Don’t lose hope! Don’t be afraid! God will make a way!


Are things looking tough? Are things feeling rough? Are things feeling overwhelming? Are things feeling tense? Are things feeling uncertain?

How are you responding? You can’t control what comes your way but you can control how you respond. Are you being light in the midst of the darkness? Are you being encouragement in the midst of despair? Are you being love in the midst of hate? Are you being unifying in the midst of division? Are you being a peacemaker in the midst of quarrel? Are you being a solver in the midst of problems? Are you being wisdom in the midst of confusion? Are you being a provider in the midst of lack? How are you responding so that others can see Jesus through you? How is God calling you to respond in order to glorify Him?

What is your role? What is your purpose? What is your part? What will you do about it?

Remember, even when you feel alone, you are not alone, there are others.


Today’s reading gets us started in 1 Kings 19, so let’s see what we can hear and learn through God’s Word in today’s reading…

‘When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord ,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.’

1 Kings 19

‘“Now then, I will reveal the truth to you. Three more Persian kings will reign, to be succeeded by a fourth, far richer than the others. He will use his wealth to stir up everyone to fight against the kingdom of Greece. “Then a mighty king will rise to power who will rule with great authority and accomplish everything he sets out to do. But at the height of his power, his kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts. It will not be ruled by the king’s descendants, nor will the kingdom hold the authority it once had. For his empire will be uprooted and given to others. “The king of the south will increase in power, but one of his own officials will become more powerful than he and will rule his kingdom with great strength. “Some years later an alliance will be formed between the king of the north and the king of the south. The daughter of the king of the south will be given in marriage to the king of the north to secure the alliance, but she will lose her influence over him, and so will her father. She will be abandoned along with her supporters. But when one of her relatives becomes king of the south, he will raise an army and enter the fortress of the king of the north and defeat him. When he returns to Egypt, he will carry back their idols with him, along with priceless articles of gold and silver. For some years afterward he will leave the king of the north alone. “Later the king of the north will invade the realm of the king of the south but will soon return to his own land. However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy’s fortress. “Then, in a rage, the king of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them. After the enemy army is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will execute many thousands of his enemies. But his success will be short lived. “A few years later the king of the north will return with a fully equipped army far greater than before. At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed. Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught. “The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it. He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail. “After this, he will turn his attention to the coastland and conquer many cities. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and cause him to retreat in shame. He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle. “The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue. Before him great armies will be swept away, including a covenant prince. With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. Without warning he will enter the richest areas of the land. Then he will distribute among his followers the plunder and wealth of the rich—something his predecessors had never done. He will plot the overthrow of strongholds, but this will last for only a short while. “Then he will stir up his courage and raise a great army against the king of the south. The king of the south will go to battle with a mighty army, but to no avail, for there will be plots against him. His own household will cause his downfall. His army will be swept away, and many will be killed. Seeking nothing but each other’s harm, these kings will plot against each other at the conference table, attempting to deceive each other. But it will make no difference, for the end will come at the appointed time. “The king of the north will then return home with great riches. On the way he will set himself against the people of the holy covenant, doing much damage before continuing his journey. “Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him. “Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. “The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all. Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts. Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. “Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants. “But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many. He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him.’

Daniel 11

‘As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” “You can,” Philip answered, “if you believe with all your heart.” And the eunuch replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.’

Acts 8:26-40

‘Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.’

1 John 4:7-21

‘Let all that I am praise the Lord . O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants. You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains. At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth. You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains. They provide water for all the animals, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees. You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor. You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth— wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength. The trees of the Lord are well cared for— the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests, and the storks make their homes in the cypresses. High in the mountains live the wild goats, and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes. You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set. You send the darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals prowl about. Then the young lions roar for their prey, stalking the food provided by God. At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest. Then people go off to their work, where they labor until evening. O Lord , what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small. See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea. They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made! The earth trembles at his glance; the mountains smoke at his touch. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord . Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth; let the wicked disappear forever. Let all that I am praise the Lord . Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 104

Do you know Jesus and are looking for a reason or a plan or a purpose for how to step out today? Do you know Jesus and wonder how you can make a difference in the world around you? Some get called to go out around the world to share the hope and love of Jesus. Some get called into the workplace where they can share the hope and love of Jesus. God’s Word shows us that the commission of Jesus isn’t any greater or less based on distance from home, just that we each have a role to play whether it is local (Jerusalem), in the near by places we go like your city and country (Judea and Samaria), or to the far off places (the uttermost parts of the earth). So when we receive Jesus and we receive His power, we are to go and do His will. So will you pick up the call and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you? Your home? Your neighborhood? Your city or town? Your workplace? Your state or province? Your country? The world?

If you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart yet and started this incredible relationship and journey with Him, is today your day? Let’s pray together and invite Him in.

If you prayed this and asked Jesus into your heart, would you be willing to leave me a note so that I can keep you in my prayers? If you want to talk then please leave a comment to and we can discuss.

If you are going or considering going into the world and would like to chat, leave me a comment so we can chat/discuss.

God has great plans for each of us, so let’s not walk in fear but rather our faith and trust in Him!

Will you complete the work before you?


You have been called. You have answered. You have served. Will you finish strong? Will fight the good fight? Will you finish the race? Will you keep the faith? Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance. Do not be afraid, just believe! Put your trust in God in all your ways and He will make your path straight! Will you live out your life in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name? Remember God’s faithfulness from the past – your past, the people in the bible past and look forward in faith trusting in Him to get you through whatever comes your way.


