This is it!


Today is the last day of my reading through the Bible in the a year plan. Tomorrow is a new day and will be something new. What will the new day bring? What will today bring? Today’s just starting and we need to live through today before we can consider what’s next. Today is the present from God, so let’s celebrate and rejoice in today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring and there is no point worrying about it since we can’t do anything about tomorrow anyways. There is no point worrying about tomorrow because today will have enough things of its own. What is today going to bring? What is today going to be like? What if today were the last day, how would that change things? What if today were the last day and the only people left were the people left behind because they had rejected God’s offer of love and grace? What if today were the last day with only people who rejected God or didn’t really believe in Jesus?

Will you be a part of the remnant left on earth? Will you be part of the ones called into heaven to spend eternity with God? If you are reading this and had to make a choice today, what would you choose? What if this is it? Your last chance to avoid the tribulation? Would you accept Jesus and press thru the tribulation or would you decide before the tribulation and skip that part of the painful time on earth? The choice is yours! The choice is personal! The choice has to be made individually! So choose wisely!

Would you go out of your way to be present in the life of someone else? What if there was a surgery and they needed your help? What if they would be alone and they needed your presence? What if they needed your sacrifice to send someone? Would you do it?


What if this is it?

How will you decide? How will you choose?


Today’s reading from God’s Word concludes Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 PlanDay 312 of 312:


This is it – this is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

This is it – was how Adam expressed the creation of Eve.

This is it – we see in our reading from Esther as the Jews who were going to get killed found victory. What the Haman had planned for evil, God turned around and used it for good.

This is it – will you remember and celebrate what God is and has done in your life? Will you rejoice and be glad today because it is the day the Lord has made? Will you pass it along?

How will you respond to God’s blessing on your life? How will you serve the people God has put in authority over you to extend that blessing?

Will you use God’s Word to determine what is good and what is evil?

Malachi 3 – speaks of how Jesus is coming! This is it! Let’s do what we are to do for the orphans and widows! Return to God! Give to God what is God’s! Allow God’s test to cause an overflow! Remember God’s Word! Remember God’s Promises! Choose to be a part of the remnant that will be spared of the tribulation!

Acts 28 – Paul shares God’s truth and the love of Jesus while in chains so that God’s plan for his life could be fulfilled. Will you understand? Will you see? Will you hear? Will you accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ?

God’s Word is trustworthy and true!

‘“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”’

Revelation 22:7

We are to only worship God! Not people! Not things! Only God!

The time is near so take hold of all the readings from the Word of God – the Bible! Take hold of the truth shared through Revelation before it is too late!

‘“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”’

Revelation 22:12-13

Get prepared! Get ready! This is it!

‘“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”’

Revelation 22:16

Come before it is too late!

‘The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book. He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.’

Revelation 22:17-21

Turn to God! This is it! Turn to His Word and receive His truth, His hope, His love, and His plan for your life! Obey what is in the book of God! The Bible!

Today’s reading concludes the book of Revelation in our reading plan. This is it!

Let’s mediate on the last part of today’s reading today that comes through Psalms 150:

‘Praise the Lord ! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord ! Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 150:1-6

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

Let’s pray:

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

What if you knew tomorrow was the end?


What if you found out there was just one more day? Would it change how you live out your today? Would it change where you would go? Would it change what you would do? Would it change what you would say? Would it make any difference at all to you? Would it matter what you only had 1 more day of? Would it matter what it was the end of?

What if it was the end of a series? What if it was the end of a relationship? What if it was the end of a season? What if it was the end of a reading? What if it was the end of time? What if it was the end of your time? Would it make a difference to what you would do and how you would do it?

What if it was going to be the day Jesus comes back? What if you knew that on that day all the believers would be taken away and there would some left behind to live through the tribulation? What if you knew it was the last chance you were going to have to share Jesus with the people around you so that they wouldn’t be left behind but would be able to spend eternity with you in heaven with God? What if you knew the pain and the suffering that will take place through the tribulation, would that change how you live out your today? What if you finished reading the book of Revelation and know what it says? What if you had read the Old Testament prophets and you know what it says? How would this knowledge change how you live out that last day?

