THRIVE: Even with everything that’s taken place, until it is over there is still more to do.


If you are reading this then you are here and as such you have things to do and get done. This is the day that the Lord has made and so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! God has prepared in advance good works for us to accomplish today and it is up to get it done! So let’s be about the work of the Father and getting done those good works! Let’s focus on the things He has for us to get done today including making plans for what is next. Let’s not try to go it alone but instead choose to work on things together! We were never meant to go it alone and hence why God gave us one another! We were never meant to go it alone and hence why God sent the Holy Spirit! God cares too much to leave us on our own and promises to never leave us nor forsake/abandon us! So today let’s make sure we lean into God and cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us! Let’s choose to listen to the prompting and directing of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to accomplish all that God has planned for us! Let’s remember God’s plans for us are for good and not for evil, they are to give us hope and a future! Yes, in this world we will have troubles but we don’t have to worry or mope about it because we know that Jesus overcame the world! Yes in this world we will face trials too but don’t fret or worry about that because we know that we should consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. We know that when we let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So today, let us choose to lean in on God and trust Him, pursuing His plans, His purposes, and His calling on our lives!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. ‘

1 Chronicles 16:34

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 13


Are you ready for today? Do you have a to-do list? Do you know what you need to do? Invite Jesus into your heart and life today to lead and guide us in every good work!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: It’s that time of the week and the hump in the week is feeling steeper, so let’s dig deeper in order to use it as a ramp to get us farther!


Can you believe it is the middle of the week again? Where does the time go? Yesterday my son finished his first year of high school and today my younger daughter finishes her senior year of classes. Today is the first day of the second 25 years of marriage as we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary yesterday. And there is still so much to get done. So today the focus is on accelerating up the hill, over the hump in order to use it as a ramp for getting more done and landing further ahead. It’s time to make it happen, no excuses, no delays, just get it done! As Knight Rider would say “turbo boost K.I.T.T.”.

It’s time to get ahead and get it done so we can be prepared. So let’s make today count! Let’s grab hold of what the definition of thrive really is:

Definition of thrive
intransitive verb
1: to grow vigorously : FLOURISH
2: to gain in wealth or possessions : PROSPER
3: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances -- often used with on // thrives on conflict

So today, let’s choose to thrive for the glory of God!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. ‘

1 Peter 5:6

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 7


Let’s choose to live our lives humbly submitted to God! Let’s choose to live our lives with humility and allow God to lift us up at the right time rather than walking around with pride and arrogance and being brought down! Let’s ask Jesus into our hearts in order to receive a new heart and be able to live our lives in alignment and in relationship with God! Could today be your day for this new beginning? Could today be your day to live differently? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life and situation! Pursue Him with all you have and see God’s hand lead and guide you beyond anything you could ever ask or imagine!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Prioritize and Avoid the obstacles…


Can you believe we are there already? We’ve made it to the day many call humpday. The day people think is the obstacle or bump in the road to the weekend. To thrive based on the definition means we continue to grow vigorously, to flourish, to prosper no matter what situation we are facing – in spite of them or because of them. So a bump in the road shouldn’t stop us from thriving for the glory of God! Let’s make sure our priorities are right! Let’s avoid the obstacles that will prevent us from accomplishing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Let’s decide today what is important, what God has prepared for us to do, and go and get it done! Let’s be the mentor and manager we need to be! Let’s get the details hammered out and planned out! Let’s get the plans rolling! Let’s do it in a way that is helpful, not harmful! Let’s do it in a way that builds up rather than tears down!

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s live out the priorities God has given us! God first! Wife/Spouse second! Kids/Family third! everything else comes after this and so we need to live our lives in a way to honor this!

Is there anything getting in the way of completing what God has prepared? Do you know what to do or how to get through it, over it, or around it? Ask God for wisdom and discernment to help you! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you direction and instruction to get it done! Be bold and courageous and step up and step out to finish the good works God prepared in advance for you to accomplish today!


TODAY’S VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ‘

Matthew 18:3-5

As we talk about obstacles a word that comes to mind is things that cause us to stumble. As I was grabbing today’s verse of the day the next topic spoke to our discussion for today and so before continuing I wanted to reflect on what it tells us about how to live our lives.

‘ “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. ‘

Matthew 18:6-9

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Popular – Day 8


So what are you facing today? What is being asked of you? Are there obstacles you need to overcome? Are there asks of you? Invite Jesus into your heart to help you process it! Invite Jesus into your life to help you be an overcomer by going over, around, or through the obstacles that come your way! Invite Jesus into your situation so that you can be bold and courageous enough to finish the good works prepared in advance for you to accomplish!

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

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Let’s get it done!


As I wake up this morning I see a list of todos in front of me with excitement and energy. As I look ahead and see how busy work is and how busy life is I am excited to see God’s hand at work across all the areas of my life. Be it work with planning and preparing, meeting and learning, driving and executing. Be it life with training plans, camp plans, college plans, family plans, travel plans, and graduation plans. Both are busy and as I like to joke with people it helps me stay balanced. So as we get today going, let’s be focused, putting first things first, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness so that we can get it done in alignment and accordance with His perfect will and plan and purpose for our lives and allow God to help carry the load and get it done for His glory!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ‘

Proverbs 18:21

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
UNCOMMEN: Dads 2 – Day 1


Are you ready to go beyond just being a hearer of the Word to being a doer for the Word? Are you ready to get your to-dos into to-dones? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your situation and ask Him for wisdom to help you live your life to the full as He desires? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to lead and guide you through your day?

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

Let’s Pray!

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

Do you realize that everything needed is taken care of? Do you realize you just have to make the decision to say “I’m yours”?


This morning I found it interesting that the song that started playing in my head was from Stevie Wonder titled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and how it pointed me back to how awesome God is. After realizing that God wants a relationship with me and that it isn’t about rituals and routines, it changed the meaning of songs as I hear the lyrics and realize and consider pointing the love from those songs up to and at God. If you check out the lyrics from the song there are so many aspects that point to stories from God’s Word like the prodigal or lost son as well as the Psalms when they questioned if God could ever take them back. The reality is God has an incredible redemptive plan which Jesus has already fulfilled. Jesus paid it all! He died on the cross once for all of us! Thanks to Jesus the offer of grace has been signed, sealed, and delivered! Now the piece that we see even in the title of the song is that we have to make the choice out of our own freewill to receive this gift of grace through Jesus and tell God “I’m Yours”! Have you done that? Are you ready for that? What would it take for you to make that decision?

Let’s consider of the lyrics from the Stevie Wonder song:

So it has been taken care of! You have to make the choice, the decision, will you accept it, receive it, and say “I’m Yours”?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 28th


Signed, Sealed, and Delivered


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’

II Corinthians 1:21-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Before you read this passage, how sure were you that you were heaven bound?
  • And now? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You don’t have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Could today be the day you decide to turn your life over to God? Could today be the day you decided to invite Jesus into your heart? Could today be the beginning of God’s way for your life? Could today be the day you start living by and in accordance with God’s Spirit rather than trying to do it all in your own might and your own power? Are you ready to give your life into God’s hand and stop worrying about tomorrow? Are you ready for the certainty that Jesus has you covered and has taken care of everything for you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


Facing a challenge? Are you setup for success? Are you setup to get it done?


As I started my day it was interesting to get the following verse as the Bible App’s Verse of the Day:

‘Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” ‘

Mark 9:23

Even as I saw that another verse that came to mind in needing to get it done and being setup for success was:

‘But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. ‘

Matthew 6:33

So when we are facing a challenge we need to make sure our focus isn’t on how big the challenge or problem or obstacle is but rather to focus on God and how much bigger and greater He is and what He desires and how He would want us to proceed. When we trust Him and pursue His purpose and believe in Him and put all our trust in Him rather than our own understanding, all things are possible. We may be new or our faith may be small but God’s Word tells us that even with a small amount of faith amazing things can happen:

‘And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you. ‘

Luke 17:6

So whatever it is that you are facing, whatever is needed to succeed, turn to God to get the instructions, guidance, and direction that will enable you to get it done!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 11th


Aligned to Achieve


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. ‘

I John 3:22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you think it requires rocket science to find success?
  • Do you think it requires being a brain surgeon to find success?
  • Do you think it requires quantum physics to be able to get it done?
  • Do you realize that what is required for success and to get it done is to follow Jesus’ directions?
  • Do you realize that we can find riches through Jesus’ promises?
  • Do you realize that we can find rewards through Jesus’ promises?
  • Are you ready to align your heart with God’s will? Are you ready to be obedient to God’s commands? Will you receive and accept Jesus’ instructions and direction in pursuit of His promises?
  • Will you choose to live in the world but not of the world by pursuing and living out what you hear and find in God’s Word, the Bible?
  • Ever considered what the Bible says? Ever considered what God is asking and demanding of us?
  • Do you remember the 10 commandments from the Old Testament?
  • Do you remember how Jesus said all the commandments could be summarized in the New Testament?
  • Do you live out your life grabbing hold of the commands that we need to love? Love God and Love people? All the time?
  • Do you live out your life grabbing hold of the commands to forgive and be forgiven?
  • What about at home? What about at work? What about everywhere in between? Are you living a life of love? Are you living a life of forgiveness?
  • God isn’t someone who only lives at church.
  • God is omnipresent and so our relationship with Him should go everywhere we go and so our lives should reflect His love and forgiveness everywhere we go and into every life we come in contact with.
  • So we shouldn’t be living out our today with resentments! Let’s choose to love and forgive!
  • We shouldn’t be living out our today withholding affection! Let’s choose to love and forgive!
  • We shouldn’t be living out our today blaming people! Let’s choose to love and forgive!
  • Let’s not only receive and be filled with God’s love and forgiveness but also be vessels of love and forgiveness to the world around us! As we forgive others, God will forgive us!
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s commands so that we know how to be and what to do in every relationship and situation!
  • Let’s choose to live out our today in alignment and in accordance to His commands so that we can make choices and decisions that will touch God’s heart!
  • Let’s choose to live out our today in ways that will put a smile on His face!
  • Let’s remember God’s commands aren’t to hinder or harm us but they are to help us and are for our own good!
  • Let’s remember God’s commands are to help expand His kingdom!
  • So let’s choose to let His love flow through us into all those He send across our paths!
  • Do you realize how much other people’s lives depend on our obedience?
  • Our obedience to God’s commands both put a smile on God’s face and on the face of others!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some commands God has for you today?
  • Does making God smile motivate you to obey Him? Why or why not?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When you have great desires for heavenly things, when your desires are such as God approves of, when you want what God wants, then you will have what you like.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is it that you are facing? Do you know where to turn? Do you know what to do? Are you trying to lean on your own understanding too much? Why not trust in God instead? Why not pursue the answer His way? Why not be like David who even though the situation was similar went to God for wisdom and direction into how to address what He was facing? Will you turn to God rather than your own understanding? Will you seek His will through this situation? Will you not give up because you know that all things are possible with God? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


Let’s get it done!