Today’s reading starts us in Numbers 31 as Moses is being called to fight the good fight and finish strong.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors.” So Moses said to the people, “Choose some men, and arm them to fight the Lord ’s war of revenge against Midian. From each tribe of Israel, send 1,000 men into battle.” So they chose 1,000 men from each tribe of Israel, a total of 12,000 men armed for battle. Then Moses sent them out, 1,000 men from each tribe, and Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest led them into battle. They carried along the holy objects of the sanctuary and the trumpets for sounding the charge. They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord ’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves. And all of you who have killed anyone or touched a dead body must stay outside the camp for seven days. You must purify yourselves and your captives on the third and seventh days. Purify all your clothing, too, and everything made of leather, goat hair, or wood.” Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “The Lord has given Moses this legal requirement: Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead— that is, all metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure. These metal objects must then be further purified with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be purified by the water alone. On the seventh day you must wash your clothes and be purified. Then you may return to the camp.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “You and Eleazar the priest and the family leaders of each tribe are to make a list of all the plunder taken in the battle, including the people and animals. Then divide the plunder into two parts, and give half to the men who fought the battle and half to the rest of the people. From the army’s portion, first give the Lord his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord . From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the Lord ’s Tabernacle.” So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. The plunder remaining from everything the fighting men had taken totaled 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgin girls. Half of the plunder was given to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, of which 675 were the Lord ’s share; 36,000 cattle, of which 72 were the Lord ’s share; 30,500 donkeys, of which 61 were the Lord ’s share; and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the Lord ’s share. Moses gave all the Lord ’s share to Eleazar the priest, just as the Lord had directed him. Half of the plunder belonged to the people of Israel, and Moses separated it from the half belonging to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 virgin girls. From the half-share given to the people, Moses took one of every fifty prisoners and animals and gave them to the Levites, who maintained the Lord ’s Tabernacle. All this was done as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then all the generals and captains came to Moses and said, “We, your servants, have accounted for all the men who went out to battle under our command; not one of us is missing! So we are presenting the items of gold we captured as an offering to the Lord from our share of the plunder—armbands, bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. This will purify our lives before the Lord and make us right with him. ” So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders—all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects. In all, the gold that the generals and captains presented as a gift to the Lord weighed about 420 pounds. All the fighting men had taken some of the plunder for themselves. So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to the Lord that the people of Israel belong to him.’

Numbers 31

Today’s reading then continues into Hosea 9

‘O people of Israel, do not rejoice as other nations do. For you have been unfaithful to your God, hiring yourselves out like prostitutes, worshiping other gods on every threshing floor. So now your harvests will be too small to feed you. There will be no grapes for making new wine. You may no longer stay here in the Lord ’s land. Instead, you will return to Egypt, and in Assyria you will eat food that is ceremonially unclean. There you will make no offerings of wine to the Lord . None of your sacrifices there will please him. They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning. All who present such sacrifices will be defiled. They may eat this food themselves, but they may not offer it to the Lord . What then will you do on festival days? How will you observe the Lord ’s festivals? Even if you escape destruction from Assyria, Egypt will conquer you, and Memphis will bury you. Nettles will take over your treasures of silver; thistles will invade your ruined homes. The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of payment is here. Soon Israel will know this all too well. Because of your great sin and hostility, you say, “The prophets are crazy and the inspired men are fools!” The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God, yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes. He faces hostility even in the house of God. The things my people do are as depraved as what they did in Gibeah long ago. God will not forget. He will surely punish them for their sins. The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped. The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will not be born or grow in the womb or even be conceived. Even if you do have children who grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.” O Lord , what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk. The Lord says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are struck down. Their roots are dried up, and they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” My God will reject the people of Israel because they will not listen or obey. They will be wanderers, homeless among the nations.’

Hosea 9

and Hosea 10.

‘How prosperous Israel is— a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit. But the richer the people get, the more pagan altars they build. The more bountiful their harvests, the more beautiful their sacred pillars. The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished. The Lord will break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Then they will say, “We have no king because we didn’t fear the Lord . But even if we had a king, what could he do for us anyway?” They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep. So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field. The people of Samaria tremble in fear for their calf idol at Beth-aven, and they mourn for it. Though its priests rejoice over it, its glory will be stripped away. This idol will be carted away to Assyria, a gift to the great king there. Ephraim will be ridiculed and Israel will be shamed, because its people have trusted in this idol. Samaria and its king will be cut off; they will float away like driftwood on an ocean wave. And the pagan shrines of Aven, the place of Israel’s sin, will crumble. Thorns and thistles will grow up around their altars. They will beg the mountains, “Bury us!” and plead with the hills, “Fall on us!” The Lord says, “O Israel, ever since Gibeah, there has been only sin and more sin! You have made no progress whatsoever. Was it not right that the wicked men of Gibeah were attacked? Now whenever it fits my plan, I will attack you, too. I will call out the armies of the nations to punish you for your multiplied sins. “Israel is like a trained heifer treading out the grain— an easy job she loves. But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck. I will force Judah to pull the plow and Israel to break up the hard ground. I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord , that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’ “But you have cultivated wickedness and harvested a thriving crop of sins. You have eaten the fruit of lies— trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe. Now the terrors of war will rise among your people. All your fortifications will fall, just as when Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel. Even mothers and children were dashed to death there. You will share that fate, Bethel, because of your great wickedness. When the day of judgment dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.’

Hosea 10

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament starting in Matthew 10

‘“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’#10:35-36 Mic 7:6. “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,#10:41 Greek receive a prophet in the name of a prophet. you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”’

Matthew 10:34-42

and then into Romans 8.

‘Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.’