For me, tomorrow is the last day of my reading through the Bible using the devotional “Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan“. Today is day 311 of 312. When I look at what is in today’s reading and how my reading this time through concludes in the book of Revelation in comparison to when I started blogging back in 2005 and Revelation was the start of my reading plan, it causes me to wonder. Every year when I have gotten to the book of Revelation I felt like the time was drawing closer and closer. Every year when I read the book of Revelation, it causes me joy to know that Jesus is victorious and sadness that there are people who even up until that point who will continue to reject Jesus and not get to spend eternity with God. As I consider that tomorrow is the end of this time through the God’s Word that is alive and speaks to me daily, it makes me wonder, what if as I finish the reading the trumpet sounds and the Christians are all drawn up into heaven, is there something I can do today to make a difference or impact the lives of anyone who could be left behind in order to change their mind and have them come along or leave them a message, like a message in a bottle so that they would know not to lose hope but to receive Jesus before the end of the story, it will be hard, really really hard during the tribulation, but to call on Jesus and be a part of the remnant who will get to experience heaven for eternity.

Are there family members? Are there friends? Are there neighbors? Are there co-workers? Are there strangers? How to pour into things that will last rather than have a bunch of things that will will rust and lead to nothing? How to live out today as if tomorrow is the end? How to share God’s love with everyone? How to share God’s hope with everyone? How to make a difference in the lives of every person who crosses my path?

What if it was the end of a season in your career? What if it was the end of a season in your org? What if it was the end of a season in your team? Would any of these cause you to live out your today any differently?

Are you willing to make more than a scratch and more of a dent on society? Are you willing to make an impact that will make a difference in lives for more than a moment? Are you willing to be salt and light? Are you willing to share your testimony in order that by the blood of the lamb and the words of your testimony they too can be over comers? Are you willing to share your testimony in order that by the blood of Jesus and the words of your testimony they too can be more than conquerors? Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone and share your testimony and how it is connected to the blood of Jesus so that others will overcome?

We don’t know the day or the hour that Jesus is coming back. So we need to be ready and keep watch!


So how will you live out your today?

Would it make any difference if you knew tomorrow was the end?


Today’s reading from God’s Word as part of the reading plan: Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan:

Today’s reading is Day 311 of 312:


God knows your plans. God will thwart the evil plans against His people.

Beware evil plans as it may turn back to you.

What will you do with your authority given from above to ensure to give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory.

God’s love is forever! Will you accept it? God is love!

Will you bring your life as a living sacrifice to God after having received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, purified and cleaned?

Will you be faithful to God? Will you guard your heart?

Will you receive the water of life that flows from the throne of God and the Lamb?

Will you step out from a life that is cursed and into the blessings of God?

Will you choose a life outside of darkness where there is no need for lamps or the sun?

Let’s praise God! Let’s sing a new song! Let’s rejoice with dancing! Let’s be faithful to God!


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

Let’s pray:

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

When would you stop giving your all?


Does it depend who is counting on you? Does it depend on what the goal is? Does it depend on the current score? Does it depend on who is leading the charge? Does it matter on others? Is it all up to you? Is there any reason to stop before it is over? Will you run your life to win? Will you finish strong? Will you keep up the good fight? Will you complete the good work that has been prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Will you testify to the truth? Will you live your life as a living sacrifice to God so that it is pleasing to God? Will you give your all for God? Will you pursue His purpose and plan for your life? Will you be salt and light? Will you spread hope and joy? Will you share love and faith? Will you finish strong? Will you live to hear God say “well done good and faithful servant“? Will you fight the good fight? Will you finish the race? Will you keep the faith? Will you not stop until it is over?

We all have a choice to make today, so choose wisely!

