THRIVE: Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your day!


Busy calendar? Is it because you have to be or because you let it be? Is it with the right people at the right time on the right topics? Invite God into your scheduling and allow Him to add/remove things from it based on His plans and purpose for your day! Invite the Holy Spirit to grant you wisdom and discernment about what meetings need to happen and which don’t. Invite the Holy Spirit into each meeting to give you the thoughts, the words, and the actions necessary to accomplish God’s will and for Him to receive the glory! Allow new things to be added when the Holy Spirit prompts. Allow existing things to be moved around when the Holy Spirit prompts. Focus on the good works God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish today!

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to clean up your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to fill up your heart with love, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to heal and restore your heart, knowing that from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks? Will you guard your heart knowing that everything you do flows from it?

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

So who is in control of your day? Are you rejecting God’s wisdom and discernment or accepting it? Are you rejecting God’s purposes and plans for your day or accepting them? Are you rejecting God’s prompting or accepting it? Are you trying to go it alone or are you willing to go it with God and with others? Let’s choose to go through today with God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it so that we can accomplish God’s will for His glory!

THRIVE
LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ‘

Proverbs 4:23

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 20


Are you ready to talk with God in a direct way? Are you ready to avoid the fluffy stuff and start with straight-talking? Are you ready to speak with and listen to the Holy Spirit to help you get through today? Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Allow Him to create a new heart in you and for you to be born again, becoming a new creation where the old stuff that was holding you back is gone and the new stuff that will help you finish the race called life strong!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Ask questions to learn and then listen to understand!


As the week continues do you have a lot more questions than you do answers? Do you have a lot of questions even though you have many answers? Is it because of the reality that the more you know the more you know you don’t know? When you ask a question are you doing it with the right heart? Are you asking to learn or to put the other person on the spot? Are you asking and then listening to understand or do you ask and start to come up with your next question? Are you asking questions in a way that can be understood and helpful? Are you asking questions in a way that will help you better learn from the answer and understand? Are you asking questions in a way that is worded or expressed so as to elicit information? Are you asking questions in a way that is for the purpose inquiry and query? Are you asking questions that are more along the lines of doing an interrogation or examination? Check your heart before you ask so that you are asking with good intentions! Check your heart so that you can ensure you ask it for the right purpose! Are you ready to ask questions today to help you learn and understand better in order to be able to help, move forward, and thrive?

THRIVE LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ‘

Micah 6:8

Let’s pause and consider the answer to the question. WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU?

Let’s listen to understand what God requires of us! Let’s receive the instruction in order to be able to live our lives to the full and thrive!

LET’S ACT JUSTLY! LET’S LOVE MERCY! LET’S WALK HUMBLY WITH OUR GOD!


Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Agape: A Father’s Love – Day 3


Are you ready to listen? Are you ready to learn? Are you ready to trust? Are you ready to forgive? Are you ready to heal? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life? Are you ready to be transformed? Are you ready to share the load? Are you ready to give up the weight?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

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

THRIVE: Let’s get over the hump today…


What have you seen so far this week? What have you learned so far this week? What have you heard so far this week? What have you experienced so far this week? What are you needing to do to get over the hump today and thrive?

Need more data? Need more information? Need direction from God? Need specifics from God? Need to know God’s plan? Need to know God’s will? Need to know God’s purpose? Is it a speed bump to the weekend or are you climbing a mountain to get to see what’s next?

What does thrive mean to you? Is thriving something you do for yourself? Is thriving something you do for others? Is thriving something you do for the glory of God? Based on that what does it mean for what you should do next?

Yes, in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Yes, we can choose to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because it builds our faith and when we persevere and perseverance has completed its work we will be complete and lacking nothing! So let’s lean in on God for understanding, trusting Him for His wisdom, His purpose, and His direction! Let’s persevere in the midst of the struggle! Let’s walk it out in unity at the speed of health so that in the end we will come out thriving and victorious on the other side with a healthy relationship.



Verse of the Day:

‘For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” ‘

1 Peter 3:12

Bonus Scripture today:

‘Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. ‘

Psalms 34:12-16

Today’s post from Be The Dads is The Way of the Father: Lessons From My Dad, Truths About God – Day 4


So let’s cling to God and His Word today! Are you ready to step up and step in to be all that God has purposed, created, and is calling you to be? Are you ready to learn more about God? Are you ready to learn more about your purpose? Are you ready to answer or learn about the calling on your life? Let’s invite Jesus into the situation right now and then lean into all He has planned for us!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!


THRIVE: It’s a new day, a new week, what will today bring?


Here are to new beginnings! Leaving the past behind and moving forward with the lessons we have learned! Leaning in on God as we press into what He has purposed and planned for our lives! Trusting Him completely because He knows the beginning and the end, He does what He does for His glory and our good, His plans for us are for good and not for evil, to give us hope and a future! So as we get this new week started, let’s be prepared! Let’s be set! Let’s decide to follow Jesus! He won’t fail!

Let’s pause and listen for a moment to a song that I heard for the first time leading into the Inspire week that started last Sunday and wrapped up yesterday.


Verse of the Day:

‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ‘

Jeremiah 29:13

Today’s post from Be The Dads is The Way of the Father: Lessons From My Dad, Truths About God – Day 2


Are you ready to seek God with all you have? Are you ready to seek God with all you’ve got? Are you ready to seek God heading into this new day? Are you ready to seek God to help you be more focused on becoming more holy than happy? Are you ready to lean in on God and trust Him? Are you ready to lean in on God and trust His answer? Are you ready to lean in on God and trust His timing? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your very situation in order to complete it for your good and His glory?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: Are you in the zone?


