THRIVE by making a difference in the world around you!


What an incredible week. Today’s verse of the day along with the special guests that are speaking at church this weekend point to the importance of doing our part to serve those in need around us.

Today’s verse of the day comes to use from Luke:

‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. ‘

Luke 9:23-24

So are you ready to live a life of service? Are you ready to live a life of sacrifice? Are you ready to live a life of giving? The words found in Luke after today’s verse add to these questions when it says:

‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? ‘

Luke 9:25

Thriving isn’t about having lots of stuff but how you choose to live your life. God has provided, so what will you choose to do with that provision? Will you be a giver or a hoarder? Will you choose to reap something greater for the kingdom of God rather than keep the seeds He has given you in your pocket? Remember how God promised to give us seed to sow and bread to eat? Don’t eat the seed, let’s choose to sow so that we can reap greatly for the kingdom of God! Let’s pause a moment to capture what God’s Word says and helps us to understand:

  • Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:7-9
  • The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
    2 Corinthians 9:6
  • Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.
    Proverbs 22:8
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
    Job 4:8
  • Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
    Luke 6:38
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! – Psalm 126:5
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors,
    Hosea 10:12-13
  • “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
    Matthew 7:12
  • Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
    Philippians 2:3
  • And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.
    Mark 4:24
  • Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
    Luke 12:24

So today to thrive, we know that we need to trust God rather than our own understanding. We need to take the gifts and talents, and the provision to glorify Him, sowing it to His purpose.

When we are in need we will turn to God because we know that God answers prayer. We need to live by faith and not by sight and to do that requires stepping out and taking risks. We need to make sure our vertical relationship with God is strong so that it will overflow and produce good horizontal relationships with people around us. We need to share what God is and has done in and through our lives, testifying of His goodness and faithfulness, through the highs and the lows. We need to remember and share that Jeremiah 29:11 is for everyone! We need to step into and live in the reality that nothing is impossible with God as it says in Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37. God knows your need and can provide just enough, not too much and not too little to meet your needs. So today lets decide to be Jesus’s hands and feet into the world around us! Let’s decide to be God’s ambassadors, God’s helpers, and God’s people!


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 4 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready to thrive for the glory of God? Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to be the difference? Are you ready to go beyond just making a scratch or a dent and making a real difference? Then let’s decide we will thrive by inviting Jesus into the situation and walking out our lives in a relationship with Him. Let’s pray:


When someone asks you what season this is, what do you say?


Do you think seasons of the year like winter, spring, summer, or fall? Do you think seasons like what holidays are taking place like Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day, Easter, Independence Day, National Holidays, etc.? Do you think of the season of giving? Do you think a season to sow? Do you think a season to reap? Do you think a season to live?

What context or what location or what person will cause you to give your answer? Does it matter who asks? Does it matter where they ask? Does it matter how they ask? Does it matter what the situation currently is when they ask?

Let’s consider the seasons that are spoken of in the Bible:

  • ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” ‘
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-21
  • He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
    Daniel 2:21
  • While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
    Genesis 8:22
  • And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
    Galatians 6:9
  • He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
    Acts 1:7
  • He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
    Psalm 104:19
  • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
    Psalm 1:3
  • And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
    Genesis 1:14
  • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
    Isaiah 55:10-11
  • Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:1
  • “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.
    Matthew 24:32
  • Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
    2 Timothy 4:2
  • For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
    Song of Solomon 2:11-13
  • Check out more scriptures about seasons here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/seasons

What season is it for you? Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you living for the season you are currently in? Are you being generous in the midst of your season? Are you ready for the season? As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus with Christmas are you ready for His second coming?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 17TH


Giving Is Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”’

Acts 20:35

Let’s look into the context of this and try to get some additional details through the Amplified version.

‘However, from Miletus he sent word to Ephesus and summoned the elders of the church [to meet him there]. And when they arrived he said to them: “ You know well how I [lived when I] was with you, from the first day that I set foot in Asia [until now], serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and trials which came on me because of the plots of the Jews [against me]; [you know] how I did not shrink back in fear from telling you anything that was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public meetings, and from house to house, solemnly [and wholeheartedly] testifying to both Jews and Greeks, urging them to turn in repentance to God and [to have] faith in our Lord Jesus Christ [for salvation]. And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly [and emphatically] affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me. But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life]. “And now, listen carefully: I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see me again. For that reason I testify to you on this [our parting] day that I am innocent of the blood of all people. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God. Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood. I know that after I am gone, [false teachers like] ferocious wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; even from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse and distorted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves [as their followers]. Therefore be continually alert, remembering that for three years, night or day, I did not stop admonishing and advising each one [of you] with tears. And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers]. I had no desire for anyone’s silver or gold or [expensive] clothes. You know personally that these hands ministered to my own needs [working in manual labor] and to [those of] the people who were with me. In everything I showed you [by example] that by working hard in this way you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive.’ ” When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep openly and threw their arms around Paul’s neck, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving and distressed especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see him again. And they accompanied him to the ship.’

Acts 20:17-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever considered what living life in this season Jesus’s way would do to the world around you?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the way He chose to live His life?
  • Ever considered how Jesus changed the world by the message He shared to the world around Him?
  • Our human nature seems to conflict with how Jesus calls us to live.
  • Want to be great? Then you need to serve others.
  • Want to raise to great heights? Then you need to be humble and live in humility.
  • Want to be first? Then you need to let others go ahead of you and be last.
  • Want to be significant in the kingdom of God? Then you need to become like children and live with the faith of a child.
  • Want to be filled up? Then you need to be giving and be generous.
  • So we need to stop being so focused on ourselves and be more focused on others.
  • Not to compare or contrast but to serve, the give, and to love.
  • Take a look around or maybe just in the mirror and check out how much selfishness is taking place in this world.
  • Selfishness isn’t for a specific type of person but unfornately selfishness transcends time, race, and societies.
  • Remember how we are to be good stewards?
  • Remember how to whom much is given much is required?
  • Instead of letting the ads tell us what we are missing or lacking, let’s be filled with joy related to all that we have!
  • As we consider going into Christmas, rather than consumerism let’s be focused on Jesus, the birth of a savior, the reality of what His coming brought to this world, and the incredible joy and peace we have by having a relationship with Him and knowing He is coming back.
  • Let’s decide to live out lives open handed so that God can use us as conduits for His resources to better love and serve others.
  • Let’s draw closer to Jesus for our contentment and fulfillment rather than believing the ads that this or that product or service will do the trick.
  • Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts since He fills the void forever and as He spoke we will thirst no more, whereas the temporary filling of the void with stuff fades away over time and eventually causes us to thirst again.
  • So today lets choose to really live by really giving into the lives of others!
  • Let’s give that we can find heartfelt fulfillment!
  • Let’s give that we can experience the greatest thrills of our lives!
  • Let’s give that we can pour into the lives of others who may never be able to repay us.
  • Let’s give not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s give to the weak!
  • Let’s give to the poor!
  • Let’s give to the sick!
  • Let’s be selfless by not expecting anything in return!
  • Let’s be generous!
  • Let’s live out our lives like our Heavenly Father who has given to us, blessed us, and offers us so much more than this world could ever offer!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What act of giving or service has brought you the most joy?
  • In what way is it really “more blessed” to give than receive?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

— Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson QuotesSamuel Johnson Biography

As we continue through December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kicked off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters so that we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 17:

‘Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you. “Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’ ”

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”

Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, gives light to the other part of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: the people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”’

Luke 17:1-37

So where are you at today? What season of life are you living? What season of life are you ready for? What season of life are you seeing before you? What season of life is behind you? Are you living a season of giving? Are you living a season of forgiving? Are you living a season of thanksgiving? Are you looking for a way to be able to even consider any of these? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life to help you get through the season you are currently living in? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


No take-backs…


Remember these words when you were a kid? When you gave something it means you couldn’t take it back? Ever realize the power of words that once they are out there you can’t take them back either? So let’s think before we speak and when we decide to give let’s do it with no strings attached. Remember playing tag and saying “no tag backs” as part of the rules? No take-backs point us to the reality that we can’t change our minds when this rule is in and at play. Ever considered scenarios in life when the no take-backs rule applies? Ever considered scenarios in life and in God’s Word when the no take-backs rule applies?

Ever caught the reality of the number of times in the Bible God gives gifts to His people and did not take them back? The people of Israel are God’s chosen people and He has never taken that back. In spite of the reality that many of the prominent leaders were broken sinners (even looking through the genealogy of Jesus we find many) and yet in the midst of it all, God never disowned them. In spite of this unfaithfulness, God remained faithful. Ever considered leaders like Jacob who deceived his brother and father? God still was able to use Jacob’s life for His glory and didn’t disown him. Ever considered leaders like Moses who could be quick to respond and hot-tempered in his life but God didn’t disown him. We see it over and over again throughout God’s Word how people trip up or have bad attitudes and yet God loves and doesn’t disown them. Looking for more examples? Check out the stories of Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba, and Hezekiah. Yes, they made mistakes but they repented and turned back to God. Yes, they sinned but they turned back to God and were forgiven and God was able to work in and through them. And yet God never took back the reality of His chosen people.

Paul even speaks to the forefathers and God’s promises that the promises which God made to the patriarchs when he called them are secured to their descendants, not on the ground of merit, but on the ground of God’s fidelity to his word of grace.

God’s blessings are based on His grace and not our works. Remember that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works so that nobody can boast! Remember that we are all justified by grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus! Remember that Abraham was justified by his faith, to the point of getting to be called a friend of God, not by works, or else he would have had something to boast about.

21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

James 2:21-24

So whether it is in our lives or from God’s perspective, let’s take hold of God’s promises given to us and let’s think before we speak and can’t take back those words and let’s think before we gift something to someone and can’t take back.

Take-backs vs no Take-backs. Revocable vs Irrevocable. Let’s consider this as we look into today’s devotional.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 6TH


Things God Will Never Take Back


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ‘

Romans 11:29

Let’s get some additional context and details for this verse using the Amplified version.

