What do you do when you don’t know what to do?


Do what you know how to do!

You are at a crossroads and need to make a decision, what do you do?

You are at a decision point in your life and need to decide, what do you do?

You are hearing about the state of the world and need to decide where you stand, what do you do?

You are hearing about wars and rumors of wars, you are hearing about natural disasters including floods and fires, what do you think it means, what do you do?

You are hearing about the threat of the end of the world, what do you do?

Who do you believe? What do you believe? Where does your hope come from? Where does you help come from? Where will you turn? Where can you turn? How will you decide? How will you know real from fake? How will you know true from false? What do you do? How do you know?

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. What do I do? I turn to God and pray. I trust in Him with all my heart. I lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him. Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything. I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I ask, I seek, and I knock.

How about you? Don’t be deceived! Don’t get mixed up or confused between the world’s way and God’s way!


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Turn to God’s Words for answers, for me I choose a devotional at the beginning of the year (or whenever I finish the previous reading) which brings me through the Bible and allow God to speak to me throughout the year through His Word because He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, nothing comes as a surprise and so He is able to speak to me right where I am at with and through His Word found in the Bible. My current reading is coming from Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan. I pray so that the Holy Spirit can point me in the right direction and cover me with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 305 of 312)

  • Nehemiah 12
  • Zechariah 3
  • Zechariah 4
  • Acts 26:12-23
  • Revelation 19:11-21
  • Psalms 143

Can you never get too far away to be able to turn back to God. You may have gone on your long journey away or apart from God. Why not turn back to God today?

Will you try to rush things or are you willing to work through it at a normal pace? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to renew your strength? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and listen to what He has to say?

Will you start with purifying yourself before you start trying to go around and purifying others?

Will you use the tools and instruments God has given you to use to accomplish His will and His purpose?

Will you give thanks? Will you be generous in your life?

Will you choose to listen and trust God’s Word which is true and desires that you have life and life more abundantly rather than the lies and deception of the devil who is trying to rob, kill and destroy you?

We can trust in God because it is not by force nor by strength but by the Spirit of God that all things are possible. In God’s power nothing can stand against it.

Will you speak to what God has done in and through your life when people ask of you?

Will you tell or speak or testify to what God has done in and through you?

We need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness for the things we have done wrong.

‘I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. ‘

Acts of the Apostles 26:20

Are you ready for the return of Jesus as He comes from heaven for the final battle? Will do decide before it is too late to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

‘Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.’

Revelation 19:11-21

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God with the devil?

Ask God who will hear your prayer and is faithful.

Don’t lose hope or paralyzed by fear because of the darkness around you. Turn to God and don’t be stuck in depression but instead start to do God’s will and for His glory forgive others and pursue God and His righteousness.


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

Let’s pray:

What do you do when you are betrayed?


So you forgave. So you reconciled. So you invite them back in. Now what? What if they started to deceive? What if they rebel? What if they turn around and betray you? Now what? Will you turn to God? Will you put your trust in God? Will you consider the way to protect others?


In God’s reading today we get to witness this through the story of David and Absalom as our reading begins in 2 Samuel 15:

‘After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!” When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. After four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him. For while your servant was at Geshur in Aram, I promised to sacrifice to the Lord in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.” “All right,” the king told him. “Go and fulfill your vow.” So Absalom went to Hebron. But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. “As soon as you hear the ram’s horn,” his message read, “you are to say, ‘Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.’” He took 200 men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions. While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David’s counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.

A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” “We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.” So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. The king and all his people set out on foot, pausing at the last house to let all the king’s men move past to lead the way. There were 600 men from Gath who had come with David, along with the king’s bodyguard. Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile. You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don’t even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the Lord show you his unfailing love and faithfulness. ” But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the Lord and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.” David replied, “All right, come with us.” So Ittai and all his men and their families went along. Everyone cried loudly as the king and his followers passed by. They crossed the Kidron Valley and then went out toward the wilderness. Zadok and all the Levites also came along, carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God. They set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until everyone had passed out of the city. Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. “If the Lord sees fit,” David said, “he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.” The king also told Zadok the priest, “Look, here is my plan. You and Abiathar should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. I will stop at the shallows of the Jordan River and wait there for a report from you.” So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to the city and stayed there. David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill. When someone told David that his adviser Ahithophel was now backing Absalom, David prayed, “O Lord , let Ahithophel give Absalom foolish advice!” When David reached the summit of the Mount of Olives where people worshiped God, Hushai the Arkite was waiting there for him. Hushai had torn his clothing and put dirt on his head as a sign of mourning. But David told him, “If you go with me, you will only be a burden. Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, ‘I will now be your adviser, O king, just as I was your father’s adviser in the past.’ Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice. Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there. Tell them about the plans being made in the king’s palace, and they will send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what is going on.” So David’s friend Hushai returned to Jerusalem, getting there just as Absalom arrived.’

2 Samuel 15

‘When Jeremiah had finished giving this message from the Lord their God to all the people, Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other proud men said to Jeremiah, “You lie! The Lord our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt! Baruch son of Neriah has convinced you to say this, because he wants us to stay here and be killed by the Babylonians or be carried off into exile.” So Johanan and the other military leaders and all the people refused to obey the Lord ’s command to stay in Judah. Johanan and the other leaders took with them all the people who had returned from the nearby countries to which they had fled. In the crowd were men, women, and children, the king’s daughters, and all those whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had left with Gedaliah. The prophet Jeremiah and Baruch were also included. The people refused to obey the voice of the Lord and went to Egypt, going as far as the city of Tahpanhes. Then at Tahpanhes, the Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “While the people of Judah are watching, take some large rocks and bury them under the pavement stones at the entrance of Pharaoh’s palace here in Tahpanhes. Then say to the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, here to Egypt. I will set his throne over these stones that I have hidden. He will spread his royal canopy over them. And when he comes, he will destroy the land of Egypt. He will bring death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and war to those destined for war. He will set fire to the temples of Egypt’s gods; he will burn the temples and carry the idols away as plunder. He will pick clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd picks fleas from his cloak. And he himself will leave unharmed. He will break down the sacred pillars standing in the temple of the sun in Egypt, and he will burn down the temples of Egypt’s gods.’”’

Jeremiah 43

‘When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing. Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. “You have stayed with me in my time of trial. And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’

Luke 22:14-30

‘Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat. Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do. And especially pray that I will be able to come back to you soon.’

