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: What will make it click and take off?


So you get to listen and try to absorb. You get to participate and ask questions. You get to see people in action. Now it is time to go deeper from knowledge to understanding so that this understanding comes will be the triggering mechanism to help things rocket off, finding the power to propel us forward and thrive for the glory of God! Understanding is so powerful as it can help us get to forgiveness when needed! Understanding is so powerful because it can help us respect and honor others better! Understanding is so powerful because it can bring joy and happiness! So today, let’s lean into what God has to say and make sure we don’t just know about God but rather we know God and live to understand Him intimately! Let’s lean into what God is speaking to us so that we aren’t just people who are hearers or readers of the Word but rather people who understand and become doers of the Word!


Verse of the Day:

‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. ‘

John 13:14

Feet in the sand… Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
What The Father Says – Day 2


So are you ready to wait upon God so that He can renew your strength? Are you ready to abide with and in God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life in order to make the choice to grow closer and closer to God? Are you ready for today to be the day your life is transformed for the glory of God?

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

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: When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.


When things don’t seem clear and you aren’t sure what to do, do what you know to do. God has given you directions so do that. God has given you wisdom so do that. God has given you hope so do that. God has a plan so do that. God has a purpose so do that. And in God’s timing, which is perfect, you will know what to do and then you can step up, step out, and do it. Be it at work! Be it at home! Be it somewhere in between! Let’s capture what God has for us to do today in the midst of the world being shaken and do it! Let’s capture what God has for us to do today so that we are doing the right things when the only thing left is unshakable and do it!

For me, that means I get to be the dad my wife needs me to be. For me, that means I get to be the dad my kids need me to be. For me, that means I get to focus on preparing for what is yet to come like scripts, decks, and videos that speak to men, youth, and kids about the importance and the responsibility of being the dads this world needs.



Verse of the Day:

‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ‘

1 John 3:18

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Killing Sin – Day 2


Where are you today? Are you ready to lean in on God to be able to do what you know to do in the midst of uncertain times? Are you ready to lean in on God to be able to do what you know to do in the midst of shaky times? Are you not sure what to do? Are you not sure how to do it? The answer is to turn back to God and lean in on Him for wisdom and discernment, direction and instruction, so that in everything you do He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory and it will be for your good.

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 or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: Workweek is over and still decisions to be made…


Let us take hold of the reality of what we have learned through the book of Exodus when it comes to THRIVING and allow God’s Word to help us as we look ahead and into the future of this life. We learned about risk-taking, getting out of the boat, and allowing God to do new things in our lives, God answers prayer, and God is near to His people. We learned that God’s deepest work can come out through our trials, troubles, and pain. We learned how we are closer to a breakthrough than we think even during what we are going through. Just like the turbulence right before breaking through the sound barrier, life can get bumpy right before the breakthrough. During the struggle, we need to trust God and His choice of us for this calling and purpose rather than thinking we are the wrong choice. We need to trust God even when we do not understand. We need to keep turning to God when we do not know what to do or where to go. We need to fight our way through the pain, fear, and unbelief. God is in control! Do not give up! Lean in, kneel, and call out to God. We have learned the importance of picking our battles. We need to choose to fight the fight of trust – that God is good even when our circumstances are not. We need to choose to fight the fight of perseverance – to keep going and not quit (do not give in to the doubts and fears the devil is trying to use to get you to quit). We need to choose to fight the fight for unity – to move forward at the speed of health. We learned the why! It is important to know why! Why did God put Egypt through the plagues? Because He wanted to answer Pharoah’s question “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” Egypt had a god for everything, and the plagues demonstrated that God was over and of them because they were not real gods. We need to understand WHY. Could simplification be the answer? What does that say and what does that mean for and to you? We learned the importance of leaving the things behind us to move forward to the things God has for us. We learned the importance of leaving the mistakes and trials of the past behind us. We learned the need to let go of the struggles and pains of the past. We learned the importance to instruct our kids. We learned God is so for you – taking you right where you are and leading you into a new beginning. We cannot get stuck in the past and not step up and step out into what God has planned for us. We need to do what we have to do to get where God needs us to be. We learned that we need to wake up to the reality of what is taking place instead of getting stuck we need to act. We need to pray and call on God rather than absorbing or accepting failure around us. We need to be able to accept success and breakthroughs when it is right in front of us. We cannot allow the fear of the unknown or the future to become our master again. We learned how we must let God make the change and take hold of the reality that God is able to exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. We learned how God wants to forgive you so much He came after you. He did all the work himself. Just needed to accept the gift. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. We learned how God gave the cloud and the fire to comfort them. Do not let your heart be troubled. God has a change and a new way for you. God will stand between you and the enemy. We learned how today by faith in Christ you can be forgiven and start the journey with Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will lead you and guide you. He will come behind you to watch your back. We learned that we need to do what God is telling us to do. We need to stop going backward. We need to stop surrendering when we are on the verge of a breakthrough. Start moving towards what God is calling you to. Dare to sow, to pray, to give your best. The things you can do so do it. We learned how God had the wind stack up the water into walls and dried the ground. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and keep moving towards what He is showing us and telling us. Pharaoh woke up to a supply chain issue – he questioned why he let them go and just because one day their eyes may be opened to the reality of the situation, it does not mean that we should not be moving forward into the promised land and glory had prepared in advance for us to step into. God does not send you to hell, He opened the door to forgiveness and heaven, and we need to choose the final destination. You are the only one who can keep you from eternal life with God and forgiveness. 

So, what is next for you? What will you decide? Are you ready to accept the change and move from surviving into thriving? Are you ready to receive what God has prepared in advance for you to do. Are you ready to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to do. Will you accept the calling? Will you step up and step out for the glory of God? The choice is yours! We have freewill and we can choose to be used by God or to abdicate our responsibility and calling. Remember the story of Esther and how she was called to save her people? Remember the story of when the people were praising Jesus and when told to tell them to stop, He answered that if they stopped the rocks would cry out


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. ‘

Proverbs 29:25

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 3


Where are you today? What decisions are you facing? What challenges are you facing? What struggles are you facing? What opportunities are you facing? What will you do about it? Where will you turn for wisdom and advice? What will you do about the answer you receive? Will you go? Will you do it? Will you trust Him? Let’s give it up to God! Let’s go to Him for wisdom and advice! Let’s be obedient to His instruction and go do it!

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 or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


THRIVE: Do what you know to do when you don’t know what to do. Finish strong!


I am so grateful for a loving and caring God. I am so thankful that He knows what I need even before I can ask. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He gave me His Word. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He gave His one and only Son. I am so thankful that He loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to go it alone and so He not only give me one another but also His Holy Spirit to be my comforter and my guide. So, what to do when you don’t know what to do? You do what you know how to do and turn to God and ask for His wisdom and discernment, for His leading and guiding, so that you can move forward for the glory of His kingdom.

Can you believe it is the end of the workweek already? Let’s finish the week strong! Let’s give our day into God’s hand to help us navigate not only the information that will come our way but also the time we spend today with others, on projects, etc. Let’s choose to live today in a way that will glorify God! Let’s trust God knowing that whatever is going on it will be for His glory and our good! Let’s persevere as we move forward not giving up and not giving in to the lies or tricks of the devil. Let’s work for unity in health so that in and through it all God will be lifted up and glorified and others will see it and glorify our Father in heaven.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ‘

John 14:26

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Father Like The Father – Day 2


So are you ready to finish the week strong? Are you looking to figure out what to do? Are there many open questions? Is there uncertainty taking place? Let’s lean in on God! Let’s trust in God! Let’s not think we can figure it all out but instead turn to God and ask the Holy Spirit to help us! Let’s invite God into our life situation.