Ever considered what it really means and really takes to thrive? You have to be in the zone! You may wonder which zone. The zone I am talking about is being and living in the presence of God! It means being able to flourish in the presence of God! It means being able to thrive in the presence of God! It means having God at the center of your life! It means you have to have a willing heart! It means you have to have a heart for it because if you don’t have a heart for it, then it isn’t going to happen, even if you pray for it! Remember what the Bible says about believing, it’s a matter of the heart:

‘But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. ‘

James 1:6

So do you have a heart for it? Is God in the midst of it? Are you believing for it? Are you in the zone? Are you ready to thrive?

Are you inviting Jesus into the center to be the core of the rope of three strands so that it will be strong? Are you ready to put Jesus in the center of your life? Are you willing to live your life for God? Are you willing to give from what God has given you? Are you willing to do what God needs you to do with the gifts and talents God has given you?

I am who I am by the grace of God. I am where I am because of God’s goodness. I’ve been made for this and to be a part of His Kingdom’s work. God gave us the ability and now we need to be willing to go and do the work. Don’t disqualify yourself from the future God has planned for you. Lay your heart, your gifts, all you are before God. Let’s have a willing spirit and heart and give it to God and use me.

Today let’s choose to do the work God has given us to do, just the way He commanded!

How do you thrive? You need to commit your life to God! You will get visions and dreams. You’ll find what it is to flourish. If you refuse to soften your heart and give it to God then you will miss out on it all. Don’t have a strained heart – draw near to God instead. Decide to walk with God who wants to walk with you. Joy and breakthroughs in your life come through obedience. A struggle in this generation is that they want everything right now.

“The greatest things you will experience are on the other side of the door of faith and obedience” – Steve Jamison


Verse of the Day:

‘“How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. ‘

2 Samuel 7:22

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 6 Biblical Traits Of A Godly Dad – Day 2


Where are you today? Are you ready to kickstart life and invite God into it? Are you ready to put Jesus in the center and live your life in the presence of God in order to flourish? Are you ready to put Jesus in the center and live your life in the presence of God in order to thrive? Is today your day to invite Jesus in and start building that relationship and trust in Him?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: What will it take for things to get back on track?


Ever heard that what is the greatest threat to the planet according to man? Ever considered if that is the right answer? Many think it is climate change but I would have to disagree. Taken a look around these days and everything that is taking place? Considered that some nations that consider themselves godless and try to keep their people in that space and what is going on today? Considered how those nations are allies and trying to support each other? Yesterday as part of the THRIVE series I heard what the biggest threat to the planet is, it is a godless heart. We even see it through God’s Word in Exodus 32-36. We need to remember the reality that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and our role is to be good stewards of what God puts into our hands. God has ownership and we get to steward the parts He provides to us. So we need to choose to serve Him well!

‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; ‘

Psalms 24:1

People need to remember and realize how in spite of what is taking place right here and right now, God is in control and is the one who is able to work in the midst of what man is doing, can bring good out of evil, and can bring good out of despair.

Let’s pause and reflect on the big earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco. The earthquake caused water and gas lines to break and for the city to be set on fire and 80% of the city destroyed. Sounds pretty bad right? Do you realize one of the incredible things that came out of that devastation? Do you realize what God was able to do with what the devil would have tried to do? Do you realize what God was able to do with the despair of that time? Have you ever heard of the good and the revival that came after that? Ever heard about the Asuza street revival? Ever heard about the impact of God’s people showing up in the midst of the devastation? I found a great article that covers it titled: Azusa Street Revival. Here are the sections it works through, check it out and see how God shows up when His people turn back to Him.

How big of a shake-up would it take to get your attention? How bad would things need to get before the heart will turn back and look to God? Would it take war? Would it take having your kids taught things that aren’t right? Would it take someone trying to take away your rights, liberties, possessions? How much would the world need to be shaken before people wake up and turn back to God? Are you ready for a revival now? Are things bad enough now for you to want to turn back to God? Are you feeling desperation and fear enough to want and need a revival? We read in Hebrews 12:27 about a shaking of God and it tells us:

‘At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, ‘

Hebrews 12:26-28

Are you ready to start focusing on what is most important rather than being focused and consumed by materialism? Are you ready to keep your focus on God and patient enough to wait upon Him? Are you ready to turn back to Him and invite Him into your situation?

It’s the start of a new work week and with a sampling of direction and yet a lot of unknowns, I am choosing to ask God to help me step forward trusting and believing in Him. I am choosing to ask God for wisdom and discernment about work. I am choosing to ask God for wisdom and discernment about what in addition to having started to blog should I and can I be doing to prepare for Be The Dads? How best to produce presentations? How best to practice and share the presentations? How to prepare for the venues where such presentations will take place? I am choosing to trust God and lean not on my own understanding in order to allow Him to make my path straight. I am choosing to lean in on God so that in the midst of the shaking I am able to grab hold of the things that won’t be shaken and cannot be shaken. I am choosing to hold loosely the things in my hands so that God is able to both take the things or give the things away that He chooses and can replace and add other things that I will need for such a day and such a time as this. Lord, help me with Your wisdom and discernment to be able to see what You put into my hands so that I am able to be a good steward and use it for Your praise, Your honor, and Your glory.

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it!

