Are you listening? Do you hear it? Do you recognize it?


It may start as a still quiet voice so are you listening in order to be able to hear it? Are you listening hard enough to be able to recognize who it is? Ever heard it and tried not to listen or obey? Ever heard and didn’t recognize who it was? Ever listened even though you didn’t recognize? Ever listened when you do recognize?

The still quiet voice is always better to hear and listen to. The loud booming voice to get your attention and back on track with what has been said or repeated as a still quiet voice may be necessary but isn’t always required.

How will you respond? How will you react? How will you obey?


Today’s reading gets started in 1 Samuel 3 where Samuel first hears the voice of God.

‘Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord , your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.” Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” Samuel replied. “What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the Lord ’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.” As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle. And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel.’

1 Samuel 3

‘“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: “‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back? Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around. I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle! Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know the Lord ’s laws. “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the Lord ,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the Lord . Are they so wise after all? I will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers. From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that. They are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them, says the Lord . I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes. Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the Lord , have spoken!’ “Then the people will say, ‘Why should we wait here to die? Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there. For the Lord our God has decreed our destruction and has given us a cup of poison to drink because we sinned against the Lord . We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’ “The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north! The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble. They are coming to devour the land and everything in it— cities and people alike. I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm. They will bite you, and you will die. I, the Lord , have spoken!”’

Jeremiah 8:4-17

‘The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. “If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.’

Luke 10:1-12

‘Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!’

1 Peter 3:8-17

‘As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you— even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?” Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?” Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!’

Psalms 42

Exsultate, Jubilate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”)…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 10])


Do you realize there is a difference between hearing and listening? What is the difference between hearing and listening? One is passive and the other is active. One happens because your ears pick up sound ways and so you hear things. One happens when you are wanting to learn, understand, and relate with someone. Put another way…

So the main difference between hearing and listening is, while hearing only refers to your ears picking up noise, listening means to interpret the noise, understand it and provide an adequate response to it. Listening also uses other sense in order to be receptive to the other person’s body language.

from differencebetween.info

Listen, Understand, Act

So how do you respond to God’s Word? Are you a hearer or listener? Are you a hearer or a doer? Are you a reader or a listener? Are you learning or applying? Are you putting it into your head and heart or are you applying it in every part of your day? Will you listen to God?

Today’s reading is on this subject of listening to God. Let’s take a look at Psalm 81 and learn what we can so that we can take it apply it into our lives today…

Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

1 Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
7 In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
8 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9 There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
16 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

God’s Word isn’t to keep us from God but to ensure we are blessed. God’s Word isn’t to prevent us from having fun but rather to keep us from getting hurt. God’s Word isn’t about holding us away but inviting us into a relationship with God that will last forever. God’s Word isn’t about rules and regulations but more about living in a loving relationship with Him. Do you want to be satisfied? Turn to God and follow His direction and instruction! Do you want to be filled? Turn to God and follow His direction and instruction inviting the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide! Do you want to be saved and rescued for your current situation? Turn to God, invite Jesus into your very situation to be your Lord and Savior! What’s it going to take? How bad does it have to get? How far do you have to go in your own strength and ideas before you will turn back to God? Consider the story of the Lost Son or Prodigal Son – does it have to get that bad? Do you have to waste what you have been given and then realize how you were used and lied to before you will turn back? Do you have to go through the pain on your own or can you learn by listening to the experiences of others? Were you just hearing others explain what they went through like we hear in Charlie Brown when the teacher is speaking? Why not listen instead and understand so that you can avoid having to go through it yourself? Why not be obedient to God’s Word out of reverence and love for God? Why not start your journey by inviting Jesus into your heart? Why not make today be a day of transformation that will be the start of a new life where the Holy Spirit can come in and intersect your life, pointing and directing you in the ways of God? Before I jump into today’s devotional I am feeling like we need to pray together, so let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

Was that your first time praying this? Congratulations! I join the angels in heaven in celebrating and welcoming you into the family of God. Have questions? Feel free to leave a comment so I can correspond with you. Why not look to get plugged into a Bible believing, Bible preaching, Christian church that will help you with the two main things – loving God and loving people and developing your relationships with both.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of its impact on music speaks to us about Mozart. He’s been called one of the greatest classical composers and musicians ever. Even though he only lives a short life to be 35, he made a big impact on the world. He created many sacred music compositions with words from the Bible. We learn that today’s reading from Psalm 81 inspired him to compose “Exsultate, jubilate” (“Rejoice, Be Glad”).

God’s Word has had such incredible impact on the world. God’s Word has such an incredible impact on music. Will you allow God’s Word to impact and transform your life by taking time to listen to what it has to say? Is today going to be your day? Let’s rejoice and be glad in it!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day and for Your Word. This is the day that You have made so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Help me today Lord to view things through the perspective of Your Word and Your will by listening to the wisdom and direction of Your Spirit as I walk out today. Help me Lord to be salt and light into the world around me by being and doing all that Your Spirit directs, instructs, and corrects me. Lord, help me to live out today in a way that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Can you hear it?


Are you making time to stop and be quiet? Are you actively listening? Can you hear that still quiet voice? What would it take for you to listen? What would it take for you to want to hear? What would it take for you to do what you are being told?

When you are called, will you answer? When you are asked, will you answer? When you are directed, will you go?

Can you distinguish between the voices in order to know who is speaking to you? Can you hear that is it is someone you can believe in and trust vs someone who is trying to manipulate or hurt you?

Let’s consider the story of the good shepherd…

1“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

19 When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

–from John 10

Ever heard George Marshall’s formula for being a good listener?

‘Formula for handling people:

  • Listen to the other person’s story
  • Listen to the other person’s full story
  • Listen to the other person’s full story first.’

–from George Marshall

So will you give God your full attention while you read His Word? Will you give God your full attention when you pray in order to hear?

Building a good relationship with others as well as with God requires we become good listeners, can you do it?

 


Listen to God

Day 189: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 81:8-16, Acts of the Apostles 26:24-32, Acts of the Apostles 27:1-12, 2 Kings 16, 2 Kings 17

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/189

  1. Listen to God speak to you through the psalms … Psalm 81:8-16
  2. Listen to God speak to you through the apostles … Acts 26:24-31. 27:1-12
  3. Listen to God speak to you through the prophets … 2 Kings 16-17

Can you hear me now? Are you listening?


What will help you hear? What will help you listen? Is it the words? Is it the body language? Is it the tone? Is it the environment?

Is the environment too loud? Can you hear me now?

Are my words unclear? Can you hear me now?

Does my body language confuse or distract you? Can you hear me now?

Is my tone off? Can you hear me now?

Well, maybe today is the day! Maybe today is the day that everything will align and the words will be heard! Maybe today everything will align in a way that you will be able to hear the message!

It takes two people to have a conversation! They have to be willing to speak and to listen otherwise they are just talking. Are you ready to hear? What if it is something that will change your life forever?

Consider Jeremiah’s words and how they can be relevant today. Consider how you would respond to such a situation. Consider how you would reflect upon the words and live out your life?

12Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. 13Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. 14As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. 15Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”

–from Jeremiah 26

Will you choose today to listen to God’s Word and turn back to Him? Humble yourself and ask for forgiveness? Ask Jesus into your heart and be transformed?

Can you hear me now?

Do you need an example to understand better? God provides a visual for Jeremiah to use too in today’s reading…

The Rekabites

1This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: 2“Go to the Rekabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the house of the Lord and give them wine to drink.”
3So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brothers and all his sons—the whole family of the Rekabites. 4I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the room of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah the man of God. It was next to the room of the officials, which was over that of Maaseiah son of Shallum the doorkeeper. 5Then I set bowls full of wine and some cups before the Rekabites and said to them, “Drink some wine.”
6But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. 7Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.’ 8We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine 9or built houses to live in or had vineyards, fields or crops. 10We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab commanded us. 11But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded this land, we said, ‘Come, we must go to Jerusalem to escape the Babylonian and Aramean armies.’ So we have remained in Jerusalem.”
12Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 13“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. 14‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefatherʼs command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me. 15Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, “Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you have not paid attention or listened to me. 16The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.’
17“Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.’ ”
18Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Rekabites, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.’ 19Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 35

What will it take for you to hear from God and turn back to Him? God’s Word tells us if His people who are called by His name will turn from their wicked ways, humble themselves and pray, He will hear from heaven and heal their land! Don’t we need that right here and right now?

Can you hear me now?

Or would you need it in writing instead of being spoken? So a letter? a blog post? a sign? Or would you reject that even more?