‘I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people? Certainly not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His [chosen] people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left [of the prophets], and they are seeking my life .” But what is God’s response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to B aal .” So too then, at the present time there has come to be a remnant [a small believing minority] according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace [God’s unmerited favor], it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace [it would not be a gift but a reward for works]. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking [that is, God’s favor by obedience to the Law], but the elect [those chosen few] obtained it, while the rest of them became hardened and callously indifferent; just as it is written [in Scripture], “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, [a spiritual apathy that has continued] to this very day .” And David says, “Let their table (abundance) become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see, And make their backs bend [under their burden] forever .” So I say, have they stumbled so as to fall [to spiritual ruin]? Certainly not! But by their transgression [their rejection of the Messiah] salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous [when they realize what they have forfeited]. Now if Israel’s transgression means riches for the world [at large] and their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment and reinstatement be! But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, in the hope of somehow making my fellow countrymen jealous [by stirring them up so that they will seek the truth] and perhaps save some of them. For if their [present] rejection [of salvation] is for the reconciliation of the world [to God], what will their acceptance [of salvation] be but [nothing less than] life from the dead? If the first portion [of dough offered as the first fruits] is holy, so is the whole batch; and if the root (Abraham, the patriarchs) is holy, so are the branches (the Israelites). But if some of the branches were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being like a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share with them the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast over the [broken] branches and exalt yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by your faith [as believers understanding the truth of Christ’s deity]. Do not be conceited, but [rather stand in great awe of God and] fear [Him]; for if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], He will not spare you either. Then appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: to those who fell [into spiritual ruin], severity, but to you, God’s gracious kindness—if you continue in His kindness [by faith and obedience to Him]; otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they [the unbelieving Jews], if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these who are the natural branches back into [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree? I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; and so [at that time] all Israel [that is, all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as Messiah] will be saved; just as it is written [in Scripture], “The Deliverer (Messiah) will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob .” “This is My covenant with them When I take away their sins .” From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews [at present] are enemies [of God] for your sake [which is for your benefit], but from the standpoint of God’s choice [of the Jews as His people], they are still loved by Him for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call]. Just as you once were disobedient and failed to listen to God, but have now obtained mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient so that they too may one day receive mercy because of the mercy shown to you. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all [Jew and Gentile alike]. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it would be paid back to him? For from Him [all things originate] and through Him [all things live and exist] and to Him are all things [directed]. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.’

Romans 11:1-36

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God’s got a plan and a purpose.
  • God gives us every good and perfect gift.
  • Nothing and nobody is able to sidestep or sidetrack – on a national and even personal level.
  • Paul in his leter to the Romans went ahead to make sure he answered the question on many people’s mind in today’s verse.
  • They understood the gentiles were coming to Christ and so wondered about what happened to the Jewish people.
  • They wondered if God had abandoned them.
  • Paul gives a definite answer “no”, God chose the Jewish people to repsent Him to every nation.
  • God’s plan isn’t over for His people, the Jews.
  • Jesus is their promised Messiah.
  • God’s gift of truth and His calling to follow Him are still pure and strong, even if the Jewish people walked away for while.
  • God’s love is patient and persistant and because of that He has patience and persistant with His people and is a picture of His relationship with us.
  • We find over and over in God’s Word his promises, people’s rejection of Him, and God’s grace to restore them.
  • We find how when we are disobedient it grieves God but even so He doesn’t give up on us or wring our hands.
  • God knows the past, the present, and the future and possesses wisdom and power to accomplish His purposes.
  • Nothing confuses Him!
  • Nothing can block His purposes!
  • God is love and Love is patient!
  • God’s not slow as some may think but is patient
  • God is incredibly patient!
  • God provides us with reassurance through His Word that He never takes back His gifts to us and His calling in our lives.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are God’s gifts and His calling in your life?
  • What are some ways God has shown His patience to keep pursuing you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, it’s own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.”

James Bryant Conant, 1st U.S. Ambassador to West Germany

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which mean we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 6:

‘One Sabbath while Jesus was passing through fields of standing grain, it happened that His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus replied to them, “Have you not even read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him— how he went into the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful [for anyone] to eat except the priests alone, and [how he also] gave it to the men who were with him?” Jesus was saying to them, “The Son of Man (the Messiah) is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.”

On another Sabbath He went into the synagogue and taught, and a man was present whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [with malicious intent], to see if He would [actually] heal [someone] on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. But He was aware of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward.” So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you directly: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” After looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did, and his hand was [fully] restored. But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with senseless rage [and lacked spiritual insight], and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord]. Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.

And looking toward His disciples, He began speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. But woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.

Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change]. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide [another] blind man? Will they not both fall into a hole in the ground? A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice or consider the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite (play actor, pretender), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush. The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you? Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock. But the one who has [merely] heard and has not practiced [what I say], is like a [foolish] man who built a house on the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it; and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”’

Luke 6:1-49

So where are you at today? Are you ready to receive God’s gifts and calling? Have you received God’s gifts and calling? Are you being a good steward of God’s gifts and calling? Are you ready to reconnect to Jesus in order to be able to live your life to the full? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


How much do you care? Do you care enough to give?


Do you care enough to give anything or everything you have? Do you care enough that you will be extremely generous and helpful? Do you care enough that you are willing to sacrifice for others?

Do you care for everyone or are there only some people would you be willing to do this for? Does it have to be someone close? Does it have to be someone you have a close relationship with? What would be the criteria for you to care for someone? What would be the criteria fr you to care enough to give? What would be the criteria for you to care enough to be extremely generous and helpful? What would be the criteria for you to do something or give sacrificially?

How are those criteria related to who you are? How are those criteria related to who they are? Are you someone who is a giver? Are you someone who is a taker? Are you someone who is generous? Are you someone who is greedy? Are you someone who is ready and willing to sacrifice? Are you someone who will surrender or forego it?

As we start today, let’s ask God for wisdom and discernment for each situation that we face and to change our hearts and our minds so that we will live out our today in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 27th


The Shirt Off Your Back


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.’

I Samuel 18:3-4

Let’s make sure to get the context for this verse by reviewing verses around them and the Amplified version.

‘When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants. As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and musical instruments. The women sang as they played and danced, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward. ‘

1 Samuel 18:1-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever had reasons to be wary of someone but still built a great relationship and friendship with them?
  • Ever had concerns for your position and looked for ways to keep it?
  • Ever realized that a relationship was more important that a position or title?
  • Would you be willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for a friend?
  • Do you have a friend that you would be able to or be willing to do that for?
  • We see in our reading today that Jonathan was willing to give up the title, the power, the prestige, and the wealth for the sake of his friendship with David.
  • We see how Jonathan’s love and dedication to David surpassed his desires to inherity the throne from his father Saul.
  • We see in today’s verses how Jonathan’s commitment to his friendship with David motivated him to create a covenant with David.
  • To solidify his pledge to David, Jonathan gave David his royal robe.
  • Jonathan went above and beyond to show his commitment by also giving David his armor that included his sword, his bow, and his belt.
  • Have you a friend that you are so commited to that you would give them the shirt off of your back?
  • What would it take to be a friend like or to experience a frienship like that?
  • Jonathan was committed to David and to the reality that David would be the next king after Saul too.
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual interest?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual respect?
  • What are your friendships based on? Mutual benefits?
  • Have you ever lost a friendship because it was going to be too costly to continue?
  • Have you ever given up on a friendship because it was going to cost you too much?
  • Have you ever had a friendship where it was none of the above but simply a friendship where you both were dedicated to the good of the other person?
  • We see that Jonathan and David had this type of a relationship and it didn’t matter the cost!
  • These types of relationships are rare and hard to find.
  • These types of relationships, if you can find one and make one, are life changing for both parties.
  • Do you realize how much this type of a relationship can make on your future?
  • Do you realize that a big reason for such a huge impact was the loyalty of that friend?
  • Do you have a friend who will be loyal and that you will be loyal to through thick and think, through highs and lows, and through the darkest of times?
  • Do you have a friendship based upon genuine love, genuine sacrifice, and genuine time?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Have you ever experienced a friendship like this? Explain your answer.
  • What would it look like if you were this kind of friend?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Whatever you are, it is your own friends who make your world.”

William James

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? What is your state of mind? What is your state of heart? How are you choosing to live your life? How have you decided to live out your today? What type of a friend will you be? Are you in need of help to be more generous and helpful? Are you looking for wisdom and guidance to help you be a better version of yourself? Are you ready to get started today? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Sowing and Reaping… What are you expecting as a harvest?


When you think of sowing and reaping what comes to your mind? Is it a farmer who has to plant his field in hopes that the weather will cooperate enough that he will get a harvest at the end of the season? Is it a principle that speaks to needing to plant in order to harvest? Is it a principle that speaks to if you don’t plant something how can you expect to get anything back in return? Is it a principle that if you plant good habits it will have a good return and if you plant bad habits you will get a bad return? Are you ready to plant in order to get a greater return? How are you sowing your talents? How are you sowing your behavior and attitude? How are you sowing your life? How will things go when you see Jesus face to face? (‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. ‘ II Corinthians 5:10)

As we consider these, let’s reflect on a few scriptures:

Let’s consider how we will use the talents we have been given:

‘“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’

Matthew 25:14-30

Let’s consider what happens when we sow and the outcome:

‘On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”’

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

Even in the Old Testament we get insights:

‘“They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.’

Hosea 8:7

‘He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.’

Proverbs 22:8

‘You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.’

Hosea 10:13

So let’s consider how we are living and the impact of our decisions.

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

‘But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ‘

II Corinthians 9:6

So how are you sowing as part of your life? What does it say or point to when it comes what you will get to reap from it? Will you consider adjusting your life’s direction and how you are sowing? Will you consider adjusting your life in order to make sure to sow in the right people and places? Will you consider adjusting your life in a way that you are being generous in order to make sure that there is a bountiful harvest? The decision is yours!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 23rd


The Law of Reciprocity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.’