HAPPY TODAY!

So as we get ready for today, let’s even consider what took place or triggered the change of heart in the lives of many and for a revival to start.



Verse of the Day

‘Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” ‘

Matthew 4:4

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 12


As we kick off this day let’s turn to God! As we kick off this day with all that is shaking around us let’s lean on God! As we kick off this day with the challenges and struggles it will bring let’s choose to go it God’s way. Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart today? Are you ready to start a relationship with God that will last for the rest of eternity?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

catching up on the days I missed (back to Feb 12th)

THRIVE – Let’s check our hearts to make sure they are ready and right.


It’s the end of the workweek and it has hit me that I need to look inside. The words I have spoken are like lights on the dash of my car, warning me to check under the hood. The responses that I have had are making those lights blink, warning check your heart. There is a lot of change going on and I need to be in the right state of mind and heart to be able to receive it and respond properly. With so much loss of control, it seems that is what is triggering it. Be it at home with kids growing up and having their own lives. Be it at work with organizational changes and uncertainty around what will happen. Be it conversations with others that create questions or concerns. And yet today, it comes down to stopping and checking under the hood.

I first remember a business person’s lunch where our guest speaker Brad spoke to us about a checkup from the neck up about right thinking. I next grab hold of today’s verse of the day speaking about how what’s in our heart will come out of our mouth. We need to inspect our hearts when we are seeing the lights on the dash turning on because those things coming out of our mouths are rooted in our hearts.

So let’s turn to God and ask Him to help us find and clean out our hearts. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment about what needs to be taken out of our hearts. Let’s ask God to create a clean heart in us. Let’s realize what we have done turn back with a spirit of repentance and ask for forgiveness.

So let’s make the right decisions today to help us go from surviving to thriving!


Today’s verse of the day comes from Luke 6:45

‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ‘

Luke 6:45

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Strange Words – A Dad’s Prayer For His Children – Day 5


How about you? What is the state of your heart? What is the state of your mind? How is life showing you what’s going on there? Are you ready to move from surviving to thriving? Are you ready to look to clean things up and get things fixed up? Then let’s ask Jesus in and ask Him for help in cleaning things up. Let’s ask Him to step in and help get things fixed up so that from the overflow of our hearts the right things will come out of our mouths. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to lead and guide us as our Lord and Savior.

Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

What does a background check get you? What else would they find if they searched your heart?


Ever had to get a background check? When you volunteer? When you want to join or become something? When you want to serve kids? When you want to serve teens? When you want to mentor? When you want a job? When you want to become a citizen?

Ever noticed the different levels of background checks? Ever noticed the different types of background checks? You give them information and then they go searching. You give them information and fingerprints and then they go searching. Imagine if someone was doing your background check and they used all of these types:

  • Criminal History Check
  • Prior Employment Verification
  • Education Verification
  • Reference Check
  • Drug Screening
  • Sexual Offender Registry Check
  • Credit Background Check
  • Social Media & Internet Check
  • Driving Record
  • Professional License & Certificate Confirmation
  • Social Security Number Trace

But would they be able to find out about what is going on in your heart and mind? If someone were to try and do a check of your heart and mind would any red flags come up that would need to get addressed or that would potentially disqualify you? In general people are searching for external evidence but God searches the heart.

  • ‘But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ‘
    1 Samuel 16:7
  • ‘For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” ‘
  • 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • ‘Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you the desires of your heart. ‘
    Psalms 37:4
  • ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ‘
    Psalms 51:10
  • ‘Test me, Lord , and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. ‘
    Psalms 26:2-3
  • ‘You have searched me, Lord , and you know me. ‘
    Psalms 139:1
  • ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. ‘
    Psalms 139:23
  • ‘See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
    Psalms 139:24
  • ‘“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” ‘
    Jeremiah 17:10

So have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you invited Him into your heart to help get things fixed up and cleaned up and then to help with the regular maintenance work? Do you realize that when God helps you to clean up your heart that it doesn’t leave a background or stains? Are you ready to allow God to create a new, clean heart in you? Are you ready to give your broken heart over to God so that He can put it back together and give you a new clean heart?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 14TH


He Searches Hearts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’

Romans 8:27

Let’s dig in a bit to get the context of what is being said and then look for additional details through the Amplified version.

‘For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.

In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will. And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity]. What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself]. Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us. Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter .” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:18-39