Having watched my daughter play last night and keep giving her all till the game was over was inspiring. Having watched my kids finish strong in everything they do before moving on to the next stage of their lives has been inspiring. Seeing them give their all in order to achieve their goals reminds me that it isn’t over for me yet but that I need to keep up the good fight, I need to finish the race, I need to keep up the faith not only for myself but for my family and legacy too.

As I read this I know I have breath in my lungs and life to live and so it isn’t over yet. So this is the day that the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it! So this day I will be salt and light into the world around me sharing the power of Jesus in all that I do. God, give me opportunity to speak life and truth in love. God, give me opportunity to speak of the miracles of Jesus into my life. God, give me opportunities to point people to Jesus that they may join me in Your presence for eternity as children of God!


When will you stop giving your all?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 306 of 312)

Will you give God your all? Will you give your heart to Jesus?

Will you help change take place so that things will be better than they were? Will you be a part of the reformation?

Will you read the word of God? Will you trust the word of God? Will you believe the word of God?

Will you believe the blessings and the curses? Will you live to be a blessing and be blessed?

What will you do when the horsemen come? Will it matter if you see the black horses? white horses? dappled-gray horses? red horses?

Will you choose to receive Jesus before it is too late? Will you attach yourself to the branch which is Jesus rather than be pruned and tossed into the fire?

Realize the power in words and their impact on your life.

Will you think you are safe just because there is peace?

Why not turn to God and invite Him in and rather than peace that is temporary allow the peace that surpasses all understanding from God to guard your mind and your heart?

Let’s meditate on today’s Psalm:

‘Praise the Lord , who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me. O Lord , what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. Open the heavens, Lord , and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares. Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord .’

Psalms 144:1-15

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

Let’s pray:

Definition of Done!


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

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


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

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

2 Kings 14:1-29

Today’s reading then continues into Ezekiel 20:

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

Ezekiel 20:1-49

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

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

Acts of the Apostles 15:22-33,35

Today’s reading then continues into Revelation 5:

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

Revelation 5:11-14

Today’s reading then closes out in Psalms 119:

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

Psalms 119:49-72

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

Let’s pray:

Will you do you part of the deal?


When you make a deal with someone are you committed to finish your part? What if they do their part first? Will you follow through with your part of the deal? History shows examples of both cases. History shows repeated examples of how if or when people forget or get too comfortable they tend to sway or walk away and not complete their part of the deal. History shows repeated examples of the consequences of when the deal gets broken even though the people who made the deal had already received their portion.

Be it in the old testament or the new testament, we see that God is trustworthy to His promises. We see His love is so great that even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We see how He sent Jesus first to pay the price before we could accept or receive Him. For God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have ever lasting life. Now it becomes a matter of will we receive it? Will we pursue it? Will we accept it? Will we finish strong?

Today’s reading starts with a call out to the people of Israel in one of the historical examples I referenced above.

‘The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you. For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. But you disobeyed my command. Why did you do this? So now I declare that I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.” When the angel of the Lord finished speaking to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly. So they called the place Bokim (which means “weeping”), and they offered sacrifices there to the Lord . After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them. And the Israelites served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord , died at the age of 110. They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord ’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord , the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord . They abandoned the Lord to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. This made the Lord burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them. Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress. Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the Lord ’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. So the Lord burned with anger against Israel. He said, “Because these people have violated my covenant, which I made with their ancestors, and have ignored my commands, I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. I did this to test Israel—to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did.” That is why the Lord left those nations in place. He did not quickly drive them out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.’

–Judges 2–

If we consider the average person over time, will we live out our lives to make the average increase or decrease? Will we live out our lives to make things better or worse? Will we choose to do things with God or against God? The choice is ours because we have been given freewill. How will you respond to testing? Will you respond in a way that will raise or lower the average?

‘These are the nations that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers), all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the mountains of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to Lebo-hamath. These people were left to test the Israelites—to see whether they would obey the commands the Lord had given to their ancestors through Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and they intermarried with them. Israelite sons married their daughters, and Israelite daughters were given in marriage to their sons. And the Israelites served their gods.’