Proverbs 11:25

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that sowing and reaping are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the laws of nature are predictable?
  • Do you realize that the law of reciprocity is predictable throughout your life?
  • Ever noticed or recognized how you get back what you give out?
  • What type of a giver are you?
  • Ever read the book of Proverbs to catch the examples of the law of reciprocity in action?
  • If you give anger then you can expect an angry reply.
  • If you give kindness then you can expect a kind reply.
  • If you are a good steward of your resources then we find a good return on our investments.
  • Do you realize the benefits of generosity?
  • Do you realize how it is better to give than receive and yet by giving you receive?
  • Today’s verse gives us two ways to look at the same principle from Solomon:
    • Let’s guard against selfishness!
    • Let’s take hold of how the generous will be made rich. If we can be a conduit for God then He will continue to push things through us.
    • Let’s be generous in our hearts! Let’s be caring people! Let’s be looking to find eternity with God for ourselves as well as others!
    • Let’s love as God loves!
    • Will you allow God to pour into your life so that you can pour out into the lives of others?
    • Will you be so filled with thankfulness that you give it away?
    • We need to be giving out of a willing heart rather than compulsion.
    • We need to be giving out of the overflow of our heart not because we are looking for nor expecting a return!
    • Let’s be giving and generous in order to make a difference.
    • By only focusing on the giving we don’t get stuck wondering when the return will come or why it is taking so long!
    • By only focusing on doing what God has asked of us we won’t get upset in times of blessings and times of adversity.
    • The law of reciprocity has the purpose of blessing us by changing the way we think and what we have in our hearts!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why is it important for our hearts to be right when we give generously?
  • How is the law of reciprocity working out for you? Any changes needed?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What does sowing and reaping look like to you? What does generosity look like to you? What does giving look like to you? How are you choosing to use your talents and gifts? How are you choosing to use your resources? Make sure to remember to sow the seeds and to eat the bread that God gives you. Are you ready to decide? Are you ready to choose? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


How can we teach the next generation to see a need and fill it?


Between my morning reading from Matthew Barnett about finding our calling and overhearing some conversations last night, the idea of people in need, people who have hit hard times, homeless people, hopeless people, that we pass on the street. Imagine it being your first day in need. Imagine finding yourself out on the street and not sure where to turn. Imagine going to places where you think there might be people who can help and they treat you like you don’t exist. Imagine going to places where you think they might have answers or support and they won’t give you the time of day. Imagine now being that person and how things went from bad to worse. Imagine the low self-esteem you already had and with the treatment you have received spiraled even further down towards hopelessness.

Now, imagine being the person walking or driving down the street and seeing the person in need. Many have been jaded by the idea that there are people out there of their own choice and making a living out of conning people of their money. Many have been turned off because of the responses to their availability when people aren’t interested in food but just want money. With the rejection and scams people who would normally be generous and giving can become hard hearted and stingy.

But is that how God would want you to respond? Remember what the Bible says about the poor? In John 12:8, Jesus speaks to the people ‘You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” ‘ So we need to have a heart for the poor? We need to have a heart for people in need and have eyes to see them as God sees them with unconditional love. Yes there are some people who might be at a point where they aren’t willing to accept or receive true help and are just trying to get by with whatever they can get. There are others that are preying on the weak and trying to profit from and through them. There are others who are in need and are just looking for people to help meet it. So do you know what it takes to meet or fill that need? It requires knowing and understanding their need. It requires acknowledging them and letting them know you see them and that you care. It requires that you take time to listen to them and hear what they really need in order to be able to look for and find ways to fill that need. It may be something you can do on your own. It may be something that you need to recruit some friends. It may require bringing in an organization to be able to help fill the need. But it all starts with you being will and ready to see them, acknowledge them, and listen to them. Are you able to discern the difference between their needs and their wants? Are you able to listen and hear their story and how they got to this point?

So where are you at? Are you ready in and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is inside of you? Are you prepared to be generous on every occasion? Are you ready to walk with your hand upwards so that not only can God fill your hands but you can then use what He puts in your hands to give others a hand-up? Will you look to give generously to help them get a hand-up rather than a handout? Will you choose to be a conduit for God to be able to pass on and pour out His blessings on the people He brings across your path?

Are you ready to pass on this responsibility and behavior to the next generation? Are you ready to help your kids to know how to treat people with respect? Are you ready to help your kids to see a need and fill it? Are you ready to help your kids to know what they can do vs when they need additional support to meet the need? Are you ready to get started on this journey today?


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


Richer Than You Think


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ‘

Philippians 4:19

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you willing to be generous in order to fill a need?
  • Are you willing to be generous in the work of God in order to fill a need?
  • Do you realize that by pouring out to the work of God from the resources He has given you that He will help to refill and replenish so that you will have enough to meet the needs in front of you?
  • Are you standing with the man of God? Are you standing with the people of God? Are you investing into the work of God?
  • Are you being generous in order to put wind in the sails of those who are out on the mission field or working at the church or working at a mission for the homeless?
  • Are you giving to God as an acceptable sacrifice?
  • Are you giving to God’s work as a sweet aroma?
  • Are you being generous like David who wasn’t willing to just receive but had to pay for what he was about to sacrifice to God?
  • Are you willing to give to meet the need even if it might challenge you?
  • Do you realize that God doesn’t forget your generosity?
  • Have you ever heard the statement that you can’t out give God?
  • Have you ever taken the Malachi test? It is the one time God asks us to test Him!
    • ‘Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the L ord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. ‘
      Malachi 3:10
  • Remember that there is a difference between your needs, your wants, and your desires.
  • The promise is around meeting your needs.
  • It is a promise to meet our needs, especially those when we have given over and above what we can afford in order to support God’s work.
  • Do you have any needs?
  • Are your needs being met?
  • Is there something God is calling for you to do and invest in so that you can be a conduit of God’s love and blessings to meet others’ needs?
  • Are you ready to give to God’s causes, God’s works, and God’s calling on your life?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you have given the most to the Lord’s work? How did you feel about it?
  • What is God prompting you to do now in your giving?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God’s word done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”

Hudson Taylor

“I can testify that the Lord is as good as His Word. If we trust, believe, and bring our tithes into the storehouse, He will pour out His blessings of all kinds, including personal, family, and business.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Do you have the right set of mind? Is your heart in the right place? Have you allowed Jesus to help clean up your mind and your heart? Could today be the start of something incredible? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What are you sowing? You realize the fruit is based on the seed, right?


Ever heard the saying you “you reap what you sow”? Your actions dictate the consequences. If someone reaps what they sow, they suffer or benefit as a result of their own actions. So how will you choose to live your life? What are you sowing? What are you planting in your life and the life of those you come in contact with? What are your intentions and motives that will take root from that seed? What fruit will get produced from the seeds that you are planting? Will the seeds you plant cause you to suffer or to benefit? What seeds are you allowing to take root in your heart and mind? When it starts to grow and produce fruit, will it be to your benefit or detriment? Will the fruit be something that you will be able to share and bless others with? Let’s consider what the Bible has to say on this subject, in the Amplified translation it says:

‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. ‘

Galatians 6:7

So if we need to sow in order to reap, be it good or bad, we need to consider today as we step into this day both what we will sow and how we will sow. Will we sow good or evil? Will we sow love or hate? Will we sow hope or discouragement? Will we sow joy or sadness? Will we sow truth or lies? What will you decide to sow today, knowing that whatever you sow, this and this along is what you will reap?

The choice is yours! The decision is yours! It’s freewill and so you get to choose and you now know that whatever you choose will determine what you will get out of it! It can be good or bad, depends on what you plant!


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


From the Root to the Fruit


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;’

Proverbs 3:9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you handle what you have? Are you being a good steward?
  • How do you or why do you acquire things? Don’t allow it to be out of greed!
  • Let’s remember the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and so everything is His and we are to just be good stewards of what He gives us for the time we have.
  • Let’s remember that we are just borrowing it from God while we are here on earth.
  • Let’s be thankful for all that God has given us!
  • Let’s be take care of what we have been given by God!
  • Let’s be generous or as God’s Word puts it “hilarious givers” for His glory with what He has given us!
  • Let’s be giving from our firstfruits to God! Not the leftovers or the damaged but the best of the firstfruits!
  • Let’s give first to God from our increase, from our firstfruits before looking at how to spend it on ourselves.
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our hearts!
  • Let’s overflow the love of God from our handiwork!
  • Let’s use what He has given us to honor and please God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
As you think about your desires for things and your use of them, what brings a smile to God’s face, and what makes Him frown?
What is one thing you can do today to honor God with your possessions?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Plant a kernel of wheat and you reap a pint, plant a pint, and you reap a bushel. Always the law works to give you back more than you give.

Anthony Norvell

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 43 (sefaria.org)
    • But now thus said the LORD— Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I will redeem you; I have singled you out by name, You are Mine.
    • When you pass through water, I will be with you; Through streams, They shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, You shall not be scorched; Through flame, It shall not burn you.
    • For I the LORD am your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
  • Isaiah 44 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 45 (sefaria.org)

Ever checked out Acts 10 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the gentiles or non-Jews? Ever checked out Acts 2 and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the Jews in the upper room? Are you ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive power from God? Have you already received Jesus into your heart as Your Lord and Savior?

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What do you fill your tank with?


What is it that motivates you? What is it that keeps you on track? What is it that gives you direction? What is it that gives you the force to move forward or move on? What is it that is giving you momentum? What is it that keeps you aligned? What is it that keeps you focused? What is your source? What is it that keeps you loyal? What is it that keeps you going, no matter what?

Are you focused on God and His will and plans? Are you focused on the will of man and their selfish ambitions? Are you focused on God’s Word? Are you focused on the worlds instant gratification and greed? Are you focused on having your tank filled by God and then overflowing into the lives of others? Are you focused on getting as much as you can as quickly as you can? Are you more focused on the influx or the outflux in your life? Are you more interested in what you can get than what you can give?

Do you realize that what you allow into your heart makes a difference? Do you realize that how you fill up your life tank makes a difference? It can energize and motivate you or it can consume and corrode you. It is important in life to choose wisely! It is important in life to be blessed and be generous! It is more important in life to be a giver than a taker!

