a giant fish) so that everyone gets to hear the good news and can turn back to God before it is too late! Let’s speak the good news to both those we consider friends and those who tend to be against us most of the time (or you may even call your enemies) for Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies! Time is coming! Jesus is coming back! So let’s share His love with the world around us that they may turn to God as the people of Nineveh did and be saved!

Let’s speak life over them! Let’s speak power of them! Let’s speak truth over them! Let’s do it all in LOVE!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God. 15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1

 

 

 

 

Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!


Ever heard the saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” by George Santayana? It’s important to not forget! It’s important to refresh the who, the what, there where, the why, the when, and the how! Take a look around and see what is taking place in the world. Do you realize the cycle that is taking place? Solomon who was so wise put it this way “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Do you notice the repetition? Do you notice the rise and the fall? Do you notice the pendulum swaying to and fro? Are you seeing anything taking place that seems familiar that has happened but people aren’t stopping to remember and charging right back in to repeat the past? What would it take for someone to stop? What if we stopped trying to go our own way and turned back to God? What if we shared the good things God has done with our children to teach them, train them, correct them, and direct them? Consider how things swung bad every time people forgot about what God had done in the past to get them where they are today! Consider how the pendulum would swing every time they would remember and turn back to God? Take a look at the world around you! What will you do to share the good news of God with those around you? What will you do to make a difference in the lives of those God has brought into your sphere of influence? Will you testify to the good things God has done in and through your life? Will you speak words of encouragement to your children? Will you speak the truth and the hope that is within you to those you work with? What’s it going to take? What’s it going to be? Will you sit there and do nothing? Ever heard the quote by Edmund Burke? … “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So let’s not do nothing! Let’s be doers of the Word!

Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!


As I do on Sundays, I go through the old testament readings from the week. This week that will cover Isaiah 40-46.

Isaiah 40: Words of Hope

  • Speaks to the coming of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus
  • We have a limited time on this earth, so we need to make sure we use it wisely
  • God’s Word lasts forever
  • Speaks to the coming of Jesus, the shepherd
  • There is nobody like God! There is nobody better than God!
  • Nothing compares to who He is and all that He is
  • Everything is the Lord’s
  • God sees all things. God knows all things.
  • God renews the strength of those who put their trust in Him!

Isaiah 41: God’s Assurance to Israel

  • God is trustworthy
  • We do not have to be afraid when God is with us.
  • God is our protector and saves
  • In our weakness, God’s strength is revealed
  • God is our provider
  • There is only one God and God challenges the false gods
  • God knows the plans and can swart them

Isaiah 42: The Lord’s Servant

  • God speaks of the coming of Jesus.
    • “Here is my servant, whom I strengthen—the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased. I have filled him with my Spirit, and he will bring justice to every nation. 2He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. 3He will not break off a bent reed nor put out a flickering lamp. He will bring lasting justice to all. 4He will not lose hope or courage; he will establish justice on the earth. Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching.”
  • God created the heavens and stretched them out; he fashioned the earth and all that lives there; he gave life and breath to all its people.
  • God speaks to Jesus’ calling
    • 6“I, the Lord, have called you and given you power to see that justice is done on earth. Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations. 7You will open the eyes of the blind and set free those who sit in dark prisons.”
  • Let’s worship God for there is but one! Let’s give Him the position in our hearts He deserves. Let’s praise Him!
    • 10Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise, all the world! Praise him, you that sail the sea; praise him, all creatures of the sea! Sing, distant lands and all who live there! 11Let the desert and its towns praise God; let the people of Kedar praise him! Let those who live in the city of Sela shout for joy from the tops of the mountains! 12Let those who live in distant lands give praise and glory to the Lord! 13The Lord goes out to fight like a warrior; he is ready and eager for battle. He gives a war cry, a battle shout; he shows his power against his enemies.
  • God promises to help His people
  • Will you not listen? Will you not learn?
  • God’s plan is for good. God’s laws are to guide and protect. Will you align?

Isaiah 43: God Promises to Rescue His People

  • Don’t be afraid!
  • He will stick by you as you walk through deep waters so that you won’t be overwhelmed
  • Hard trials that come by won’t hurt you
  • He wants to set us free
  • He wants to save our lives because we are precious to Him
  • Israel is the Lord’s witness
    • “Summon my people to court. They have eyes, but they are blind; they have ears, but they are deaf! 9Summon the nations to come to the trial. Which of their gods can predict the future? Which of them foretold what is happening now? Let these gods bring in their witnesses to prove that they are right, to testify to the truth of their words. 10“People of Israel, you are my witnesses; I chose you to be my servant, so that you would know me and believe in me and understand that I am the only God. Besides me there is no other god; there never was and never will be. 11“I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you. 12I predicted what would happen, and then I came to your aid. No foreign god has ever done this; you are my witnesses. 13I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do.”
  • Don’t get tired of doing what is right and what is good
    • “But you were tired of me, Israel; you did not worship me. 23You did not bring me your burnt offerings of sheep; you did not honor me with your sacrifices. I did not burden you by demanding offerings or wear you out by asking for incense. 24You didn’t buy incense for me or satisfy me with the fat of your animals. Instead you burdened me with your sins; you wore me out with the wrongs you have committed. 25And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you. 26“Let us go to court; bring your accusation! Present your case to prove you are in the right! 27Your earliest ancestor sinned; your leaders sinned against me, 28and your rulers profaned my sanctuary. So I brought destruction on Israel; I let my own people be insulted.”

Isaiah 44: The Lord Is the Only God

  • He is the first, the last, the only
  • Don’t chase after idolatry for it will be ridiculed
  • God is the Creator and the Savior
  • God doesn’t need our help, He wants to be in relationship with us

Isaiah 45: God is in control

  • Raises up/appoints kings
  • God created … God knows the future
  • God created the heaven and the earth
  • God is the Lord of all

Isaiah 46: God cares for you

  • Remember the past
  • Turn to God
  • Keep your focus on God and His ways and His will
  • God’s plans never fail