THRIVE: Pressing in and Pressing forward to accomplish what is most important!


So with tomorrow being Friday how are you going to live out your today? Are you over the hump of Wednesday and coasting? Are you flying because Wednesday was a ramp and you are pressing in and pressing forward towards the goal for the glory of God? Are you focused? Are you prioritizing things so that what is most important is getting done? Let’s pause and consider the prioritization quadrant for a moment.

Urgent vs Important

or another way to look at it would be

So, tomorrow is Friday so consider the things pulling for your time and let’s press in and press forward to accomplish what needs to be done now and plan for the things that will need to get done. Let’s choose to not be distracted by the things that aren’t important, especially those that aren’t important but are coming at you like they are in crisis.

As I reflect on things on my plate I see family things, like celebrating my daughter’s graduation including a party planned for tomorrow. I also see calling things like prepping the final details for camp to bless a bunch of teenage girls that are coming up soon. I also see a huge project for work with many tasks that need to get done. There are some things that are needing me to action today. There are some things that I need to plan out today. There are some things that I need to say no to and others that I will need to delegate.

How about you? What are you pressing in on? What are you pressing forward on? How are you prioritizing all the things pulling at your time?

Let’s choose to thrive for the glory of God!

THRIVE
LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ‘

Galatians 5:24

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 15


So where are you at today? What is it that you are facing? What is it that you need to prioritize? What is it that you need to evaluate? What detour has entered the picture? What will you do? Where will you turn? How will you respond? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into the situation! Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment to help you decide and move forward for the glory of God!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

Who do you trust and How do you delegate?


What gets you to trust someone? What gets you to trust someone enough to be able to give them control of something? What gets you to trust someone enough that you can let go and delegate something to them? Is it their reliability, truth, ability, or strength? Does it have to do more with them or with you? Have you had to get past wanting to control everything? Have you had to learn to trust and verify till you knew their words was good? Does it help you to know who you can let into your inner circle? Does it depend on their beliefs? Does it matter if it aligns with yours? Does it matter on the shared goals and objectives? Does it matter what it is? Is it a matter of the heart? Is it something you think through? Is it based on the prompting of the Spirit? What would you give them to the key to? Who do you trust? How do you delegate?


Today’s reading gets us started in 1 Kings 4 of God’s Word:

‘King Solomon now ruled over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah son of Zadok was the priest. Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, were court secretaries. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was commander of the army. Zadok and Abiathar were priests. Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of the district governors. Zabud son of Nathan, a priest, was a trusted adviser to the king. Ahishar was manager of the palace property. Adoniram son of Abda was in charge of forced labor. Solomon also had twelve district governors who were over all Israel. They were responsible for providing food for the king’s household. Each of them arranged provisions for one month of the year. These are the names of the twelve governors: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim. Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-bethhanan. Ben-hesed, in Arubboth, including Socoh and all the land of Hepher. Ben-abinadab, in all of Naphoth-dor. (He was married to Taphath, one of Solomon’s daughters.) Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, all of Beth-shan near Zarethan below Jezreel, and all the territory from Beth-shan to Abel-meholah and over to Jokmeam. Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead, including the Towns of Jair (named for Jair of the tribe of Manasseh ) in Gilead, and in the Argob region of Bashan, including sixty large fortified towns with bronze bars on their gates. Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim. Ahimaaz, in Naphtali. (He was married to Basemath, another of Solomon’s daughters.) Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and in Aloth. Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar. Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin. Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, including the territories of King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan. There was also one governor over the land of Judah. The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They were very contented, with plenty to eat and drink. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River in the north to the land of the Philistines and the border of Egypt in the south. The conquered peoples of those lands sent tribute money to Solomon and continued to serve him throughout his lifetime. The daily food requirements for Solomon’s palace were 150 bushels of choice flour and 300 bushels of meal ; also 10 oxen from the fattening pens, 20 pasture-fed cattle, 100 sheep or goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roe deer, and choice poultry. Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders. During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden. Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses, and he had 12,000 horses. The district governors faithfully provided food for King Solomon and his court; each made sure nothing was lacking during the month assigned to him. They also brought the necessary barley and straw for the royal horses in the stables. God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.’

1 Kings 4

‘Lord , remember what has happened to us. See how we have been disgraced! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. We are orphaned and fatherless. Our mothers are widowed. We have to pay for water to drink, and even firewood is expensive. Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are exhausted but are given no rest. We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough food to survive. Our ancestors sinned, but they have died— and we are suffering the punishment they deserved! Slaves have now become our masters; there is no one left to rescue us. We hunt for food at the risk of our lives, for violence rules the countryside. The famine has blackened our skin as though baked in an oven. Our enemies rape the women in Jerusalem and the young girls in all the towns of Judah. Our princes are being hanged by their thumbs, and our elders are treated with contempt. Young men are led away to work at millstones, and boys stagger under heavy loads of wood. The elders no longer sit in the city gates; the young men no longer dance and sing. Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. The garlands have fallen from our heads. Weep for us because we have sinned. Our hearts are sick and weary, and our eyes grow dim with tears. For Jerusalem is empty and desolate, a place haunted by jackals. But Lord , you remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation. Why do you continue to forget us? Why have you abandoned us for so long? Restore us, O Lord , and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had! Or have you utterly rejected us? Are you angry with us still?’

Lamentations 5

‘“Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave. “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’ “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away —all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.’

Acts 2:29-47

‘But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood. Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment. He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling. But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural beings.’

2 Peter 2:1-11

‘I will sing of the Lord ’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord ; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord ? What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord ? The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne. O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord ? You are entirely faithful. You rule the oceans. You subdue their storm-tossed waves. You crushed the great sea monster. You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord . They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness. You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord , and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king. Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people. You said, “I have raised up a warrior. I have selected him from the common people to be king. I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. I will steady him with my hand; with my powerful arm I will make him strong. His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers. And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth. I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven. But if his descendants forsake my instructions and fail to obey my regulations, if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him. No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness I cannot lie: His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky!” Interlude But now you have rejected him and cast him off. You are angry with your anointed king. You have renounced your covenant with him; you have thrown his crown in the dust. You have broken down the walls protecting him and ruined every fort defending him. Everyone who comes along has robbed him, and he has become a joke to his neighbors. You have strengthened his enemies and made them all rejoice. You have made his sword useless and refused to help him in battle. You have ended his splendor and overturned his throne. You have made him old before his time and publicly disgraced him. Interlude O Lord , how long will this go on? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? Remember how short my life is, how empty and futile this human existence! No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave. Interlude Lord, where is your unfailing love? You promised it to David with a faithful pledge. Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced! I carry in my heart the insults of so many people. Your enemies have mocked me, O Lord ; they mock your anointed king wherever he goes. Praise the Lord forever! Amen and amen!’