Romans 8:12-17

Consider what God has placed before you today. Consider what God is calling you to accomplish today. Consider the blessing you can provide into the next generation. Consider the opportunity to prepare them for their future and to build their faith. Let’s go for it and do it God’s way.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

‘I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. Lord , don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Teach me your decrees, O Lord ; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Lord , give me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. Then I can answer those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed. How I delight in your commands! How I love them! I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees.’

Psalms 119:25-48

Don’t allow fear or worry to make you do something you may regret.


Ever heard or read “fear not, just believe“? Ever heard or read “worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything“? Ever heard or read “faith over fear“? Ever heard or read “fear is a liar“? Ever heard or read “who by worrying can …“? So let’s turn to God when the devil is trying to make us fearful or worrisome. Let’s invite Jesus into the situation rather than trying to go it alone when fear and worry rear their heads. Ever noticed that when you are feeling worried or anxious that tickle in your stomach? Ever noticed it is a similar feeling to when you are starting to feel excited? When that feeling starts to hit why turn to the negative and instead turn to the positive and allow God’s joy and presence lead you into and through whatever situation.

Today’s reading starts in Genesis 20 on such a topic where Abraham introduces his wife as his sister out of fear…

‘Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!” But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.” In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.” Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified. Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?” Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’ And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her. When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’” Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him. Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.” And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silver in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children. For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.’

Genesis 20

Do you realize the consequences of your fear on others? Do you realize it isn’t just you that it can impact? How will you decide and choose to respond the next time fear or worry comes your way? Will your words be filled with truth, hope, and love? Will your actions portray your faith and belief in Jesus?

Today’s reading continues in Genesis 21 where we get to learn about the incredible promise accomplished through the birth of Isaac. I remember all those years ago when my promised son Isaac was born. I remember God’s truth and faithfulness. The joy and laughter that came and comes through this boy and his arrival.

‘The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!” This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.” So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt. About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. “Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.” Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!” Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants. “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.” Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty. But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves. Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?” Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.” Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath. After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines. Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the Lord , the Eternal God. And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.’

Genesis 21

God won’t leave us alone, not matter what the past or our parents may have done or gone through. He is wanting to take care of His children. So let’s turn back to Him and allow Him to lead and guide, instruct and comfort it. Let’s look to live out our lives in a way that will glorify God. Let’s take time when we need to see God to stop, wait, listen, and worship God. Let’s not be held back by our own thoughts or emotions but let’s take hold of God’s Word and instructions so that we can complete the good work that He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Let us not forget all that He has and continues to do in and through our lives.

Today’s reading continues and brings us into 1 Chronicles 16

‘They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord . Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord —to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord , the God of Israel. Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord : Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord . Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, you children of his servant Israel, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God. His justice is seen throughout the land. Remember his covenant forever— the commitment he made to a thousand generations. This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant: “I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.” He said this when you were few in number, a tiny group of strangers in Canaan. They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf: “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.” Let the whole earth sing to the Lord ! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord ! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord , recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord , for he is coming to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.” Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord .

David arranged for Asaph and his fellow Levites to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant, doing whatever needed to be done each day. This group included Obed-edom (son of Jeduthun), Hosah, and sixty-eight other Levites as gatekeepers. Meanwhile, David stationed Zadok the priest and his fellow priests at the Tabernacle of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon, where they continued to minister before the Lord . They sacrificed the regular burnt offerings to the Lord each morning and evening on the altar set aside for that purpose, obeying everything written in the Law of the Lord , as he had commanded Israel. David also appointed Heman, Jeduthun, and the others chosen by name to give thanks to the Lord , for “his faithful love endures forever.” They used their trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments to accompany their songs of praise to God. And the sons of Jeduthun were appointed as gatekeepers. Then all the people returned to their homes, and David turned and went home to bless his own family.’

1 Chronicles 16

Imagine the incredible day of celebration when the Ark was brought back. Imagine the heart of the people when David gave everyone something to take home. We need to bless and be a blessing not only to others but also to our own family. Imagine the people as the incredible worship time took place. Let’s take hold of who God is and let’s live out our today giving Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Our reading jumps to the New Testament in John 6 continuing from where we left off when the disciples had left with the boat while Jesus was praying on the mountain side and then later caught up to them walking on water. Let’s see and read together what happens next. Let’s receive the message of needing to focus on things that will last. Let’s believe in Jesus.

‘The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man#6:27 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”’

John 6:22-40

Let’s live our lives believing in Jesus so that we won’t be spiritually hungry. Let’s live out lives trusting in Jesus and following after Him so that we can have eternal life. Let’s take hold of what God’s Word says to us for it never returns void. God’s Word is alive and is good for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. We continue in today’s reading hearing from Paul and his testimony from Galatians 1.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie. After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” And they praised God because of me.’

Galatians 1:11-24

Imagine had God not intervened and connected with Paul. He was the apostle who went out to share the Good News beyond the Jewish people. Let’s stop and consider how much God loves His people and how far He has been willing to go to make Himself known to all of us. Back then there were no cell phones, no internet, no daily newspapers, it took effort and so things like Jesus’s birth, Jesus’s life, Jesus’s death, Jesus’s resurrection, and Jesus’s ascension weren’t captured and broadcasted on the 24hr news networks. Yet today in such a day and such a time as this we have the opportunity to receive Jesus, to share Jesus, and to live out our lives with Jesus so that God gets all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

So as we close, let’s take time to meditate from Psalms 14.

‘Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord . Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him. The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the Lord will protect his people. Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When the Lord restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.’

Psalms 14

Will it be easy? Will it be worth it? Will it end well?


We never have a promise that it will be easy and in fact we hear from Jesus that we will face trials and troubles and tribulations.

25“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.a 28I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

–from John 16

That’s right even though we will face troubles, trials, and tribulation, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!