It is interesting how as my work week begins that it begins on the theme of getting the work done. As I look forward at this week there is much to do and get done at work, for camp, and at home. As I look forward at this week and consider God’s plans and purposes for this week, I turn to Him for wisdom and guidance to help me make sure I keep first things first. Be it a core team or make up training meeting tonight for camp. Be it midyear evaluations or big projects for work. Be it getting to attend a revive night on Wednesday at church. Be it getting things done around the home. Be it family time. There is always more to get done than can get done, especially if we try to do it in our own strength. So we need to cast our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us! We need to stay connected to God for His yoke is easy and His burden is light! We need to lean on God rather than our own understanding! We need to allow Him to multiply our efforts! Let’s work that we need to get it done and let’s pray like we need God’s help to get it and in conjunction we will get to see God’s hand move to help us get it done!

What is on your todo list today? What do you need to get onto your to-done list? Let’s get it done!


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 21st


Finish the Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. ‘

John 17:4

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • There is always more need than you can handle.
  • There is always more work than you can get done.
  • There is always more help than you can give.
  • The key is to realize your purpose, why you are here, what it is God wants you to do today.
  • Don’t get fooled or weighed down by the things of the world.
  • Don’t get distracted by the noise and the clutter.
  • Focus on why God put you where you are today in order to get it done.
  • We know that when Jesus left there were still more sick people on the earth and yet as we see in today’s verse, He was finished the work the Father had given Him to do.
  • We know that when Jesus left there were still more sermons to be preached so that more people could learn about the kingdom of God and yet as we see in today’s verse, He was finished the work the Father had given Him to do.
  • We know that when Jesus left there were still more disciples to be trained so that the Word could continue to reach the farthest corners of the earth and yet as we see in today’s verse, He was finished the work the Father had given Him to do.
  • We know that when Jesus left there were still people who hadn’t heard the Good News and yet as we see in today’s verse, He was finished the work the Father had given Him to do.
  • Jesus was crystal clear on His purpose and that He had completed His task!
  • Jesus came to setup the Kingdom of God on earth, what is your purpose?
  • Jesus came to provide a direct connection from the people to God through forgiveness of sin, what is it you need to do?
  • Jesus came to leave people who could carry the message to the rest of the world, what is it you need to do?
  • Jesus knew on the night He was betrayed that the first it would be getting checked off the list as His sacrifice would pay the ultimate price so that we could have forgiveness of sin.
  • Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit would work in the lives of His followers to spread the Good News from Jerusalem, to Judea, to the outermost corners of the earth.
  • Jesus knew His mission was complete!
  • What will it take for us to be able to pray today’s memory verse when we get to the end of our day, week, month, year, and lives? To be able to confidently pray “Father, I’ve done what You wanted me to do”?
  • Let’s align our priorities with God’s in order to make this happen!
  • Let’s live out our lives, doing the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do, in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.
  • Let’s keep trusting God in the midst of all the troubles and trials and difficulties that will come our way!
  • Let’s keep trusting God to lead us and use us through it all!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How would you know if you have completed the work God gave you to do each day?
  • What would have to change in your walk with God for this to happen?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”

― David Livingstone

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Do you know what is on your todo list? Do you know what is on God’s todo list for you? Do you know who might be on your todo list from God? Do you know how to prioritize things on your todo list in order to get it to-done? Will you live your today in a way to get God’s work done? Will you prioritize God’s work today? Have you connected with Jesus in order to know what is on your list today? Have you connected with Jesus in order to get the wisdom and discernment, the energy and the strength to get it done? Are you ready to get this day started? Don’t get paralyzed by the todo list for the week or the month or the year. focus on today. Let’s ask God for wisdom on the things we need to get done in order to complete the good works He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s not stray or keep ourselves from Jesus but rather let’s finish the work by sticking with Jesus all day long! Let’s let go of and get rid of anything that would keep us from getting it done. Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


He’s not done with me yet!


As I wake up this morning I know that God has more for me as He’s not done with me yet. He has people He wants me to touch with the love of Jesus. He has people He wants me to impact with compassion and care. He has people He wants me to share Jesus’ truth and love. He’s not done with me yet because there are still things He wants me to learn. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to do. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to experience. He’s not done with me yet!

If you are reading this then He’s not done with you yet either. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow! Yesterday is gone! So we need to make the most of each today we get to experience and to live it God’s way, with hope, with love, with truth, and with faith! We need to live our today with our eyes open to be able to see what is in front of us! We need to live our today with our ears open to hearing the prompting of the Holy Spirit! We need to live our today with our hearts and mind ready to be bold and courageous and do all God has called us to do! Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment so that we know! Let’s pray for protection and health so that we know we are walking out today under the hand and protection of God so that we can live out boldly and courageously! He’s not done with you yet either!

So how can we make today count? If today was going to be the last is there anything you need to do that God is calling and asking you to do? If today was going to be the last is there anything that if you didn’t get to do it you would feel regret or would be questioned why you didn’t when you speak to God? He’s not done with us yet, so let’s make today count!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 9th


A Work in Progress


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; ‘

Philippians 1:6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God has begun a good work in us and He will work it, complete it until the day Jesus returns!
  • We are living the transformed life because of receiving Jesus
  • Thanks to Jesus all of our sins are forgiven!
  • Thanks to Jesus we join God’s family, we are adopted into God’s family!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the gift of eternity with God!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives to be our comforter and our guide!
  • We need to let these truths and the work of God on our lives lead and guide us, as we allow these truths to sink in deeper!
  • We need to hold onto these truths because we have decided to receive Jesus and follow after Him!
  • We need to steep in them and allow them to work on adjusting our attitude and motivations, our thoughts and our habits!
  • We are work in progress till the day we get to see Jesus face to face!
  • We need to stop allowing the lies of the devil to cause us to be so self focused on perfection that we miss out on the process and progress we are making as we walk out this life with Jesus!
  • We need to take hold of the reality that this is a long term plan and process and so we need to mature through it!
  • If you are a new Christian or someone who has been a Christian for a while, don’t try to jump the process or even rush it, pursue it according to God’s plans and purposes!
  • Let’s take hold of everything we can learn in, through, and from God and His Word!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up distortions in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up bad habits in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up selfish attitudes in our lives!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done or already perfect and miss out on what God is, will, and can do in and through us!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done and already perfect and then start to swerve or drift off course!
  • Let’s allow God to make the corrections!
  • Let’s keep moving so that He is able to direct our path!
  • Don’t get stuck in Egypt by living in or by denial (phonetically da Nile)
  • You are not alone! And you are not on this journey alone!
  • God has provided you with the Holy Spirit so that you are never having to do this alone!
  • God has committed Himself to lead you and to guide you!
  • God has committed Himself to never leave you nor forsake you!
  • He is here to guide you along the way!
  • He knows the baggage you are carrying from life and He knows what need to be drop, left behind, and what needs to be picked up and discovered!
  • He knows the way we should go and so even when we get to the Y or T in the road, He will give us direction to be able to continue to move forward with Him!
  • We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit! We need to make time and be quiet in order to hear the still quiet voice!
  • We need to be willing to hear the voice of God and walk it out!
  • We need to be aware of all the voices we hear and know God’s voice so that we can know which voice is the voice of truth!
  • Let’s not assume we know all the answers but instead lets confirm with God to ensure we stay on track!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that if He calls us to it He will get us through it!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that He doesn’t call the qualified but rather He qualifies the called!
  • This thing called life is a journey and so let’s not rush it! Let’s go at God’s pace for us!
  • Let’s go at God’s pace and enjoy the thrill of our lives!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does it help you to know that you’re a “work in progress”?
  • It brings peace and relief to know that the lies of the devil that we need to be perfect are just that, lies.
  • It bring hope and joy to know God is with me through this incredible journey called life and what a thrill it has been and will be!
What do you need to do to walk more closely with God on the journey?
  • Start my day with Him
  • Start my day in His Word
  • Invite Him into every step and every decision of every day!
  • Don’t assume I know the answer, confirm with God the answer!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

Theodore Roosevelt

A promise like that from a person would be impossible, but that promise from the God who cannot lie is exciting.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you live today for the glory of God and without regret? Will you say the things that need to be said in love and truth for the glory of God? Will you do the things that need to be done in love and truth for the glory of God? He’s not done with you yet and so will live today to become a better version of you who looks more and more like Jesus each day?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Do you know what to stop? Do you know what to avoid?


