Category Archives: Daily Prayer

What do you do when you realize you are half way there?

The Story of Job. – Day 26

As I looked at where I am in my reading plan I realized I was at the halfway mark. I always find it interesting how when my mind jumps to playing a song when phrases are thought, said, or heard. Today I thought to myself “I’m halfway there” and all I could here was “Wooah, Livin’ on a prayer“. No matter if we are that the beginning of the journey, nearing the end of the journey, or in the middle of the journey, the key is to keep close to God and keep praying and depending on Him. We don’t need to and we shouldn’t be trying to go it alone. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us as our comforter and our guide and so we need to try to go it alone. So when we need counsel and advice we just need to pray and ask Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it all. Resisting the devil and his temptations and lies that are attempting to rob us of God’s promises, kill us from getting to our destination, and destroy us and any hope or faith we have in order to get us to give up and turn our backs on God. No matter how stormy life is looking or feeling, call to God and allow Him to calm the storm or you so that you can make it thru the storm and come out the other side stronger in faith and courage and boldness to be able to complete the work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish. It isn’t about what people are saying but rather what God is saying. Consider the source of your advice, what do they believe, are they aligned with you spiritually, shouldn’t they be before you take it all at face value, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what parts of what is being spoken to receive and what to ignore or throw out. God’s plan is to give you a hope and a future. God’s purpose is that you will have life to the full. Sometimes to get there it requires that we have trials and troubles. In trials though, we can consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and we need to let perseverance finish its work so that we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In times of trouble in this world we can take heart because Jesus has already overcome the world.

So as we get ready for what is yet to come and we are looking for answers and direction for the days ahead, we need to go to God and His Word. We need to take hold of His promises and truth and not allow the lies of the devil to confuse or frustrate us. We need to put on the full armor of God and stand firm and when he comes again continue to stand firm.

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [a]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [b]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [c]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [d]God’s people. 19 And pray for me, that words may be given to me when I open my mouth, to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news [of salvation], 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. And pray that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly and courageously, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 21:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be the consolation. Bear with me, and I also will speak; And after I have spoken, you may [continue to] mock [me]. As for me, is my complaint to man or about him? And why should I not be impatient and my spirit troubled? Look at me and be astonished and appalled; And put your hand over your mouth. Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid; Horror and trembling take hold of my flesh. Why do the wicked still live, Become old, and become mighty in power? Their children and descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear; And the rod of God is not on them. His bull breeds and does not fail; His cow calves and does not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children skip about. They lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre And rejoice to the sound of the flute. They fully enjoy their days in prosperity, And so go down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) in a [peaceful] moment. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who [and what] is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what would we gain if we plead with Him?’ But notice, the prosperity of the wicked is not in their hand (in their power); The counsel of the wicked [and the mystery of God’s dealings with the ungodly] is far from my comprehension. “How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, And that their disaster falls on them? Does God distribute pain and destruction and sorrow [to them] in His anger? Are they like straw before the wind, And like chaff that the storm steals and carries away? You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’ Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it. Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what pleasure does he have in his house and family after he is dead, When the number of his months [of life] is cut off? Can anyone teach God knowledge, Seeing that He judges those on high? One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet and satisfied; His pails are full of milk [his sides are filled out with fat], And the marrow of his bones is moist, Whereas another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting pleasure or good fortune. Together they lie down in the dust, And the worms cover them. “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plots by which you would wrong me. For you say, ‘Where is the house of the noble man? And where is the tent, the dwelling place of the wicked?’ Have you not asked those who travel this way, And do you not recognize their witness? That evil men are [now] reserved for the day of disaster and destruction, They will be led away on the day of [God’s] wrath? But who will confront him with his actions and rebuke him face to face, And who will repay him for what he has done? When he is carried to his grave, A guard will keep watch over his tomb. The [dirt] clods of the valley are sweet to him [and gently cover him], Moreover, all men will follow after him [to a grave], While countless ones go before him. How then can you vainly comfort me with empty words, Since your answers remain untrue?”’

Job 21:1-34

Today’s study includes information from:

Study Notes:

Today’s study provides us with these summary details. Click the links above to dive deeper into today’s reading.

Verses 1-34: Job strikes at the heart of his friends’ assumption that the wicked are judged and the righteous are blessed. Job claims that this simply is not true, if one looks at life objectively: the wicked’s children are established (verse 8), his house is safe (verse 9), his cattle reproduce (verse 10), and so on. He even receives an honorable burial (verses 32-33).

Jobs reply to Zophar’s last speech, ending the second cycle of speeches, refuted the simplistic set of laws by which the mockers lived. He showed that the wicked prosper, and since it is clear that they do (they had argued that the wicked only suffer), then by inference, perhaps the righteous suffer. This presented serious problems for their supposed open and shut case against Job.

This is Jobs reply to Zophar’s second speech: the dogma of retributive judgment fails when one observes truly “wicked” people seeming to prosper. The outcomes of personal fortunes in this life are not the standards of eternity.

Job called for his friends to be quiet and to listen to some amazing and terrifying truth (verses 1-6), namely that the wicked do prosper (verses 7-13), though they deny God (verses 14-15), and they prosper not by their doing, but God’s (verse 16).

Verses 2-5: Job desired to “speak” without being interrupted or subjected to incredulous groans from his friends.

Verses 13-15: Zophar had claimed that longevity and prosperity in this life are linked to one’s wickedness or righteousness (20:4-8). Job countered, emphasizing that the godless and the wicked often enjoy life and go to their deaths in peace (21:32-33; Eccl. 8:10). In fact, Job could not understand why the wicked seemingly live on in their unrighteousness while, as a righteous man, he was dying. The godless are those who say to God, “Depart from us”.

Verses 17-22: Playing off Bildad’s sentiment (see 18:5-6; 18-19), this whole section repeats the assertions of Job’s friends regarding the judgment of sinners. To refute that perspective, Job suggested that his friends were guilty of telling God how He must deal with people (verse 22).

Verses 22-24: Job concluded that in the end, no connection exists between how one lives and the prosperity or poverty a person experiences, and so trying to sort out the life based on observation is futile. Job could see not justice in the world or with God, yet he could clearly recognize “falsehood” in his friend’s “answers”. They had based their assumptions in their own intellect and pride.