Hebrews 13:7-19

‘God is honored in Judah; his name is great in Israel. Jerusalem is where he lives; Mount Zion is his home. There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy, the shields and swords and weapons of war. Interlude You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains. Our boldest enemies have been plundered. They lie before us in the sleep of death. No warrior could lift a hand against us. At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob, their horses and chariots lay still. No wonder you are greatly feared! Who can stand before you when your anger explodes? From heaven you sentenced your enemies; the earth trembled and stood silent before you. You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God, and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Interlude Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon. Make vows to the Lord your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. For he breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear him.’

Psalms 76

Beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing.


So you are walking out God’s purpose and plan for you life. Now you get faced with a new situation. How do you respond? If it sounds like an offer that is too good to be true, will you turn to God for wisdom? If it sounds like it could be a setup, will you turn to God for wisdom? If it sounds normal or expected, will you turn to God for wisdom? Can you tell which one it is? It may be harder than you think. What if they are lying or misleading you? Without asking God and following the prompting and direction of the Holy Spirit, you can be mislead and tricked into a deal that could haunt you for the rest of your life. So don’t assume, turn to God instead. Don’t accept, turn to God instead. Ask, Seek, Knock! Then do what God prompts and instructs you to do instead.


Today’s reading starts with the book of Joshua:

‘Now all the kings west of the Jordan River heard about what had happened. These were the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who lived in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far north as the Lebanon mountains. These kings combined their armies to fight as one against Joshua and the Israelites. But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and moldy. When they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.” The Israelites replied to these Hivites, “How do we know you don’t live nearby? For if you do, we cannot make a treaty with you.” They replied, “We are your servants.” “But who are you?” Joshua demanded. “Where do you come from?” They answered, “Your servants have come from a very distant country. We have heard of the might of the Lord your God and of all he did in Egypt. We have also heard what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan (who lived in Ashtaroth). So our elders and all our people instructed us, ‘Take supplies for a long journey. Go meet with the people of Israel and tell them, “We are your servants; please make a treaty with us.”’ “This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy. These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.” So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord . Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby! The Israelites set out at once to investigate and reached their towns in three days. The names of these towns were Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. But the Israelites did not attack the towns, for the Israelite leaders had made a vow to them in the name of the Lord , the God of Israel. The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty. But the leaders replied, “Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord , the God of Israel, we cannot touch them. This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath. Let them live.” So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed. Joshua called together the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you lie to us? Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us? May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.” They replied, “We did it because we—your servants—were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you this entire land and to destroy all the people living in it. So we feared greatly for our lives because of you. That is why we have done this. Now we are at your mercy—do to us whatever you think is right.” So Joshua did not allow the people of Israel to kill them. But that day he made the Gibeonites the woodcutters and water carriers for the community of Israel and for the altar of the Lord —wherever the Lord would choose to build it. And that is what they do to this day.’

Joshua 9

Today’s reading then continues into the book of Isaiah:

‘“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. The Lord who made you and helps you says: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, O dear Israel, my chosen one. For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord .’ Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’ Some will write the Lord ’s name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own.” This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!” How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit? All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint. Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it! He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!” Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”

“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord , made you, and I will not forget you. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel. This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the Lord , who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’ When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry. When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”’

Isaiah 44

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

‘Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.’

Matthew 26:36-56

Today’s reading continues into the book of Philippians:

‘Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!’

Philippians 3:1-11

Today’s reading then closes in the book of Psalms:

‘O Lord , hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord . Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers. Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord ; you surround them with your shield of love.’

Psalms 5

Will you allow fear to make you do something deceiving? Will you trust in God rather than fear men?


Are things getting tough? Are you starting to worry or be anxious about it? Is it triggering fear? Is the fear making you do something that is untrue?

Let’s start today’s reading in Genesis 26 with Isaac.

‘A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah. Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” “Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied. “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.” Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.” So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.” From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord . He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.

One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander. “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.” They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!” So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”). At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.’

Genesis 26

Do you realize that you lies and deception triggered out of worry and fear has the chance to actually cause other to do wrong? Do you realize that you are setting others up to fall into a trap or pit? Trust God! Take hold of the golden rule to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. We have each been created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. Let’s continue to read from our devotional into 1 Chronicles 23.

‘When David was an old man, he appointed his son Solomon to be king over Israel. David summoned all the leaders of Israel, together with the priests and Levites. All the Levites who were thirty years old or older were counted, and the total came to 38,000. Then David said, “From all the Levites, 24,000 will supervise the work at the Temple of the Lord . Another 6,000 will serve as officials and judges. Another 4,000 will work as gatekeepers, and 4,000 will praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have made.” Then David divided the Levites into divisions named after the clans descended from the three sons of Levi—Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The Gershonite family units were defined by their lines of descent from Libni and Shimei, the sons of Gershon. Three of the descendants of Libni were Jehiel (the family leader), Zetham, and Joel. These were the leaders of the family of Libni. Three of the descendants of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. Four other descendants of Shimei were Jahath, Ziza, Jeush, and Beriah. Jahath was the family leader, and Ziza was next. Jeush and Beriah were counted as a single family because neither had many sons.

Four of the descendants of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to dedicate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices in the Lord ’s presence, to serve the Lord , and to pronounce blessings in his name forever. As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included with the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. The descendants of Gershom included Shebuel, the family leader. Eliezer had only one son, Rehabiah, the family leader. Rehabiah had numerous descendants. The descendants of Izhar included Shelomith, the family leader. The descendants of Hebron included Jeriah (the family leader), Amariah (the second), Jahaziel (the third), and Jekameam (the fourth). The descendants of Uzziel included Micah (the family leader) and Isshiah (the second).

The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died with no sons, only daughters. His daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish. Three of the descendants of Mushi were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the descendants of Levi by clans, the leaders of their family groups, registered carefully by name. Each had to be twenty years old or older to qualify for service in the house of the Lord . For David said, “The Lord , the God of Israel, has given us peace, and he will always live in Jerusalem. Now the Levites will no longer need to carry the Tabernacle and its furnishings from place to place.” In accordance with David’s final instructions, all the Levites twenty years old or older were registered for service. The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the Lord . They also took care of the courtyards and side rooms, helped perform the ceremonies of purification, and served in many other ways in the house of God. They were in charge of the sacred bread that was set out on the table, the choice flour for the grain offerings, the wafers made without yeast, the cakes cooked in olive oil, and the other mixed breads. They were also responsible to check all the weights and measures. And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him. They assisted with the burnt offerings that were presented to the Lord on Sabbath days, at new moon celebrations, and at all the appointed festivals. The required number of Levites served in the Lord ’s presence at all times, following all the procedures they had been given. And so, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites watched over the Tabernacle and the Temple and faithfully carried out their duties of service at the house of the Lord .’