Do you realize how much God loves? God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! That’s right God loves so much that He is a giver! Do you realize that God loves so much that He even allows us to test Him with giving to see who can give more? Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. That is right and God loves a hilarious giver, you may have heard cheerful but if you look into it deeper it is really that He loves a hilarious giver. So will you live to give or will you live to receive? Have you ever heard it is better to give than to receive? Did you realize that comes from the Bible? Check it out in Acts 20:35. So the cool part is that it isn’t a decision that will be forced on you but it is something you get to freely decide on your own. Will you choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus or not? The choice is yours!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 17th


What’s in your box?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 6:24
(You Cannot Serve God and Riches)

‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your one thing?
  • If you were given the opportunity to have 1 thing but it can be anything, what would you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your attention, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your affection, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your heart, so what will you choose to rule over or fill your heart?
  • What are they offering you to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What are they tempting you with to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What do they have to offer that might capture your attention, if only for a moment?
  • Are they offering you pleasure?
  • Are they offering you thrills?
  • Are they offering you status?
  • Are they offering you the ability to impress?
  • Are they offering you the opportunity to escape?
  • But is what they are offering you real? Is what they are offering you going to last?
  • Where are you hearing such offers?
  • Is it in the office? Is it on TV? Is it through advertising? Is it on the billboard on that drive? Is it through friends? …
  • Are they trying to fulfill a dream that you have?
  • But who will you trust? Who will you go to? Who will you listen to? Who has what you really need?
  • Are you buying what they are selling?
  • Will they convince you to accept their offer or temptation?
  • Remember, you only can choose one thing! Like today’s verse tells us!
    • ‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’ — Matthew 6:24
  • Consider these verses too…
    • Romans 6:16 – ‘ Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?’
    • 2 Peter 2:19 – ‘ They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement–for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved.’
  • In the busy things of life, in the noises that come along with it, will you stop and find a quiet place where you can listen for and hear that still quiet voice that will speak truth and life in love to you from the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you set time aside to turn to and listen to the one who will will speak the truth of who Jesus is and what God is offering you?
    • John 14:6 shares: ‘ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.’
  • Will you choose God and accept His plan for you that gives you hope and a future?
  • Will you choose God and accept Jesus who came that you can have the adventure of v life and life more abundantly or to the full?
  • So what will you allow to fill your tank? your life? your box?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Identify some of the competing voices and their promises in your life.
  • TV – shows and ads
  • Radio – shows and ads
  • Internet – sites, stores, ads
  • Video games and ads
  • I have had to turn on ad blockers and even uninstall games because of the types of ads they play
  • I have had to turn to DVR shows so that I can skip ads or parts of shows
What have you had in your box in the past year or so? What are you putting in your box now?
  • God has been so critical to me over the past year to help me through some rough and tough times
  • He helped me keep from putting anger and frustration, bitterness and unforgiveness into my heart or allowing bitterness to take root

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Whatever you choose to serve becomes that which you worship.”  

IKE REIGHARD

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is it or who is it that you will serve? How will that impact your worship? How will that impact the rest of your life?

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What would it take to put your life in someone else’s hands?


How much would you need to trust someone to put your life in their hands? Would they need to have a special qualification? Would they need to have a special relationship? Would they need to have a special job? Would they need to be close or even family? Would they have to have a medical background or even be a doctor? Would they have to have known you for a while? Would they have to know your heart and thoughts?

As I consider wills and estate planning it is something to consider. As I get older it is something to consider. But realistically things can happen to us outside of our control at any age that could put us in a position where we need someone else to speak for us, act for us, and for all practical reasons put our lives in someone else’s hands. Be it for a sickness. Be it for an injury. Be it for some other medical issue. Be it for some mental or emotional reason. It could happen and do you know who that power would or should go to? Is there someone who can speak when you can’t speak? Is there someone who can act when you can’t act? Is there someone you trust enough to put your life into their hands?

Would you give your life into someone’s hands? Would you submit your life into someone’s hands?

How much do you trust you family? How much do you trust your friends? How much do you trust your coworkers? How much do you trust God?

What would it take to put your life in someone else’s hands?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 8th


“Into Your hands”


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:46

‘And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Imagine the crushing pain Jesus was feeling from the weight of the sins of the world and their punishment being placed on Him.
  • Even though God had to step back because those sins had been put upon Jesus and Jesus moaned “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” when it got to the last moment of His life, Jesus entrusted His life and His spirit into the hands of God.
  • Jesus trusted the Father completely and was able to give up His spirit to Him!
  • So when we face trials and troubles, let’s make our first response to turn to God and give our lives into His hands so that He can give us comfort and direction.
  • Don’t lose hope and don’t give up, give it to God! Put your trust and hope in Him!
  • Nothing is too big for God! All things are possible with God!
  • Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything!
  • Let’s follow Jesus’ example and in all our ways acknowledge God so that He can make our paths straight!
  • When you feel alone, in a dark place, don’t give up turn to God and trust in God the Father, call on Him and lean on Him rather than your own understanding!
  • When we are facing challenges and troubles in life, let’s be life Jesus and call out to our Heavenly Father and tell Him that we are in His hands because we trust in Him!
  • Our faith will please God!
  • Our faith will open doors to answers and experiences we would never have expected!
  • Let’s take hold of the truth and the blessings that God cares for us!
  • Let’s cast our cares on God because He cares for us!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What have been some dark times in your life?
When we acknowledge that we are in God’s hands, what can we expect from Him?
  • a peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of the pain and the confusion and the trials
  • a joy unspeakable in the midst of trials
  • a hope that comes in the midst of troubles

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

You can trust the man who died for you.” 

Lettie B. Cowman

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Will you honor your leaders by giving them control? Letting them choose?


As these questions come to mind it is very interesting to me to reflect on God’s working in and through my life and the leaders He has installed above me. Will you first give God control? Will you honor Him by giving Him control and the choice of how things will move forward? Will you trust God enough to do what He is calling you to do? Will you obey His calling even if it seems so much bigger than you? I remember learning that lesson many years back how nothing is bigger than God and how if He calls you to it, He will get you through it! In my case I resisted to the point of being given an ultimatum of stepping up into the position of president of the HOA or being nothing and so I went with God’s direction and accepted to step into the position of president of the HOA. I have learned through this that God is able to work through those He puts in authority over me too.

In my work I can remember the times when I was given options by my manager between two roles and asked which I would want. I shared my view of the two roles and that I wanted him to put me where it will help him the most. I remember a more recent experience where I thought I had arrived in the role that was for me when a new one came up and so I went to the head of our division and asked his opinion as I wanted to make sure I was in the role that would be most beneficial to him and the organization. To see the level to which he went to help me decide and how God opened the door so wide that I knew exactly which role to take helps me to this day to keep trusting God and those He puts in authority over me. There is always a reason and a purpose. We may not see it in the moment or understand it in the experience but there is always a reason and a purpose. God’s plan is good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future!

So be it at work, in volunteering, or at church, will you honor your leaders and give them control? Will you give them the power to choose for you?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 19th


One more night with the frogs


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Exodus 8:9-10

‘And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “ Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you stuck finding excuses for why you can’t or won’t or shouldn’t?
  • What would it take to go from can’t to can?
  • What would it take to go from won’t to will?
  • What would it take to go from shouldn’t to should?
  • What’s keeping you from deciding now?
  • Is it the fear that the situation may change?
  • Is it the worry that the problem might completely go away?
  • Is it the fear that someone else might come up with a better idea?
  • Is it the worry that something out of our control may happen and so any decision isn’t required?
  • Don’t allow fear to keep you from trying to clean up a mess!
  • Don’t allow worry to keep you from getting involved and making a difference!
  • Don’t just put up with the situation because you are afraid of making a mistake!
  • Are you stuck in a “why do today what we can put off till tomorrow” type of person?
  • You do realize that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed right?
  • So let’s think through decisions and start working on the problems today!
  • Sooner or later we are going to need to act!
  • Don’t be paralyzed by fear and find yourself procrastinating!
  • We can plan but don’t fall into analysis paralysis!
  • Having problems making decisions? What is the fear below the surface that is causing it?
  • How can you address those fears in order to be able to live out the bold and courage life that God has desired for you to live?
  • Let’s address the fears and replace them with faith so that we don’t need to be like pharaoh and have another night with frogs!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some fears that can lead to procrastination?
  • failure
  • mistakes
  • accidents
  • judgment
  • mocking
  • getting laughed at
How can someone address those fears so that they no longer interfere with life?
  • make it ok to fail as long as you learn from it and don’t make the same mistakes over and over
  • attack the problems rather than the people
  • build a healthy and supportive culture to work within

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Abraham Lincoln

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you do today what God is calling you to accomplish? Will you do today what is in front of you since you know you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow? Will you trust God enough that you will allow your faith to rule over your fears in order to get done what God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


God so loves you that…


Ever considered how much God loves you? Ever considered how God’s perfect love is so different from the conditional love of the world and that is how He loves you? Do you realize the extent to which God has gone to let you know how much He loves you?

Let’s check out some examples from God’s own Word:

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. — John 15:13
  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8
  • See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. — 1 John 3:1
  • There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11
  • The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. — Jeremiah 31:3
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. — John 15:13
  • But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. — Psalm 86:15

God so loves us that He gave! God so loves us that He allows us to be called children of God! God so loves us that He created us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose, and the plan is good, to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future, not to harm us!

So are you ready and willing to receive such a love from God? God is love! We know from 1 Corinthians 13 that love is defined as follows:

'Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. '

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Is today the day that you will say yes? Is today the day that the rest of your life will begin? Are you ready to receive love like you have never known nor felt before? Will you make today the day you accept the offer from God to “be mine”?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 23rd

Everybody Needs A Shepherd

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 23:1-3

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.’

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you proud of your heritage?
  • What do you brag about from it?
  • Does it tend to be individualistic?
  • Does your story speak of going it alone?
  • Christians are never alone! We have Emmanuel, God with us!
  • We have a shepherd who guides us!
  • We have a shepherd who directs us!
  • We have a shepherd who paid the price of freedom in order to be able to care for us, direct us.
  • He paid the price with the life of Jesus that frees us from the slavery to our sins.
  • We have a shepherd whose authority over us is shaped in and by love and so He demonstrates it through affection and attention to us.
  • Will you take the example of the Good Shepherd in order to be able to lead those entrusted to you as their good shepherd?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will love them?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will give them the affection and attention they need?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will lead the flock in order that they will find provision, and protection?
  • Will you be a shepherd who will be able to bring a peace and a security to his flock who may have a tendency to panic or even forget to trust you?
  • So let’s trust our Good Shepherd who is God!
  • Let’s trust Him because we know that He will lead us to plenty and peace!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
As our Shepherd, what is God’s authority over us?
  • To care for us
  • To provide for us
  • To protect us
  • To pour out His affection for us
  • To provide us His peace that surpasses all understanding
  • To provide us His security in the midst of the storms and floods of life
As our Shepherd, what has God promised to do for us?
  • To provide for us and give us rest
  • To lead us and correct us
  • To provide a place for us
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

This is a wise, sane Christian faith: that a man commit himself, his life, and his hopes to God; that God undertakes the special protection of that man; that therefore that man ought not to be afraid of anything.