Verses 23-26: Some of the wicked live and die in prosperity, but some don’t, canceling the absolutist nature of his counselor’s argument.

Verses 27-28: Again, Job referred to the statements of his friends, Zophar in this case (see 20:7), who were trying to prove their “sin equals suffering” idea.

Verses 29-33: Job knew they would not listen to him, so he suggested they ask travelers, any of whom would tell them that wicked people prosper sometimes in this life, but there will be a day of doom for them when they die.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 21

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

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Do you realize the impact of prayer? (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 5])

Do you realize that prayer has power to transform? Do you realize that prayer has power to create? Do you realize that prayer has power to renew? Do you realize that prayer has the power to calm? Do you realize that prayer has power to make a difference?

Ever been in need and been willing to step out believing and ask for prayer? Was it for you? Was it for someone else? Was it about health? Was it about provision? Was it about wisdom? Was it about plans? Would you pray? Would you be willing to have someone else pray?

Imagine what people would think if they saw you go forward for prayer… Does it matter what they think? Is their thinking more important than the intercession and intervention that comes through prayer? Is what you and God have to talk about more important than what others think? Will you trust God to step out and show Him that You mean business?

Imagine this story that happened many years ago with me. Imagine there was a time for prayer for people who wanted to have children. Imagine that your wife was serving in the nursery and you were alone in the main sanctuary. Imagine they call people who are wanting to have children forward and you know that you and your wife have been trying and really wanted to have another child. Would you go even though you would have to make the walk alone? Would you go even though everyone would see you going by yourself to the front of the church? Would you put fear of man ahead of faith in God? What would you do? I know what I wanted and I know what I did. I went forward all by myself. I remember after service people coming up to me and asking if my wife knew, if my wife knew I want more children, if my wife knew that I was going forward, … I just knew what God had put on my heart and I knew that I trusted that God would be able to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. I knew that God could provide for the desires of our hearts. I know God’s Word says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I know that God’s Word says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I was more focused on meeting with God, with hearing from God, and with His anointing being over the situation than worrying about what everyone else might think or say.

Since that time we were blessed with another daughter and then the promised son.

I remember another time, home alone during my devotional time speaking with God and telling Him how I felt connected to Philip the evangelist and he had 4 daughters and asking Him if I was going to have all daughters or would I have a son. That morning my reading was about Abraham and Sarah and the promised son Isaac. I took hold of that and told my wife that we would have a son and when we did that instead of Benjamin (which had been the boy name I had selected) his name would be Isaac.

Don’t be worried about what others think about the fact that you want to have an encounter with God and find something. Don’t be worried about what others may think or say about the fact that you want to have and live in relationship with God. Let’s put God first! Let’s receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s choose to build an intimate relationship with God!

Today’s reading speaks of a woman named Hannah and her prayers, let’s take a look…

The Birth of Samuel

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord . On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord , she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord . She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord , Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord . Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord ; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord .”

Samuel Given to the Lord

The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord . For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord . As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord .” And he worshiped the Lord there.

— 1 Samuel 1

Would you pour out the desires of your heart to God? Would you do it no matter what others might say? Would you do it even if you were being provoked in order to try to irritate you? Would you do it even if the one who was ministering misinterpreted what was going on and be confident enough to speak the truth that they may bless you?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy speaks to an organization named Hannah’s prayer ministries which finds its root in 1 Samuel. The story of Hannah inspired this charitable organization to help women through struggles of infertility and difficult pregnancies. The purpose of the organization is

Hannah’s Prayer Ministries provides Christian-based support and encouragement to married women around the world who are struggling with the pain of fertility challenges, including primary and secondary infertility, pregnancy loss, early infant death, and adoption loss.  Our outreach extends to those who become mothers of living children through pregnancy, adoption, and/or foster care.

–from Hannah’s Prayer Ministries

This organization now includes thousands of members from around the world.

Apr 5 - 1 Samuel 1_11 - Bibles Impact on Acts of Mercy - Hannahs Prayer for a child - Samuel

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord for the divine intersection of my life with Your church at Christmas 2000 and how through that divine encounter my life has been transformed. I thank You Lord that You have shown me Your Word, Your truth, Your vision, Your wisdom, Your direction, Your instruction, Your correction, Your forgiveness, and continue to show me daily Your love. I give this day into Your hands Lord and ask for Your help in accomplishing Your will in and through my life and the life of my family into the people around us. Help me today and every day with decisions I need to make, conversations I need to have, and things I need to accomplish. Help me Lord I pray to be a good steward, that in all things, at all times that I may bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


How much do you believe? What would it take to make you a believer?

Are you a nonbeliever? Are you a disbeliever? Are you a skeptic? Are you a doubter? Are you a believer?

What if your life was turned upside and you were stuck with people from across that spectrum? Would anything through a near death experience change you? Would your faith as a believer shine even brighter in that darkness? Would that light of Jesus turn people to you and potentially to God? Would your non belief or disbelief or skepticism change if you saw a believer living out the situation with hope, joy, peace, truth, love impact you or would you become even deeper rooted in your non/disbelief? What if they helped you read through the Bible about God’s great love for you? What they provided an opportunity for people to receive the gift of God of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord? Do you think it would change things?

What if it were something that impacted a loved one, would that make a difference?

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”

29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

–from Mark 9

What if it were a life or death situation, would that make a difference? Would you want to be one of the ones cast away before of your unbelief?

Jesus Heals in Response to Faith

40 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. 42 His only daughter,[a] who was about twelve years old, was dying.

As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding,and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”

50 But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”

51 When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother. 52 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”

53 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died.54 Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!” 55 And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.

–from Luke 8

Would you care enough for someone else that you would seek the truth and not just ignore it? What would it take for you to get to the end of your rope before you turned back or turn to God? Would you really have to hit rock bottom before you would consider looking up to God? Do you really think you can do it on your own or in your own power? Do you really think that it is your way or the highway? Do you realize that there is a way? Do you realize there is a way that will allow you to power through the troubles and trials so that you can take heart and even consider it pure joy through them?

Are you a believer? Are you preparing daily so that if and when God needs you that you are able to stand firm on the truth and speak the truth in love, speak life, speak hope into the world around you?

Are you a non/disbeliever/seeker who when they run into trouble have someone to turn to or reach out to?

Do you know your surroundings? Do you know your situation? Are you prepared?