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 or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.


Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

THRIVE: How do you use what you have been given?


Do you use it to make your life better? Do you use it to serve others? Do you use it to help others? Do you use it to try and make a difference? Do you use it to try and glorify God? Do you use it to be generous? Do you use it to refresh others? Do you use it to build up? Do you use it to tear it down? Do you use it to encourage? Do you use it for good? Do you use it for evil?

Do you realize where what you have has come from?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

Will you choose to use what you have been given to thrive? Will you choose to use what you have been given to thrive for the glory of God?

Do you realize why God has given it to you?

‘Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. ‘

2 Corinthians 9:10-11

So what have you been given? Do you realize the difference between the seeds and the bread? Do you realize that the seeds are for planting and not for eating? Do you realize the bread is for eating? So let’s take what we have and use it for the right reasons and the right purposes. Let’s choose to be people who are generous. Let’s lean in and trust God so that He can help us both be ready and be obedient in living our lives so that we can thrive for His glory!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. ‘

Proverbs 11:25

Today’s post from Be The Dads is The Daring Dad – Day 2.


So are you ready to use what you have for the greater good? Are you ready to accept what you have been given as a gift from God? Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life so that He can provide you the wisdom and guidance you need to use what you have to its full potential? Are you ready to be generous on every occasion? Are you ready to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit? Could today be the beginning of a new way and a great way for you to live?

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

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


The short answer is: Do what you know to do.

Today, as I enjoy the weekend with my family the workweek, has finished and yet the news/answers didn’t come. So what is going to happen? Don’t know! What will we do? Don’t know! Where will we be? Don’t know! But I do know what my team does and so we will keep doing that to the best of our abilities in order to not only support the various teams across the company but also produce the best-localized content we can for our customers, shoppers, and visitors.

So are you having to deal with unknowns? Are you having to deal with uncertainties? Are you having to deal with changes? Are you having to deal with obstacles? Are you having to deal lack of clarity? Are you having to deal with a lack of direction? So what are you going to do?

Do what you know how to do! Invite God into the situation and do what you know how to do!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. ‘

Proverbs 13:20

Today’s post from Be The Dads is The Daring Dad – Day 1.


So what are you dealing with today? Is God your go-to? Is God where you turn when you are facing uncertain times? Is God where you turn when you are facing challenging times? Is God where you turn when you are facing change? Are you ready to open that door to start a conversation and relationship with God so that not only can you be engaged to the world but allow God to engage with you in the midst of the trials, the troubles, the challenges, and the change? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation and walk it out with Him! God doesn’t want us to leave Him out of it but rather He desires to be with us, He is going before us, He is walking with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and so we just need to invite Him.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

No Quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!


Ever gone through a tough time and had to push through? Ever gone through a tough time where it felt like someone was trying to shake you up by changing the rules or the roles? Ever gone through a tough time where someone promised one thing and did something else? Ever gone through a tough time when you were made the sacrificial lamb because of the numbers? Ever gone through a tough time when you weren’t sure if you could or couldn’t trust someone?

What was your response? Were you tempted to quit? Were you tempted to give up? Were you tempted to give in? Did it upset you? Did it frustrate you? Did it cause you to question?

What did you do about it? Where did you take those concerns? What direction or instruction did you receive? Were you going to a reliable source? How did you respond to those instructions? What if they said to forgive them? What if they said to forgive them, face it head-on, and then work to make things right? What if they said to forgive them and hang in there and not give up?

How long would it take for you to become obedient to that instruction? How bad would things have to get before you would consider being obedient to that instruction? Do you realize that by not being obedient there is a larger battle taking place inside of you than outside of you? Do you realize the impact it has on your mind, your body, and your soul? Do you have to hit rock bottom before you will stop trying to avoid or go it your own way? Do you have to obey immediately? Do you start following the instructions right away? Do you start to lean on God rather than your own understandings? Do you start to trust God with everything, acknowledging Him in all your ways so that He will make your path straight? Do you keep casting your cares on God because you know that He cares for you? Do you give it all up to God even though it is still happening rather than being worried or anxious? Do you keep knocking, keep asking, and keep seeking to show your trust that God will open the right door, answer your question, and reveal the truth to you in His perfect timing?

I remember a time when I had to forgive but nearly hit rock bottom before I was ready to obey.

A story about the power of forgiveness

I remember a time when after four bosses/reorgs there were four of us who ended up in a tough situation, three of us were put in a bad position, and I was lied about and set up to be the sacrificial lamb in order to meet the numbers. I remember learning about how when they had done the “stack ranking” two teams stood up for me when my own team was looking to throw me under the bus. I remembered that previous situation and my first response was to forgive and then to face the lies before working to get things fixed up. It was much quicker, had no downward spiral, provided a window to testify of God’s goodness, and later discovered that even though they had put me as a 0 in God’s books and in the outcome the amount I was saving through God’s direction worked out to be better than what the companies gave the person who had the highest rating. God is good! God is greater! God is higher! I can testify to how His way was better than my way. I can testify to how His way was higher than my way. I can testify to how His way gave me a platform to both share God’s goodness, God’s faithfulness, and God’s provision in the midst of this broken world.

2020 was the latest incident where I was being challenged because it kept feeling like a setup. It felt like I was being positioned to fail. I felt like I was being cut off and isolated. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on and why. 2020 had the theme of hindsight is 2020. It took all the way till December for the aha moment, for the light to bring clarity to why the pain, the suffering, the treatment took place. Through it all I forgave. Through it all, I prayed with my wife and kids. Through it all, I trusted God and cast all my cares on Him. And in December it all changed. And in December within 16 days I went from uncertainty to confidence to a completely new reality. The first 12 helped me heal. The last 4 I walked through a door I hadn’t realized God had been preparing all year for me to be ready to walk through. Trust God! Trust God’s Word! Trust God’s wisdom and discernment! Lean not on your own understanding but rather in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight! 2020 finished strong and was a setup to a great start to 2021.

I am not sure where you are at today. I am not sure who did what to you. I am not sure who said what to you. I am not sure how they did it or why they did it. I just know the first step that is key is to forgive them and then to turn to God for wisdom and discernment on what to do next. It may be to wait. It may be to act. It may be something totally unexpected. Be still and know that He is God! Trust in the Lord in all your ways! Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Be obedient to God’s leading, guiding, and prompting! Then testify of all He has done in and through you and your life to everyone God brings to you to encourage them!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 25th


Getting Back To Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. ‘

Nehemiah 4:15

You ever needed God to let you know what is really going on? Ever found out and then had the others wonder how you found out? Let’ check out the context of today’s verse and use the Amplified version to learn more.

‘ But when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious, completely enraged, and he ridiculed the Jews. He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of dust and rubbish, even the ones that have been burned?” Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should get up on it, he would break down their stone wall.” [And Nehemiah prayed] Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their taunts on their own heads. Give them up as prey in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their wrongdoing and do not let their sin be wiped out before You, for they have offended the builders [and provoked You]. So we built the wall and the entire wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart to work. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches were being closed, they were very angry. They all conspired together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to cause a disturbance in it.

But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. Then [the leaders of] Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, And there is much rubble; We ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.”

Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times (repeatedly), “From every place you turn, they will come up against us.” So I stationed armed men behind the wall in the lowest places, at the open positions [where it was least protected]; and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.”

