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: 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?


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?

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

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.

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

Run to win!


We’ve each been given a calling. We’ve each been given gift and talents. We are each to be good stewards of what we have been given. Let’s run to win the prize that doesn’t tarnish and is eternal. To succeed, what do we need to do? How do we need to train to be successful? How can we hone those gifts and talents? How can we become everything God created us to be? What do we need to do, how can we train to strengthen and become more prepared for the race of life by training our moral and spiritual life in order to win the race and win the prize? Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Don’t give up! Keep running to win! Give it everything you’ve got! Consider what you need to do and how you need to live your life. Don’t be lazy or sloppy but be purposeful and alert so that you will be in top condition for all the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish.

How will you serve God today? How will your life worship Him? As a living sacrifice to Him, what will you do?

Whatever it is, let’s do it to the best of our abilities!

Today’s devotional speaks the following things for consideration…

Worship and service are very closely connected (the same Greek word latreuo is used for both). All human beings are worshippers. You either worship the one true God, or someone or something else. All human beings are servants – to God, to yourself or to someone or something else.

In the passages for today, we see the importance of worshipping and serving the one true God with all of our hearts and beings – giving everything we have got – no sloppy living.

— from Day 227 of 365: Bible In One Year 2017

Take time to read through all of the devotional and Bible reading in order to capture the full message for the day!


No Sloppy Living

Day 227 of 365: Bible In One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/227

  1. Why do you worship and serve? … Psalm 97:1-12

  2. Whom do you worship and serve? … 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13

  3. How do you worship and serve? … 2 Chronicles 2:1-5:1


The Bible reading today associates with today’s devotional is…

The power to make it thru everyday the right way!


Can you make it thru a full day without losing it? Do you realize you weren't made to be like a plant without water that throughout the day wilts? Consider what it takes to keep a plant from wilting…

  1. Good soil
  2. Good nutrients
  3. Water
  4. Sunlight

So how could we follow this model in our lives be it at work or at home?
Do you take time to make sure your day is started off in good soil? For me that means spending time in God's Word and hearing wisdom so that I can be filled up for the day. How about throughout your day? God is available 24/7 and God's Word says to pray without ceasing. When we do that we get watered throughout the day as well as staying in the Sonlight. By staying filled throughout the day we don't run the risk of wilting and having a bad attitude.

God and work can coexist. They shouldn't be separated or else you will make each day a drain and if you don't fill up enough for everything that is coming your way by getting a good night sleep and fueling up in the morning you will end up running out before the day is over.

With work being rough or tough sometimes, depending on your company or team or coworkers or clients, if you aren't prepared and setting yourself up for success you are sure to struggle part way through your day. I've been places and seen places where people seem to against each other trying to get ahead or even worse a dog eat dog or cut throats type of environment which makes it harder by more important to be filled up and connected to God.

So where are you at today? Will you allow your work to be you calling from God and bring hope, love, truth in it with you? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to shine through your life and speak wisdom and discernment into every conversation and to direct your path? Will you allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Will you allow Jesus to work in and through your life so that the lives that God has brought into your life can also be touched and transformed?

Will you not only thrive in your day but make it contagious? This week was interesting as I met some new people at work and as part of my goodbye I told them to remember that every day stats with "Happy" and ends with "day" and then as I left work on Friday I wrote on the window behind my desk "Remember that every day starts with Happy and ends with day, so Happy Today!"


Working Without Wilting

Day 215: Bible in One Year 2017
https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/215

  1. Your work has lasting valuePsalm 90:11-17

  2. Give yourself fully to God’s work … Romans 16:1-27

  3. Imitate God in work and rest … 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36

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


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

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

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

Today’s reading begins with Ezra 3…

Rebuilding the Altar

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

Rebuilding the Temple

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

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

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

–Ezra 3

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

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

Today’s reading continues with Ezra 4…

Opposition to the Rebuilding

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

Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes

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

–Ezra 4

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

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

68431-loveispatient

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

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

A Call to Build the House of the Lord

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

The Promised Glory of the New House

In the second year of King Darius,

–Haggai 1

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

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

Blessings for a Defiled People

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

Zerubbabel the Lordʼs Signet Ring

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

–Haggai 2

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

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

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

Warning Against Falling Away

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

–Hebrews 5

 

There is a way!


Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Don’t be afraid! Don’t worry! There is a way!

We are all facing choices! Everyday we need to make a choice! Choose wisely! Seek wisdom! There is a way!