1 Chronicles 23

We each a have a purpose and should pursue it. We shouldn’t be comparing our purpose to others because we have each been given a purpose that was set in place with purpose and for a purpose. So let’s take hold of God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Let’s do what God leads us to do through His Word and His Spirit so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Today’s reading continues into John 7.

‘Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”’

John 7:14-24

So we need to get to the heart of the matter. We need to consider the motives behind the things we do and avoid doing. We need to take hold of the leading and directing of the Spirit and walk by faith rather than allowing the lies of the enemy of our soul to rob us of the incredible joy and peace that comes from God. Let’s look beneath the surface in order to better understand. Let’s look beneath the surface so that we can take that understanding do live out our lives by faith giving God all the praise, the honor, and the glory. Today’s reading continues into Galatians 3.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children, ” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.’

Galatians 3:15-29

So let’s not go it alone. Let’s receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts so that we can be saved and born again. Let’s live our lives by faith in Jesus – new creations, the old is gone and the new has come. Let’s live our lives by faith demonstrating how we are lead by the Spirit and saved by grace through faith so that none of us can boast because it is not us but Christ in us that is making the difference. Let’s take hold of the promises of God and live out our today by the strength and courage and boldness that comes by faith in Jesus and allowing the joy of the Lord to strengthen us each and every step of the way. Jesus made a way when there wasn’t a way. Jesus came to break the power of sin and death over us. So we no longer need to fear but rather we can live in belief of God and allow Jesus working in and through us to lead us and guide through this life and into eternity where we will get to see Him face to face in heaven.

As we close, let’s meditate on today’s Psalm from Psalms 18.

‘I love you, Lord ; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord ; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals. He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at your command, O Lord , at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. You light a lamp for me. The Lord , my God, lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord ’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord ? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered. I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet. You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. They called for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the Lord , but he refused to answer. I ground them as fine as dust in the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt. You gave me victory over my accusers. You appointed me ruler over nations; people I don’t even know now serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they submit; foreign nations cringe before me. They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds. The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted! He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. For this, O Lord , I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.’

Psalms 18

Where are you at today?


Are you rejoicing or lamenting? Are you celebrating or mourning? Are you dancing or weeping? Why?

What do you see around you? Does your perspective make the difference? Is it based on location? Is it based on situation? Is it based on circumstance?

Is it based on truth? Is it based on facts? Is it based on hypothesis? Is it based on speculation? Is it based on rumor? Is it based on gossip?

Is there hope? Is there expectations? Do you stand on solid ground? Are you rooted in good soil? Are you well nourished? Are you producing good fruit?

So will you be rebellious? So will you be obedient? We are all given the ability to choose!

Do you seek wisdom? Do you turn to God? Are you looking for answers? Are you seeking the truth? Do you know where you stand? Do you realize where you are heading? Are you hoping for more? Are your expectations right?

Will you humble yourself? Will you seek God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Will you pray? Will you petition? Will you turn from wicked ways? Will you turn back to God? Do you seek forgiveness? Do you want to repent? Do you want healing in the land? Do you want unity? Do you want restoration? Do you want hope? Do you want joy?

Are you taking for granted what you have? Are you realizing the gifts you have been given? Do you realize the blessings in your life? Are you thankful?

Are you rebelling? Are you fighting? Are you arguing?

Will you be obedient to God’s will? Will you receive the gift of His Son Jesus Christ?

We all get a choice! Adults get a choice! Children get a choice! We each get to make our own choice! It’s our decision that we will be measured against! So have you chosen? Will you choose? Is the choice something you picked by following your parents? Is it from following your friends? Is it from peer pressure? Is it from freedom?

Will you be faithful? Do you realize that every good and perfect gift comes from God? Don’t worship the things or the stuff, worship God!

How bad do things need to get before you will turn back to God? How painful does it have to get before you fall down and cry out to God for help and for forgiveness? Would it take a vision of heaven or of hell to get your attention? Which would help you to choose? Which would provide you enough evidence to decide?

Don’t compare yourself to others! Don’t compare what you have to what they have! Do not covet!

It’s all about love! Love God! Love your neighbor! It’s when we miss out on these two facts that we get off track and start heading in the wrong direction!

How long will you make God wait? He is patient and desires that nobody would perish!

But not everyone will decide to choose Him and His way!

So as today’s reading concludes in Galatians, let’s read through it together and ponder where we are at and how we will respond to the call of God! Will you believe? Will you have faith? Will you give yourself to God and be adopted into His family?

Faith or Works of the Law

1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

The Law and the Promise

15Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahamʼs seed, and heirs according to the promise.

–Galatians 3

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 19, 20, Galatians 3

Sure you have a good plan, but will you give the directions up to God?


Will you try to do it all alone? Will you allow God to help? Will you try to do it your way? Will you allow the process to go God’s way? Will you try to do it all in your own strength? Will you allow God’s strength to help carry the load? Will you share the yoke with God? Are your motives in the right spot? Will you commit all that you are going to do up to God? Will you serve with humility? Will you be fair and just? Would you rather wisdom or reward? Wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth — we should be listening twice as much right!

Today’s reading begins in Proverbs…

Commit Your Heart to Adonai

1The plans of the heart belong to man, but the tongue’s answer is from Adonai. 2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but Adonai weighs the motives. 3Commit whatever you do to Adonai, and your plans will succeed. 4Adonai works everything out for his own purpose— even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5Adonai abhors all the proud in heart. Be assured, they will not go unpunished. 6By mercy and truth is iniquity atoned, and by the fear of Adonai one avoids evil. 7When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much income without justice. 9The heart of man plans his course, but Adonai directs his steps.

