Words how power! How will you use the ones that you get to speak?


The Story of Job. – Day 21

You find yourself in a situation, how will you respond? We can’t control the situations or things that will come our way but the one thing we can control is our response. You find yourself in a situation where someone is suffering or mourning or struggling, what words will you choose to use? You find yourself in a situation where you are being challenged, questioned, or attacked, what words will you choose to use? Will you be able to control your tongue in how you respond? Will you be able to choose to speak life and love and hope and truth? Will you choose words that will tear down and destroy and belittle and stir up anger? We are all faced with choices. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. We are all in situations where we need to use our words. How will you choose to use yours today?


Today’s reading comes from Job 16:

‘Then Job answered and said, “I have heard many such things; Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all. Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind? Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]? I also could speak like you, If you were in my place; I could compose and join words together against you And shake my head at you. [But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.

“If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved; And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me? But now God has exhausted me. You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household. You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me]; And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]. His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me. They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me. God hands me over to criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked. I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart, And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target. His arrows surround me. He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy; He pours out my gall on the ground. He attacks me, making wound after wound; He runs at me like a warrior. I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust. My face is red and swollen with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed], Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands, And my prayer is pure. “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard]. Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high. My friends are scoffers [who ridicule]; My eye pours out tears to God. Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me] Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend. For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return.’

Job 16:1-22

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

In today’s reading we see Job giving another rebuttal to his friends. We see how their words haven’t helped but have hurt Job even more not comforting or healing but hurting and destroying. Job was broken from what had happened to him and his family and yet in the midst of that his friends are of no hope and no help. His friends had come under the pretense of being comforters and even sat and mourned with him quietly for 7 days. Unfortunately after that time they turned on him and tormented him more than they tried to comfort him. We see how our words may start out with the right intention but if or when we turn to bitterness · spite · hate · hatred · resentment · malice · ill will · malevolence · malignancy · animosity · antipathy · enmity · hostility · acrimony · venom · poison · vindictiveness · balefulness · vengefulness · vitriol · virulence · perniciousness · meanness · nastiness · bitchiness · cattiness · maleficence and sarcasm the words start to hurt more than they help. Such words build up frustration in everyone. It becomes a matter of the heart. If the table had been turned we learn how Job wouldn’t have treated them the way they were treating him. We learn how he would have used words that would helped strengthen and comfort them. We can’t assume what the other people are going thru. We can’t assume that we understand what they are going thru because we think we went thru something similar since we don’t really know what they have been thru.

Ever noticed how people respond to things they are passionate about? Ever noticed how people can get angry about things they love? Today’s study puts it this way:

Verses 6-17: It is often the case that a person’s anger reflects his or her love. Believers who get angry with God reveal that they care about Him even though they do not fully understand Him.

(In verses 6-14), Job considered God an “enemy” (verse 9). Job was not alone in struggling this intensely with God. Jacob fought with the Angel of the Lord all night (Gen. 32:24-30); Peter argued with God (Acts 10:9-16). Anger with God can sometimes be a catalyst for spiritual growth. It can mean a person is outgrowing a less mature understanding of God.

Verses 6-9: These poignant thoughts from Job lamented his suffering as severe judgment from God, who had worn him out, withered his strength, and chewed him up by severe scrutiny (“sharpeneth his eyes upon me”).

Verses 12-14: Job refers to God as his “adversary”, who had broken, shaken, shot at, and cleaveth my reins.

Verses 15-20: He had no one to turn to in his sorrow, except God (verse 19), who was silent and had not vindicated him.

Verses 18-21: Job was not crying out for a mediator but for an advocate. He wanted a lawyer who would represent him before God. Here again is the gospel in Job, Jesus is the believer’s advocate at the throne of God (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).

Bible-Study.org Chapter 16

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

Let’s pray:

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

What is the quality of the feedback you are receiving?


The Story of Job. – Day 18

When you think about giving or receiving feedback, are there any methodologies or practices you consider in how you deliver it? Do you try the sandwich method where it has to start and end with a positive and then the real meat of the situation comes in the middle? Do you ensure that before you speak you use the T.H.I.N.K. principle: T – is it true? H – is it helpful? I – is it inspiring? N – is it necessary? K – is it kind? Whatever method or model that you use, do you ever consider how it will be/get received by the other person? When you receive feedback, are you observing what technique is being used on you? If they start with something positive are you getting ready for the bomb to be dropped on you when it gets to the inside of the sandwich? If they start with something positive are you waiting for the shoe to drop? Does it make a difference who is trying to give you the feedback? Does it matter if they are someone who has seemed invested and caring about you? Does it matter if they are someone who seemed to not really care or even want to talk before that point? When you receive feedback are you looking for all the queues being used from tone to body language to the actual words being spoken? How do you judge the feedback being provided? Are you able to discern through the Holy Spirit the actual meaning and intent? Are you able to give it up to God to know if it is something that you need to pick up or just leave it alone?

Words have power! We need to use our words wisely! Words have the power to create! Words have the power to tear down! Words have the power to build up! Words have the power to destroy! Words are a gift given by God that we need to be good stewards of! Words have the power to bless! Words have the power to curse! Words have the power to inspire! Words have the power to extinguish! Words have the power to acquit! Words have the power to condemn!


Consider these verses from the AMP translation of the Bible about the importance of how we use our words:

  • Hebrews 11:3 – By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
  • Proverbs 12:6 – The [malevolent] words of the wicked lie in wait for [innocent] blood [to slander], But the mouth of the upright will rescue and protect them.
  • Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.
  • Matthew 12:34–35 – You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man, from his [inner] good treasure, brings out good things; and the evil man, from his [inner] evil treasure, brings out evil things.
  • Matthew 12:36–37 – But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak. For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”
  • Colossians 3:16 – Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
  • Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].
  • Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of [a]human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind].
  • Ephesians 4:25 – Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].
  • Ephesians 4:28 – The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need.
  • Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].
  • Luke 4:22 – And [as He continued on] they all were speaking well of Him, and were in awe and were wondering about the words of grace which were coming from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
  • Romans 3:13 – “Their throat is an open grave; They [habitually] deceive with their tongues.” “The venom of asps is beneath their lips.”
  • Romans 3:14 – “Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
  • Romans 3:19 – Now we know that whatever the Law [of Moses] says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the excuses of] every mouth may be silenced [from protesting] and that all the world may be held accountable to God [and subject to His judgment].
  • Romans 10:9–10 – because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.
  • Romans 15:6 – so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

Today’s reading from the book of Job comes from chapter 13:

‘[Job continued:] “Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. What you know I also know; I am not inferior to you. “But I wish to speak to the Almighty, And I desire to argue with God. But you smear me with lies [you defame my character most untruthfully]; You are all worthless physicians and have no remedy to offer. Oh, that you would be completely silent, And that silence would be your wisdom! Please hear my argument And listen to the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak what is unjust for God, And speak what is deceitful for Him? Will you show partiality for Him [and be unjust to me so that you may gain favor with Him]? Will you contend and plead for God? Will it be well for you when He investigates you [and your tactics against me]? Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man? He will surely reprimand you If you secretly show partiality. Will not His majesty terrify you, And will not the dread of Him fall upon you? Your memorable sayings are [worthless, merely] proverbs of ashes; Your defenses are defenses of [crumbling] clay. “Be silent before me so that I may speak; And let happen to me what may. Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands [incurring the wrath of God]? Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. This also will be my salvation, For a godless man may not come before Him. Listen diligently to my speech, And let my declaration fill your ears. Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated. Who will argue and contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. “Only [O Lord,] do not do two things to me, And then I will not hide myself from Your face: Withdraw Your hand from me and remove this bodily suffering, And let not the dread of You terrify me. Then [Lord,] call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, and then reply to me. How many are my iniquities and sins [that so much sorrow should come to me]? Make me recognize and understand my transgression and my sin. Why do You hide Your face [as if offended] And consider me Your enemy? Will You cause a windblown leaf to tremble? Will You pursue the chaff of the dry stubble? For You write bitter things against me [in Your indictment] And make me inherit and suffer for the iniquities of my youth. You also put my feet in the stocks [as punishment] And [critically] observe all my paths; You set a circle and limit around the soles of my feet [which I must not overstep], While I waste away like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.’

Job 13

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

As today’s reading begins we see that Job’s patience for his friends is starting to fade, we start with hearing how all they had discussed about God’s power and wisdom were not beyond Job but were things that he knows and understands because of what he has already seen and experienced. We see how Job then confronts them that he is not inferior to them when it comes to the things of God and how he didn’t like their condescending and unsympathetic words and tone. Job wasn’t put back by the arguments and attacks by his friends in his time of pain and suffering but instead was even more motivated to have an audience with God. Job wants to understand and reason with God what has taken place. Job first speaks out against his friends, the people who were to be his counsel, his advisers, his helpers with the fact that they would have been more helpful and seemed wiser had they not spoken at all aligning to the words from Proverbs which read:

Even a [callous, arrogant] fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips he is regarded as sensible (prudent, discreet) and a man of understanding.