As I was starting my day the verse of the day jumped out at me with an interesting statement. I started with 6 things God hates and 7 that He detests. It brought to mind what things are being done that should be stopped? It also brought to mind what things are being done that should be avoided. After the last couple of days speaking to what we need and should be doing all founded on love, it was interesting to me to read today’s verse of the day. If we just love God and love people, we won’t find ourselves doing what God hates nor what He detests. So as we consider the DOs and how we can live out our lives with AGAPE or UNCONDITIONAL love and live our lives loving our neighbors as ourselves and as we learn through the story of the Good Samaritan – it means we need to love everyone! God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to give His life once for all in order to make a way to pay for our rebellion and rejection, put another way out sin, so that we can and are able to turn back to God and receive forgiveness, put another way repent of our wicked ways and be forgiven. And yet, here we are today and loving everyone isn’t the way the world is moving forward. It isn’t fake love but unconditional love that we are to be living. We are to be living AGAPE love not just PHILEO or EROS type of love which are temporary or can sway or change over time. AGAPE is something where even if you don’t like someone, you can still love them. You wouldn’t have PHILEO love nor EROS love for someone you don’t like. So today, let’s get our day started with and in love!


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from the book of Proverbs:

‘ These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [Ps. 120:2, 3.] A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.’
Proverbs 6:16-19

So first let’s look to remove pride for we know that pride comes before the fall. Let’s eliminate the spirit that makes us overestimate ourselves and underestimate others. Second, let’s be truth seekers and truth tellers and remove a lying tongue. Third, let’s be justice and righteous and stop causing or instigating or creating situation that will cause the shedding of innocent blood. Forth, let’s bring our minds under the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help us purify and sanctify and cleanse our minds, taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ so as to stop the creation and the speaking and the acting of manufactured wicked thoughts and plans. Fifth, let’s turn back to God, let’s turn from wickedness and evil, let’s humble ourselves keeping our feet from running to evil and getting tripped up by the lies of the devil who is trying to rob, kill, and destroy us. Sixth, we need to be seeking truth and justice, keeping ourselves from making up stories and being false witnesses or gossips. Seventh, let’s be people who live their lives to produce love, hope, truth, and unity, people who are trying to draw people together and towards God by the words we speak, the thoughts we think, and the way we live our lives keeping from sowing discord among others.

Are you with me? Are you willing to try and be doers of God’s Word? Are you willing to be ambassadors of peace? Are you willing to be salt and light? Are you willing to lead with love even when it is hard and you may not be in agreement with others? Will you put God first, loving God? Will you put people second, loving your neighbor as yourself? Just these two love commands will make such an impact to the world around you for the glory of God, in Jesus’ name.


Let’s choose the way that leads to life! Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that produces good fruit! Let’s choose to live in a way that will produce life!


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Another work week complete. Less than a week away from a new year beginning. Taking record of the lessons learned this year and how to use them to improve the year ahead that will start in a week. They say hindsight is 2020, let’s learn from it and not repeat the mistake nor increase the pain, let’s choose to be salt and light, being good stewards, and producing good fruits by the Spirit of God!

The 49 week challenge
Day 298

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 298 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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:

My Notes:

  • Consider all that we have to be thankful for
  • Remember your calling
  • Remember the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline
  • Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
  • Be strong in grace
  • Entrust to reliable people who will teach others
  • Let’s live according to the rules
  • Let’s endure for Jesus!
  • Let’s be faithful to God!
  • Let’s be a worker who handles the word of truth
  • Let’s build our lives on God’s solid foundation!
  • Let’s decide to invite Jesus into our hearts and become His
  • Let’s be useful to God and be ready to do the good work He prepares in advance for us to accomplish.
  • Do not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
  • Don’t be a gossip or troublemaker
  • Don’t be grumblers against God
  • Don’t be a grumbler against God’s plan and will
  • What would it take to get your attention? How severely would it have to be? Would it require the ground swallowing it or you up? Would it require a plague?
  • How long does it take for you to forget what God has done and you start grumbling?
  • God can take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good.
  • Don’t lose hope or faith in the midst of trials and troubles. Trust in God!
  • Remember the experiences of the past, the trials and troubles, and how God used it and turned it around for His glory and promised you Job 42:12
  • Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge God who will make your path straight!

As day 298 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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 that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

How to know when to go and when to stay, what to do and not do…


Over the years, I have learned how trying to force the decision rather than waiting for the answer never helps. I have also learned that trying to delay action after the decision has been communicated also causes complications. Be it when I was in a position where I was called to a higher role and delayed or argued the decision. Be it when I was in a rough situation at work and didn’t know what to do and then received the message to get out of the boat. Going along with God’s Word and God’s plan is always the right thing to do. Waiting on the Lord for Him to say “Go” or to say “Do” is always the right things.

Ever had a crazy year where you keep seeing things that don’t make sense? Ever had a crazy year where there was so much turmoil, trouble, challenge, and change? Ever had a crazy year where you were taken away from your comfort zone into a place of isolation, and then to add on it you were then put in a place that was even more isolating?

2020 has been such a year for me. I have leaned in on God because that is where my hope comes from. I have leaned in on God because that is where my help comes from. I have leaned in on God rather than my own understanding because my trust is in Him.

In a conversation yesterday, I said something to speak over a friend’s life and realized God was using it to help me stand firm and stand strong in the midst of the trials and the troubles. It took an act of God to bring me to this place and it will take an act of God for me to consider leaving it. It is almost the opposite statement that I give as an answer to people who ask me if I would ever go back to the previous company where I tell them I never say no but instead I say “it took an act of God to get me to leave the company and it will take an act of God to send me back to it”.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”



In a time away you can learn what things are really most important in life. In a time away you cam evaluation your priorities and make sure that you are living your life in alignment with your true priorities. I remember way back when I had come to that junction in the road of needing to decide what my priority list was and how my life was showing or not showing that reality. Ever considered what your top 5 list looks like? Ever considered if you looked at how you spend your money and your time if they would agree with what you believe your top 5 list looks like? Imagine a list like this, and if we fill in the first 3 alone which can be challenging enough, what would you put in 4 and 5?

Sample Priority List:

  1. God
  2. Wife and Marriage
  3. Kids and Family
  4. ____________________
  5. ____________________

And then reflecting on this list, if an auditor came and reviewed your calendar and your bank account, would they find that you are living your life in alignment with your priorities?

COVID generated more family time and more alone time – did you learn anything from it? Are there any lessons learned that you will keep post COVID? Family dinners? Family Sunday brunches? Couple prayer time?

Let’s not just be stuck in the bad or the negative or the challenging parts but let’s also remember the positive, the good, and the opportunities parts too.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? What have you learned through 2020 and be able to put into practice going forward? They say hindsight is 2020, but let’s not get stuck looking in the rearview mirror and allow the present to become blurry and confusing. Let’s take those lessons and apply them in order to produce a hope and a future that God has prepared in advance for us to live. Let’s take those lessons and apply them in a way that will make our todays better than our yesterdays. Let’s take the lessons in order to make our vision for the future clearer.

Before jumping into today’s reading, let’s take a look at the verse of the day from the Bible App to see what it has to say:

‘ He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? [Deut. 10:12, 13.]’

Micah 6:8

We see that in the Amplified version of the Bible, it calls out Deuteronomy 10:12-13 which says:

‘ And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being, To keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?’

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

So as we prepare ourselves for today, let’s take hold of God’s Word and what it says to us and about us when it comes to living this life we have been given. God’s plan for us is for good and not for evil, it is to give us a hope and a future. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! God is love and we find the definition of live in 1 Corinthians 13! Let’s receive God’s instruction and direction in order to live out our today the right way.


The 49 week challenge
Day 284

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 284 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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:

My Notes:

  • Hebrews 9:4-5
    • ‘which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. ‘
      Hebrews 9:4-5
  • Numbers 17
    • ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.” So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law. The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord ’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff. The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” Moses did just as the Lord commanded him. The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”’
      Numbers 17:1-13
  • 1 Samuel 4
    • ‘And Samuel’s word came to all Israel. Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord ’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. When the ark of the Lord ’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!” So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry. Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?” The man hurried over to Eli, who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.” Eli asked, “What happened, my son?” The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years. His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention. She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”’
      1 Samuel 4:1-22
  • 1 Samuel 5
    • ‘After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord ! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord ! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold. The Lord ’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?” They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel. But after they had moved it, the Lord ’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.’
      1 Samuel 5:1-12
  • 1 Samuel 6
    • ‘When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord ? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.” The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?” They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way? “Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance.” So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors. Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh. Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight. The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord . The Levites took down the ark of the Lord , together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord . The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron. These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the Lord —one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron. And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers—the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock on which the Levites set the ark of the Lord is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh. But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord . The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them. And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the Lord , this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?” Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord . Come down and take it up to your town.”’
      1 Samuel 6:1-21

As day 284 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


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 that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

At a crossroads? Wondering how you can choose? Trust God rather than leaning on your own understanding!


As today begins and the direction is seemingly becoming clear, don’t worry. Cast your worries, cares, and anxieties upon he Lord because He cares for you. Take hold of God’s Word where the verse for today is:

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” — Philippians‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Did you feel the draw? Did you feel the desire? Did you find yourself back where you started but this time setup to do or accomplish more? Consider how God has created connections. Consider how God has given you wisdom and knowledge. Now consider how pursuing the pleasures and satisfaction of God is so much better than merely the satisfaction of man. God has brought you and positioned you right here and now for such a day and such a time as this. Ask for God’s wisdom in and through today’s reading and today’s meetings so that you can choose your path and walk it out in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Life changing is part of God’s plan. He is in the transformation business. With the craziness or craziest year that I can remember 2020 has brought many challenges and changes and opportunities to learn and grow. Be it at home, at work, as a society, as a nation, as a neighborhood, there is an opportunity to have 2020 be a year of lessons learned. A year where going God’s way rather than going with the flow can bring great revelation and direction. Waiting on God to help renew your strength and refresh your mind. Be it a week away at the beach with family. Be it a week away spending time both meditating on God’s Word as well as reading a devotional like Chase the Lion. Coming back, unaware of the crossroads that would appear on the first mourning back and needing to decide. The excitement and energetic response of being ready thanks to God to respond and to decide to let go and let God work in and thru the process. It may look similar but God has bigger and greater plans for what is ahead. He will give wisdom and discernment along with clarity of vision with he lessons learned from the hindsight of 2020. Are you willing to go it God’s way? Let’s do it.