Psalms 89

How will you respond to authority?


Do you realize that all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God? Do you realize that whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves? Do you realize that we are to obey our leaders because they keep watch over our souls and will give an account for their work? So let’s allow them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for us. Do you realize why you should submit to the government and its officers? Do you realize why we should be obedient, always ready to do what is good? Do you realize why we must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling? Do you realize why we should be gentle and show true humility to everyone? Do you realize why we should even accept unjust authority with respect? Do you realize why we should show respect even to young leaders? Do you realize why we should understand the difference between early and heavenly leadership?

So how will you respond to authority and leadership? Will you do it God’s way or will you be one with a rebellious spirit?


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 16.

‘One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, “You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord , and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord ’s people?” When Moses heard what they were saying, he fell face down on the ground. Then he said to Korah and his followers, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The Lord will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence. Korah, you and all your followers must prepare your incense burners. Light fires in them tomorrow, and burn incense before the Lord . Then we will see whom the Lord chooses as his holy one. You Levites are the ones who have gone too far!” Then Moses spoke again to Korah: “Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord ’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?” Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they replied, “We refuse to come before you! Isn’t it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? What’s more, you haven’t brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven’t given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? We will not come.” Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord , “Do not accept their grain offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, and I have never hurt a single one of them.” And Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers must come here tomorrow and present yourselves before the Lord . Aaron will also be here. You and each of your 250 followers must prepare an incense burner and put incense on it, so you can all present them before the Lord . Aaron will also bring his incense burner.” So each of these men prepared an incense burner, lit the fire, and placed incense on it. Then they all stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle with Moses and Aaron. Meanwhile, Korah had stirred up the entire community against Moses and Aaron, and they all gathered at the Tabernacle entrance. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to the whole community, and the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Get away from all these people so that I may instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. “O God,” they pleaded, “you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Must you be angry with all the people when only one man sins?” And the Lord said to Moses, So Moses got up and rushed over to the tents of Dathan and Abiram, followed by the elders of Israel. “Quick!” he told the people. “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them. If you do, you will be destroyed for their sins.” So all the people stood back from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Then Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrances of their tents, together with their wives and children and little ones. And Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord .” He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel. All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. “The earth will swallow us, too!” they cried. Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense. And the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron the priest to pull all the incense burners from the fire, for they are holy. Also tell him to scatter the burning coals. Take the incense burners of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, and hammer the metal into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. Since these burners were used in the Lord ’s presence, they have become holy. Let them serve as a warning to the people of Israel.” So Eleazar the priest collected the 250 bronze incense burners that had been used by the men who died in the fire, and the bronze was hammered into a thin sheet to overlay the altar. This would warn the Israelites that no unauthorized person—no one who was not a descendant of Aaron—should ever enter the Lord ’s presence to burn incense. If anyone did, the same thing would happen to him as happened to Korah and his followers. So the Lord ’s instructions to Moses were carried out. But the very next morning the whole community of Israel began muttering again against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the Lord ’s people!” As the community gathered to protest against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the Tabernacle and saw that the cloud had covered it, and the glorious presence of the Lord appeared. Moses and Aaron came and stood in front of the Tabernacle, and the Lord said to Moses, “Then tell all the people to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” “Get away from all these people so that I can instantly destroy them!” But Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground. And Moses said to Aaron, “Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it, and carry it out among the people to purify them and make them right with the Lord . The Lord ’s anger is blazing against them—the plague has already begun.” Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the affair involving Korah. Then because the plague had stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tabernacle.’

Numbers 16

Today’s reading then brings us back into Solomon’s Song of Songs with Chapter 5

‘My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven. His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk. His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh. His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli. His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.’

Song of Songs 5:10-16

continuing into Song of Songs 6

‘Where has your lover gone, O woman of rare beauty? Which way did he turn so we can help you find him?

My lover has gone down to his garden, to his spice beds, to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies. I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies.

You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners. Turn your eyes away, for they overpower me. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are as white as sheep that are freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin. Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil. Even among sixty queens and eighty concubines and countless young women, I would still choose my dove, my perfect one— the favorite of her mother, dearly loved by the one who bore her. The young women see her and praise her; even queens and royal concubines sing her praises: “Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners?”

I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom. Before I realized it, my strong desires had taken me to the chariot of a noble man.

Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again.

Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?’

Song of Songs 6

and then into Song of Songs 7.

‘How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O queenly maiden. Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman. Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle. Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus. Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel, and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty. The king is held captive by its tresses. Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights! You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like grape clusters, and the fragrance of your breath like apples. May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine—

Yes, wine that goes down smoothly for my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth. I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own.’

Song of Songs 7:1-10

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Matthew 5.

‘One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.’

Matthew 5:1-16

and continuing into Romans 2

‘When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.

You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it. For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.’

Romans 2:12-29

As we pause before concluding with today’s psalm, let’s consider our hearts and how we can live out today in a way that lets God into our hearts and allows His power and truth and love to overflow out of our hearts into the world around us. Let’s pray and invite Jesus into our hearts to lead and guide us through today in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s pray and invite the Holy Spirit into our day so that we will be instructed and directed and corrected by His still quiet voice in a way that will cause today to be a GREAT day. Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength so that in and through it all today will be a Happy Today!!

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 107.

‘Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. For he has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless. Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. “ Lord , help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress. He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery. They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High. That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them. “ Lord , help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron. Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins. They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door. “ Lord , help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts. Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the Lord ’s power in action, his impressive works on the deepest seas. He spoke, and the winds rose, stirring up the waves. Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “ Lord , help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation. He changes rivers into deserts, and springs of water into dry, thirsty land. He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands, because of the wickedness of those who live there. But he also turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water. He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities. They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops. How he blesses them! They raise large families there, and their herds of livestock increase. When they decrease in number and become impoverished through oppression, trouble, and sorrow, the Lord pours contempt on their princes, causing them to wander in trackless wastelands. But he rescues the poor from trouble and increases their families like flocks of sheep. The godly will see these things and be glad, while the wicked are struck silent. Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord .’

Psalms 107

What type of legislators are there?


I know there are some who go in with a servant leadership heart and desires to serve the people that elected them. I know there are some that seek God’s wisdom in every decision they need to make. I know there are some that God uses for big initiatives. I know there are some that have a good heart and allow God to use them for the greater good. They are supposed to be a blessing to us based on what it says in the bible.