Proverbs 17:28

We see through today’s reading that even in the midst of his pain and his suffering, that Job hadn’t lost his ability to reason and have wisdom. He wants his friends to listen more than they speak in order that they would be able to attend to what he has to say on his own behalf and hear his cries and conviction to God. We see how Job believes that God will reprimand and condemn them for their judgement and motives. We see how he is questioning their true friendship based on how they were treating him during such a low point in his life. We hear how Job is putting his trust in God rather than his friends. We see how just like in a court trial, Job presents his case before he hands it over to God in prayer. We see how in verse 17 he declares it. We see how in verse 18 he brings his cause and his confidence in God for his justification. We see how in verse 19 he speaks to how if he gave up his hope and his faith in God then who would be his salvation? We see how his belief in his own innocence was attached to his faith and if he gave up on one it would be like giving up on the other.

Job was done his rant and reply to his friends and we see how starting in verse 20 that Job starts to express regret or disappointment, to lament and please with God. We hear Job’s cry to God to meet with him in order to end his pain and stop the terror of the experiences he was going through. Job was more concerned with his relationship with God than the pain and suffering and wanted to ensure that his relationship with God, the God he loved and worshiped would be restored.

Today, we have the benefit of the full Bible that includes the New Testament and the hope of Jesus. Without the hope of the saving Jesus and the resurrection, Job still speaks in alignment to what was yet to come when it comes to man dying and buried. We see this in our concluding verse and what is still yet to come. This ailment was eating away at Job’s body like a moth eating away at a piece of clothing.

‘While I waste away like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.’

Job 13:28

The New Testament speaks to us about the end of our time on earth with verses like:

13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the [a]archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom judgment [that is, the authority to act as judges] was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had refused to worship the beast or his image, and had not accepted his mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead [the non-believers] did not come to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 [a]Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) and holy is the person who takes part in the first resurrection; over these the second death [which is eternal separation from God, the lake of fire] has no power or authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with Him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

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

Let’s pray:

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

What will you believe?


Are you working it out your way or God’s way? Are you trying to hear what you want to hear or to actually receive wisdom? Do you want truth or do you want a story? Who can you trust? How can you make sure you are right with God first? How can you confirm it is from God and it is what you are supposed to do? Do you have others who are believers who affirm/confirm it for you? Do you have others who bring conflicting recommendations? Does the recommendation align to God’s Word? What will you believe when you are given a suggestion or recommendation? Who can you trust?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started in 2 Samuel 17:

‘Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.” When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?” “Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are. “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom! Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.” Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there. When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem. Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn. When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb. David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether, an Ishmaelite. His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead. When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”’

2 Samuel 17

‘The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ “Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord , have spoken!’”’

Jeremiah 45

‘The following messages were given to Jeremiah the prophet from the Lord concerning foreign nations. This message concerning Egypt was given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, and his army were defeated beside the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. “Prepare your shields, and advance into battle! Harness the horses, and mount the stallions. Take your positions. Put on your helmets. Sharpen your spears, and prepare your armor. But what do I see? The Egyptian army flees in terror. The bravest of its fighting men run without a backward glance. They are terrorized at every turn,” says the Lord . “The swiftest runners cannot flee; the mightiest warriors cannot escape. By the Euphrates River to the north, they stumble and fall. “Who is this, rising like the Nile at floodtime, overflowing all the land? It is the Egyptian army, overflowing all the land, boasting that it will cover the earth like a flood, destroying cities and their people. Charge, you horses and chariots; attack, you mighty warriors of Egypt! Come, all you allies from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia who are skilled with the shield and bow! For this is the day of the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, a day of vengeance on his enemies. The sword will devour until it is satisfied, yes, until it is drunk with your blood! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will receive a sacrifice today in the north country beside the Euphrates River. “Go up to Gilead to get medicine, O virgin daughter of Egypt! But your many treatments will bring you no healing. The nations have heard of your shame. The earth is filled with your cries of despair. Your mightiest warriors will run into each other and fall down together.” Then the Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah this message about King Nebuchadnezzar’s plans to attack Egypt. “Shout it out in Egypt! Publish it in the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes! Mobilize for battle, for the sword will devour everyone around you. Why have your warriors fallen? They cannot stand, for the Lord has knocked them down. They stumble and fall over each other and say among themselves, ‘Come, let’s go back to our people, to the land of our birth. Let’s get away from the sword of the enemy!’ There they will say, ‘Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is a loudmouth who missed his opportunity!’ “As surely as I live,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “one is coming against Egypt who is as tall as Mount Tabor, or as Mount Carmel by the sea! Pack up! Get ready to leave for exile, you citizens of Egypt! The city of Memphis will be destroyed, without a single inhabitant. Egypt is as sleek as a beautiful heifer, but a horsefly from the north is on its way! Egypt’s mercenaries have become like fattened calves. They, too, will turn and run, for it is a day of great disaster for Egypt, a time of great punishment. Egypt flees, silent as a serpent gliding away. The invading army marches in; they come against her with axes like woodsmen. They will cut down her people like trees,” says the Lord , “for they are more numerous than locusts. Egypt will be humiliated; she will be handed over to people from the north.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes, and all the other gods of Egypt. I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him. I will hand them over to those who want them killed—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the Lord , have spoken! “But do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. For I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children will return from their exile. Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet, and no one will terrorize them. Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” says the Lord . “I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you, but with justice; I cannot let you go unpunished.”’

Jeremiah 46

‘But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.” So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.’

Luke 22:47-62

‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’

2 Timothy 1:1-7

‘O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord , about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men. But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns. Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan. For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams. He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them. He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts. He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet. He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels. He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague. He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt. But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness. He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies. He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them. He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes. But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols. When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel. Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people. He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession. Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs. Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths. Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor. He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame. But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved. There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth. He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.’

Psalms 78

Trust God even when the world feels like it is against you!


God will provide, even when the world is against you. Lean into what God says! Lean into what God directs you to do! Lean into what God has called you to do, no matter what! If God is calling you to step up then step up. If God is calling you to step out then step out. If God is calling you to stand firm then stand firm. Don’t lose hope in doing what God has called you to do and don’t lose focus on His purpose and His plan for your life. God knows the plan He has for you and it is for good and not for evil, it is a plan to give you a hope and a future. When you are getting prompted to do something, confirm it is part of God’s will and then go and do it. When you are hearing direction required to get there pursue it in order to accomplish it. When you hear confirmation from God that it is part of His plan then take hold of it and start moving into it. Even if you aren’t sure the specifics, do what you know how to do! Allow God to guide your steps! Allow God to guide your thoughts! Allow God to guide your plan! Acknowledge God and allow Him to make your path straight!


Today’s reading brings us back to David and his situation starting in 2 Samuel 16:

‘When David had gone a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, was waiting there for him. He had two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a wineskin full of wine. “What are these for?” the king asked Ziba. Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s people to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat. The wine is for those who become exhausted in the wilderness.” “And where is Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson?” the king asked him. “He stayed in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied. “He said, ‘Today I will get back the kingdom of my grandfather Saul.’” “In that case,” the king told Ziba, “I give you everything Mephibosheth owns.” “I bow before you,” Ziba replied. “May I always be pleasing to you, my lord the king.” As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!” “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!” “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?” Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.” So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David. The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River. Meanwhile, Absalom and all the army of Israel arrived at Jerusalem, accompanied by Ahithophel. When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite arrived, he went immediately to see Absalom. “Long live the king!” he exclaimed. “Long live the king!” “Is this the way you treat your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why aren’t you with him?” “I’m here because I belong to the man who is chosen by the Lord and by all the men of Israel,” Hushai replied. “And anyway, why shouldn’t I serve you? Just as I was your father’s adviser, now I will be your adviser!” Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and asked him, “What should I do next?” Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation, and they will throw their support to you.” So they set up a tent on the palace roof where everyone could see it, and Absalom went in and had sex with his father’s concubines. Absalom followed Ahithophel’s advice, just as David had done. For every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God.’