So let’s allow God to will and to work in and thru us for His good pleasure. In Jesus we don’t just have the motivation but also the power to act and accomplish His purpose and plans. From the beginning God has been planning and preparing the good works He has for you to accomplish. We are full of good works to accomplish! We can’t just be packed with potential, we need to go beyond that. We need to transform that potential energy into kinetic energy and get it moving into explosive power of and from God. Let’s move into the miraculous power of God in and thru us. Let’s allow God’s purpose and plan to explode out of us, moving things forward for the glory of His kingdom. So let’s do the works God has called and created us to do. Let’s go beyond the ability and into the action of doing and accomplishing the good works He prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s be doers of the Word. When we aren’t doing what we are full of from God we end up full of it. Let’s not be full of it but rather instead let’s be doers for the glory of God. Let’s be working as unto the Lord.


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and just over a quarter of the year remains. Are you willing to wait upon the Lord who will renew your strength and direct your steps? Are you ready some clarity of vision for what is ahead from what you have learned from the lessons of 2020? If hindsight is 2020 then how will you take the lessons learned into your future? Have you written down your lessons? What you did right? What you did wrong? There is no such thing as failure as long as you learn from the mistakes, then there is successes and lessons.

The 49 week challenge – Day 259

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 259 link to join me and sign up.

With August in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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:

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

My Notes:

  • 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
    28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    Matthew 6:25-34
  • Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
    1 Peter 5:6-7
  • Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
    — Psalm 55:22
  • Reviewing this scripture thru the Bible commentary: John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Philippians 4:

Verse 6

Be careful for nothing,…. This must be understood not in the most extensive sense, but with a limitation and restriction. There are many things that saints are to be careful for, as men and Christians; they are to be careful of their bodies, as well as of their souls; of the health of them, which is to be preserved by all lawful means, and not exposed to unnecessary danger; and for their families, to provide things honest for them, proper food and raiment, and the necessaries of life; for whoever does not do that, denies the faith, and is worse than an infidel; and even for the things of this world in a moderate way, using all diligence and industry in obtaining them; men ought to be careful to discharge the duties of their calling in civil life, and to care and concern themselves for the honour of God, the interest of religion, and the support of the Gospel; and that they offend not God, by sinning against him: but the carefulness the apostle speaks of, is an anxious solicitude for worldly things, an immoderate concern for the things of life, arising from diffidence, or negligence, of the power, providence, and faithfulness of God: saints should not be anxiously, or in a distressing manner concerned for the things of this world, but be content, whether they have less or more; nor be over much pressed with what befalls them, but should cast their care upon the Lord, and carry every case to him, and leave it there:

but in everything. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, “in every time”: always, constantly, every day, as often as there is opportunity, and need requires. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions join it with the following clause, “in every prayer and supplication”; but the grammatical construction of the words will not admit of such a version; it is best to understand it of every thing, or case, which should be brought to God; whether it be of a temporal or spiritual kind, relating to body or soul, to ourselves or others, to our families, relations, and acquaintance, the church, or the world:

by prayer and supplication: which may include all sorts of prayer, mental or vocal, private or public, ordinary or extraordinary, and every part of prayer: prayer may design petition, or asking for good things that are wanted; and “supplication”, a deprecating of evils that are feared; though these two are often used together for the same thing, for prayer in general: which ought always to be accompanied

with thanksgiving; for mercies received; for a man can never come to the throne of grace, to ask for grace and mercy, but he has mercies to bless God for, and so to do is very acceptable to God; nor can a person expect to succeed in the enjoyment of future mercies, when he is not thankful for past and present ones: in this manner therefore, at all times, upon every occasion, in a way of humble petition and supplication, joined with thankfulness for all favours,

let your requests be made known to God; not to men; fly not to an arm of flesh, but to God, to him only, and that in the most private mariner, as not to be known by men; and put up such requests, as there may be reason to hope and believe God will “know” and approve of; such as are agreeable to his will, to the covenant of his grace, and the declaration of his word: use familiarity with God, tell him as you would do a friend, freely and fully, all your case, pour out your souls and your complaints before him. This God would have his people do, and he expects it from them; and though he knows all their wants, and what are their desires before they express them, yet he will seem not to know them, or take any notice of them, until they open them to him in some way or other; either by vocal prayer, or mental; by ejaculations, or sighs and groans, by chattering as a crane or a swallow, all which he understands: and be the case made known in what way or manner soever, with ever so much weakness, so be it, it is made known, it is enough, it shall be regarded and not despised.

Verse 7

And the peace of God which passeth all understanding,…. Not that peace which God calls his people to among themselves in their effectual calling; and which he requires of them to cultivate and maintain; and which he encourages in them by the promise of his gracious presence among them; and which indeed he is the author of, and therefore is so called, Colossians 3:15; and which may be said to surpass or exceed all speculative knowledge, and understanding; for the one puffs up and profits nothing, but the other edifies; and much less that peace which God has in himself, who is all peace and love, and which passes all understanding, human and angelic; but either that peace which is made with God by the blood of Christ, and is published in the Gospel of peace, which passes and surprises all understanding of men and angels, that it should be; that the thoughts of God should be concerning it from everlasting; that a council of peace should be called and held between the eternal Three, and a covenant of peace entered into; that Christ should be appointed the peace maker, and the chastisement of it laid on him; that he should make it by the blood of his cross, and for men, while enemies to God and to himself: or else that peace of conscience, which arises from a view of peace made by Christ; of justification by his righteousness, and atonement by his sacrifice; and which may be called “the peace of Christ”, as the Alexandrian copy reads; both because it is founded upon, and springs from him, and is what he is the donor of: and this is what passes the understanding of every natural man; he knows nothing of this peace, what this tranquility of mind means; he intermeddles not with this joy; it is unaccountable to him how it should be, that such then should have peace, who have so much trouble, are so much reproached, afflicted, and persecuted, and yet have peace in Christ, while they have tribulation in the world; which

shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ, or “in Christ Jesus”: some read these words prayer wise, or as a wish, “let it”, or “may it keep”, so the Vulgate Latin; but they are rather a promise, encouraging the saints to the discharge of the above duties; as rejoicing always in the Lord, showing their moderation to all men, avoiding anxious care, and betaking themselves at all times, on all occasions, to prayer to God; in which way they may expect peace, and such as will be of that see vice to them, as here expressed; that is, be a means of their final perseverance; for the peace of God, in either sense, is a preservation of the saints: peace made with God secures them in Christ from all condemnation by the law, sin, Satan, the world, or their own hearts; and peace in their own souls, on so good a foundation as it is, keeps them through Christ as in a garrison, from being overset with the troubles of the world, or the temptations of Satan; and is a means of preserving them from being carried away with the errors and heresies of the wicked, having a witness to truth within themselves; and from every evil way and work, from profaneness and immorality; the grace of God teaching them, and the love of Christ constraining them, which is shed abroad in their hearts, to live and act otherwise.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Philippians 4

As day 259 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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?

Finish the week on a High!


Are you looking to finish strong? Are you looking to finish right? Are you looking to finish on a high? Are you ready to it done? Are you ready to step up?

How will you spend your last day of the work week? How will you prioritize your time and efforts? How will you prioritize your tasks and plans? How will you prioritize preparation for next week and what needs to get done today?

Will you focus on today? Will you give everything up into God’s hands and ask Him to lead and guide your plans? Will you make a plan and then allow God to direct your steps?

Let’s finish the week on a high!


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 115)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 115 link to join me and sign up.


With March in the rear view mirror, 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:


My Notes:

  • Will you face it with confidence?
  • Will you face it with conviction?
  • Will you face it with purpose?
  • Will you face it with faith?
  • Will you face it with preparedness to be able finish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?
  • Will you be slow to anger, slow to speak, and quick to listen?
  • If you aren’t seeing God showing up remember it isn’t that He is slow to fulfill His promise but rather is being patient towards us that we would turn back to Him because He doesn’t want anyone to perish!
  • Will you move forward in Spirit and in Truth?
  • Will you be honest or a deceiver?
  • Consider your heart and your intentions!
  • God sees beyond the surface and knows our thoughts and intentions!
  • Act in alignment with God’s plan and purpose.
  • Consider how you would respond if you were David.
  • Whom then shall you serve?
  • Will you put your hope and trust in God?
  • Will you put your blessing on others?
  • Do you have someone who is a confident and can speak truth in love to you?
  • Do you have someone who can shake you back into reality?
  • Will you be one who will speak life?
  • Will your hope and trust be in God alone?
  • What value will you bring into this world?
  • Will you be a good steward of what God has given you?
  • What is your role in your family?
  • What is your role in your community?
  • What is your role in your world?
  • Will you receive the call from God and pursue to accomplish them and finish on a high?

As day 115 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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 The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Definition of Done!


Ever heard of the phrase “definition of done”? It is where criterion are defined and agreed to that define what done looks like. If any of them don’t get completed then the work isn’t considered completed. So what does done look like when it comes to us doing what we are being asked by God? If we follow only some of the commandments have we done our part? Don’t we have to follow all of them as they are the criterion right? If we say we love God but we don’t do what His Word tells us then we are missing the criterion for done right? If we say we love people but we don’t do what God’s Word tells us then we aer missing the criterion for done right? And when we learn about Jesus we realize that the bar gets raised, some may say the quality bar for who we are is to go up so that when people see our good works they will glorify our Father in heaven. When Jesus went to the cross to pay for our sins and to complete the law not to abolish it, He says the words “It is finished!” put another way it is done, He has met all the criterion, He has opened up a new way for us to be reconciled to God!