We can’t give up! We can’t give in! When we face trials of any kind, we take hold of God’s promises and truth and we can consider it pure joy for we know it is just a test of our faith.

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

–from James 1

The lies of the devil will try to twist the reality of the tests, trials, tribulations into trying to draw us away from God when instead we should be drawing closer to God in and through it all! Persevering! Being joyful! Allowing the work that is to be done in and through it to finish so we can be complete and lacking nothing!

So as we look to today’s reading from Ezekiel 38 with the devotional focused on 18-21, we can take heart because we know that the victory belongs to the Lord! We know that Jesus has already won! We know from reading the end of the book that even in the book of Revelation we see Jesus have victory over God and Magog. So do not fear, just believe in Jesus! So don’t worry about anything but rather through prayer and supplication, make your asks known to God! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God : Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you. “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. “Thus says the Lord God : On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’ “Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God : On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. “Thus says the Lord God : Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God , my wrath will be roused in my anger. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God . Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord . ‘

–from Ezekiel 38:1-23 

Today devotional speaks to the impact of this onto the world through history of London’s Guildhall and subsequently at Royal Arcade in Melbourne, Australia.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You make a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that I don’t have to walk in worry or fear but that I can walk by faith knowing that Jesus has overcome the world no matter what comes my way. I thank You Lord that I don’t have to be concerned about trials that come my way because what the enemy plans for evil You are able to turn around and use for good so that when we face trials of any kind we can consider it pure joy for we know that through perseverance and my faith in You that in the end I will be complete and lacking nothing. Lord I lift this day up and ask for Your wisdom and direction in order that through all I think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Facing fear? Why not overcome fear?


Life is full of challenges! Life is full of troubles! The devil wants to keep you come becoming all that God has planned for you! His primary tools are fear and doubt!

Belief is the antidote for fear! Ever heard the saying “fear not, just believe“?

Ever seen the acronym for fear? F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real!

Ever noticed how many times in the Bible it says “fear not” or “don’t be afraid”? Ever noticed how many times angels say that to people right before they scream? God’s plan is not for us to be walking around in fear! His desire is that through a relationship with Him we will walk out our lives in faith believing and trusting in Him through an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord! The key to overcoming fear is to believe that God is bigger than whatever it is we are facing! Hence why we have the verse “be anxious for nothing but through prayer and petition bring your request before God“! Angels know our first response to seeing something that we don’t understand is to be afraid and so they try to calm us down with something like what Gabriel said to Mary “don’t be afraid, you have found favor with God” or the shepherds “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Or even at Jesus’ tomb “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.” God’s plan is that we have hope and a future! God’s plan in King James speaks to His plan is that we have “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“.

Today’s devotional starts of with this truth for us to grab a hold of:

God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Are you struggling with something and feeling that God won’t approve of you because of that? Are you considering that God is looking at you through the prism of Jesus? Today’s devotional speaks to such a situation and conversation and shares this with us:

When he finished his talk he came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe that God approves of you?’ I said, ‘Actually, I really struggle with that because I know things about myself that mean I find it difficult to believe that God approves of me.’ He replied, ‘We all struggle with that. But God wants you to know that he approves of you. He wants you to know he loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

If I were asked to summarise what I thought the Bible was all about in one word – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – I would choose the word ‘love’. Twice in today’s New Testament passage John writes, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8,16). The word ‘love’ is used widely in our society. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Love is God’. In other words, it is God who defines what love is rather than the other way around. God is love.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Do you remember what love is? Do you realize that when we read that God is love that means we can replace the word love with the word God? So imagine now reading from 1 Corinthians 13 and replacing love with God or even Jesus! Now imagine if we could look to live our lives with such love that we could replace love with our name?

Remember that love never fails

God is Love! So He is everything just listed above!

People are looking for love! People are trying to find love! They will go to any length to try and find real love! The reality is that to find true love they need to receive God! God so loves the world that He sent Jesus! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved! What people need to realize is that for them to find love their first step needs to be to turn back to God! Not walking away thinking it is out there somewhere! God is with us and waiting for us to turn back to Him! Let’s not be like the lost son who left his father and it wasn’t till he hit rock bottom that he realized what he had lost before turning around and going home to his loving father! Let’s turn around before it gets that bad, that far, that rough, that scary and ask Jesus into our heart! Let’s turn to real love! Let’s turn to God! He is the only thing that can fill that hole in our hearts!

Love is the key to overcoming unhealthy fear! 1 John 4:18 says it this way:

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

–from 1 John 4:18

So want to get rid of those unhealthy fears that are affecting your health, your relationships, your thoughts, your life? LOVE is the key! GOD is LOVE! So ask Jesus into your heart today and start the journey that will last through eternity spending time with God and allowing Him into every area of your life, leading and guiding, comforting and encouraging, speaking life and truth in Jesus’ name!


Four Keys to Overcoming Fear

Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Thank God for his love … Psalms 138
  2. Live in the love of God … 1 John 4:7-21
    • We see in this passage four keys to overcome unhealthy fear in your life.

      1) Understand God’s Love

      ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (vv.10,17–18).

      Unhealthy fear entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid from God. When God asked, ‘Where are you?’ Adam replied, ‘I was afraid… so I hid’ (Genesis 3:10). Adam was afraid that God would punish him.

      The deepest root of fear is condemnation – the feeling that God is cross with you. But God ‘sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Jesus took your condemnation. God wants you to have confidence before him.

      2) Experience God’s Love

      ‘We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit… we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (vv.13,16).