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Remember how yesterday how the Holy Spirit can pray for us even when we don’t have the words to speak? Ever been at a loss for words?
  • As we looked into the expanded details of today’s verse we find that God has even more encouragement as it relates to our heart. The Holy Spirit is able to pray in alignment with God’s will with the complete and total knowledge of every detail of our lives, even the deepest and darkest parts of our heart.
  • God is omniscient and knows everything.
  • God knows us better than we know ourselves and has great plans for us so that we can have a hope and a future. Are you ready to receive and accept that?
  • The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit are one. So they are in constant and complete agreement.
  • So when the Holy Spirit prays it is in alignment to God’s perfect will and plan for us.
  • Do you understand God’s will for you life? Do you like to think you understand God’s will for the life of others too?
  • God’s spelled out many aspects of God’s divine direction in His Word.
  • Even so there are many times (probably even more than we’d like to admit) where our desires and God’s will may not be in alignment and could get in the way of God’s will for us to have life and life to the full or more abundantly.
  • So let’s not get trapped by the ways of the world and the desires of the world but instead look to God to help us live our lives to the full and in all the abundance He desires for us.
  • Sure we look to have fun, excitement, happiness, and wealth but would that be enough? Look around and see all the people who seem to have it all and yet don’t have God in their lives and end up getting into trouble or traps of the devil.
  • So instead of going after material things, let’s turn to God and pursue His perfect plan for our life.
  • Let’s lean and trust in Him rather than our own understanding!
  • Let’s lean on Him when things get tough so that we can take heart and even consider pure joy.
  • Let’s turn to God to get wisdom and discernment for our situation.
  • Let’s cry out to God to get wisdom and discernment for our situation.
  • Let’s be bold and courageous when we step out to do what God is calling us to do in faith and knowing we are walking under the protection of His wings.
  • Let’s not allow a difficult or confusing situation rob us!
  • Let’s decide to invite God into our situation to be able to give us wisdom and discernment in the midst of the difficulties and confusion.
  • Let’s receive that wisdom and discernment so that whether God takes us out of the situation, walks us through the situation, or takes us around the situation His perfect will be done.
  • Let’s receive that wisdom and discernment so that we come out the other side with a valuable lesson.
  • Let’s grab a hold of how when the Holy Spirit prays for us He is praying at this higher, deeper level so that we can have richer lessons in this life we live.
  • Let’s decide today to pray in alignment to the Holy Spirit and God’s will for our life.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some ways we might confuse our wants with God’s will?
  • Does it comfort you or disturb you that the Father searches your heart? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God always answers our prayers according to our good and His glory.”

— Ike Reighard

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

So today we will read Luke 14:

‘It happened one Sabbath, when He went for a meal at the house of one of the ruling Pharisees, that they were watching Him closely and carefully [hoping to entrap Him]. And there in front of Him was a man who had dropsy (extreme swelling). And Jesus asked the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they kept silent. Then He took hold of the man and healed him, and sent him on his way. Then He said to them, “Which one of you, having a son or an ox that falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they were unable to reply to this.

Now Jesus began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been selecting the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down [to eat] at the place of honor, since a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by the host, and he who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then, in disgrace you proceed to take the last place. But when you are invited, go and sit down [to eat] at the last place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; and then you will be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled [before others], and he who habitually humbles himself (keeps a realistic self-view) will be exalted.” Jesus also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (the just, the upright).” When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

But Jesus said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests; and at the dinner hour he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have purchased a piece of land and I have to go out and see it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have [recently] married a wife, and for that reason I am unable to come.’ So the servant came back and reported this to his master. Then [his master,] the head of the household, became angry [at the rejections of his invitation] and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and the disabled and the blind and the lame.’ And the servant [after returning] said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ Then the master told the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled [with guests]. For I tell you, not one of those who were invited [and declined] will taste my dinner.’ ”

Now large crowds were going along with Jesus; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]— he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] give up all his own possessions. “Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”’

Luke 14:1-35

So where are you today? Are you in need of heart healing? Are you in need of a heart repair? Are you in need of a heart cleaning? Are you in need of a heart recreation? Are you in need of a heart resurrection? Are you in need of a heart transfer? Are you in need of a heart creation? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life to make it a reality? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What’s the state of your heart today?


After yesterday, a day to focus on thankfulness, what is the state of your heart? After yesterday, a day to draw people together, what is the state of your heart? After yesterday, a day to give thanks to God, what is the state of your heart? What did you do yesterday? What are you thankful for? Who matters to you? Will you choose to give God the praise, the honor, and the glory because of your thankfulness?

Time together. Time with everyone home. Time to relax. We watched a movie together – God’s Not Dead – We The People. It is powerful when people from across the country can stand united. It is powerful when people can come together in unity of purpose. It is powerful when people can come together in unity to stand up for and practice love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. The kids played Wii together. The family had an incredible dinner together, prepared by my incredible wife. I am so thankful for such an incredible woman in my life as my wife and the mother of our children. I thank God so much for the incredible wife He has provided me and the inheritance, the gift, the blessing to us both of our incredible kids. I am thankful to get extra time to think about this incredible blessing and thank God for it all.

As I turn from looking back to looking forward, I see Christmas ahead of us. As I think of the season, I reflect on that invitation that came in the mail to our house that brought us to our church home for the first time and how God met us there, saved us, and then put us on track for the plans and the purpose He had for our lives through what felt to be an accelerated program or as I like to call it my “jetpack journey” to get us back on track for where we should have been. As I look forward filled with the thankful heart, I am praying to many other lives will be touched and transformed with the reality of and a relationship with Jesus.

So… what about you? What is the state of your heart? Have you invited Jesus into it yet? Have you experienced the transformational power of starting such a relationship and journey? Might you be ready to start one today?


The One Year Daily Insights 
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 26th


Integrity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.’

Psalms 78:70-72

Do you realize how much God loves us? Do you realize that He has been trying to pour out His love for so long and yet people have continued to rebel? Do you realize that He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be away, to pay a price we could never have paid ourselves, and to offer it to us without a fee? Do you realize all we have to do is accept it, receive it, embrace it? We have free will and so we each get to choose. We have free will and so we each get to decide. Are you tired of looking for love in all the wrong places, of trying to fill that hole with so many things that don’t fit and never fill? Are you ready to receive the gift of love and grace that you have been seeking and searching for? Could today be your day? If we expand on today’s verse we can see God’s love and people’s rebellion. Let’s check it out and use the Amplified version to get as much context and details as we can.