Today’s reading shows how a scroll is used by God through Jeremiah…

Jehoiakim Burns Jeremiahʼs Scroll

1In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. 3Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”
4So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll. 5Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am restricted; I am not allowed to go to the Lordʼs temple. 6So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns. 7Perhaps they will bring their petition before the Lord and will each turn from their wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the Lord are great.”
8Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the Lordʼs temple he read the words of the Lord from the scroll. 9In the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, a time of fasting before the Lord was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah. 10From the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper courtyard at the entrance of the New Gate of the temple, Baruch read to all the people at the Lordʼs temple the words of Jeremiah from the scroll.
11When Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, 12he went down to the secretaryʼs room in the royal palace, where all the officials were sitting: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Akbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13After Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll, 14all the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to say to Baruch, “Bring the scroll from which you have read to the people and come.” So Baruch son of Neriah went to them with the scroll in his hand. 15They said to him, “Sit down, please, and read it to us.”
So Baruch read it to them. 16When they heard all these words, they looked at each other in fear and said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” 17Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, how did you come to write all this? Did Jeremiah dictate it?”
18“Yes,” Baruch replied, “he dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them in ink on the scroll.”
19Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah, go and hide. Donʼt let anyone know where you are.”
20After they put the scroll in the room of Elishama the secretary, they went to the king in the courtyard and reported everything to him. 21The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him. 22It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. 23Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribeʼs knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. 24The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. 25Even though Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them.
27After the king burned the scroll containing the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiahʼs dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 28“Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were on the first scroll, which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned up. 29Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned that scroll and said, “Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and wipe from it both man and beast?” 30Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night. 31I will punish him and his children and his attendants for their wickedness; I will bring on them and those living in Jerusalem and the people of Judah every disaster I pronounced against them, because they have not listened.’ ”
32So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on it all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.

–from Jeremiah 36

Today matters! Today you can make a difference Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! What are you going to do with your today? What are you going to do about what you have heard? What are you going to do about what you have read? Can you hear me now?

What do you think we deserve? What do you think should happen? Do you know what grace is? (the free and unmerited favor of God) Do you know what mercy is? (compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm)

Today you get to decide! Today you get to choose! So choose wisely! Seek wisdom! Seek discernment! And make your stand! Choose wisely!

Godʼs Righteous Judgment

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that Godʼs judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape Godʼs judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that Godʼs kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of Godʼs wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in Godʼs sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God judges peopleʼs secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

The Jews and the Law

17Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24As it is written: “Godʼs name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the lawʼs requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a personʼs praise is not from other people, but from God.

–from Romans 2

 


Today’s reading was from Jeremiah 26, 3536, and Romans 2.

Ever been unheard?


Ever been at a place where you speak and nobody seems to be listening? Ever had a time where your words seems to just echo around the place but nobody seems to hear them? Ever shared your heart and felt unheard? Have you spoken to encourage others but nobody listened? Have you spoken to warn others but nobody heard? What would it take? What will it take? How far do things have to go before they realize the truth from your words?

You are not alone! It’s happened to many over the history of the world and will probably keep happening till the end of times! Are you listening? Are you hearing? Are you doing anything about it? Have you processed it? Are you now acting based on what you have learned?

Take a look around! Consider the warnings! Consider the division! Consider the hopelessness! Consider the fear! Consider the doubt! Consider the bitterness! Consider the fights and arguments! Consider what things are supposed to be! Consider how we are supposed to be acting! Consider where our hearts are supposed to be! Consider when we will all come into alignment with God’s purpose and plan! Consider when we will start to live in LOVE! Consider when we will start to live in unity! Consider when we will start to live lives of encouraging others! Consider when we will start to have faith and trust in God’s Word and start to live in alignment to it! Consider when we will put our trust in God and lean not on our own understanding! Consider when we will no longer doubt or fear because our hope comes from God who sent us Jesus!

What’s it going to take to get our attention? What’s it going to take to get us to respond!

How long will it take to get our attention? How much pain and suffering before we turn back to God and return to the protection of His covering?

Do you want to be on point or held accountable for having pushed people away from God? Do you want to be on point or held accountable for how people are living their lives today? Do you want to be on point or held accountable for what is being said and done?

Turn to Jesus! He is our shepherd and God promises that He won’t lose one from His flock!

Turn to Jesus! He will make it so we don’t have to be afraid nor dismayed!

Jesus is coming back! Jesus came to pave the way for us to have hope beyond our circumstances! Jesus came to pave the way for us to follow after Him! Jesus came to raise the bar on how life is supposed to be lived out! Jesus came to set us back on track! So when He comes back…how will He find you? What will He see of your stewardship? What will He see of your life? Will you get to hear Him say “Well done my good and faithful servant”?

Don’t be swayed by those who preach different from what God’s Word says! Don’t be swayed by those who try to add or remove things from what God’s Word says! It’s not Jesus plus, it’s just Jesus that we need to be saved! Jesus is more than enough! There are some who speak the Word of God from their position of leadership! There are some who twist and contort God’s Word! Don’t be swayed! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Put your trust in God! Compare their words against the fruits? Are they living and producing the fruits of the spirit? You realize that there are no laws against them? They are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

Don’t be illusioned by those who are trying to lead you astray! Don’t be fooled by those who are speaking their own ideas rather than the truths of God! Don’t walk in the stubbornness of your own heart! Take God’s Word at face value rather than trying to fool yourself!

Are you with Him? Are you against Him? You get to choose!

Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you try to go it alone? You get to choose!

Will you spend eternity in heaven? Will you speak eternity apart from God? You get to choose!

Will you choose life and get to live it to the full before it is too late?

Don’t be left behind! Don’t be one who gets forgotten! Don’t be one who chooses to go it alone!

Will you share and spread the Good News in every situation and circumstance? Don’t hold back sharing the love of Jesus with the world around you!

Let’s live our day in faith, believing in God and what Jesus has set into motion!

Let’s live our day in hope, trusting in Jesus who is the savior of the world!

Don’t ignore the truth! Don’t miss out on the truth! Trust in Jesus!

Let’s consider the following from God’s Word against what is taking place in society today…

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth, 19because what can be known about God is plain to them—for God has shown it to them. 20His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made. So people are without excuse—21for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark.
22Claiming to be wise, they became fools. 23They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the form of mortal man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. 24Therefore God gave them over in the evil desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies with one another. 25They traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them up to shameful passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature. 27Likewise the men abandoned natural relations with women and were burning with passion toward one another—men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what is not fitting. 29They became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. 31They are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree—that those who practice such things deserve death—they not only do them but also approve of others who practice the same.

–from Romans 1

Where are you at today? Will you turn back to God and ask for forgiveness? Will you choose to invite Jesus into your heart and life so that you will walk with Him daily through your life? Is today your day? Are you already walking with Him? Are you already talking with Him?

Let’s live today like it matters!


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 23Jeremiah 25, Romans

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you trust what you are standing on?


What do you believe? What is your foundation? What is the basis for your belief? Is it solid? Is it dependable? Is it reliable? Can you trust it? Can it hold you up? Can you align to it? Are you able to walk out life because of it? Are you able to know how to live because of it? Are you able to get answers? Are you able to find hope? Are you expectant of what is yet to come? Does it set a standard that is high? Does it raise the bar? Are you able to call out? Are you able to know that the best is yet to come for you?

Is your foundation Jesus Christ? Is your cornerstone Jesus Christ?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Trust the Rock of Ages

1In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city. He appoints salvation as its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter— one that keeps faith. 3You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in Adonai forever, for the Lord Adonai is a Rock of ages. 5For He humbles those dwelling on high, leveling the lofty city, leveling it to the ground, bringing it down to the dust. 6Feet will trample it down, feet of the afflicted, the footsteps of the poor. 7The way of the righteous is straight. Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous. 8Yes, in the way of Your judgments, Adonai, we have waited for You. Your Name and Your remembrance is the desire of our soul. 9My soul longs for You at night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness. Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly, not perceiving the majesty of Adonai. 11Adonai, Your hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it; They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame. Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.

Your Dead Will Live!

12Adonai, You will establish shalom for us, for all our works You have done for us. 13Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us, but we remember Your Name alone. 14The dead do not live— dead souls do not rise. Thus You punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them. 15You have increased the nation, Adonai, You have increased the nation. You are glorified as You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16Adonai, they sought You in distress, they poured out a whispered prayer when Your discipline was upon them. 17As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were before You, Adonai. 18We have been with child, we have been in pain, yet we gave birth to wind. We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth, nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life. 19Yet it will be: “Your dead will live! My corpses will rise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust! Your dew is like the dew of the dawn. The land of dead souls will come to life! 20Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until the wrath is past. 21For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed, no longer covering up her slain.