I also know there are some who are unjust. I know there are some who put on a certain persona because they think it is more about them and less about their job to serve the people. I know there are some who believe they are above the laws and look to work their way around it. I know there are some who act whatever way will help them advance. There are some who are in it for the money and the power. There are some that have said they believe one thing but then later turn on something that is foundational for their own purposes.

So be aware of the character of the people who are there. Be aware and discerning about the people who are trying to get into positions of leadership. Pray for wisdom about their true intentions. As election season approaches we need to be even more discerning about the character of the people who are running for election. Party doesn’t necessarily speak to the reality of what they believe. Former politicians aren’t immune either and sometimes it isn’t until they are out of the government that we discover where they really stood.

Could you vote for someone who is a liar? Could you vote for someone who is a cheater? Could you vote for someone who is an abuser? Could you vote for someone who would sell out the country? state? province? county? city? Could you vote for someone who is disobeying the laws? How could you trust they would enforce them?

Just like with everything in life, we will be given choices and we have to choose. In some cases people consider there to be 3 choices – (1) Vote for person 1, (2) Vote for person 2, (3) Don’t vote. Do you realize that option (3) gives up your say in the process and that in many cases it means the person you wanted least could win? The process says one of them will win. So do you want to help choose or have to deal with the consequences?

Are you a legislator? What type are you? What is your character? How do you view the role? Is it a blessing where you get to serve people? Is it a power grab where you get to wave authority over people?

Beware the consequence you are setting up the country for…

Take heart that there is a group who are just and walking aligned with God!


Today’s reading begins on this topic in Isaiah 10…

Oy to Unjust Legislators

1Oy to those enacting unjust decrees and recording corrupt legislation, 2to deprive the helpless of justice and rob the rights of the poor of My people, so that widows may be their spoil and orphans their prey! 3What will you do in the day of visitation, when desolation comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4One can only crouch among the captives or collapse among the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched.

Assyria, the Rod

5Oy to Assyria, the rod of My anger— the club in their hand is My indignation! 6I am sending it against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My fury I am commissioning it, to take spoil and plunder, to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7Yet that is not what Assyria intends, nor is that what he is thinking about. Rather his heart is to destroy, and to cut down nations—only a few! 8For he says: “Aren’t all my princes kings? 9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached the kingdoms of the idols—with more graven images than Jerusalem and Samaria— 11as I’ve done to Samaria and her idols, won’t I also do to Jerusalem and her idols?” 12Therefore it will come to pass, when Adonai finishes all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glorying of his haughty eyes.” 13For he said: “By the strength of my own hand I’ve done it, and my own wisdom, for I am shrewd! I abolished the borders of peoples, and plundered their treasures. As a mighty one I cast down inhabitants. 14My hand found the riches of the peoples as a nest—like gathering forsaken eggs, I have gathered the entire earth. Not a wing fluttered, not a beak opened or chirped!” 15Should the axe boast against the One who chops with it? Should the saw magnify itself against the One who wields it? It would be like a rod waving the One who lifts it, or like a staff hoisting up the One who is not wood! 16Therefore will the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, send leanness among his fat ones. Under its glory He will kindle a burning like a blazing fire. 17So the light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. He will burn and consume its thorns and briers in one day. 18Both the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, he will consume, both soul and body. It will be like a sick man wasting away. 19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few, a child could record them.

A Remnant Will Return

20Yet it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel— those of the house of Jacob who escaped— will never again depend on the one who struck them down, but will depend upon Adonai, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land. 24Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot: “O My people dwelling in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, though he strike you with the war-club, and lift up his rod against you, as Egypt did. 25“For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26Adonai-Tzva’ot will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb. As His staff was over the sea, so will He lift it up, as He did in Egypt. 27In that day his burden will be taken off your shoulders, and his yoke off your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken because of fatness.

Assyria Advancing

28He has come to Aiath, and passed through Migron. At Michmas he deposited his supplies. 29They have crossed over the pass. They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is terrified; Gibeath-shaul has fled. 30Shriek your cry, daughter of Gallim! Listen, O Laish! O poor Anathoth! 31Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Behold, the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot will lop off the branches with terror! So the tall ones will be cut down and the lofty ones laid low. 34Yes, He will hack down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

–from Isaiah 10

We need to call on Jesus! We need to lean on Him! We need His wisdom! We need His truth!

Ask the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide! Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your path! Lean not on your own understanding but allow God to straighten your path!

The Branch From David

1Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots. 2The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Messianic Age of Shalom

6The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. 7The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. 8A nursing child will play by a cobra’s hole, and a weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.

Second Return from Diaspora

10It will also come about in that day that the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek for Him, and His resting place will be glorious. 11It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13Ephraim’s envy will end, those hostile to Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the Philistine slope to the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east— laying their hand on Edom and Moab, the children of Ammon obeying them. 15Then Adonai will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea. He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and will strike it into seven streams, and let men walk over in sandals. 16So there will be a highway for the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, as there was for Israel in the day they came up out of the land of Egypt.

–from Isaiah 11

We don’t need to put our hope in government because they don’t have all the answers. We don’t need to put all our trust in government because they don’t have all the power. We don’t need to give them all the authority or power – we can delegate it for a period of time, but we then need to help them stay accountable!

God’s Word shows us the way! God’s people should be taking care of the people! Rather than delegating taxes to try to take care of everyone, imagine if everyone tithed and gave to their church the impact it would have on the local community. God’s instruction manual is available (the bible)! God’s roadmap is available (the bible)! God’s love letter is available (the bible)!

Wells of Salvation

1In that day you will say: “I will give You thanks, Adonai, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord Adonai is my strength and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: “Give thanks to Adonai. Proclaim His Name! Declare His works to the peoples, so they remember His exalted Name. 5Sing to Adonai, for He has done gloriously. Let this be known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

–from Isaiah 12

Want the truth? Do you really want it and not just trying to trip up or trick someone? Turn to God! Ask Jesus to give you wisdom for your situation! Have you been born again? Have you joined God’s family (been adopted into it) by asking Jesus into your heart and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Will you believe what God has to say? Will you believe what God’s Word speaks? Will you believe the words of Jesus? Even without seeing it, will you believe it?

Do you know why Jesus came?

A Pharisee Comes Seeking Truth

1Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” 3Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus said to Him. “He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Father’s Love Revealed

9“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said. 10Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? 11Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! 12If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim. 19“Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be made known that his deeds have been accomplished in God.”