‘Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord , And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God. The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation. Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven, Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven. Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food was still in their mouths, The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel. In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear. When He slew them, then they sought Him; And they returned and sought earnestly for God. Then they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath; For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again. How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan; Turned their rivers into blood, And their streams, that they could not drink. He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, And frogs, which destroyed them. He also gave their crops to the caterpillar, And their labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, And their sycamore trees with frost. He also gave up their cattle to the hail, And their flocks to fiery lightning. He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, Wrath, indignation, and trouble, By sending angels of destruction among them. He made a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave their life over to the plague, And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt, The first of their strength in the tents of Ham. But He made His own people go forth like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to His holy border, This mountain which His right hand had acquired. He also drove out the nations before them, Allotted them an inheritance by survey, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies, But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel, So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent He had placed among men, And delivered His strength into captivity, And His glory into the enemy’s hand. He also gave His people over to the sword, And was furious with His inheritance. The fire consumed their young men, And their maidens were not given in marriage. Their priests fell by the sword, And their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine. And He beat back His enemies; He put them to a perpetual reproach. Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever. He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Psalms 78:1-72

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever heard of David and how great of a leader he was?
  • Ever heard about his bravery and how it inspired others?
  • Ever heard about his strategies for battle?
  • Ever heard about his healing of the two nations into one with diplomatic skills?
  • Ever heard about how these skills and talents being developed in his younger years as a shepherd boy?
  • Imagine being a shepherd boy, protecting the flock and wondering if you would ever amount to anything.
  • David kept his focus on his task at hand, leading the sheep to better pastures and fresh water.
  • David kept his focus on his task at hand, protecting the sheep by killing a lion and a bear that attacked them.
  • David spent his time thinking, praying, reflection, and developed literary skills as he wrote letters to God, that we get to experience through psalms.
  • It prepared David for the time when he had to rescue Israel from Goliath and the Philistines because his heart was strong and his hands were trained for battle.
  • He was ready!
  • No Quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!
  • Even if you felt like you are living in obscurity, don’t give up!
  • Even if you fell abandoned by friends, don’t give up!
  • No matter what, no quit!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to stay in the game!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to sharpen your skills!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to strenthen your heart!
  • Grab hold of David’s example of how to be ready when the time comes!
  • Let’s be ready!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe times in your life when you felt passed by. How did you respond?
  • What are some things you can do to sharpen your skills and strengthen your heart?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you thankful for? Are you ready to invite God in so that you don’t have to go through life alone? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Are you still trying to fill that hole in your heart?


Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with things? Buying more and more in hopes of filling it up and not feeling an emptiness? Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with relationships? Doing or saying or testing or experimenting more and more in hopes of filling it up and not feeling an emptiness? Have you tried to fill that need, that desire, that hole with drugs or alcohol? Have you tried to dampen or wipe out that empty feeling by taking things that disrupt memories, emotions, pain, and ability to learn or discern or perceive? How are you being tempted to try and fill the hole or void? What temptations are coming your way to trick you into thinking they can fill that hole or void? Are you still looking for that missing piece? Do you realize you were built with a piece missing that can only be filled by having a relationship with God?

Might you consider taking hold of what John 10:10 says?

‘The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. ‘

John 10:10

Might you reflect or consider these verses from Romans 5?

‘Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.

For just as through one man’s disobedience [his failure to hear, his carelessness] the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous and acceptable to God and brought into right standing with Him. ‘

Romans 5:12,19

Do you realize that there are experiences and events in your life that can cause holes? Do you realize what the right response or way to fill those holes are? As I was searching around, I found this interesting post that has a table that shows and points to both the hole, the lack, or the wound as well as the vitamin or response to deal with or take care of it. I will share the table but for more insights and details check out the article.

Lack or woundVitamin
Avoiding harmsWeakness, helplessnessStrength. efficacy
 Alarm, anxietySafety, security
 Resentment, angerCompassion for oneself and others
Approaching RewardsFrustration, disappointmentSatisfaction, fulfillment
 Sadness, discontentment, “blues”Gladness, gratitude
Attaching to “Us”Not seen, rejected, left outAttunement, inclusion
 Inadequacy, shameRecognition, acknowledgement
 Abandonment, feeling unlovedFriendship, love

So where are you at today? What hole are you trying to fill? Is it the God shaped hole that requires starting a relationship with God? Is it a hole caused by loss or injury? Are you ready and willing to invite God into your life to help you navigate it? Are you ready and willing to invite God into your life and allow Him to bring healing and restoration to your heart? Could today be your day?


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


Eternity In Their Hearts


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.’

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Let’s look for additional context from Solomon using the Amplified version and some verses from around it.

‘What profit is there for the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the task which God has given to the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor can anything be taken from it, for God does it so that men will fear and worship Him [with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is God]. That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself]. Moreover, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked,” for there is a time [appointed] for every matter and for every deed. I said to myself regarding the sons of men, “God is surely testing them in order for them to see that [by themselves, without God] they are [only] animals.” For the [earthly] fate of the sons of men and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no preeminence or advantage for man [in and of himself] over an animal, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows if the spirit of man ascends upward and the spirit of the animal descends downward to the earth? So I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should be happy in his own works and activities, for that is his portion (share). For who will bring him [back] to see what will happen after he is gone?’

