Be who you were created to be!

You were create unique for a unique purpose! You were created to be different from everyone else! You were created on purpose! You were created with purpose! You were created for a purpose!

Don’t compare yourself with others! Don’t compare what you have to what others have!

We are called to be more like Jesus! We are called to raise the average! We are called to be in the world, but not of the world!

We are supposed to be the same, we were created to be different!

We are supposed to be different from this world by being more like Jesus!

Don’t fall into the lies of what the world says is desirable! Let’s focus on things that will last! Love, Faith, and Hope, where the greatest is love! But not the world’s love but the unconditional love! Let’s be salt and light into this world around us! Let’s allow our lights to shine! Let’s be aware and wakeful of what is going on around us! Let’s be self controlled and not be tempted into the darkness! Let’s be encouraging and uplifting! Let’s be patient! Let’s look for the best in everyone and trying to pull it out of everyone! Let’s be joyful and help the world to learn how to be thankful!

Dare to be Different

Day 285: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Be a ‘stranger’ on earthPsalm 119:17-24
  2. Live differently1 Thessalonians 5:1-28
  3. Speak differentlyJeremiah 25:15-26:24

Today’s reading in God’s word comes from…

Psalms 119:17-24

1 Thessalonians 5

Jeremiah 25:15-38

Jeremiah 26

Will you make a difference today?

How will you make a difference today? What will you do to impact in a positive way someone who comes across your path? What will you say to impact in a positive way someone who comes across your path? What will you make happen today that will impact the lives of the people around you in a positive way? How will you make a difference today?

It may not be easy but it will be worth it - Make a difference

Do you realize that sometimes what we do makes a difference just not in the way we expected? Do you realize that sometimes what we say makes a difference just not in the way we were hoping? Do you think before you speak or act? Do you consider the outcome or the consequences of your decision before you speak or act? What type of a difference are you really trying to make? to society? to your family? to your friends? to your coworkers?

Imagine if your obituary was accidentally written and published before you died and you got to hear what would be said about you and how you would be remembered. What would it say? How would it impact the rest of your life? Would you need to change things up? Would you continue to live the same way? Would you be surprised by anything that would have gotten published? Would you be surprised by anything people would be saying or posting be it on the internet via social networks or the news or somewhere else? Might it shock you into changing? Might it give you peace because you learn that you actually made a positive impact on the world in and through your life? What would it say? What do you hope it would say? Is there anything that you would consider changing now before it was too late in order to make a difference through positively impacting the world around you?

Today’s devotional speaks about Alfred Nobel and how he made a change because just such a thing happened in order to turnaround the legacy he would leave behind…

Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) is best known for the Nobel Peace Prize. Less well known is the fact that Alfred Nobel also invented dynamite. As well as a chemist, engineer and innovator, he was a weapons’ manufacturer.

In 1888, Alfred’s brother Ludvig died. A French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite, stating: ‘The merchant of death is dead… Dr Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.’

Alfred Nobel was devastated by the foretaste of how he would be remembered. His last will and testament set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel prizes. He gave the equivalent of US $250 million to fund such prizes. Alfred Nobel had the rare opportunity to evaluate his life near its end and live long enough to change that assessment.

Have you ever wondered what difference your life might make? How can your life bring blessing to other people? How can you change the world for the better? How can your life be of ultimate lasting value? How can we lead fruitful lives?

–from Day 246: Bible In One Year 2017

What legacy will you leave behind? What lasting value will it make on the world? What fruits will your life produce?

Consider the fruits of the spirit…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So let’s live lives that won’t trip others up! Let’s live lives that are pure, with understanding, with patience, with kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by sincere love. Let’s live in honesty! Let’s live out our lives serving God as living sacrifices! Let’s live our lives as temples of the Holy Spirit! Let’s get rid of anything that will defile our body or spirit and so we can live lives that will glorify God and point others to Him!

Jesus made a difference, a difference that will last for eternity! Jesus is the vine and when we accepted Him, we have been grafted to it! Let Him and His love fill you to overflowing so that you will produce fruit that will make a difference to the world around you!