–Judges 3:1-6–

Today’s reading then brings us into the book of Isaiah. Isaiah speaks to how God wants us to have a hope and a future. It foretells of Jesus. Have you decided yet? What do you believe? How is that impacting the way you are living out your life? Will you be light that shines and reflects the love of God? Will you be salt and spice up the world pointing people to Jesus?

‘“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. “Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord . The flocks of Kedar will be given to you, and the rams of Nebaioth will be brought for my altars. I will accept their offerings, and I will make my Temple glorious. “And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves to their nests? They are ships from the ends of the earth, from lands that trust in me, led by the great ships of Tarshish. They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away, carrying their silver and gold. They will honor the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has filled you with splendor. “Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will now have mercy on you through my grace. Your gates will stay open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands. The kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory procession. For the nations that refuse to serve you will be destroyed. “The glory of Lebanon will be yours— the forests of cypress, fir, and pine— to beautify my sanctuary. My Temple will be glorious! The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the Lord , and Zion of the Holy One of Israel. “Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the Lord , am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. Violence will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord , will make it happen.”’

–Isaiah 60–

Will you receive the grace of God? Will you share the grace of God? Will you live out your life with God? Will you live out your life to glorify God? Will you live your life in order to point people in the right direction? Will your stewardship of your life produce much fruit so that in and through it all as living sacrifices bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name forever more?

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament with:

‘When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”#2:49 Or “Didn’t you realize that I should be involved with my Father’s affairs?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.’

–Luke 2:39-52–

Will you live out your life with the wisdom of God? Will you live out your life with God’s favor? Will you live your life about doing God’s work? Will you guard your heart from false teachers? Will you protect the weak from such false teachers?

‘This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.’

–1 Timothy 1:1-11–

Let’s not allow ourselves to be swayed and miss the point. Let’s instead be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. Let’s not be waste our time on meaningless things. Let’s take hold of the Good News! Let’s run the race to win! Let’s finish strong!

‘The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer.’

–Psalms 19–

Get it done!


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


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


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

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

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

Isaiah 59:17

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

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

–Ephesians 6:10-17–

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

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

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

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

Now that you completed the preparation, what’s next for you?


Are you ready for what this will mean? Are you ready for what is about to happen? Are you ready to see God move in and through the work you completed? Are you ready to see God’s presence even stronger in your life? Will you trust Him? Will you follow Him? Will you believe Him? Will you have faith to do what He asks? Will you have faith to do what He directs? Will you have faith to step into what He has next for you? Will you have faith to step out and try a new way? Will you have faith to keep your eyes on Jesus rather than the wave nor the storm? Will you have faith to step out into the miraculous? Will you have faith to lead with love? Will you have faith to live out your life as love? Will you walk out your life with such hope that others will see it and glorify Your Heavenly Father? Will you have enough hope to be able to allow it to overflow into the lives of the people around you? Now that you completed the preparation, what’s next for you?