The Living Word, Source of Life

22Afterwards, Yeshua and His disciples came to the land of Judea. There He was staying with them and immersing. 23Now John also was immersing at Aenon near Salim, because much water was there and many were coming and being immersed; 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now an argument came up between John’s disciples and a Judean concerning purification. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—look, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!” 27John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but rather, ‘I am sent before Him.’ 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete! 30He must increase, while I must decrease.” 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, He testifies to that; yet no one receives His testimony. 33Whoever receives His testimony has certified that God is true. 34The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. 36He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

–from John 3

 

Be courageous!


Facing something big? Facing something tough? Facing something challenging? Facing the unknown? Facing something new? Don’t lose hope! Don’t fear! Turn to God to whom there are no surprises, and be courageous!

Turn that feeling in your stomach from worry and fear to excitement! They all create the same feeling, so wire it in your brain to be excited! Let God go before and prepare in advance the good work He has for you to do! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Do what He asks of you and allow Him to take care of the rest! He will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! He will complete the work He has started! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t worry! God will never leave you nor abandon you! Don’t fear nor be discouraged! Let’s remember what God has done! Let’s remember what God has commanded! Let’s put all of our hope and trust in Him! Without Him, it’s not worth going!

Don’t allow yourself to become so comfortable that you won’t do what God asks of you! Don’t allow yourself to be so comfortable that you start to disobey and walk away from God! Don’t allow yourself to become so self-confident that you start to go it alone!

Today’s reading starts with Moses telling the people as they are preparing to enter int the promised land…

Chazak! Be Courageous!

1Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2He said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. Adonai has said to me, ‘You are not to cross over this Jordan.’ 3Adonai your God—He will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you will dispossess them. Joshua will cross over before you, just as Adonai has promised. 4“Adonai will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5Adonai will give them over to you, and you are to do to them according to all the mitzvot that I commanded you. 6Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” 7Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be courageous! For you are to go with this people into the land Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you are to enable them to inherit it. 8Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”

Public Torah Readings

9Moses wrote down this Torah and gave it to the kohanim, the sons of Levi who carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, and to all the elders of Israel. 10Then Moses commanded them saying, “At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of cancelling debts, during the feast of Sukkot, 11when all Israel comes to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses, you are to read this Torah before them in their hearing. 12Gather the people—the men and women and little ones, and the outsider within your town gates—so they may hear and so they may learn, and they will fear Adonai your God and take care to do all the words of this Torah. 13So their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear Adonai your God—all the days you live on the land you are about to cross over the Jordan to possess.” 14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, your time to die is near. Call Joshua, and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, and I will commission him.” Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting. 15Adonai appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the opening of the Tent. 16Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise up and prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break My covenant that I cut with them. 17Then My anger will flare against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them. So they will be devoured, and many evils and troubles will come on them. They will say on that day, ‘Isn’t it because our God is not among us that these evils have come on us?’ 18I will surely hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done, for they have turned to other gods.

Moses Introduces His Song

19“Now, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to Bnei-Yisrael—put it in their mouth, so that this song may be a witness for Me against Bnei-Yisrael. 20“For when I bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I swore to their fathers, and they eat and are satisfied and grow fat—then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and they will spurn Me and break My covenant. 21Now when many evils and troubles have come on them, this song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants. For I know the intention they are devising this day, even before I bring them into the land that I swore.” 22That day Moses wrote this song and taught it to Bnei-Yisrael. 23Then he commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Chazak! Be courageous! For you will bring Bnei-Yisrael into the land I swore to them—and I will be with you.” 24Now when Moses had finished writing the words of this Torah on a scroll, right to the end … 25Moses commanded the Levites, carriers of the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai saying, 26“Take this scroll of the Torah, and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 27for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Indeed, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against Adonai—how much more then after my death? 28Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officials, so that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29For I know that after my death you will certainly act corruptly and turn aside from the way I have commanded you. So evil will fall upon you in the latter days, because you will do what is evil in the sight of Adonai, provoking Him to anger by the work of your hands.” 30Moses spoke in the hearing of the whole community of Israel the words of this song, right to the end:

–from Deuteronomy 31

When we have God, then we can see how 1 can put 1,000 to flight and when we partner with another put 10,000 to flight. So work together to finish the work God has planned! Don’t try to go it along! Find a way to delegate the effort to the team. It’s not about fair, for the battle belongs to the Lord! Don’t worry about payback for vengeance and payback are God’s.What will you do? Will you go it God’s way or deal with the consequences of your disobedience?

The Song of Moses

1“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak! Let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2May my teaching trickle like rain, my speech distill like dew— like gentle rain on new grass, like showers on tender plants. 3For I will proclaim Adonai’s Name, ascribe greatness to our God! 4The Rock—blameless is His work. Indeed, all His ways are just. God of faithfulness without iniquity, righteous and upright is He. 5Did it corrupt Him? No! The blemish is His children’s— a generation crooked and twisted. 6Is this how you pay back Adonai, O foolish, unwise people? Isn’t He your Father who ransomed you? He made you and established you. 7“Remember the days of antiquity, understand the years across generations. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will say to you. 8When Elyon gave nations their heritage, when He separated the sons of man, He set boundaries for the people by the number of Bnei-Yisrael. 9But Adonai’s portion is His people— Jacob is the share of His inheritance. 10He found him in the wilderness land, in the void of a howling waste. He surrounded him, cared for him, guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, He spreads His wings, catches him, lifts him up on His pinions. 12Adonai alone guided him— there was no foreign god with him. 13He made him mount the heights of the land. so he ate the produce of the field. He suckled him with honey from a rock, with oil from a flinty boulder. 14Butter of cattle and milk of a flock, with fat of lambs, rams of the Bashan and he-goats, with fat of the kidneys of wheat, and blood of grapes you drank. 15But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked— you got fat, you grew thick, you gorged! He forsook God who made him. He mocked the Rock of his salvation. 16They made him jealous with strangers, with abominations they angered Him. 17They sacrificed to demons, a non-god, gods they had not known— to new ones who came in lately, ones your fathers had not dreaded. 18The Rock who birthed you, you ignored. You forgot God who brought you forth. 19“Adonai saw, and He spurned His sons and His daughters out of vexation. 20He said, “I will hide My face from them, I want to see their hereafter. For they are an upside down generation, children with no faithfulness in them. 21They made Me jealous with a non-god. They vexed Me with airy idols. So I will make them jealous with a non-people. With a foolish nation I will vex them. 22For fire has ignited in My nostrils— it will burn to Sheol beneath, devour the earth and her produce, and scorch the foundations of mountains. 23I will heap calamities upon them. With My arrows I will finish them. 24Wasted by famine, ravaged by plague and pestilence so bitter, fangs of beasts I’ll let loose on them, with venom of creepers in the dust. 25Outside the sword deals death, and inside terror— to both young men and young women, infants, with men of gray hair. 26I would have said, ‘I will hack them to pieces, make the memory of them cease from mankind,’ 27except I dread the taunt of the enemy, lest their foes might misconstrue— lest they say, ‘Our hand is held high, and Adonai has not done all this.’ 28For they are a nation lacking counsel, among them there is no understanding. 29“If they were wise, they would discern this, they would understand their hereafter. 30How can one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them and Adonai had handed them over? 31Surely their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies judge. 32For their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the terraces of Gomorrah. Its grapes are grapes of poison— bitter clusters on it. 33Venom of serpents is their wine— poison of vipers so cruel. 34Is it not stored up with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? 35Vengeance is Mine, and payback, for the time when their foot staggers. Surely their day of disaster is near— what is prepared rushes on them. 36For Adonai will judge His people— for His servants, He will relent when He sees that strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the “rock” they took refuge in? 38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libation? Let them rise up and help you and be a shelter over you! 39See now that I, I am He! There are no other gods beside Me. I bring death and give life, I have wounded but I will heal, and none can rescue from My hand.’ 40“Yes, I lift My hand up to heaven and say, ‘As I Myself live forever, 41when I sharpen My lightning sword and My hand seizes it in judgment, I will return vengeance on My foes, and those who hate Me I will pay back. 42I will make My arrows drunk from blood, and My sword will devour flesh— the blood of the slain and the captive, the head of the leaders of the enemy.’ 43Make His people rejoice, O nations, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will return vengeance on His foes, and atone for the land of His people.” 44Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people—he and Joshua son of Nun.