Do you realize you aren’t alone? Do you realize that Jesus isn’t out there somewhere? Do you realize He is God with us? Do you realize that He is wanting to start and develop and grow an intimate relationship with you so that you can walk through life together? So don’t try to go through it alone! Lean not on your own understanding! Put your trust in God!

Do you realize when 2 or more come together in His name, He is there like the cord of 3 strands that isn’t easily broken?


Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be in the situation! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s seek wisdom! Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!

So let’s make sure to give Jesus the praise, the honor, and the glory! It is by His strength and His power that we are saved! It is by His strength and His power that lives can be transformed! It is by His strength and His power that there will be a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He is our way to get to the Father in heaven!

Let’s take a moment to read the Lord’s Prayer and capture the pattern for prayer

9Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11Give us today the food we need,
12and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
–from Matthew 6
I remember going through the Lord’s prayer in a men’s group being led by @JKJenkins and even purchasing a CD with the message on it and it spoke and broke down each piece of the prayer and how we can implement it into our daily prayers. The links above the Bible verse speak to this breakdown (and linking here too).
So believers, let’s lift up the flag of Jesus by being living sacrifices through the way we live in the very places God has brought us to work and live. Let’s be prepared for when that person comes to you with questions or problems or issues and needs you to be God’s arms and hands extended! Let’s be light that shines through the darkness! Let’s be salt that spices up the situation! Let’s be salt and light that helps bring purity into the situation! Let’s go out today prepared to do the good works that God is preparing in advance to do!
You a non-believer? You a disbeliever? You questioning the existence of God?
I am happy to chat! I can tell you stories of what God has done in and through me when I was being obedient and disobedient, when I went with His plan and when I resisted it, and many of those stories can be found on this site! Leave me a comment! You connected to me on social networking? Reach out there? You someone who is near me – at work? at home? other places? Stop me! Ask me! I am happy to share and happy to pray with you and share all that God has done in my life since 2000 and then even in 2005 when He called me to start this blog. Happy to even tell you the story of how this all got started all those years ago!
Will today be your day? Let me know…

How to Honour the Lord

Day 352: Bible In One Year 2018

One of my stories that I shared with people from work…

You are not alone!

No matter where you are at! No matter what you are going through! No matter what is ahead of you! You need to realize that you have someone who is available to you 24x7x365 (and 366 in a leap year)!

You are not alone! He is Emmanuel – God with us!

He is with you every step of the way whether you realize it or not! Will you talk with Him in and through it? Will you realize that He will pick you up and carry you through the hard times?

See the source image

Will you realize even when it gets hard and you don’t think you can go any further, He is there to help you through it, He is there to help you around it, He is there to help you over it! He will even allow it to be cast out of the way!

Do you realize the power of the Son? Through the Son you have access to the Father! Through the Son things that could have gotten in the way are removed and open the door to allow you access to the Father!

So, will you pray a prayer that has power? Will you pray by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ when you ask of the Father?

I remember hearing a story of someone being asked to not pray in the name of Jesus and they answered if I don’t pray in the name of Jesus then there is no point in them praying.

I remember hearing a story of how praying without Jesus is like sending a letter without putting a stamp on it.

So be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit! Through Jesus we have direct access to the Father when we pray! So let’s not try to go it alone! Let’s give up the very situation to God and allow Him to work in and through it for His glory!

Ever considered the pattern of the Lord’s prayer? Ever tried to pray aligned to it? I remember being blessed when I learned it from an incredible Pastor name Pastor Jenkins! There have been many times when I don’t know what to pray or what to say I go back to this simple prayer and expand at each point…

See the source image

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name…

Lord, I thank You and praise you Lord for who you are and all that you have and are doing in and through my life. You are the author and perfecter of my faith! You are so amazing and incredible and I love You so much. May my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

Grant me wisdom today Lord so that in all that I think, all that I say, and all that I do, You will be lifted up! Help me Lord to accomplish Your will today in and through my life! Not my will, but Your will be accomplished today in and through my life.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Lord, You know what is coming today and You know what I will need to make it through. I ask Lord for Your provision today of wisdom, discernment, direction, and any resources I will need to accomplish your will! Help me Lord today to be Your hands extended, Your arms embracing, and Your love offered into the world around me.

And forgive us our trespasses…

Lord, forgive me. You know the mistakes and You know the temptations I have given into. Lord, forgive me Lord so that I can leave the past where it belongs, behind me and move forward in Your purpose and plans today. I ask this Lord having forgiven others for I know that as I forgive others, You will forgive me.

As we forgive those who trespass against us…

Lord, I lift up those who have harmed me, those who have lied to me, those who have mistreated me, those who have hurt me and I forgive them. I know Lord that allowing a bitter root into my life will serve no good purpose and will only make things worse. I know Lord that not forgiving them is like taking poison and expecting it to harm them which makes no sense and isn’t beneficial to anyone. I know Lord that in forgiving them, it doesn’t make what they did right but it does free me from the chains and the pain that would grow if I didn’t give it up to you and let it go. So Lord I forgive them and give it up into Your hands!

Lead us not into temptation…

Lord, grant me wisdom today to not be tripped up or tricked by the devil. Don’t allow temptations to get me off track or keeping me from achieving the full purpose and plan and potential You have plans for me today! Help me Lord to be focused more on the things that will lift You up and bring You praise! Help me Lord to live out today in the fruit of the Spirit rather than being tempted into the ways of the world! Help me Lord to live my life today by demonstrating and living out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

But deliver us from evil…

Lord, rebuke the devil and his power and vices so that I can walk free from and keep away from the evil plans he is trying to play out today. Grant me wisdom for every situation I pray so that in and through it all my actions, my responses will bring You the praise, honor, and glory! Help me Lord not to get tripped up or tricked by the lies of the devil for His plans are to rob, kill, and destroy and Lord I want to be Your witness of How Your desire and plan  is that I would live life and life to the full!

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, I give my life and this day up into Your hands that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, Your Word is so key to helping us because temptations will be with us always and so we need the antidote to temptation which is the Word of God!

Another acronym to help in prayer is the word A.C.T.S. which is the one described in today’s devotional

The psalmist’s prayer is addressed to God. Jesus teaches us to address God as our Father. As Psalm 119 draws to a close, the psalmist prays a variety of prayers, which include ‘A.C.T.S.’:

  • A – Adoration

    Praise God for who he is and what he has done.