Need answers? Need wisdom? Need direction? Need instruction? Need correction? There is a way!

Turn back to God! Ask God for help! Hear and obey His instruction! There is a way!


Today’s reading begins with Hosea…

Salvation Like Dew for Israel

1Samaria will bear her guilt, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their infants dashed to pieces, their pregnant women ripped open. 2Return O Israel, to Adonai your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity. 3Take words with you and return to Adonai. Say to Him: “Take away all iniquity, and accept what is good, so we may repay with offerings of our lips: 4‘Assyria will not save us. We will not ride on horses, and we will never again say, “Our god,” to the work of our hands, for with You, orphans find mercy.’” 5“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger will turn away from him. 6I will be like dew for Israel. He will blossom like a lily, and thrust out his roots like Lebanon. 7His tender shoots will spread out. His beauty will be like an olive tree and his fragrance will be like Lebanon. 8Those dwelling in his shadow will return. They will grow grain and bud like a vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon. 9Ephraim: “What more are idols to me? I have responded and observed Him. I will be like a luxuriant cypress tree. From me will be found Your fruit.” 10Who is wise? Let him discern these things. Who is intelligent? Let him know them. For the ways of Adonai are straight, and the just walk in them, but the wicked stumble in them.

–from Hosea 14

Will you help clean up the situation? Will you help make sure that we are going the right way? Will you help point people in the right direction? There is a way!

1The word of Adonai that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—visions he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Smashing Idols in the High Places

2Hear, O peoples—all of you! Attention, O land and everything in it! Adonai Elohim will be witness against you— The Lord from His holy Temple. 3For behold, Adonai is coming forth out of His place. He will come down and trample on the high places of the land. 4The mountains will melt away under Him and the valleys will split apart like wax before the fire, like water being poured down a slope. 5All this is because of Jacob’s transgression and the sins of the house of Israel. Who is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? Who are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem? 6So I will make Samaria into a ruin in the countryside, planting places for a vineyard. I will hurl her stones into the valley and will lay bare her foundations. 7All her images will be smashed, all her prostitute’s pay burned with fire, and all her idols I will make desolate. For from prostitute’s pay she collected them and to prostitute’s pay they will return. 8Concerning this let me lament and howl. Let me walk barefoot and naked. I will make a howl like jackals and a mourning like ostriches. 9For her wounds are incurable. For it has come up to Judah. It has reached the gate of my people— even up to Jerusalem! 10Tell it not in Gath—weep not at all. At Beth-le-aphrah roll in the dust. 11Pass on, you who dwell in Saphir— nakedness and shame— she who dwells in Zaanan will not come out. Wailing of Beth-ezel: He will take from you its standing-place. 12For she who dwells in Maroth has languished for something good. For calamity has come down from Adonai to Jerusalem’s gate. 13Harness the chariot to the steed, O inhabitant of Lachish! It was the beginning of sin for the Daughter of Zion— because in you were found the rebellions of Israel. 14Therefore you will give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath—houses of Achzib as a deception to the kings of Israel. 15Yet I will bring the possessor to you, inhabitant of Mareshah. The glory of Israel will come as far as Adullam. 16Shave yourself bald, yes shear your hair for the children of your delight. Enlarge your bald spot like a vulture, for they went from you into exile.

–from Micah 1

Let’s get our hearts aligned to God! Let’s get our hearts opened up to God’s ways! Let’s choose to take care of the things God has given us to do! Let’s hear His Word and do what He asks! Let’s allow the still quiet voice to lead us and direct us! Let’s turn back to God! Let’s point people back to God! There is a way!

Covetous Schemers

1Oy to them who scheme wickedness, who work out evil upon their beds! In the light of the morning, they do it, for the power is in their hands. 2They covet fields, so they seize them, or houses, and take them away. So they oppress a man and his house— a man and his inheritance. 3Therefore, thus said Adonai: “Behold, I am scheming a calamity against this family from which you cannot remove your necks. Then you will not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of distress.” 4In that day He will lift up a parable for you, and there will be wailing lamentation, saying: “We have been utterly ruined! He changes the portion of my people. How He removes it from me! To the faithless He apportions our fields!” 5Therefore you will have no one casting for territory by lot in the congregation of Adonai. 6“Do not prophesy,” they prophesy. Unless they prophesy about such things, He will not turn back reproaches.” 7Is it said, “O house of Jacob, is the Ruach Adonai short of patience? Are these His deeds?” “Do not My words deal well with one who walks uprightly?” 8But recently My people arose as an enemy. You strip off the outer robe of a garment from those passing through confidently— those returning from war. 9The wives of My people you cast out from their exquisite houses. From her young children you take away My splendor, forever. 10Arise and go! For this is not the resting place, because of uncleanness that destroys— a grievous destruction. 11If a man walking in a spirit of falsehood speaks lies—“I will prophesy for you of wine and strong drink”—then he would be a spokesman of this people. 12“I will surely gather Jacob—all of you! I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock within its pasture. They will be noisy with people. 13One breaking through will go up before them. They will break through, pass through the gate and go out by it. Their King will pass through before them —Adonai at their head!”