45When Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them, “Put in your hearts all the words that I call as witness against you today—that you may command your children to keep and do all the words of this Torah. 47For it is not an empty thing for you, because it is your life! By this word you will prolong your days on the land, which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.” 48On that very day, Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 49“Go up this mountain of the Avarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab facing Jericho, and see the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael as a possession. 50On the mountain that you are ascending, there be gathered to your people—as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people— 51because you both broke faith with Me among Bnei-Yisrael at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of Bnei-Yisrael. 52For you will see the land from afar, but you will not enter there, into the land that I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael.”

–from Deuteronomy 32

What a great message yesterday to speak of the truth of the spiritual battle taking place and the importance of a godly mother. Since the battle isn’t against flesh and blood, we need to put on the right equipment for the situation. The belt of truth so that there is integrity, The breastplate of righteousness protecting all the vital parts, The shoes of the gospel to allow us to stand firm, The shield of faith to defend against the fiery darts of the enemy, The helmet of peace to protect our minds and The sword of the spirit which is God’s Word. Some may see them as defensive weapons, but they will allow you to stand firm and move forward for the glory of God. So press on and don’t give up! Don’t lose hope or faith! Stand firm!

So as we have found favor with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, let’s not be burdened by the yoke of slavery! Let’s stand firm! Let’s be lead by the Spirit! Let’s live out the fullness of God’s calling by loving others as ourselves! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s not be self-centered! Let’s step up to God’s higher calling! Let’s not be trying to instigate provoke others into envy.

Freedom Based on Favor

1For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again. 2Listen—I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Messiah will be of no benefit to you. 3Again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised, that he is obligated to keep the whole Torah. 4You who are trying to be justified by Torah have been cut off from Messiah; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Ruach, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Messiah Yeshua, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any meaning—but only trust and faithfulness expressing itself through love. 7You were running a great race! Who blocked you from following the truth? 8This detour doesn’t come from the One who calls you. 9A little hametz works its way through the whole batch of dough! 10I am confident in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he is. 11As for me, brothers and sisters, if I still proclaim circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case, the stumbling block of the cross has been eliminated. 12I only wish those who are agitating you would castrate themselves!

Walking by the Ruach

13Brothers and sisters, you were called to freedom—only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Torah can be summed up in a single saying: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not destroyed by one another. 16But I say, walk by the Ruach, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Ruach, but the Ruach sets its desire against the flesh—for these are in opposition to one another, so that you cannot do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Ruach, you are not under law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, 20idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach. 26Let us not become conceited—provoking one another, envying one another.

–from Galatians 5

Let’s be producing good fruit from the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law) rather than allowing the desires of the flesh to have their way (sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these) and lose out on everything God has for us!

 

 

 

We were never meant to do it alone!


So will you share the burden? Will you share the load? Will you reach out to help? Will you ask for help? Will you be humble enough to serve someone else? Will you be humble enough to ask for help and let others know there is a need? You were never meant to do it alone! Everyone has been given gifts and talents that are available to help others too! Everyone has been created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! We are commanded to be selfless rather than selfish! We are command to put away self-centeredness so that we can have relationships that won’t fall apart!

In the beginning we hear about it this way…

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” –from Genesis 2:18

We read in John…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. –from John 13:34

We read in Galatians…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
–from Galatians 6:2

We read in 1 John…

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

So let’s consider others as we start this day! Let’s consider what they are going through! Let’s be less focused on self and more focused on how we can share the burden, how we can love one another, and how we can go thru this without trying to do it alone!

Remember what God said to us:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –from Deuteronomy 31:6


Today’s reading starts with delegating work because we aren’t supposed to do it all on our own! We each have our part to play in the larger plan! Will you answer the call? Will you be obedient to the call? Will you choose to live selfless rather than looking for what’s in it for you? I remember at one of the companies I have worked at being in a workshop and it talked about motivators for people and they had an acronym WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). As I look back now and reflect, it seems like the wrong way to think, however, it does let you know that in many cases people are thinking that when being asked to do something. Do you realize when you give there is something for you? Do you realize when you serve there is something for you? Do you realize when you help there is something for you? Do you realize when you ask there is something in it for them? It’s not all about you!