    ‘Let me live that I may praise You’ (v.175, AMP).

  • C – Confession

    Ask God’s forgiveness for anything that you have done wrong.

    I have gone astray like a lost sheep’ (v.176, AMP).

  • T – Thanksgiving

    Thank God for health, family, friends and so on.

    ‘My lips shall pour forth praise (with thanksgiving and renewed trust)’ (v.171, AMP).

  • S – Supplication

    Pray for yourself, for your friends and for others.

    ‘May my supplication come before you’ (v.170).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and nobody gets the Father except through Him, so we need to take hold of this and rejoice in receiving Him and walking out our lives with Jesus! Today’s devotional speaks to the benefits of Jesus this way…

Jesus’ priesthood is based on a superior promise. The writer quotes Psalm 110:4 to show how Jesus’ priesthood was established through a promise of God. Unlike the temporary former priests, Jesus’ priesthood was confirmed by God’s promise (Hebrews 7:20–21). Jesus perfectly meets all your needs (v.26).

  • Jesus has defeated death for you

    It is ‘by the sheer force of resurrection life – he lives!’ (v.16). Unlike the former priests, Jesus lives forever, and his priesthood is permanent (vv.23–24).

  • Jesus is constantly praying for you

    Jesus continually intercedes for those who come to God through him: ‘He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with him and intervene for them’ (v.25b, AMP).

    Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813–1843) wrote: ‘If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.’

  • Jesus is uniquely able to represent you

    The priests had to offer sacrifices for their sin first, but Jesus was ‘completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself’ (v.26, MSG). He is the unique mediator who is fully God and fully human.

  • Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice for your sins

    ‘Unlike the other high priests he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people’ (v.27). When Jesus offered himself on the cross, it was only necessary for this sacrifice to be offered once, since it was totally effective: ‘He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (v.27).

His qualities of a superior life, a superior promise, a superior ‘offerer’ and a superior offering, all demonstrate that Jesus’ priesthood is totally effective in providing you access to the Father. As a result of Jesus’ permanent and perfect priesthood, you can ‘draw near to God’ (v.19). You can, ‘come to God through him’ (v.25).

–from Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayers! Even when we don’t know what to say He can speak through even our groans… Unlike in the old days before the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit became available to all people it used to be on specific people at specific times for specific purposes! Today we are able to have the Holy Spirit in us when we received Jesus!

You Have Access to God

Day 310: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. To the Father … Psalms 119:169-176
  2. … through Jesus … Hebrews 7:11-28
  3. … by the Holy Spirit … Ezekiel 10, Ezekiel 11, Ezekiel 12

Do you care? Pray!

Do you care about yourself? Pray! Do you care about your spouse? Pray! Do you care about your kids? Pray! Do you care about your family? Pray! Do you care about your friends? Pray! Do you care about your work? Pray! Do you care about your workplace? Pray! Do you care about your church? Pray! Do you care about the leadership over you? Pray! Do you care about your neighborhood? Pray! Do you care about your community? Pray! Do you pray about your country? Pray! Do you care? Pray!

Worry changes nothing, Prayer changes everything! Said another way…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God–Philippians 4:6

Do you care? Pray!

Do you feel the need to pray for something beyond yourself? Do you know who to turn to? Do you care? Today’s reading speaks about Isaiah’s prayer…

Isaiah’s Prayer for Jerusalem

1Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 2The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the lord’s own mouth. 3The lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 5Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. 6O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the lord. 7Give the lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 8The lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. 9You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.” 10Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 11The lord has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’” 12They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the lord.” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

–from Isaiah 62

Do you realize what you are facing? Do you realize the battle belongs to the Lord? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do? Do you realize vengeance is the Lord’s? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do?

Judgment against the lord’s Enemies

1Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the lord, announcing your salvation! It is I, the lord, who has the power to save!” 2Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? 3“I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes. 4For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 5I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me. 6I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Praise for Deliverance

7I will tell of the lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. 8He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. 9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. 10But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them. 11Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? 12Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 13Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. 14As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the lord gave them rest. You led your people, lord, and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Prayer for Mercy and Pardon

15lord, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? 16Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. 17lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. 18How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. 19Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

–from Isaiah 63

Let’s lift up our voices to God in praise! Let’s praise Him no matter the circumstances! Let’s give it up to Him through prayer and praise!

Jesus came to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! Jesus came to bring hope, hope and a future! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! So prayer gets answered! Will you be ready to notice it and receive it? Miracles still happen today! Will you be watching to spot them and praising God for all He is doing? Everyday we need Him! Left to our own ways we would be lost! It’s is only by grace through faith that we are saved!

1Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! 2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! 3When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! 4For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! 5You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? 6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. 7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. 8And yet, O  lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. 9Don’t be so angry with us, lord. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. 10Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. 11The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed. 12After all this, lord, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

–from Isaiah 64

We can’t judge people because of the way they look, sound, … but rather we need to love people the same way Jesus does! We need to be living out life trying to allow others to hear about and receive the promises of Jesus! We can’t let our selfishness or bias or prejudice get in the way of what God wants to do in and through us! Let’s share the good news!

Let’s see what Peter faced when he was called by Cornelius…

Cornelius Calls for Peter

1In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.” 7As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.

Peter Visits Cornelius

9The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. 24They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” 27So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. 28Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 29So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” 30Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. 31He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! 32Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 33So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”

The Gentiles Hear the Good News

34Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. 38And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39“And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, 47“Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

–from Acts 10


Do you believe in good and evil?

Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe in righteousness and wickedness? Do you believe in virtuous and dishonoring? Do you believe in diligence and slothfulness? Do you believe and wisdom and foolishness? Do you believe in up and down? Do you believe in North and South? Do you believe in good and evil?

If you don’t, why not? Don’t you realize the battle that is taking place all around you? The battle taking place in the seen and the unseen?

Let’s jump back into the book of wisdom – Proverbs – and see what today’s reading has in store…

The Righteous and the Wicked

1Whoever loves knowledge loves correction, but whoever hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from Adonai, but He condemns a person with evil schemes. 3No one is made secure by wickedness, but a righteous root will not be moved. 4A virtuous wife is her husband’s crown, but a dishonoring one is like rottenness in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the household of the righteous will stand. 8A man is praised according to his insight, but one with a twisted mind is despised. 9Better to have little honor and a servant than to have glory and no bread.