      You truly start living when you know you are unconditionally loved by God. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us. When Pippa was a little girl, whenever she was frightened, her father would pick her up in his arms and sing, ‘Daddy’s got you now’. This is the work of the Holy Spirit – God picks us up in his arms and reassures us of his love for us.

      3) Believe God’s Love

      ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us’ (v.16). The Greek word used for ‘rely’ is the same word as for believe. Even when we know and have experienced God’s love, we need to keep on believing.

      Object permanence is an expression used by psychologists of a child’s ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible.

      Up to about four months old, babies don’t have the capacity to believe something exists if they can’t see it. If you hide a toy it no longer exists as far as they are concerned. They reach a stage where if you hide a toy, they will keep on looking for it. They realise that objects exist even when you don’t see them.

      This is a sign of Christian maturity: when we continue to believe in God’s love even when we don’t see it or feel it. We remember and recall. As we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love.

      4) Perfect God’s Love

      ‘No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (v.12). ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’ (v.18).

      The more you love him and demonstrate that reality by loving one another – the less you are prey to fear. Develop a culture of love – giving and receiving love. This is the opposite of competition and gossip. The more love you give to others – the more fear disappears.

      –from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. Stand firm in the love of God … Daniel 11:2-35

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

Worry about nothing!


Worry changes nothing! Prayer changes everything!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

–Philippians 4:6

What’s got your mind today? What running wild in there? Worry and anxiety try to rob you of joy. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

— 2 Corinthians 9:8

Is it about family? Is it about friends? Is it about work? Is it about health? Is it about finances? Something else?Will worry do anything other than raise your blood pressure and stress levels? Why not give it up to God whatever it is and ask Him to help. I remember a pastor saying how he would give it up to God and as part of his prayer would say something like “God can you please take care of this situation and I’ll go to sleep since You are going to be up anyways”.Don’t let it cause you to lose sleep! Don’t let it cause you to lose focus! Don’t let it cause you to lose hope! Don’t let it cause you to lose purpose! Don’t let it rob you of good health! Put your trust in God!Let’s allow the peace of God that beyond all understanding protect and strengthen you like a strong tower! Allow God to calm the storm by either clearing out the storm or calming the storm in you!So let’s allow the peace of God to rule rather than allowing worry and anxiety to try to take over.Today’s devotional speaks to the various things that try to rob use through worry. Check out today’s devotional and hear what the writer and the Bible has to say.


Anxiety and Peace

Day 223: Bible in One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/223

  1. Speak to God about your anxieties … Psalm 94:12-23

  1. Live at peace with your situation … 1 Corinthians 7:1-16
  2. Find purpose instead of meaninglessness … Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22


Day 223 of 365 • This day’s reading •Psalms 94:12-231 Corinthians 7:1-16Ecclesiastes 1Ecclesiastes 2Ecclesiastes 3


Jesus is the answer. Without God everything else like chasing after the wind, which is seen thru Solomon’s wisdom. Without God life is worthless and meaningless.Nothing is new and without remembering the lessons of the past we are doomed to repeat them. We see this through the Bible as pendulum of time goes back and forth towards God and then away from God.Jesus is the answer.

Ever seen strength in your weakness?


You know we aren’t perfect. You know we don’t know it all. You know that we can’t be everywhere all the time. You know we can do it all. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

But God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. He is omniscient and knows everything. He is omnipresent and is everywhere all the time.

So what do you do when you run into one of your weaknesses? Where do you turn? What does your first response look like? Do you try to use all your possible resources? Do you realize that the answer and the help you need is right there waiting for you to ask?

Let’s consider the words of Paul from 1 Corinthians 2 in regards to this topic…

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬ — http://bible.us/111/1co.2.1-5.niv

We need to realize in those situations that it isn’t all about us! It is more that we get to with the help of God. We get to show the power of the Holy Spirit rather than people can find hope, truth, love and power through God rather than through human wisdom.

So when you face those tough time, and you will because the Bible tell us that in this world we will have troubles but it also tells us to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. In that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance builds character, character hope, making us perfect and lacking nothing. So turn to the one who knows the beginning and the end. Turn to the one who not only has the answer but is the answer.

Rather than allowing the devil to manipulate and torture you with fear and trembling, give it up to God. Ask Jesus to help you or save you. Weakness, fear, and trembling all show up in today’s reading, both ways for good and for bad, so let’s check it out.


Perfected in Weakness

Day 217 – Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Fear and faith … Psalm 91:1-8

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬ — http://bible.us/111/psa.91.1-8.niv

  1. Power in weakness … 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5

  1. Fear and trembling … 1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1

Servant leadership…


Do you realize the impact you have and are making? Do you realize the impact you could have and could make? Are you leading by example? Are you leading by demand? Are you leading as a servant leader? Are people following you because of your character? Are people following you out of a sense of love? Are people following you out of a sense of fear? There is a difference and it makes a difference! Our best example comes from Jesus and He showed that He didn’t come to lead by ordering them around, but rather by serving them. Consider the last supper when He was washing their feet so they would have an example of how they should be leading too … by being humble, servant leaders. Consider how far He was willing to go by give His life as the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to be able to be reconciled back to God! So today, are you a leader? What kind of leader are you? What kind of leader do you want to be? How will you make a difference? It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it! It isn’t always fun, but it is always worth it! If God brings you to it, He will get you through it! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Press onward and complete the work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish!

