Category Archives: Discern

How much can you trust?


So you wanted vision or visibility or insight… So you got some, now what? Did it help you or did it cause more questions to get raised? Did it clarify the things you wondered about or did it generate more questions? Who will you put your trust in? Will you trust that if God brought you to it that He will bring you through it? Will you trust that God is in control? Will you trust that God puts the people who are in authority into authority? Will you trust Him even when it doesn’t make sense? Will you trust Him even when it seems to go against what you had been told? Will you trust Him? Now ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment about the plans being made around you. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment if you are in need to speak up or speak out or even just question. Ask the Holy Spirit to cover you with His peace that surpasses all understanding. Be still and know that God is God! Listen carefully for the still and quiet voice. Walk in alignment and obedience to God’s instruction and direction.


Day 221: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 22 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 22 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Do you realize the power of Jesus to change the situation or circumstance?
  • Do you realize the wisdom of Jesus to know where you are at and know what you have need of before you even ask?
  • Do you trust Jesus in the middle of the storm?
  • Do you trust Jesus in the midst of the waves?
  • Do you trust that God’s timing is perfect?
  • Do you trust that God won’t give you more than He knows you can handle?
  • Do you realize that Jesus isn’t out there somewhere but He is right here with us?
  • Are you willing to do whatever Jesus tells you to do?
  • Will you trust Him enough to do it even if it seems like more than you can do?
  • Will you stand up for what is right? Will you stand up for what is just?
  • Will you choose to speak up and speak out for justice and righteousness?
  • Will you believe in Jesus?
  • What signs do people see that you are a follower of Jesus?
  • What does the dream mean? Are you able to interpret the vision? Are you able to interpret the plans?
  • Don’t lose hope even if you have to wait for you will be remembered.
  • Point people to God for wisdom and interpretation.
  • Receive what God is telling you to do. Do it!
  • God has a purpose and a plan for you!
  • Be prompt in doing what God is telling you to do, don’t wait and be ruined, instead allow the Spirit of God in you to lead and guide you so that God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.
  • Remember what you have learned!
  • Walk with humility and wisdom
  • Forget all your troubles and remember how God has made you fruitful.
  • Live out your today as a living sacrifice to God
  • Live out your day with Jesus as your Lord and Savior for He gave up His life in order that you can be saved and reconciled back to God
  • We are the children of the Lord our God
  • God so loves us that He sent Jesus to make a way when we couldn’t make a way in our own strength or power
  • Be generous! Walk in a spirit of generosity! Whatever you give, do so joyfully for God loves a cheerful giver.
  • God’s plan for you is for good and not for evil. God’s plan is to give you a hope and a future. God’s plan was so filled with love that He sent Jesus to pay the price and make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. We need to remember what we have learned and so walk out our lives with wisdom in humility. God knows right where you are at and even knows what you have need of before you ask. So trust in God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and pursue Him and His will every step of the day! Let’s delight ourselves in the Lord in order that we can receive the desires of our heart!

As day 22 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Deciding isn't the end of the journey but the beginning!


The Book of Job. – Day 29

Decided. Now to step up and step into what that will mean. The reality is that the definition isn’t fully clear and yet I know where I will be. My expectations are that as we continue through our ready that by the end of it more the questions will get answered and more clarity will come. My peace in this comes through my trust in God! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be my comforter and my guide. God’s peace which surpasses all understanding guards my heart through this process. We may not know why but we do know that God works all things for good for those who love Him. We may not know when it will end but we do know that God’s timing is perfect! We may not know how, but we know that in the end God wins and that Jesus broke the devils power through the birth (why we celebrate Christmas), the sacrifice (why we celebrate Good Friday), and the resurrection and overcoming death (why we celebrate Easter) so that we not only will get to walk in that victory when we get to heaven but God has opened the door for us to walk in faith in that victory while we are still here on earth.

It is interesting what you can learn from what people don’t say. It is interesting what you can learn from what people do. It is interesting what you can learn from how people treat others. It is interesting what you can learn by being present. It is interesting what you can learn by listening. It is interesting to learn what is known and what is unknown and how with the favor of God people open up and share. It is interesting how there are times when we wonder why something goes on so long and then we can reflect on God’s Words that says love is long suffering, God’s will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would come to eternal life through Jesus Christ. In the old and new testaments we see God’s desire for the people to turn back to Him. It is interesting when you are present and people know that you care how they will turn to you in the midst of questions and concerns, issues and challenges, relationships and work. When you live out your life in love, being Jesus with skin on to the world around you, you will find some people are drawn to you and others want to reject you, just like what happened to Jesus.


Today’s reading comes to us from Job 24.

‘“Why does the Almighty not set seasons for judgment? Why do those who know Him not see His days [for punishment of the wicked]? Some remove the landmarks; They [violently] seize and pasture flocks [appropriating land and flocks openly]. They drive away the donkeys of the orphans; They take the widow’s ox for a pledge. They crowd the needy off the road; The poor of the land all hide themselves. Behold, as wild donkeys in the desert, The poor go to their work, diligently seeking food; As bread for their children in the desert. They harvest their fodder in a field [that is not their own], And glean the vineyard of the wicked. They spend the night naked, without clothing, And have no covering against the cold. They are wet from the rain of the mountains And cling to the rock for lack of shelter. Others snatch the fatherless [infants] from the breast [to sell or make them slaves], And against the poor they take a pledge [of clothing]. They cause the poor to go about naked without clothing, And they take away the sheaves [of grain] from the hungry. Within the walls [of the wicked] the poor make [olive] oil; They tread [the grapes in] the wine presses, but thirst. From the [populous and crowded] city men groan, And the souls of the wounded cry out for help; Yet God [seemingly] does not pay attention to the wrong [done to them]. “Others have been with those who rebel against the light; They do not want to know its ways Nor stay in its paths. The murderer rises at dawn; He kills the poor and the needy, And at night he becomes a thief. The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me,’ And he covers his face. In the dark they dig into [the penetrable walls of] houses; They shut themselves up by day; They do not know the light [of day]. For the morning is the same to him as the thick darkness [of midnight]; For he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness. “They are insignificant on the surface of the water; Their portion is cursed on the earth; They do not turn toward the vineyards. Drought and heat consume the snow waters; So does Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) [consume] those who have sinned. A mother will forget him; The worm feeds on him until he is no longer remembered. And wickedness will be broken like a tree [which cannot be restored]. He preys on the barren (childless) woman And does no good for the widow. Yet God draws away the mighty by His power; He rises, but no one has assurance of life. God gives them security, and they are supported; And His eyes are on their ways. They are exalted for a little while, and then they are gone; Moreover, they are brought low and like everything [they are] gathered up and taken out of the way; Even like the heads of grain they are cut off. And if this is not so, who can prove me a liar And make my speech worthless?”’