Ecclesiastes 3:9-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have a sense that life is more than what you can see?
  • Do you have a feeling that there is more to life than this?
  • Do you have a sense that life is more than our senses of sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell?
  • Do you feel there is something more, something bigger than what we are able to perceive?
  • Do you ever try to label it?
  • Do you ever try to name it?
  • Do you realize the reality of God is more than you could ever imagine or think?
  • What are you sure of? Where is your certainty?
  • What aren’t you sure of? What do you find mystery in?
  • Ever considered the definition of faith?
    • ‘Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. ‘
      Hebrews 11:1
  • Do you ever find yourself in awe or surprised what God does, even though you know He can do it?
  • So you know He can and then when He does it amazes you. This is the two facts of life working together to help us continue to look at God’s goodness and greatness with a sense of awe and amazement. Certainty vs Mystery!
  • Take a look around as the seasons change and it screams to God’s existence!
  • Grab hold of the reality that history tells us that He became a man and died for our sins over 2000 years ago!
  • Let’s grab hold of these certainties!
  • Let’s stick close to God as we live out our lives as we have each been created on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose and as such we get to live out the mystery of life!
  • Let’s remember that His ways are not our ways but rather they are higher and better than our ways!
    • ‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord . ‘
      Isaiah 55:8
  • So let’s stand on the rock that is immovable that is Jesus Christ!
  • Let’s enjoy the journey of life with its mysteries!
  • Let’s live out our lives with intrigue!
  • Let’s realize the beauty of life through these mysteries and intrigue!
  • Let’s look for the beauty in its season!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you feel more comfortable with certainty or with mystery?
  • What are some reasons you need the other trait in your life and in your walk with God?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Live near to God, and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities.”

ROBERT MURRAY M‘CHEYNE

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the next phase of your life like Job? Are you ready for a better second half? Are you ready to have that void, the hole filled permanently by God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Let’s have a heart to heart…


As you read that title what came to mind? A deep and moving conversation? A serious topic to discuss? An open and honest conversation? A conversation that goes beyond emotions and feelings? A conversation where nothing is held back including emotions? A conversation where we don’t allow anything to get in the way of understanding and moving forward? An intimate and sincere conversation?

So you see what is going on all around us right? You see how people are acting and responding right? You see how it is impacting so many right? How can we respond in a way that is helpful rather than hurtful? How can we respond in a way that builds up rather than tears down? How can we respond in a way that improves things? How can we respond in a way that creates unity rather than division? How can we created a gravity or a movement that pulls people together? How can we find that focal point that will change the trajectory we are on?

There are many out there who are trying to control and direct the conversation through fear. There are many out there who are trying to gain and profit through fear. There are many out there who are trying to create division through fear. So how can we change the narrative? So how can we turn things around? So how can we point people to love instead? So how can we point people to hope instead? So how can we point people to truth instead? So how can we point people to freedom instead?

Let’s make today count! Let’s make the most of our today! We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow! Yesterday has gone! Let’s make the most of our today, let’s allow the joy of the Lord be our strength, let’s take hold of the reality that no matter what happens we can live out today with joy! So let’s make today a Happy Today! Remember how I said no matter what happens? In this world we will have troubles but Jesus tells us to take heart because He has overcome the world! Remember how I said no matter what happens? We get to choose how we will respond, let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! You know why? Have you reflected on the reason and the hope behind such a statement? Check this out:

‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘

James 1:2-4

Not sure how to make that happen? God is so good because He offers to give us wisdom! We don’t even have to go too far after the above to find it. So are you ready, no matter what happens to make today a Happy Today! If not, let’s continue in James for a moment to capture what it says:

‘If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides]. ‘

James 1:5-8

So are you ready to make today count now? Are you ready to be the catalyst of joy to make a difference in the world around you? Are you ready to be the reflection that points people to God to be our center? Are you ready to live your life in a way that will point people back to Jesus as the center in order to strengthen the bond between us? Ever heard about the power of 3? Let’s work to become united by putting Jesus in the middle! Let’s not be attacking one another but rather let’s attack the problem instead through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit! Check this one out as we close out our heart to heart:

‘Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ‘

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 12th


A HEART-TO-HEART TALK


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”’