The Delights of a Just King

10An oracle is on the lips of the king— let his mouth never be treacherous in judgment. 11Honest balances and scales are Adonai’s. All the weights in a bag are His handiwork. 12Wrongdoing is an abomination to kings, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings. He loves those who speak honestly. 14A king’s fury is like messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor like a cloud of spring rain. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright avoids evil. He who guards his way protects his life. 18Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted than to share the spoil with the proud. 20One prudent in a matter will find good Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai. 21The wise in heart is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases persuasiveness. 22Insight is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 23A wise man’s heart teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are honeycomb— sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf, for his hunger drives him on.

Slow to Anger

27A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and on his lips is a scorching fire. 28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent person lures his neighbor, leading him down a path that is no good. 30One who winks his eyes schemes deceit, one who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness. 32Better to be slow to anger than a mighty warrior. One who controls his temper is better than one who conquers a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but their very decision is from Adonai.

–from Proverbs 16

Character…don’t allow money or power pull you away from what is right and what is just! It’s more than just our words and our actions, God is looking to see our motive – what is in our heart! There is nothing we can hide from Him! We are to love everyone! God created each of us and so we should be treating each other with the respect and love! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be flipping the status quo over and live to raise the bar on society! Let’s consider what God says over what people say! Consider Matthew 5 and how Jesus flips what was common and normal towards God’s plan, God’s purpose, and God’s way! Will you walk with integrity in order to find safety? Let’s be looking to create reconciliation and forgiveness rather than allowing anger and frustration and bitterness to grow and fester and take root.

Beware Bribes and Rebellion

1Better is dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance with the brothers. 3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Adonai tests the heart. 4An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker. Whoever rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly and the glory of children is their parents. 7Arrogant lips are not fitting for a fool, much less lying lips for a ruler. 8A bribe is a charm in the eyes of its owner. Wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9Whoever covers up an offense seeks love. Whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person than a hundred lashes on a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion, and so a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to deal with a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good— evil will never leave his house. 14The beginning of strife is like letting out water— so stop a quarrel before it breaks out. 15Acquitting the wicked and condemning the righteous: both are an abomination to Adonai. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking judgment shakes hands on a deal and puts up financial security for his neighbor. 19He who loves sin loves strife. One who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A perverse heart finds nothing good a devious tongue falls into trouble. 21Whoever fathers a fool gets grief. There is no joy for the father of a disgraceful son. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23The wicked one receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the person of understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is grief to his father and bitterness to her that bore him. 26Also, to punish a righteous person is not good, nor to beat up an honorable one for his integrity. 27One with knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning person stays calm. 28Even a fool, who keeps quiet, is considered wise, discerning, if he seals his lips.

–from Proverbs 17

Let’s do a self assessment today…Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. …Use forgiveness and love to replace such things. Jesus, the rock of the faith was rejected. The cornerstone of faith was rejected. So consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will work in you so that in the end you will be complete, lacking nothing. We don’t have to worry, even though in this world we will have troubles, because Jesus has already overcome the world!

We are to make a difference! Do you know why? It’s because you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Living Stones

1So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra . 2As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow toward salvation— 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6For it says in Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen, precious cornerstone. Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” 7Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust, “The stone which the builders rejected— this One has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.” 11Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.

Respect and Order

13For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22“He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

–from 1 Peter 2

God is good! God is love! God is perfect! God is eternal! God is light!

An Aside with the Disciples

1Meanwhile, when thousands of people had gathered, so many that they were trampling one another, Yeshua began speaking first to His disciples, “Be on guard yourselves against the hametz of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4“I say to you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, since after this they have nothing more they can do.
5But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the One who, after the killing, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear this One!
6“Aren’t five sparrows being sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7Indeed, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8Now I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9But the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven.
11And when they bring you to the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
12because the Ruach ha-Kodesh will teach you at that time what is necessary to say.”

A Request from the Crowd

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14But Yeshua said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material goods he possesses.”
16And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops.
17And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
18And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
19And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’
21So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”

Instructions for the Disciples

22Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “So I say to you, do not worry about life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will wear.
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!
25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26So if you cannot do even something very little, why do you worry about other things?
27Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
28But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29“So do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
30For all the nations of the world strive after these things. But your Father knows that you need these things.
31Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and do tzadakah. Make money pouches for yourselves that do not get old—a treasure in the heavens that never runs out, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35“Have your belt strapped on and lamps burning.
36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.
37“Happy are those slaves whose master finds them alert when he comes. Amen, I tell you, he will prepare himself and have them recline at table, and will come and serve them.
38”And if he comes in the second or even the third watch and finds them so, they will be happy.
39But understand this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect.”
41Then Peter said, “Master, are You telling this parable for us, or for everyone?”
42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food portion at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the young slave boys and girls and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. And he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
47“That slave who knew his master’s will but did not prepare or act according to his desire will be harshly whipped.
48But the one who did not know and did things worthy of a beating will be whipped lightly. From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
49“I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!
50But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
51“Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three.
53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Lessons for the Crowds

54Then He also was saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, instantly you say, ‘A rainstorm is coming’—and so it is.
55And when a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a scorcher’—and so it is.
56Hypocrites! The surface of the earth and sky you know how to interpret yet you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57Why can’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58For while you are going with your accuser to the authorities, make an effort to come to a settlement with him—so he doesn’t drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer of the court, and the officer of the court throw you into prison.
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last little bit.”

–from Luke 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolt? Deception? The plot thickens…


Ever had someone go behind your back and try to deceive you? Ever had someone you cared for and trusted try to stir up a revolt? What would you do? What would you say? How would you respond?

How would those around you respond? How would those you trust respond? What would it look like? How would it feel?

Where will you put your hope? Where will you put your trust? Where will you turn?

This happened to David in today’s reading, let’s check out what happens…

Absalom’s Revolt

1Now it came about after this that Absalom provided himself with a chariot, horses and 50 men as runners before him. 2Absalom used to rise up early and stand beside the road to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a suit to come to the king for justice, then Absalom would call to him and say, “What town are you from?” Should he answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,” 3Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no one assigned to you by the king to hear you.” 4Moreover, Absalom would say, “If only I were appointed judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or case would come to me, and I would get him justice!” 5Also, whenever anyone approached to bow to him, he would stretch his hand, take hold of him, and kiss him. 6So Absalom kept doing this to everyone of Israel who came to the king for judgment. Thus Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel. 7At the end of 40 years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron and pay my vow which I have vowed to Adonai. 8For your servant vowed a vow while I was still living at Geshur in Aram saying, ‘If Adonai will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve Adonai.’” 9So the king said to him, “Go in shalom.” Then he rose and went to Hebron. 10But Absalom sent spies to all the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the shofar, then you are to say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’” 11Now 200 men from Jerusalem went with Absalom, who were invited and were going innocently, knowing nothing of the situation. 12Also Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor from his town Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. So the conspiracy gained momentum for the people following Absalom continued to increase. 13Then a messenger came to David saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are following Absalom.”