Job 24:1-25

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

God knows the appointed times. We do not. We need to lean not on our own understanding but rather trust in God! God knows what He is doing. We need to acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will make our path straight! We need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and allow Him to take care of everything else!

Today’s study summary:

Verses 2-12: This is one of the most graphic pictures of oppression and the “poor” found in the Bible. Job wondered how the wicked can live this way and still escape divine justice (Psalm 10:8)

Verses 18:25: Job angrily denounced the wicked. Compare his words to those found in Psalms (e.g., Psalms Chapters 35, 69, 109, 140). Within his soul, Job still believed that God would judge evildoers in His time.

(In verses 18-21), again Job referred to the opinions of his counselors, saying that if their view were correct, all the wicked should be experiencing punishment. But it is obvious they were not.

Verses 22-25: Job’s view was that their punishment would come eventually (“exalted for a little while”). Retribution needed the timing of God’s wisdom, when He determined wrongs would be made right. Job was totally confident that his point could not be refuted.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 24

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

Let’s pray:

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

Let's check our heart and out minds and turn to God for the answer so as to accomplish His perfect plan and will.


The Story of Job. – Day 27

A new day of a new week of work. A new day with new plans to make. Last full sprint begins. Two day offsite begins. People traveling. Discussions to be had. Discerning to be required to know who is who. Discerning the messages in order to realize where it is God wants me. Trying to understand how to get there. Trying to understand the motives. Trying to understand the messages. Trying to understand the purpose. Trying to understand the value. Trying to parse through the messages. I know I have value to God and He has a plan and a purpose for me. When someone shares that I am not giving myself enough credit for the value I have, how to I hold that. When someone shares that people like me where I am at but don’t see it being a higher level role, how do I hold that. When you like doing things that help people and want to make sure you not only make a scratch or a dent but that you can actually move the dial and make a difference, where will that put you? How do you take in the various feedback or input and make the right decision that will keep you aligned with God’s purpose and plans while adding value to the company and the people who depend on or use the company resources? They key is to keep leaning into God in the midst of the messages from your friends. The key is to keep asking God in the midst of each conversation you have with your friends. The key is to not try to go it alone but to allow the Holy Spirit to bring a peace of the right decision so that you can step into it and become who God created you to be. Remember, you are alive and no matter what happens the joy of the Lord is your strength and so “Happy Today!”

Let’s discern what we are being told in order that we won’t be stuck in analysis paralysis but do something about it. Let’s listen for the voice of truth in and thru the words being spoken and shared. Let’s listen to what God’s Word has to say to us today…


Today’s reading comes to use from Job 22:

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, “Can a vigorous man be of use to God, Or a wise man be useful to himself? Is it any pleasure or joy to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it of benefit to Him that you make your ways perfect? Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, That He enters into judgment against you? Is not your wickedness great, And your sins without end? For you have taken pledges of your brothers without cause, And stripped men naked. You have not given water to the weary to drink, And you have withheld bread from the hungry. But the land is possessed by the man with power, And the favored and honorable man dwells in it. You have sent widows away empty-handed, And the arms (strength) of the fatherless have been broken. Therefore snares surround you, And sudden dread terrifies and overwhelms you; Or darkness, so that you cannot see, And a flood of water covers you. “Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the distant stars, how high they are! You say, ‘What does God know [about me]? Can He judge through the thick darkness? Thick clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see, And He walks on the vault (circle) of the heavens.’ Will you keep to the ancient path That wicked men walked [in the time of Noah], Men who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundations were poured out like a river? They said to God, ‘Depart from us! What can the Almighty do for us or to us?’ Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked and ungodly is far from me. The righteous see it and are glad; And the innocent mock and laugh at them, saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off and destroyed, And fire has consumed their abundance.’ “Now yield and submit yourself to Him [agree with God and be conformed to His will] and be at peace; In this way [you will prosper and great] good will come to you. Please receive the law and instruction from His mouth And establish His words in your heart and keep them. If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up [and restored]; If you remove unrighteousness far from your tents, And place your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks [considering it of little value], And make the Almighty your gold And your precious silver, Then you will have delight in the Almighty, And you will lift up your face to God. You will pray to Him, and He will hear you, And you will pay your vows. You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And the light [of God’s favor] will shine upon your ways. When you are cast down and humbled, you will speak with confidence, And the humble person He will lift up and save. He will even rescue the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; And he will be rescued through the cleanness of your hands.”’

Job 22:1-30

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s reading is an interesting combination of pointing out flaws (real or not) in order to point Job back to God. As I meditate on that before jumping into the study I consider what others have been pointing out to me (real or not – yet to be decided) in order to ensure I decide in accordance to God’s perfect will and God’s perfect plan. How will I respond to differing opinions all looking to exhort me to make that decision. When people are speaking to your their truth, what is the best way to parse through it and get the real truth from it? Will you be persuaded by the truth or by the urge · encourage · call on · enjoin · adjure · charge · try to persuade · press · pressure · put pressure on · use pressure on · pressurize · lean on · push · egg on · spur · incite · goad · bid · appeal to · entreat · implore · beseech · advise · counsel · admonish · warn? I am to be salt and light into the world around me. I am to be love and Jesus’s hands extended into the lives around me. I am to point people to the reason for the season and the source of all my joy and hope and love.

Today’s study summary:

Verses 1-30: In his final speech (that goes to 27:23), Eliphaz blasts Job with his most vicious attack. Beginning with the assumption that wickedness brings only God’s judgment (verses 1-5). Eliphaz complies a catalog of sins of which Job must be guilty (verses 6-20). Finally, in a beautiful passage on the forgiveness of God, he appeals to Job to repent (verses 21-30), though he directs it toward the wrong person. Eliphaz’s last speech got nasty with Job, as his frustration rose.

Verses 1-30: Within a string of specific accusations in his third speech, “Eliphaz” included Job among those committed to the ways of “wickedness” who believe God does not see or know their sin. All these accusations were refuted by both Job (29:11-17; 31:13-22), and God (1:8; 42:7-8).

Verses 2-4 and 12-14: This counselor repeated the emphasis on the almighty nature of God, saying that God was so lofty and transcendent that He had no direct concern at all with Job. God didn’t care personally about his complaints and claims to righteousness. God was not involved in the trivia of his life.

Verses 5-11: This miserable comforter accused Job of wickedness that was great, naming various sins against humanity as the reasons for Job’s trouble (verses 10-11).

Verses 7-9: Eliphaz unfairly charged Job with callous sins against the needy, characterizing his friend the way many people do the wealthy today.