Is it worth it if you can make a difference in just one person’s life today? Does it matter if you can only make a difference in one person’s life today? It does to that one!

Starfish story ... you can make a difference
It makes a difference to that one

Make a Difference

Day 246: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Fruitfulness comes from faithfulness to God … Psalm 105:12-22
  2. Fruitfulness comes from the Holy Spirit … 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1
  3. Fruitfulness comes from closeness to Jesus … Isaiah 3:1-5:7

Today’s morning reading comes from …

What are you asking for? Do you realize what will happen if you get what you want?

Consider closely what you are asking for. Consider the consequences and the reason for the ask. Consider the benefits and the drawbacks. Consider how your priorities should be. Consider your needs vs your wants. What are you asking for? Do you realize what will happen if you get what you want? What is your heart in that area? What is your intent? What is your reason? What is your purpose?

Is God enough? Is there any reason you might try to do God plus? Is there any reason why you might try inserting someone else into part of the areas that God takes care of? Are you rejecting him?

Today’s reading start in 1 Samuel when the people of Israel are asking for a king…

Israel Demands a King

1Now when Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second Abijah—they were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain—they took bribes and perverted justice. 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, “Behold, you have grown old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us—like all the nations.” 6But the matter was displeasing in Samuel’s eyes when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to Adonai. 7Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, rather they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8Like all the deeds that they have done since the day I brought them out of Egypt to this day—forsaking Me and worshiping other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9So now, listen to their voice. However, you must earnestly forewarn them, and declare to them the rulings of the king who will reign over them.” 10Now Samuel reported all the words of Adonai to the people who were asking him for a king. 11“This will be the practice of the king that will reign over you,” he said. “He will draft your sons and assign them as his charioteers and horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. 12He will appoint them as commanders of thousands and captains of fifties, also some to plow his fields, reap his harvest, make his weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13Also he will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks and bakers. 14He will seize the best of your fields, vineyards and olive groves, and give them to his courtiers. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage and give it to his officials and slaves. 16He will also take your male and female servants, your best young men and your donkeys and make them do his work. 17He will also take the tenth of your flocks. Then you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When the day comes and you cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, Adonai will not answer you on that day.” 19But the people refused to listen to Samuel, and they said, “No! But a king should be over us! 20So we may become like all the nations—having our king who will judge us, go out before us and fight our battles.” 21After Samuel heard all the words of the people, he reported them back in the hearing of Adonai. 22Adonai said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint a king to reign for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, each one to his town.”

–from 1 Samuel 8

Consider the warning signs. Consider the consequences. Realize you will need to live with your decision. We all have free wills and as such we get to choose, so choose wisely!

Do you realize that in the midst of the daily things, God can raise you up? Do you realize within the mundane or boring tasks of a day, God can open up a door you didn’t even realize was available? God has a plan! God has a purpose! How will you respond? How will you act? How will you be? When you are wondering or having questions where do you turn? Will you turn and ask God? Will you ask a friend who has godly wisdom? Will you ask someone who has faith and will pray and give you an answer?