Today’s reading starts with …

Some Greeks Seek Jesus

20Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. 21They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Jesus Speaks about His Death

27“Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. 28Father, bring glory to your name!” Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.” 29The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, “An angel spoke to him!” 30But Jesus said to them, “It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. 31Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. 32When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” ( 33In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.) 34The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”

–from John 12

Are you leading as light in this dark world? Are you leading as salt in a world that needs to be spiced up, that needs to be drawn out? How will you lead that will make a difference, not only for you, but also for those who choose to follow you? Will you impact their today? Will you impact their tomorrow? Will you impact their eternity? What kind of a leader will you be? Where are you leading them? Will it make a difference to their future? Are you leading them upward or downward? Are you leading them into a future of hope even if in the moment there might be some challenges? Are you leading them to a fatal end that will be hopeless? What is your goal? What is your purpose? Will you make a difference?

Eternal Life

13I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life—you that believe in the Son of God. 14We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15He hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him. 16If you see a believer commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray to God, who will give that person life. This applies to those whose sins do not lead to death. But there is sin which leads to death, and I do not say that you should pray to God about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which does not lead to death. 18We know that no children of God keep on sinning, for the Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot harm them. 19We know that we belong to God even though the whole world is under the rule of the Evil One. 20We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God—in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life. 21My children, keep yourselves safe from false gods!

–from 1 John 5

So let’s lead in truth! Let’s lead in love! Let’s lead people towards eternity with God! Let’s step in and step up to be able to give people a hand up out of the pit and back into life! Don’t be someone who pushes others into the arms of the devil, but rather, be one that pulls them into the arms of God!

Bildad

1-2Job, can’t people like you ever be quiet? If you stopped to listen, we could talk to you. 3What makes you think we are as stupid as cattle? 4You are only hurting yourself with your anger. Will the earth be deserted because you are angry? Will God move mountains to satisfy you? 5The light of the wicked will still be put out; its flame will never burn again. 6The lamp in their tents will be darkened. 7Their steps were firm, but now they stumble; they fall—victims of their own advice. 8They walk into a net, and their feet are caught; 9a trap catches their heels and holds them. 10On the ground a snare is hidden; a trap has been set in their path. 11All around them terror is waiting; it follows them at every step. 12They used to be rich, but now they go hungry; disaster stands and waits at their side. 13A deadly disease spreads over their bodies and causes their arms and legs to rot. 14They are torn from the tents where they lived secure, and are dragged off to face King Death. 15Now anyone may live in their tents—after sulfur is sprinkled to disinfect them! 16Their roots and branches are withered and dry. 17Their fame is ended at home and abroad; no one remembers them any more. 18They will be driven out of the land of the living, driven from light into darkness. 19They have no descendants, no survivors. 20From east to west, all who hear of their fate shudder and tremble with fear. 21That is the fate of evil people, the fate of those who care nothing for God.

–from Job 18

Can you see where you are going?


Do you know where you are going? Can you see clearly? Are you able to move forward without fear or worry? Is there light? Are you in the dark? Are you able to see where you are going? Do you know where you came from?


Today’s morning reading shares the fact that there is a light that can open our eyes up to truth and a reality that can transform our lives forever…

Jesus the Light of the World

12Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. “I am the light of the world,” he said. “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”
13The Pharisees said to him, “Now you are testifying on your own behalf; what you say proves nothing.”
14“No,” Jesus answered, “even though I do testify on my own behalf, what I say is true, because I know where I came from and where I am going. You do not know where I came from or where I am going. 15You make judgments in a purely human way; I pass judgment on no one. 16But if I were to do so, my judgment would be true, because I am not alone in this; the Father who sent me is with me. 17It is written in your Law that when two witnesses agree, what they say is true. 18I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me also testifies on my behalf.”
19“Where is your father?” they asked him. “You know neither me nor my Father,” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
20Jesus said all this as he taught in the Temple, in the room where the offering boxes were placed. And no one arrested him, because his hour had not come.

–from John 8

Live your life in truth! Let your life be real, not like reality TV which seems to be so far from real. Consider how they speak of false teacher as we continue to read from today’s reading…

9And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.

These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse! 15They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.

–from 2 Peter 2

Let’s be focused on the truth! Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus! Let’s allow our lives to be a revelation of our relationship with Jesus to the world around us! It’s all about that relationship! Let’s not be judgmental but rather lets be loving and compassionate so that we can help others to get thru where they are at and get to where God wants them to be. Consider this as we finish the reading for today…

The First Dialogue

(4.1—14.22)

Eliphaz

1-2Job, will you be annoyed if I speak? I can’t keep quiet any longer. 3You have taught many people and given strength to feeble hands. 4When someone stumbled, weak and tired, your words encouraged him to stand. 5Now it’s your turn to be in trouble, and you are too stunned to face it. 6You worshiped God, and your life was blameless; and so you should have confidence and hope. 7Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster. 8I have seen people plow fields of evil and plant wickedness like seed; now they harvest wickedness and evil. 9Like a storm, God destroys them in his anger. 10The wicked roar and growl like lions, but God silences them and breaks their teeth. 11Like lions with nothing to kill and eat, they die, and all their children are scattered. 12Once a message came quietly, so quietly I could hardly hear it. 13Like a nightmare it disturbed my sleep. 14I trembled and shuddered; my whole body shook with fear. 15A light breeze touched my face, and my skin crawled with fright. 16I could see something standing there; I stared, but couldn’t tell what it was. Then I heard a voice out of the silence: 17“Can anyone be righteous in the sight of God or be pure before his Creator? 18God does not trust his heavenly servants; he finds fault even with his angels. 19Do you think he will trust a creature of clay, a thing of dust that can be crushed like a moth? 20We may be alive in the morning, but die unnoticed before evening comes. 21All that we have is taken away; we die, still lacking wisdom.”

–from Job 4

What is your reality based on?