–from Isaiah 26

Who do you depend on? Who do you rely on? Who are you leaning on? Are you leaning on God rather than your own understanding? Is your hope and trust in God? Is God your strength? Do you realize that in your weakness God will be your strength? Jesus is coming back! God’s plan is one of redemption for those who choose to follow Him! God’s plan is one of forgiveness for those who choose to follow Him! Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you invite Him into your heart?

Leviathan the Dragon

1In that day Adonai will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent with His fierce, great, strong sword, Leviathan the twisted serpent! He will slay the dragon in the sea.

Second Song of the Vineyard

2“In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of delight!’ 3I, Adonai, watch over it, I water it every moment. I guard it day and night, so that no one may harm it. 4It is not that I have wrath. Who would give me thorns and thistles? Into battle I would march against them! I would burn them up altogether! 5Rather let them rely on My strength. Let them make peace with Me— make peace with Me.”

Israel Will Blossom Again

6In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7Did He strike Israel as He struck those who struck them? Or were they slain as their slayers were slain? 8You contended with her by banishing her, by driving her away. With His fierce wind He expelled them on the day of the east wind. 9So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned and this the full price to remove his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like shattered chalk stones, so that the Asherah poles and incense rise no more. 10The fortified city is a lonely habitation, forlorn and forsaken like the desert. There the calf will graze, there lie down and consume its branches. 11When the boughs are withered, they will be broken off. Women come and set them on fire, for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—He who formed them will give them no grace. 12It will come about in that day, Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael. 13It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 27

Do you realize the importance of the cornerstone in building up? It ensures that everything is aligned! It ensures everything is in its right place! It ensure that you can build up in strength on that solid foundation! Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb! He came as the sacrificial lamb to give His all that we might be saved! He came as the lamb who showed us how to live a servant’s life! He came to be an example for us to follow! He is coming back as the Lion to finish things off! He will come back to complete the work! He has already won the battle against death! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation so that the new heaven and the new earth will come! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation and we will all live together in harmony with Him!

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God?

Will you choose to align with Jesus? Will you let Jesus be your solid foundation? Will you listen to His instruction? Will you align to His way? Will you live a transformed life?

A Cornerstone of Zion

1Oy , the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks! Its glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is at the head of the fertile valleys of those overcome with wine! 2Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty, like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a downpour of overflowing water, He hurls it down to earth with His hand. 3The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks will be trampled underfoot. 4The glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the fertile valley, like a first-ripe fig before summer— whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm. 5In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot will be a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, 6a spirit of judgment for him who sits on the judgment seat, and strength for those turning back the battle at the gate. 7But these also reel from wine and stagger from strong drink —the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink— are confused because of wine, they stagger because of strong drink, they are muddled in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit, no place is left. 9To whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? 10For it must be ‘precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ 11For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary, here is repose”— but they would not listen. 13So the word of Adonai is to them ‘precept on precept, precept on precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ So they walk, and fall backward, and are broken, trapped, and captured. 14Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem: 15“Because you have said, ‘We cut a covenant with death, we made a pact with Sheol, so when the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come for us, for we have made lies our refuge, and hid ourselves in falsehood’— 16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation— whoever trusts will not flee in haste. 17But I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death is annulled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand. An overflowing scourge will pass through and you will be its trampling place. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—morning by morning, by day and by night passing through. It will be sheer terror to understand the message.’” 20For too short is the bed to stretch on, too narrow the blanket to wrap up in. 21For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His deed, His strange deed, and to work His work, His extraordinary work. 22So now, stop your scoffing, lest your shackles be strengthened! For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot of destruction determined upon the whole land. 23Give ear and hear my voice! Pay attention and hear my words. 24Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed? Does he continually break open and harrow his ground? 25No! When he has leveled its surface, he scatters dill and sows cumin, plants wheat in rows, places barley, and rye on its border. 26For his God teaches him judgment, instructing him. 27For dill is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. 28Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly. Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it would only crush it to powder. 29This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot: Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.

–from Isaiah 28

So will you stop to listen? Will you actively listen to what God is saying to you? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you set it as your foundation? Will you align to the cornerstone? Will you build your life up upon it? Will you be different? Will you live different from the ways of the world? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

Will you follow after Jesus? Will you obey His command? Will you live the life of a servant? When you lead will you lead as a servant? When you work will you work as a servant? When you go, will you go as a servant? Will you stand firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ? Will you choose to believe? Will you choose to obey? Will you choose to serve and be Jesus’ hands extended to the world around you?

Will you walk in the light? Will you be like the moon who we see because it reflects the light of the sun? Will you reflect the light of the Son to the world around you?

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.

–from John 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are you listening to?


Are you listening or hearing? Are you listening and acting on it? Are you listening to someone who is out for your best interest? Are you listening to someone who is out for their own best interest? What have you learned from listening? What have you experienced through listening? Are they a good advisor? Are they a good teacher? Are they worth listening to? Are they teaching you good or evil? Are they speaking truth in love? Consider the source and their motives! Choose your counselors well! Having the wrong ones can lead to your downfall! So who are you listening to?


Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles 22…

Ahaziah Falls with Ahab

1Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place for the troops that invaded the camp with the Arabians had slain all the older ones. Thus Ahaziah the son of Jehoram became king over Judah. 2Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. 3He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab for his mother counseled him to do evil. 4He did evil in the sight of Adonai, like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after his father’s death—to his destruction. 5He also followed their counsel when he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram, 6so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought Hazael king of Aram. Then Azariah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded. 7Now through his coming to Joram, God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall. Upon his arrival, Ahaziah went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Adonai had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. 8So it came to pass that when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, he came upon the officers of Judah and Azaiah’s relatives, who had been attending Azaiah, and slew them. 9He then searched for Azaiah who was caught hiding in Samaria. Then they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him, for they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Adonai with all his heart.” Then there was no one in the house of Azaiah to hold power over the kingdom.

Athaliah and Joash

10Now when Athaliah, Azaiah’s mother, saw that her son had died, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11But Jehoshebeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the son of Azaiah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedroom. Because Jehoshebaeath, daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the kohen, was the sister of Azaiah, she could hide him from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 12He remained hidden with them in the House of God for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

–from 2 Chronicles 22

With godly counselors we can get wise advice! With godly counselors we can learn and receive direction! With godly counselors we can find truth and hope in love! So choose wisely your counselors and advisors!

1Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself and brought the officers of hundreds—Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri—into a covenant with him. 2They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and the leading patriarchs of Israel. They came to Jerusalem 3and the entire congregation made a covenant with the king in the House of God. Then he said to them: “Behold, the king’s son! He must reign as Adonai promised concerning David’s sons. 4This is what you should do: a third of you, kohanim and Levites coming on duty on Shabbat will keep watch at the gates, 5a third of you shall be in the royal palace, and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the people shall be in the courtyard, and all the people should be in the courtyard of the House of Adonai. 6But let no one enter into the House of Adonai except the kohanim and the ministering Levites. They may come in, for they are kadosh, and let all the people observe the service of Adonai. 7The Levites will surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand, and whoever enters the House, let him be killed. Stay close to the king in his comings and goings.” 8So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the kohen commanded. Each took his men, those that were on duty on Shabbat and those who went off duty on Shabbat, for Jehoiada the kohen had not dismissed any of the divisions. 9And Jehoiada the kohen delivered to the officers of hundreds King David’s spears, shields and bucklers that were in the House of God. 10Then he stationed all the people, each man with his weapon in his hand around the king—from the south side of the House to the north side of the House by the altar and by the House. 11Then they brought out the king’s son and placed upon him the crown and the insignia. They proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and declared, “Long live the king!” 12When Athaliah heard the shouting of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people to the House of Adonai. 13She looked, and behold, the king was standing by his pillar at the entrance and the officers and the trumpeters were beside the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing the trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments were leading the praise. So Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason, treason!” 14Jehoiada the kohen brought out the officers of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out from between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the kohanim said, “Do not put her to death in the House of Adonai.” 15So they seized her as she arrived at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the royal palace and killed her there. 16Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people and the king to be the people of Adonai. 17All the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, smashed its altars and images into pieces, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. 18Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the House of Adonai under the authority of the Levitical kohanim, whom David had assigned over the House of Adonai to offer the burnt offerings of Adonai, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, accompanied by rejoicing and singing as ordered by David. 19He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the House of Adonai so that no one who was ritually impure for any reason could enter. 20He took the officers of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the House of Adonai. They came through the upper gate of the royal house and seated the king upon the royal throne, 21and all the people of the land rejoiced. The city was quiet for Athaliah had been slain with the sword.