Saul Meets Samuel

1Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel son of Zeror son of Becorath son of Aphiah son of a Benjamite. He was a mighty man of valor 2and he had a son whose name was Saul—young and handsome—there was no one among Bnei-Yisrael better than him. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. 3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now one of the servants with you, get up and look for the donkeys.” 4So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of Benjamin, but still did not find them. 5When they arrived in the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant with him, “Come, let’s go back—otherwise my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” 6Then his servant said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this town, and he is a man held in honor—everything he says is sure to come true. Now, let’s go there. Perhaps he’ll tell us the way we should go.” 7Then said Saul to his servant, “But look, if we go, what would we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sacks, and there is nothing to bring to the man of God as a present. What do we have?” 8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way.” 9(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let’s go to the seer”—for today’s prophet was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said. Come, let’s go!” So they went to the town where the man of God was. 11As they went up the hill to the town, they found some girls going out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?” 12They answered them and said, “He is there, ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come today to the town because people have a sacrifice at the high place today. 13As soon as you enter the town, you’ll find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat until he comes, because he must first bless the sacrifice—afterward the guests can eat. So now, get up, for you will find him at once.” 14So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place. 15One day before Saul came, Adonai had revealed to Samuel saying: 16“Tomorrow about this time, I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you will anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. I have observed My people, because their cry has come to Me.” 17When Samuel saw Saul, Adonai spoke to him, “Behold, this is the man I told you about. This one will govern My people.” 18Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate and asked, “Tell me, please, where the seer’s house is?” 19Samuel answered Saul by saying, “I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. For today you will eat with me. In the morning when I send you off, I will tell you everything that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys that you lost three days ago, don’t set your heart on them, for they have been found. Now, for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” 21Saul answered by saying, “Am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my clan is the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? So why do you say such things to me?” 22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall, and gave them a place at the head of the guests, who numbered about 30 people. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you and told you to set aside.” 24So the cook took up the thigh, raised it, and set it before Saul. Then he said, “Here is what has been reserved! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept until this appointed time for you, since I said, ‘I have invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25When they came down from the high place to the town, he spoke with Saul on the roof. 26They rose early, and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof saying, “Get up, so I may send you off.” So Saul got up, and both of them, he and Samuel, went outside. 27As they were going down toward the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell your servant to go ahead of us and pass on, but as for you, stand still awhile, so that I may proclaim to you the word of God.”

–from 1 Samuel 9

Don’t let success or position or power go to your head! Stay humble! Stay with a servant’s heart! Don’t try to go it alone, put your trust in God! Success can be one of the biggest challenges and struggles in life! So realize it, prepare for it, and press through it with God and in God’s way!

Do you realize how God’s views are different from those of the world! Do you realize the importance of attitude? Do you realize it is possible to be content in every situation? Do you realize that you have a purpose? Do you realize that you are to make a difference? Do you realize that you are supposed to be different? Do you realize that you are being called to a higher standard? Do you realize your response is supposed to be different? Do you realize you are to respond with love? Do you realize that means even if someone is attacking or hating you? So what will you do now that you do know?

Drash on the Mountain

1Now when Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Called to Be Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house.
16In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Filling the Law to the Fullest

17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!
21“You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’
22But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be subject to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be subject to fiery Gehenna.
23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
25“Make friends quickly with your opponent while you are with him on the way. Otherwise, your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the assistant, and you will be thrown into prison.
26Amen, I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last penny!
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29And if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body be thrown into Gehenna.
30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body go into Gehenna.
31“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall carry out your oaths to Adonai.’
34But I tell you, do not swear at all—not by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
37But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”

Overcoming Evil with Good

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.
40And the one wanting to sue you and to take your shirt, let him also have your coat.
41Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they?
47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they?
48Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

–from Matthew 5




Whose side are you on?

Everyday we are faced with choices. Everyday we choose. Are you consistent? Are you aligned? Are you moving forward? Are you moving back? Are you moving to the left? Are you moving to the right? Whose side are you on? What is driving your decisions and direction?