Caring for Animals and Land

10A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, yet even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases daydreams lacks sense. 12The wicked covets the loot of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Fruit of Mouth

13An evil one is ensnared by the sin of lips, but the righteous one escapes trouble. 14By the fruit of his mouth a man will be satisfied with good. The work of a man’s hands will reward him. 15A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but the wise listen to advice. 16A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. 17A trustworthy witness tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue for only a moment. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. 22Lying lips are detestable to Adonai, but those who act faithfully are His delight. 23A clever person conceals his knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.

Diligence or Sloth

24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will become forced labor. 25An anxious heart weighs one down, but a good word cheers him up. 26The righteous gives his friend guidance, but the way of the wicked leads astray. 27A lazy person does not roast his game, but a diligent person prizes his possessions. 28In the path of righteousness is life— it is a path to immortality.

–from Proverbs 12

Do you realize the power of words? Do you manage what comes out of your mouth? Do you control what you say? Do you realize the impact of what comes out of your mouth? Do you realize what is going on inside of you? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So take inventory and make sure you aren’t carrying around stuff you shouldn’t and that God never intended for you to! Use your words to build up others and to tear down strongholds! Your words have the power of life and death so make sure you realize what you are able to say before you left it fly past your lips!

Guard the Way of Integrity

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence.
3He who watches his mouth protects his life, but whoever opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.
5A righteous person hates lying, but the wicked acts in shameful disgrace.
6Righteousness guards one who walks in integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor person hears no threat.
9The light of the righteous shines brightly. The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10Arrogance yields nothing but strife. Wisdom belongs to those who take advice.
11Wealth gained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers by labor increases it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises instruction will pay a penalty, but whoever respects a mitzvah will be rewarded.
14Wise instruction is a fountain of life, turning one away from snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Everyone shrewd acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.

The Wise and the Foolish

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18He who spurns discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever accepts correction will be honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning away from evil.
20He who walks with wise men is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23The fallow field of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away by injustice.
24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
25The righteous eats to his heart’s content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

–from Proverbs 13

Do you sing? Do you dance? Do you party? Do you do any of that for God? Do you do any of that to God? Do you do any of that for yourself? So why not praise God with those gifts and talents!

Praise with Singing and Dancing

1Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim.
2Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King.
3Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.
4For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
5Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand—
7to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 149

Do you have treasure? Real treasure that will last? Will it last forever? Even after you leave this earth? Why not store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We are in a season! We need to be ready for each day and each season that is yet to come! So let’s be patient! Jesus is coming back! He won’t rush it because His will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would repent and turn back to God! He is coming back! Are you sharing His love and His hope with the world? How about the world around you? How about your friends and family and neighbors? Are you praying for those in need? for the sick?

Rotten Riches

1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.
3Your gold and your silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the workers who mowed your fields—which you kept back by fraud—are crying out against you. And the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts for a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person—he does not resist you.

Be Patient for His Coming

7So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.
8You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.
12But above all, my dear brothers and sisters, do not swear—either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. But let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no,” be “no”—so that you may not fall under judgment.

Praying for the Sick

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back,
20let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

–from James 5

We aren’t to only pray in the midst of an emergency, although we should! We are to pray without ceasing since we are to be in relationship with God and hence talking with Him all throughout the day! He can speak to us even before something happens and help us get or be prepared! He can even make sure we avoid stuff we are supposed to be avoiding!

Jesus gave it all! Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead and defeated death! He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide so that we are never alone! Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started this life changing process of asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready for something different? What’s it going to take?

Praying Along the Way

1Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2Then Yeshua said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, sanctified be Your Name, Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
5Then Yeshua said to them, “Which of you has a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6because a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.’
7Then from within he may answer, saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even if the friend will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’
11What father, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12And if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach ha-Kodesh to those who ask Him!”

Crowds Demand a Sign from Heaven

14Now Yeshua was driving out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute one spoke and the crowds were amazed.
15But some among them said, “By beelzebul, the ruler of demons, He drives out demons.”
16Others, testing Him, were demanding from Him a sign from heaven.
17But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a house against a house falls.
18Now if satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say by beelzebul I drive out the demons.
19But if by beelzebul I drive out demons, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
20But if by the finger of God I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21“When a strong one, fully-armed, protects his own estate, his possessions are safe.
22But as soon as someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, then he takes away the armor that he had trusted in and divides up his plunder.
23He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest. Not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house where I came from.’
25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first.”
27Then as Yeshua was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd, raising her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that carried You and the breasts that nursed You!”
28But He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
29With the crowds increasing, Yeshua began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The Queen of the South will rise up at the Judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation. And indeed, one greater than Jonah is here.
33“No one lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand so that those entering may see the light.
34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is sick, your body is full of darkness.
35Therefore, watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36If then your body is full of light, with no part of it dark, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its gleam.”

Dinner with a Pharisee

37As He spoke, a Pharisee asked Yeshua to eat with him, so He entered and sat down.
38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Yeshua did not do the ritual handwashing before the meal.
39But the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40Fools! Didn’t He who created the outside also create the inside?
41But give as tzadakah those things that are within, and indeed everything is pure to you.
42“But woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint, rue, and every garden herb, yet bypass justice and the love of God. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.
43Woe to you Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces.
44Woe to you, for you are like unmarked tombs, and people walk over them without knowing.”
45But answering, one of the Torah lawyers says to Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us too.”
46Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
47“Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your own fathers killed!
48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, for indeed they killed them and you are building their tombs.
49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they will kill and persecute,
50so that the blood of the prophets shed since the foundation of the world might be required from this generation—
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the one who perished between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.’
52“Woe to you, Torah lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter, and you stood in the way of those entering.”
53When Yeshua left there, the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to interrogate Him on many issues,
54plotting against Him to catch Him in His words.

–from Luke 11


Give it up to God! Wait upon the Lord!

How much does it matter to you? How impactful should it be?

When you pray is it a causal thing? When you pray is it a passive thing? When you pray is it an occasional thing?

Is it important to you? Is it impactful to you? Is it necessary to you?