George MacDonald

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Genesis 41
    • God’s timing is perfect!
    • Sometimes it takes time to get us ready! Sometimes it takes time to make sure others are ready!
    • Sometimes we need someone else to help us understand!
    • Remember to give God the credit! It isn’t you but God through you!
    • God can use dreams to prepare and inform us what is yet to come so that we won’t be surprised and can be prepared!
    • Knowing what God is about to do can allow and enable you to prepare and plan and execute on your role through it all!
    • If you need to deliver the message then do it with humility!
    • Allow God to bring healing for your past hurts so that you can forgive the past and move forward with the hopes and promises of God into the future!
  • Genesis 42
    • Do you know if the others have had a change of heart?
    • Do you know if they continue in their wicked ways?
    • How will you respond if you discover that they seemed to have changed for the better?
    • Will your past limit your future?
    • Will the events of your past taint your view of the future?

So are you ready to be loved like you have never been loved before? Are you ready to love like you have never loved before? Will you take hold of the reality of what love is? Do you realize that the Bible is God’s love letter to us? Have you ever listened to, watched, or read Father’s Love Letter?

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What kind of a giver are you?


Are you a good giver to those you love? Are you a good giver to those you know? Are you a good giver to those in need? Are you a good giver to strangers? Would you be considered a generous giver? Would you be considered a hilarious giver? What is your motivation for giving? What is your example for giving? What is your example for being generous? How have you learned to give?

Do you give out of compulsion? Do you give out of the overflow of your heart? Do you give because you want to or because you have to? Are your motivations to give God the glory or to get a pat on the back?


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Luke 11:13 and says: “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”
‭‭— Luke‬ ‭11:13‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Ever reflected on the reality that every good and perfect gift come from God? Have you asked God to send you the Holy Spirit? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have peace that surpasses all understanding? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have wisdom and discernment to be able to navigate this thing called life? Have you asked God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit in order to have instruction and direction for this situation you find yourself in? What would it take for you to get to the point of stopping yourself from trying to do it all on your own and in your own power and turn back to God and ask for help? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us in producing good fruit so that in and through it all, God will receive the praise and the honor and the glory in Jesus’s name, Amen.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? As we start our today, let’s reflect on 2020 and what lessons we have learned since they say that hindsight is 2020. With 3/4 of the year behind us now, what can we takeaway in order to help us move forward with the right mental attitude or put another way, with a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). What lessons can we take to help bring clarity for what is right in front of us?

The 49 week challenge
Day 286

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 286 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

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

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

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


Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD – THE BIBLE comes to us from:

My Notes:

  • Hebrews 10
    • ‘The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’ ” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.’
      Hebrews 10:1-39
  • Psalms 40
    • ‘I waited patiently for the Lord ; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord , who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened — burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord , as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord ; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased to save me, Lord ; come quickly, Lord , to help me. May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.’
      Psalms 40:1-17
  • Isaiah 26
    • ‘In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord , the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord , walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness. But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord . Lord , your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them. Lord , you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor. They are now dead, they live no more; their spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them. You have enlarged the nation, Lord ; you have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for yourself; you have extended all the borders of the land. Lord , they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, Lord . We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. But your dead will live, Lord ; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.’
      Isaiah 26:1-21
  • Joshua 10
    • ‘Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it. The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.” So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal. Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah, he said, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it. But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear and don’t let them reach their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.” So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities. The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites. Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening. At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day. That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. The Lord also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish; he took up positions against it and attacked it. The Lord gave Lachish into Israel’s hands, and Joshua took it on the second day. The city and everyone in it he put to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. Meanwhile, Horam king of Gezer had come up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his army—until no survivors were left. Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Lachish to Eglon; they took up positions against it and attacked it. They captured it that same day and put it to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it, just as they had done to Lachish. Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone in it. They left no survivors. Just as at Eglon, they totally destroyed it and everyone in it. Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron. So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord , the God of Israel, had commanded. Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord , the God of Israel, fought for Israel. Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.’
      Joshua 10:1-43

As day 286 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

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

I urge you that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people


Can you imagine how applicable a letter written in the late 50s or early 60s A.D. could be to us living today in 2020? Can you imagine how everlasting the message is to all people for it to have lasted nearly two millennium?

Imagine a world where we started our day petitioning for all people. Imagine a world where we started our day praying for all people. Imagine a world where we started our day interceding for all people. Imagine a world where we started our day giving thanks for all people. Imagine after having started the day that way we then chose to live out the rest of the day that way and then to close our day that way too. Imagine how different the world would be.

What if we took it from praying just for ourselves? What if we took it from praying only for our family? What if we took it to praying for our community and neighborhood? What if we took it to praying for our states, provinces, territories, countries, and continents? What if we took it to praying for our workplaces and businesses? What if we took it to praying for our bosses, leaders, and politicians? Imagine a world where we all were lifting up the needs of others? Imagine a world where we all were lifting up the wisdom and discernment of others so that they could be lead and directed by God?


God’s Word isn’t a list of dos and don’ts to keep us from living life. God’s Word is a list of instructions to help us live out the life He had planned for us that is good and that will produce hope and a future. Boundaries can have purpose. Healthy boundaries can ensure quality of life. Boundaries aren’t to keep you from having a good life but rather to protect you from a hurtful or hurting life. Healthy boundaries will keep us in good relationships and keep us from harm and pain.

What if the warning was a sign, what if the boundary was barbwires on a fence would that be enough to keep you from wanting to check it out? Or would you still be tempted to go and check it out?

A sign warning from land mines is seen on a fence near Qasr Al-Yahud, a traditional baptism site along the Jordan River, near Jericho in the occupied West Bank, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

What if there was police tape closing off an area? Would that be enough to keep you out? Would still be tempted to go in?

Detroit police are working to find a man caught on camera stealing money this month from a Burger King on the city’s east side. Published The Detroit News 6:23 p.m. ET Jun. 26, 2018

With a message from nearly 2000 years ago about needing to petition, pray, intercede, and give thanks let’s consider how best to do this as we step into unchartered territory. 2020 isn’t and hasn’t been anything close to a normal year. So why not receive God’s Word today as our definition of a healthy boundary in terms of the way we should live and consider what today’s reading can teach us and help us to accomplish. Imagine what God’s Word could do to transform the world we live in for good.

August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror. What have we learned? What can we learn? How will we take our hindsight from 2020 and bring clarity of vision for the future including the present of today?

The 49 week challenge – Day 257

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 257 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

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


Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD – THE BIBLE comes to us from:

My Notes:

‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.’
1 Timothy 2:1-15

‘You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.’
Psalms 63:1-11

‘The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.’
Proverbs 31:1-31

‘Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them, supporting them. At that time Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates went to them and asked, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” They also asked, “What are the names of those who are constructing this building?” But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darius and his written reply be received. This is a copy of the letter that Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates, the officials of Trans-Euphrates, sent to King Darius. The report they sent him read as follows: To King Darius: Cordial greetings. The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction. We questioned the elders and asked them, “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and to finish it?” We also asked them their names, so that we could write down the names of their leaders for your information. This is the answer they gave us: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. “However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild this house of God. He even removed from the temple of Babylon the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to the temple in Babylon. Then King Cyrus gave them to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he had appointed governor, and he told him, ‘Take these articles and go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem. And rebuild the house of God on its site.’ “So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem. From that day to the present it has been under construction but is not yet finished.” Now if it pleases the king, let a search be made in the royal archives of Babylon to see if King Cyrus did in fact issue a decree to rebuild this house of God in Jerusalem. Then let the king send us his decision in this matter.’
Ezra 5:1-17

‘King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives stored in the treasury at Babylon. A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it: Memorandum: In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide, with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God. Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you other officials of that province, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God: Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop. Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail, so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons. Furthermore, I decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it. And for this crime their house is to be made a pile of rubble. May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem. I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence. Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates carried it out with diligence. So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses. On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover. The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their relatives the priests and for themselves. So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord , the God of Israel. For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.’
Ezra 6:1-22


As day 257 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

What is it that is keeping you busy?


Is life feeling so busy that each day is a blur? What is it that is keeping you busy? Does it have purpose? Does it have value? Is it important? Is it providing a good return for the time you are investing? Is it producing good fruit? Are you being a good steward of your time?

We each have 24hrs in a day. We each have 1440 minutes. We each have 86400 seconds.

Are you spending your time on things that are producing good fruit? Are you planting? Are you watering? Are you harvesting? Are you about doing God’s Work?

You realize that your mission field isn’t out there somewhere but is right there where God has put you. Are you being the light that God needs you to be? Are you being the salt that is needed to spice up the lives of those around you?

Don’t be too busy that you can’t get what is most important done. Don’t be too busy that you can’t see what is most important for you to do. Don’t be too busy that you aren’t taking care of the foundational things to ensure that everything you build upon it can stand.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! When you aren’t sure then stop and ask God! Ask God and He will answer. Seek God and You will find. Knock on the door and He will open it! There is never a reason to go it alone for God is with you! So invite Him into the situation with you and walk and talk it out with Him!

How will you be telling people to turn back to God in the midst of everything going on around the world? How will you be telling people to receive Jesus and put their faith in Him?

Don’t you want to finish the race God has set before you? Don’t you want to finish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish?

Take a stand to watch over yourself and those that the Holy Spirit has made you an overseer of. Don’t be tricked or fooled by the lies of the devil. Don’t be oblivious to the savage wolves that are coming into the mix to try and tear everyone apart. Let’s not be deceived by lies but lean in and put our hope and trust into God’s Word and God’s promises! Let’s be on our guard! Let’s accomplish the hard work necessary to take care of the weak and the needy.

Let’s be prepared to generous on every occasion. Let’s remember that it is better to give than to receive! Let’s be joyful givers! Some even say to be hilarious givers!