Today’s reading begins in Exodus 40.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the new year. Place the Ark of the Covenant inside, and install the inner curtain to enclose the Ark within the Most Holy Place. Then bring in the table, and arrange the utensils on it. And bring in the lampstand, and set up the lamps. “Place the gold incense altar in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Then hang the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle. Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the Tabernacle entrance. Set the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. Then set up the courtyard around the outside of the tent, and hang the curtain for the courtyard entrance. “Take the anointing oil and anoint the Tabernacle and all its furnishings to consecrate them and make them holy. Anoint the altar of burnt offering and its utensils to consecrate them. Then the altar will become absolutely holy. Next anoint the washbasin and its stand to consecrate them. “Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and wash them with water. Dress Aaron with the sacred garments and anoint him, consecrating him to serve me as a priest. Then present his sons and dress them in their tunics. Anoint them as you did their father, so they may also serve me as priests. With their anointing, Aaron’s descendants are set apart for the priesthood forever, from generation to generation.” Moses proceeded to do everything just as the Lord had commanded him. So the Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month of the second year. Moses erected the Tabernacle by setting down its bases, inserting the frames, attaching the crossbars, and setting up the posts. Then he spread the coverings over the Tabernacle framework and put on the protective layers, just as the Lord had commanded him. He took the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant and placed them inside the Ark. Then he attached the carrying poles to the Ark, and he set the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—on top of it. Then he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Tabernacle and hung the inner curtain to shield it from view, just as the Lord had commanded him. Next Moses placed the table in the Tabernacle, along the north side of the Holy Place, just outside the inner curtain. And he arranged the Bread of the Presence on the table before the Lord , just as the Lord had commanded him. He set the lampstand in the Tabernacle across from the table on the south side of the Holy Place. Then he lit the lamps in the Lord ’s presence, just as the Lord had commanded him. He also placed the gold incense altar in the Tabernacle, in the Holy Place in front of the inner curtain. On it he burned the fragrant incense, just as the Lord had commanded him. He hung the curtain at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he placed the altar of burnt offering near the Tabernacle entrance. On it he offered a burnt offering and a grain offering, just as the Lord had commanded him. Next Moses placed the washbasin between the Tabernacle and the altar. He filled it with water so the priests could wash themselves. Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons used water from it to wash their hands and feet. Whenever they approached the altar and entered the Tabernacle, they washed themselves, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then he hung the curtains forming the courtyard around the Tabernacle and the altar. And he set up the curtain at the entrance of the courtyard. So at last Moses finished the work.

Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.’

Exodus 40

Today’s reading next brings us to Job 34.

‘Then Elihu said: “Listen to me, you wise men. Pay attention, you who have knowledge. Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’ So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. For Job also said, ‘I am innocent, but God has taken away my rights. I am innocent, but they call me a liar. My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’ “Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job, with his thirst for irreverent talk? He chooses evil people as companions. He spends his time with wicked men. He has even said, ‘Why waste time trying to please God?’ “Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. He repays people according to their deeds. He treats people as they deserve. Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice. Did someone else put the world in his care? Who set the whole world in place? If God were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath, all life would cease, and humanity would turn again to dust. “Now listen to me if you are wise. Pay attention to what I say. Could God govern if he hated justice? Are you going to condemn the almighty judge? For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’ and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’ He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all. In a moment they die. In the middle of the night they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand. “For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do. No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from his eyes. We don’t set the time when we will come before God in judgment. He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone, and he sets up others in their place. He knows what they do, and in the night he overturns and destroys them. He strikes them down because they are wicked, doing it openly for all to see. For they turned away from following him. They have no respect for any of his ways. They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention. He hears the cries of the needy. But if he chooses to remain quiet, who can criticize him? When he hides his face, no one can find him, whether an individual or a nation. He prevents the godless from ruling so they cannot be a snare to the people. “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned, but I will sin no more’? Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me. If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’? “Must God tailor his justice to your demands? But you have rejected him! The choice is yours, not mine. Go ahead, share your wisdom with us. After all, bright people will tell me, and wise people will hear me say, ‘Job speaks out of ignorance; his words lack insight.’ Job, you deserve the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked. For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.”’

Job 34

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament in Mark 6.

‘Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.’

Mark 6:45-56

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 13.

‘If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.’

1 Corinthians 13

As today’s reading comes to a conclusion, let’s meditate on God’s Word as we go to today’s psalm from Psalms 69.

‘Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal. O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger. Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me. I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me. But I keep praying to you, Lord , hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me. Answer my prayers, O Lord , for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power. Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves. The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them. For God will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land. The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety.’

Psalms 69

Are you ready to be done?


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


Today’s reading starts for us with Exodus 39.

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

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

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

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

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

Exodus 39

Today’s reading then continues into Job 33.

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

Job 33

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

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

Mark 6:30-44

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

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

1 Corinthians 12:21-31

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

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

Psalms 68

It’s not over till God says it is over! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 24th)


Ever felt like you were getting to the end of your rope? Ever felt like you were near the breaking point? Ever felt like things were getting to be too much? Ever felt like it was the end?