Are you basing reality on standards? Are you basing reality on appearance? Are you basing reality on opinion? Is your reality based on things that are constant? Is your reality based on things that are in continuous flux? Are you being swayed by every wave? Are you stable because you are standing on a strong foundation? What is your source of truth? Where do you go for wisdom? How do you know the difference between right and wrong? What is right? What is wrong? What are you supposed to think about it? What are you supposed to do about it? Is it in alignment to God’s will? Is it in alignment to what God wants? Are you doing it for your own benefit and glorification? Are you doing it to lift up God working in and through you? Are you honest? Are you humble? Is obedience important? Is it important to you?

What is your reality based on?


Today’s reading starts on such a topic…

Jesus at the Festival of Shelters

10After his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus also went; however, he did not go openly, but secretly. 11The Jewish authorities were looking for him at the festival. “Where is he?” they asked. 12There was much whispering about him in the crowd. “He is a good man,” some people said. “No,” others said, “he fools the people.” 13But no one talked about him openly, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. 14The festival was nearly half over when Jesus went to the Temple and began teaching. 15The Jewish authorities were greatly surprised and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never been to school?” 16Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him. 19Moses gave you the Law, didn’t he? But not one of you obeys the Law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 20“You have a demon in you!” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” 21Jesus answered, “I performed one miracle, and you were all surprised. 22Moses ordered you to circumcise your sons (although it was not Moses but your ancestors who started it), and so you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23If a boy is circumcised on the Sabbath so that Moses’ Law is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards.”

–from John 7

Do you live to comfort and draw the flock closer to God with hope, truth, faith, and love? Do you live to scatter the flock with misinformation, lies, fear, and disorder? Are you a part of the flock? Are you livening in alignment within the flock? Are you serving? We aren’t just to be leading or leaders, but we are to be servant leaders just as Jesus was a servant leader! Don’t be an instrument of the devil who is roaming around roaring and trying to create fear, but rather provide hope, comfort, peace, and joy that comes from God into the world around you.

As we continue into our reading we read to this fact and truth…

The Flock of God

1I, who am an elder myself, appeal to the church elders among you. I am a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and I will share in the glory that will be revealed. I appeal to you 2to be shepherds of the flock that God gave you and to take care of it willingly, as God wants you to, and not unwillingly. Do your work, not for mere pay, but from a real desire to serve. 3Do not try to rule over those who have been put in your care, but be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the glorious crown which will never lose its brightness.
5In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” 6Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. 7Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.
8Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. 10But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. 11To him be the power forever! Amen.

–1 Peter 5

Let’s be living lives that will glorify God and show His power in and through us.

Today’s reading continues and will conclude with the Songs of Song…

1I wish that you were my brother, that my mother had nursed you at her breast. Then, if I met you in the street, I could kiss you and no one would mind. 2I would take you to my mother’s house, where you could teach me love. I would give you spiced wine, my pomegranate wine to drink. 3Your left hand is under my head, and your right hand caresses me. 4Promise me, women of Jerusalem, that you will not interrupt our love.

The Sixth Song

The Women

5Who is this coming from the desert, arm in arm with her lover?

The Woman

Under the apple tree I woke you, in the place where you were born. 6Close your heart to every love but mine; hold no one in your arms but me. Love is as powerful as death; passion is as strong as death itself. It bursts into flame and burns like a raging fire. 7Water cannot put it out; no flood can drown it. But if any tried to buy love with their wealth, contempt is all they would get.

–from Songs of Song 8

What do you really believe?


Are you living in a way that if you never spoke to someone they could tell you believe it? Are you living a life that even when you don’t think people are watching you that you are living in a way that if someone spotted you that it wouldn’t change anything? What if anything you say in secret would be revealed? What if anything you did in the dark or behind closed doors would become known? Are you more interested in what others may say or do about you than you are about what God sees, says, and thinks about you? Who do you belong to? Is it a secret or do people know it? I belong to Jesus yes I do, I belong to Jesus, how about you? Don’t be afraid of what others may do or say, trust in Him and He will make your path straight! Don’t be afraid of what others may ask, trust in Him and allow Him to speak through you!

Today’s reading starts on this very subject…

A Warning against Hypocrisy

(Matthew 10.26, 27)
1As thousands of people crowded together, so that they were stepping on each other, Jesus said first to his disciples, “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees—I mean their hypocrisy. 2Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. 3So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.

Whom to Fear

(Matthew 10.28-31)
4“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot afterward do anything worse. 5I will show you whom to fear: fear God, who, after killing, has the authority to throw into hell. Believe me, he is the one you must fear! 6“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. 7Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!

Confessing and Rejecting Christ

(Matthew 10.32, 33; 12.32; 10.19, 20)
8“I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9But those who reject me publicly, the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God. 10“Whoever says a word against the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11“When they bring you to be tried in the synagogues or before governors or rulers, do not be worried about how you will defend yourself or what you will say. 12For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

–from Luke 12

Timing is everything and if you are reading this before the time comes, you have time to make the choice. Will you choose Jesus? Will you make the decision that will transform both the rest of your life on earth as well as your eternity. Don’t be fooled by the lies or deception! Know the Word of God and be prepared! Stand up for what is right or you will fall for anything. Reach out and help others up and out too. Let’s allow the truth to be known for the truth will break the chains and set people free!