Now when our enemies heard that we knew about their plot against us, and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Every builder had his sword secured at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [to summon the troops] stood at my side. I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, gather to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

So we carried on with the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem so that they may serve as a guard for us at night and a laborer during the day.” So neither I, my brothers (relatives), my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each took his weapon [even] to the water.’

Nehemiah 4:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever felt like someone was testing your limits to find out when you would quit or give up?
  • If we considered the measure of what it takes to make someone quite as an indicator Nehemiah shows it would take a lot.
  • We see in the midst of everything thrown his way, nothing was going to keep him down.
  • We see a guy who has a huge task in front of him and all of his help is demoralized.
  • We see how he motivated them and got them to rally around the idea so as to get started building the wall.
  • It didn’t take long though for them to start losing hope between the betrayal from the inside and the opposition from the outside.
  • Ever been insulted to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever been attacked to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever found out in advance and had to come up with a strategy to avoid any panic?
  • Ever came up with a strategy that thwarted the plans and kept everyone focused and on point?
  • Were you able to encourage them with God?
    • ‘When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.” ‘
      Nehemiah 4:14
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader this world needs?
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader your team needs?
  • Are you able to help them focus on the problem, on what’s important, and live up to God’s calling in and on their lives?
  • Let’s not grow weary in doing good!
  • Let’s take the victory and celebrate by getting the work God has called us to do done!
  • Let’s be like Nehemiah and know that we can’t stop and lose the momentum!
  • Let’s be like Nehemian and keep the focus on completing the good works God has given us to do!
  • Don’t waste time!
  • As leaders let’s focus on celebrating the success not by stopping or taking a break but instead by getting the job done!
  • Let’s take the energy and momentum that the success has created in order that we can get the job done and done well and done quickly.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When is taking a break a good thing to do? When is it best to get back to work immediately?
  • Describe Nehemiah’s leadership style.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The degree of hope you manifest by persevering through obstacles becomes a measure of your passion.”

Better Than Good
Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live
By Zig Ziglar 

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So have you been through some things and wondering what to do? Are you going through things and wondering what to do? Are you dealing with things and wondering what to do? Why not invite Jesus into the situation and get God’s perspective into what you should do? Ready for some wisdom and discernment from God? Ready to be bold and courageous in stepping out and doing what He instructs? 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?


Ever had someone do something or say something that made you blush?


What they said or did, did you blush because you were ashamed? What they said or did, did you blush because it was of a sexual or intimate nature? What they said or did, did you blush because it was about something private or personal? What they said or did, did you blush because it was embarrassing, humiliating, discouraging, or mortifying? What they said or did, did you blush because it was an unexpected compliment? What they said or did, did you blush because it was flirtatious? What they said or did, did you blush because they were teasing you? What they said or did, did you blush because they brought up an inside joke in front of other people?

What makes you blush? When was the last time you blushed? Do you realize that people who blush more easily are perceived as more trustworthy? Ever heard that people who blush more easily are more empathetic and generous? Ever heard how people who blush more have a higher rate of monogamy?

Ever considered what it says about you when you blush? Ever considered what it says about you when you make others blush? Is what you are saying appropriate? Is what you are hearing appropriate? Is it the right place or the right time for such topics or conversations?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 14th


Don’t Blush


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”’

Mark 8:38

Let’s get more context on what is being discussed in today’s verse. Let’s expand on this using the verses leading up to this point as well as the Amplified version.

‘Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered Him, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied to Him, “You [in contrast to the others] are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” Then Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life]. He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him. But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.” Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”’

Mark 8:27-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you consider things to be ashamed of, do you ever think of God?
  • Have you actually found freedom from shame through Jesus?
  • You don’t want to be ashamed of your rescuer right?
  • Will you share what Jesus has done in, to, and through you?
  • Will you speak up and speak out or will you keep quiet?
  • What is the cause or the trigger of fear that keeps you from sharing the Good News of Jesus?
  • Will you exercise your faith in order to strengthen it and not allow it to be weak?
  • Will you exercise your faith so that rather than trying to please man you will choose to live a life that is pleasing to God?
  • Remember what happened to the religious leaders back in John?
    • ‘Nevertheless, even many of the leading men believed in Him [as Savior and Messiah], but because of the Pharisees they would not confess it, for fear that [if they acknowledged Him openly] they would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated); for they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God. ‘ — John 12:42-43
  • So will you be more focused on pleasing God who created you on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose or will you be focused on pleasing the people who walk into your day?
  • Will you choose to speak up and speak out when you are with others?
  • Will you look for excuses and try to rationalize why you shouldn’t speak up?
  • Will you choose to speak the truth in love? Or keep quiet?
  • Do you realize when it is time to speak vs when it is time to keep quiet?
  • Are you being quiet out of obedience to the Holy Spirit or out of the fear of man?
  • Remember how words have power? So we need to be wise when we choose to speak vs keeping quiet.
  • Let’s consider God’s Word for times to be quiet:
    • ‘For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. ‘ 1 Peter 3:10
    • ‘Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. ‘ — Proverbs 10:19
    • ‘Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. ‘ — Proverbs 11:12
    • ‘Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.’ — Proverbs 17:28
    • ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ‘ — Galatians 5:22-23
  • So is it out of self-control that you are keeping quiet rather than fear?
  • Remember how Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! He is right there as much as the person is and so we can’t or shouldn’t use the excuse that the other person was there.
  • Jesus is with us in every conversation, every place, and every situation!
  • So before we speak or keep quiet, let’s seek wisdom from God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and direct us!
  • Let’s remember and reflect on what Jesus had done for us so that we can be like Joshua and be bold and courageous!
  • Remember how lost we were and how Jesus found us!
  • Remember how we were wandering in the darkness and Jesus was the light!
  • Remember how we were condemned to spend eternity apart from God and how Jesus has given us eternal life!
  • Remember how were were prisoners without hope and how Jesus set us free!
  • Let’s focus on what Jesus has done in and through us so that we are filled up to overflowing and can pour into the lives of the people God brings across our path!
  • Not sure what to do? Ask Jesus!
  • Not sure what to say? Ask Jesus!
  • It takes but a moment to get the answer!
  • Don’t be ashamed of Him or blush because of Him!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When have you been bold for Christ, and when have you been ashamed?
  • How will reflecting on His grace and His presence help you be bold?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You do not have to be a theologian or a Bible scholar to share your faith and teach a class of small children. If we wait until we know evertyhing before we start sharing we will never share because no one knows all the mysteries of God.”

Ziglar, Zig

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? What do you know? What do you share? What would you need to know? Don’t be embarrassed by God! Share what He is and has done in and through you! Share because you care where others will end up! Share what you do know! Share your testimony of how you were before you met Jesus, when you met Jesus, and how your life is different since you met Jesus! Do you realize the benefits of a relationship with Jesus? Are you ready to start your journey? Are you ready to strengthen your journey? Are you ready to solidify your destination and destiny? 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?


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

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?

What starts fights and quarrels among you?


Ever heard the words “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times“? Ever considered what is taking place on this planet right now and all the good and amazing things that are taking place? Ever considered what is taking place on this planet right now and all the evil, the pain, and the suffering that is taking place?

If we consider the quote from “A Tale of Two cities” and what it means first:

This phrase points out a major conflict between family and love, hatred and oppression, good and evil, light and darkness, and wisdom and folly. Dickens begins this tale with a vision that human prosperity cannot be matched with human despair. He, in fact, tells about a class war between the rich and the poor. He also tells of a time of despair and suffering on one hand, and joy and hope on the other.