–from Micah 2

Let’s give our lives over to God! Let’s align our steps to His path, His plan, and His purpose! Let’s bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s make a difference! Let’s walk in His strength! There is a way!

God Thunders Throughout Creation

1A psalm of David. Ascribe to Adonai, O sons of God, ascribe to Adonai glory and strength. 2Ascribe to Adonai the glory of His Name. Bow down to Adonai in the beauty of holiness. 3The voice of Adonai is over the waters. The God of glory thunders— Adonai is over mighty waters. 4The voice of Adonai is powerful. The voice of Adonai is full of majesty. 5The voice of Adonai breaks the cedars. Yes, Adonai shatters cedars of Lebanon. 6He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. 7The voice of Adonai hews out flames of fire. 8The voice of Adonai shakes the desert. Adonai shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9The voice of Adonai makes the deer writhe in birth and strips forests bare, and in His Temple all are saying, “Glory!” 10Adonai sits enthroned over the flood. Yes, Adonai sits as King forever. 11Adonai gives strength to His people. Adonai blesses His people with shalom.

–from Psalms 29

Follow after Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the light! He will bring us to the Father! There is a way!

Jesus knew His purpose and nothing was going to get in His way! Jesus knew that in His sacrifice there would be victory for all! Jesus knew the beginning and the end! He conquered the grave! He defeated the cross! He made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He opened a door that nobody can close! He closed a door that nobody can open! Death was defeated and couldn’t hold Him down! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! There is a way!

Handed Over to the Romans

1Right at daybreak, the ruling kohanim held a meeting to consult with the elders and Torah scholars and the whole Sanhedrin. They tied up Yeshua, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate. 2Pilate interrogated Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Yeshua answers him, “As you say.” 3The ruling kohanim began to accuse Him of many things. 4Again, Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many charges they’re bringing against You!” 5But Yeshua did not answer, so Pilate was amazed. 6Now during the feast, he used to release to them one prisoner, anyone they were asking for. 7Now a man named Bar-Abba had been in jail with the rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. 8The crowd came up and began to request what he was accustomed to do for them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10For he knew that out of envy the ruling kohanim had handed Him over. 11But the ruling kohanim stirred up the crowd, so he would release Bar-Abba to them instead. 12Then answering again, Pilate said to them, “So what do you want me to do with the One you call the King of the Jews?” 13They shouted back, “Execute Him!” 14Pilate responded, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Execute Him!” 15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Bar-Abba for them. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 16The soldiers took Him away, into the palace, the governor’s mansion called the Praetorium. And they call together the cohort of soldiers. 17They dress Him up in purple. After braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. 18And they began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19Over and over, they kept hitting Him on the head with a staff and spitting on Him; and kneeling down, they worshiped Him. 20When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the purple off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

Crucified as King of the Jews

21Now Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming in from the countryside. The soldiers force this passerby to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 22They bring Yeshua to the place called Golgotha (which is translated, Place of a Skull). 23They were offering Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He didn’t take it. 24Then they crucify Him and divide up His clothing among themselves, casting lots for them to see who should take what. 25Now it was the third hour when they nailed Him on the stake. 26And the inscription of the charge against Him was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27And with Him they execute two outlaws, one on His right and one on His left. 28[footnote: Later mss. add: So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘He was counted with the sinners.’ See Isa. 53:12.] 29Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, 30save Yourself by coming down from the stake!” 31Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars, were also mocking Him among themselves. “He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? 32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the stake, so we may see and believe!” Even those executed with Him were ridiculing Him.