Today’s reading starts in the book of Judges…

Bloodshed of Abimelech and Shechem

1Now Abimelech son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem, to his mother’s brothers, and spoke to them and the whole clan of his mother’s father’s household saying, 2“Speak now, in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem: Which is better for you, that 70 men—all the sons of Jerubbaal—rule over you, or that a single man rules over you? Remember also that I am your flesh and bone.” 3When his mother’s brothers discussed all these words of his in the ears of all Shechem’s leaders, their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” 4So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal-berith. Abimelech then hired idle and reckless fellows, who followed him. 5Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and slew his brothers, the sons of Jerubbaal, 70 men, on top of one stone. But Jotam, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, survived, for he hid himself. 6Then all the leaders of Shechem and all Beth-millo assembled themselves together and went and made Abimelech king at the terebinth of the pillar that was in Shechem. 7Now when they told Jotam, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, lifted up his voice, called out and said to them, “Listen to me, O lords of Shechem, that God may listen to you! 8Once the trees set out to anoint a king over them. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ 9But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I stop yielding my oil, that honors God and man, and go wave over the trees?’ 10Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 11But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I stop yielding my sweetness and my delicious fruit, and go wave over the trees?’ 12So the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 13But the vine said to them, ‘Should I stop yielding my new wine, which cheers God and man, and go wave over the trees?’ 14Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ 15And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If you truly are going to anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shadow; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’ 16“So now, if you have acted in truth and integrity by making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt kindly with Jerubbaal and his household, and have done for him as he deserved— 17for my father fought for you, and risked his life and delivered you from the hand of Midian, 18but you have risen up against my father’s household today and have slain his sons—70 men on one stone—and have made Abimelech, son of his maidservant, king over the lords of Shechem just because he is your brother— 19if you then have dealt in truth and integrity with Jerubbaal and with his household today, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. 20But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the lords of Shechem and Beth-millo, and let fire come out from the lords of Shechem and from Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!” 21Then Jotam ran away and fled, and went to Beer and remained there because of his brother Abimelech. 22After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, 23God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the lords of Shechem. So the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech— 24in order that the violence done to Jerubbaal’s 70 sons might come due, so their blood might be laid on their brother Abimelech who slew them, and on the lords of Shechem who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers. 25So the lords of Shechem set up ambushers on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed anyone who passed by them along that road. So it was reported to Abimelech. 26Now Gaal son of Ebed had come with his relatives and moved to Shechem, and the lords of Shechem put their trust in him. 27When they went out into the field, they gathered grapes of their vineyards, trod them and had a party. Then they went into the house of their god, ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal? Isn’t Zebul his deputy? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem—but why should we serve him? 29Now, if this people were under my hand, then I would get rid of Abimelech.” So he said to Abimelech, “Muster your army and come out!” 30When Zebul the governor of the city heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, his anger burned. 31So he sent messengers to Abimelech in deceit saying, “Watch out, Gaal son of Ebed and his relatives have moved to Shechem, and look, they are inciting the city against you. 32So now, arise by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33So it will be in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you will rise early and advance on the city; and behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then you should do to them whatever your hand finds.” 34So Abimelech and all the people who were with him rose up by night and lay in wait against Shechem in four columns. 35Now Gaal son of Ebed went out and stood at the entrance of the city gate. Then Abimelech and the people who were with him emerged from the ambush. 36When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!” But Zebul said to him, “You’re seeing the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.” 37Then Gaal spoke up again and said, “Look, people are coming down from the middle of the land, and one column is coming by the road of the Diviner’s Oak.” 38Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your mouth now? With it you said, ‘Who is Abimelech that we should serve him?’ Isn’t this the people that you have trashed? Now go out and fight him!” 39So Gaal went out ahead of the lords of Shechem and fought with Abimelech. 40But Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many fell wounded up to the entrance of the gate. 41While Abimelech stayed in Arumah, Zebul drove Gaal and his relatives out so that they could not stay in Shechem. 42Now it came to pass the next day that the people went out into the field, and it was reported to Abimelech. 43So he took his people, divided them into three columns, and lay in ambush in the field. When he looked and saw the people were coming out of the city, he pounced on them and struck them down. 44Then Abimelech and the column that was with him rushed forward and stood at the entrance of the city gate, and the other two columns rushed on all who were in the open field and struck them down. 45So Abimelech fought against the city all that day, captured the city and killed the people that were in it. Then he razed the city and sowed it with salt. 46Now when all the lords of Shechem’s Tower heard about it, they went into the vault of the temple of El-berith. 47When Abimelech was told that all the lords of Shechem’s Tower had gathered there, 48he and all the people with him went up to Mount Zalmon. Then Abimelech took an axe in his hand and cut down a branch from the trees and lifted it up and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, “What you’ve seen me do, hurry and do likewise.” 49So all the people likewise each cut down his branch and followed Abimelech. He laid them against the vault and set the vault on fire over them. So all the people of Shechem’s Tower also died—about a thousand men and women. 50Then Abimelech went to Thebez, camped against Thebez and captured it. 51But there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the city leaders fled there and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower. 52So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. 54Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor-bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, ‘A woman slew him.’” So his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55So when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they each departed to his place. 56Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech—what he had done to his father by slaying his 70 brothers. 57Also all the wickedness of the men of Shechem God requited on their heads. Thus on them came the curse of Jotam son of Jerubbaal.