David’s Exodus from Jerusalem

14Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave in haste or else he will overtake us quickly and bring disaster down on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15Then the king’s officials said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.” 16So the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But the king left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17As the king went out and all the people after him, they paused at the last house. 18All his servants passed on beside him: all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites—600 men that had come after him from Gath—passed on before the king. 19Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place. 20Your arrival was only yesterday—should I make you wander around with us today, to go wherever I may go? Go back and take your kinsmen back with you. Kindness and truth be with you!” 21But Ittai answered the king and said, “As Adonai lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king will be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22So David said to Ittai, “Go on and cross over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on, with all his men and all the little children who were with him. 23While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over as the king was crossing over Kidron Valley. So all the people crossed over toward the road of the wilderness. 24Then behold, Zadok also came and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, then Abiathar came up, until all the people had passed by, out of the city. 25But the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in Adonai’s eyes, He will bring me back, and let me see it and His dwelling. 26But if He says thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good in His eyes.” 27The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you not see? Return to the city in shalom with your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan son of Abiathar. 28See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me.” 29Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. 30Then David continued to go up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. He had his head covered and was walking barefoot. So all the people with him each covered his head as they went up, weeping as they ascended. 31Then someone told David saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “Adonai, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” 32Then David went on until he reached the summit—where God was worshiped—and behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat rent and dust on his head. 33David said to him, “If you pass on with me then you will be a burden to me, 34but if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king—I was your father’s servant from then, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can thwart Ahithophel’s counsel for me. 35Won’t you have with you Zadok and Abiathar the kohanim there? So whatever you hear from the royal palace, you should report it to Zadok and Abiathar the kohanim. 36See, they have their two sons with them there, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz, and Abiathar’s son Jonathan—by them you can send to me everything you hear.” 37So David’s friend Hushai reached the city just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

–from 2 Samuel 15

Will you trust in God? Will you give it up into His hands? Will you believe in Him no matter what? Will all your hope be in God?

Magen David

1A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom. 2Adonai, how many are my foes! Many are rising up against me! 3Many are saying to my soul: “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah 4But You, Adonai, are a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head. 5I cry out to Adonai with my voice, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah 6I lie down and sleep. I awake—for Adonai sustains me. 7I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people all around who have taken their stand against me. 8Arise, Adonai! Deliver me, my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek. You shatter the teeth of the wicked. 9Deliverance belongs to Adonai. Let Your blessing be on Your people. Selah

–from Psalms 3

So let’s praise God through it all! During the highest highs and the lowest lows, let’s praise God because He never changes and we can trust in Him at all times! God is love! There is no darkness in Him! So put your trust in Him!

Covenant with David’s Seed

1A contemplative song of Ethan the Ezrahite. 2I will sing of the love of Adonai forever. To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 3For I said, “Let your lovingkindness be built up forever! The heavens—let Your faithfulness be made firm there!” 4“I have made a covenant with My chosen one. I have sworn to David My servant: 5‘Forever I will establish your seed, and will build your throne from generation to generation.’” Selah 6The heavens praise Your wonders, Adonai —Your faithfulness, too— in the assembly of the kedoshim. 7For who in the skies can compare to Adonai? Who is like Adonai among the sons of gods? 8God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all around Him. 9Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, who is like You, mighty Adonai, with Your faithfulness all around You? 10You rule over the swelling of the sea. When its waves mount up, You still them. 11You crushed Rahab like a slain one. You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. 12The heavens are Yours, also Yours the earth —the world and its fullness— You have founded them. 13You created the north and the south. Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at Your Name. 14Your arm is mighty, Your hand is strong, exalted is Your right hand. 15Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Lovingkindness and truth go before You. 16Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout, They walk in the light of Your presence, Adonai. 17They rejoice in Your Name all day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. 18For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. 19For our shield belongs to Adonai, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. 20Then You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, and said: “I have bestowed help on a warrior. I have exalted one chosen from among the people. 21I have found David My servant. With My holy oil I have anointed him. 22With him My hand will be established. Surely My arm will strengthen him. 23No enemy will exact tribute from him, no son of wickedness will oppress him. 24I will crush his adversaries before him, and strike down those who hate him. 25My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, and by My Name his horn will be exalted. 26I will also set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. 27He will call to Me: ‘You are my Father, my God and the rock of my salvation.’ 28I also will set him as firstborn— the highest of the kings of earth. 29I will maintain My love for him forever, and My covenant with him will be firm. 30His seed I will establish forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 31If his sons forsake My Torah, and do not walk in My judgments, 32if they violate My decrees, and do not keep My mitzvot, 33then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with flogging. 34But I will not withdraw My lovingkindness from him, nor will I betray My faithfulness. 35I will not violate My covenant, nor alter what My lips have uttered. 36Once for all I have sworn by My holiness —surely I will not lie to David— 37his descendants will endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me, 38and as the moon, established forever, and a trustworthy witness in the sky.” Selah 39But You have cast off and spurned, You have become furious with Your anointed one. 40You have renounced the covenant of Your servant. You have defiled his crown even to the ground. 41You have broken down all his walls. You reduced his strongholds to ruin. 42All who pass by have plundered him. He has become a taunt to his neighbors. 43You exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice. 44You turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle. 45You brought his splendor to an end, and cast his throne down to the ground. 46You cut short the days of his youth. You covered him with shame. Selah 47How long, Adonai, will You hide Yourself? Forever? Will Your fury keep burning like fire? 48Remember how short my life span is! For what futility have You created all the children of men? 49What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver himself from the clutches of Sheol? Selah 50Where is Your former lovingkindness, my Lord, which You swore to David in Your faithfulness? 51Remember, my Lord, the mockery against Your servants that I bear in my heart from so many peoples. 52How Your enemies have mocked, Adonai, how they have mocked the footsteps of Your Anointed One! 53Blessed be Adonai forever. Amen and Amen.