Malachi 4:6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you have a dad? Do you know your dad? Do you related to your dad?
  • Ever heard the shocking stats that 40% of children grow up without a dad?
  • Ever heard the shocking stats that 40% of children with a dad have dads who are emotionally absent?
  • Do you realize how devastating the missing or lack of fatherly love and guidance is on the children?
  • Do you realize how important it is to be the dads that God created us to be?
  • Do you realize how important it is to be more than just physically present in order to be the dads our kids and our families need?
  • Do you realize that this cause is so important that God plans to bridge this gap before the end of the world happens? (per today’s verse)
  • It is so important that God will send a prophet to focus on restoring and rebuilding the connection between fathers and their kids!
  • Ever considered the things in this world that are causing this issue? the impact of this issue?
  • How can we be the dads that restore broken marriages?
  • How can we be the dads that put first things first in order that our lives are lived according to the right priorities?
  • How can we be the dads that break free of addiction?
  • How can we be the dads that live selfless lives for our kids and our families?
  • How can we be the dads that live lives that support, encourage, love, direct, correct, and instruct our kids?
  • How can we be the dads that break free from bitterness and replace it with love and forgiveness?
  • How can we be the dads that swap a stone heart for one of flesh and allow Jesus to rebuild and restore our lives as He creates a new heart in us?
  • How can we be the dads that make progress in restoration and reparation of lives?
  • How can we be the dads that restore our relationships with our kids and families?
  • How can we be the dads that repair our relationships with our kids and families?
  • How can we be the dads that don’t need to always be right but can have heart to heart conversations with our kids and families?
  • How can we be the dads that can admit when we are wrong and ask for forgiveness?
  • How can we be the dads that are filled with love from God in order to overflow that love into the lives of our kids and families?
  • How can we be the dads that break the deadlock of trying to find fault and replace it with trying to find solutions?
  • How can we be the dads that use forgiveness as the solution to bitterness?
  • How can we be the dads that initiate the process rather than waiting for someone else to take the first move?
  • How can we be the dads that go to God first?
  • How can we be the dads that go to God and ask Him to forgive us, to heal us, to restore us for the sins and mistakes we have made?
  • How can we be the dads that get filled up to overflowing in our hearts so that from the overflow of the heart our mouth speak words to help rather than to hurt?
  • How can we be the dads that get filled up to overflowing in our hearts so that from the overflow of the heart our mouth speak words to build up rather than tear down?
  • How can we be the dads that get filled up to overflowing in our hearts so that from the overflow of the heart our mouth speak words to love rather than hate?
  • How can we be the dads that don’t look for the easy way out but look to take on this hard task of restoration with our kids and families?
  • How can we be the dads that receive the message and get ready to have heart to hearts with the ones God has put into our lives?
  • How can we be the dads we need to be today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How have you seen bitterness destroy families?
  • Is there anyone in your family you need to forgive? First, experience God’s forgiveness, and then choose to forgive those who hurt you.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.”

Hannah Whitall Smith

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So heart to heart, where are you at today? Are you seeking? Are you searching? Are you wondering? Are you questioning? Are you believing? Are you trusting? Are you ready? Why not get today started with God rather than trying to go it alone? Why not invite Him into your heart to help transform your heart and then your life? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What is precious to you?


What is it that you consider most valuable in your life? What do you consider priceless in your life? What do you consider irreplaceable in your life? What do you consider loved in your life? What do you consider beloved in your life? What do you consider to be a treasure in your life?

When you consider different parts of your life, what would you consider to be rare? What would you consider authentic vs artificial? What would you consider sunshine vs darkness?

So what is precious to you in your life? What would you say is most precious? How do you protect it?


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


More Precious Than Gold


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“You shall not commit adultery.’

Exodus 20:14

Ever consider like yesterday’s post how Jesus calls us to a higher standard?

27You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:28

It’s a matter of the heart! God knows our thoughts and our intentions. So if you look in a certain way or you speak in a certain way, it speaks to the condition of your heart. From the overflow of the heart your mouth speaks and your body acts. So what is the condition of your heart? What are you filling it with? What is going through your mind? What are you allowing to get replayed over and over and over? Do you realize how much it matters? Do you realize that you have a choice? Do you realize that you get a choice? So as we continue back into today’s devotional, consider your current state and the choice you can make to move forward in a better, healthier, and a healing way.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that the 10 Commandments were set in place to protect us and show us how to live in a safe and healthy place?
  • Do you realize how today’s verse goes beyond just the prohibition of adultery?
  • Do you realize that it goes beyond just trying to stop you from having premarital and extramarital sex?
  • Do you realize it is more about God wanting us to treasure our spouses?
  • Do you realize it is more about God wanting us to protect our marriage experience so that it doesn’t erode it?
  • How are you handling the friction that comes up in your relationships?
  • Are the stresses of life causing them to be amplified?
  • Are the distractions of life causing them to get amplified?
  • Are they causing the minor frictions to become resentment or anger or bitterness?
  • Are you able to take the negative thoughts captive or do they run free and cause your view to slide from dissatisfied to allow our eyes to wander?
  • Are you falling for the devils trap and finding your eyes stuck in magazines?
  • Are you falling for the devils trap and finding your eyes stuck on coworkers?
  • Are you falling for the devils trap and finding your eyes stuck on images on the internet?
  • Are you allowing those temptations to drag you or draw you from the unthinkable to the possible and then finding yourself in a place that is filled with pain?
  • Do you consider your marriage precious?
  • Will you consider it so precious that in the midst of the stresses of life, you will make time and take time to invest in and protect your marriage?
  • Will you make time and take time do to things that will strengthen your marriage?
  • Will you make your relationship with your spouse #1 human priority?
  • Will you make time and take time build up trust?
  • Will you make time and take time to have fun?
  • Will you make time and take time to rekindle and win back the heart of your loved spouse?
  • We need to be moving forward together! There is no such thing as standing still!
  • So let’s decide today to invest in making our marriages the best marriages in the world!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some factors that cause a couple’s delight in each other to erode?
  • If you are married or dating, what is one thing you can do today to express genuine affection to the person you love?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There are some things, like faithfulness in marriage, that are black and white issues.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are there thoughts going through your mind that you need God’s help to take captive? Are your actions triggering emotions or thoughts that you need to resist or reject? Are you needing help in controlling your words spoken out? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart to help you clean house and get things purified and those roots pulled up? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Ever heard that you are supposed to consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds?


Ever considered how in this world you will have troubles? Jesus warned us and at the same time gave us hope because also told us that in the midst of the troubles we can take heart because He has overcome the world! So how will you respond when troubles and trials come your way? Will you be able to remember the why and consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Let’s check out what we find in God’s Word about the why: (to try and get the most I am sharing the Amplified version)

‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘

James 1:2-4

So we see that we are to consider the various trials we fall into nothing but joy. Why you might ask? Because we know that the testing of our faith through life experiences produces endurance and hence we persevere and in so we develop spiritual maturity and inner peace. But you might wonder why else? Because we know that when we let endurance through perseverance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, we will become perfect and completely developed in our faith and hence mature to the point of lacking nothing.