But then discovered that it wasn’t! God intervened and things changed? God spoke into your life and things turned around? God stepped in and helped you through it?

I have so many stories of my own like when I was deceived and started a downward spiral. Or when I was being called to step into a role that felt and looked like it would be too big for me. Or when a group looked to want to try and sabotage my career.

God stepped in and taught me to forgive! God stepped in and showed me that if He calls me to it that He will get me through it! God helped me to forgive first and move forward and then to begin the journey of getting out of the boat I had been working in for nearly 20 years. There are many stories throughout this blog, a few others can be read here.

It’s not over till God says it is over! When He says it is over it usually means there is something new ahead of you! Other times He is able to birth something new into the situation! So don’t lose hope! So don’t give up! So don’t give in to the lies of the devil! Put your trust in God! Lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God! As we do that we can be overcomers through Jesus as He shared to give us hope because He has overcome the world! Sometimes they are trials to helps us grow stronger in our faith and able to give a testimony to others who need to receive a word of encouragement. So we don’t have to be downcast because we can put our trust in God! We don’t have to give up because we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds!

Imagine being Lazarus… Imagine being Mary… Imagine being Martha…

Today’s reading comes from John 1 and speaks to the story of Lazarus

The Death of Lazarus

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night,he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them,“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death,but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

–from John 11:1-16

Everyone thought it was over! Everyone thought that Lazarus was dead! People were feeling that it was hopeless! God’s timing is perfect! God’s ways are not our ways but rather they are higher than our ways and better than our ways! Reading the rest of the chapter we see how Jesus comforted the others in their grief, He wept with them, He demonstrated His power to resurrect and heal, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and through Him we can return to and be reconciled to the Father!

So don’t lose hope because sticking with God and pressing on while standing on the Rock of Jesus Christ, we can live lives that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory, like the story of Lazarus did! We need to share our testimonies that others may learn and hear of the power of Jesus to heal, to restore, to forgive, to reconcile, … We do not need to fear what is ahead of us, rather we can believe that Jesus will be there in our moment of need and that He has gone before us preparing in advance the good works He has for us to do!

Today’s reading also imapcted the world of the arts… The raising of Lazarus by Rembrandt…

Jan 24th - John 11_1-16 - The_Raising_of_Lazarus by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the truth that comes from seeking Your Word and Your face daily. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that You have given me milestones or landmarks or road markers to help me to remember what You have already done so that I don’t lose hope for what You are about to do. I may not know what today will hold but I do know that my hope and my trust are in You! I know that my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! I know that I wil look to live out my faith actively and that my works will be from the overflow of the Spirit that I may produce fruit that will bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory! Help me today Lord to see beyond the fog and take hold of my next steps. Help me today Lord to know what to do and what to say in order to bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory. Help me Lord to live as a living sacrifice for You that is pleasing so that I can finish the race strong and get to hear You say “well done my good and faithful servant”. I ask all this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

4 days…


Timing… Perspective… Position… Placement… Action… Response… Questions… Answers… Retrospective… Control… Preparation… Faith… Peace… Joy… Hope… Trust… Love… Sow… Reap… Invest… Return… Steward… Selfless… Serve… Heart… Lead… Follow… Obey… Humility… Turn… Patience… Kindness… Goodness… Self-Control… Faithful… Gentleness… Endurance… Restraint…

What will be next? What will end? What will begin? What will continue? What will change? What will stay the same?

Where will you turn? Who will you talk to? When will you notice? When will you realize? Why will it take so long? Why not sooner? Why not now? How will it impact you? How will it make a difference? How will you respond? How will you react? How will you know?

The countdown continues…


Today’s reading comes from Nehemiah 7-8, and 1 John 1. Let’s take hold of all God has to say today and let’s share His hope and His love with the world around us so that they may hear the Good News of Jesus and respond before their time runs out.