2 Samuel 16

‘This is the message Jeremiah received concerning the Judeans living in northern Egypt in the cities of Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Memphis, and in southern Egypt as well: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: You saw the calamity I brought on Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah. They now lie deserted and in ruins. They provoked my anger with all their wickedness. They burned incense and worshiped other gods—gods that neither they nor you nor any of your ancestors had ever even known. “Again and again I sent my servants, the prophets, to plead with them, ‘Don’t do these horrible things that I hate so much.’ But my people would not listen or turn back from their wicked ways. They kept on burning incense to these gods. And so my fury boiled over and fell like fire on the towns of Judah and into the streets of Jerusalem, and they are still a desolate ruin today. “And now the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, asks you: Why are you destroying yourselves? For not one of you will survive—not a man, woman, or child among you who has come here from Judah, not even the babies in your arms. Why provoke my anger by burning incense to the idols you have made here in Egypt? You will only destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and mockery for all the nations of the earth. Have you forgotten the sins of your ancestors, the sins of the kings and queens of Judah, and the sins you and your wives committed in Judah and Jerusalem? To this very hour you have shown no remorse or reverence. No one has chosen to follow my word and the decrees I gave to you and your ancestors before you. “Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to destroy every one of you! I will take this remnant of Judah—those who were determined to come here and live in Egypt—and I will consume them. They will fall here in Egypt, killed by war and famine. All will die, from the least to the greatest. They will be an object of damnation, horror, cursing, and mockery. I will punish them in Egypt just as I punished them in Jerusalem, by war, famine, and disease. Of that remnant who fled to Egypt, hoping someday to return to Judah, there will be no survivors. Even though they long to return home, only a handful will do so.” Then all the women present and all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to idols—a great crowd of all the Judeans living in northern Egypt and southern Egypt —answered Jeremiah, “We will not listen to your messages from the Lord ! We will do whatever we want. We will burn incense and pour out liquid offerings to the Queen of Heaven just as much as we like—just as we, and our ancestors, and our kings and officials have always done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For in those days we had plenty to eat, and we were well off and had no troubles! But ever since we quit burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and stopped worshiping her with liquid offerings, we have been in great trouble and have been dying from war and famine.” “Besides,” the women added, “do you suppose that we were burning incense and pouring out liquid offerings to the Queen of Heaven, and making cakes marked with her image, without our husbands knowing it and helping us? Of course not!” Then Jeremiah said to all of them, men and women alike, who had given him that answer, “Do you think the Lord did not know that you and your ancestors, your kings and officials, and all the people were burning incense to idols in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? It was because the Lord could no longer bear all the disgusting things you were doing that he made your land an object of cursing—a desolate ruin without inhabitants—as it is today. All these terrible things happened to you because you have burned incense to idols and sinned against the Lord . You have refused to obey him and have not followed his instructions, his decrees, and his laws.” Then Jeremiah said to them all, including the women, “Listen to this message from the Lord , all you citizens of Judah who live in Egypt. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You and your wives have said, “We will keep our promises to burn incense and pour out liquid offerings to the Queen of Heaven,” and you have proved by your actions that you meant it. So go ahead and carry out your promises and vows to her!’ “But listen to this message from the Lord , all you Judeans now living in Egypt: ‘I have sworn by my great name,’ says the Lord , ‘that my name will no longer be spoken by any of the Judeans in the land of Egypt. None of you may invoke my name or use this oath: “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” For I will watch over you to bring you disaster and not good. Everyone from Judah who is now living in Egypt will suffer war and famine until all of you are dead. Only a small number will escape death and return to Judah from Egypt. Then all those who came to Egypt will find out whose words are true—mine or theirs! “‘And this is the proof I give you,’ says the Lord , ‘that all I have threatened will happen to you and that I will punish you here.’ This is what the Lord says: ‘I will turn Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, over to his enemies who want to kill him, just as I turned King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.’”’

Jeremiah 44

‘“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?” “No,” they replied. “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’#22:37 Isa 53:12. Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.” “Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.” “That’s enough,” he said. Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”’

Luke 22:31-46

‘Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to pay attention to what I have written in this brief exhortation. I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released from jail. If he comes here soon, I will bring him with me to see you. Greet all your leaders and all the believers there. The believers from Italy send you their greetings. May God’s grace be with you all.’

Hebrews 13:20-25

‘I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” But then I recall all you have done, O Lord ; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.’

Psalms 77

What are you doing? Don’t you remember?


Consider the words you are using. Why are you using such words? Don’t you remember what was told on how to use your words? Consider your actions. Why are you acting that way? Don’t you remember what was told on how to act? What is your motivation for such things? What is your purpose for such things? What is your reason for such things?

Do you remember the wisdom of Proverbs 18:21?

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

Do you remember the wisdom of James 3:5-6?

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

–James 3:5-6–

What about your actions, do you remember what Matthew 7:1-6 says?

1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

–Matthew 7:1-6–

Do you remember the wisdom of Colossians 3:17?

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father

–Colossians 3:17–

So consider what you are doing. Consider not only the what but the how and the why. Remember to promises and purposes of God. Don’t forget and stray. Draw closer to God and walk out the rest of your life with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, instruct you and comfort you.


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


We need to consider the history we receive and learn from in Judges. We need to take hold of the promises of Jesus through Isaiah. Take hold of the testimony about Jesus and John in Luke. Take hold of God’s grace shared through Paul in 1 Timothy 1. Let’s respond in accordance to the wisdom from Psalms 20.

Is your word good enough?


Do you need to make a vow or is your word good enough? Do you need to sign a contract or is your word good enough? What do you think of when it comes to integrity? What do you think of when it comes to commitment? What do you think of when it comes to truth? Is your word good enough that others can trust you? Is your word good enough that others can depend on you? Is your word good enough that your yes is yes and your no is no? How good is your word? Is your word good enough?

Do you realize that words have power? Do you realize that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path? Do you realize that God’s Word is true! Do you realize that God’s Word is our offensive weapon against the devil? It is like a sword!


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 30.

‘Then Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: A man who makes a vow to the Lord or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do. “If a young woman makes a vow to the Lord or a pledge under oath while she is still living at her father’s home, and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lord will forgive her because her father would not let her fulfill them. “Now suppose a young woman makes a vow or binds herself with an impulsive pledge and later marries. If her husband learns of her vow or pledge and does not object on the day he hears of it, her vows and pledges will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept her vow or impulsive pledge on the day he hears of it, he nullifies her commitments, and the Lord will forgive her. If, however, a woman is a widow or is divorced, she must fulfill all her vows and pledges. “But suppose a woman is married and living in her husband’s home when she makes a vow or binds herself with a pledge. If her husband hears of it and does not object to it, her vow or pledge will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept it on the day he hears of it, her vow or pledge will be nullified, and the Lord will forgive her. So her husband may either confirm or nullify any vows or pledges she makes to deny herself. But if he does not object on the day he hears of it, then he is agreeing to all her vows and pledges. If he waits more than a day and then tries to nullify a vow or pledge, he will be punished for her guilt.” These are the regulations the Lord gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and a young daughter who still lives at home.’

Numbers 30

Today’s reading continues into Hosea 8.

‘“Sound the alarm! The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord , for they have broken my covenant and revolted against my law. Now Israel pleads with me, ‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late. The people of Israel have rejected what is good, and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent, and princes without my approval. By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold, they have brought about their own destruction. “O Samaria, I reject this calf— this idol you have made. My fury burns against you. How long will you be incapable of innocence? This calf you worship, O Israel, was crafted by your own hands! It is not God! Therefore, it must be smashed to bits. “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind. The stalks of grain wither and produce nothing to eat. And even if there is any grain, foreigners will eat it. The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot. Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves— sold themselves to many lovers. But though they have sold themselves to many allies, I will now gather them together for judgment. Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king. “Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning! Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them. The people love to offer sacrifices to me, feasting on the meat, but I do not accept their sacrifices. I will hold my people accountable for their sins, and I will punish them. They will return to Egypt. Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities and will burn up their fortresses.”’

Hosea 8

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 10.

‘“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel. “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.’

Matthew 10:16-33

Today’s reading then takes us into Romans 8.

‘So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.’

Romans 8:1-11

Today is a new beginning with new responsibilities. Today is a new beginning with the need for vision. Today is a new beginning with the need to be not only a good steward but also a good shepherd. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to know how to proceed. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to be sensitive to His prompting and direction. To God there are no surprises and so today I stop to listen to what the Holy Spirit will tell me and walk it out in a way that I hope to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalm 119.

‘Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord . Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord ; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. Don’t let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.’