–from Judges 9

Every action will trigger a reaction! So consider what you will do and get wisdom to ensure you are going in the right direction. Do you need someone to be the guard or the judge to help you stay aligned? Can you manage yourself and keep yourself from swaying away from the truth? Will you remember to turn back to God who is faithful and just? Will allow Him to be the standard bearer for you? When He corrects, He doesn’t destroy, He cleanses!

Troubles in Gilead

1After Abimelech, Tola son of Puah son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to deliver Israel. He dwelt in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2He judged Israel for 23 years, then died and was buried in Shamir. 3After him Jair the Gileadite arose, and judged Israel for 23 years. 4He had 30 sons who rode on 30 donkeys and had 30 towns in the land of Gilead, which are called Jair’s Villages to this day. 5Then Jair died and was buried in Kamon. 6Then Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. They worshipped the Baalim, the Ashtaroth, gods of Aram, gods of Zidon, gods of Moab, gods of the children of Ammon and gods of the Philistines. They abandoned Adonai and did not worship Him. 7So Adonai’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them over into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the children of Ammon. 8They shattered and crushed Bnei-Yisrael that year—for 18 years all Bnei-Yisrael who were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9Then the children of Ammon also crossed over the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was greatly distressed. 10Then Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai saying, “We have sinned against You, for we have forsaken our God and have worshipped the Baalim.” 11So Adonai said to Bnei-Yisrael, “Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the children of Ammon, the Philistines, 12the Zidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites who oppressed you? When you cried out to Me, I delivered you from their hand. 13Yet you have forsaken Me and worshipped other gods; therefore I will deliver you no more. 14Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” 15Then Bnei-Yisrael said to Adonai, “We have sinned. Do to us whatever seems good to You, but please, deliver us this day.” 16Then they removed the foreign gods from among them, and worshipped Adonai. So His soul could not bear the misery of Israel. 17Then the children of Ammon were summoned and camped in Gilead. Bnei-Yisrael gathered together and camped in Mizpah. 18The people of the princes of Gilead said one to another, “Whoever begins to fight against the children of Ammon will be chief over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

–from Judges 10

Where are you at today? Need help? Cry out to God! Ask Jesus to come into your heart! As God to forgive you! Ask Him to help you! Ask with all of your heart, mind, and soul! Turn back to Him!

Let’s fight the good fight! Let’s not give up! Let’s stand firm putting on the full armor of God! Let’s love! Let’s be faithful! Let’s be just! Let’s be imitators of Jesus so that our lives will point others to Him!

1So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind alone in Athens. 2We sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the Good News of Messiah, in order to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you yourselves know we are destined for this. 4For even when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer persecution— just as has happened, as you know. 5For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faithfulness, for fear that the tempter had tempted you and that our labor might be in vain. 6But now that Timothy has come to us from you and brought us the good news of your faithfulness and love, and that you always have good memories of us, longing to see us just as we long to see you— 7because of this, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and trouble, we were comforted about you by your faithfulness. 8For now we live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9For what thanks would be enough to offer to God, in return for all the joy we feel before our God because of you? 10Night time and day time we keep praying more than ever to see you face to face, and mend any shortcomings in your faith.

Thanks, Joy, and Love Before God

11Now may our God and Father Himself and Yeshua our Lord direct our way to you. 12May the Lord also cause you to increase and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you, 13in order to strengthen your hearts as blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Yeshua with all His kedoshim. Amen.

–from 1 Thessalonians 3

Let’s allow God to direct our path! Let’s listen to the still quiet voice that is the Holy Spirit who is our comforter and our guide! Let’s not go it our own way but rather go it God’s way! There is truth! There is right and wrong! There is a difference! And the way we choose to live makes a difference not only for ourselves but also those around us! So let’s live a life set apart, different from what the world is proclaiming and live the life that God created us and wants us to live!