Verses 15-19: Again, the fate of the wicked was expressed in the simplistic idea that all suffering comes from sin. Contrary to what Job had argued, the wicked characteristically die prematurely, and Job’s claim that God prospered them (verse 18a), was counsel that Eliphaz rejected (verses 18b-20).

Verses 21-30: Eliphaz painted a picture of the life of blessing in store for Job if only he would return to God and repent of his sin (verse 23), emphasizing again that he did not believe Job was innocent (verse 30). “Stop all the speeches and complaints, repent, and everything will be fine,” he thought.

Verses 21-27: Job was urged to repent with the promise that God would then answer his prayers. This was not an admonishment to pursue righteousness for its own sake, however, but a temptation to respond to God only because of the benefits Job might receive.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 22

God wants a relationship with us. Our faith in Him isn’t because we can get something from him but because of love and trust in Him. God so loves the world that He gave us Jesus, He sent Jesus in order that we could be saved for He doesn’t want anyone to perish but to have everlasting life with Him. It requires a choice, a decision to receive the gift of Jesus though. It requires that we go beyond the ebbs and flow of life and step into a real relationship with Jesus. Yes, we have all missed the mark and are not perfect but God has made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way in order for us to be reconciled back unto Him and it is Jesus!

Imagine a life experience where you need to stick closer to God to get thru it. Luke 1:26-38

We need to receive and embrace what God has for you. We need to step into it even when those around you may not be encouraging you. We get to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. Joy comes out of relationship with God. Luke 1:26-38

No matter what I am going thru because I know that God is in it. It is difficult and challenging, God has given me strength, my relationship brings joy into the situation. Taking hold of Philippians 4:6.

Just like Mary, we can find joy and our own song in the midst of great trials and challenges. Luke 1:46-55


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

Let’s pray:

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

Do you realize the responsibility that comes with leadership?


Consider the impact of leading people to the top and the responsibility you have and had to get them there, the skills, the trials, the perseverance to get there. Consider the impact of leading people off track and leading to their demise and the responsibility you have and had in getting them there, the lies, the guilt, the threats, the deception to get them there. Consider the consequences of such a leadership decision for you and for them. Are you leading by good example? Are you being a servant leader? Are you pointing people in the right direction? Are you being salt and light as a leader? Are you leading people closer and closer to God? Are you leading people away from behaviors and attitudes that are detrimental to their health? physically and spiritually? Are you providing them with opportunities and avenues to grow and develop into more blessed and accomplished people? Are you listening in order to understand and know what they want or need from you? Are you taking time to discuss where they are at and where they want to go? Will you let your light shine and point them towards God in order that they may see the truth and reject the lies?

Imagine being a leader who leads people into a bottomless pit. Imagine being a leader who leads people to a destination they can never return from with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Imagine being a leader responsible for leading people to the pinnacle of success. Imagine being a leader responsible for leading people through the gates of heaven into the presence of God to spend eternity. Imagine what it will mean and it will take for you to be the type of leader who will make a positive impact on those around you. Are you willing and ready to do it?

Do you realize the responsibility you have as the one who lead them? Do you realize the consequences you have as the one who lead them? So choose wisely the type of leader you will be and the direction you will give people.


Today’s reading gets us started with leaders who led people away from God in 2 Kings 16:

‘Ahaz son of Jotham began to rule over Judah in the seventeenth year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree. Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel came up to attack Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time the king of Edom recovered the town of Elath for Edom. He drove out the people of Judah and sent Edomites to live there, as they do to this day. King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: “I am your servant and your vassal. Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.” Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king. So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin. King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he took special note of the altar. Then he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail. Uriah followed the king’s instructions and built an altar just like it, and it was ready before the king returned from Damascus. When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it. He presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, he poured out a liquid offering, and he sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on the altar. Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from its place in front of the Lord ’s Temple, between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar. He told Uriah the priest, “Use the new altar for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offerings of all the people, as well as their grain offerings and liquid offerings. Sprinkle the blood from all the burnt offerings and sacrifices on the new altar. The bronze altar will be for my personal use only.” Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz commanded him. Then the king removed the side panels and basins from the portable water carts. He also removed the great bronze basin called the Sea from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it on the stone pavement. In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day, as well as the king’s outer entrance to the Temple of the Lord . The rest of the events in Ahaz’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Ahaz died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.’

2 Kings 16:1-20

Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 22:

‘Now this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord : O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul— you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near. “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord . “But now I clap my hands in indignation over your dishonest gain and bloodshed. How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning? I, the Lord , have spoken, and I will do what I said. I will scatter you among the nations and purge you of your wickedness. And when I have been dishonored among the nations because of you, you will know that I am the Lord .” Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, the people of Israel are the worthless slag that remains after silver is smelted. They are the dross that is left over—a useless mixture of copper, tin, iron, and lead. So tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are all worthless slag, I will bring you to my crucible in Jerusalem. Just as silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin are melted down in a furnace, I will melt you down in the heat of my fury. I will gather you together and blow the fire of my anger upon you, and you will melt like silver in fierce heat. Then you will know that I, the Lord , have poured out my fury on you.’” Again a message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: In the day of my indignation, you will be like a polluted land, a land without rain. Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord ,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice. “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!”’

Ezekiel 22:1-31

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Acts 16:

‘Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed. One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.” A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.’

Acts of the Apostles 16:6-24

Today’s reading continues into Revelation 6:

‘When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters —their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them. I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”’

Revelation 6:9-17

Today’s reading then closes with Psalms 119:

‘Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide. Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws. I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments. I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word. I haven’t turned away from your regulations, for you have taught me well. How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. I have suffered much, O Lord ; restore my life again as you promised. Lord , accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end. I hate those with divided loyalties, but I love your instructions. You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. Get out of my life, you evil-minded people, for I intend to obey the commands of my God. Lord , sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed. Sustain me, and I will be rescued; then I will meditate continually on your decrees. But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees. They are only fooling themselves. You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum; no wonder I love to obey your laws! I tremble in fear of you; I stand in awe of your regulations.’

Psalms 119:97-120

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

Let’s pray:

Will you get involved without seeking wisdom?


Will you hear the ask and say “of course”? Will you hear the ask and say “I’m all in”? Will you hear the ask and say “let’s do it”? What would the question have to be to make you pause before answering? What would the question have to be to make you stop and think about it? What would the question have to be to make you look for wisdom outside of your own head before proceeding with an answer? What if it were a matter of life and death? What if it were a matter of finances? What if it were a matter of relationship?