Today’s reading continues with…

The Wicked One

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him: I beg you, my friends, 2not to be so easily confused in your thinking or upset by the claim that the Day of the Lord has come. Perhaps it is thought that we said this while prophesying or preaching, or that we wrote it in a letter. 3Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until the final Rebellion takes place and the Wicked One appears, who is destined to hell. 4He will oppose every so-called god or object of worship and will put himself above them all. He will even go in and sit down in God’s Temple and claim to be God. 5Don’t you remember? I told you all this while I was with you. 6Yet there is something that keeps this from happening now, and you know what it is. At the proper time, then, the Wicked One will appear. 7The Mysterious Wickedness is already at work, but what is going to happen will not happen until the one who holds it back is taken out of the way. 8Then the Wicked One will be revealed, but when the Lord Jesus comes, he will kill him with the breath from his mouth and destroy him with his dazzling presence. 9The Wicked One will come with the power of Satan and perform all kinds of false miracles and wonders, 10and use every kind of wicked deceit on those who will perish. They will perish because they did not welcome and love the truth so as to be saved. 11And so God sends the power of error to work in them so that they believe what is false. 12The result is that all who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in sin, will be condemned.

–from 2 Thessalonians 2

Don’t be fooled or tricked! There is only one name by which you can be saved! Their will be others who will try to get your attention and your following, but you need to know what you believe! You need to know who you believe in! You need to have faith to not give up! Put your hope and your trust in Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the life! He gave it all that we could be reconciled back to God! He defeated the grave so that the truth could be reveals and people could be freed from the fear and the shackles of death! Let’s choose to follow Him and spend eternity together with God!

1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, my soul! 2I will praise him as long as I live; I will sing to my God all my life. 3Don’t put your trust in human leaders; no human being can save you. 4When they die, they return to the dust; on that day all their plans come to an end. 5Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them and who depend on the Lord their God, 6the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them. He always keeps his promises; 7he judges in favor of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free 8and gives sight to the blind. He lifts those who have fallen; he loves his righteous people. 9He protects the strangers who live in our land; he helps widows and orphans, but takes the wicked to their ruin. 10The Lord is king forever. Your God, O Zion, will reign for all time. Praise the Lord! –from Psalm 146

Do you realize the impact of an encounter with Jesus?


For some it is how they have always lives and it has kept them from a lot of pain and suffering. For some they walked away from Jesus and end up at rock bottom when they stop believing the lies that God doesn’t love them, turns back and is reconciled to Jesus and their life starts to be restored. There are some who never knew of or have never heard of Jesus and as such have walked in ways that have brought them much pain and suffering but then hear the good news and their lives are transformed. There are some who oppose God, they don’t believe in God and as such want nothing to do with Jesus, but when their lives are touched by and impacted by believers who reach out, don’t give up, and pray for them for the miraculous, they get saved and there is such a celebration not only on earth, but in heaven for they will be spending eternity with God in heaven.

Do you believe in Jesus and follow after Him and His ways? Do you live differently because of Jesus being a part of your life?

Have you heard of this Jesus of which I am speaking? Has your life been transformed? Do you shine your light so that others may hear of this great love?

Have you read any of my testimonies of God’s great love and what He has done in and through my life? It began in 2000, my blogging started in 2005. He is so faithful and is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine! He is the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path through His Word, The Bible! We shouldn’t keep it all bottled up! Let that love and hope and faith flow through you into all those around you!

This morning’s reading speaks of the impact of an encounter with Jesus and the life transformation is creates…

Jesus Heals a Man with Demons

(Matthew 8.28-34; Mark 5.1-20)
26Jesus and his disciples sailed on over to the territory of Gerasa, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27As Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a man from the town who had demons in him. For a long time this man had gone without clothes and would not stay at home, but spent his time in the burial caves. 28When he saw Jesus, he gave a loud cry, threw himself down at his feet, and shouted, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? I beg you, don’t punish me!” 29He said this because Jesus had ordered the evil spirit to go out of him. Many times it had seized him, and even though he was kept a prisoner, his hands and feet tied with chains, he would break the chains and be driven by the demon out into the desert. 30Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”“My name is ‘Mob,’” he answered—because many demons had gone into him. 31The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. 32There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he let them. 33They went out of the man and into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned. 34The men who had been taking care of the pigs saw what happened, so they ran off and spread the news in the town and among the farms. 35People went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the man had been cured. 37Then all the people from that territory asked Jesus to go away, because they were terribly afraid. So Jesus got into the boat and left. 38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged Jesus, “Let me go with you.”But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Go back home and tell what God has done for you.”The man went through the town, telling what Jesus had done for him. –from Luke 8

When you have an encounter with Jesus, your focus changes! Your plans change! Your purpose is revealed! You realize it is about more than just you! God loves you right where you are at and too much to want to leave you there.

Today’s reading continues in this theme as follows…

1You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. 2Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!

The Old Life and the New

5You must put to death, then, the earthly desires at work in you, such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry). 6Because of such things God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey him. 7At one time you yourselves used to live according to such desires, when your life was dominated by them. 8But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. 9Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits 10and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself. 11As a result, there is no longer any distinction between Gentiles and Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves, and free, but Christ is all, Christ is in all. 12You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. 15The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. 16Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. 17Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
–from Colossians 3

So let’s live transformed lives so that others can see Jesus living in and through us! Let’s live lives that will glorify and magnify who God is in and through our lives!

Let’s live in such a way that God’s Word is revealed and when necessary speak/preach the good news!

No matter what has been done to us, we need to not give up and put our hope and trust in God! Let’s be transformed into all that God has purposed for us to be!

1Israel, tell us how your enemies have persecuted you ever since you were young. 2“Ever since I was young, my enemies have persecuted me cruelly, but they have not overcome me. 3They cut deep wounds in my back and made it like a plowed field. 4But the Lord, the righteous one, has freed me from slavery.” 5May everyone who hates Zion be defeated and driven back. 6May they all be like grass growing on the housetops, which dries up before it can grow; 7no one gathers it up or carries it away in bundles. 8No one who passes by will say, “May the Lord bless you! We bless you in the name of the Lord.” — from Psalm 129