Walking in Sanctification

1Finally then, brothers and sisters, we ask you and appeal in the Lord Yeshua—just as you received from us the way you ought to walk and please God (as in fact you are walking)—that you keep progressing more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Yeshua. 3For this is the will of God—your sanctification: to abstain from sexual immorality; 4to know, each of you, how to gain control over his own body in holiness and honor— 5not in the passion of lust like the pagans who do not know God; 6and not to overstep his brother and take advantage of him in this matter— because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly warned you. 7For God did not call us to impurity, but in holiness. 8Consequently, the one who rejects this is not rejecting man, but God, who gives His Ruach ha-Kodesh to you. 9Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write you—for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10In fact, you even practice it toward all your brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to keep progressing more and more 11and aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, just as we directed you— 12so you may behave properly toward outsiders and not have need of anything.

The Shofar Call of Messiah’s Return

13Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him God will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. 15For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep. 16For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God’s shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

–from 1 Thessalonians 4









Dispence GRACE! Display GRACE!

Just because they are different from you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share and circulate and give grace! We need to be able to break the barriers! We need to be sharing barrier breaking grace!

Tonight was an incredible message by Pastor Larry (@sermon8tor).

Barrier Breaking Grace

Acts 11:1-18

My Notes…

  • God’s made a way for everyone to be saved
  • Barrier breaking…
    • In 1954 Roger Bannister broke the barrier 4 minute mile barrier in 3:59.4, since then it has been broken many times
    • In 1947 Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier flying faster than the speed of sound
    • In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball joining the Dodgers
  • Compared to the barrier that is broken by Peter in Acts 10-11, these barriers are small in comparison
    • Broke through religious barriers
    • Broke through Jewish law barriers
  • Barriers to what they could eat was (challenged in Acts 10 on the roof top) is described in Leviticus 11
    • camels, rock badgers, rabbits, pigs, anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales, eagles, owls, hawks, falcons; buzzards, vultures, crows; ostriches; seagulls, storks, herons, pelicans, cormorants; hoopoes; bats, moles, rats, mice, lizards
  • Law was clear on boundaries
    • not to animals alone
    • to people who were clean vs unclean
    • the temple was divided so only certain people could get to some places
      • seating area, Holy of Holies, etc.
    • ceremonial unclean and the process/ceremony of becoming clean again
    • morning prayers of the men even spoke to some of these barriers (ex. gentile, slave, woman)
  • In comes Jesus…
    • Touches lepers
    • Dines with tax collectors
    • Talks to Samaritan woman
    • Allows a prostitute to touch him by washing his feet with her hair
    • Invited sinners to the table of God
    • Luke 8 speaks to this…
      • Delivers man and then sends him back as a missionary to his own community
      • Heals woman of blood issue
      • Raises Jairus’ daughter who was dead
    • Jesus reversed the process that was supposed to make him unclean by making others clean
      • He didn’t get contaminated
      • He delivered, healed, and resurrected
    • He told the truth and shared grace
    • Jesus’ GRACE is revolutionary
      • Let’s not live as though there is a limit to God’s GRACE through Jesus
      • GRACE is for everyone! Even people who are different from me
      • No limit! Limitless!
  • Don’t resist! God’s GRACE is for all!!
  • Our verses from Acts 11 starts with:
    • Peter being criticized
    • Notice is came from insiders? Outsiders wouldn’t criticize as they are happy to receive the love and grace of God!
    • Do you realize if we categorize clean/unclean, we are missing it?
    • Do you realize that if we put ourselves as better then we really don’t get it?
    • All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!  ALL!!!
    • God can make us clean!
  • Our verses from Acts 11 ends with no further objections and people praising God!
  • The revelation of GRACE!!
  • Impacts:
    • (1) Access to GOD!
      • Hebrews 10:19-22
        • 19We have, then, my friends, complete freedom to go into the Most Holy Place by means of the death of Jesus. 20He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain—that is, through his own body. 21We have a great priest in charge of the house of God. 22So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water.
      • Hebrews 4:14-16
        • 14Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God—Jesus, the Son of God. 15Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. 16Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.
    • (2) How we view people whoa re different from us. Administer the GRACE of God!

If we consider the Gospel of Jesus technologically, we can see and realize it is more than just an app for the old operating system, it is a completely new operating system!