So what is God calling you to do today? What is your work to be accomplished? What does the criterion look like for you? Does today have something special that God needs you to do? Does God have a divine appointment in store for you to have and to speak life and hope into the life of that person or group? Does God have a task He needs for you to do for Him? Is there someone who needs to hear about Jesus? Do you need to invite Jesus into your life in order to complete your criterion? Is your destinity determined yet since you have already received Jesus into your heart and your life? Do you have a list for today? Do you know who God will bring across your path? Will you be prepared to share the reason for the hope that is within you? Will you be ready to share the love of Jesus with everyone who comes your way? Will you seek wisdom from God for each encounter and situation so that you will know more than what you should or could? Are you preparing yourself in advance for the process, the battle, or the journey that is ahead? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!


Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Kings 14:

‘Amaziah son of Joash began to rule over Judah in the second year of the reign of King Jehoash of Israel. Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem. Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight, but not like his ancestor David. Instead, he followed the example of his father, Joash. Amaziah did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.” Amaziah also killed 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He also conquered Sela and changed its name to Joktheel, as it is called to this day. One day Amaziah sent messengers with this challenge to Israel’s king Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu: “Come and meet me in battle!” But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah with this story: “Out in the Lebanon mountains, a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree: ‘Give your daughter in marriage to my son.’ But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it! “You have indeed defeated Edom, and you are proud of it. But be content with your victory and stay at home! Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?” But Amaziah refused to listen, so King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of the Lord . He also seized the treasures from the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria. The rest of the events in Jehoash’s reign and everything he did, including the extent of his power and his war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And his son Jeroboam II became the next king. King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. There was a conspiracy against Amaziah’s life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. They brought his body back to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father, Amaziah. After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah. Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria forty-one years. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord , the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher. For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them. And because the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them. The rest of the events in the reign of Jeroboam II and everything he did—including the extent of his power, his wars, and how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah —are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Jeroboam II died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king.’

2 Kings 14:1-29

Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 20:

‘On August 14, during the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, some of the leaders of Israel came to request a message from the Lord . They sat down in front of me to wait for his reply. Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, tell the leaders of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: How dare you come to ask me for a message? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I will tell you nothing!’ “Son of man, bring charges against them and condemn them. Make them realize how detestable the sins of their ancestors really were. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord : When I chose Israel—when I revealed myself to the descendants of Jacob in Egypt—I took a solemn oath that I, the Lord , would be their God. I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’ “But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of the vile images they were obsessed with, or forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I threatened to pour out my fury on them to satisfy my anger while they were still in Egypt. But I didn’t do it, for I acted to protect the honor of my name. I would not allow shame to be brought on my name among the surrounding nations who saw me reveal myself by bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. So I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them. And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord , who had set them apart to be holy. “But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my decrees there in the wilderness. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life. They also violated my Sabbath days. So I threatened to pour out my fury on them, and I made plans to utterly consume them in the wilderness. But again I held back in order to protect the honor of my name before the nations who had seen my power in bringing Israel out of Egypt. But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would not bring them into the land I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful place on earth. For they had rejected my regulations, refused to follow my decrees, and violated my Sabbath days. Their hearts were given to their idols. Nevertheless, I took pity on them and held back from destroying them in the wilderness. “Then I warned their children not to follow in their parents’ footsteps, defiling themselves with their idols. ‘I am the Lord your God,’ I told them. ‘Follow my decrees, pay attention to my regulations, and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God.’ “But their children, too, rebelled against me. They refused to keep my decrees and follow my regulations, even though obedience would have given them life. And they also violated my Sabbath days. So again I threatened to pour out my fury on them in the wilderness. Nevertheless, I withdrew my judgment against them to protect the honor of my name before the nations that had seen my power in bringing them out of Egypt. But I took a solemn oath against them in the wilderness. I swore I would scatter them among all the nations because they did not obey my regulations. They scorned my decrees by violating my Sabbath days and longing for the idols of their ancestors. I gave them over to worthless decrees and regulations that would not lead to life. I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and remind them that I alone am the Lord . “Therefore, son of man, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord : Your ancestors continued to blaspheme and betray me, for when I brought them into the land I had promised them, they offered sacrifices on every high hill and under every green tree they saw! They roused my fury as they offered up sacrifices to their gods. They brought their perfumes and incense and poured out their liquid offerings to them. I said to them, ‘What is this high place where you are going?’ (This kind of pagan shrine has been called Bamah—‘high place’—ever since.) “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord : Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images? For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices, you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I will tell you nothing. “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations all around us, who serve idols of wood and stone.’ But what you have in mind will never happen. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I will rule over you with an iron fist in great anger and with awesome power. And in anger I will reach out with my strong hand and powerful arm, and I will bring you back from the lands where you are scattered. I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the Sovereign Lord . I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord , the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord . You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. You will know that I am the Lord , O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!” Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face the south and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev. Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord ! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north. And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord , have set this fire. It will not be put out.’” Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord , they are saying of me, ‘He only talks in riddles!’”’

Ezekiel 20:1-49

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Acts 15:

‘Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders —Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. This is the letter they took with them: “This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings! “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching, but we did not send them! So we decided, having come to complete agreement, to send you official representatives, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are sending Judas and Silas to confirm what we have decided concerning your question. “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.” The messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general meeting of the believers and delivered the letter. And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke at length to the believers, encouraging and strengthening their faith. They stayed for a while, and then the believers sent them back to the church in Jerusalem with a blessing of peace. Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there.’

Acts of the Apostles 15:22-33,35

Today’s reading then continues into Revelation 5:

‘Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.” And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.’

Revelation 5:11-14

Today’s reading then closes out in Psalms 119:

‘Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. The proud hold me in utter contempt, but I do not turn away from your instructions. I meditate on your age-old regulations; O Lord , they comfort me. I become furious with the wicked, because they reject your instructions. Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord ; therefore, I obey your instructions. This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. Lord , you are mine! I promise to obey your words! With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised. I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands. Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations. I am a friend to anyone who fears you— anyone who obeys your commandments. O Lord , your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees. You have done many good things for me, Lord , just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. Arrogant people smear me with lies, but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart. Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.’

Psalms 119:49-72

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? 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:

Get it done!


Don’t be so comfortable that you leave it undone. Don’t be so satisfied that you leave it undone. Don’t forget the promises and leave it undone. Don’t forget the reality and leave it undone. Don’t miss out on the hope and the future that has been planned and purposed for you by leaving it undone. Take a look around, do you see what is needing to get done? Reflect on the plans and the promises that were given to you, do you see what is needing to get done? Is there anything that is not yet done in your life? Is there anything that is requiring you to get it done? Are there people depending on you? Are there people who are needing you? Let’s get it done!


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


Not sure what to start with? Turn to God and ask Him for wisdom and discernment. Turn to God and ask Him not only what to do but how to do it. Don’t try to do it all in your own strength, power, and wisdom! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness so that He will get the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Do you realize the impact of leaving things undone? Do you realize the impact of failing to get it done? What will you choose to do? What will be your motivation to get it done?

Will you do it for God? Will you do it God’s way? Will you do God’s will? Will you stay close and live with a heart for God? Will you turn back to God when you miss the mark? Will you keep your mind on God’s will and purposes? Will you keep your mind on God’s plan and direction in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you live that there will be justice and righteousness? Will you put on the full armor of God?

‘He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion.’

Isaiah 59:17

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

–Ephesians 6:10-17–

So put on the full armor of God and stand firm while you get it done.

Will you get it done, even if it means you have to wait? Will you wait upon the Lord? Consider Simeon who was waiting to meet Jesus, the Messiah who waited and never lost hope in getting it done. Will you be lead by the Holy Spirit? Will you allow Jesus to be the foundation for all that you do?

All things are possible with and through God! Receive His wisdom and His strength! Follow Him all the days of your life!

Are you ready to be done?


Consider all the time. Consider all the effort. Consider all the investment. Consider all the work. Consider the purpose. Consider the plan. Consider the calling. Consider the joy. Consider the satisfaction. Consider the peace. Consider the realization of all of it. Consider how it will be used. Consider how it will be a blessing to so many. Consider how it will be so much more than anything you could have asked or imagined. Consider what all of this has prepared you for. Consider what all of this has done for those around you. Consider the good works that God had prepared in advance for you to accomplish. Consider the celebration. Consider the multiplication. Consider how much you have grown. Consider how much you have learned. Consider how much you have developed. Consider what it has done to prepare for what is next. Are you ready for the review and the inspection? Are you ready for the judging? Are you ready to be done? Are you ready for the blessing?


Today’s reading starts for us with Exodus 39.