Do you at least pause long enough to say a quick prayer so that the Holy Spirit can lead and guide you? Do you take time to hear from God if you don’t have a clear yes or no? What do you do if the answer you hear is “not yet”? Will you wait? Will you tell them you have to wait before you can answer? I know there can be a lot of pressure related to when people come to you … how will you choose to respond? We can’t control what comes our way but we can control how we respond! We can respond wildly without instruction and direction, letting our emotions lead the way, using human logic, and seek wisdom from God. We all get to choose so many decisions in this life. We get to choose if we will accept the gift of God that is eternal life through Jesus Christ. We get to choose if we will reject the gift of God and His promptings and His plan that nobody would perish but rather turn back and receive the gift of eternal life. Every day we will be face with choices, some are huge and others are small. Will you trust God with the big and the small? If you can’t trust God for the small ones then how will you be able to trust Him for the big ones? As I say that it reminds me of a time after lunch when we were heading back to the office and as I was looking for a parking spot I was praying and my friend questioned me (guess I got too quiet or something) “Are you praying?” I replied “Yes, if we can’t trust God for the little things how will we be able to trust Him with the big ones?” Just as we found a great place close to the door under the building.

God is good! God will never leave us nor abandon us! The only time we are away from God is if we choose to walk away. Even then, He loves us so much that all we need to do is stop and turn back and He will be there to receive us. So don’t try to go it alone! Don’t try to make your decisions based on emotions and feelings that change. Don’t try to make decisions based on your own knowledge as there is probably more to the big picture. Invite Jesus into the situation and ask Him for wisdom and what to do and how to respond. Then take what God give you and use it for His glory in Jesus’s name.


Today’s reading gets started in the last chapter of 1 Kings, chapter 22. Let’s see how that plays out with decisions being needed and made with Jehoshaphat and Ahab.

‘For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. Then during the third year, King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel. During the visit, the king of Israel said to his officials, “Do you realize that the town of Ramoth-gilead belongs to us? And yet we’ve done nothing to recapture it from the king of Aram!” Then he turned to Jehoshaphat and asked, “Will you join me in battle to recover Ramoth-gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses.” Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the Lord says.” So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, about 400 of them, and asked them, “Should I go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?” They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! The Lord will give the king victory.” But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.” The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.” So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah son of Imlah.” King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on thrones at the threshing floor near the gate of Samaria. All of Ahab’s prophets were prophesying there in front of them. One of them, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, made some iron horns and proclaimed, “This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans to death!” All the other prophets agreed. “Yes,” they said, “go up to Ramoth-gilead and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!” Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.” But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.” When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should we hold back?” Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!” But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the Lord ?” Then Micaiah told him, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace.’” “Didn’t I tell you?” the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.” Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’ “There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’ “‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked. “And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’ “‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord . ‘Go ahead and do it.’ “So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom.” Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him across the face. “Since when did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?” he demanded. And Micaiah replied, “You will find out soon enough when you are trying to hide in some secret room!” “Arrest him!” the king of Israel ordered. “Take him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to my son Joash. Give them this order from the king: ‘Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!’” But Micaiah replied, “If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added to those standing around, “Everyone mark my words!” So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his thirty-two chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel. Don’t bother with anyone else!” So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But when Jehoshaphat called out, the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped chasing him. An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of his chariot. “I’m badly wounded!” The battle raged all that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died. Just as the sun was setting, the cry ran through his troops: “We’re done for! Run for your lives!” So the king died, and his body was taken to Samaria and buried there. Then his chariot was washed beside the pool of Samaria, and dogs came and licked his blood at the place where the prostitutes bathed, just as the Lord had promised. The rest of the events in Ahab’s reign and everything he did, including the story of the ivory palace and the towns he built, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. So Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became the next king. Jehoshaphat son of Asa began to rule over Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign in Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight. During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. The rest of the events in Jehoshaphat’s reign, the extent of his power, and the wars he waged are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. He banished from the land the rest of the male and female shrine prostitutes, who still continued their practices from the days of his father, Asa. (There was no king in Edom at that time, only a deputy.) Jehoshaphat also built a fleet of trading ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But the ships never set sail, for they met with disaster in their home port of Ezion-geber. At one time Ahaziah son of Ahab had proposed to Jehoshaphat, “Let my men sail with your men in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat refused the request. When Jehoshaphat died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Jehoram became the next king. Ahaziah son of Ahab began to rule over Israel in the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria two years. But he did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, following the example of his father and mother and the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had led Israel to sin. He served Baal and worshiped him, provoking the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, just as his father had done.’

1 Kings 22

‘“Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.” The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words. “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them. “Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.” Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.’

Ezekiel 2

‘The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.” Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.” Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!) It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them. The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord ’s hold on me was strong. Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days. After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.” Then the Lord took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord , just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground. Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.’

Ezekiel 3

‘There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas ). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!” So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive. The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.’

Acts 9:36-43

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

Acts 10:1-8

‘I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death. We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.’

1 John 5:13-21

‘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

So are you hearing what God is saying? Are you hearing the invitation into relationship with Jesus? I was sharing yesterday how in a bunch of the church experiences I had before I was 30, the biggest message I missed and may not have heard was that I needed to have a relationship with Jesus. It is more than routines, rituals, and religion. It is about a living relationship with Jesus! My life was transformed when that light turned on and I started to hear and speak with Him! God is so good! God is so faithful! We read how when Jesus went up to Heaven, the Holy Spirit came down to be our comforter and our guide. So we don’t need to go it alone. We just need to take time to hear and listen to the still quiet voice who will lead us and guide us through our lives.

How about you? Is today your day? Are you ready to pray and receive Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior? Let’s pray together:

Renew your covenant with God!


Let’s get this started on the right foot. Let’s get this started with a firm foundation. Let’s get this started with the right heart. Let’s get this started with the right mindset. Let’s get started with remembering the lessons of the past so as not to repeat them. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing. Let’s put first things first. Let’s raise the bar so that the average keeps moving up. Let’s pass on the learnings to the next generation. Let’s remind everyone how we got here. Let’s make God and His ways our priorities.


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes to us from:


Will you choose for you and your house to serve the Lord? Will you do what is right and just? Will you live out your life in spirit and in truth? Will you live with a spirit of reconciliation? Will you live without fear but rather with faith? Will you live believing?

Beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing.


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


Today’s reading starts with the book of Joshua:

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

Joshua 9

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

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

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

Isaiah 44

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

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

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

Matthew 26:36-56

Today’s reading continues into the book of Philippians:

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

Philippians 3:1-11

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

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

Psalms 5

Have you made it thru?


Did you get back on track? Did you turn back to what got you there? Did you start to trust again? Did you start to believe again? Did you start to follow again? Are you still going around in circles trying to get it all figured out? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready to get back on track? Will you be the catalyst? Will you be the change? Will you be the lead? Will you make a difference?


Today’s reading begins in Deuteronomy.