Psalms 119:1-24

The power of words…


Words have power! We need to choose our words wisely because they will have impact! How will you choose to use words when you need to use them today? They have the power to build up and to tear down! Will you use them to build people up? Will you use them to tear strongholds down? How will you fill up your heart? Will you invite Jesus in to help get things cleaned up? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks so we need to make sure we are filled up with good things in our hearts! Will you try to live a life where your words will glorify God? Why not make today be about speaking the Word of God to encourage one another? Do you realize the power of the words being used by the people around you? Do you ever find people apologizing for words they use in front of you? Do they do it for everyone or just you? Will you challenge and encourage one another in order to strengthen, encourage, and build up one another in love? Consider your words! Consider the impact they could have in the very situation you find yourself! Consider “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Do you realize that sometimes keeping quiet is the right answer? Do you realize that sometimes they are processing something and not really wanting you to solve it for them? Seek wisdom in every situation! Pray without ceasing getting wisdom from the Holy Spirit so that you will know not only what to say but also if you should just stay quiet. There are good and bad words! There are words that build up and words that destroy! There are words to lift up and words that strike down! So we need to be purposeful in the words that we use and choose to speak!


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. — Ephesians 4:29

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. — Proverbs 18:21

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, — Matthew 12:36

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. — Colossians 4:6

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, … — Ephesians 4:11-16

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. — 1 Corinthians 14:26

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. — Proverbs 12:18

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. — James 1:26

Therefore encourage one another with these words. — 1 Thessalonians 4:18

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. — Colossians 3:8

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. — Ephesians 5:4

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. … — 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. — Proverbs 25:11

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. — Proverbs 16:24

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. — Proverbs 10:19

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! — Psalm 141:3

Don’t go it alone! God gave us His Word so that we wouldn’t be without a manual for this life! Turn to God! Turn to His Word for wisdom! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! God’s Word is a love letter from our heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional speaks to words in the following three ways:

  • First, it is used in the sense of our words. The things we say can be good or bad (Proverbs 25:11–20).
  • Second, it is also used in the sense of the Word of God. This is supremely Jesus Christ (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2), but also refers to the Word of God in the Scriptures and in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 4:1–16).
  • Third, the Bible also uses the phrase ‘word of the Lord’ in the sense of prophecy (Jeremiah 42:7). God continues to speak to the church through prophetic messages (1 Timothy 4:14). Of course we need to distinguish the Old Testament prophets, whose ‘words’ were definitely ‘the word of the Lord’ and are now part of Scripture, from prophetic ‘words’ today, which need testing against Scripture.

–from Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017


Words, the Word of God and ‘words’

Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Use your words to good effect … Proverbs 25:11-20
  2. Devote yourself to the Word of God … 1 Timothy 4:1-16
  3. Listen carefully to the ‘words’ of the prophets … Jeremiah 40:7-42:22

Today’s reading comes from God’s Word…

The pendulum of life…


Take a look at history and watch the pendulum swing…

Good

Obedience

Aligned

Right

The pendulum goes back and forth evil

disobedience

misaligned

wrong

Throughout history we watch civilization align with God and then rebel against God. We see people and societies whose predecessors followed God get too comfortable and then take for granted the way things are not realizing the impact of their comfortable lives and then their rebellious behavior will have on the future. We see people get so far away from God that they get to a breaking point where a revival is needed to get things back on track and to a point where people celebrate in the Lord and walk aligned with God and try to get all the brokenness fixed up.

Take a look around you today. Where are you standing? Where is society on the spectrum? Where is it on the path of the pendulum? Will you help it? Which side will it be? How far down the downward spiral would things have to get before you start to look up to God and call out to Him? How far off kilter do things have to get before someone will try to make a change? Things had to get really bad and really dark before revival happened in the past, how much worse do they have to get before you, before society, before the world turns back to God?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day. I thank You Lord that Your plans are good. I thank You Lord that Your ways are better than our ways and your plans are better than our plans. I thank You Lord that through You all things are possible. Even though things may seem bad or seem tough or seem hard, I know I can keep and put my trust in You because with you all things are possible. Nothing is too big for You. Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place between people of different races, I lift this up to You asking for Your spirit of reconciliation to come into the middle of this.Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place within politics, I lift this up to You knowing and trusting in You because nobody is authority except for those You have allowed into those positions to help Your plan come together. Even what the enemy had planned for evil Lord, You can turnaround and use for good. Help us Lord to align with Your will and do what Your plans require. Help us Lord to do what is good and what is right so that Your will and Your plans will happen today. Help us Lord to walk in obedience to Your Word and Your way so that in all we think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory that You so deserve. Help us Lord to live our lives as humble servants so that people will come to the reality of Jesus and be saved. Lord, help us to live selfless lives, putting others first, so that our lives will be living sacrifices to You and living testimonies to the people around us! Lord I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s reading brings us to 2 Kings 21…

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” 9But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10Then the lord said through his servants the prophets: 11“King Manasseh of Judah has done many detestable things. He is even more wicked than the Amorites, who lived in this land before Israel. He has caused the people of Judah to sin with his idols. 12So this is what the lord, the God of Israel, says: I will bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. 13I will judge Jerusalem by the same standard I used for Samaria and the same measure I used for the family of Ahab. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down. 14Then I will reject even the remnant of my own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. 15For they have done great evil in my sight and have angered me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.”
16Manasseh also murdered many innocent people until Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with innocent blood. This was in addition to the sin that he caused the people of Judah to commit, leading them to do evil in the lord’s sight.
17The rest of the events in Manasseh’s reign and everything he did, including the sins he committed, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 18When Manasseh died, he was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. 21He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. 22He abandoned the lord, the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the lord’s ways.
23Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 24But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
25The rest of the events in Amon’s reign and what he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Josiah became the next king.

–from 2 Kings 21

Does it matter if the person is old and does what is wrong vs if the person is young and does wrong? Does it matter what the person’s race or nationality if they are doing what is wrong? Does it matter what the person’s sex is if they are doing what is wrong? No! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s not about their age, their race, their sex, it’s about their character! It’s all about the content of their heart which defines and represents their character!

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” 9But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10The lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11So the lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13And when he prayed, the lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the lord alone is God!
14After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. 15Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. 16Then he restored the altar of the lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the lord, the God of Israel. 17However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the lord their God.
18The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel. 19Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers. It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. 20When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.

–from 2 Chronicles 33

Let’s press on! Let’s not give up! Let’s take hold of the truth in God’s Word! Let’s take hope in the promises of Jesus! In this world we will have troubles but we can take hope because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for they do a work in us that will get us to the point if we will allow it to, to be complete and lacking nothing! God’s got it all in His hands and so we need to lean on Him rather than our own understanding so that He can make our paths straight!

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

1We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.
Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’
I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens
or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west,
or even from the wilderness—
should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges;
he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the lord holds a cup in his hand
that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices.
He pours out the wine in judgment,
and all the wicked must drink it,
draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
but I will increase the power of the godly.”

–from Psalms 75

Let’s trust in God! Trust Him no matter what happens! Like Paul who was in prison but trusted in God, no matter what would happen. Like Daniel and his friends who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace but trusted in God, no matter what happened. Let’s walk in faith believing and trusting in God and His Word! God has a plan and His plan is good! God can make a way even when there isn’t a way! So let’s trust in Him through every challenge, delight, joy, adventure, … we need to walk through knowing that He is working in it for good! For there is no darkness in Him! God is Love! Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 how it reads when we replace Love with God since God = Love and Love = God? Don’t lose hope! Don’t grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to work in and through you no matter the circumstances! Let’s give God the praise and redirect any to Him who is greater!

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

1About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

6The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.

The Death of Herod Agrippa

20Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”
23Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
24Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.

–from Acts 12

So don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Let’s stick to God’s Word! It’s our measuring stick, our source of truth! Let’s lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways let’s acknowledge Him who will make our path straight! Let’s tell the truth! Let’s live with integrity! Let’s be honest in the way we live! Let’s be pointing people to God! Let’s not be focusing on self, but rather let’s be giving it all up to God! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not stop speaking of the great love of Jesus! Let’s not stop speaking of what He has done for us! Let’s be salt and light! Let’s share the love, the grace, and the mercy with the world around us that they too will come to know Jesus and His sacrifice for all of us!

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

–from 2 Corinthians 4

What are you investing in?


Are you investing in something that will last? Are you investing in something that is trustworthy? Are you investing in something that has a good return? Are your investments a sign of good stewardship? Are your investments into things that will last? Are you investments into the right areas?

Investments…what does that mean to you? Time? Money? Effort? People? Property? Stocks? Stuff?

where-will-you-invest-and-spend-effort-time-money

Are you investing in things that will last forever? An example of such an investment is to invest in people – eternal souls. Are you investing in things that will glorify God? An example of such an investment is to be salt and light to the world around you. Another example is to walk in love. Another example is to be sharing the fruits of the spirit. Are you investing in things that will make a difference? Are you building a legacy?

How are you investing your time, energy, and money? 


Today’s reading brings us into Isaiah again which triggered the above questions…ponder them as you read through today’s reading and see what God has to say to you…

No Profit in Casting Idols

1“But now listen, Jacob My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.” 2Thus says Adonai who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Do not fear, Jacob My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5This one will say, ‘I am Adonai’s.’ That one will be called by the name Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘Adonai’s’ and will take the name Israel.”