–from 2 Chronicles 23

Turn to God! Listen and hear His Words! Obey Him! He speaks truth in love! Don’t lose hope for He knows what you are going through! Give it all up to Him! Trust Him! Allow your faith to be built up! Glorify Him in the way you live life!

Scorn and Disgrace, Gall and Vinegar

1For the music director, on “Lilies,” of David. 2Save me, O God, for the waters have reached my soul. 3I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing, I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me. 4I am worn out by my crying, my throat is parched, my eyes fail, waiting for my God. 5Those who hate me without a cause outnumber the hairs of my head. Powerful are my enemies who would destroy me with lies. What I did not steal, must I restore? 6O God, You know my folly, nor are my trespasses hidden from You. 7May those who hope in You not be ashamed because of me, my Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot. May those who seek You not be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel. 8For I have endured scorn for Your sake. Disgrace has covered my face. 9I have become a stranger to my brothers, a foreigner to my mother’s children. 10For zeal for Your House consumed me— the insults of those who insulted You have fallen on me. 11When I wept and fasted— that became a reproach to me. 12When I put on sackcloth, I became a joke to them. 13Those who sit at the gate chatter about me, and I am the song of the drunkards. 14But as for me, my prayer to You, Adonai, is for a time of favor. O God, in Your great love, answer me with the truth of Your salvation. 15Deliver me from the mire— do not let me sink. Deliver me from those who hate me, out of the deep waters. 16Do not let floodwaters sweep over me, nor the deep swallow me up, nor the Pit shut its mouth over me. 17Answer me, Adonai, for good is Your mercy. With Your great compassion, turn to me. 18Hide not Your face from Your servant. For I am in distress—answer me quickly. 19Draw near to my soul and redeem it. Ransom me because of my foes. 20You know my reproach, my shame, my disgrace. All my adversaries are before You. 21Scorn has broken my heart, so I am sick. I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but found none. 22They put gall in my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 23Let their table before them be a snare, and what should have been for their well-being, let it be a trap. 24Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see and their backs be bent forever. 25Pour out Your indignation on them. Let Your fierce anger overtake them. 26Let their encampment be deserted. Let none dwell in their tents. 27For they persecute the one You have smitten, so they tell of the pain of those You have wounded. 28Add guilt to their guilt—may they not come into Your righteousness. 29May they be wiped out of the book of life and not be recorded with the righteous. 30But I—I am afflicted and in pain. Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. 31I will praise God’s Name with a song, and magnify Him with praise. 32It will please Adonai better than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 33The humble will see it and be glad. You who seek God, let your hearts revive. 34For Adonai hears the needy and does not despise His captive people. 35Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything moving in them. 36For God will save Zion, and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then they will dwell there and possess it. 37The children of His servants will inherit it and those who love His Name will dwell there.

–from Psalms 69

In this world we will have troubles, but take hope for Jesus has overcome the world! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because in and thru it all you will come out the other side complete and lacking nothing – endure!

We all have choices. We need to choose the right one before it is too late! Sure we will have troubles (not might but will), however, we don’t need to be making decisions that will make it worse! We need to be prepared! We need to choose to be a part of God’s family! We need to choose to be with God rather than apart from Him! We need to ask Jesus into our lives and follow after Him! God is a god of second chances, how many second chances do you need? How many second change will you take? Will you keep trying to align with God’s Word and God’s will? None of us are perfect! Jesus came and paid the price once for all, we have to make the choice to receive that gift from God! Choose it before it is too late!

The First Resurrection

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a great chain. 2He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan—and bound him for a thousand years. 3He also threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short while. 4Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, nor had they received his mark on their forehead or on their hand. And they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

Judgment After 1000 Years

7When the thousand years has ended, satan shall be released from his prison, 8and he shall come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the kedoshim and the beloved city—but fire fell from heaven and consumed them. 10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they shall be tortured day and night forever and ever. 11Then I saw a great white throne, and the One seated on it. The earth and heaven fled from His presence, but no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead—the great and the small—standing before the throne. The books were opened, and another book was opened—the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what was written in the books, according to their deeds. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. Then they were each judged, each one of them, according to their deeds. 14Then death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. 15And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

–from The Revelation 20

We will all rise again! But then where will you go? That will be based on your choice! Did you choose Jesus or not? So choose wisely! And hopefully you will choose Jesus quickly! And spend eternity with God rather than apart from God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t give up! God hears your prayers!


He knows your name! He knows your every thought! He sees each tear that falls! He hears you when you call! It may be hard! It may seem impossible! But nothing is impossible with God! So don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Give it up to God for He hears your prayers and He knows your heart!

What are you in need of? What is the desire of your heart? What is your priority?

Today’s readings takes a look at someone who was in need and gave that need up to God…

A Barren Woman’s Petition is Granted

1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim—his name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3Now this man used to go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to Adonai-Tzva’ot in Shiloh. (The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were kohanim of Adonai there.) 4Then on the designated day Elkanah would sacrifice and give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, 5but to Hannah he would give only one portion—even though he loved Hannah—for Adonai had closed her womb. 6Her rival would taunt her bitterly to provoke her, because Adonai had closed her womb. 7So it was year after year, whenever she went up to the House of Adonai, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8Then her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why is your heart so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9After eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah got up. Now Eli the kohen was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the Temple of Adonai. 10While her soul was bitter, she prayed to Adonai and wept. 11So she made a vow and said, “Adonai-Tzva’ot, if You will indeed look upon the affliction of Your handmaid, remember me and not forget Your handmaid, but grant Your handmaid a son, then I will give him to Adonai all the days of his life and no razor will ever touch his head.” 12It came to pass, as she prayed long before Adonai, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13Now Hannah was praying in her heart—only her lips were moving, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Get rid of your wine!” 15But in response Hannah said, “No, my lord, I am a woman with an oppressed spirit! I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. Instead I’ve been pouring out my soul before Adonai. 16Don’t consider your handmaid a wicked woman. For out of my great anguish and grief I’ve been praying until now.” 17Then Eli responded, “Go in shalom, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you asked of Him.” 18“May your maidservant find favor in your eyes,” she said. So the woman went her way; she ate, and her countenance was no longer dejected. 19They rose up early in the morning and worshipped before Adonai, then went back to their home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and Adonai remembered her. 20So it came to pass at the turn of the year that Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She called his name Samuel, “because I have asked Adonai for him.” 21When the man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer the annual sacrifice to Adonai and to fulfill his vow offering, 22Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, I will bring him, so he may appear before Adonai and stay there forever.” 23So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him—only may Adonai establish His word.” So the woman stayed home and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour and a jar of wine, and brought him to the House of Adonai in Shiloh, while the child was still young. 25After they slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26“It’s me, my lord!” she said. “As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to Adonai. 27For this boy I prayed, and Adonai has granted me my petition that I asked of Him. 28So I in turn dedicate him to Adonai—as long as he lives he is dedicated to Adonai.” Then he bowed in worship there before Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 1

Live in joy! Live in peace! Live believing and trusting in God! Praise Him and worship Him for what He is doing, has done and is going to do in and through your life! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to guide your every step! All things are possible for those who believe! Put your trust in God! Do you hear that still quiet voice? Are you obedient to the Spirit’s call? You don’t want to hear the loud booming voice, so allow God to be with you and guide your every step, your every thought, your every word and your every action!

Hannah’s Prayer of Exultation

1Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in Adonai, my horn is lifted high in Adonai. I smile wide over my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation. 2There is none holy as Adonai, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Boast no more so proudly— insolence comes out of your mouth. For Adonai is the all-knowing God, and by Him deeds are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the stumbling are girded with strength. 5Those full hire themselves for bread, but those starving hunger no more. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she with many sons languishes. 6Adonai causes death and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7Adonai makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and also lifts up. 8He raises the helpless from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with nobles, granting them a seat of honor. For the earth’s pillars are Adonai’s, and He has set the world on them. 9He guards the steps of His godly ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness. For one does not prevail by might. 10Those who oppose Adonai will be shattered. He thunders against them in heaven. He judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one.”