What happens to people when they accomplish something? What happens to people when they meet their goals? What happens when it is finished? What’s next? New plan? New purpose? New schedule? New direction? What things will stay the same? What things will change? Will we need to take a count or audit of what is left? Will we need to consider the skills and talents of the remnant? Will we need to press on to the next milestone? Will there be new goals? Will there be new work?

1And now the wall had been rebuilt, the gates had all been put in place, and the Temple guards, the members of the sacred choir, and the other Levites had been assigned their work. 2I put two men in charge of governing the city of Jerusalem: my brother Hanani and Hananiah, commanding officer of the fortress. Hananiah was a reliable and God-fearing man without equal. 3I told them not to have the gates of Jerusalem opened in the morning until well after sunrise and to have them closed and barred before the guards went off duty at sunset. I also told them to appoint guards from among the people who lived in Jerusalem and to assign some of them to specific posts and others to patrol the area around their own houses.

The List of Those Who Returned from Exile

(Ezra 2.1-70)
4Jerusalem was a large city, but not many people were living in it, and not many houses had been built yet. 5God inspired me to assemble the people and their leaders and officials and to check their family records. I located the records of those who had first returned from captivity, and this is the information I found:
6Many of the exiles left the province of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own hometown. Their families had been living in exile in Babylonia ever since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners. 7Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.
8-25This is the list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned from exile:
Parosh – 2,172
Shephatiah – 372
Arah – 652
Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) – 2,818
Elam – 1,254
Zattu – 845
Zaccai – 760
Binnui – 648
Bebai – 628
Azgad – 2,322
Adonikam – 667
Bigvai – 2,067
Adin – 655
Ater (also called Hezekiah) – 98
Hashum – 328
Bezai – 324
Hariph – 112
Gibeon – 95
26-38People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned:
Bethlehem and Netophah – 188
Anathoth – 128
Beth Azmaveth – 42
Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth – 743
Ramah and Geba – 621
Michmash – 122
Bethel and Ai – 123
The other Nebo – 52
The other Elam – 1,254
Harim – 320
Jericho – 345
Lod, Hadid, and Ono – 721
Senaah – 3,930
39-42This is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile:
Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua) – 973
Immer – 1,052
Pashhur – 1,247
Harim – 1,017
43-45Clans of Levites who returned from exile:
Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) – 74
Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) – 148
Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) – 138
46-56Clans of Temple workers who returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
Keros, Sia, Padon,
Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
Besai, Meunim, Nephushesim,
Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
Bazlith, Mehida, Harsha,
Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
Neziah, and Hatipha.
57-59Clans of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile:
Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,
Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Amon.
60The total number of descendants of the Temple workers and of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile was 392.
61-62There were 642 belonging to the clans of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites.
63-64The following priestly clans could find no record to prove their ancestry: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai. (The ancestor of the priestly clan of Barzillai had married a woman from the clan of Barzillai of Gilead and taken the name of his father-in-law’s clan.) Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not accepted as priests. 65 The Jewish governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a priest who could use the Urim and Thummim.
66-69Total number of exiles who returned – 42,360.
Their male and female servants – 7,337
Male and female musicians – 245
Horses – 736
Mules – 245
Camels – 435
Donkeys – 6,720
70-72Many of the people contributed to help pay the cost of restoring the Temple:
The governor 270 ounces of gold
50 ceremonial bowls
530 robes for priests
Heads of clans 337 pounds of gold
3,215 pounds of silver
The rest of the people 337 pounds of gold
2,923 pounds of silver
67 robes for priests
73  The priests, the Levites, the Temple guards, the musicians, many of the ordinary people, the Temple workers—all the people of Israel—settled in the towns and cities of Judah.
–Nehemiah 7

How about setting a common ground? How about setting up a firm foundation on which to build everything else? How about aligning things with a cornerstone so that as things start to get built up they are in line? How about using good resources to ensure it lasts?