–from Psalms 89

So let’s be ready! Let’s be ready when times are good! Let’s be ready when times are tough! Let’s be ready to tell of where our hope and help come from!

A time is coming where people will be turning away from the truth! They will be chasing after their own selfish desires over the truth! So we need to be ready! We need to have clear minds! We need to be ready to withstand hardship! We need to not grow weary in doing good work and sharing the truth of God! We need to spread the Good News and complete our task, our purpose, and our calling! We need to finish strong! We need to not give up! Let’s run to win! Let’s keep the faith!

1I solemnly charge you—in the presence of God and Messiah Yeshua, who is about to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom— 2proclaim the Word! Be ready when it is convenient or inconvenient. Confront, rebuke, encourage—with complete patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled. 4And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths. 5You, however, keep a clear mind in all things, withstand hardship, do the work of proclaiming the Good News, and fulfill your service.

Finishing the Fight, Receiving the Crown

6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 8In the future there is reserved for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not to me only, but also to everyone who has longed for His appearing. 9Do all you can to come to me quickly— 10for Demas, having loved this world, has deserted me and gone to Thessolonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12I have sent Tychius to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak which I left with Carpus in Troas, along with the scrolls, and especially the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm—the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15Be on guard against him too, for he vehemently opposed our message. 16At my first defense, no one stood by me; instead, they all deserted me—may it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be proclaimed in full measure, and all the nations might hear—and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth! 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and will deliver me safely into His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do all you can to come before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. 22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

–from 2 Timothy 4

 

 

 

 

Don’t let your eyes wander! Don’t get tripped up!


There are many temptations out there. There are many slippery slopes we can find ourselves on. There are many deceptions trying to trip us up.

Let’s not grow wearying in doing what is good! Let’s key our eyes from wandering and leading us into trouble! From a glimpse to a look to a stare…the progression can be troubling if we don’t get a hold of it and get life under control.

Protect your character! How will you live to demonstrate your character? Don’t get tripped up and escalate what happened from bad to worse!

Consider what happened to David and Uriah as an example and a warning…

David Commits Adultery and Murder

1Now it came to pass at the turn of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his officials with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2One evening David rose from his bed and strolled on the roof of the royal palace. Then from the roof he saw a woman washing—a very beautiful woman. 3So David sent someone to inquire about the woman, and he reported, “Isn’t this Bath-sheba, daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4Then David sent messengers and took her when she came to him, and he lay with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness). Then she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived and sent word to David saying, “I’m pregnant.” 6So David sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the troops fared, and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” When Uriah left the royal palace, a present from the king followed him. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the royal palace with all his master’s servants, and did not go down to his house. 10When they informed David saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11But Uriah answered David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my lord Joab and the officers of my lord are camping in the open field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you off.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. The next day, 13David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk. But in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his master’s servants, but did not go down to his house. 14So in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah’s hand. 15In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and withdraw from him so that he may be struck down and die.” 16So it came to pass, when Joab was besieging the city, that he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the troops of David’s officers fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18When Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war, 19he charged the messenger saying, “When you finish reporting all the events of the war to the king, 20if it happens that the king’s wrath flares up and he says to you, ‘Why did you come so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you come so close to the wall?’ Then you will say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead, too.’” 22So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to report. 23The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the open field, but we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate. 24Then the archers shot at your troops from the wall, and some of the king’s officers fell dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite died, too.” 25Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Don’t let this matter upset you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Press your attack against the city and overthrow it!’ So tell him, chazak!” 26Now when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned over her husband. 27When the time of mourning was over, David sent someone who brought her to his palace. So she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done was evil in Adonai’s eyes.

–from 2 Samuel 11

Would you rather live out life well or deal with the consequences of your choices and decisions? God’s got a plan! God’s plan is good! He can even take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good. You can’t trick God! God knows and sees what is taking place! How will you release it? How will you find forgiveness? How will you find hope? How will you get things straightened out? Will you do something before it’s too late? Will you do something before someone else finds out and reveals it? Turn to God! As Jesus for wisdom! And do what God tells you to do!

Nathan Confronts David

1Then Adonai sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said to him, “There were two men in the same city—one was rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had an exceedingly huge flock and herd, 3but the poor man had nothing at all, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished, and it grew up together with him and his children. It ate from his own morsel and drank from his own cup, and nestled in his bosom, and it was to him like a daughter. 4Now a traveler came to the rich man, but he was unwilling to take one from his own flock or herd to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Rather, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man that had come to him.” 5Then David’s anger blazed hot against the man and he said to Nathan, “As Adonai lives, the man that did this deserves to die! 6So he must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did such a thing and showed no pity.” 7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: It is I who anointed you king over Israel, and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom, and I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. Now if that were too little, then I would have added to you so much more. 9Why then have you despised the word of Adonai by doing such evil in My eyes? Uriah the Hittite you have struck down with the sword, and his wife you have taken to be your wife, and him you have slain with the sword of the children of Ammon 10So now the sword will never depart from your house—because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11“Thus says Adonai: Behold, I am going to raise up evil against you from your own household, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12Indeed you have done it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and under the sun.” 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Adonai.” Nathan replied to David, “Adonai also has made your sin pass away—you will not die. 14However, because by this deed you have made the enemies of Adonai greatly blaspheme, so even the child born to you will surely die.” 15Then Nathan went to his house. Then Adonai struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David and he became very sick. 16David therefore sought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the floor. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to get him up from the floor but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it came to pass on the seventh day that the child died. But David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he didn’t listen to our voice. So how can we tell him that the child is dead? He might do something terrible!” 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” “He is dead,” they said. 20Then David got up from the floor, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the House of Adonai and worshipped. When he came back to his own palace, he asked for food, so they set food before him and he ate. 21His servants asked him, “What is this thing you have done? You fasted and wept while the child was still alive, but as soon as the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22He replied, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for I thought, ‘Who knows? Adonai might be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he has died, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? It is I who will be going to him, but he will never return to me.” 24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and lay with her, and she bore a son and called his name Solomon. Adonai loved him, 25and He sent word by the hand of the prophet Nathan. So he called his name Jedidiah, for Adonai’s sake. 26Now Joab attacked Rabbah of the children of Ammon and captured the royal city. 27So Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have attacked Rabbah and captured the city’s water supply. 28So now gather the rest of the troops together, camp against the city and capture it. Otherwise I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me.” 29So David gathered all the troops, went to Rabbah, attacked it and captured it. 30Then he took the crown of their king from off his head—its weight was a talent of gold and in it was a precious stone—and then it was placed on David’s head. He also brought a vast amount of spoils out of the city. 31Then he brought out the people who were there and put them to work under saws, iron threshing boards and iron axes, and assigned them to brick making; and thus he did to all the cities of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the troops returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Samuel 12