Eli’s Sons Sin Against Adonai

11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy served Adonai before Eli the kohen. 12Now Eli’s sons were worthless men; they did not acknowledge Adonai. 13Now this was the custom of the kohanim with the people: whenever any man offered a sacrifice, the kohen’s servant would come along, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the kohen would take for himself. This is how they dealt with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15Even before they burned the fat, the kohen’s servant would come and say to the one offering sacrifice, “Give the kohen meat for roasting, since he will not accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16If the man said to him, “Let them first burn the fat up as smoke, and then take as much as you desire,” he would reply, “No! But you must give it now—otherwise, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Adonai, for the men despised the offering of Adonai. 18But Samuel was ministering before Adonai, as a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May Adonai give you offspring from this woman instead of the one she requested from Adonai.” Then they would return to their place. 21So Adonai visited Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew before Adonai. 22Now Eli had grown very old. He heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how they slept with the women who served at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear evil reports from all these people concerning you. 24No, my sons! For this is not a good report that I hear Adonai’s people spreading around. 25If a man sins against another, God may pardon him; but if a man sins against Adonai, who will intercede for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because Adonai desired to put them to death. 26Meanwhile, the child Samuel kept growing and increasing in favor both with Adonai and also with men. 27Now there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Did I not reveal Myself clearly to the house of your father when they were in Egypt belonging to Pharaoh’s palace? 28Also did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My kohanim, to officiate at My altar, to burn incense and to wear an ephod before Me? Did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of Bnei-Yisrael? 29Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest of every offering of Israel My people? 30Therefore Adonai God of Israel declares, I indeed said that your house and your father’s house should walk before Me forever. But now declares Adonai, far be it from Me! For I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disdained. 31Behold, the days are coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your household will reach old age. 32Moreover, you will behold the distress of My dwelling, despite all that is good that has been done to Israel. So no one in your household will reach old age, forever. 33Any man of yours that I did not cut off from My altar would make your eyes weep and your soul grieve. So all the increase of your household will die as young men. 34Now this will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—on the same day both of them will die. 35“Yet I will raise up for Myself a faithful kohen who will do according to what is in My heart and My mind. Then I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one all the time. 36Anyone left in your household will come and bow low to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say: ‘Please, assign me to one of the priestly offices so that I may eat a morsel of bread.’”

–from 1 Samuel 2

So what will you do when you are called? How will you respond to the calling? God created you on purpose for a purpose! God has a plan for you and God’s plan is good! Have you experience God yet? Have you heard Him speak to you? Do you know what to do if you did? Don’t ignore Him! Don’t come up with excuses! Don’t delay till you hear the big booming voice! Go for it! Do not miss it!

Calling of Samuel

1Now the boy Samuel was in the service of Adonai under Eli. In those days the word of Adonai was rare—there were no visions breaking through. 2One day, Eli was lying down in his place—now his eyes had grown dim so that he could not see, 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down in Adonai’s Temple, where the ark of God was. 4Then Adonai called, “Samuel!” So he answered, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he replied, “I didn’t call—go back to sleep.” So he went back and lay down. 6Then Adonai called Samuel yet again. So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I didn’t call, my son—go back to sleep.” 7Now Samuel had not experienced Adonai yet, since the word of Adonai had not yet been revealed to him. 8Adonai called Samuel again for the third time. So he got up and went to Eli, and said “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that Adonai was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel, “Go back to sleep, and if He calls you, say: ‘Speak, Adonai, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back and lay down in his place. 10Then Adonai came and stood and called as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone that hears it will tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity that he knew about, because his sons brought a curse on themselves yet he did not rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.” 15Then Samuel lay down until the morning, when he opened the doors of the House of Adonai. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” he replied. 17“What is the word that He has spoken to you?” he said. “Please don’t hide it from me. May God do so to you and even more if you hide anything at all from me that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing. Then Eli said, “He is Adonai. May He do what is good in His eyes.” 19So Samuel grew up and Adonai was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was entrusted as a prophet of Adonai. 21Adonai started to appear once more in Shiloh, for Adonai revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Adonai.

–from 1 Samuel 3

In the old days God’s Spirit would fall on specific people, at specific times, for specific purposes! In the new Testament times, the Spirit is available to be with us as our comforter and our guide! He is available to be with us, never leaving us and never abandoning us! Will you receive the Spirit in your life? Will you live a Spirit filled life? Will you walk in the calling of God and navigate by the Spirit of truth? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! God is always available and always there! Will we choose to walk with Him rather than walk away from Him? Will you do what He asks? Will you walk in His ways? Will you accomplish His call on your life? Will you stick to it and complete the work He has given you to do? Will you point people to Jesus? Will they see Jesus in and through your life? Will you be Jesus with skin on to those God brings into your life?Will you be available to do what God is asking and calling you to do? Will you demonstrate servanthood? Will you demonstrate obedience? Will you demonstrate faith? Will you demonstrate walking in the power of the Spirit? Will you be a living sacrifice that is pleasing to God?

John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders

1In those days, John the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” 3For he is the one Isaiah the prophet spoke about, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4Now John wore clothing from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance; 9and do not think that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! For I tell you that from these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire! 11“As for me, I immerse you in water for repentance. But the One coming after me is mightier than I am; I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He shall clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He shall burn up with inextinguishable fire.”

The Heavens Open at Yeshua’s Mikveh

13Then Yeshua came from the Galilee to John, to be immersed by him in the Jordan. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be immersed by You, and You are coming to me?” 15But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him. 16After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

–from Matthew 3

 

 

Would you do it, even if it doesn’t make sense to you?


What if the way to win came in a way you didn’t understand? Would you still do it?

What if the instructions or directions on how to achieve victory seemed strange or different? Would you still try it?

What if the tools and the method were so far from how you would normally attempt such a feat? Would you believe enough to give it a try?

Today’s reading jumps right into just such an event. So God gives instructions on what to do, how to do it His way, very different than any other battle I am sure any of them had done. How would you respond? Let’s check out how it plays out for them…

1Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of Bnei-Yisrael—no one going out and no one coming in. 2Then Adonai said to Joshua, “Look, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty warriors. 3Now you are to march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. So you are to do for six days. 4Seven kohanim will carry seven shofarot of rams’ horns before the ark. Then on the seventh day you are to circle the city seven times while the kohanim blow the shofarot. 5It will be when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the shofar, have all the people shout a loud shout—then the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up, everyone straight ahead.” 6So Joshua son of Nun summoned the kohanim and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant. Let seven kohanim carry seven shofarot of rams’ horns before the ark of Adonai.” 7Then he said to the people, “Move forward, march around the city, and let the armed force march ahead of the ark of Adonai.” 8And it was so. After Joshua had spoken to the people, seven kohanim carrying the seven shofarot of rams’ horns before Adonai went forward and blew the shofarot, and the ark of the covenant of Adonai followed them. 9Also the armed force went before the kohanim who blew the shofarot, and the rear guard came behind the ark, while the shofarot continued to blow. 10But Joshua ordered the people saying: “You must not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you ‘shout!’ Then you will shout.” 11So he had the ark of Adonai go around the city, circling it once. Then they came into the camp and spent the night there. 12The next day Joshua rose early in the morning. The kohanim took up the ark of Adonai, 13and the seven kohanim carrying the seven shofarot of rams’ horns marched in front of the ark of Adonai and blew the shofarot, with the armed force marching before them and the rear guard marching behind the ark of Adonai, while the shofarot continued to blow. 14So the second day they circled the city once and returned to the camp. So they did for six days.

–from Joshua 6

What are you thinking? What would you be thinking in the midst of it all? What about the other people who are watching you? Will you stick with it? Will you do it God’s way? Let’s watch what happens…

Jericho’s Walls Come Down

15Now on the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same way seven times. Only on that day did they march around the city seven times. 16Then on the seventh time, when the kohanim blew the shofarot, Joshua ordered the people, “Shout! For Adonai has given you the city! 17But the city will be under the ban of destruction—it and all that is in it belong to Adonai. Only Rahab the harlot will live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the scouts that we sent. 18But you, just keep yourselves from the things under the ban. Otherwise you would make yourselves accursed by taking of the things under the ban, and so you would make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19All the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron are holy to Adonai, and must go into the treasury of Adonai.” 20So when the shofarot blew, the people shouted. When the people heard the sound of the shofar, the people shouted a loud shout—and the wall fell down flat! So the people went up into the city, everyone straight ahead, and they captured the city. 21They utterly destroyed everything in the city—man and woman, young and old, ox, sheep and donkey—with the edge of the sword. 22Then Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land: “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her relatives and all who belonged to her. All her relatives they brought out and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24Then they burned the city with fire and all that was in it. Only the silver, the gold and the vessels of bronze and iron did they put into the treasury of the House of Adonai. 25But Rahab the harlot, her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared. She has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the scouts whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 26At that time Joshua made an oath saying: “Cursed before Adonai is the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho! On his firstborn he will lay its foundation, and on his youngest son he will set up its gates.” 27So Adonai was with Joshua, and his fame was throughout the region.