It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times Meaning

If we consider the good that is taking place today, we see many front line medical people fighting to help people who are on the brink of life and death fighting the corona virus. We got to see for the first time in nearly a decade US astronauts launch from US soil and successfully get into orbit. We got to see for the first time a private company working with NASA to launch two astronauts into space.

If we consider the bad that is taking place today, we see a virus that is attacking and killing so many people around the world. We see evil taking place that looks be be fueled by racism that upsets me beyond belief as ever since the late 80s when I got to be a part of an exchange program and got to spend my time with a family from South Africa and learn about apartheid, I went from being against racism to hating it. Watching what took place by the hands of someone who was supposed to be serve and protect based on the oath they take which says “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.” and taints all the great front life officers who are living out their oaths and hence he is putting even more people at risk by breaking the oath. We see evil when the protests of such evil goes from wanting what is right and what is just to crossing the line and taking out evil on others through riots that are demonstrating violence and vandalism. The reality that there is evil and people who would pay to take a tragedy and use it for it for evil is saddening. And just as we see the coronavirus being a global phenomenon, we can also see countries around the world where people are being mistreated either by those in authority or those in the public.

God, we need Your help and Your Word even as we begin today starts with the phrase “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.“.

God, we need a revival of people turning back to You! We need a coming together of people to point people back to You! We need a coming together of people in the light to help brighten up this dark world!

There are so many who are trying to put out the light across the world and yet in the midst of the darkness, Your light Lord is shining even brighter as people realize that if You don’t show up and intervene, the hope will be lost.

Let’s come together, all the people who are called by God’s name and humble ourselves and pray, let’s turn from our wicked ways, seek God’s face, He will hear us from heaven, forgiving our sins, and healing our land!

Looking around at all that is taking place in the world, I can resonate with what Charles Dickins was saying when he wrote “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times“. How about you? Which side are you on? What part are you playing? What part do you want to play? What part will you play?

Today’s reading from God’s Word even speaks to a word that feels appropriate to what is taking place, the work enmity. In my head I hear enemy but that isn’t it and so looking up the meaning and comparing the two we find:

vs.

We see the biggest difference is a state or feeling vs. being a person who. Both speak to being opposing and being hostile. Taking that into consideration as I read today’s Word from God, I see He is calling out people for being in a state or feeling of opposition and hostility against Himself!

So when you hate is it with a righteous anger, an anger that won’t cause you to stumble into sin?

When you decide to take a stand against a wrong will you respond in a way that makes the point without stepping across the line into doing what is wrong, missing the mark, and falling into sin?

Are you taking a stand humbly so that you won’t be fooled with pride and fall, for pride comes before the fall! As we prepare for this day, let’s submit ourselves to God and then let us resist the devil, and he will flee from us. Let’s draw near to God so that He will draw near to us! Let’s invite Jesus into our lives to clean our hands from our sins and to purify our hearts so as not to be doubleminded. So will you do your part?

So as we start this day, let’s reflect on today’s question “What starts fights and quarrels among you?“.


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 152)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 152 link to join me and sign up.

April is in the rearview mirror

With April 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:

  • Just like from the overflow of our hearts the mouth speaks, from the desires in us we cause fights and quarrels.
  • What is it that you really want? Do you turn to God for it? Do you receive it?
  • What is it that you really want? Why is it that you want it? Do you have the right motives?
  • What is it that you really want? If you were to receive it then what would you do with it? Would it provide any true benefit(s)?
  • Is it for your good? Is it for your perceived benefit? Is it any good for your eternal being?
  • Will it align with God’s Spirit’s will? What does the Holy Spirit want for you? What do you want that is aligned to God’s purpose and plan?
  • Is it for good or for your pride that you want it?
  • Is it out of humility or pride that you ask for it?
  • Why not turn back to God? Why not draw near to Him? Why not allow His will and His plans and His purposes be what you desire most?
  • Will you choose to receive the gift of God’s grace and accept Jesus into your hearts?
  • Will you choose to receive forgiveness?
  • Will you choose to pursue unrighteousness instead of the love and grace of God?
  • Will you show those around you love as God loves you?
  • Will you tell the people to return to God?
  • Will you tell the people to turn from their ways and start to live out God’s way?
  • Turn back to God before it is too late and the 4 horsemen show up!
  • Turn back to God before it is too late and you end up in eternity apart from God!
  • Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer today:
    • Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
      • Let’s praise God! Let’s give Him the glory He is due! Let’s lift Him up! (in our own personal way)
    • Your kingdom come, Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
      • Let’s ask God to allow His purpose, His will, His plan be ours and to let it happen here on earth as it is in heaven. (in our own personal way)
    • Give us this day our daily bread.
      • What is it that you have need of? Cast your cares upon God because He cares for you.
    • And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
      • What is it that you need God to forgive you for?
      • What is it that you need to forgive others for?
      • Forgiveness is about taking back control
      • Forgiveness is about removing the bitter root
      • Forgiveness is about letting go of the wrong and the resentment in order to be able to live freely your life ahead
    • And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
      • Ask God to help your thoughts and your actions to be in alignment with His.
      • Ask God to help you walk bold and courageously so as not to get tempted by the lies and tricks of the devil and the world.
      • Ask God to help keep you safe and protected from the devil and the lies of the world.
      • And close by praising and glorifying Him.

As day 152 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?

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?

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 has your life been changed?


Ever had an incident in your life that caused change? Ever had an incident in your life that transformed? Ever had an incident that change the trajectory for the rest of your life?

What about on a professional level? What about on a personal level? What about on a relational level? What about on a spiritual level?

When it first happened did you realize it was going to have such a huge impact? When it happened did you realize it was going to be the catalyst? When it happened were you receptive?

Was it triggered by a positive event? Was it triggered by a negative event? Was it triggered by some type of trial or emergency? Was it caused by a resistance? Was it that you were on the edge of a breakthrough and had to push through?

Consider the turbulence that takes place to pilots and planes right before the breakthrough of crossing the boundary of hitting MACH. Imagine being that first pilot…

Consider the resistance and the excuses that kept you from going to church, starting a relationship with Jesus, and being transformed into a new version of You.

Taking hold of these truths, if things are feeling really rough, like you are being tested more than normal, don’t give up because you might just be on the door steep of a breakthrough!

I know how my life was transformed back in 2000 when my life took a huge turn as I moved my family away from all our friends and family, thinking it was for my career, and with all the miracles that took place including the job I ended up with (applied for 3 and took a third because I ran into someone I knew in the hallway) the house we bought (where the randomly assigned real estate agent happened to bring us to an area nearly an hour from where we had thought, researched, and planned to move) to the incredible church we are now a part of (thanks to an invite we received for the Christmas production) and in the midst of all of that we had an encounter with Jesus who has transformed not only my life, my wife’s life, but our entire family.

So yes things might be feeling tough right now… Don’t give up!

Yes things might be feeling rough right now … Don’t give up!

Yes things might be feeling stuck right now … Don’t give up!

Yes things might even be feeling isolated or lonely right now … Don’t give up!

Let’s look for ways to press on, to finish the race, to finish strong, to be bold and courageous, to be prepared for the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish, to race to win, to race to get the crown God has for us, to produce good fruits, to be salt and light into this dark world, to be the one in one another!