We are fallen men and we need a savior! We need Jesus and that is why God sent Him! Jesus is the way, the truth and the light! Are you ready to hear from God? Are you ready to receive His Word? Will today be your day of transformation? Will you invite Jesus into your heart and start the process? Becoming a new creation with the old gone and the new having come? If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

Create in Me a Clean Heart

1For the music director: a psalm of David, 2when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba. 3Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your mercy. According to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 4Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 5For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. 6Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. 7Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin when my mother conceived me. 8Surely You desire truth in the inner being. Make me know wisdom inwardly. 9Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 10Let me hear joy and gladness, so the bones You crushed may rejoice. 11Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 12Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 13Do not cast me from Your presence— take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me. 14Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. 15Then will I teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will return to You. 16Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God— God of my salvation. Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness. 17O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. 18For You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it, nor be pleased by burnt offerings. 19The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. 20In Your favor do good to Zion. Build up the walls of Jerusalem. 21Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

–from Psalms 51

Don’t lose hope, but share it with others! Teach up others that they may be able to pass it along too! Let’s make a difference that will go on beyond ourselves.

Disciples from Generation to Generation

1Therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Messiah Yeshua. 2And what you have heard from me among many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who will be capable to teach others also. 3Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Messiah Yeshua. 4No one serving as a soldier entangles himself in the activities of everyday life, so that he might please the one who enlisted him. 5Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned victorious unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hard-working farmer ought to receive the first share of the crops. 7Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8Remember Yeshua the Messiah, raised from the dead, from the seed of David—according to my Good News. 9For this I suffer hardship as a criminal, even to the point of chains—though the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the chosen, so they might obtain the salvation that is in Messiah Yeshua with eternal glory. 11Trustworthy is the saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; 13if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

A Workman with the Word

14Remind them of these things and solemnly charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which is useless—to the ruin of those who are listening. 15Make every effort to present yourself before God as tried and true, as an unashamed worker cutting a straight path with the word of truth. 16But avoid godless chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness 17and their words will spread like cancer. Among them are Hymeneaus and Philetus— 18men who have missed the mark concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place. They are overturning the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord keep away from unrighteousness.” 20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay—some for honor and some for common use. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor—sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22Now flee from youthful desires; instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and shalom, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24The Lord’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, tolerant. 25Let him give guidance with humility to those who are in opposition—perhaps God may grant them a change of mind, leading to the knowledge of truth. 26Then they may regain their senses and escape the devil’s snare, in which they had been held captive by him to do his will.

–from 2 Timothy 2

 

 

 

Do you realize what is going on?


Do you see how people are trying to remove God world? Do you see them trying to remove Him from history? Do you see them trying to remove Him from the schools? Do you see them trying to remove Him from government? Do you see them trying to minimize who He is? Do you see the results and repercussions of this?

Today’s reading starts with Leviticus 26…

1“You are not to make idols for yourselves, nor raise up an engraved image or a standing-stone, or place any carved stone in your land to bow down to it. For I am Adonai your God. 2“You are to keep My Shabbatot and have reverence for My Sanctuary. I am Adonai.

Faithfulness Ensures Blessings

3“If you walk in My statutes, keep My mitzvot and carry them out, 4then I will give you rains in their season, the land will yield its crops, and the trees of the field will yield their fruit. 5Your threshing will last until grape gathering, the grape gathering will last until the sowing time, you will eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. 6“I will bring shalom in the land, and you will lie down, with no one making you afraid. I will remove dangerous beasts from the land and no sword will pass through your land. 7You will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword. 8Five of you will chase 100 and 100 of you will chase 10,000, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9“I will turn toward you, make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10You will eat the old harvest and clear out the old because of the new. 11I will set My Tabernacle among you, and My soul will not abhor you. 12I will walk among you and will be your God, and you will be My people. 13I am Adonai your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves, and I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk upright.

Faithlessness Ensures Misery

14“But if you will not listen to Me, nor carry out all these mitzvot, 15and if you reject My statutes and if your soul abhors My ordinances, so that you do not keep all My mitzvot, but instead break My covenant, 16then I will do the following to you in return. I will appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever that will dim the eyes and cause the soul to pine away. You will sow your seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17I will set My face against you and you will be routed before your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one pursues you. 18“If you, in spite of these things, will not listen to Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins. 19I will break your pride of power. I will make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 20Also your strength will be spent in vain, for your land will not yield its increase, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit. 21“If you keep walking contrary to Me and will not listen to Me, then I will multiply the plagues on you seven times like your sins. 22I will send the wild animals among you, which will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you so few in number that your roads will become deserted. 23“Now if in spite of these things you will not be chastened by Me, but walk contrary to Me instead, 24then I will also walk contrary to you. Then I will strike you, I Myself, seven times for your sins. 25I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant, and you will be gathered together inside your cities. I will send the pestilence among you and you will be given into the hand of the enemy. 26When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied. 27“Yet if in spite of this you will not listen to Me but walk contrary to Me, 28then I will walk contrary to you in wrath. So I will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29You will eat the flesh of your sons and you will eat the flesh of your daughters. 30I will destroy your high places and cut down your altars of incense, cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols, and My soul will abhor you. 31I will lay waste your cities and devastate your sanctuaries. I will not smell your soothing aromas. 32I will make the land desolate and your enemies settling there will be astonished at it. 33I will scatter you among the nations and I will draw out the sword after you. So your land will become a desolation and your cities will become a waste. 34Then the land will enjoy its Shabbatot all the days of its desolation, while you are in the land of your enemies. Then the land will rest and enjoy its Shabbatot. 35As long as it lies desolate it will have rest, that rest which it did not have from your Shabbatot, when you lived on it. 36“As for those who remain, I will bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies, so that the sound of a driven leaf will put them to flight, and they will flee as one flees from the sword and fall, even when no one is pursuing. 37They will stumble over one another, as if before the sword, when no one pursues, and you will have no strength to stand before your enemies. 38You will perish among the nations and the land of your enemies will devour you. 39Those of you who are left in the land of your enemies will rot away because of their iniquity, and because of the iniquities of their fathers they will rot away with them.