Consider what you are praying about… Consider how important it is and the proper response… Consider much it means and requires and what the right response should be…

Praying isn’t a casual thing, but rather it’s time spent talking with God. Praying isn’t a passive thing, it’s an active thing and in some cases pro-active thing so that we can get the wisdom and direction and instruction from God, necessary to deal with something! Praying is an all the time thing! We may pray differently depending on when we pray, why we pray, and what is going on, but it’s not an occasional thing!

Today’s Reading: Joshua 7:6-9

6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. 7And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”

Joshua was dealing with something big and had a big response in how he prayed! It was like a full contact sport! He ripped his clothes! He fell to the ground! He laid on the ground face down wanting and needing God’s answer! He threw dust on His head because of the distress he wanted to convey! He wasn’t making it casual, He was being purposeful in order to show God that this was important to him. He was needing God’s wisdom to be able to move forward! He wanted to make sure that whatever it was He was needing to do and was supposed to go in the future that it would glorify God’s great name!

Where are you at today? Is it routine? Consider a change of posture! Consider praying in that new way and then waiting to hear from God! Don’t just say it and get up and go on your way! Wait on Him! Joshua waited and God answered him…

10The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. 12Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. 13Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” 14In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man. 15And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’”–from Joshua 7

God can provide direction and instruction to help you with what you are facing! Do you really want to know? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone, out of your routine, and then wait upon the Lord? How far do you have to go before you will consider it? How bad does it have to get before you will submit yourself to God and be willing to wait upon Him to answer?

Will today be the day?

11And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.

Know someone who is in deep sorrow?

Ever found someone who was in a position where they were filled with deep sorrow? A position where they were being put down because they couldn’t do or have something? A position where they were being picked on because they weren’t able to do something? Sometimes even a friend or family member who gives love into the situation may not be enough. Sometimes even receiving a double portion to show how much they are loved won’t be enough to meet that need. We need to call in the big guns! We need to pray! We need God’s help, God’s provision, God’s purpose, God’s plan to show up so that this problem can be addressed!

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 1:11

11And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

Imagine wanting something so bad that if you got it, you would give it to God. Imagine having a grieving heart for a child to the point where if God gave you a son, you would give him into the hands of God. Imagine a situation where it mean you gave your son to the priest to train in the ways of God and to live there because God met your need and prayer for a son. Imagine the level of pain that this would be your prayer. Imagine the aches of longing for a child that only God could comfort. Imagine it being your daily prayer to God asking for a child. Do you know someone like this? Do you know anyone who needs prayer for such a situation? Let’s lift them up in prayer! If I can pray for you or them, please let me know as I am happy to do so.

Ephesians 3

Be specific

Do you have needs? Does your family have needs? Do your friends have needs? Does your neighborhood have needs? Does your community have needs? Then be specific and lift them up! Do you need strength? Do you need wisdom? Do you know where to turn? Do you realize what is available to you?

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Let’s have a prayer list. Let’s have the names and if there are specific needs, include them. There may be times when we can’t read through the list, but having the list and giving it up to God for He also knows every name on the list. Let’s pray for wisdom. Let’s pray for strength. Let’s pray for courage. Let’s pray for needs. Let’s pray for faith. Let’s remember and realize that all things are possible through Christ. Let’s remember that He has a plan for us and it is good. Let’s build our lives and our prayers on the foundation of truth which is Jesus and which is in love! Let’s remember how much God loves us! How long, how tall, how deep is God’s love for us! It surpasses all understanding! So let’s take a hold of that and let it take root in the way we live out our lives. And let’s live our lives in a way that will give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name, forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for one another

Who do you pray for? Do you need prayer? Can I pray for you?

Do you pray about your day? Do you pray for your family? Do you pray for your neighbors? Do you pray for your co-workers? Do you pray for kids? Do you pray for those in need? Do  you pray for those who are being abused or persecuted? Do you pray for your team? Do you pray for your leaders? Do you pray for your church?

Where do you turn when you are struggling or looking for wisdom? Do you have someone you can ask to pray for you and your situation and your needs? Do you want or need someone to pray for you? If so, can I pray for you?

Today’s reading starts on prayer with…

20“I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. 21I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: 23I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.
24“Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”

–from John 17

When did you choose? When will you choose? What would it take? What will it take? Jesus is the answer! He is the way! He is the truth! He is the life! We need Him to make it! How far do you have to go before you would turn back to God? How hard would it have to get before you would consider asking Him for help? He wants to walk with you so that you don’t have to go it alone! He will never leave you nor abandon you, so will you call on Him?

Today’s reading continues in Revelation…

1Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet. I saw a star which had fallen down to the earth, and it was given the key to the abyss. 2The star opened the abyss, and smoke poured out of it, like the smoke from a large furnace; the sunlight and the air were darkened by the smoke from the abyss. 3Locusts came down out of the smoke upon the earth, and they were given the same kind of power that scorpions have. 4They were told not to harm the grass or the trees or any other plant; they could harm only the people who did not have the mark of God’s seal on their foreheads. 5The locusts were not allowed to kill these people, but only to torture them for five months. The pain caused by the torture is like the pain caused by a scorpion’s sting. 6During those five months they will seek death, but will not find it; they will want to die, but death will flee from them. 7The locusts looked like horses ready for battle; on their heads they had what seemed to be crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8Their hair was like women’s hair, their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9Their chests were covered with what looked like iron breastplates, and the sound made by their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle. 10They have tails and stings like those of a scorpion, and it is with their tails that they have the power to hurt people for five months. 11They have a king ruling over them, who is the angel in charge of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon; in Greek the name is Apollyon (meaning “The Destroyer”). 12The first horror is over; after this there are still two more horrors to come. 13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice coming from the four corners of the gold altar standing before God. 14The voice said to the sixth angel, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River!” 15The four angels were released; for this very hour of this very day of this very month and year they had been kept ready to kill a third of all the human race. 16I was told the number of the mounted troops: it was two hundred million. 17And in my vision I saw the horses and their riders: they had breastplates red as fire, blue as sapphire, and yellow as sulfur. The horses’ heads were like lions’ heads, and from their mouths came out fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18A third of the human race was killed by those three plagues: the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur coming out of the horses’ mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and also in their tails. Their tails are like snakes with heads, and they use them to hurt people. 20The rest of the human race, all those who had not been killed by these plagues, did not turn away from what they themselves had made. They did not stop worshiping demons, nor the idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic, their sexual immorality, or their stealing.