Day 85: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 85 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 85 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

With February 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:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • We see how even with Jesus’s disciples tried to prevent the children from approaching Him, He rebuked them and said to not hinder them from coming to Him!
  • With God all things are possible! Even a rich man who in their own way couldn’t make a way through Jesus a transformed heart will make it possible!
  • What seems impossible to man is possible with and through God!
  • Do you have a need? Are you having a problem seeing? Seeing where this is going? Seeing what is going on? Seeing what you are supposed to do? Seeing your part or your role? Seeing the reason? Seeing the purpose? Seeing what you are to learn? Seeing where you are headed? Seeing the breakthrough? Cry out to Jesus like your life depends on it! Be like the blind man who heard Jesus was passing by and don’t let anyone keep you from having an encounter with Jesus! Get louder and get serious about it so that you can have an encounter with Jesus that will transform the rest of your life!
  • Want things to be better? Do you want to keep things to a high standard? Let’s remember the God’s commands! Let’s remember how Jesus calls us to raise the average and raise the bar!

As day 85 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

Aha – let’s consider the voices that have gotten into your head and made you start to question and doubt things…


Last night during service on the topic of Nehemiah 4, a few big questions hit me and concepts spoke to me. What if people were getting angry and incensed because of your progress or success? What if people were starting to speak down to you, ridicule you and mock you out of their anger and being incensed? Do you realize the importance of turning to God and hearing what He has to say about the situation? Do you realize that God has a purpose and a plan for you and how you should allow the emotions and the words of others detract from all God has planned and in store for you? Do you realize that part of the reason you are/were feeling devalued was because of what others have said? Do you realize that they don’t define your value? Do you realize what God says about you? Do you realize how much God values you? So while trying to understand what to do next, can you take hold of God’s principles and direction in order to step up and step into what He has in store for you? Will you allow yourself to be manipulated by people who may pretend to have your best interest at hand or will you choose to take hold of what God has to say and do it that way? Will you allow their tricks or manipulation to be turned back upon them? Do you realize how far you have come in so short of a time? Do you realize that you are on the cusp of accomplishing what God has in store for you? Do you realize that you are on the verge of accomplishing a miracle for God? Will you stand strong when they realize you know and double down on coming after you? Will you turn to God and follow His direction and instruction to be able to not only press on but also guard your heart and mind and His plans and purposes? We each have our part and God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word is alive and will speak into our very situation! We need to stop and listen and hear what He is saying so that we can take that wisdom and move forward in His way in order to accomplish His will in a way that will bring Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Last night the aha happened. Last night and I know it will be refreshed and made clearer through two more sermons today. So I take hold of the two views from Jeremiah 4:

  1. Vision leaks – we need to refill, remind, replenish, reinvest, and reinvigorate the vision into the lives of others every 26 days.
  2. Don’t talk yourself out of God’s miracle that you are in the middle of. We need to be leaders who will not allow ourselves to be lower ourselves or give up because of critics and naysayers. We need to press in and serve God with our work!

Do you realize all the people looking to you? Do you realize that we are on the verge of a revival? So shake off the dust, the dirt, the rust and get ready finish the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish!



Day 26: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 26 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 26 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


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


My Notes:

  • If someone offered you the opportunity to turn your situation around how would you respond? Are you ready for such a significant change? Are you ready to get out of the pity pool and back into the life of the living?
  • Would you accept the offer of transformation?
  • Would you accept the offer of redemption?
  • Would you accept the offer of forgiveness?
  • Would you accept the offer of change?
  • Would you explain your current issues and struggles before giving an answer or to support the answer you are about to give?
  • Would you be willing after the change/transformation to make a life transformation decision to sin no more?
  • Are you ready to lead by example? Are you ready to let others see you do your good works that you have learned from God in order that they too may be changed and accomplish God’s will?
  • Are you ready to accept the truth? The kind of truth that will set you free.
  • Are you ready to believe? Believe in Jesus and receive eternal life.
  • Are you ready for the resurrection? The time when we will all be called up into heaven in order to spend eternity with God? or will you choose to refuse or reject Jesus and spend eternity apart from God?
  • Who will you trust? God or man?
  • God is our hope!
  • Jesus is the Word of God that has become flesh.
  • Do you realize what it is that God desires for you to build?
  • Do you realize what your role is in the rebuilding?
  • Do not be like the nobles who thought they were too good to do the work God had for them to do and has for you to do!
  • Are you ready for the celebration once the work is done? Do you realize the plans God has for you? They are for good and not for evil, they are to give you a hope and a future!
  • Remember that the struggle has a purpose.
  • Remember that the words that spoke lies or tried to push you down – and how God redeemed you
  • Don’t lose hope but pursue God’s plan and purpose for your life.
  • God’s ways are not our ways! God’s ways are even better! God’s plan is for good and not for evil! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! Remember that vision leaks and look to replenish it regularly! Remember that as you get closer to the breakthrough and closer to the miracles, the devil’s resistance will grow in order to try and stop you before you achieve it and can give God the praise, the honor, and the glory! Don’t grow weary in doing good! Consider what it is that God desires for you to do and do it!

As day 26 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?

Salvation Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me, thank you for dying on the cross for me. Jesus, please forgive me for all the evil things I have done. I am sorry. Jesus I want to be a child of God and follow you, please teach me to do what is right. Jesus, I want You to be my Lord and Savior, please come into my Heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Jesus, please protect me from the evil one, and save me, so that I may go to Heaven with You. I also pray that you would save my friends and family. I love you Jesus, I want to know You and be close to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Name: _______________________________

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


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

Ever had people try to explain what is going on to you?


The Story of Job. – Day 25

Ever been in a situation where you are wondering what just happened? Or how did I get here? Ever had people who say they are your friends try to tell you their thoughts on why or how you got into this situation? Ever had people who say they are your friends try to tell you what you need to do in order to make it better? Ever had people who say they are your friends start to give false accusations for why and how you ended up in that situation? Ever had people who say they are your friends start to give bad advice or reasons for why and how you ended up in that situation?

How will you know what is true? How will you know what is right? How will you know what is helpful? How will you know what is important? How will you know what is necessary? How will you know what to do?

I know from God’s Word that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. The key is to know and understand which counsel is good and which counsel you need to ignore? The key is to ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and your mind so that you are able to discern. I know that God’s Word never returns void and so I turn to it daily for wisdom and direction. Yesterday after my morning reading and study and post, I headed to my weekly breakfast with a friend, all the way the songs on the radio touched my heart and filled me with joy to overflowing. After a great time together, driving to work more songs that touched my heart played continuing to encourage me and let me know how much God loves me and is with me in and through it all. It enabled an incredible day in the midst of questions and situations and discussions. God is so good! He never leaves me and never abandons me. He sees me right where I am and will help me through it. As my friend shared just because we feel like we are in a dark cave, it isn’t that we have to come out to encounter Jesus, Jesus is in there with us and will help us get out. In the midst of the storm, God will allow His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and minds. God is able to cause the storm to stop and bring peace. God is able to cause us to find peace in the midst of the storm. The key is to stick with God in and through it all.

It is by grace that I am saved through faith in my Lord Jesus Christ! His mercies are new every morning so that I will never run out.