Adonai Remembers His Own

40“But if they confess their iniquity and that of their fathers, in the treachery they committed against Me, and how they walked contrary to Me 41—in return I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—and if at that time their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled, so that they accept the punishment for their iniquity, 42then I will remember My covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43But the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Shabbatot while it lies desolate without them, and they will accept the punishment of their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44“Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I hate them into utter destruction, and break My covenant with them, for I am Adonai their God. 45But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am Adonai.” 46These are the statutes, ordinances and laws, which Adonai made between Himself and Bnei-Yisrael at Mount Sinai by Moses.
–from Leviticus 26

So how will you live? So how will you act? So how will you shine? So how will you speak? So how will you behave? So how will you walk? So how will you talk? So where will you point others? Will you be directing them towards God or away from God? Will you be an active participant? Which group will you choose to be a part of? What does it say about your character? What does it say about you?

Today’s reading continues into Psalms 12…

Silence the Flattering Lips

1For the music director, on the eight-string lyre, a psalm of David. 2Help, Adonai! For no one godly exists. For the faithful have vanished from the children of men. 3Everyone tells a lie to his neighbor, talking with flattering lips and a divided heart. 4May Adonai cut off all flattering lips— a tongue bragging big things. 5They say: “With our tongue we’ll prevail. We own our lips—who can master us?” 6“Because of the oppression of the poor, because of the groaning of the needy, now will I arise,” says Adonai. “I will put him in the safe place— he pants for it.” 7The words of Adonai are pure words— like silver refined in an earthly crucible, purified seven times. 8You will keep us safe, Adonai. You will protect us from this generation forever. 9The wicked strut all around, while vileness is exalted by mankind.
–from Psalms 12

Don’t get tripped up in the mess! Don’t get tripped up in the lies! Don’t get tripped up in the deception! Don’t be a stumbling block to others! Choose wisely! Choose to be a part of God’s family! Choose to be a voice of hope! Choose to be an ambassador of peace! Choose wisely! And then live it out with God! Live it out under the cover of the blood of Jesus! And be transformed and live a life that transforms and leads!

Today’s reading closes with John 16…

1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Ruach Reveals Truth

5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Death and Resurrection Foretold

16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!
–from John 16

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our teacher, and our guide! Let’s live our lives in spirit and in truth!

It makes a difference who you are following…


As a leader who are you following? As a follower who is your leader? Where are they leading you? Are you heading in the right direction? Do they have your best intention in mind? Is it the best for you? Are their plans for you good? Is their plans to give you a hope and a future? Is their plan for you all about them? Are they trying to give you something or are they trying to take something away? Are they trying to speak the truth or are they trying to deceive you? Are they speaking life into your life or are they trying to suck out the life within you?

This morning’s reading starts on this subject…

The Parable of the Shepherd

1Jesus said, “I am telling you the truth: the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who goes in through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out. 4When he has brought them out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5They will not follow someone else; instead, they will run away from such a person, because they do not know his voice.” 6Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he meant.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

7So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. 8All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.

–from John 10

As leaders we are called to a higher level! We are to be raising the bar not going with average which just continues to lower the bar. As leaders we are supposed to be light to those around us! Let’s shine the hope that is within us to everyone. Let’s speak life into their lives that they may come to know the truth and the hope that is within us because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The New Command

7My dear friends, this command I am writing you is not new; it is the old command, the one you have had from the very beginning. The old command is the message you have already heard. 8However, the command I now write you is new, because its truth is seen in Christ and also in you. For the darkness is passing away, and the real light is already shining.
9If we say that we are in the light, yet hate others, we are in the darkness to this very hour. 10If we love others, we live in the light, and so there is nothing in us that will cause someone else to sin. 11But if we hate others, we are in the darkness; we walk in it and do not know where we are going, because the darkness has made us blind.
12I write to you, my children, because your sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ. 13I write to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you have defeated the Evil One.

14I write to you, my children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong; the word of God lives in you, and you have defeated the Evil One.

15Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. 16Everything that belongs to the world—what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. 17The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.

–from 1 John 2

Let’s grab on to the things that last! Let’s be focused on the eternal rather than the temporal that will fade away like grass and flows as the summer heat kicks into gear. Let’s grab a hold of the things of God and help others come to the realization and reality of God’s love for all of us! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever would believe on His would not perish but have everlasting life! That’s right, God’s plan and hope is that we would all turn back to Him and spend eternity with Him! Not out of obligation or forced love, but out of authentic love for Him! Out of a relationship with Him!

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t be deceived! Trust in God!

1I am tired of living. Listen to my bitter complaint. 2Don’t condemn me, God. Tell me! What is the charge against me? 3Is it right for you to be so cruel? To despise what you yourself have made? And then to smile on the schemes of wicked people? 4Do you see things as we do? 5Is your life as short as ours? 6Then why do you track down all my sins and hunt down every fault I have? 7You know that I am not guilty, that no one can save me from you. 8Your hands formed and shaped me, and now those same hands destroy me. 9Remember that you made me from clay; are you going to crush me back to dust? 10You gave my father strength to beget me; you made me grow in my mother’s womb. 11You formed my body with bones and sinews and covered the bones with muscles and skin. 12You have given me life and constant love, and your care has kept me alive. 13But now I know that all that time you were secretly planning to harm me. 14You were watching to see if I would sin, so that you could refuse to forgive me. 15As soon as I sin, I’m in trouble with you, but when I do right, I get no credit. I am miserable and covered with shame. 16If I have any success at all, you hunt me down like a lion; to hurt me you even work miracles. 17You always have some witness against me; your anger toward me grows and grows; you always plan some new attack. 18Why, God, did you let me be born? I should have died before anyone saw me. 19To go from the womb straight to the grave would have been as good as never existing. 20Isn’t my life almost over? Leave me alone! Let me enjoy the time I have left. 21I am going soon and will never come back—going to a land that is dark and gloomy, 22a land of darkness, shadows, and confusion, where the light itself is darkness.

–from Job 10