First and Last

6Thus says Adonai, Israel’s King and his Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am the first, and the last, and there is no God beside Me. 7Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and announce it! Let him arrange it in order for Me— as I established the ancient nation. Let them declare to them what is coming and future events. 8Do not dread or be afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? So you are My witnesses! Is there any God beside Me? Is there any other Rock? I know of none.

Folly of Idols

9Those who fashion idols are empty. Their precious things do not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol for no profit? 11Behold, all his friends will be ashamed, for the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble. Let them stand up. Let them dread. Let them be put to shame together. 12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. Yet when he is hungry, his strength fails. When he drinks no water, he gets tired. 13A carpenter stretches out a line; he marks it with a pencil; he shapes it with planes; he marks it with a compass; he shapes it like the figure of a man —like the beauty of a man— so that it may sit in a shrine. 14He chops down cedars for himself, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine and rain nourishes it. 15Then it is something for a man to burn. so he takes one of them and warms himself. He also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an idol and bows before it. 16He burns half of it in the fire. With this half, he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17Yet with the rest he makes a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships. He even prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” 18They do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. 19No one reflects in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire and I also baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate—and then I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I bow before a block of wood?” 20He is feeding on ashes. A deceived heart has led him astray, so he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Isn’t what is in my right hand a fraud?” 21Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I formed you, you are My servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! 22I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23Sing, O heavens, for Adonai has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it! For Adonai has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified through Israel. 24Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am Adonai, Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens alone, spreading the earth abroad by Myself, 25causing the omens of boasters to fail, making fools of diviners, turning wise men backward and making their knowledge foolish, 26while confirming the word of His servant, fulfilling the counsel of His messengers, saying of Jerusalem, “She will be lived in” and of the cities of Judah, “They will be built, and I will raise up their ruins,” 27while saying to the deep, “Be dry, I will dry up your rivers,” 28while saying of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall fulfill all My purpose” while saying to Jerusalem, “You will be built” and to the Temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

–from Isaiah 44

God knows your name! God knows your every thought! God sees each tear that falls! God hears you when you call! God created you on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So let’s be good stewards of all we have – time, money, effort. Let’s use it to glorify God and point others to Him! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who have yet to meet Jesus! Let’s allow the Spirit to work in and thru us for to glory of God! Let’s be strengthen by the Lord to do the work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s keep our eyes on God and the work He has for us to do today! How will we invest our time? Will it make a difference to the people around us? Will their lives be impacted because we are there?

Cyrus the Anointed

1Thus says Adonai to His anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him, to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates may not be shut. 2I will go before you and make crooked places straight. I will shatter bronze doors and cut through iron bars. 3I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I am Adonai, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by name, I have given you a title of honor, though you have not known Me. 5I am Adonai—there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me, 6so they may know, from the rising to the setting of the sun, that there is no one besides Me. I am Adonai—there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness. I make shalom and create calamity. I, Adonai, do all these things. 8“Rain down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down justice. Let the earth open up, let salvation sprout, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Adonai, have created it.” 9Oy , to one who quarrels with his Maker, like a pot among the pots of the earth! Shall the clay say to the potter, “What have you made?” Or does your work say, “It has no handles”? 10Oy , to him who says to his father, “What have you begotten?” Or to a woman, “What have you born?” 11Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, “Ask Me about the things to come upon My children. Then you will commit to Me the work of My hands. 12I made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and I commanded all their host. 13“I stirred Cyrus up in righteousness and I will level all his roads. He will build My city and set My exiles free, with no price or bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. 14Thus says Adonai: “Egypt’s toil, Ethiopia’s merchandise, and the tall Sabeans will come over to you and be yours. They will walk behind you in chains. They will bow down to you, and pray, saying, ‘Surely God is with you!’ There is none else— no other God!”

Mystery of Creation

15Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16All of them will be ashamed, disgraced— idol-makers go in dishonor together. 17Israel has been saved by Adonai with an everlasting salvation. You will not be put to shame or disgraced, for ever and ever. 18For thus says Adonai— He is God who fashioned the heavens, who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it desolate but formed it to be inhabited— “I am Adonai—there is no other!” 19“I have not spoken in secret, in a place of a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in desolation.’ I, Adonai, speak righteousness, declaring uprightly.”

No Other God and Savior

20“Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! Those who carry their wooden idols have no knowledge, praying to a god who cannot save. 21Declare and present your case, Indeed, let them consult together. Who foretold this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Is it not I, Adonai? There is no other God beside Me —a righteous God and a Savior— there is none besides Me! 22Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God—there is no other. 23By Myself I have sworn— the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and is irrevocable: that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. 24They will say of Me, ‘Only in Adonai is righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25In Adonai all the seed of Israel will be justified and give praise.”

–from Isaiah 45

Ask the Spirit to fill you up. Ask the Spirit to give you divine appointments today. Ask the Spirit to give you words of encouragement, words of instruction, words of direction so that you can invest into everyone God brings across your path today. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the surface. Ask the Spirit to give you ears to be sensitive to what is really going on so that you can hear it. Ask the Spirit to help you be bold and courageous to not only hear what is being said, but to be able to speak the words He gives you to speak as He did with Peter.

The Ruach Fills the Disciples

1When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out. 5Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans? 8How is it that we each hear our own birth language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome 11(both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!” 12And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?” 13Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”

Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd

14But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day! 16But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes. 21And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’ 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed. 24But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it. 25For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope, 27because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay. 32“This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses! 33Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36“Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”

Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.” 40With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” 41So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins

42They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. 43Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries. 44And all who believed were together, having everything in common. 45They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. 46Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.

–from Acts 2

Have you already received Jesus? Have you already asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned back to God? Have you already been baptized in the name of Jesus?

What’s holding you back? It’s worth the investment!

Let’s be looking for the opportunity because God’s Word doesn’t return void and to this very day there are people being saved! How will you be investing into the lives who have received Him? How will you be investing into the lives who are yet to receive Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t lose focus…


We all need that focus point to stay on track! We all need that solid, fixed place to keep us on track! We need something that doesn’t move that we can depend on and rely on for our tracking. Sailors use the north star because they know where it is and how to navigate by it! Hikers and campers and those who like to trek through the woods use a compass to find north to be able to navigate! But when we lose focus, we veer off course! When we get our focus on something else then we tend to turn in that direction rather than staying the course. Even the wisest can sway off track if they lose focus!

How about you? Are you keeping God and His Word in focus? Are you using Him to stay the course? Are you keeping aligned so that you are able to stay on track and get to the goal?

Are there distractions pulling you off course? Are there things getting in the way of you being able to stay focused? Remember the goal! Remember the purpose! Don’t lose focus!


Today’s reading begins in 1 Kings 11…

Decline of Solomon

1Now King Solomon loved so many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites— 2from the nations of whom Adonai had said to the children of Israel: “You shall not associate with them nor they associate with you, for surely they would turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon clung to them for love. 3So he had 700 wives as princesses and 300 concubines—and his women led his heart astray. 4For it came about, as Solomon grew old, that his wives led his heart away after other gods, so that his heart was no longer wholly devoted to Adonai his God, unlike the heart of his father David. 5For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of Adonai and did not fully follow after Adonai, unlike his father David. 7At that time Solomon also built a high place for Chemosh, the detested thing of Moab, on the mountain near Jerusalem, as well as for Molech the detested thing of the children of Ammon. 8Thus he did for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods. 9So Adonai became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from Adonai, the God of Israel—who had appeared to him twice. 10He had commanded him about this, that he should not go after other gods, yet he did not keep what Adonai had commanded. 11So Adonai said to Solomon: “Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes that I commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12Nevertheless, I will not do it in your days for David your father’s sake; but I will tear it away from the hand of your son. 13Yet I will not tear away the whole kingdom, but will give one tribe to your son for My servant David ‘s sake, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” 14Then Adonai raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, of the royal line in Edom. 15Earlier, when David was at war with Edom, Joab, commander of the army, went up to bury the slain, and had struck down every male in Edom. 16Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom. 17But Hadad and some Edomites, servants of his father, had fled to Egypt, while Hadad was a small boy. 18Setting out from Midian they came to Paran and took men from Paran along with them, and went to Egypt—to Pharaoh king of Egypt—who gave him a house, allotted him food and gave him land. 19Then Hadad found great favor in Pharaoh’s eyes, so that he gave him his own sister-in-law, the sister of Queen Tahpenes, as wife. 20The sister of Tahpenes gave birth to his son Genubath. Tahpenes weaned him in Pharaoh’s palace and Genubath remained in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s sons. 21Now when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh: “Let me leave so I may go to my own country.” 22Then Pharaoh replied to him, “What do you lack with me, that all of a sudden, you seek to go back to your own country?” “Nothing,” he answered. “Nevertheless let me go anyway.” 23Then God raised up another adversary against him, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord King Hadad-ezer of Zobah, 24when David killed them. He then gathered men to himself and became the leader of a marauding band that went to Damascus and dwelt there and gained control in Damascus. 25Rezon was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, adding to the trouble that was Hadad. He despised Israel, while he reigned over Aram.