–from Revelation 9

It’s not about religion and rituals, it’s all about a relationship with Jesus! When we start and live that relationship, it doesn’t make challenges, trials, hardship go away, it just makes it easier or better because we aren’t doing it alone and in our own power. We have God with us and able to speak encouragement, wisdom, instruction, and direction in and through it and to help us to learn what we need to learn in and through that situation!

12But I tell you, Job, you are wrong. God is greater than any human being. 13Why do you accuse God of never answering our complaints? 14Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what he says. 15At night when people are asleep, God speaks in dreams and visions. 16He makes them listen to what he says, and they are frightened at his warnings. 17God speaks to make them stop their sinning and to save them from becoming proud. 18He will not let them be destroyed; he saves them from death itself. 19God corrects us by sending sickness and filling our bodies with pain. 20Those who are sick lose their appetites, and even the finest food looks revolting. 21Their bodies waste away to nothing; you can see all their bones; 22they are about to go to the world of the dead. 23Perhaps an angel may come to their aid—one of God’s thousands of angels, who remind us of our duty. 24In mercy the angel will say, “Release them! They are not to go down to the world of the dead. Here is the ransom to set them free.” 25Their bodies will grow young and strong again; 26when they pray, God will answer; they will worship God with joy; God will set things right for them again. 27Each one will say in public, “I have sinned. I have not done right, but God spared me. 28He kept me from going to the world of the dead, and I am still alive.” 29God does all this again and again; 30each one saves a person’s life, and gives him the joy of living. 31Now, Job, listen to what I am saying; be quiet and let me speak. 32But if you have something to say, let me hear it; I would gladly admit you are in the right. 33But if not, be quiet and listen to me, and I will teach you how to be wise.

–from Job 33

Take a look around you! Consider if it is in alignment with God’s Word! Consider if we are setting things up for God or if the world is setting things up for disaster! Consider what you can do to help. Consider what you can do to make a difference. Consider what needs to stay the same. Consider what needs to change. Consider the consequences to doing nothing! Consider the consequences to doing something! Are you willing to risk it? Are you willing to step out in faith? Will you be an agent of transformation?

1This is the prophecy of Obadiah—what the Sovereign Lord said about the nation of Edom.

The Lord Will Punish Edom

The Lord has sent his messenger to the nations, and we have heard his message: “Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!” 2The Lord says to Edom, “I will make you weak; everyone will despise you. 3Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, ‘Who can ever pull me down?’ 4Even though you make your home as high as an eagle’s nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down. 5“When thieves come at night, they take only what they want. When people gather grapes, they always leave a few. But your enemies have wiped you out completely. 6Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted. 7Your allies have deceived you; they have driven you from your country. People who were at peace with you have now conquered you. Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you; they say of you, ‘Where is all that cleverness he had?’ 8“On the day I punish Edom, I will destroy their clever men and wipe out all their wisdom. 9The fighting men of Teman will be terrified, and every soldier in Edom will be killed.

Reasons for Edom’s Punishment

10“Because you robbed and killed your relatives, the descendants of Jacob, you will be destroyed and dishonored forever. 11You stood aside on that day when enemies broke down their gates. You were as bad as those strangers who carried off Jerusalem’s wealth and divided it among themselves. 12You should not have gloated over the misfortune of your relatives in Judah. You should not have been glad on the day of their ruin. You should not have laughed at them in their distress. 13You should not have entered the city of my people to gloat over their suffering and to seize their riches on the day of their disaster. 14You should not have stood at the crossroads to catch those trying to escape. You should not have handed them over to the enemy on the day of their distress.

God Will Judge the Nations

15“The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all nations. Edom, what you have done will be done to you. You will get back what you have given. 16My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment on my sacred hill. But all the surrounding nations will drink a still more bitter cup of punishment; they will drink it all and vanish away.

The Victory of Israel

17“But on Mount Zion some will escape, and it will be a sacred place. The people of Jacob will possess the land that is theirs by right. 18The people of Jacob and of Joseph will be like fire; they will destroy the people of Esau as fire burns stubble. No descendant of Esau will survive. I, the Lord, have spoken. 19“People from southern Judah will occupy Edom; those from the western foothills will capture Philistia. Israelites will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria; the people of Benjamin will take Gilead. 20The army of exiles from northern Israel will return and conquer Phoenicia as far north as Zarephath. The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sardis will capture the towns of southern Judah. 21The victorious men of Jerusalem will attack Edom and rule over it. And the Lord himself will be king.”

–from Obadiah 1

Do you live with the love and grace to make a difference?

What if society says you aren’t to talk to these kinds of people or those kinds of people? What if society says you aren’t supposed to be near or hangout with these kinds of people or those kinds of people? What if society says you shouldn’t be seen with them? What if God says you are supposed to? What if God says you are supposed to love everyone(John 13:34, 1 Peter 4:3, John 13:34)? What if God says you are to love sincerely(Romans 12:9)? What if everyone meant even those who hate you(Matthew 5:44)? What will you live? Is the peer pressure of the world enough to keep you from being what God wants you to be? Is the peer pressure of the world enough to make you live a life apart from what God desires for you to be and do? Or will you live a life that is in alignment with God’s purpose, God’s plan, God’s desire and God’s Word?

Let’s take a look at Jesus who based on the times should have stayed away from people who were “unclean” but what did He do? He reached out and touched the lepers and rather than the uncleanness entering it, He allow his “cleanness” to transform them and heal them. He reached out to a dead body and rather than the uncleanness entering it, He allow his “cleanness” to transform them and resurrect them. He even hung out with and talked to people like tax collector and sinners because He was sent to find the lost and heal the sick. His purpose was God’s purpose! We even see in Acts 10-11 where Peter gets the memo that allowed the Christians to preach the good news to non-Jews.