‘The craftsmen made beautiful sacred garments of blue, purple, and scarlet cloth—clothing for Aaron to wear while ministering in the Holy Place, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Bezalel made the ephod of finely woven linen and embroidered it with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. He made gold thread by hammering out thin sheets of gold and cutting it into fine strands. With great skill and care, he worked it into the fine linen with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. The ephod consisted of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces. The decorative sash was made of the same materials: finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. They mounted the two onyx stones in settings of gold filigree. The stones were engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel, just as a seal is engraved. He fastened these stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that the priest represents the people of Israel. All this was done just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Bezalel made the chestpiece with great skill and care. He made it to match the ephod, using finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. He made the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square. They mounted four rows of gemstones on it. The first row contained a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald. The second row contained a turquoise, a blue lapis lazuli, and a white moonstone. The third row contained an orange jacinth, an agate, and a purple amethyst. The fourth row contained a blue-green beryl, an onyx, and a green jasper. All these stones were set in gold filigree. Each stone represented one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe was engraved on it like a seal. To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, they made braided cords of pure gold thread. They also made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings and attached them to the top corners of the chestpiece. They tied the two gold cords to the rings on the chestpiece. They tied the other ends of the cords to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. Then they made two more gold rings and attached them to the inside edges of the chestpiece next to the ephod. Then they made two more gold rings and attached them to the front of the ephod, below the shoulder-pieces, just above the knot where the decorative sash was fastened to the ephod. They attached the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod with blue cords. In this way, the chestpiece was held securely to the ephod above the decorative sash. All this was done just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Bezalel made the robe that is worn with the ephod from a single piece of blue woven cloth, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. The opening was reinforced with a woven collar so it would not tear. They made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and attached them to the hem of the robe. They also made bells of pure gold and placed them between the pomegranates along the hem of the robe, with bells and pomegranates alternating all around the hem. This robe was to be worn whenever the priest ministered before the Lord , just as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made tunics for Aaron and his sons from fine linen cloth. The turban and the special head coverings were made of fine linen, and the undergarments were also made of finely woven linen. The sashes were made of finely woven linen and embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Finally, they made the sacred medallion—the badge of holiness—of pure gold. They engraved it like a seal with these words: Holy to the Lord . They attached the medallion with a blue cord to Aaron’s turban, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

And so at last the Tabernacle was finished. The Israelites had done everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses. And they brought the entire Tabernacle to Moses: the sacred tent with all its furnishings, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases; the tent coverings of tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; the inner curtain to shield the Ark; the Ark of the Covenant and its carrying poles; the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; the table and all its utensils; the Bread of the Presence; the pure gold lampstand with its symmetrical lamp cups, all its accessories, and the olive oil for lighting; the gold altar; the anointing oil and fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the sacred tent; the bronze altar; the bronze grating and its carrying poles and utensils; the washbasin with its stand; the curtains for the walls of the courtyard; the posts and their bases; the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; the ropes and tent pegs; all the furnishings to be used in worship at the Tabernacle; the beautifully stitched garments for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests. So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord ’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.’

Exodus 39

Today’s reading then continues into Job 33.

‘“Listen to my words, Job; pay attention to what I have to say. Now that I have begun to speak, let me continue. I speak with all sincerity; I speak the truth. For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Answer me, if you can; make your case and take your stand. Look, you and I both belong to God. I, too, was formed from clay. So you don’t need to be afraid of me. I won’t come down hard on you. “You have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard your very words. You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin; I am innocent; I have no guilt. God is picking a quarrel with me, and he considers me his enemy. He puts my feet in the stocks and watches my every move.’ “But you are wrong, and I will show you why. For God is greater than any human being. So why are you bringing a charge against him? Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints? For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death. “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds, with ceaseless aching in their bones. They lose their appetite for even the most delicious food. Their flesh wastes away, and their bones stick out. They are at death’s door; the angels of death wait for them. “But if an angel from heaven appears— a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright— he will be gracious and say, ‘Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.’ Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s, firm and youthful again. When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. He will declare to his friends, ‘I sinned and twisted the truth, but it was not worth it. God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’ “Yes, God does these things again and again for people. He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy the light of life. Mark this well, Job. Listen to me, for I have more to say. But if you have anything to say, go ahead. Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified. But if not, then listen to me. Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”’

Job 33

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament where we start in Mark 6.

‘The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!” “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.” They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.” Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.’

Mark 6:30-44

Today’s reading next brings us into 1 Corinthians 12.

‘The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.’

1 Corinthians 12:21-31

As today’s reading comes to a close, lets meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 68.

‘Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord — rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the Lord himself will live forever? Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!” Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines. Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the Lord , the source of Israel’s life. Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali. Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!’

Psalms 68

Do you know where to turn?


Do you know what you have need of? Do you know what needs to be done? Do you know what is your calling? Do you know where to go? Why not turn to God and be filled with the Holy Spirit? Why not invite God into your life and allow His wisdom to lead and guide you? Why not invite God into your life and allow the Holy Spirit to give you the ability to get it done? Why not invite God into your very situation in order that the expertise necessary can be found and meet the needs? Do you know where to turn? Don’t be fooled! Don’t be lead astray! Stay close to God and allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior! Don’t forget! Don’t turn away from God! Draw closer to God and allow Him to draw closer to you! Do you know who to turn to?

Today’s reading starts in the book of Exodus with Exodus 31.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make: the Tabernacle; the Ark of the Covenant; the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; all the furnishings of the Tabernacle; the table and its utensils; the pure gold lampstand with all its accessories; the incense altar; the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils; the washbasin with its stand; the beautifully stitched garments—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests; the anointing oil; the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.”

The Lord then gave these instructions to Moses: “Tell the people of Israel: ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the Lord , who makes you holy. You must keep the Sabbath day, for it is a holy day for you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord . Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. This is a covenant obligation for all time. It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.’” When the Lord finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God.’

Exodus 31

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 32.

‘When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.” All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord !” The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry. The Lord told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.” But Moses tried to pacify the Lord his God. “O Lord !” he said. “Why are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, ‘Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earth’? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people! Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.’” So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. These tablets were God’s work; the words on them were written by God himself. When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, “It sounds like war in the camp!” But Moses replied, “No, it’s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.” When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it. Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?” “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.’ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the Lord ’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. Moses told them, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord , for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.” The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.” So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!” But the Lord replied to Moses, “No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me. Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.” Then the Lord sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.’

Exodus 32

Today’s reading next brings us into the book of Job starting with Job 22.

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: “Can a person do anything to help God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you and brings judgment against you? No, it’s because of your wickedness! There’s no limit to your sins. “For example, you must have lent money to your friend and demanded clothing as security. Yes, you stripped him to the bone. You must have refused water for the thirsty and food for the hungry. You probably think the land belongs to the powerful and only the privileged have a right to it! You must have sent widows away empty-handed and crushed the hopes of orphans. That is why you are surrounded by traps and tremble from sudden fears. That is why you cannot see in the darkness, and waves of water cover you. “God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing! How can he judge through the thick darkness? For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us. He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’ “Will you continue on the old paths where evil people have walked? They were snatched away in the prime of life, the foundations of their lives washed away. For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?’ Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things, so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking. “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed, and the innocent will laugh in contempt. They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed. The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’ “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! “Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”’

Job 22

Today’s reading continues into Job 23.

‘Then Job spoke again: “My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court. I would lay out my case and present my arguments. Then I would listen to his reply and understand what he says to me. Would he use his great power to argue with me? No, he would give me a fair hearing. Honest people can reason with him, so I would be forever acquitted by my judge. I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny. No wonder I am so terrified in his presence. When I think of it, terror grips me. God has made me sick at heart; the Almighty has terrified me. Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.’

Job 23

Today’s reading out of the Old Testament concludes with Job 24.

‘“Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain? Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers. They steal livestock and put them in their own pastures. They take the orphan’s donkey and demand the widow’s ox as security for a loan. The poor are pushed off the path; the needy must hide together for safety. Like wild donkeys in the wilderness, the poor must spend all their time looking for food, searching even in the desert for food for their children. They harvest a field they do not own, and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked. All night they lie naked in the cold, without clothing or covering. They are soaked by mountain showers, and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home. “The wicked snatch a widow’s child from her breast, taking the baby as security for a loan. The poor must go about naked, without any clothing. They harvest food for others while they themselves are starving. They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it, and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst. The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God ignores their moaning. “Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways or stay in its paths. The murderer rises in the early dawn to kill the poor and needy; at night he is a thief. The adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No one will see me then.’ He hides his face so no one will know him. Thieves break into houses at night and sleep in the daytime. They are not acquainted with the light. The black night is their morning. They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness. “But they disappear like foam down a river. Everything they own is cursed, and they are afraid to enter their own vineyards. The grave consumes sinners just as drought and heat consume snow. Their own mothers will forget them. Maggots will find them sweet to eat. No one will remember them. Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm. They cheat the woman who has no son to help her. They refuse to help the needy widow. “God, in his power, drags away the rich. They may rise high, but they have no assurance of life. They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. And though they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, cut off like heads of grain. Can anyone claim otherwise? Who can prove me wrong?”’

Job 24

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament starting with Mark 4.

‘Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret#4:11 Greek mystery. of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.’#4:12 Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).” Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. 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 others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given#4:24 Or The measure you give will be the measure you get back.—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”’

Mark 4:10-25

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 10.

‘So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?’

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

As we come to the close of today’s reading, let’s take a moment to meditate on today’s psalm coming from Psalms 62.

‘I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. So many enemies against one man— all of them trying to kill me. To them I’m just a broken-down wall or a tottering fence. They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They praise me to my face but curse me in their hearts. Interlude Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Interlude Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind, and the powerful are not what they appear to be. If you weigh them on the scales, together they are lighter than a breath of air. Don’t make your living by extortion or put your hope in stealing. And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life. God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours. Surely you repay all people according to what they have done.’

Psalms 62

It’s time to return! It’s time to rebuild!


Have you been seeing what is taking place? Have you been seeing the conflicts? Have you been seeing the wondering? Have you been seeing the division? Have you been seeing the attacks? Have you been seeing the pull? Have you been seeing the instigators?

Are you going away? Are you going to return? Are you going to help unify? Are you going to help restore? Are you going to help rebuild?

Today’s reading made me ponder where we are as a people around the world. Today’s reading made me ponder where we are as a people as a country. And it makes me pray that we will find a way to come together and unify with God! It makes me pray that we will stick with God and not be lured away from the truth and the reality and stand with God! Let’s be prepared! Let’s get prepared! Let’s not be surprised but rather let’s be prepared! Jesus has provided us with direction! Jesus has provided us with instruction! Jesus has provided us a way!