Prophecy to Jeroboam

26Then there was Jeroboam son of Nebat (the name of his mother, a widow, was Zeruah), an Ephraimite of Zereda. Though he was Solomon’s servant, he also raised a hand against the king. 27Now the reason that he raised a hand against the king was this: Solomon built the Millo and closed the breach of the city of his father David. 28Now the man Jeroboam was mighty of strength, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph. 29It was around that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had covered himself in a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the field. 30Then Ahijah seized the new cloak that was on him, tore it into twelve pieces, 31and said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and will give ten tribes to you. 32But he will have one tribe, for My servant David’s sake, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33“‘For they have abandoned Me and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon. They have not walked in My ways, nor done what is right in My eyes, nor kept My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did. 34Nevertheless, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will keep him as a ruler all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, because he kept My mitzvot and My statutes. 35Yet I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and I will give it to you—the ten tribes. 36To his son I will give one tribe so that My servant David may have a lamp every day before Me in Jerusalem, the city that I chose for Myself to put My Name there. 37“So I will take you and you will reign over all that your soul desires—you will be king over Israel. 38Then it will be, if you obey everything I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My eyes, keeping My statutes and My mitzvot as My servant David did, then I will be with you, and will establish for you a lasting dynasty, as I did for David—I will give Israel to you. 39So I will for this afflict David’s seed, but not for all days.” 40Therefore Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam got up and fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt. He remained in Egypt until the death of Solomon. 41Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom—are they not recorded in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? 42So the days of Solomon’s kingship in Jerusalem over all Israel was 40 years. 43Then Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam was king in his place.

–from 1 Kings 11

What is getting your attention? What is catching your eye? Where is your heart being pulled? But do you have a focal point? Do you have a fixed point that you are able to use to stay on track? Don’t lose focus and then lose sight of your purpose! Don’t lose focus and then lose hope for the plans God has for you! Don’t lose focus and miss out on life having meaning and purpose!

Kohelet: the Preacher

1The words of Kohelet , son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2Futile! Futile! says Kohelet. Completely meaningless! Everything is futile! 3What does a person gain in all his labor that he toils under the sun? 4A generation comes, and a generation goes, but the earth remains forever. 5The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to the place it rises. 6The wind goes toward the south, and circles around to the north. Round and round it swirls about, ever returning to its circuits. 7All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they go again. 8All things are wearisome. No one can express them. The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9What has been is what will be, and what has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. 10Is there anything about which is said, “Look! This is new!”? It was already here long ago, in the ages long before us. 11There is no remembrance for former things, and things yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

Search for Meaning in Life

12I, Kohelet, am king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my heart to seek and examine by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a burdensome task God has given the sons of men to keep them occupied. 14I have seen all the deeds done under the sun; and behold, all is meaningless and chasing after the wind. 15What is crooked cannot be made straight. What is missing cannot be counted. 16I spoke with my heart saying: “I have grown rich and increased in wisdom more than any who were before me over Jerusalem. Indeed, my heart has experienced much wisdom and knowledge.” 17So I applied my heart to know wisdom as well as to know madness and folly. I learned that this too was pursuit of the wind. 18For with much wisdom comes much grief, and whoever keeps increasing knowledge, increases heartache.

–from Ecclesiastes 1

When we keep our focus on God, He will keep our path straight! When we keep our relationship with Jesus, He is able to help us know the truth and the truth will set us free! Don’t lose focus! Don’t be distracted! Don’t miss out or forget His true love because you get off track or lose focus on that constant, sturdy, stable, and unmoving point! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! His Word is unchanging! So don’t lose your focal point! Let’s stay on track and within the love of God! Let’s allow it to flow into and through our lives into the world around us that needs it so much! Don’t lose focus!

Yeshua, the Ruach of Truth

1Loved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2You know the Ruach Elohim by this—every spirit that acknowledges that Messiah Yeshua has come in human flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God. This is the spirit of the anti-messiah, which you have heard is coming and now is already in the world. 4You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world, so they speak from the world and the world listens to them. 6We are from God; whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

God’s Life-Giving Spirit of Love

7Loved ones, let us love one another, for love is from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9The love of God was revealed among us by this—that God sent His one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10This is love—not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atonement for our sins. 11Loved ones, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is made perfect in us. 13We know that we abide in Him and He in us by this—because He has given us of His Spirit. 14We have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son as Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim, God abides in him and he abides in God. 16So we have come to know and trust in the love that God has for us. God is love. Now whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

God’s Fulfilling Love

17In this way, love is made perfect among us, so that we should have boldness on the Day of Judgment. For just as He is, so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19We love, because He first loved us.

Love God—Love God’s Family

20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother.

–from 1 John 4

Will you keep focused and be a good steward? Will you keep focused and allow God to work in and through you? Will you keep focused in order to stay on track? Will you be faithful with the little you have? Will you stay focused so that God can trust you with more? Will you keep leaning on Him? Will you keep your hope and your focus on Him? We can only have 1 focus point! We can only have 1 master! So don’t lose focus! Stay on track! It’s more than a play that you act out…God knows your heart! So we need to truly stay focused because He knows our thoughts, our words, our actions! He knows what is in our hearts! We only get one life to live! We only get one life to make a difference for eternity! So how will you use this life you have been given? As the treasure it is? Will you keep your focus on God and then do what He calls you to do?

A Lesson for the Disciples

1Now Yeshua was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a household manager, and this manager was accused of squandering his belongings. 2So he called the manager and said to him, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ 3“Then the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig; I’m ashamed to beg. 4I know what I’ll do, so that when I’m put out of management others will welcome me into their homes.’ 5So he called in each one of his master’s debtors, and he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6“He said, ‘One hundred units of olive oil.’ “The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘Now how much do you owe?’ “He said, ‘A hundred units of wheat.’ “The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’ 8“Now the master praised the crooked manager because he had acted shrewdly, for the sons of this age are smarter when dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9I say to you, make friends for yourselves from the wealth of the world, so when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal shelters. 10“One who is faithful in the smallest matters is also faithful in much, and the one unjust in the smallest matters will likewise be unjust in much. 11So then, if you cannot be trusted with unjust wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12Now if you have not been trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you anything of your own? 13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Pharisees Listen In

14Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and sneering at Yeshua. 15But He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves before the people, but God knows your hearts. For what is prized among men is detestable in God’s sight.” 16“The Torah and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since then, the Good News of the kingdom of God is being proclaimed, and everyone tries forcing his way in. 17But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for a single serif of the Torah to fail. 18Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. And he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery. 19“Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, living it up in luxury every day. 20But a poor man named Lazarus had been laid at his gate, covered with sores 21and longing to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming to lick his sores. 22“It happened that the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. Then the rich man also died and was buried. 23And from Sheol, as he was in torment, he raised his eyes. And he sees Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his side. 24So he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! And send Lazarus so he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, because I am suffering torment in this flame.’ 25“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life you received your good things, even as Lazarus received the bad things. But now he is comforted here, and you are tormented. 26Besides all this, between us and you a great chasm is firmly set, so that those who want to cross over to you cannot, nor can those from there cross over to us. 27“Then the rich man said, ‘I beg you then, Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house! 28For I have five brothers to warn, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29“But Abraham says, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30“But he said, ‘No, Father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31“But Abraham said, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!’”

–from Luke 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much do you need?


How much wisdom? How much grace? How much love? How much effort? How much hope? How much do you need?

Do you realize that God’s grace is enough? Do you realize that God’s love is enough? Do you realize that God will never leave you and never abandon you? Do you realize that when we ask God for wisdom, He will provide it without finding fault?

Know that empty spot that have or had that God was able to fill? It’s on purpose! God has wanted a relationship with you since the day you were born! And you were created to have such a relationship and until you start it there will be that empty spot, a void, something missing! People try to fill it with stuff – different kinds of stuff for different people, but the reality is that to fill that void, the empty spot all it takes is to ask Jesus into your heart!

Have you asked? If not, why not make today your day? Invite Him in, read His Word, and start a relationship that will last for eternity!