–from Joshua 6

Wow! Imagine the reality of what just happened! Would you consider tweaking any of the instructions? How you were to proceed or complete the plan? Would you say “He got us this far, let’s finish it His way?” Would you risk making a change or adjustment to the plan? Would you really want to be that guy who wanted to go his way rather than God’s way? Will you trust God? Will you trust Him completely?

Achan’s Trouble

1But Bnei-Yisrael unfaithfully violated the ban. Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the banned things. So Adonai’s anger burned against Bnei-Yisrael.2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and spoke to them saying: “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3When they returned to Joshua, they reported to him: “Let not all the people go up—only about two or three thousand men need go up and strike Ai, so don’t wear out all the people there, for they are just a few.” 4So about 3,000 men from the people went up there, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5The men of Ai struck down about 36 of their men, and they chased them from outside the gate as far as Shebarim, striking them down on the slope. So the hearts of the people melted and became like water. 6Joshua then tore his clothes and fell to the ground on his face before the ark of Adonai until evening, both he and the elders of Israel, and they put dust on their heads. 7“Alas, Adonai Elohim!” Joshua said. “Why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan? Is it to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites—to destroy us? If only we had been content and dwelled beyond the Jordan! 8Oh my Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has turned its back before its enemies? 9For when the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land hear of it, they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great Name?” 10Then Adonai said to Joshua, “Arise! Why are you fallen on your face? 11Israel has sinned. Yes, they have also transgressed My covenant, which I commanded them. Now they have even taken of the things under the ban of destruction. So they have also stolen and even deceived, and even put them among their own possessions. 12So Bnei-Yisrael cannot stand before their enemies. So they turn their necks before their enemies, because they have come under the ban. I will not be with you any more unless you destroy whatever is under the ban from among you. 13Arise! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: Something under the ban is in the midst of you, Israel. You will not be able to stand up before your enemies until you remove whatever is under the ban from among you. 14In the morning you will approach by your tribes. It will be that the tribe that Adonai takes will come forward by families, and the family that Adonai takes will come forward by households, and the household that Adonai takes will come forward man by man. 15Then whoever is taken with whatever is under the ban must be burned with fire, he and all belonging to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of Adonai, and because he has committed a disgrace in Israel.’” 16So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel forward by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17Then he brought forward the clans of Judah, and He took the family of the Zerahites. Then he brought forward the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18Then he brought forward his household man by man, and Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah was taken. 19So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory now to Adonai, God of Israel, and give praise to Him, and confess to me now what you have done—hide nothing from me.” 20Achan responded to Joshua and said: “It’s true! I have sinned against Adonai, God of Israel! This is what I have done: 21When I saw among the spoil a beautiful Shinar mantle and 200 shekels of silver and a wedge of gold 50 shekels in weight, I coveted them and took them. Look, they are buried in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it.” 22So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and behold, it was buried in his tent with the silver underneath it. 23Then they took them from the middle of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all Bnei-Yisrael, and they laid them down before Adonai. 24Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep and his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25Then Joshua said, “Why have you brought trouble on us? Adonai will trouble you this day.” Then all Israel stoned him with stones, burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day. Then Adonai turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

–from Joshua 7

Will you be willing to go it God’s way? Will you be willing to be co-heirs? Will you be willing to be a part of the body of Christ and His promises? Will you choose to build up your relationship with God daily? Will you ask for wisdom and discernment and then be obedient to walk out His instructions? When Jesus left to sit at the right hand of the Father, He promised and has sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide! He will be that still quiet voice to prompt us and guide us and instruct us! Will you be willing to hear it and listen to it and obey it? Or would you risk the consequences?

The Mystery of the Gentiles Revealed

1For this reason I, Paul, am a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles. 2Surely you have heard about the plan of God’s grace given to me for you— 3that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote before briefly. 4When you read this, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah— 5which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Ruach to His holy emissaries and prophets. 6This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs and fellow members of the same body and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News. 7I became a servant of this Good News by the gift of God’s favor given to me through the exercise of His power. 8This favor was given to me, the very least of His kedoshim, to proclaim to the Gentiles the endless riches of the Messiah 9and to bring to light the plan of the mystery—which for ages was hidden in God, who created all things. 10The purpose is that through Messiah’s community the multi-faceted wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, 11which is in keeping with the eternal purpose that He carried out in Messiah Yeshua our Lord. 12In Him we have boldness and access with confidence through trusting in Him. 13So I ask you not to be discouraged by my troubles on your behalf—they are your glory.

Prayer for Power and Understanding

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father— 15from Him every family in heaven and on earth receives its name. 16I pray that from His glorious riches He would grant you to be strengthened in your inner being with power through His Ruach, 17so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to grasp with all the kedoshim what is the width and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled up with all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.

–from Ephesians 3

 

 

 

What are you letting into your life?


It could be through what you eat. It could be through what you watch. It could be through what you hear. It could be through what you do. It could be through who you hangout with. It could be through the activities you participate in. It could be through what you read. How are you filling up your mind, your body, and your soul? What are you letting into your life? Is it beneficial? What comes out of our mouth is the overflow of our hearts! So let’s consider closely what we let in!

12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

–from 1 Corinthians 6

and

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

–from Ephesians 4

and

7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

–from 1 Timothy 4

and

23″I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 24No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

–from 1 Corinthians 10

So let’s be living a life that will glorify God! Let’s not be allowing ourselves to be filled up with things that are bad, short lives, and selfish! Let’s be focused on taking in things that will strengthen, encourage, build up, and prepare us for what is yet to come.

What will you allow into your life today?


Today’s reading starts in Leviticus speaking of direction from God to the Jewish people about what is good to eat…imagine if we followed these rules as part of our diets today…

Kashrut for Holiness

1Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. 3Whatever has a split, divided hoof and chews cud among the animals—that you may eat. 4“Nevertheless, you should not eat of those that only chew cud, or have a split hoof. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof, is unclean to you. 5The coney, though it chews the cud yet does not have a divided hoof, so it is unclean to you. 6The hare, though it chews the cud, does not split the hoof, so it is unclean to you. 7The pig, though it has a split, divided hoof, does not chew cud, so it is unclean to you. 8You are not to eat meat from them, nor are you to touch their carcasses. They are unclean to you. 9“From all that are in the waters, you may eat whatever has fins and scales, within the waters, in the seas and in the rivers. Those you may eat. 10But any that do not have fins and scales in the seas or the rivers, among those that swarm on the waters, or among any of the living creatures that are in the waters, they are loathsome to you. 11They are to be detestable to you. You should not eat meat from them and you should detest their carcasses. 12Whatever has neither fins nor scales in the waters, that is a detestable thing to you. 13“Among the birds you should detest the following—they are not to be eaten—they are loathsome: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 14the red kite, any kind of black kite, 15any kind of raven, 16the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, 19the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. 20“All flying insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21Yet you may eat from all winged creeping things that go on all fours, which have legs above their feet, with which to hop on the earth. 22You may eat from any kind of locust, any kind of katydid, any kind of cricket and any kind of grasshopper. 23But all winged creeping things that have four feet are loathsome to you. 24“Moreover, by these also you will become unclean: whoever touches their carcasses should be unclean until the evening. 25Whoever carries any part of their carcass is to wash his clothes, and will be unclean until the evening. 26“Every animal with a separating hoof but not split, or does not chew cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them will become unclean. 27So whatever moves on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, is unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean until the evening. 28Whoever carries their carcasses, is to wash his clothes and will be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you. 29“Among the creeping things that creep on the earth, the following are unclean to you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, 30the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. 31Among all that creep these are the ones that are unclean to you. Whoever touches them when they are dead, will be unclean until the evening. 32Whatever falls on them when they are dead will become unclean, whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sackcloth. Whatever vessel it is, with which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it will be unclean until the evening, then it will be clean. 33“Now if any of them falls into a clay pot, everything that is in it will become unclean, and you are to break it. 34Any food that may be eaten but has water on it from such a pot will become unclean. Also any drink that may be drunk in any such pot will become unclean. 35Everything on which part of their carcass falls will become unclean. An oven or stove for pots is to be broken in pieces. They are unclean and will be unclean to you. 36Nevertheless, a spring or a cistern for collecting water will be clean, though anyone who touches their carcass will become unclean. 37If part of a carcass falls on any seed for sowing that has yet to be sown, it is clean. 38But if water is put on the seed, and part of a carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you. 39“If any animal that you may eat dies, the one who touches its carcass will become unclean until the evening. 40He who eats of its carcass is to wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. Also, the one who carries its carcass is to wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. 41“Every creeping thing that crawls on the earth is detestable—it shall not be eaten. 42Whatever moves on its belly or crawls on all fours or has many feet among all the creeping things that crawl on the earth, these you are not to eat, for they are detestable. 43You are not to contaminate yourselves with any creeping thing that crawls nor make yourselves unclean with them or defiled by them. 44“For I am Adonai your God. Therefore, sanctify yourselves, and be holy, for I am holy. You are not to defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth. 45For I am Adonai who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. Therefore, you should be holy, for I am holy. 46“This is the Torah of the animal, the bird, every living creature that moves in the waters, and every creature that creeps on the earth, 47to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.”