Death and Burial

33When the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34At the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah.” 36Then someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine. He put it on a stick and was offering it to Yeshua to drink, saying, “Wait, let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down.” 37But letting out a loud cry, Yeshua breathed His last. 38Then the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. 39When the centurion, who was standing in front of Him, saw the way Yeshua breathed His last, he said, “This Man really was the Son of God!” 40There were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41They would follow Him and serve Him when He was in the Galilee. Many other women who had gone up together with Him to Jerusalem were there also. 42Now evening had already come. Since it was the Day of Preparation, that is, the day before Shabbat, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected council member who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. 44Pilate was surprised that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether Yeshua had been dead for long. 45When Pilate learned this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47Miriam from Magdala and Miriam the mother of Joses were watching where Yeshua’s body was placed.

–from Mark 15

 

Don’t give up!


Do you understand what is being asked? Do you understand what is being said? Do you understand what is expected of you? Don’t give up! Press on! Persevere! Remember that in this world you will face challenges, but Jesus has overcome the world! We have already the victory through Jesus Christ! So let’s receive it and accomplish all that God desires in and through us!

Today’s reading starts with misunderstanding and confusion and people getting ready to give up. Let’s see how it was handled…

The Words of Eternal Life

60Many of his followers heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?” 61Without being told, Jesus knew that they were grumbling about this, so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up? 62Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before? 63What gives life is God’s Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving Spirit. 64Yet some of you do not believe.” (Jesus knew from the very beginning who were the ones that would not believe and which one would betray him.) 65And he added, “This is the very reason I told you that no people can come to me unless the Father makes it possible for them to do so.”
66Because of this, many of Jesus’ followers turned back and would not go with him any more. 67So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you—would you also like to leave?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.”
70Jesus replied, “I chose the twelve of you, didn’t I? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71He was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. For Judas, even though he was one of the twelve disciples, was going to betray him.

–from John 6

Turn back to God! Turn to Jesus for He is the way, the truth, and the life! Turn to Jesus, it is only through Him that we can make it the Father. God’s plan is that He doesn’t want anyone to perish but that everyone would be able to experience eternal life! We all get a freewill though and we get to choose! Choose wisely! Let’s live the transformed life that God desires! Let’s be good stewards of the gifts that God has given us! Let’s focus on the future! Our eyes are on the front of our head so that we can focus on what is ahead of us!

Changed Lives

1Since Christ suffered physically, you too must strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking that he had; because whoever suffers physically is no longer involved with sin. 2From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires. 3You have spent enough time in the past doing what the heathen like to do. Your lives were spent in indecency, lust, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and the disgusting worship of idols. 4And now the heathen are surprised when you do not join them in the same wild and reckless living, and so they insult you. 5But they will have to give an account of themselves to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6That is why the Good News was preached also to the dead, to those who had been judged in their physical existence as everyone is judged; it was preached to them so that in their spiritual existence they may live as God lives.

Good Managers of God’s Gifts

7The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. 11Those who preach must preach God’s messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

–from 1 Peter 4

So be prepared! Be self-controlled! Be loving! Don’t complain! Don’t worry! Don’t give up!

As we continue r reading we go back to Songs of Song…

The Women

1Most beautiful of women, where has your lover gone? Tell us which way your lover went, so that we can help you find him.

The Woman

2My lover has gone to his garden, where the balsam trees grow. He is feeding his flock in the garden and gathering lilies. 3My lover is mine, and I am his; he feeds his flock among the lilies.

The Fifth Song

The Man

4My love, you are as beautiful as Jerusalem, as lovely as the city of Tirzah, as breathtaking as these great cities. 5Turn your eyes away from me; they are holding me captive. Your hair dances like a flock of goats bounding down the hills of Gilead. 6Your teeth are as white as a flock of sheep that have just been washed. Not one of them is missing; they are all perfectly matched. 7Your cheeks glow behind your veil. 8Let the king have sixty queens, eighty concubines, young women without number! 9But I love only one, and she is as lovely as a dove. She is her mother’s only daughter, her mother’s favorite child. All women look at her and praise her; queens and concubines sing her praises. 10Who is this whose glance is like the dawn? She is beautiful and bright, as dazzling as the sun or the moon. 11I have come down among the almond trees to see the young plants in the valley, to see the new leaves on the vines and the blossoms on the pomegranate trees. 12I am trembling; you have made me as eager for love as a chariot driver is for battle.

The Women

13Dance, dance, girl of Shulam. Let us watch you as you dance.

The Woman

Why do you want to watch me as I dance between the rows of onlookers?

–from Songs of Song 6