Today’s reading comes to us from Job 20:

‘Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said, “Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me answer, Because of the uneasiness that is within me. I have heard the reproof which insults me, But the spirit of my understanding makes me answer. Do you not know this from the old days, Since the time that man was placed on the earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless is only for a moment? Though his pride reaches the heavens And his head touches the clouds, Yet he perishes forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ He flies away like a dream and cannot be found; Yes, he is chased away like a vision of the night. The eye which saw him sees him no longer, Neither does his [accustomed] place behold him any longer. His sons favor the poor [and pay his obligations], And his hands give back his [ill-gotten] wealth. His bones are full of youthful strength But it lies down with him in the dust. “Though evil and wickedness are sweet in his mouth And he hides it under his tongue, Though he desires it and will not let it go But holds it in his mouth, Yet his food turns [to poison] in his stomach; It is the venom of vipers within him. He swallows [his ill-gotten] riches, But will vomit them up; God will drive them out of his belly. He sucks the poison of vipers [which ill-gotten wealth contains]; The viper’s tongue slays him. He does not look at the rivers, The flowing streams of honey and butter [to enjoy his wealth]. He gives back what he has labored for and attained And cannot swallow it [down to enjoy it]; As to the riches of his labor, He cannot even enjoy them. For he has oppressed and neglected the poor; He has violently taken away houses which he did not build. “Because he knew no quietness or calm within him [because of his greed], He does not retain anything he desires. There is nothing left of what he devoured; Therefore his prosperity does not endure. In the fullness of his excess (great abundance) he will be in trouble; The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him [he is miserable on every side]. When he fills his belly, God will send His fierce anger on him And will rain it upon him while he is eating. He may flee from the iron weapon, But the bow of bronze will pierce him through. The arrow is drawn forth and it comes out of his back [after passing through his body]; Yes, the glittering point comes out of his gall. Terrors march in upon him; Complete darkness (misfortune) is held in reserve for his treasures. An unfanned fire will devour him; It will consume the survivor in his tent. The heavens will reveal his wickedness and guilt, And the earth will rise up against him. The produce and increase of his house will depart [with the victors]; His possessions will be dragged away in the day of God’s wrath. This is the wicked man’s portion from God, And the heritage decreed and appointed to him by God.”’

Job 20:1-29

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s reading brings us back to Zophar who gives his second speech to Job and focused on two main ideas:

  1. How the prosperity of the wicked is short lived
  2. How Job is doomed for sure

Zophar speaks to how “the fate of the wicked” is short time of triumphing. He speaks to how sin might seem pleasurable for a time but it won’t last. We know this too as we consider the words of Hebrew 11:25 which says “because he preferred to endure the hardship of the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”

We see in today’s study notes:

Verses 1-19: Zophar’s second speech focuses on two key ideas: the prosperity of the wicked is short, and his doom is sure.

“Zophar” describes the fate of the wicked in his second speech: they have their “short” times of “triumphing”. There may be “passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25), but judgement is coming. Job’s spiritual experience did not line up with Zophar’s rigid expectations, so Job was branded a “wicked man”.

Zophar spoiled it all again for Job with his second and last speech (compare 11:1-20), in which he admonished Job again to consider the fate of the wicked.

Verses 4-8: Contrary to Zophar’s confident assertion, sometimes wicked people live long lives. For example, Noah endured the wickedness of his neighbors for 120 years while he preached and built the Ark (Gen. 6:3), and God gave the Canaanites four centuries before He judged them as a nation.

Verses 5-6: “Wicked … hypocrite … triumphing”: The application of Zophar’s words about this wicked, hypocritical, proud person were aimed at Job. He would, like others so wicked, suffer the consequences of his sins (verses 7-29).

Verses 12-19: These verses represent the heart of Zophar’s perceptions about Job’s life and circumstances. Yet his conclusions were wrong because his perceptions were false, Job was not a “wicked man” (20-29). Regardless of what others perceive, the godly can always stand firm in the truth.

In verses 12-22: Evil in a life takes away all the enjoyment, implying that Job had no joy because of sin, such as that (in verse 19).

Verses 20-29: Eloquent oratory is impressive only if it tells the truth. Zophar’s commitment to the retribution principle led him to presumptuous, insulting and false claims. To see things from the perspective of the hurting; and most importantly, from God’s perspective, is the way to truly encourage them.

In verses 23-29: Zophar concluded that more than just losing the enjoyment of life by sin, the wicked fall under the fury of God determined for such wickedness.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 20

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

Let’s pray:

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

Persevere in doing what is right!


Remember the plan and how God’s plan for you is for good and not for evil, it is to give you a hope and a future. Remember how Jesus has gone ahead of you to prepare a place for you. So with this in mind when we face troubles we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. Not being swayed nor afraid when we face trials of many kinds, let’s consider it pure joy, persevering to the end so that we will be complete and lacking nothing. When we compare what we are going through with the promises of Jesus for eternity, let us not lose hope but instead persevere with trust and hope in God. Let’s pursue and complete the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let’s live out our lives to show the world around us, our mission field God has provided us, God’s love by living out our lives as true love! Let’s live our lives so that we can replace the word love with our own, just as we can already do with God who is love.

Let’s continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. Let’s persist · continue · carry on · go on · keep on · keep going · not give up · struggle on · hammer away · be persistent · be determined · see/follow something through · keep at it · show determination · press on/ahead · stay with something · not take no for an answer · be tenacious · be pertinacious · be patient · stand one’s ground · stand fast/firm · hold on · hold out · go the distance · stay the course · plod on · plow on · grind away · stop at nothing · leave no stone unturned · soldier on · hang on · plug away · peg away · stick to one’s guns · stick at it · stick it out · hang in there · bash on! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t complain! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be deceived! Don’t worry! Don’t gossip!

Let’s persevere in doing what is right!


Today’s reading from God’s Word starts with the story of a little boy with a good heart who chose to persevere in doing what is right in 2 Kings 22:

‘Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, the court secretary, to the Temple of the Lord . He told him, “Go to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the money the gatekeepers have collected from the people at the Lord ’s Temple. Entrust this money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the Lord ’s Temple. Then they can use it to pay workers to repair the Temple. They will need to hire carpenters, builders, and masons. Also have them buy the timber and the finished stone needed to repair the Temple. But don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men.”

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord ’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it. Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.” Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king. When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord ’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.” So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe. She said to them, “The Lord , the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.’ “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord . So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.’” So they took her message back to the king.’

2 Kings 22:1-20

Today’s reading continues into Ezekiel 28:

‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, give the prince of Tyre this message from the Sovereign Lord : “In your great pride you claim, ‘I am a god! I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.’ But you are only a man and not a god, though you boast that you are a god. You regard yourself as wiser than Daniel and think no secret is hidden from you. With your wisdom and understanding you have amassed great wealth— gold and silver for your treasuries. Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich, and your riches have made you very proud. “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you think you are as wise as a god, I will now bring against you a foreign army, the terror of the nations. They will draw their swords against your marvelous wisdom and defile your splendor! They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die in the heart of the sea, pierced with many wounds. Will you then boast, ‘I am a god!’ to those who kill you? To them you will be no god but merely a man! You will die like an outcast at the hands of foreigners. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!” Then this further message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, sing this funeral song for the king of Tyre. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord : “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone — red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald— all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings. You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.”

Then another message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face the city of Sidon and prophesy against it. Give the people of Sidon this message from the Sovereign Lord : “I am your enemy, O Sidon, and I will reveal my glory by what I do to you. When I bring judgment against you and reveal my holiness among you, everyone watching will know that I am the Lord . I will send a plague against you, and blood will be spilled in your streets. The attack will come from every direction, and your people will lie slaughtered within your walls. Then everyone will know that I am the Lord . No longer will Israel’s scornful neighbors prick and tear at her like briers and thorns. For then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord .

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people. They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God.”’

Ezekiel 28:1-26

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Acts 19:

‘While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them. “No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” “Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked. And they replied, “The baptism of John.” Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.” As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.

Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.’

Acts of the Apostles 19:1-10

Today’s reading then brings us into Revelation 9:

‘The first terror is past, but look, two more terrors are coming!

Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice speaking from the four horns of the gold altar that stands in the presence of God. And the voice said to the sixth angel who held the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River.” Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops. And in my vision, I saw the horses and the riders sitting on them. The riders wore armor that was fiery red and dark blue and yellow. The horses had heads like lions, and fire and smoke and burning sulfur billowed from their mouths. One-third of all the people on earth were killed by these three plagues—by the fire and smoke and burning sulfur that came from the mouths of the horses. Their power was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails had heads like snakes, with the power to injure people. But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk! And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts.’

Revelation 9:12-21

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 123:

‘I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal. Have mercy on us, Lord , have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt. We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.’

Psalms 123:1-4

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

Let’s pray:


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. Help me Lord to see beyond myself in order that I can love as You love. Help me to love my wife as Jesus loved the church. Help me to love my kids in a way that will support them in You without pushing them away or distracting them from Your truth. Help me to love my family so they too will be drawn to You Lord. Help me to love my neighbors as myself. Help me to love my employees and coworkers and friends in a way that will reflect who You are to them that they may see Jesus with skin on through me and turn to You and be saved. Lord, help me to live out today in love. Help me to be salt and light so that in this world I will point people to Jesus so that they can be transformed and change their destiny to be confirmed through Him as heaven with God! I ask all this so that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Are you willing to go if you are sent?


What if God goes with you? Does that change your decision? Will you invite Him to go with you? Will you be like Moses who said he wouldn’t go unless God went with him? Will you be like Barak who said he would only go if Deborah went with him? Are you willing to answer if you are called? Are you willing to come if you are asked? Are you willing to go if you are sent?


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


What will it take for you to turn to God? How bad do things have to get before you turn back to God? Would it take someone to care enough to share? Would it take a message that speak truth and hope? Would you do it for God’s glory or try to do it all in your own strength and power? Would you be humble enough of a leader to allow another to get it done? Will you trust in the Lord and allow the battle to be His? Will you lean on God rather than your own understanding and strength? Don’t make it all about you but let it be all about God!

Will you pray for those in need? Will you pray for people you don’t know yet? Will you pray for those God brings into your life? Will you live as a child of God? Will you choose to receive Jesus and finish what He gives you to accomplish no matter if He calls you or sends you? Will you let your light shine so that people will see it and glorify your heavenly father? If you were given but 3 years would you make the most of it and make a difference? If you were given but 3 days would you make the most it and make a difference?

Beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing.


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


Today’s reading starts with the book of Joshua:

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

Joshua 9

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

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

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

Isaiah 44

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

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

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

Matthew 26:36-56

Today’s reading continues into the book of Philippians:

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

Philippians 3:1-11

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

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

Psalms 5

Will you stand up for something or fall for anything?


What is your response to someone being mistreated? What is your response to someone disrespecting or abusing a lady? What is your response to someone disrespecting or abusing a child? What is your response to someone disrespecting or abusing anyone? Do you say something? Do you do something? Do you avoid it? Do you stand up for what is right? Do you stand up for what is just? What is your response? Standing up for something? Falling for anything? Sitting on the sideline and being apathetic?

Today’s reading starts in Genesis 34.

‘One day Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area. But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. But then he fell in love with her, and he tried to win her affection with tender words. He said to his father, Hamor, “Get me this young girl. I want to marry her.” Soon Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter, Dinah. But since his sons were out in the fields herding his livestock, he said nothing until they returned. Hamor, Shechem’s father, came to discuss the matter with Jacob. Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the field as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious that their sister had been raped. Shechem had done a disgraceful thing against Jacob’s family, something that should never be done. Hamor tried to speak with Jacob and his sons. “My son Shechem is truly in love with your daughter,” he said. “Please let him marry her. In fact, let’s arrange other marriages, too. You give us your daughters for our sons, and we will give you our daughters for your sons. And you may live among us; the land is open to you! Settle here and trade with us. And feel free to buy property in the area.” Then Shechem himself spoke to Dinah’s father and brothers. “Please be kind to me, and let me marry her,” he begged. “I will give you whatever you ask. No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will gladly pay it—just give me the girl as my wife.” But since Shechem had defiled their sister, Dinah, Jacob’s sons responded deceitfully to Shechem and his father, Hamor. They said to them, “We couldn’t possibly allow this, because you’re not circumcised. It would be a disgrace for our sister to marry a man like you! But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are, then we will give you our daughters, and we’ll take your daughters for ourselves. We will live among you and become one people. But if you don’t agree to be circumcised, we will take her and be on our way.” Hamor and his son Shechem agreed to their proposal. Shechem wasted no time in acting on this request, for he wanted Jacob’s daughter desperately. Shechem was a highly respected member of his family, and he went with his father, Hamor, to present this proposal to the leaders at the town gate. “These men are our friends,” they said. “Let’s invite them to live here among us and trade freely. Look, the land is large enough to hold them. We can take their daughters as wives and let them marry ours. But they will consider staying here and becoming one people with us only if all of our men are circumcised, just as they are. But if we do this, all their livestock and possessions will eventually be ours. Come, let’s agree to their terms and let them settle here among us.” So all the men in the town council agreed with Hamor and Shechem, and every male in the town was circumcised. But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, who were Dinah’s full brothers, took their swords and entered the town without opposition. Then they slaughtered every male there, including Hamor and his son Shechem. They killed them with their swords, then took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp. Meanwhile, the rest of Jacob’s sons arrived. Finding the men slaughtered, they plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there. They seized all the flocks and herds and donkeys—everything they could lay their hands on, both inside the town and outside in the fields. They looted all their wealth and plundered their houses. They also took all their little children and wives and led them away as captives. Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have ruined me! You’ve made me stink among all the people of this land—among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will join forces and crush us. I will be ruined, and my entire household will be wiped out!” “But why should we let him treat our sister like a prostitute?” they retorted angrily.’

Genesis 34

And continues to Genesis 35. Will you stand for what is right and do what God asks of you? Will you receive His wisdom and instruction and be bold and courageous to go and do it?

‘Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.” So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family. Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau. Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”). Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” So God renamed him Israel. Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob. Jacob set up a stone pillar to mark the place where God had spoken to him. Then he poured wine over it as an offering to God and anointed the pillar with olive oil. And Jacob named the place Bethel (which means “house of God”), because God had spoken to him there.

Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave, and it can be seen there to this day. Then Jacob traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it. These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob: The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher. These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram. So Jacob returned to his father, Isaac, in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had both lived as foreigners. Isaac lived for 180 years. Then he breathed his last and died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. And his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.’

Genesis 35

What if you were given the privilege to do something for God? What it is was prepared in advance for you to do? Let’s take hold of God’s purpose and plan and do the good works He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish.

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 3, 4, and into 5.