Today’s reading begins with Ezra 3…

Rebuilding the Altar

1When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem. 2Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. 4Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. 5After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. 6On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lordʼs temple had not yet been laid.

Rebuilding the Temple

7Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
8In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. 9Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.
10When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

“He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever.”

And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

–Ezra 3

It won’t be easy and there will be opposition! There will always be naysayers! There will always be those who try to cause division! There will always be those who don’t want to see God’s will accomplished! But will you stand up! Will you stand for something rather than falling for anything? This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not be distracted but rather let’s accomplish the will of God and complete the good work that He has prepared in advance for us to do!

Do not be discouraged! Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Yes there will be many who will try to discourage you! Yes there will be many who will try to stop you! Yes there will be many who will try to keep you from completing the work God has given you to do! Do not be deceived!

Today’s reading continues with Ezra 4…

Opposition to the Rebuilding

1When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, 2they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.”
3But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”
4Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 5They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

6At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes, they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
7And in the days of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language.
8Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa, 10and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.
11(This is a copy of the letter they sent him.)
To King Artaxerxes,
From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:
12The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.
13Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer. 14Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king, 15so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed. 16We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.
17The king sent this reply:
To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates:
Greetings.
18The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. 19I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. 21Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. 22Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?
23As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.
24Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

–Ezra 4

It isn’t going to be easy! We will need to be patient! We are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! As we were taught, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Don’t lose hope! Don’t worry! In this world we will have troubles! We have been told what is to come! We have also been given hope before Jesus has already won! “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So let’s walk in love! Let’s remember what love is!

68431-loveispatient

Let’s remember that God is Love! And how God desires for His love to be shone thru us to the world around us! Let’s live that we could replace the word love above with our names so that in and thru our lives Jesus will be glorified and people’s lives will be transformed!

Today’s reading again cries out to rebuild! Why not put God first! Why not pursue His purposes and His ways! Why not live lives worthy of God! Why not glorify God! Why don’t you return to God! Return to God and pursue His ways! Don’t you want His presence to be with you and the nation?

A Call to Build the House of the Lord

1In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:
2This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lordʼs house.’ ”
3Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
13Then Haggai, the Lordʼs messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

The Promised Glory of the New House

In the second year of King Darius,

–Haggai 1

and continues…shall we not live under His blessings…shall we not return to Him and His ways!

1on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 2“Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai: 11“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: 12If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”
The priests answered, “No.”
13Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
14Then Haggai said, “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
15“ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on—consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lordʼs temple. 16When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the Lord. 18‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lordʼs temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”

Zerubbabel the Lordʼs Signet Ring

20The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
23“ ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

–Haggai 2

Have you talked with God? Have you discussed your purpose? Have you discussed His plans? Are you aligning to them? Are you receptive to them? What would it take for you to receive it? What would you take to be obedient to it? Will you prepare in advance? Will you not wander to and fro not sure of what is next?

Let’s close with today’s reading from the New Testament and focus our thoughts on God’s Word and how we can make a difference today…Will you receive Jesus today?

1Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”
6And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
7During the days of Jesusʼ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away

11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of Godʼs word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

–Hebrews 5

 

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

Are you a finisher?


Do you get it done? Do you keep going till it is finished? Do you make sure it is complete? Do you only go part way? Do you leave things partially done? Do you reflect on where you are to consider what is left to do? Is there anything getting in the way of completing the work you have to do? No excuses! No avoidance! Let’s finish strong! Let’s finish the race! Let’s get it done!

Today’s reading speaks to finishing…

The Death of Jesus

(Matthew 27.45-56; Mark 15.33-41; Luke 23.44-49)

28Jesus knew that by now everything had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true, he said, “I am thirsty.”
29A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips. 30Jesus drank the wine and said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31Then the Jewish authorities asked Pilate to allow them to break the legs of the men who had been crucified, and to take the bodies down from the crosses. They requested this because it was Friday, and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, since the coming Sabbath was especially holy. 32So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with Jesus. 33But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. 34One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out. ( 35The one who saw this happen has spoken of it, so that you also may believe. What he said is true, and he knows that he speaks the truth.) 36This was done to make the scripture come true: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37And there is another scripture that says, “People will look at him whom they pierced.”

–from John 19

He did it the way it was supposed to be! He did it in His own timing! He did it for God’s glory!

Today’s reading speaks to how nobody could enter till the angels were finished…

The Angels with the Last Plagues

1Then I saw in the sky another mysterious sight, great and amazing. There were seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last ones, because they are the final expression of God’s anger. 2Then I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire. I also saw those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and over the one whose name is represented by a number. They were standing by the sea of glass, holding harps that God had given them 3and singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Lord God Almighty, how great and wonderful are your deeds! King of the nations, how right and true are your ways! 4Who will not stand in awe of you, Lord? Who will refuse to declare your greatness? You alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship you, because your just actions are seen by all.” 5After this I saw the temple in heaven open, with the Sacred Tent in it. 6The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, dressed in clean shining linen and with gold bands tied around their chests. 7Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls full of the anger of God, who lives forever and ever. 8The temple was filled with smoke from the glory and power of God, and no one could go into the temple until the seven plagues brought by the seven angels had come to an end.

–from Revelation 15

God is in control! Nothing surprises Him! What will we choose to do? How will we choose to live? How will we choose to respond? What will it take for us to turn back to Him? What will it take for us to learn through our experiences? When will we listen to Him?

1The storm makes my heart beat wildly. 2Listen, all of you, to the voice of God, to the thunder that comes from his mouth. 3He sends the lightning across the sky, from one end of the earth to the other. 4Then the roar of his voice is heard, the majestic sound of thunder, and all the while the lightning flashes. 5At God’s command amazing things happen, wonderful things that we can’t understand. 6He commands snow to fall on the earth, and sends torrents of drenching rain. 7He brings our work to a stop; he shows us what he can do. 8The wild animals go to their dens. 9The storm winds come from the south, and the biting cold from the north. 10The breath of God freezes the waters, and turns them to solid ice. 11Lightning flashes from the clouds, 12as they move at God’s will. They do all that God commands, everywhere throughout the world. 13God sends rain to water the earth; he may send it to punish us, or to show us his favor. 14Pause a moment, Job, and listen; consider the wonderful things God does. 15Do you know how God gives the command and makes lightning flash from the clouds? 16Do you know how clouds float in the sky, the work of God’s amazing skill? 17No, you can only suffer in the heat when the south wind oppresses the land. 18Can you help God stretch out the sky and make it as hard as polished metal? 19Teach us what to say to God; our minds are blank; we have nothing to say. 20I won’t ask to speak with God; why should I give him a chance to destroy me? 21And now the light in the sky is dazzling, too bright for us to look at it; and the sky has been swept clean by the wind. 22A golden glow is seen in the north, and the glory of God fills us with awe. 23God’s power is so great that we cannot come near him; he is righteous and just in his dealings with us. 24No wonder, then, that everyone is awed by him, and that he ignores those who claim to be wise.

–from Job 37

Will you keep speaking to God? Will you trusting in Him? Will allow Him to lead you and guide you? Will you allow Him to provide you wisdom and direction? Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God!

1This is the message that the Lord revealed to the prophet Habakkuk.

Habakkuk Complains of Injustice

2O Lord, how long must I call for help before you listen, before you save us from violence? 3Why do you make me see such trouble? How can you stand to look on such wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are all around me, and there is fighting and quarreling everywhere. 4The law is weak and useless, and justice is never done. Evil people get the better of the righteous, and so justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Reply

5Then the Lord said to his people, “Keep watching the nations around you, and you will be astonished at what you see. I am going to do something that you will not believe when you hear about it. 6I am bringing the Babylonians to power, those fierce, restless people. They are marching out across the world to conquer other lands. 7They spread fear and terror, and in their pride they are a law to themselves.
8“Their horses are faster than leopards, fiercer than hungry wolves. Their cavalry troops come riding from distant lands; their horses paw the ground. They come swooping down like eagles attacking their prey. 9“Their armies advance in violent conquest, and everyone is terrified as they approach. Their captives are as numerous as grains of sand. 10They treat kings with contempt and laugh at high officials. No fortress can stop them—they pile up earth against it and capture it. 11Then they sweep on like the wind and are gone, these men whose power is their god.”

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord Again

12Lord, from the very beginning you are God. You are my God, holy and eternal. Lord, my God and protector, you have chosen the Babylonians and made them strong so that they can punish us. 13But how can you stand these treacherous, evil men? Your eyes are too holy to look at evil, and you cannot stand the sight of people doing wrong. So why are you silent while they destroy people who are more righteous than they are? 14How can you treat people like fish or like a swarm of insects that have no ruler to direct them? 15The Babylonians catch people with hooks, as though they were fish. They drag them off in nets and shout for joy over their catch! 16They even worship their nets and offer sacrifices to them, because their nets provide them with the best of everything. 17Are they going to use their swords forever and keep on destroying nations without mercy?

–from Habakkuk 1

God’s timing is perfect! So let’s be patient! Let’s not grow weary in doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest as long as we don’t give up!

The Lord’s Answer to Habakkuk

1I will climb my watchtower and wait to see what the Lord will tell me to say and what answer he will give to my complaint. 2The Lord gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance. 3Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed. 4And this is the message: ‘Those who are evil will not survive, but those who are righteous will live because they are faithful to God.’”