July is in the rearview mirror
Hindsight is 2020 they say. What do you say? How can you allow what is ahead of you to become clear? Will you slow down in order to see? Will you take time to be able to notice? Will you make time to find rest and direction?

This morning as I was going back to my normal reading I was unable to click the “catch up” link I so vividly remembered to allow me to go back and have the 4 days of reasons restart today. I have feeling that because I shared my reading with others that this option is no longer available. And so today is day 235 of the year and as such I will stick to the plan. With this plan being a 49 week instead of 52 week, I will be able to revisit the missed days at the end in order to complete this plan. Nothing surprises God!

Over the past week, I had time to get away to the coast, away from the hustle and bustle of life and spend time with my family in a town of about 150 people. We got to walk down to the marina, stop by the little store, check out the cute little town, and return to our quiet place looking out into the ocean. As the week was drawing to a close, the weather changed to a more windy and wet pattern which allowed the girls to finish up 9 out of the 10 puzzles they had in addition to the other puzzles they had already done. There was some games of ping pong among the group as well as a game of chess between the boys. In the midst of the quiet and restful time, I had time to read from my leadership devotional which I usually only do when I am offline and at camp. I then started to read Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson and finished 4 chapters. I was able to pick up some great insights through both readings daily. It has also changed my view and approach for moving forward. Imagine a story of coming face to face with a lion and the decision is yours in terms of how your fight or flight energy will be used. Will you turn and run till the lion catches you and tears you apart? Will you scream and chase down that lion till you win? Will you take things into your own hands like Benaiah did? He chased the lion in the snow till it fell in a pit and he jumped in and killed it. It was an incredible week away to consider and contemplate dreams. It was an incredible week away to consider what God would have me do with a God sized dream. It was an incredible week away to contemplate a dream bigger than anything I could do or handle on my own and that would require God’s help to come true. Time to stop the blur and focus. Time to stop the hustle and bustle and focus and listen.

You stuck in the life of blur? Are you willing to make time and take time to stop and receive wisdom, vision, direction, and clarity? The decision is yours! The choice is yours! Will you make time and take time to spend with God? Will you get away from the noises of life to be able to better hear and more clearly hear the still quiet voice?

Yes, I am back to this reading plan but it doesn’t mean that I need to do it the same old way.


The 49 week challenge – Day 235

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 235 link to join me and sign up.

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

2020 is continuing to be in the theme of hindsight is 2020. 2020 is continuing with the previous month being in the rearview mirror. 2020 is a year like no other in my lifetime. 2020 is a year in which many are trying to use it for their own purposes and plans. Ever stopped and reflected on how people responded the last time there was such a time in the world? How did the world respond back in 1920 when it was faced with the Spanish Flu? How long did it run? Looking it up we find that the Spanish flu lasted “from February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people–about a third of the world’s population at the time–in four successive waves. The death toll is typically estimated to have been somewhere between 17 million and 50 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.” Some may wonder if we learned anything from that time or if we were doomed to repeat it. Checking out the response of the time, we find they are very similar to what is taking place today like quarantines, social distancing, and wearing face masks. The interesting point that I found in terms of how it came to an end was “that those that were infected either died or developed immunity.

Between the reading over the past week along with my faith in God, I will not live by fear but rather by faith. I will walk in wisdom from God to not put others at risk but also look to live! I will not run from it because it would be a similar fate as running from the lion, death. So I will do my part to try and help prevent the spread and stay healthy. So let’s allow our faith to be great in order that we will never run out of the overflow from God! Let’s receive what God tells us and let’s do what He says we are to do!

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started with Acts 20:
    • ‘When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.’
      Acts 20:1-38
  • As we look into God’s Word today’s reading connects the new with the old starting with 1 Kings 17:
    • ‘Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord , the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord , “ Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord , “ Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”’
      1 Kings 17:1-24
  • Today’s reading continues with Psalms 6:
    • ‘ Lord , do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Lord , for I am faint; heal me, Lord , for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord , how long? Turn, Lord , and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.’
      Psalms 6:1-10
  • Today’s reading then concludes with Jeremiah 42:
    • ‘Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.” Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. He said to them, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord , for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’ “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ then hear the word of the Lord , you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.’ “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”’
      Jeremiah 42:1-22

As day 235 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

Are you generous or do you need to be challenged to be generous?


Are you a giver or a taker? Are you an encourager or a discourager? Are you are builder or a wrecker? If the opportunity to be generous comes up are you ready to give? It isn’t about the amount but rather the heart. We know and see this when we read in the bible about the widows mite where Jesus says ‘Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”’ So it isn’t about the quantity, it is about the heart! Are you ready to give in and out of season? Ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Are you looking for opportunities to fill the gap? Are you looking for opportunities to give help? Are you looking for opportunities to meet a need? Are you ready to be generous? Is there anyone who encourages you to be generous? Are you an encourager who encourages others to be generous? Are you a joyous giver? Are you a hilarious giver? Are you a cheerful giver?


June in the rearview mirror
Hindsight is 2020. How will you address the need and desire for a clear vision forward?

The 49 week challenge – Day 206

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 206 link to join me and sign up.

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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading starts on the subject of giving in 2 Corinthians 9:
    • ‘There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ — 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
  • Today’s reading continues with Psalms 112:
    • ‘Praise the Lord . Blessed are those who fear the Lord , who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord . Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.’ — Psalms 112:1-10
  • Today’s reading concludes with Nehemiah 5:
    • ‘Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.” Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.” Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.” When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!” So I called together a large meeting to deal with them and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say. So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.” “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.” Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!” At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord . And the people did as they had promised. Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.’ — Nehemiah 5:1-19

As day 206 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

What do you deserve?


Consider what you have and haven’t done. Consider what you should and shouldn’t have done. Consider how you have been obedient and disobedient. Consider what the penalty is, should have, or could have been.

Would you deserve more or less than you have received? Would you deserve better or worse than you received? Would you feel better or worse from what you received?

As you prepare for this day – for many the first day after a long weekend – for others the second day of the work week, what is your perspective? When you look at your calendar is it possible? When you look at your calendar is it what you deserve? When you look at your calendar what is your first thought and response? When you got out of bed, what was your first thought and response?

Are you overwhelmed by the things of the world? Are you trying to overwhelm the world by the things of God? Are you giving your concerns and cares to the Lord? Remember we are to be anxious for nothing but rather through prayer and supplication give our cares to God! Remember to cast all your cares and anxiety on God because God cares for you! God loves you so much that He sent Jesus that you can be saved! God loves you so much that He gave!

So what do you deserve today?


2020 Hindsight
(Clarity of Vision)
The 49-Week Challenge
(Day 147)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 147 link to join me and sign up.

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

“See, it stands written before me: I will not keep silent but will pay back in full; I will pay it back into their laps— both your sins and the sins of your ancestors,” says the Lord . “Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains and defied me on the hills, I will measure into their laps the full payment for their former deeds.” This is what the Lord says: “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say, ‘Don’t destroy it, there is still a blessing in it,’ so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live.

— Isaiah 65:6-9

My Notes:

  • What do you deserve if you compare your life against God’s Word?
  • What do you receive if you compare your life against God’s Word?
  • In your own strength, have you been able to measure up and live out your life in complete obedience?
  • In your own power, have you been able to get everything done that you are supposed to do?
  • Remember what it says in Romans how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?
  • Remember what it says in Romans that the penalty of sin is death?
  • Remember what it says in Romans that the gift of God through Jesus Christ is eternal life?
  • So what we get vs what we deserve is based upon what we decide!
  • Today’s reading from the Old Testament speaks of a time before Jesus and tells us how although God is patient and desires for us to turn back to God, if we don’t and generation after generation reject Him, eventually the price is going to need to be paid.
  • If it were today and God were to come for final judgement how would you be judged?
  • Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior or would you be judged on your own life?
  • Would you spend eternity with God or apart from God?
  • Would you spend eternity where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth or will you spend eternity where there is no more sorrow and no more pain?
  • If you are reading this, I guess that you mean there is still time to make the decision!
  • Looking into the commentary for today’s reading from John Gil’s Exhibition, we find the following: (below is extracted from https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-65.html)
  • Verse 6
    • Behold, it is written before me,…. This account of their sins; it was in his sight and constant remembrance, and punishment for them was determined by him, written in the book of his decrees:
    • I will not keep silence; but threaten with destruction, and not only threaten, but execute; plead against them really, as well as verbally, with sore judgments:
    • but will recompence, even recompence into their bosom; full and just recompence of punishment for all their transgressions, as it follows. The Targum is,
    • “I will recompence to them the vengeance of their sins, and deliver their bodies to the second death.’
  • Verse 7
    • Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together (saith the Lord),…. That is, the punishment both of the one and of the other; these being alike, and continued from father to son, and approved of, and committed by one generation after another, till the measure was filled up; and then the recompence of reward is given for all of them together at once: which have burnt incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; where they offered incense and other sacrifices to idols, which was interpreted by the Lord as a blaspheming and reproaching of him; see Isaiah 57:7,
    • therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom; punish them for their former sins as well as their latter ones, and both together.
  • Verse 8
    • Thus saith the Lord, as the new wine is found in the cluster,…. Now, lest the truly godly and gracious among these people should be distressed at such denunciations of wrath and destruction, it is suggested that these few, this remnant according to the election of grace, should be saved from the general ruin; as when men are about to cut down a vine, or pluck it up, or prune the unfruitful branches of it, a single cluster of grapes is observed upon it, in which new wine is supposed to be:
    • and one saith, destroy it not, for a blessing is in it; one that stands by, perhaps the owner of the vine, seeing it, says to his servant, spare the vine, do not cut it down; or do not cut off the branch on which the cluster is, for there is life and sap in it, and it may grow, and bring forth much fruit:
    • so will I do for my servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all; as formerly he spared Noah at the deluge; of whom the Targum paraphrases the former clause; and Lot at the burning of Sodom; and Joshua and Caleb, when all the rest that came out of Egypt perished in the wilderness; so there would be, and were, a few whom God called by his grace, among the Jews, brought to the knowledge of Christ, and into a Gospel church state in Jerusalem; and these he preserved from the destruction of it, of which they had previous warning, and were directed to Pella, where they were safe: and so, wherever the truth of grace is, such shall not be destroyed; and which is a blessing, and a blessed work in the heart of man, and is a new thing there; and, like new wine, delightful to God and man; and like wine in the cluster, all grace, and all spiritual blessings are with it; and which must be tried by afflictions, to be brought into exercise, as the cluster is pressed; and which is found but in a few, like wine in a single cluster, concerning whom the Father says, destroy them not, being loved and chosen by him; and so says the Son, being redeemed by his blood; and the same says the Spirit, being regenerated and sanctified by his grace; and such being the servants of the Lord, and partakers of his grace, he will not suffer any of them to be destroyed; but encompasses them with his favour; holds them with his right hand; suffers no enemy to do them wrong, and guards them with his power.
  • Verse 9
    • And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob,…. Jerom says most understand this of Christ; and who indeed is called the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, and sprang from Jacob or Israel, and came out of the tribe of Judah; and may be fitly signified by the cluster, in which new wine and a blessing were, which “seed” here is explanative of; since the clusters of all divine perfections, of all the blessings of grace, and of all the promises of it, are in him: and since he is that seed in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed, and with whom the covenant of grace was made, Galatians 3:16, but others, the above ancient writer observes, understood it of the apostles; and it seems to design the first that believed in Christ, who were of the Jewish nation, the apostles and others; for though the generality of that people rejected the Messiah, there were a few that believed on him, a remnant according to the election of grace, whom the apostle calls a seed, the Lord left among them, and reserved for himself, Romans 9:29, Romans 11:4 such who received the seed of the word into their hearts, and were born again of incorruptible seed, and which remained in them; these were distinguished by the grace of God from the rest of the people, and were called and brought forth from among them:
    • and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; this also is true of Christ, who not only came out of the tribe of Judah, as was foretold he should, and as it is manifest he did; hence he is called the Lion of that tribe; but he is also an heir or inheritor of the mountains of God; he is indeed heir of all things, Hebrews 1:2, as he is the Son of God, he is heir by nature of all the Father has; and, as Mediator, he is heir by appointment of all persons and things; he has all persons for his inheritance, and in his possession, and at his dispose, angels and men; and he is possessed of all things, of all blessings of goodness, natural and temporal, spiritual and eternal; and his chosen people are joint heirs with him, and who may be here meant; such as are the seed of the Lord are sons and heirs; they are heirs of God, being the sons of God; heirs of his covenant, the blessings and promises of it, which is as a mountain, firm and immovable; they are heirs of the grace of life, and of the kingdom; heirs of righteousness, life, and salvation; of eternal glory, the heavenly Canaan, signified by the mountains of the Lord; alluding to the mountains on which the temple and Jerusalem stood, or to those about Jerusalem, or in the land of Judea in general:
    • and mine elect shall inherit it; Christ is God’s first and chief elect, and his people are chosen in him through grace to glory; and these are the seed and heirs that do inherit grace, and shall inherit glory; for this is to be understood not literally of the land of Judea, which was not long inherited by any after the times of Christ and his apostles, to which this prophecy respects; unless it can be thought to belong to the latter day, when the Jews will be converted, and return to it; but figuratively of Mount Zion, or of the heavenly country:
    • and my servants shall dwell there; my righteous servants, as the Targum; these are the same with the seed, the inheritor, and the elect, who become the servants of God, through the power of his grace, and serve him cheerfully, willingly, and without selfish ends and views; to this they are chosen, and for this purpose become a spiritual seed; nor is this inconsistent with their being heirs; and who shall receive the inheritance in a way of grace, and possess it for ever; they shall dwell in the church below, and enjoy all the privileges of it, and shall dwell upon their estate for ever; for their inheritance is an eternal one, reserved in the heavens.

As day 147 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

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

Will you be genuine?


Are you generous or do you just pretend to be? Are you truthful or are half truths ok to you? Are you a giver or a hoarder? Will you be genuine?

If you sold something in order to get cash to be able to give, would you be honest about what percentage you are wanting or willing to give? Would you try to look better in front of people even though God knows the truth? Who are you wanting to impress God or people? Who is more important to you God or people? We know we are to love both but we are to love God first! We are to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

So why try to look better than you are? Why try to pretend you are something if you aren’t? Why try to say something that isn’t truth, as half truths aren’t true!

Is there ever a good reason to lie? Is there ever a good reason to resist the truth?

The delivery of how you say the truth should be in love. Speak the truth in love.

Will you be genuine?


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 125)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 125 link to join me and sign up.

April is in the rearview mirror

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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

‘The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord , their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them before the Lord , and they will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty.” ‘

Leviticus 6:1-7

As day 125 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

Do you realize it took sacrifice?


Do you realize how much God loves you? He loves you so much that He gave! He loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son. He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but that through Jesus the world could be saved! He send Jesus so that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life.

As I stay home one more day and pray that with today and the weekend I will be ready to get back to work, I reflect on today from the larger picture of things. Today is Good Friday! Ever considered or wondered how such a brutal day would or could be called good? Do you realize the sacrifice that was made for you and for me on Good Friday centuries ago? Do you realize what happened as this Passion Week gets to Friday? As Passover concluded yesterday and all that happened today? Do you realize how worth it you were to God? Do you realize how valuable you are to God? Consider how big the sacrifice that was made to pay the price for you and for me, for all of eternity, once for all time! Do you realize that Good Friday is good because what happened had to happen in order for us to receive the joy of Easter, because God took things into His own hands in order to make a way where there didn’t seem to be a way. He paid the price once and for all! Nothing more and nothing less is required than to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be ensured eternity with God in heaven.

In God’s Word and reflecting on today, we learn about how the Jewish leaders condemned Jesus, Jesus was brought before Pilate, Jesus is beaten, scourged, and mocked, Judas hangs himself, Jesus is crucified, dies, and was buried before sunset.

God knew that we couldn’t do it in our own strength! God knew for reconciliation and forgiveness of sin to happen, He would have to handle it Himself! God knew that in our own strength it would require payment and sacrifice forever! God found a way that it could be handled once and for all! With Adam, sin came into the world. With Jesus, the power of sin wad defeated. With man it would be impossible! With God all things are possible! With Adam, the sin brought with it death, judgment, and condemnation! With Jesus, his death and resurrection brought with it life, the free gift, grace, justification, righteousness, and reigning.

So how about you? Where are you at today? Is God asking you to give something up? Is God calling you to sacrifice? Is God calling you to step up? Is God calling you on purpose with purpose for a purpose? Will you answer it? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you be like Jesus and choose God’s will over your comfort? Will you be like Jesus and be willing to lay down your life for a friend? Will you be like Jesus and sacrifice your comfort for the benefit of others? Will you be like Jesus and allow the Father’s will to direct your steps? Will you be like Jesus who isn’t in a hurry to condemn the world but rather is patient because He wants as many people as possible to make it into Heaven?

So, do you realize that it is going to take sacrifice? Do you realize that God has prepared in advance good works for you to accomplish? Do you realize that thanks to God we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds? Do you realize that thanks to God we can take heart when we face troubles? So what have you learned during this week of Passion? What has it taught you about how to live post resurrection Sunday? Will you take a moment to pause and receive what God has for you so that when you start next week you will walk in filled with the Holy Spirit for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Will you start next week encouraged and empowered by the love of Jesus for this world and want to be salt and light to shine into the lives of all those around you? Are you ready? Are you prepared? Take time today to reflect on Good Friday! Take time to refresh and reflect on Saturday! Take time to celebrate resurrection Sunday! And walk into Monday ready and prepared to accomplish the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish, in Jesus’s name.


 2020 HINDSIGHT — 
The 49-Week Challenge
  Day 101 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 101 link to join me and sign up.

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

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


My Notes:

  • Jesus was anointed by Mary Magdalene in preparation for his death and burial. Jesus knew it even though everyone else seemed oblivious to that reality.
  • Jesus introduces us to communion in order for us to have a way to regularly remember the body broken for us and the blood shed for us!
  • Jesus lets us know that even in the midst of the best of time there are bad things that can and will happen.
  • Jesus lets us know that we shouldn’t allow our pride and selfishness to blind us to the reality of being human and how we need to lean into God and allow His power and His promises to lead and guide us, strengthen and encourage us all the days of our lives.
  • Jesus share how we can’t let our human emotions over react in the times of stress and challenges but instead receive wisdom and direction through the Holy Spirit so that others won’t get harmed by our responses.
  • Jesus shares how sometimes other may come in the dark to hide the truth of what is taking place.
  • Jesus shares how He knew what was about to take place and His victory would position Him sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven on the judgment seat.
  • Jesus shares how He will return on the clouds.
  • Nothing surprises God! He knows the thoughts and the hearts of all people.
  • How important is the truth to you?
  • How important is it to be ensured eternity with God to you?
  • What is more important to you the favor of God or the favor of man?
  • What is more fearful to you spending eternity apart from God or the threats of man?
  • Will you live as the temple for the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you invite Jesus into your heart?
  • God plans and prepares! God is detail oriented!

As day 101 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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


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

Let’s recruit! Let’s bring the team back together! Let’s pull together an incredible team!


Has God given you a call? Has God called you to serve at risk youth? Has God called you to build a team to serve at risk youth? Has God called you to put together an incredible team of men and women with hearts to serve? Has God called men and women who have hearts to serve at risk youths to you? Has God called you to pray? Has God called you to give? Have God called you to go? There are so many ways to help! There are so many in need of help! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s make today count! Let’s do our part!