‘“Then we turned around and headed back across the wilderness toward the Red Sea, just as the Lord had instructed me, and we wandered around in the region of Mount Seir for a long time. “Then at last the Lord said to me, ‘You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; turn to the north. Give these orders to the people: “You will pass through the country belonging to your relatives the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. The Edomites will feel threatened, so be careful. Do not bother them, for I have given them all the hill country around Mount Seir as their property, and I will not give you even one square foot of their land. If you need food to eat or water to drink, pay them for it. For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ “So we bypassed the territory of our relatives, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We avoided the road through the Arabah Valley that comes up from Elath and Ezion-geber. “Then as we turned north along the desert route through Moab, the Lord warned us, ‘Do not bother the Moabites, the descendants of Lot, or start a war with them. I have given them Ar as their property, and I will not give you any of their land.’” (A race of giants called the Emites had once lived in the area of Ar. They were as strong and numerous and tall as the Anakites, another race of giants. Both the Emites and the Anakites are also known as the Rephaites, though the Moabites call them Emites. In earlier times the Horites had lived in Seir, but they were driven out and displaced by the descendants of Esau, just as Israel drove out the people of Canaan when the Lord gave Israel their land.) Moses continued, “Then the Lord said to us, ‘Get moving. Cross the Zered Brook.’ So we crossed the brook. “Thirty-eight years passed from the time we first left Kadesh-barnea until we finally crossed the Zered Brook! By then, all the men old enough to fight in battle had died in the wilderness, as the Lord had vowed would happen. The Lord struck them down until they had all been eliminated from the community. “When all the men of fighting age had died, the Lord said to me, ‘Today you will cross the border of Moab at Ar and enter the land of the Ammonites, the descendants of Lot. But do not bother them or start a war with them. I have given the land of Ammon to them as their property, and I will not give you any of their land.’” (That area was once considered the land of the Rephaites, who had lived there, though the Ammonites call them Zamzummites. They were also as strong and numerous and tall as the Anakites. But the Lord destroyed them so the Ammonites could occupy their land. He had done the same for the descendants of Esau who lived in Seir, for he destroyed the Horites so they could settle there in their place. The descendants of Esau live there to this day. A similar thing happened when the Caphtorites from Crete invaded and destroyed the Avvites, who had lived in villages in the area of Gaza.) Moses continued, “Then the Lord said, ‘Now get moving! Cross the Arnon Gorge. Look, I will hand over to you Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and I will give you his land. Attack him and begin to occupy the land. Beginning today I will make people throughout the earth terrified because of you. When they hear reports about you, they will tremble with dread and fear.’”

Moses continued, “From the wilderness of Kedemoth I sent ambassadors to King Sihon of Heshbon with this proposal of peace: ‘Let us travel through your land. We will stay on the main road and won’t turn off into the fields on either side. Sell us food to eat and water to drink, and we will pay for it. All we want is permission to pass through your land. The descendants of Esau who live in Seir allowed us to go through their country, and so did the Moabites, who live in Ar. Let us pass through until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.’ “But King Sihon of Heshbon refused to allow us to pass through, because the Lord your God made Sihon stubborn and defiant so he could help you defeat him, as he has now done. “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Look, I have begun to hand King Sihon and his land over to you. Begin now to conquer and occupy his land.’ “Then King Sihon declared war on us and mobilized his forces at Jahaz. But the Lord our God handed him over to us, and we crushed him, his sons, and all his people. We conquered all his towns and completely destroyed everyone—men, women, and children. Not a single person was spared. We took all the livestock as plunder for ourselves, along with anything of value from the towns we ransacked. “The Lord our God also helped us conquer Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Gorge, and the town in the gorge, and the whole area as far as Gilead. No town had walls too strong for us. However, we avoided the land of the Ammonites all along the Jabbok River and the towns in the hill country—all the places the Lord our God had commanded us to leave alone.’

Deuteronomy 2

Today’s reading continues into Micah.

‘What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so. When you want a piece of land, you find a way to seize it. When you want someone’s house, you take it by fraud and violence. You cheat a man of his property, stealing his family’s inheritance. But this is what the Lord says: “I will reward your evil with evil; you won’t be able to pull your neck out of the noose. You will no longer walk around proudly, for it will be a terrible time.” In that day your enemies will make fun of you by singing this song of despair about you: “We are finished, completely ruined! God has confiscated our land, taking it from us. He has given our fields to those who betrayed us. ” Others will set your boundaries then, and the Lord ’s people will have no say in how the land is divided.

“Don’t say such things,” the people respond. “Don’t prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!” Should you talk that way, O family of Israel? Will the Lord ’s Spirit have patience with such behavior? If you would do what is right, you would find my words comforting. Yet to this very hour my people rise against me like an enemy! You steal the shirts right off the backs of those who trusted you, making them as ragged as men returning from battle. You have evicted women from their pleasant homes and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them. Up! Begone! This is no longer your land and home, for you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely. Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you, “I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!” That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!

“Someday, O Israel, I will gather you; I will gather the remnant who are left. I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture. Yes, your land will again be filled with noisy crowds! Your leader will break out and lead you out of exile, out through the gates of the enemy cities, back to your own land. Your king will lead you; the Lord himself will guide you.”’

Micah 2

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

‘“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”’

Matthew 13:18-30

Today’s reading continues into Romans.

‘I ask, then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. Do you realize what the Scriptures say about this? Elijah the prophet complained to God about the people of Israel and said, “ Lord , they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” And do you remember God’s reply? He said, “No, I have 7,000 others who have never bowed down to Baal!” It is the same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace—his undeserved kindness in choosing them. And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved. So this is the situation: Most of the people of Israel have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have—the ones God has chosen—but the hearts of the rest were hardened. As the Scriptures say, “God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.” Likewise, David said, “Let their bountiful table become a snare, a trap that makes them think all is well. Let their blessings cause them to stumble, and let them get what they deserve. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and let their backs be bent forever.”’

Romans 11:1-10

Today’s reading brings us back to the book of Psalms.

‘I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.’

Psalms 121

So where are you at today? What decision have you made? Has it transformed your life? Are you ready for a difference? Are you ready to stop being sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you ready to believe?

Let’s consider God’s Word from today’s reading and take hold of it and pray how we can put it into practice today and how it can make a difference both in our own lives as well as the lives of everyone God brings our way.

Do you usually understand it better the second time?


Ever been given instructions and tried to walk thru them and found you missed the mark? Ever tried again and found it felt so much easier? Was it that you understood it better? Was it that you had more context? Was it that you had more experience? Was it actually any easier? What it easier to understand at least? Do you have learn by going through everything yourself? Are you able to learn through the experiences of others? Do you need to feel the pain personally or can you learn through the pain of others?