Preparing the Sanctuary to Move

1Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 2“Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families and by their ancestral households, 3everyone from 30 years of age to 50, all who come to serve doing the work in the Tent of Meeting. 4“This is the task of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting—the most holy things. 5Whenever the camp is about to move out, Aaron and his sons are to take down the shielding curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it. 6Then they are to cover this with porpoise hide, then spread over it a cloth of solid blue. Then they are to put its poles in place. 7“Then over the table of the Presence they are to spread a solid blue cloth, then lay on it the plates, ladles, bowls, and jars for the drink offering. The bread that is continually there is to remain there. 8Over them they are to spread a solid scarlet cloth, cover it with a covering of porpoise hide, then install its poles. 9“Then they are to take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for light, along with its lamps, tongs, snuffers and oil jars that they use to tend to it. 10They then are to wrap it and all its accessories in a cover of porpoise hide and place it all on a carrying frame. 11“Over the golden altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with a covering of porpoise hide, then put its poles in place. 12“They are to take all the utensils used for the service of the ministry of the Sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover them with porpoise hide, and place them on a carrying frame. 13“They are to remove the ashes from the altar, then spread over it a purple cloth. 14They are to put onto it all the utensils with which they tend to the altar, among them the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. They are to spread over it a covering of porpoise hide and install its poles. 15“When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the Sanctuary and all its holy implements, and when the camp is ready to move out, after this the sons of Kohath may come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy items or they will die. These are the task of the sons of Kohath with regard to the Tent of Meeting. 16“Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen will have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to have charge of the Tabernacle and all that is in it, including its holy items and all its implements.” 17Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 18“You are not to let the families of the tribe of the Kohathites be cut off from among the Levites. 19Do this for them so that they may live and not die whenever they approach the most holy items–-Aaron and his sons are to go into the Sanctuary and assign each man his job and his responsibility. 20But the Kohathites are not to go in to look at what is holy, not even momentarily, or they will die.”

Naso

21Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 22“Take a census also of the sons of Gershon, by their ancestral households and by their families. 23Count all the males from 30 to 50 years of age, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 24This is the task of the Gershonite families in working and carrying burdens. 25They are to carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, its covering, the outer covering of porpoise hide, the curtains for the entrance for the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains surrounding the courtyard and the altar, the curtain for the entrance, the ropes and all the equipment used in its operations. They are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27The sons of the Gershonites are to do all their tasks, whether carrying or doing other work, according to the word of Aaron and his sons. You are to assign to them all that is their responsibility to carry. 28This is the duty of the families of the sons of the Gershonites regarding the Tent of Meeting. Their duty will be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen. 29Next, count the sons of Merari, according to their families and their ancestral houses, 30sons 30 years old and upward to 50, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 31This is their task in the service of the Tent of Meeting: the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, 32as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard, plus their bases, tent pegs, ropes, and all their paraphernalia with everything related to their operation. Assign to them by name their duties and tasks. 33This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari as they work under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen.” 34So Moses, Aaron and the princes of the community counted the sons of the Kohathites according to their families and their ancestral households. 35All the men who came to do the service of the Tent of Meeting, from 30 to 50 years of age, 36were counted by families—2,750. 37This was the total of those in the families of the Kohathites, every one serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted them according to the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 38The sons of Gershon were counted according to their families and their ancestral households. 39Males from 30 years old and upward to 50, all those coming into the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting, 40numbered according to their families and ancestral households 2,630. 41These were those counted from the families of the sons of Gershon, each serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted according to the mouth of Adonai. 42Those were counted from the families and ancestral households of the sons of Merari, 43from 30 years of age upward to 50, who came to the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting. 44Numbered by their families, they were 3,200. 45These were those numbered from the families of the sons of Merari by Moses and Aaron in accordance with the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 46Thus Moses, Aaron and the princes of Israel counted all the Levites by their families and by their ancestral houses. 47All the men from 30 to 50 years old who came to do the work of the service and of carrying the Tent of Meeting 48numbered 8,580. 49From the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand, each man was assigned his work and his burden to carry. So they were counted, as Adonai commanded Moses.
–from Numbers 4

Will you do your part?  Will you answer the call? Will you do your part? Will you be a good steward of what God has given you?

Today’s reading continues into Psalms with  …

The Victorious King

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2Adonai, the king rejoices in Your strength! How greatly he delights in Your salvation. 3You granted him his heart’s desire, and You did not withhold the request of his lips. Selah 4For You met him with the best blessings. You set on his head a crown of pure gold. 5He asked You for life, You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. 6His glory is great through Your salvation. Honor and majesty You bestow on him. 7For You bestow on him eternal blessings, gladden him with joy in Your presence. 8For the king trusts in Adonai, and in the lovingkindness of Elyon he will not be shaken. 9Your hand will find all your enemies. Your right hand will overtake those who hate You. 10You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your appearing. In His wrath Adonai will swallow them up and fire will consume them. 11You destroy their offspring from earth, their seed from the children of men. 12Though they intended evil against You and devised a plot, they cannot succeed. 13For You make them turn their backs. You aim Your bowstrings at their faces. 14Be exalted, Adonai, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your might.
–from Psalms 21

Will you live to glorify God? Will you live to be a blessing? Will you live trusting Him? Will you do it His way?

Today’s reading concludes with John…

Fish for Breakfast with the Risen One

1After these things, Yeshua revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Now here is how He appeared.
2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in the Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two of the other disciples were together.
3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” “We’re coming with you too,” they said. They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
4At dawn, Yeshua stood on the beach; but the disciples didn’t know that it was Yeshua.
5So Yeshua said to them, “Boys, you don’t happen to have any fish, do you?” “No,” they answered Him.
6He said to them, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat, and you’ll find some.” So they threw the net, and they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
7Therefore the disciple whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around himself—for he was stripped down for work—and threw himself into the sea.
8But the other disciples came in the boat from about two hundred cubits offshore, dragging the net full of fish.
9So when they got out onto the land, they saw a charcoal fire with fish placed on it, and bread.
10Yeshua said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.”
11Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to shore. There were 153 fish, many of them big; but the net was not broken.
12Yeshua said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing it was the Lord.
13Yeshua comes and takes the bread and gives it to them, and likewise the fish.
14This was now the third time that Yeshua was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Love Restores Peter

15When they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs!”
16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Take care of My sheep!”
17He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him for a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed My sheep!”
18“Amen, amen I tell you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
19Now this He said to indicate by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God. And after this, Yeshua said to him, “Follow Me!”
20Peter, turning around, sees the disciple following. This was the one whom Yeshua loved, who also had reclined against Yeshua’s chest at the seder meal and said, “Master, who is the one who is betraying You?”
21Seeing him, Peter said to Yeshua, “Lord, what about him?”
22Yeshua said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
23Therefore this saying went out among the brothers and sisters, that this disciple would not die. Yet Yeshua did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

John’s Witness

24This is the disciple who is an eyewitness of these things and wrote these things. We know that his testimony is true.
25There are also many other things that Yeshua did. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself will have room for the books being written!
–from John 21

Will you be a peacemaker? Will you be someone who helps setup reconciliation? Will you let love be your language? Will you allow love to restore others? Will you allow God to testify through your words, your actions, and your thoughts? Do you love Him?

Did you realize that selfishness is the top reason for relationships falling apart? Do you realize that until you take care of it, no matter where you turn, you are bringing that baggage with you and setting yourself up to repeat it? So what will you do about it?

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t try to carry it all on your own!