Doom on the Unrighteous

5Wealth is deceitful. Greedy people are proud and restless—like death itself they are never satisfied. That is why they conquer nation after nation for themselves. 6The conquered people will taunt their conquerors and show their scorn for them. They will say, “You take what isn’t yours, but you are doomed! How long will you go on getting rich by forcing your debtors to pay up?” 7But before you know it, you that have conquered others will be in debt yourselves and be forced to pay interest. Enemies will come and make you tremble. They will plunder you! 8You have plundered the people of many nations, but now those who have survived will plunder you because of the murders you have committed and because of your violence against the people of the world and its cities. 9You are doomed! You have made your family rich with what you took by violence, and have tried to make your own home safe from harm and danger! 10But your schemes have brought shame on your family; by destroying many nations you have only brought ruin on yourself. 11Even the stones of the walls cry out against you, and the rafters echo the cry. 12You are doomed! You founded a city on crime and built it up by murder. 13The nations you conquered wore themselves out in useless labor, and all they have built goes up in flames. The Lord Almighty has done this. 14But the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord’s glory as the seas are full of water. 15You are doomed! In your fury you humiliated and disgraced your neighbors; you made them stagger as though they were drunk. 16You in turn will be covered with shame instead of honor. You yourself will drink and stagger. The Lord will make you drink your own cup of punishment, and your honor will be turned to disgrace. 17You have cut down the forests of Lebanon; now you will be cut down. You killed its animals; now animals will terrify you. This will happen because of the murders you have committed and because of your violence against the people of the world and its cities. 18What’s the use of an idol? It is only something that a human being has made, and it tells you nothing but lies. What good does it do for its maker to trust it—a god that can’t even talk! 19You are doomed! You say to a piece of wood, “Wake up!” or to a block of stone, “Get up!” Can an idol reveal anything to you? It may be covered with silver and gold, but there is no life in it. 20The Lord is in his holy Temple; let everyone on earth be silent in his presence.

–from Habakkuk 2

Wait for it! God’s Word never returns void! Take time to hear from Him! Trust Him with all your heart, mind, and strength!  He is mighty to save! He is just! Put your trust in Him!

A Prayer of Habakkuk

1This is a prayer of the prophet Habakkuk: 2O Lord, I have heard of what you have done, and I am filled with awe. Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do. Be merciful, even when you are angry. 3God is coming again from Edom; the holy God is coming from the hills of Paran. His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise. 4He comes with the brightness of lightning; light flashes from his hand, there where his power is hidden. 5He sends disease before him and commands death to follow him. 6When he stops, the earth shakes; at his glance the nations tremble. The eternal mountains are shattered; the everlasting hills sink down, the hills where he walked in ancient times. 7I saw the people of Cushan afraid and the people of Midian tremble. 8Was it the rivers that made you angry, Lord? Was it the sea that made you furious? You rode upon the clouds; the storm cloud was your chariot, as you brought victory to your people. 9You got ready to use your bow, ready to shoot your arrows. Your lightning split open the earth. 10When the mountains saw you, they trembled; water poured down from the skies. The waters under the earth roared, and their waves rose high. 11At the flash of your speeding arrows and the gleam of your shining spear, the sun and the moon stood still. 12You marched across the earth in anger; in fury you trampled the nations. 13You went out to save your people, to save your chosen king. You struck down the leader of the wicked and completely destroyed his followers. 14Your arrows pierced the commander of his army when it came like a storm to scatter us, gloating like those who secretly oppress the poor. 15You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters foamed. 16I hear all this, and I tremble; my lips quiver with fear. My body goes limp, and my feet stumble beneath me. I will quietly wait for the time to come when God will punish those who attack us. 17Even though the fig trees have no fruit and no grapes grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no grain, even though the sheep all die and the cattle stalls are empty, 18I will still be joyful and glad, because the Lord God is my savior. 19The Sovereign Lord gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer and keeps me safe on the mountains.

–from Habakkuk 3

No matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been, it’s not too late!


Do you think you are beyond hope because of what you have done? Do you think you are too far away to be able to come back? Do you think that because of where you have been that you won’t be welcomed or received? Do you think that because of what people think or say about you that you wouldn’t be received? Are you interested and want to find out more? Are you seeking for answers? Are you trying to see what the excitement is all about?

In today’s reading from God’s Word we learn about Levi. People didn’t always say the nicest things about him and his friends. People actually had a pretty low view of them. But that isn’t what Jesus saw, He sees beyond where we have been or where we are to where He wants us to be. Consider this…

Jesus Calls Levi

(Matthew 9.9-13; Luke 5.27-32)
13Jesus went back again to the shore of Lake Galilee. A crowd came to him, and he started teaching them. 14As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Levi son of Alphaeus, sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.
15Later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi’s house. A large number of tax collectors and other outcasts was following Jesus, and many of them joined him and his disciples at the table. 16Some teachers of the Law, who were Pharisees, saw that Jesus was eating with these outcasts and tax collectors, so they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?”
17Jesus heard them and answered, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.”
~from Mark 2 (GNT)

Don’t let your past define your future! Don’t let other’s perception keep you from receiving all that God has planned for you. Be willing to step up and step out from where you are to where God desires for you to. Be willing to seek God with all of your heart, your mind, and your strength and allow Him to lead you, guide you, grant you wisdom and courage to do what is right! Become transformed, for when you receive Jesus, you become a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come. He starts cleaning out of your heart house the things that have been holding you back and messing you up. He gives you what you are in need of to be able to continue to walk through what is ahead of you. He loves you right where you are but too much to leave you there.

We need to be a part of a group, a friendship, something somewhere that we can not only fellowship and share, but also where we can keep each other accountable for what we are or aren’t doing, things we should or shouldn’t be doing. Without checks and balances, the devil will try to tempt or deceive us, try to lead us astray to the point we think we can’t open up, we can’t admit, we can’t apologize, we can’t ask for forgiveness, we should be ashamed, … but the reality is God knows our strengths and our weaknesses better than we do and we just need to turn back to Him rather than keep running away. We need to be walking with Him and when we trip, when we miss a step, when we take a wrong turn, we stop, turn back to Him, ask for forgiveness and move on with Him. We need to be in relationships that are healthy. We need to be able to forgive others too and not allow bitterness to ruin us. We aren’t perfect! None of us are! That is why in God’s Word it says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”! Not some of us, ALL of us! That is why Jesus came to save the lost, once for all times. So as we consider where we are at today, let’s realize that with one another looking out for each other, there is a way and a hope to be able to brought back in without wandering off too far.

Immorality in the Church

1Now, it is actually being said that there is sexual immorality among you so terrible that not even the heathen would be guilty of it. I am told that a man is sleeping with his stepmother! 2How, then, can you be proud? On the contrary, you should be filled with sadness, and the man who has done such a thing should be expelled from your fellowship. 3-4And even though I am far away from you in body, still I am there with you in spirit; and as though I were there with you, I have in the name of our Lord Jesus already passed judgment on the man who has done this terrible thing. As you meet together, and I meet with you in my spirit, by the power of our Lord Jesus present with us, 5you are to hand this man over to Satan for his body to be destroyed, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.
6It is not right for you to be proud! You know the saying, “A little bit of yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise.” 7You must remove the old yeast of sin so that you will be entirely pure. Then you will be like a new batch of dough without any yeast, as indeed I know you actually are. For our Passover Festival is ready, now that Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Let us celebrate our Passover, then, not with bread having the old yeast of sin and wickedness, but with the bread that has no yeast, the bread of purity and truth.
9In the letter that I wrote you I told you not to associate with immoral people. 10Now I did not mean pagans who are immoral or greedy or are thieves, or who worship idols. To avoid them you would have to get out of the world completely. 11What I meant was that you should not associate with a person who calls himself a believer but is immoral or greedy or worships idols or is a slanderer or a drunkard or a thief. Don’t even sit down to eat with such a person.
12-13 After all, it is none of my business to judge outsiders. God will judge them. But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the scripture says, “Remove the evil person from your group.”
~from 1 Corinthians 5 (GNT)

If we walk away… If we ste out of alignment and God’s covering… We put oursleves into a position where the devil will and can torment and tempt us. He will try to drag us farther away. He will try to drag you further down. Don’t wait till you hit rock bottom to stop, turn around and ask God for forgiveness and come back. We are all faced with choices, and the deeper you get or the further away you get, the harder it gets on you, but the reality is God like a father waiting for you to come home is waiting for you to choose!

Don’t lose hope just because of tough times. Don’t lose faith because of what is facing you. Turn to God who is willing and able to exceedingly, abundantly more than we can or could ever ask or imagine!

Comfort in Time of Distress

HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by Asaph.
1I cry aloud to God;
I cry aloud, and he hears me.
2In times of trouble I pray to the Lord;
all night long I lift my hands in prayer,
but I cannot find comfort.
3When I think of God, I sigh;
when I meditate, I feel discouraged.
4He keeps me awake all night;
I am so worried that I cannot speak.
5I think of days gone by
and remember years of long ago.
6I spend the night in deep thought;
I meditate, and this is what I ask myself:
7“Will the Lord always reject us?
Will he never again be pleased with us?
8Has he stopped loving us?
Does his promise no longer stand?
9Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has anger taken the place of his compassion?”
10Then I said, “What hurts me most is this—
that God is no longer powerful.”
11I will remember your great deeds, Lord;
I will recall the wonders you did in the past.
12I will think about all that you have done;
I will meditate on all your mighty acts.
13Everything you do, O God, is holy.
No god is as great as you.
14You are the God who works miracles;
you showed your might among the nations.
15By your power you saved your people,
the descendants of Jacob and of Joseph.
16When the waters saw you, O God, they were afraid,
and the depths of the sea trembled.
17The clouds poured down rain;
thunder crashed from the sky,
and lightning flashed in all directions.
18The crash of your thunder rolled out,
and flashes of lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19You walked through the waves;
you crossed the deep sea,
but your footprints could not be seen.
20You led your people like a shepherd,
with Moses and Aaron in charge.
~from Psalm 77 (GNT)