Today’s reading starts with just such a story, so let’s take a read…

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was winning and baptizing more disciples than John. ( 2Actually, Jesus himself did not baptize anyone; only his disciples did.) 3So when Jesus heard what was being said, he left Judea and went back to Galilee; 4on his way there he had to go through Samaria.
5In Samaria he came to a town named Sychar, which was not far from the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the trip, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” ( 8His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)
9The woman answered, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan—so how can you ask me for a drink?” (Jews will not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans use.)
10Jesus answered, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”
11“Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where would you get that life-giving water? 12It was our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well; he and his children and his flocks all drank from it. You don’t claim to be greater than Jacob, do you?”
13Jesus answered, “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again, 14but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”

–from John 4

John 4 continues the conversation, but that is another day. Jesus is already speaking of the truth of God to her. He is sharing the truth of the gospel to eternal life. Just because society says you shouldn’t, if God tells you that you should, you should. It is the grace and the love of God that changes hearts. It is the grace and the love of God that meets people right where they are at and helps them heart God’s love and word be spoken over them and into their lives! People will put up walls and barriers (check out verse 9 above) even though the purpose is to share the hope and love of God with them. But we aren’t supposed to lose hope or lose faith, but we are supposed to trust God and allow His love and power to flow into and through us into the world around us.

God’s plans and purpose for our lives is good.. Today’s reading speaks to the fact that we need to be patient. To be in communication with God (aka prayer). Let’s not be complainers nor whiners! Let’s be people filled with the Holy Spirit who are sharing the love, the joy, and the grace of God with all those He brings into our lives!

Patience and Prayer

7Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains. 8You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.
9Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. 10My friends, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering. 11We call them happy because they endured. You have heard of Job’s patience, and you know how the Lord provided for him in the end. For the Lord is full of mercy and compassion.
12Above all, my friends, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only “Yes” when you mean yes, and “No” when you mean no, and then you will not come under God’s judgment. –from James 5

Don’t lose hope, but rather keep your hopes high! Be patient with one another too so as not to complain. As Jesus spoke that in this world we will have troubles, but take hope for He has overcome the world. And we also read how we should consider it pure joy when we face troubles because it works in us and through us so that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing! God’s plan and purpose is for our good. His desire is to give us a hope and a future! He is able to take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good.

God will give you the wisdom and the discernment you need. Will you humble yourself and pray and ask Him for them?  Will you be willing to seek it with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? If we ask, He will answer. If we seek, we will find. If we knock, it will be opened to us!

1Only the wise know what things really mean. Wisdom makes them smile and makes their frowns disappear.

Obey the King

2Do what the king says, and don’t make any rash promises to God. 3The king can do anything he likes, so depart from his presence; don’t stay in such a dangerous place. 4The king acts with authority, and no one can challenge what he does. 5As long as you obey his commands, you are safe, and a wise person knows how and when to do it. 6There is a right time and a right way to do everything, but we know so little! 7None of us knows what is going to happen, and there is no one to tell us. 8No one can keep from dying or put off the day of death. That is a battle we cannot escape; we cannot cheat our way out.

The Wicked and the Righteous

9I saw all this when I thought about the things that are done in this world, a world where some people have power and others have to suffer under them. 10Yes, I have seen the wicked buried and in their graves, but on the way back from the cemetery people praise them in the very city where they did their evil. It is useless. 11Why do people commit crimes so readily? Because crime is not punished quickly enough. 12A sinner may commit a hundred crimes and still live. Oh yes, I know what they say: “If you obey God, everything will be all right, 13but it will not go well for the wicked. Their life is like a shadow and they will die young, because they do not obey God.” 14But this is nonsense. Look at what happens in the world: sometimes the righteous get the punishment of the wicked, and the wicked get the reward of the righteous. I say it is useless. 15So I am convinced that we should enjoy ourselves, because the only pleasure we have in this life is eating and drinking and enjoying ourselves. We can at least do this as we labor during the life that God has given us in this world. 16Whenever I tried to become wise and learn what goes on in the world, I realized that you could stay awake night and day 17and never be able to understand what God is doing. However hard you try, you will never find out. The wise may claim to know, but they don’t.

–from Ecclesiastes 8

Do you know how to pray?

Have you ever been taught? Do you know the pattern? Do you understand the pattern? I remember listening to a sermon by Pastor Jenkins where he breaks it down.

Today’s reading starts on this topic…

1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this:
‘Father: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come.
3Give us day by day the food we need.
4Forgive us our sins, for we forgive everyone who does us wrong.
And do not bring us to hard testing.’”

5And Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you should go to a friend’s house at midnight and say, ‘Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. 6A friend of mine who is on a trip has just come to my house, and I don’t have any food for him!’ 7And suppose your friend should answer from inside, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8Well, what then? I tell you that even if he will not get up and give you the bread because you are his friend, yet he will get up and give you everything you need because you are not ashamed to keep on asking. 9And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. 11Would any of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for fish? 12Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
–from Luke 11

This version/translation is a bit different from what I am used to, so I will use another translation to help breakdown the pattern for prayer…

  • Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name
    • First we need to lift God up and praise Him! Glorify Him! Exalt Him! Thank Him for what He has done!
  • Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
    • Next, ask for His will in your life. Ask Him for His presence to cover your life. Ask Him to guide your every step so that His will can be done in and through your life.
  • Give us day by day our daily bread.
  • And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
  • And now we need to praise God and thank Him for what He has done and is about to do in and through this day! Another version closes with:
    • For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

It’s really interesting to break it up this way. It’s great to take time with each piece so that we get it, and don’t miss out. We don’t need to be repeating things over and over, you don’t need to be out there making a show, Jesus says: “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.” We don’t need to be babbling on and one for Jesus says: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Praying is an intimate conversation between you and God. Jesus gives this advice: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready! Let’s make sure our hearts are right with God! Jesus is coming back, so let’s be ready!

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

1There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. 3When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape. 4But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. 5All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. 7It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. 8But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. 9God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing. –from 1 Thessalonians 5

Let’s be more hearers of the Word, but let’s be doers of the Word! Let’s be encouraging one another t o do the right thing. Let’s be helping one another so that nobody has to go it alone!

Not sure what to do? Not sure where to turn? Turn to God and ask for help!

1I call to the Lord for help; I plead with him. 2I bring him all my complaints; I tell him all my troubles. 3When I am ready to give up, he knows what I should do. In the path where I walk, my enemies have hidden a trap for me. 4When I look beside me, I see that there is no one to help me, no one to protect me. No one cares for me. 5Lord, I cry to you for help; you, Lord, are my protector; you are all I want in this life. 6Listen to my cry for help, for I am sunk in despair. Save me from my enemies; they are too strong for me. 7Set me free from my distress; then in the assembly of your people I will praise you because of your goodness to me. –from Psalm 142