Today’s reading starts in the book of Proverbs where Solomon shares wisdom with us…

In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him

1My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my mitzvot.
2For length of days and years of life, and shalom they will add to you.
3Let kindness and truth never leave you— bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will gain favor and a good name in the eyes of God and man.
5Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Adonai and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
9Honor Adonai with your wealth and with the first of your entire harvest.
10Then your barns will be filled with plenty, your vats will overflow with new wine.

Discipline as the Father’s Love

11My son, never despise Adonai’s discipline or dread His correction.
12For Adonai loves those He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.

Precious Pearls, A Tree of Life

13Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.
14For her trade-value is better than silver, and her yield better than fine gold.
15She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares to her.
16Length of days is in her right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are pleasant ways, and all of her paths are shalom.
18She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, and blessed will be all who hold firmly to her.
19By wisdom Adonai founded the earth. By understanding He established the heavens.
20By His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds drip dew.
21My son, hold on to sound wisdom and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.
22They will be life to your soul, and an ornament to grace your neck.
23Then you will walk on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25Have no fear of sudden terror, or of the devastation of the wicked when it comes.
26For Adonai will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
28Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later— I’ll give it tomorrow,” when you have it with you.
29Do not plot evil against your neighbor while he lives trustfully beside you.
30Do not quarrel with a man for no reason —if he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways.
32For the devious are detestable to Adonai, but He takes the upright into His confidence.
33Adonai’s curse is on a wicked house, but He blesses a righteous home.
34Though He scoffs at the scoffers, He gives grace to the humble.
35The wise inherit honor, but fools are held up in disgrace.

–from Proverbs 3 (TLV)

And remember…

A Father’s Lesson: Get Wisdom!

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction. Pay attention, to gain understanding.
2For I give you sound learning— do not forsake my instruction.
3When I was a son to my father, tender and special to my mother,
4he taught me and said to me: “Lay hold of my words in your heart, keep my commands and you will live!
5Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will guard you. Love her, and she will watch over you.
7Wisdom is supreme—acquire wisdom! With all your acquisitions, get understanding.
8Prize her, and she will exalt you. She will honor you when you embrace her.
9She will set a garland of grace on your head. She will give you a crown of glory.”

Ways of Wisdom and Wickedness

10Listen, my son, and accept my words, so the years of your life will be many.
11I instructed you in the way of wisdom. I have guided you along straight paths.
12When you walk, your step will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble.
13Hold on tightly to instruction, do not let it go— guard it, for it is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil people.
15Avoid it—do not travel on it— turn away from it and pass by.
16For they cannot sleep until they do evil. They are robbed of sleep until they make someone fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until the full day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness. They do not know what makes them stumble.
20My son, pay attention to my words— incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.
22For they are life to those who find them and health to their whole body.
23Guard your heart diligently, for from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away perversity from your mouth, and keep devious lips far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly ahead, and fix your gaze straight in front of you.
26 Clear a level path for your feet, so all your ways will be firm.
27Do not turn to the right or to the left. Divert your foot from evil.

–from Proverbs 4 (TLV)

Don’t lose hope because of trial! Don’t lose hope because it isn’t easy! God never said it would be easy, but He did say He would be there to strengthen and encourage you all the way through! So let’s consider it all joy! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s choose to be filled with joy everyday! No need to doubt! No need to fear! Trust in God!

Greetings

1Jacob, a slave of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, To the twelve tribes in the Diaspora: Shalom!

Rejoice in Trials

2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all without hesitation and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
6But let him ask in faith, without any doubting—for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord—
8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9But let the brother in humble circumstances boast in his high position—
10and the rich person in his humble position, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
11For the sun arises with a scorching heat and withers the grass, and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So also the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.
12Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.
13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”—for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He himself tempts no one.
14But each one is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his own desire.
15Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is full grown, it brings forth death.
16Do not be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
18By His will, He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

Quick to Listen, Slow to Anger

19Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger—
20for human anger doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.
21So put away all moral filth and excess of evil and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror—
24for once he looks at himself and goes away, he immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
25But the one who looks intently into the perfect Torah, the Torah that gives freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts—he shall be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone thinks he is religious and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is futile.
27Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

–from James 1

Don’t lose your cool! Be quick to listen and slow to speak! Be quick to listen and slow to anger! Lean not on your own understanding put your hope and trust in God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know what we need? Wisdom!


Every day we are put into situations where we need to make a decision. Every day there is someone asking questions. Every day there is someone wanting an answer. Every day there is a new challenge to face. Every day we need to decide! So what do you do? Where do you turn? How do you know if it’s right or wrong? How do you know the right answer? Do know the absolute truth? Do you seek wisdom? Do you seek discernment? Do you start your day in a way that will bring God’s Word into your life? Do you start your day in a way that fills you with God’s Word? Do you meditate on it daily? Do you wait upon the Lord? Do you listen for the Holy Spirit? What will you need to decide today? How will you know what to do? Do you have godly people in your inner circle that you can ask? Do you know what you need? I know what I need and it is the same thing that Solomon asked for, wisdom! I know what I need and today’s reading gets us started into the book of Proverbs!

The Value of Wise Sayings

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2to acquire wisdom and discipline, to understand the words of insight, 3to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and fairness, 4to give discernment to the naïve, knowledge and discretion to the youth 5(let the wise listen and increase learning and the discerning obtain wise counsel) 6to understand a proverb and a puzzle, the sayings of the wise and their riddles.

The Wisdom of Parents

7The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 9For they are a garland of grace for your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Avoid a Bloodthirsty Gang

10My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in. 11Suppose they say: “Come with us! Let’s lie in wait for blood! Let’s ambush the innocent— for no reason! 12Let’s swallow them alive like Sheol— still healthy, as they go down to the Pit! 13We’ll find all sorts of valuable things, we’ll fill our homes with loot! 14Throw your lot in with us— we’ll all have one wallet.” 15My son, do not go along with them, keep your foot from their path— 16for their feet run to evil and they are swift to shed blood. 17Surely it is useless to spread a net in the eyes of all winged creatures! 18But they lie in wait for their own blood. They ambush their own lives. 19Such is the fate of all gaining by violence. It takes the life of its possessor.

Wisdom Calls, But Who Listens?

20Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in public squares. 21She cries out above the commotion. At the entrances of the city gates, she utters her speech: 22“How long will you naïve ones love simplicity, you scoffers delight in scoffing, and you fools hate knowledge? 23You are repulsed at my rebuke. Behold, I pour out my heart to you. I will make my words known to you. 24Because you refused when I called, and did not pay attention when I stretched out my hand, 25since you ignore all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, 26I in turn will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when dread comes on you, 27when your terror comes like a storm and your calamity sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when trouble and distress overwhelm you! 28Then they will cry out to me, but I will not answer! They will earnestly seek me, but will not find me. 29Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of Adonai, 30they would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof, 31so they will eat the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own schemes. 32For the backsliding of the naïve will kill them and the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33But whoever pays attention to me will live securely, and be free from the fear of evil.”

–from Proverbs 1 (TLV)

Wisdom for parents! Wisdom for kids! We need to be ready to listen! We need to be willing to hear it! We need to be obedient to it! So pay attention to God! Live securely! Live without the fear of evil!

What are you really looking for? What are you wanting? What are you chasing after? Is it something that will last? Is it something that is a temporary fix? Is it something that is a momentary blip? Wouldn’t you rather have knowledge and understanding? Don’t you want to know what is right, just and fair? It’s not found in people, it is found in God! We need God to be able to live it out! We need God to be able to know the truth! We need God to be able to tell if it is for real or not!

Seek Treasures of Wisdom

1My son, if you accept my words and treasure my mitzvot within you, 2making your ear attentive to wisdom, inclining your heart to discernment, 3yes, if you call out for insight, lifting up your voice for discernment, 4if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, 5then you will know the fear of Adonai and discover the knowledge of God. 6For Adonai gives wisdom. Out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. 7He stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to those who walk in integrity. 8He guards the paths of justice, and protects the way of His kedoshim. 9Then you will discern what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11Discretion will watch over you —discernment will guard you— 12to deliver you from the way of evil, from those speaking perverse things, 13who leave the straight paths to walk in ways of darkness, 14who rejoice in doing wrong and delight in the perversity of evil, 15whose paths are crooked and are devious in their ways— 16to deliver you from a seducing woman— a wayward wife with seductive words, 17who forsakes the partner of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God. 18For her house sinks down to death and her tracks to the dead. 19None who go to her return nor reach the paths of life. 20So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21For the upright will dwell in the land and the blameless will remain in it. 22But the wicked will be cut off from the land and the treacherous uprooted from it.

–from Proverbs 2 (TLV)

Let’s choose to live a life that will last! Let’s choose to live a life that will align to God’s wisdom and discernment! Let’s choose to live a life that will follow after God’s plans and purposes! Let’s get on the right road and stick to it, not swaying to the left or the right!