Day 54: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 54 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 54 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

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


My Notes:

‘“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” ‘

Matthew 15:17-20
  • Do you believe enough that even if God would give you a little you know it would be enough?
  • Do you believe enough that even with faith the size of a mustard seed you are able to speak to the problem and know it will be cast away?
  • Do you realize that even with the little you have, if you are willing to give it up to God, He is able to multiply it and meet the needs even beyond your own needs?
  • God’s law isn’t to hold you back from accomplishing great things but to provide you the power needed to have freedom!
  • Do you realize that God’s plan is one of redemption? Jesus came to redeem us all! Will you accept it and be redeemed?
  • You realize there is evil right? You realize there are accidents right?
  • God knows the heart!
  • You realize the truth will set you free right?
  • What will it take for you to turn back to God?
  • What will it take for you be ready to hear from God?
  • Would it take something good? Would it take something bad? Would it take something easy? Would it take something difficult?
  • How far from God’s blessings and protections would you need to go before you will turn back and ask God to forgive and redeem you?
  • Are there things that need to get torn down?
  • Are there things that need to get built up?
  • Will your eyes turn to God at the end of the project so that you won’t end up back where you started in the future?
  • Would you turn back to God if you knew that what you are doing now was about to create great troubles and problems?
  • Is what you value going to last?
  • Is what you treasure going to last?
  • Are you investing in things that will last?
  • Are you investing your time and energy into something temporary or eternal?
  • Are you spending your time and money on things that will rust, fade, or get stolen or things that will last forever?
  • Are you serving others for the glory of God or living for your own purpose heartlessly?
  • When called before the throne of justice, will you hear well done good and faithful servant?
  • When called before the throne of justice, will you be thrown into the eternal fire? the second death.
  • Will you turn back to God? Will you turn to Him humbly? Will you listen to Him to not only hear but also to gain knowledge?
  • Will you turn back to God in order that He will turn back to you?
  • Will you step towards God in order that He will step towards you?
  • He is like the father who was waiting and watching for his wayward son hoping you will turn back and come home!
  • How bad would it have to get before you realize the mistakes of your own ways?
  • How crazy would things need to seem before you would turn to God for help and wisdom?
  • Will you take hold of the promises of God?
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God through Jesus Christ?

As day 54 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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


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

Will you take hold of the mantel of teaching in order to invest in the lives of people?


The Story of Job. – Day 47 (the end of the story)


How many times does it take you to take hold of a message? How many times does it take you to be able to grasp a concept? How many times does it take you to understand what you are being asked to do? How many times does it take for you to consider how to apply a concept? How many times does it take for you to be able to impact others with your learnings, your lessons, your trials, your troubles, your adventures? Are you willing to walk in humility before God even when you don’t see a change to your situation and just trust Him? Are you willing to allow Him to be God and not try to take everything into your own hands? Are you willing to go beyond just receiving and start to give back? Are you willing to resist speaking of things you don’t understand and starting to speak of things you do understand? Are you willing to take hold of the wisdom God has given you and share it with others? Are you willing to go from being a student to being willing to invest in the lives of the people around you and start to teach? Are you willing to become a teacher in order to be an investor in the spiritual lives of the people God brings into your life? Are you willing to go from being a hearer of the Word and starting being a doer of the Word? Are you bought in enough to become a teacher and investor in other people? Do you have the discipline and accountability to be a teacher and investor in the lives of others? Are you goal oriented enough to teach and invest in others lives and situations? Are you passionate enough to share that excitement and energy with the people God has brought into your life in order for you to be a teacher and investor in people? Are you ready to thrive because of the resistance you will face by teaching and investing in the lives of all the people God is putting on your path?


11 Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.

The Peril of Falling Away

6 Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of teaching about washings (ritual purifications), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [These are all important matters in which you should have been proficient long ago.] 3 And we will do this [that is, proceed to maturity], if God permits. 4 For [it is impossible to restore to repentance] those who have once been enlightened [spiritually] and who have [a]tasted and consciously experienced the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted and consciously experienced the good word of God and the powers of the age (world) to come, 6 [b]and then have fallen away—it is impossible to bring them back again to repentance, since they again nail the Son of God on the cross [for as far as they are concerned, they are treating the death of Christ as if they were not saved by it], and are holding Him up again to public disgrace. 7 For soil that drinks the rain which often falls on it and produces crops useful to those for whose benefit it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it persistently produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

Better Things for You

9 But, beloved, even though we speak to you in this way, [c]we are convinced of better things concerning you, and of things that accompany salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown for His name in ministering to [the needs of] the saints (God’s people), as you do. 11 And we desire for each one of you to show the same diligence [all the way through] so as to realize and enjoy the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be [spiritually] sluggish, but [will instead be] imitators of those who through faith [lean on God with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in His power] and by patient endurance [even when suffering] are [now] inheriting the promises.

Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Today’s reading comes to us from Job 42:

‘Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained. [You said to me] ‘Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge?’ Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, please, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct [and answer] me.’ I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, But now my [spiritual] eye sees You. Therefore I retract [my words and hate myself] And I repent in dust and ashes.” It came about that after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him [and his prayer] so that I may not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him over all the [distressing] adversities that the Lord had brought on him. And each one gave him a piece of money, and each a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first [daughter] Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were found no women so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. So Job died, an old man and full of days.’

— Job 42:1-17

Ever had the aha of taking hold of one things and then realizing it was even more simply put somewhere else? In my case I took hold of Job 42:12 back in 2013 the day I began my new adventure after 19 years and 1 day working at Microsoft and started my new journey with GoDaddy. Today’s reading made it clear that although 42:12 speaks of the doubling of Job’s original assets I somehow missed the reality that in 42:10 it explicitly says “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” As I take hold of my lessons through the book of Job, I praise God for His Word never returns void. He has blessed me beyond measure with an incredible wife that I could have only prayed and wished for and who He brought into my life that fall after the summer of me praying for a wife. He has blessed me with two incredible daughters and a promised son. He has blessed me with the reality that Heaven is for real and how my sense of connection with Philip the evangelist who had four daughters was true too as I have two daughters that I will get to meet when I arrive there. I thank and praise God and with this weekend’s message from church, I am going to take hold of the message of being a teacher and investor in each one, looking to grasp everything God has to teach me in and through them all. As I consider how God is able to take what we have and use it for His glory, I take hold of His Word and the message of Job and look forward to 2020 almost like it will be hindsight into what God is going to do in and through my life this coming year.


Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s summary from the study notes: Job Chapter 42 Explained (visit the links above to dig in deeper verse by verse):

Verses 1-6: Job’s confession and repentance took place finally. He still did not know why he suffered so profoundly, but he was done complaining, questioning and challenging God’s wisdom and justice. He was reduced to such utter humility, crushed beneath the weight of God’s greatness, that all he could do was repent for his insolence. Without answers to all of these questions, Job quietly bowed in humble submission before his Creator and admitted that God was sovereign (Isa. 14:24; 46:8-11). Most importantly for the message of the book, Job was still diseased and without his children and possessions, and God had not changed anything (except for the humbling of the heart of His servant). Satan had been proven completely wrong in the charges he brought against Job and in thinking he could destroy true saving faith; Job’s companions were completely wrong in the charges they brought against him, but most critically, Job himself was completely wrong in the charges he had raised against God. He expressed his own sorrowful regret that he had not just accept God’s will without such ignorant complaints and questions.

The point of all of God’s questions was not lost on Job: he has a new awareness of the wisdom of God’s hidden plans, a new sense of the limits of his own wisdom, and a new sensitivity to his own sin. He admits that his has been a limited perspective, and he totally submits to God’s will and authority.

Jobs second response is one of complete submission to the sovereignty of God. He affirms that God is free, He can do anything, and He does what is good and right. Job was right where God wanted him to be, where He wants each person to be, humbling, bowing before Him in worship and repentance. Job had gone from silence to submission.

Verses 2-4: Job did not confess any of the sins that Eliphaz accused him of or say any of what Eliphaz told him to say, because he was guiltless of all these things. Job’s folly was in making judgment about matters “I understood not”, especially disputing with God over His justice.

Verses 3-4: Job twice alluded to statements God had made in His interrogation of Job. The first allusion “Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge?” (Compare 38:2), indicted Job’s pride and presumption regarding God’s counsel. The second, “I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me” (38:3; 40:7), expressed God’s judicial authority to demand answers from His own accuser, Job. The two quotes manifested that Job understood the divine rebuke.

Verses 5-6: God did not condemn Job for any sin or foolishness. He did though, charge Job for mistakenly and arrogantly asserting that he could better explain what was happening in the world and better order and control its affairs. Job was wrong on both counts. Therefore, Job said “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”.

(In verses 7-17), the text returns to prose instead of poetic language begun (in 3:1), in the epilogue. The final picture of Job mirrors the opening picture of him (in chapter 1). God restored Job, not as payment for Job’s sacrifice but as a gift.

Verses 7-9: Job’s friends are rebuked for their errors, with Eliphaz being singled out as the leader of the three. The Lord refers to Job as “my servant” four times to show His approval.

“Eliphaz” was the oldest of the group, so God addressed His rebuke to him. The sacrifice required for the three men was staggering (enough for all of Israel), and shows the great error of their counsel. Anyone who speaks on behalf of God must make sure his or her words reflect the Word of God and represent His character. Human opinion is worth nothing.

Verses 7-8: “ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right”: God directly vindicated Job by saying that Job had spoken right about God in rejecting the error of his friends. They are then rebuked for those misrepresentations of insensitivity and arrogance. This does not mean that everything they said was incorrect, but they had made wrong statements about the character and works of God, and also had raised erroneous allegations against Job.

Verses 8-9: As God had been gracious to Job, so He was to Job’s friends, by means of sacrifice and prayer. Here the book points to the need for a sacrifice for sin, fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself as an offering for sins and ever lives to intercede (compare 1 Titus 2:5). Even before the Levitical priesthood, family heads acted as priests, offering sacrifices and mediating through prayer.

Verses 10-17: “Turned the captivity” is a figure meaning “released.” In other words, God brought an end to Job’s suffering and set him free to enjoy life again. God’s restoration of Job is immediate and bountiful: he is given friends (verse 11), material prosperity (verse 12), family (verses 13-15), and long life (verses 16-17). The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and loving sway over every human life. Therefore, He can be trusted implicitly in all things (Rom. 8:28; 1 Thess. 5:18). Yahweh “turned” the fortune and family of Job to a level surpassing that at the beginning of the book.

Verses 12-14: God gave Job back twice as much as he lost, including another 10 children. These did not replace the first 10 but were added to them. Between heaven and earth, he had 20 children.

Verses 16-17: Job lived 140 years longer, so he probably lived to be 210 years old, a typical lifespan for the patriarchal age. “Old and full of days” is an idiom that means Job lived a rich, full life all the way to the end.

Job Chapter 42 Explained

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? 

My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you.  Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future?

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

Reply with a comment to let me know of your decision so that I can pray with you. Respond to God’s prompting on your heart.

Take time to hear from God today. Take time to be with God today. Take time to respond to God today!

Let’s pray:

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