Consider the solid foundation which is Jesus Christ! Consider the cornerstone to align with to be Jesus Christ! Consider the common ground to be rules of higher standards Jesus has called us to! Let’s first love God with all of our hearts, mind, soul, and strength! Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves! Let’s lead with love! Let’s put Jesus in the middle of all our relationships so that we can come together with common purposes! A chord of three strands is not easily broken! Let’s point people back to God! Let’s turn our lives back to God! Let’s walk with Him and in His ways! Let’s start a revival where God is glorified and lives are transformed for eternity! None of the “stuff” will last forever, only people! So we need to have God’s eyes and God’s ears and God’s heart for the people around us! God sent Jesus to save the world! His hope was that nobody would perish but that everyone would come to faith in Jesus! So let’s ask God how He would have us kick things off! Let’s ask God for clarity and vision, purpose and passion for His plan! Let’s ask God to make us sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit so that in every situation we will be able to step up and step in and help people be restored to God!

Ezra Reads the Law to the People

1By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to get the book of the Law. 2So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered—men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively.
4Ezra was standing on a wooden platform that had been built for the occasion. The following men stood at his right: Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and the following stood at his left: Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, the great God!”
All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.
7Then they rose and stood in their places, and the following Levites explained the Law to them: Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah. 8They gave an oral translation of God’s Law and explained it so that the people could understand it.
9When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the Law told all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God, so you are not to mourn or cry. 10Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.”
11The Levites went around calming the people and telling them not to be sad on such a holy day. 12So all the people went home and ate and drank joyfully and shared what they had with others, because they understood what had been read to them.

The Festival of Shelters

13The next day the heads of the clans, together with the priests and the Levites, went to Ezra to study the teachings of the Law. 14 They discovered that the Law, which the Lord gave through Moses, ordered the people of Israel to live in temporary shelters during the Festival of Shelters. 15So they gave the following instructions and sent them all through Jerusalem and the other cities and towns: “Go out to the hills and get branches from pines, olives, myrtles, palms, and other trees to make shelters according to the instructions written in the Law.”
16So the people got branches and built shelters on the flat roofs of their houses, in their yards, in the Temple courtyard, and in the public squares by the Water Gate and by the Ephraim Gate. 17All the people who had come back from captivity built shelters and lived in them. This was the first time it had been done since the days of Joshua son of Nun, and everybody was excited and happy. 18From the first day of the festival to the last they read a part of God’s Law every day. They celebrated for seven days, and on the eighth day there was a closing ceremony, as required in the Law.
–Nehemiah 8

Time is short! Life is like a mist! This world in its present form is passing away! We should live like stewards rather than owners as the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! We should live like servants as we serve the Lord! Be God’s hands and arms of love extended! See the world like He does! Hear the cries like He does! Ask Him for wisdom so that you know what to do! Ask Him for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in every situation because there may be more to it than what is on the surface! Let’s meditate on the Word of the Lord always! Let’s hope and trust Jesus in everything! Let’s live for eternity so that not only will we get to spend eternity with God but also that we can help others come into this same relationship!

The Word of Life

1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. 2 When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. 3What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write this in order that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

–1 John 1

Make time with God! Make time to hear from Him! Make time to do what He is calling you to do! Make time to speak life into the people He sends to you!

82% might sound good, but we need to finish the race!


Ever heard people who are ready top stop when they get to 80%? Ever heard people who think 80% is enough or good enough? Well, today my daily reading program I have reached 82% but that isn’t good enough, I want to finish which means I have to keep going and pressing in and pressing on for another 65 days.

If someone runs 80% of a 100 meter or 100 yard dash does that do them any good? If someone runs 80% of a marathon does that do them any good? If someone plays 80% of a game will that be good enough?

Last night during the Saturday night service, we were in Philippians 3 where we here from Paul in his most intimate letter in the bible. We need to realize we haven’t completed yet! We need to realize we haven’t arrived yet! We need to realize that obtained everything God has planned for us yet! We need to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us. We need to leave the past achievements and troubles behind us and press forward! We need to We need to forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t be afraid! Don’t complain! Don’t worry! Let’s press onward! Let’s strain towards what is ahead of us! Let’s get it done! Let’s finish strong!