Today’s reading gets us started with Deuteronomy 1.

‘These are the words that Moses spoke to all the people of Israel while they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. They were camped in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between Paran on one side and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab on the other. Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the Lord had commanded him to say. This took place after he had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated King Og of Bashan, who ruled in Ashtaroth. While the Israelites were in the land of Moab east of the Jordan River, Moses carefully explained the Lord ’s instructions as follows.

“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’”

Moses continued, “At that time I told you, ‘You are too great a burden for me to carry all by myself. The Lord your God has increased your population, making you as numerous as the stars! And may the Lord , the God of your ancestors, multiply you a thousand times more and bless you as he promised! But you are such a heavy load to carry! How can I deal with all your problems and bickering? Choose some well-respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.’ “Then you responded, ‘Your plan is a good one.’ So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. “At that time I instructed the judges, ‘You must hear the cases of your fellow Israelites and the foreigners living among you. Be perfectly fair in your decisions and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.’ “At that time I gave you instructions about everything you were to do.

“Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, I said to you, ‘You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us. Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord , the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’ “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’ “This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, ‘The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.’

“But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’ “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’ “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. “When the Lord heard your complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, ‘Not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely. I will give to him and his descendants some of the very land he explored during his scouting mission.’ “And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land! Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him, for he will lead Israel as they take possession of it. I will give the land to your little ones—your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it. As for you, turn around now and go on back through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. ’ “Then you confessed, ‘We have sinned against the Lord ! We will go into the land and fight for it, as the Lord our God has commanded us.’ So your men strapped on their weapons, thinking it would be easy to attack the hill country. “But the Lord told me to tell you, ‘Do not attack, for I am not with you. If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies.’ “This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, you again rebelled against the Lord ’s command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. Then you returned and wept before the Lord , but he refused to listen. So you stayed there at Kadesh for a long time.’

Deuteronomy 1

Today’s reading continues into Micah 1.

‘The Lord gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem.

Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign Lord is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. Look! The Lord is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth. The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill. And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel — yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital! “So I, the Lord , will make the city of Samaria a heap of ruins. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below, exposing her foundations. All her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem. Don’t tell our enemies in Gath ; don’t weep at all. You people in Beth-leaphrah, roll in the dust to show your despair. You people in Shaphir, go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed. The people of Zaanan dare not come outside their walls. The people of Beth-ezel mourn, for their house has no support. The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the Lord ’s judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem. Harness your chariot horses and flee, you people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin. Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath ; there is no hope of saving it. The town of Aczib has deceived the kings of Israel. O people of Mareshah, I will bring a conqueror to capture your town. And the leaders of Israel will go to Adullam. Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow, for the children you love will be snatched away. Make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.’

Micah 1

Today’s reading as we move into the New Testament starts with Matthew 13 learning about the hearts of people and our need to work on their hearts so that when their hearts are ready they will be able to receive the seed which is the Word of God and the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ…

‘Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.’

Matthew 13:1-17

and continues into Romans 10 where we need to share the seed of God as God is sending us out into the world. Without our obedience to share the Good News how will they hear it? Without them hearing how will they be able to have faith? We need to do our part.

‘For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “ Lord , who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.” But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.” And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.” But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”

Romans 10:5-21

As we bring today’s reading to a conclusion with Psalms 120, let’s take hold of the lesson God is giving us and try to take hold of it and put it into application in and through our lives today. Let’s take what we read and put it into our hearts and minds to help us shine for God and point people back to Him so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

‘I took my troubles to the Lord ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Rescue me, O Lord , from liars and from all deceitful people. O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment? You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals. How I suffer in far-off Meshech. It pains me to live in distant Kedar. I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!’

Psalms 120

Would you do it if you knew it would generate a blessing (carrot)? Or are you more of a stick person and deterred by punishment?


Is reward a motivation for you? Would it matter what type of a blessing? Would it make a difference if it was material vs relational? Would it matter if it was material vs wisdom? Ever considered the blessings of finding a spouse? Ever considered the blessings of having children? Ever considered the blessings of having a family? Ever considered the blessings of knowing they are in God’s hands? Ever considered the blessings of a job? Ever considered the blessings of getting to work? Ever considered the blessings of getting to serve? Ever considered the blessings of getting to lead? Ever considered the blessings that come from obedience to God? Ever considered taking the challenge, the only test God asks you to test Him in? Ever considered what the blessings from that obedience might be?

Consider God’s Word when He challenges you to test Him.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Malachi 3:10(NIV)

Today’s reading gets us started in Leviticus 26.

‘“Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God. You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord . “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land. “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword. “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.

“However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you—wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them. I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you! “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins. I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze. All your work will be for nothing, for your land will yield no crops, and your trees will bear no fruit. “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins. I will send wild animals that will rob you of your children and destroy your livestock. Your numbers will dwindle, and your roads will be deserted. “And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins. I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken. When you run to your towns for safety, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be handed over to your enemies. I will destroy your food supply, so that ten women will need only one oven to bake bread for their families. They will ration your food by weight, and though you have food to eat, you will not be satisfied. “If in spite of all this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility. I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Then you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. I will destroy your pagan shrines and knock down your places of worship. I will leave your lifeless corpses piled on top of your lifeless idols, and I will despise you. I will make your cities desolate and destroy your places of pagan worship. I will take no pleasure in your offerings that should be a pleasing aroma to me. Yes, I myself will devastate your land, and your enemies who come to occupy it will be appalled at what they see. I will scatter you among the nations and bring out my sword against you. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then at last the land will enjoy its neglected Sabbath years as it lies desolate while you are in exile in the land of your enemies. Then the land will finally rest and enjoy the Sabbaths it missed. As long as the land lies in ruins, it will enjoy the rest you never allowed it to take every seventh year while you lived in it. “And for those of you who survive, I will demoralize you in the land of your enemies. You will live in such fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing. You will run as though fleeing from a sword, and you will fall even when no one pursues you. Though no one is chasing you, you will stumble over each other as though fleeing from a sword. You will have no power to stand up against your enemies. You will die among the foreign nations and be devoured in the land of your enemies. Those of you who survive will waste away in your enemies’ lands because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors. “But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. When I have turned their hostility back on them and brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins. Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land must be abandoned to enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will pay for their sins, for they have continually rejected my regulations and despised my decrees. “But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. For their sakes I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord .” These are the decrees, regulations, and instructions that the Lord gave through Moses on Mount Sinai as evidence of the relationship between himself and the Israelites.’

Leviticus 26

Today’s reading then brings us into the book of wisdom with Proverbs 24.

‘Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble. A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker. If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short. Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the Lord will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them. Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. My child, fear the Lord and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord and the king?

Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.’

Proverbs 24

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Mark 14.

‘And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss. Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear. Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.” Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.’

Mark 14:43-52

and then moves into 2 Corinthians 7.

‘Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone. I’m not saying this to condemn you. I said before that you are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you. I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles. When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy! I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right. My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us. We have been greatly encouraged by this. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind at ease. I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true! Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.’

2 Corinthians 7:2-16

As we consider and meditate the benefit of obedience and its correlation to blessings, let’s give today into God’s hands and ask Him for wisdom to be able to discern His will and His direction so that we can have the heart to obey in order to walk out our lives under the hand of His blessings all the days of our lives.

Let’s finish strong as we turn to the last part of today’s reading with Psalms 92.

‘It is good to give thanks to the Lord , to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord , with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord , what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord , will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord , will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord ’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”’

Psalms 92

Are you listening?


With the noise of this world, are you listening? With the busyness of life are you making time to listen? With the schedule of life are you able to take a moment to hear?

Listening is more than hearing. Are you listening to speak or listening to understand? Are you able to make time to listen and hear wisdom that could set you up for today? Are you able to stop and hear the wisdom and truth necessary to top up your tank before you start your day or in the midst of a trying day?

do-you-listen-to-understand-or-to-reply

Do you know where to go or what to do in those moments when you don’t know what to do? Do you know how to act when you are caught without understanding?

Will you start to make time? Will you add it into your day? Will you plan for it?

Did you ever get a New Testament growing up? Did you ever get a Bible? Did you ever try to read it? Did it ever click?

I know in my younger days I read it but tended to read right while I was getting ready for bed and I only remember falling asleep. Today with the wisdom and knowledge that it goes beyond just reading or hearing but to having a relationship with Jesus and that when I am reading the Bible, it is God’s Words being spoken to me it is different. I also changed my schedule so I start my day filling up my spiritual tank in God’s Word so that I can overflow into the world around me. Every day God’s Word from the Old and New Testaments speaks to me. Every day it speaks into my very situation – some days I realize it in the moment and other days I discover it is preparing me for what is yet to come and other days it is just filling up my joy tank so that I can overflow into the lives of the people God is bringing my way. The joy of the Lord is my strength!

When the day seems to drain my tank I try to remember (don’t always succeed) to turn back to God and allow Him to fill me back up, to give me wisdom for the very situation, and to help me get through it via the Holy Spirit who is my comforter and my guide.

Once you have an encounter with Jesus your life will never be the same! Do you realize to some you may be the only example or encounter they have? They may never pick up a Bible. They may never turn on a radio program. They may never enter a church unless it is a tour of some old one while on vacation but never stick around to hear the message. You could be the only opportunity for those around you to witness the message of Jesus in their lives. Be prepared to speak to that hope that is within you. Be prepared to show the love of Jesus flowing through you.

The Bible is God’s love letter to us! It is God’s inspired Word captured through people! He even uses their different personalities to bring that perspective to us when we read it.

So will you take time today to listen? The great thing I have found is that not only can I read God’s Word but via http://bible.com or their Bible App, I can listen along as it gets read to me.


How God Speaks to You

Day 297: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Enjoy reading the Bible … Psalm 119:89-96
  2. Look for Jesus as you read … 2 Timothy 3:1-17
  3. Hear God’s words and put them into practice … Jeremiah 50:11-51:14

Today’s Reading from God’s Word…

Justice!


Do you know what that means? Do you know what that looks like? Do you know how to get it? Do you know where to find it?

Justice isn’t revenge! Justice doesn’t come from people trying to do it on their own! The definition puts it as “the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals“. Justice brings together goodness and impartiality! Justice is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society. Justice is the standard by which the advantages of social life are handed out, including material goods, rights of participation, opportunities, and liberties. So justice is like a plumb line or measuring line that can be used for punishment and benefits!

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. 
–Isaiah 28:17

So as you look around and consider trying to take justice into your own hands, consider your intentions! consider your heart! consider your purpose! Are you looking to punish out of revenge? Are you trying to benefit someone out of favor?  Justice, consider what it really means!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah 42 in his continuation about Jesus…

First Servant Song: Justice

1Behold My servant, whom I uphold. My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Ruach on Him, He will bring justice to the nations. 2He will not cry out or raise His voice, or make His voice heard in the street. 3A bruised reed He will not break. A smoldering wick He will not snuff out. He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not be disheartened or crushed until He establishes justice on earth. The islands will wait for His Torah. 5Thus says God, Adonai, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and Ruach to those who walk in it— 6“I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, 7by opening blind eyes, bringing prisoners out of the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness out of the prison house. 8“I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another, Or My praise to graven images. 9Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things. Before they spring forth I announce them to you.” 10Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all its fullness, islands and their inhabitants. 11Let the desert and its cities exult— the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the dwellers of Sela sing for joy. Let them shout for joy from the top of the mountains. 12Let them give glory to Adonai and declare His praise in the islands. 13Adonai goes out as a mighty one. He stirs up His zeal like a man of war. He will shout, yes, raise a war cry! He will prevail over His enemies. 14“I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I groan, gasping and panting at once. 15I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. 16I will bring the blind by a way they do not know. in paths they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn darkness before them to light and the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. 17They will be turned back, utterly put to shame— those trusting in idols, who say to molten images, ‘You are our gods.’ 18Hear, you deaf! Look, you blind, so you may see. 19Who is blind, but My Servant? Or deaf as My Messenger that I send? Who is so blind as the one in covenant with Me, blind as Adonai’s Servant? 20You have seen many things, but you do not pay attention. Though ears are open, no one hears.” 21Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious. 22But this is a people robbed and looted. all of them trapped in holes, hidden away in prisons. They have become a prey with no one to deliver them, and plunder, with none to say, “Give them back!” 23Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and heed hereafter? 24Who gave Jacob to the looter, Israel to the plunderers? Was it not Adonai? Have we not sinned against Him? In His ways they were unwilling to walk and His Torah they did not obey. 25So He poured out on him the fury of His anger, and the fierceness of battle. it blazed all around him, yet he did not understand it. it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.

–from Isaiah 42

Take a look at where you are at! Look at it through the prism of love! How does that impact your perspective? How does that change your point of view? How does that impact your responses? Consider how God is love! Consider what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love! Try replacing the word love with God or with Jesus, not imagine being able to live your life out in love and what would be like!

Love for Israel

1But now, thus says Adonai— the One who created you, O Jacob, the One who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you. 3For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4Since you are precious in My eyes, honored, because I love you, I will give a man in exchange for you, and other peoples for your life. 5Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. 6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth. 7Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory. I formed him—yes, I made him!”