–from Leviticus 11

Are you setting up for a legacy? Are you preparing for what is yet to come?

Niddah Rest for New Mothers

1Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying: 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, instructing: If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she will be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her niddah she will be unclean. 3In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin is to be circumcised. 4She must wait during the blood of purification for 33 days. She is not to touch any holy thing, nor come into the Sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. 5But if she bears a female child, then she will be unclean for two weeks, as in her niddah , and she is to wait in the blood of purification for 66 days. 6“When the days of her purification are completed for a son or for a daughter, she is to bring to the kohen, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove, for a sin offering. 7He is to present it before Adonai and make atonement for her. Then she will be cleansed from the discharge of her blood. This is the Torah for her who gives birth, whether to a male or a female child. 8If she cannot afford a lamb, then she is to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. Then the kohen will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.”
–from Leviticus 12

Do what is right! Do what is good! Love! Live with and bring joy! Live in and create peace! Be and develop patience! Walk and live with kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control! Against such things there is no law. Live in alignment with God’s call on your life! Your time is now which is why you are here on this earth! So take a hold of God’s Word, God’s promises, and God’s truth and then walk it out in spirit and in truth!

Anticipating Hostility at Sukkot

1After these events, Yeshua was walking about in the Galilee. He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Judean leaders wanted to kill Him.
2Now the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near.
3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so Your disciples also may see the works You are doing.
4No one who wants to be well known does everything in secret. If You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world!”
5For not even His brothers were trusting in Him.
6Therefore Yeshua said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always at hand.
7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that its works are evil.
8You go on up to the Feast. I’m not going to this feast, because My time hasn’t yet fully come.”
9After saying these things, He stayed in the Galilee.
10But after His brothers went to the Feast, He also went, not openly but secretly.
11Then the Judean leaders were searching for Him at the Feast and kept asking, “Where is that fellow?”
12There was a lot of murmuring about Him in the crowds. Some were saying, “He is good.” But others were saying, “Not so! He leads the people astray.”
13Yet no one spoke openly about Him for fear of the Judean leaders.

Teaching at the Temple

14About halfway through the Feast, Yeshua went up to the Temple and began teaching.
15Then the Judean leaders were amazed, saying, “How does this man know so much, having never been taught?”
16Yeshua answered, “My teaching is not from Me, but from Him who sent Me.
17If anyone wants to do His will, he will know whether My teaching comes from God or it is Myself speaking.
18Whoever speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
19Hasn’t Moses given you the Torah? Yet none of you keeps it. Why are you trying to kill Me?”
20The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who’s trying to kill you?”
21Yeshua answered, “I did one good work, and all of you are amazed.
22Because Moses has given you circumcision (though it is not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a man on Shabbat.
23If a man receives circumcision on Shabbat so that the Torah of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry that I healed a man’s whole body on Shabbat?
24Do not judge by appearance, but judge righteously.”
25Then some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the person they’re trying to kill?
26Look, He speaks openly and they’re saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the leaders know He is the Messiah?
27But we know where this person is from. But the Messiah, whenever He may come, no one knows where He is from.”
28Then, while teaching in the Temple courts, Yeshua cried out, “You know both who I am and where I am from! I have not come on My own, but the One who sent Me is true. You do not know Him,
29but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent Me.”
30Then they were trying to seize Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.
31Yet many from the crowd believed in Him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, He won’t perform more signs than this person has, will He?”
32The Pharisees heard people in the crowd murmuring these things about Him, and the ruling kohanim and Pharisees sent guards to arrest Him.
33Yeshua said, “I am with you only a little while longer, and then I am going to the One who sent Me.
34You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come.”
35The Judean leaders then said among themselves, “Where is this person about to go that we shall not find Him? He’s not going to the Diaspora to teach the Greeks, is He?
36What did He mean by saying, ‘You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come’?”

Satisfying Spiritual Thirst

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
38Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
39Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified.
40When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.”
41Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He?
42Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town?”
43So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua.
44Some wanted to capture Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Religious Adversaries

45Then the guards returned to the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring Him?”
46“Never has anyone spoken like this man,” the guards answered.
47The Pharisees responded, “You haven’t been led astray also, have you?
48Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him?
49No, but this mob that doesn’t know the Torah—they are cursed!”
50Nicodemus, the one who had come to Yeshua before and was one of them, said to them,
51“Our Torah doesn’t judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?”
52They answered him, “You aren’t from the Galilee too, are you? Search, and see that no prophet comes out of the Galilee!”
53Then everyone went to his own house.
–from John 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know a big deal when you see it?


Do you take in the moment? Do you absorb the reality of the situation? Do gloss it over? Do you forget about it? What if you read something that explains how much work and effort, the size, the strength, the durability of something and then later also read about how it tore apart? Don’t miss out on the big deals! Don’t lose out on the benefits! Don’t just skip over it!

Today’s reading starts off with the story of the curtain, it’s the same curtain that ripped apart when Jesus gave up His life on the cross. Let’s learn more about this curtain…

Curtains

1“Moreover you are to make the Tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen, of blue , purple and scarlet, with cheruvim made by the work of a skillful craftsman. 2The length of each curtain is to be 28 cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits. All the curtains are to have the same measure. 3Five curtains are to be coupled together one to another, and the other five curtains are also to be coupled one to another. 4Also make loops of violet on the edge of the one curtain that is outermost in the first set, and do likewise within the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set. 5You are to make 50 loops in the first curtain and 50 loops on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set. The loops are to be opposite one another. 6Then make 50 clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps, so that the Tabernacle may be one piece. 7“You are to make curtains of goat hair for a tent over the Tabernacle, 11 curtains in all. 8The length of each curtain is to be 30 cubits and the width of each curtain four cubits. The eleven curtains are to have the same measurement. 9You are to couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent. 10Then make 50 loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outermost in the first set, along with 50 loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in the second set. 11Make 50 bronze clasps, put them into the loops, and couple the tent together, so that it may be one. 12As for the overhanging part that remains of the tent curtains, the half curtain that remains is to hang over the back of the Tabernacle. 13The extra cubit on one side, as well as the cubit on the other side, which remains in the length of the curtains of the tent, is to hang over the sides of the Tabernacle on each side, to cover it. 14You are to make a covering for the tent of ram skins, dyed red, and a covering of sealskins above. 15“You are to make the framework of boards for the Tabernacle from acacia wood, standing upright. 16The length of each board is to be 10 cubits by one and a half cubits wide. 17There are to be two supports in each board, joined one to another. Do this for all the boards of the Tabernacle. 18You are to make the 20 boards for the south side of the Tabernacle, 19and 40 silver bases underneath the 20 boards. Two bases go underneath one board for its supports and two bases under another board for its supports. 20Likewise, for the second side of the Tabernacle, on the north side, there are to be 20 boards, 21with their 40 bases of silver. Two bases go under one board and two bases under the next board. 22For the back part of the Tabernacle, westward, you are to make six boards. 23Make two boards for the corners of the Tabernacle on the back side. 24They are also to be doubled at the bottom, and in the same way joined at the top by the first ring. It is to be this way for them both, and they will provide for the two corners. 25So there will be eight boards, with 16 silver bases, two bases under each board. 26“Also make crossbeams of acacia wood, five for the boards on one side of the Tabernacle, 27five for the boards on the other side of the Tabernacle, and five for the boards on the back part of the Tabernacle to the west. 28The middle crossbeam in the center of the boards will pass through from end to end. 29Then overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings from gold as holders for the crossbeams, and overlay the crossbeams with gold. 30“You are to raise up the Tabernacle according to the plan which you were shown on the mountain. 31“Make a fine woven linen curtain of blue, purple and scarlet, with cheruvim. It is to be the work of a skillful craftsman. 32You are to hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, their hooks being made of gold, atop four bases of silver. 33You are to hang the curtain under the clasps, and bring the Ark within the curtain of the Testimony. The parokhet will divide for you between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. 34“Then you are to put the atonement cover on the Ark of the Testimony in the Holy of Holies. 35You shall set the table outside the curtain, and the menorah opposite the table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the south. You are to put the table on the north side. 36“For the entrance of the tent, also make a screen of blue, purple and scarlet, finely twisted linen, the work of a color weaver. 37You are also to make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold. Their hooks are to be made of gold, and you are to cast five bases of bronze for them.
–from Exodus 26