‘So Solomon began to build the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David, his father. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the site that David had selected. The construction began in midspring, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. These are the dimensions Solomon used for the foundation of the Temple of God (using the old standard of measurement). It was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet wide, running across the entire width of the Temple, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. He paneled the main room of the Temple with cypress wood, overlaid it with fine gold, and decorated it with carvings of palm trees and chains. He decorated the walls of the Temple with beautiful jewels and with gold from the land of Parvaim. He overlaid the beams, thresholds, walls, and doors throughout the Temple with gold, and he carved figures of cherubim on the walls. He made the Most Holy Place 30 feet wide, corresponding to the width of the Temple, and 30 feet deep. He overlaid its interior with 23 tons of fine gold. The gold nails that were used weighed 20 ounces each. He also overlaid the walls of the upper rooms with gold. He made two figures shaped like cherubim, overlaid them with gold, and placed them in the Most Holy Place. The total wingspan of the two cherubim standing side by side was 30 feet. One wing of the first figure was 7 1 / 2 feet long, and it touched the Temple wall. The other wing, also 7 1 / 2 feet long, touched one of the wings of the second figure. In the same way, the second figure had one wing 7 1 / 2 feet long that touched the opposite wall. The other wing, also 7 1 / 2 feet long, touched the wing of the first figure. So the wingspan of the two cherubim side by side was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced out toward the main room of the Temple. Across the entrance of the Most Holy Place he hung a curtain made of fine linen, decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with figures of cherubim. For the front of the Temple, he made two pillars that were 27 feet tall, each topped by a capital extending upward another 7 1 / 2 feet. He made a network of interwoven chains and used them to decorate the tops of the pillars. He also made 100 decorative pomegranates and attached them to the chains. Then he set up the two pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one to the south of the entrance and the other to the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.’

2 Chronicles 3

continuing into 2 Chronicles 4.

‘Solomon also made a bronze altar 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high. Then he cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1 / 2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of figures that resembled oxen. There were about six oxen per foot all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin. The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen, all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. The walls of the Sea were about three inches thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 16,500 gallons of water. He also made ten smaller basins for washing the utensils for the burnt offerings. He set five on the south side and five on the north. But the priests washed themselves in the Sea. He then cast ten gold lampstands according to the specifications that had been given, and he put them in the Temple. Five were placed against the south wall, and five were placed against the north wall. He also built ten tables and placed them in the Temple, five along the south wall and five along the north wall. Then he molded 100 gold basins. He then built a courtyard for the priests, and also the large outer courtyard. He made doors for the courtyard entrances and overlaid them with bronze. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. Huram-abi also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls. So at last Huram-abi completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of God: the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the water carts holding the basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, the meat hooks, and all the related articles. Huram-abi made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord , just as King Solomon had directed. The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon used such great quantities of bronze that its weight could not be determined. Solomon also made all the furnishings for the Temple of God: the gold altar; the tables for the Bread of the Presence; the lampstands and their lamps of solid gold, to burn in front of the Most Holy Place as prescribed; the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of the purest gold; the lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold; the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, overlaid with gold.’

2 Chronicles 4

Will you be faithful to complete the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

We close our reading from the Old Testament in 2 Chronicles 5.

‘So Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord . Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Temple of God.’

2 Chronicles 5:1

Our reading now takes us into the New Testament, starting with John 8.

‘The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham? ” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am !” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.’

John 8:48-59

Who will you believe? Who will you trust? And as such how will you behave? How will you choose to respond? Will you do the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

Today’s reading continues into Galatians 6.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.’

Galatians 6:1-10

You are responsible for your conduct so don’t fall into temptation of others. You are responsible for your conduct so respond to the prompting and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Be bold and courageous to do good to everyone. Let your light shine that others will see it and praise our Father in heaven. Let’s live out our todays in Jesus’s name so that God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory.

Let’s close in meditation of today’s psalm – Psalms 24.

‘The earth is the Lord ’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Who may climb the mountain of the Lord ? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord ’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Interlude Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord , strong and mighty; the Lord , invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Heaven’s Armies— he is the King of glory. Interlude’

Psalms 24

What will you allow to persuade you from what you should do? what is right?


We all get tempted to do things that are different from what we should do. Is there a way to protect ourselves from such things? God is good and He won’t tempt you and so our best way to resist and avoid temptation is to stay close to God. And if we act out because of the temptation, we need to turn back to God and not make excuses for what we did but in Jesus’s name ask for forgiveness. Jesus has made a way for us to be reconciled to God. Let’s not allow the initial sin which is described to us in Genesis 3 and shows the fall of the first man to define us or hold us back from everything God has planned for us. Instead, let’s receive the gift of the second birth through Jesus Christ and live out our lives transformed and as living sacrifices. Let’s allow the chains that bind us to be broken by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s consider these 3 verses before we continue into our morning reading that relates to this topic:


John 8:32 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 17Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.
Galatians 5:1 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Isaiah 61:1 1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Galatians 5:13-14 13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
1 Peter 2:16 16Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
Luke 4:18-19 18“The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.”
Romans 8:1-4 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 2:4 4This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

–Answers to the search for “sin handcuffs vs Jesus freedom

Let’s make sure to bring the best of whatever we do to God. Let’s not settle for good but give God what is good and right so that we won’t be tempted by sin and fall into its trap. Sin is looking to trip you up and keep you from being everything that God has planned and desires for you. We need to be people of love and not allow greed nor jealousy to cause us to fall into sin. We need to avoid the traps of sin which may feel good for a season making you think you are free up until the moment when you realize you are in handcuffs and trapped by it and under its control. Let’s instead stick close to God and allow God’s will, God’s plans, God’s purposes to be what leads and guides us. We see what happens when someone falls into sin and the damage it can do to not only that person but the ones they love in Genesis 4:1-16.

It is good to know the past and where you have come from so that you can learn from the past and not fall into the troubles of the past but rather learn from them. Imagine being able to not only know the names but then to learn about the family lineage that has come before you. Today’s reading continues into 1 Chronicles 3 starting with the descendants of David.

Will you hear the Good News and follow after Jesus? How purposefully and intentionally will you do so? Is there anything that will keep you from pursuing Jesus with passion? Is there anyone that you would not try to tell about the Good News? Imagine having gotten to be there at the time described in John 1:35-51.


‘The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ” ). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter” ). The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown. Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”’

John 1:35-51

Let’s take hold of today’s instruction and direction going back to the beginning and take hold of what we read in James 1:19-27 and allow ourselves to walk in the truth and the life of Jesus rather than getting put into chains or handcuff because we allow sin to take hold of us thinking it will be “more fun” when realistically it is but a trap in which the devil is trying to catch us for the devil goes around like a lion looking for those he can devour. So let’s read from James together and take hold of it so that we won’t fall into the trap of the devil like Adam and Eve or the like Cain and be separated from God.


‘Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’

James 1:19-27

Let’s be taking care of orphans and widows like God directs us. Let’s be avoid giving up control of our tongue and remember the power it has of life and death. Let’s try to control the words we allow out of our mouths so that they will be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Let’s not be trapped by the lies but live out our lives with faith, hope, and love which will last throughout eternity in order that in and through our lives God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Let’s close and take hold of today’s Psalm, putting our hope and trust in God – Psalm 3:


‘O Lord , I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” Interlude But you, O Lord , are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord , and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. Arise, O Lord ! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord . May you bless your people. Interlude’

Psalm 3

Where will you turn when you face challenges or accusations or attacks? Turn to God and trust in His safety for He will watch over you. Trust in Him with all your strength. Take hold of God’s victory which He has already accomplished through Jesus Christ on the cross and not walk around feeling defeated but instead invite Jesus into your heart, your mind, and your situation and walk it out trusting in Him walking out the directions and instructions of the Holy Spirit so that in all things at all times you will live out your life in a way that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.