None of us were created to go it alone! None of us were setup to do it all by ourselves! That’s why we have one another! Are you willing to look out for the good of others? Are you willing to speak up? Are you willing to speak out? That’s why there are people in our lives who will speak truth in love after seeing how we are living in order to help. Are you willing to allow others to help? Are you willing to give up some control? Are you willing to delegate?

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. notice what large letters i use as i write these closing words in my own handwriting. Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples. As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus. Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

–from Galatians 6:1-18

Today’s reading takes this from the leadership and delegation side…Work with God and figure out who you can ask to step up and help. Work with God to help you find people who have integrity, honesty, who fear and trust God, and who are capable. Who could be part of managing the different parts, the different areas, the thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Let them deal with the smaller items so that you can focus on the bigger ones based on their abilities.

Jethro’s Advice

1Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and Moses’ father-in-law, heard about everything God had done for Moses and for His people Israel, and how Adonai had brought Israel out of Egypt. ( 2Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken in Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away 3with her two sons. One was named Gershom because he said, “I have been an outsider in a foreign land,” 4and the name of the other was Eliezer because he said, “For my father’s God is my help , and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”) 5So Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6He had told Moses, “I, Jethro your father-in-law, am coming to you, along with your wife and her two sons.” 7So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, then bowed down and kissed him. They asked each other about their welfare, and went into the tent. 8Moses told his father-in-law all that Adonai had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, as well as all the travail that had come upon them along the way, and how Adonai delivered them. 9Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness that Adonai had shown to Israel, since He had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10Jethro said, “Blessed be Adonai, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11Now I know that Adonai is greater than all gods, since they had acted arrogantly against them.” 12Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, presented a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron also came along with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God. 13The next day, Moses sat to judge the people, and they stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What’s this you’re doing to the people? Why sit by yourself, alone, with all the people standing around from morning until evening?” 15Moses answered his father-in-law, “It’s because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16When they have an issue, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, so I make them understand God’s statutes and His laws.” 17But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you’re doing is no good. 18You will surely wear yourself out, as well as these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone, by yourself. 19Now listen to my voice—I will give you advice, and may God be with you! You, represent the people before God, and bring their cases to God. 20Enlighten them as to the statutes and the laws, and show them the way by which they must walk and the work they must do. 21But you should seek out capable men out of all the people—men who fear God, men of truth, who hate bribery. Appoint them to be rulers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22Let them judge the people all the time. Then let every major case be brought to you, but every minor case they can judge for themselves. Make it easier for yourself, as they bear the burden with you. 23If you do this thing as God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their places in shalom.” 24So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25Moses chose capable men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26They judged the people all the time. The hard cases they brought to Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. 27Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went on his way to his own land.
–from Exodus 18

Are you in a position where you need to be able to delegate? Are you in a position where you need to have a tough conversation with someone? Are you willing to do what is best for the two of you? Are you willing to do what is best for the greater good? Consider where you are at! Consider what is needed! Consider what can be done! Ask God for wisdom! Act out in wisdom and in truth, speaking in love!

Will you remember what God has done? Will you trust Him? Will listen to His voice? Will you obey what He commands?

Theophany at Sinai

1In the third month after Bnei-Yisrael had gone out of the land of Egypt, that same day they arrived at the wilderness of Sinai. 2They travelled from Rephidim, came into to the wilderness of Sinai, and set up camp in the wilderness. Israel camped there, right in front of the mountain. 3Moses went up to God, and Adonai called to him from the mountain saying, “Say this to the house of Jacob, and tell Bnei-Yisrael, 4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself. 5Now then, if you listen closely to My voice, and keep My covenant, then you will be My own treasure from among all people, for all the earth is Mine. 6So as for you, you will be to Me a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you are to speak to Bnei-Yisrael.” 7So Moses went, called for the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that Adonai had commanded him. 8All the people answered together and said, “Everything that Adonai has spoken, we will do.” Then Moses reported the words of the people to Adonai. 9Adonai said to Moses, “I am about to come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to Adonai. 10Adonai said to Moses, “Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing. 11Be ready for the third day. For on the third day Adonai will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12You are to set boundaries for the people all around, saying, ‘Be very careful not to go up onto the mountain, or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death. 13Not a hand is to touch it, but he will surely be stoned or shot through. Whether it is an animal or a man, it will not live.’ When the shofar sounds, they may come up to the mountain.” 14Then Moses went down from the mountain to the people, consecrated them, and then, they washed their clothing. 15He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day. Do not draw near your wives.” 16In the morning of the third day, there was thundering and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and the blast of an exceedingly loud shofar. All the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the lowest part of the mountain. 18Now the entire Mount Sinai was in smoke, because Adonai had descended upon it in fire. The smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace. The whole mountain quaked greatly. 19When the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him with a thunderous sound. 20Then Adonai came down onto Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Adonai called Moses to the top of the mountain, so Moses went up. 21Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to see Adonai, and many of them die. 22Even the kohanim who come near to Adonai must consecrate themselves, so that Adonai does not break out against them.” 23Moses said to Adonai, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You are the One who warned us, saying, ‘Set boundaries around the mountain, and consecrate it.’” 24Then Adonai said to him, “Go down. You are to come back up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the kohanim and the people break through to come up to Adonai, or He will break out against them.” 25So Moses went down to the people and told them.
–from Exodus 19

Will you remember? Will you forget? Will you obey? Will you disobey? Will you trust? Will you fear? How will you choose to live? Will you take time to daily grasp the glory of God? Will you take a moment to look around and thank God? Will you balance our your time to ensure you are actually working on the right things?

Glory from Heaven and Torah

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky shows His handiwork. 3Day to day they speak, night to night they reveal knowledge. 4There is no speech, no words, where their voice goes unheard. 5Their voice has gone out to all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens He pitched a tent for the sun. 6It is like a bridegroom coming out of his bridal chamber. It is like a strong man rejoicing to run his course. 7It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other end. Nothing is hidden from its heat. 8The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of Adonai is trustworthy, making the simple wise. 9The precepts of Adonai are right, giving joy to the heart. The mitzvot of Adonai are pure, giving light to the eyes. 10The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of Adonai are true and altogether righteous. 11They are more desirable than gold, yes, more than much pure gold! They are sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 12Moreover by them Your servant is warned. In keeping them there is great reward. 13Who can discern his errors? Cleanse me of hidden faults. 14Also keep Your servant from willful sins. May they not have dominion over me. Then I will be blameless, free from great transgression. 15May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, Adonai, my Rock and my Redeemer.
–from Psalms 19

How will you glorify God today? How will you live so that He is glorified? God is good! His plans are good! His purpose is good! So put your hope and your trust in Him!