How many times might you have skipped over some reading about curtains? How many other things would the title have made you skip over? Have you missed out on the full story? Have you missed out the miracles? Have you missed out on the blessings by skipping over stuff that God had intended to use to speak into your life? What if had been bolded? Would that have gotten your attention? What if there were more lights? Don’t miss out because you don’t think it doesn’t apply to you! God knows what you are going through! He can speak to you right where you are at in and through His Word! I pick a 365 day walk through the Bible each year and each year God is able to speak to me – He knows even before I do what I need to hear. So don’t gloss over God’s Word! The details are important! They were given because they are important!

Altar, Courtyard, Oil

1“Make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide. The altar will be square and its height is to be three cubits. 2Make horns on the four corners—of one piece. Overlay it with bronze. 3You are to make pots for it to take away ashes, along with shovels, basins, forks and fire pans—make all the utensils of bronze. 4Also make a bronze grating net for it, and on the net you are to make four bronze rings on the four corners. 5You are to place it under the ledge around the altar beneath, so that the net may reach halfway up the altar. 6Make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. 7Its poles are to be put into the rings, on the two sides of the altar, for carrying it. 8You are to make it with planks so that it is hollow. As it has been shown to you in the mountain, they are to make it just so. 9“You are also to make a courtyard for the Tabernacle. For the south side there are to be hangings for the courtyard of finely twisted linen, 100 cubits long. 10There are to be 20 pillars with 20 bronze bases, and the hooks on the pillars along with their bands are to be made of silver. 11Likewise for the north side, in length there are to be 100 cubit long hangings, 20 pillars and 20 bronze bases. The hooks of the pillars and their clasps are to be made of silver. 12“Now for the width of the courtyard on the west side there are to be 50 cubits of hangings, ten pillars and ten bases. 13The width of the courtyard on the east side is to be 50 cubits. 14The hangings on one side of the gate are to be 15 cubits, with three pillars and three bases. 15For the other side there is also to be 15 cubits of hangings, with three pillars and three bases. 16“For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a 20 cubit curtain of blue, purple, scarlet and finely twisted linen, the work of a color weaver, along with their four pillars and their four bases. 17The pillars of the courtyard are to be banded with silver, their hooks of silver, and their bases of bronze all around. 18The length of the courtyard is to be 100 cubits, and the width 50 throughout. The height is to be five cubits, with hangings of finely twisted linen, with their bronze bases. 19All the articles of the Tabernacle for all the services there, along with all the pegs, including all the pegs of the courtyard, are to be bronze. 20“Also you are to command Bnei-Yisrael, that they are to bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. 21In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons will set it in order, to burn from evening to morning before Adonai. It will be a statute forever throughout their generations, on behalf of Bnei-Yisrael.
–from Exodus 27

We need to shine our light into this dark world! We need to allow the light that shone into our lives through Jesus to shine out of our lives into the dark world! It’s not good enough to dim it down so that we assimilate into the world! It’s more important that people see the difference! It’s more important that people will see through the darkness the hope that is within you! It’s more important that people will see through the darkness the reason for the hope that is within you! Will you allow the oil – the anointing of the Holy Spirit to burn within you so that your light will continue to shine all the days of your life? Will you stay with the Holy Spirit so that you will be continually filled up so that you can and will shine? It’s all about choices and decisions, words and actions, faith and hope, love and sacrifice!

Will you be part of the remnant who will stick with God? Will you be part of the starter group who will start up a revival? Will you be part of the group who will take a hold of God’s calling and do what He needs? Will you give? Will you go? Will you do? What is God calling you to do? What is He asking you to do? What will your part be? What does He want to say into your life? What can He do in and through you? Will you allow God to prune? Will you allow God to graft you into the family? into the vine?

Israel Not Rejected

1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected His people whom He knew beforehand. Or do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3“Adonai, they have killed your prophets, they have destroyed your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5So in the same way also at this present time there has come to be a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained; but the elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened— 8just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes not to see and ears not to hear, until this very day.” 9And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10Let their eyes be darkened so they do not see, and bend their back continually.” 11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their false step salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke Israel to jealousy. 12Now if their transgression leads to riches for the world, and their loss riches for the Gentiles, then how much more their fullness! 13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Insofar as I am an emissary to the Gentiles, I spotlight my ministry 14if somehow I might provoke to jealousy my own flesh and blood and save some of them. 15For if their rejection leads to the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the firstfruit is holy, so is the whole batch of dough; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17But if some of the branches were broken off and you—being a wild olive—were grafted in among them and became a partaker of the root of the olive tree with its richness, 18do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, it is not you who support the root but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20True enough. They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear— 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. 22Notice then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell; but God’s kindness toward you, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off! 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut out of that which by nature is a wild olive tree, and grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

The Mystery Revealed!

25For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” 28Concerning the Good News, they are hostile for your sake; but concerning chosenness, they are loved on account of the fathers— 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30For just as you once were disobedient to God but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31in like manner these also have now been disobedient with the result that, because of the mercy shown to you, they also may receive mercy. 32For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He might show mercy to all. 33O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible His ways! 34For “who has known the mind of Adonai, or who has been His counselor?” 35Or “who has first given to Him, that it shall be repaid to him?” 36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
–from Romans 11

Let’s live sacrificial lives in love! Let’s allow our lives to be a calling sigh for people to come and to know God through our Lord and Savior Jesus! Let’s shine our lights that others may see it and glorify our Father in Heaven! Let’s live lives in the spirit so that we are in alignment with God’s Holy Spirit and can lead us and guide us every step of every day! Let’s share the grace and the mercy God has poured out on us to flow into the lives of those around us that they may come to the realization of God’s greatness!

The Son Is Risen!

1Now after Shabbat, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam came to look at the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of Adonai descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4And those keeping watch were shaken for fear of him and became like dead men. 5But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Yeshua who was crucified. 6He is not here; for He is risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7Go quickly now and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead. And behold, He’s going before you to the Galilee. There you will see Him. See, I have told you!” 8They quickly left the tomb, with fear yet with great joy, and ran to bring news to His disciples.

The Good News Cannot Be Hidden

9And behold, Yeshua met them. “Shalom!” He said. They drew near, grasped his feet, and worshiped Him. 10“Don’t be afraid,” Yeshua said to them. “Go tell My brothers to head for the Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 11Now while they were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the ruling kohanim all that had happened. 12And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of silver to the soldiers, 13saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping.’ 14And if this is heard by the governor, we’ll appease him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story was spread among the Judeans to this day.

Authority to Make Disciples Everywhere

16Now the eleven disciples went to the Galilee, to the mountain Yeshua had designated. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped; but some wavered. 18And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 20teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
–from Matthew 28

Let’s live in the celebration of our risen Savior! Even as Easter is just around the corner, let’s reflect on the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus! And then shine that He may be glorified! God’s desire isn’t for us to be afraid! His plan is to give us a message of good news so that we will choose to spend our lives and our eternity with Him!

Angels in the Bible make me laugh – they appear in all their glory and awe which tends to startle or frighten people – then they say “Do not be afraid”. So let’s not walk in fear, let’s walk by faith!

Today’s reading alone, we see “Do not be afraid” and “Don’t be afraid”, first from the angel and secondly from Jesus! So let’s take a hold of that today and not walk in fear!