You Are My Witnesses

8Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears. 9All the nations are gathered together, and the peoples are assembled. Who among them can declare this, and proclaim to us former things? Let them present their witnesses so they may be justified, or let them hear and say, “It’s true.” 10“You are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and My Servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, and there will none after Me. 11“I, I am Adonai— and there is no savior beside Me. 12I alone declared, saved and proclaimed, and not some foreign god among you. So you are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and I am God. 13From eternity, I am He. None can deliver from My hand. I act, and who can reverse it?” 14Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down the fleeing Chaldeans, all of them, in the ships in which they exult. 15I am Adonai, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” 16Thus says Adonai, who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters. 17who drew out chariots and horses, the army and the warrior (they will lie down together, and not rise again; they are extinguished— quenched like a wick): 18“Do not remember former things, nor consider things of the past. 19Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up— do you not know about it? I will surely make a way in the desert, rivers in the wasteland. 20The field animals honor Me —the jackals and the ostriches— because I give waters in the desert, rivers in the wilderness, to give drink to My chosen people, 21the people I formed for Myself, so they might declare My praise. 22Yet you have not called on Me, Jacob, for you have been weary of Me, Israel. 23You have not brought Me sheep for your burnt offerings; nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I did not compel you to serve offerings nor wearied you with incense. 24You have not spent money buying Me aromatic cane, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices. Rather you burdened Me with your sins, wearied Me with your iniquities. 25I, I am the One who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins. 26Remind me, when we argue our case together—state your case, so you may be proved right. 27Your first father sinned, and your mediators rebelled against Me. 28So I profaned the Sanctuary officials, and gave Jacob over to destruction, and Israel to scorn.

–from Isaiah 43

What is your role? Are you being just in your position of authority? Are you in a place to be able to serve justice? Are you in a position to give out justice? What is your plumbline? What is your measuring line? How do you know what is right or wrong? How do you know if you are to bless or punish? Where do you turn for wisdom? Where do you turn for discernment? What if you were put in the situation of the ladies and the baby? Could you provide justice in that situation? Could you handle that difficult decision?

A Rebuke for Unjust Judges

1A psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in the assembly of God. He judges among the ‘gods’: 2“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3Give justice to the poor and fatherless. Be just to the afflicted and destitute. 4Rescue the weak and needy. Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 5They know nothing; they understand nothing— they walk about in darkness. All of earth’s foundations are shaken. 6I said: ‘You are ‘gods’, and you are all sons of Elyon, 7yet you will die like men, and will fall like any of the princes.’” 8Arise, O God, judge the earth! For You possess all the nations.

–from Psalms 82

Justice will be served! Jesus will be sitting on the judgment seat! God’s desire is that none would perish but that everyone would choose everlasting life with Him! Remember above when we spoke to God is love? Did you click the link and reach it? Did you reach 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is? God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved! But justice will be served! So how long will you wait before asking Jesus into your life? Remember we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Remember that the penalty of sin is death! And remember that Jesus came and died on the cross to pay the penalty so that we could be reconciled to God! Do you want to pay it for yourself? Will you ask God for forgiveness? Will ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior? Choices…it’s up to you to choose! Let’s choose and live out the books of Acts for our day! And be ready for when Jesus returns!

When Will Yeshua Restore the Kingdom?

1I wrote the first volume, Theophilus, about all that Yeshua began to do and teach— 2up to the day He was taken up, after He had given orders by the Ruach ha-Kodesh to the emissaries He had chosen. 3To them He showed Himself to be alive after His suffering through many convincing proofs, appearing to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4Now while staying with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised—which, He said, “you heard from Me. 5For John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh not many days from now.” 6So when they gathered together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7He said to them, “It is not your place to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own control. 8But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9After saying all this—while they were watching—He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10While they were staring into heaven as He went up, suddenly two men stood with them in white clothing. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you keep standing here staring into heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Appointing a New Emissary

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Shabbat day’s journey). 13When they had entered, they went up to the upper room where they were staying—Peter and John and Jacob and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; Jacob son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judah son of Jacob. 14All these with one mind were continuing together in prayer—along with the women and Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, and His brothers. 15In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (the number of names all together was about a hundred and twenty) and said, 16“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Ruach ha-Kodesh foretold by the mouth of David, concerning Judah—who became a guide to those who seized Yeshua. 17For he was counted among us and received his share of this office.” 18(Now this man Judah bought a field with the reward of his wickedness. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and his intestines splattered out. 19And it became known to all those living in Jerusalem, so in their own language that field was called Akeldama—that is, ‘Field of Blood.’) 20For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his dwelling place become desolate, and let there be no one living in it’ and ‘Let another take his position.’ 21“Therefore one of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us— 22beginning with His immersion by John until the day He was taken up from us—must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23So they nominated two—Joseph, called Barsabbas (also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show us which of these two You have chosen 25to take the position in this office as emissary, from which Judah turned aside to go to his own place.” 26Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was added to the eleven emissaries.

–from Acts 1

So let’s receive the Spirit of God! Let’s receive the gifts of the Spirit, God has prepared for each of us! God created us on for purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose and so He will also prepare the gifts and talents necessary to complete the work! Let’s be the body of Christ to the world around us today!

Spiritual Gifts for the Body

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed by idols that cannot speak, and you got led astray. 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Ruach Elohim says, “Yeshua be cursed,” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 4Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Ruach. 5There are various kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are various kinds of working, but the same God who works all things in all people. 7But to each person is given the manifestation of the Ruach for the benefit of all. 8For to one is given through the Ruach a word of wisdom, to another a word of knowledge according to the same Ruach, 9to another faith by the same Ruach, to another gifts of healings by the one Ruach, 10to another workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Ruach activates all these things, distributing to each person individually as He wills. 12For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of the body—though many—are one body, so also is Messiah. 13For in one Ruach we were all immersed into one body—whether Jewish or Greek, slave or free—and all were made to drink of one Ruach. 14For the body is not one part, but many. 15If the foot says, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not part of the body,” is it therefore not part of the body? 16And if the ear says, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not part of the body,” is it for this reason any less part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the parts—each one of them—in the body just as He desired. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20But now there are many parts, yet one body. 21The eye cannot tell the hand, “I don’t need you!” or in turn the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be less important are indispensable. 23Those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe with greater honor; and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty; 24but our presentable parts have no such need. Rather God assembled the body, giving more honor to those who are lacking, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but so that the parts may have the same care for one another. 26If one part suffers, all the parts suffer together. If one part is honored, all the parts rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually. 28God has put into His community first emissaries, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then healings, helps, leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not emissaries, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All do not work miracles, do they? 30All do not have gifts of healing, do they? All do not speak in tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And still I show you a far better way:

–from 1 Corinthians 12