Choose to be with God and not against God! Choose to live for God and not against God! Choose to align with God and not sway to the left or the right! We all get to choose! We all need wisdom! So choose wisely so that you will have a good life on earth and in heaven to come! Would you choose to get to see the next couple generations?

Blessing on Those Who Fear God

1A Song of Ascents. Happy is everyone in awe of Adonai, who walks in His ways, 2for you will eat the labor of your hands. You will be blessed and it will be good for you. 3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house. Your children will be like olive saplings around your table. 4Behold, thus will the man be blessed who fears Adonai. 5May Adonai bless you out of Zion, and may you see Jerusalem in prosperity all the days of your life, 6and may you live to see your children’s children. Shalom be upon Israel!

–from Psalms 128 (TLV)

It’s all about love! Do you love God? Do you love your neighbor? Do you love people? Do you love them like you love yourself? Jesus calls us to a higher calling! He provides wisdom that baffles other people’s mind! We are to not only love those who love us, but also those who persecute and hate us! Jesus wants us to live a life that will raise the bar! Jesus wants us to be raising the bar rather than allowing everything to fall to the  lowest common denominator! We get to choose to be content in every situation! We get to choose to go where God calls us to go! We get to choose to stay where God calls us to stay! We get to choose to trust God because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! We get to choose to find our wisdom from God and not get swayed to the left or the right by society! We get to choose to praise God in every situation, in every place, for He deserves all of our praise! We get to choose to do good and share! We get to choose to live our lives in joy and without groaning!

Brotherly Love in the Community

1Let brotherly love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers—for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember the prisoners as if you were fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you also were suffering bodily. 4Let marriage be held in honor among all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. 5Keep your lifestyle free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. For God Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” 6so that with confidence we say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What will man do to me?” 7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace—not by foods that have not benefited those occupied by them. 10We have an altar from which those serving in the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11For the bodies of those animals—whose blood is brought into the Holies by the kohen gadol as an offering for sin—are burned outside the camp. 12Therefore, to make the people holy through His own blood, Yeshua also suffered outside the gate. 13So let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace. 14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come. 15Through Yeshua then, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name. 16Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as ones who must give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no benefit to you. 18Pray for us, for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19I especially urge you to do this, so that I may be restored to you sooner.

Closing Blessing

20Now may the God of shalom, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Yeshua, 21make you complete in every good thing to do His will, accomplishing in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Messiah Yeshua. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

22But I urge you, brothers and sisters, listen patiently to this word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you in few words. 23Know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, I will visit you with him. 24Greet all your leaders and all the kedoshim—those from Italy greet you. 25Grace be with you all.

–from Hebrews 13 (TLV)

So let’s go around spreading the good news! Let’s be ambassadors of joy! Let’s not only bring it, let’s give it away that others may receive it and be transformed! Let’s make a difference in the lives God brings into our lives so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory He deserves and is rightfully His! Let’s be tilling the soil that it will be ready to receive the seed of hope and love called Jesus! Let’s be planting hope into the soil that there will be an abundant harvest! Let’s be watering those seeds so that they will not die in the ground but will be encouraged daily! Let’s watch them grow as God makes them grow!

Let’s trust God in the storms! Let’s not worry or allow fear to keep us for all that God has planned for us, in us, and through us! God is greater than everything! Nothing is impossible with God! Don’t lose hope if it isn’t happening on your schedule for God’s timing is perfect! He can use it in ways we could never have imagined or even asked for! Trust in Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind! Don’t allow fear or others to rob you from your faith! If you are feeling you are wavering, ask Jesus to help you with your unbelief! Fear Not, Just Believe!

Sowing Good News from Town to Town

1Soon afterward, Yeshua began traveling throughout towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The twelve were also with Him. 2And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities — Miriam, the one called Magdalene, out of whom seven demons had gone; 3Joanna, the wife of Kuza, Herod’s finance minister; Susanna; and many others—were supporting them out of their own resources. 4And when a large crowd was gathering and those from various towns were traveling to Him, He spoke by means of a parable. 5“The sower went out to spread his seed. As he sowed, some fell beside the road and was trampled; and the birds of the air ate it up. 6And other seed fell on rock; when it came up, that seed withered away because it had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8And other seed fell into the good soil; and when it came up, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” While saying these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 9Now His disciples were asking Him what this parable meant. 10Then Yeshua said to them, “To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to the others it is given in parables, in order that ‘Seeing, they may not see, and hearing, they may not understand.’ 11“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12Those beside the road are the ones who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13But those on the rocky places are the ones who, when they hear, accept the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a season, and in a time of testing fall away. 14Now that which fell into the thorns are those who were hearing; but as they go along the way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and they do not bear mature fruit. 15But the seed in the good soil are those with a praiseworthy and good heart, who have heard the word and hold it fast and bear fruit with patient endurance. 16“Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it with some object or places it under a bed. But he puts it on a lampstand so that all those who enter may be able to see the light. 17For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor secret that shall not be known and come into open view. 18So pay attention how you listen. For whoever has, to him more will be given. And whoever does not have, even what he supposes he has will be taken away from him.” 19Yeshua’s mother and brothers came to Him, but were not able to reach Him through the crowd. 20Now it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see You.” 21But answering, He said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who are hearing the word of God and doing it.”

Crossing a Stormy Sea

22Now on one of those days Yeshua and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let’s move to the other side of the lake.” So they set out. 23Then as they were sailing, He fell asleep. A violent windstorm came down on the lake, and they were swamped with water and in danger. 24They came to Yeshua and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re perishing!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging wave of water. Then they stopped, and it became calm. 25Then Yeshua said to them, “Where is your faith?” But they were afraid and marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him!”

Not Welcome in the Gerasenes

26They sailed over to the country of the Gerasenes, which is on the opposite side of the Galilee. 27A demon-plagued man from the town met Yeshua as He was coming out onto the land. The man hadn’t worn any clothing for a long time and was living not in a house but in the tombs. 28Seeing Yeshua, he cried out and fell down before Yeshua, and with a loud voice said, “What’s between You and me, Yeshua, Ben El Elyon? I’m begging You, do not torment me!” 29For Yeshua commanded the defiling spirit to come out of the man. For many times it had seized him so that, even though he was restrained and bound with chains and shackles, he would break the chains and be driven by the demons into the desert. 30Yeshua questioned him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he said, for many demons had entered him. 31They kept begging Him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32Now a large herd of pigs was feeding on the mountain. The demons urged Yeshua to let them enter these pigs, and He gave them permission. 33Then the demons came out of the man and entered into the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and was drowned. 34But when the herdsmen saw what happened, they ran away and reported it in the town and countryside. 35People went out to see what had happened. They came to Yeshua and found the man from whom the demons had gone—clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Yeshua. And they were frightened. 36Now those who had seen it reported how the demon-plagued man had been restored. 37And all the people from the region surrounding the Gerasenes asked Yeshua to go away from them because they were overcome by great fear. So He got into a boat and returned. 38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with Yeshua. But Yeshua sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and describe all that God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Yeshua had done for him.

Interrupted on the Way to a Miracle

40As Yeshua returned, the crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him. 41And here came a man named Jairus, a leader in the synagogue. Falling at Yeshua’s feet, he begged Him to come to his house, 42because his only daughter, about twelve years old, was dying. But as He made His way, the masses were crushing in upon Him. 43And there was a woman with a blood flow for twelve years, who could not be healed by anyone. 44She came up from behind and touched the tzitzit of Yeshua’s garment. Immediately, her blood flow stopped. 45Yeshua said, “Who touched Me?” When everyone denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding You and pressing in!” 46But Yeshua said, “Someone touched Me, for I recognized power going out from Me.” 47Then seeing that she did not escape notice, the woman came trembling and fell prostrate before Him. In the presence of all the people, she confessed why she had touched Him and how she had been healed immediately. 48He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in shalom.” 49While He was still speaking, someone comes from the house of the synagogue leader, saying, “Your daughter has died. Don’t bother the Teacher anymore.” 50But hearing this, Yeshua replied to him, “Do not fear—just keep trusting, and she shall be restored.” 51When Yeshua came into the house, He didn’t let anyone enter with Him except Peter, John, Jacob, and the child’s father and mother. 52And everyone was weeping and lamenting her; but He said, “Don’t weep, for she didn’t die but is sleeping.” 53But they were ridiculing Him, knowing she had died. 54But Yeshua, took her by the hand and called out, saying, “Child, get up!” 55Her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. Yeshua ordered food to be given to her to eat. 56Her parents were utterly astonished, but He ordered them to say nothing of what had happened.

–from Luke 8 (TLV)