Shalom with God through Messiah

1Therefore, having been made righteous by trusting, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 2Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3And not only that, but we also boast in suffering—knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Ruach ha-Kodesh who was given to us. 6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. 7For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man someone might even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. 9How much more then, having now been set right by His blood, shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him. 10For if, while we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Yet Sin Reigns through Death

12So then, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, in the same way death spread to all men because all sinned. 13For up until the Torah, sin was in the world; but sin does not count as sin when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in a manner similar to the violation of Adam, who is a pattern of the One to come. 15But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if many died because of the transgression of one man, how much more did the grace of God overflow to many through the gift of one Man—Yeshua the Messiah. 16Moreover, the gift is not like what happened through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment from one violation resulted in condemnation; but on the other hand, the gracious gift following many transgressions resulted in justification. 17For if by the one man’s transgression, death reigned through the one, how much more shall those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Messiah Yeshua. 18So then, through the transgression of one, condemnation came to all men; likewise, through the righteousness of one came righteousness of life to all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man, many will be set right forever. 20Now the Torah came in so that transgression might increase. But where sin increased, grace overflowed even more— 21so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
–from Romans 5

In the good times and the bad. In the easy times and the tough times. Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds. Remember to be an overcomer as Jesus overcame the earth.

So let’s be ready! Let’s come prepared! Let’s bring what we need so that we are ready for the day in which we live! Let’s be prepared! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s be filled up so that we can endure what is going to happen! Let’s not be surprised! Let’s not miss out! Let’s be prepared and rejoice! Do not grow weary in doing what is right!

Parable of the Ten Virgins

1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3For when the foolish ones took their lamps, they took no oil with them. 4But the wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5“Now while the bridegroom was taking a long time, they all got drowsy and started falling asleep. 6But in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8Now the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, since our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise ones replied, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.’ 10“But while they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. 11Now later, the other virgins came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open up for us!’ 12“But he replied, ‘Amen, I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
–from Matthew 25

Let’s not waste the gifts and talents God has given us! Let’s not lose the hope that is within us! Let’s multiply! Let’s increase! Let’s be good stewards of what we have been given! Let’s glorify God!

Parable of the Talents

14“For it is like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and handed over his possessions to them. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. 16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them and gained five more. 17In the same way, the one with two gained two more. 18But the one who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19“Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20The one who had received the five talents came up and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed me five talents. Look, I’ve gained five more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’ 22“The one who had received the two talents also came up and said, ‘Master, you handed me two talents. Look, I’ve gained two more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’ 24“Then the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25So I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26“But his master responded, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you should have brought my money to the brokers, and when I came I would have received it back with interest. 28Therefore take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For to the one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance. But from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30Throw the worthless servant out, into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
–from Matthew 25

So let’s be ready! Let’s be prepared! And let’s see the glory of God!

The Righteous Judge

31“Now when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left. 34Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in? Or naked and clothe You? 39When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 41Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they too will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not care for You?’ 45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ 46These shall go off to everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.”
–from Matthew 25

 

 

Don’t forget to give thanks!


Ever received an incredible gift? Ever been given something so priceless? Ever asked for something and then received it?

Did you say thank you? Did you give thanks to the one who gave it to you? Did you receive it and just move on?

Today’s reading start on just such a topic…So

Make sure you don’t forget to give thanks!

Jesus Heals Ten Men

11As Jesus made his way to Jerusalem, he went along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12He was going into a village when he was met by ten men suffering from a dreaded skin disease. They stood at a distance 13and shouted, “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!” 14Jesus saw them and said to them, “Go and let the priests examine you.”On the way they were made clean. 15When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. 17Jesus spoke up, “There were ten who were healed; where are the other nine? 18Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks to God?” 19And Jesus said to him, “Get up and go; your faith has made you well.” –from Luke 17

Consider what you have received. Are you sharing it? Are you mentoring others in the way? Are you delegating responsibility to others who can spread the good news that you have received? Are you running to win? Are you fighting like everyone’s lives depends on it? Are you being obedient? Are you following the rules? Are you staying on track? Are you acknowledging Him?  Today’s reading continues with…

A Loyal Soldier of Christ Jesus

1As for you, my son, be strong through the grace that is ours in union with Christ Jesus. 2Take the teachings that you heard me proclaim in the presence of many witnesses, and entrust them to reliable people, who will be able to teach others also. 3Take your part in suffering, as a loyal soldier of Christ Jesus. 4A soldier on active duty wants to please his commanding officer and so does not get mixed up in the affairs of civilian life. 5An athlete who runs in a race cannot win the prize unless he obeys the rules. 6The farmer who has done the hard work should have the first share of the harvest. 7Think about what I am saying, because the Lord will enable you to understand it all. 8Remember Jesus Christ, who was raised from death, who was a descendant of David, as is taught in the Good News I preach. 9Because I preach the Good News, I suffer and I am even chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not in chains, 10and so I endure everything for the sake of God’s chosen people, in order that they too may obtain the salvation that comes through Christ Jesus and brings eternal glory. 11This is a true saying:
“If we have died with him, we shall also live with him. 12If we continue to endure, we shall also rule with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us. 13If we are not faithful, he remains faithful, because he cannot be false to himself.” –from 2 Timothy 2

So let’s acknowledge Him in all our ways and allow Him to make our path straight!

Will you celebrate and give thanks for what you have been given? Will you risk losing what you have? Make sure your heart is right! Make sure you are walking in alignment with God’s will for your life! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! When we put first things first, then everything else can fall into place.

16A gracious woman is respected, but a woman without virtue is a disgrace. Lazy people will never have money, but aggressive people will get rich. 17You do yourself a favor when you are kind. If you are cruel, you only hurt yourself. 18Wicked people do not really gain anything, but if you do what is right, you are certain to be rewarded. 19Anyone who is determined to do right will live, but anyone who insists on doing wrong will die. 20The Lord hates evil-minded people, but loves those who do right. 21You can be sure that evil people will be punished, but the righteous will escape. 22Beauty in a woman without good judgment is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. 23What good people want always results in good; when the wicked get what they want, everyone is angry. 24Some people spend their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer. 25Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped. 26People curse someone who hoards grain, waiting for a higher price, but they praise the one who puts it up for sale. 27If your goals are good, you will be respected, but if you are looking for trouble, that is what you will get. 28Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn, but the righteous will prosper like the leaves of summer. 29Those who bring trouble on their families will have nothing at the end. Foolish people will always be servants to the wise. 30Righteousness gives life, but violence takes it away. 31Those who are good are rewarded here on earth, so you can be sure that wicked and sinful people will be punished.  –from Proverbs 11