So are you ready to take on the challenge of troubles and take heart? Are you ready to take on trials of various kinds and consider them pure joy? Are you ready to become mature and lacking nothing by allowing your faith in Jesus to grow and develop through troubles and trials? Are you ready to live your life different from the world and shine your light and your hope through Jesus? Ever checked out other parts of God’s Word in the Bible to understand or discover what it takes and why it is important and possible? Are you interested and will you check out things like endurance, perseverance, joy, troubles, trials, and more through God’s Word in your own study? Why not wait on God and get a better understanding of the benefits?

Are you ready to give it a try and allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength in those times when you feel weak? Are you ready to allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength in the midst of trials and troubles so that you can live your life joyfully? Are you willing to live it out so that other can see that joy in you and ask what’s up with you? Are you willing to live it out so that others when they ask you how you can seem so joyful be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you? Are you ready to get started today?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 16th


The Secret of Perseverance


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.’

Isaiah 40:31

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you like to wait?
  • Do you like to wait in line?
  • Do you like to wait at a stop light?
  • Do you like to wait for an answer?
  • Do you like to wait to checkout?
  • Is there anything you like to wait for?
  • Is there anytime you like to wait?
  • Do you look to shorten your wait by trying to pick the right line? The fastest moving? The shortest? etc?
  • Does it bother you if you discover that you chose wrong?
  • Does it upset you if you discover that you have to wait longer?
  • Do you realize that waiting is part of God’s plan?
  • Do you realize that waiting is a key piece to making sure you get to the right place at the right time?
  • I waited through most of 2020 trying to understand and persevere through all the transitioning and changes, leaning on God and trusting in Him.
  • It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy but when I got to the end of 2020 and was able to see the reason and the purpose and receive the gift of on final change of boss and job, it became clear.
  • By waiting on God I was able to run and not be weary.
  • By waiting on God I was able to walk and not grow faint.
  • And at that right moment, God lifted me up.
  • Focusing on how much bigger my God is than the challenges, troubles, struggles I was facing made a huge difference!
  • Focusing on how God has a plan and was going to work what appeared to be evil and turn it around and use it for good made a huge difference!
  • Focusing on how God has a plan and He was leading me down a path on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose made a huge difference!
  • Focusing on how God’s goals for me through this time was for good and not for evil helped me endure and persevere through it all.
  • My focus was on God’s character rather than my situation!
  • My trust was on God was up to something rather than the world was going crazy.
  • My hope was that God was working it all out for good because God is love!
  • Waiting on God is always worth it!
  • So let’s not try to grit our way through but instead let’s focus more on God!
  • In the middle of the troubles and trials, let’s wait upon the Lord to renew our strength!
  • In the midst of troubles and trials, let’s lean on Him, cast our cares on Him, and trust Him!
  • Let’s remember God’s timing is perfect!
  • Let’s remember God is love and light and there is no darkness in Him!
  • Let’s remember God’s gracious purposes in His good and perfect timing!
  • Let’s not grow weary in doing good!
  • Let’s not lose hope in the midst of trials and troubles but instead take heart remembering that Jesus overcame the world!
  • Let’s wait knowing that God is preparing something good!
  • Let’s wait knowing that God is preparing people’s hearts for good!
  • Let’s wait knowing that God is preparing situations for good!
  • Let’s wait knowing that God is preparing us for good!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when you had to wait on God.
  • What difference did it make (or will it make next time) for you to focus your heart on God’s character and trust His purposes while waiting?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting…Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”

Oswald Chambers

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is it you are facing or going through? Are you in the midst of a trial or troubles? Are you aware that you just went through it or it is coming up? Will you be ready for it? Are you ready to walk it out with God rather than trying to do it alone and in your own strength? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


It’s a matter of the heart!


When you consider the words that come out of your mouth, they are a reflection or overflowing of what is going on in your heart. When God points to the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation it is to make sure that bitterness and anger don’t take root and impact your heart. When we consider the impact or the issues that happen in life, we need to get to the heart of the matter to discover the motives and the emotions that are causing it.

Remember what it says in Luke 6:45?

‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.’

Luke 6:45

Remember what it says in Matthew 5:23-24?

‘Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. ‘

Matthew 5:23-24

Remember what it says in Proverbs 4:23?

‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.’

Proverbs 4:23

It all comes to the heart! The ten commandments weren’t to keep us from living an incredible life but rather to help our hearts be in the right place to be able to avoid the snares and issues of life! The top 2 list from Jesus that satisfy the ten commandments are a matter of the heart and how we are to love God who will fill us with love so that we can love others and pour out and into their lives in ways to glorify God! There are so many things we can learn from God about how important it is to invite Jesus into our hearts to help clean it up and keep it cleaned up through the Holy Spirit in order that we won’t allow things like anger, frustration, bitterness, and hate to take root in our hearts and stain or taint our hearts and as overflow harm and hold back the fullness of life that God has planned and desires! We know that Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but rather that we can be saved! Jesus came that we can have life to the full as we read in John 10:10 where it says:

‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’

John 10:10

So let us not get tripped up by the lies of the devil and find condemnation and pain. Let’s receive Jesus for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus as it tells us in Romans 8:1 where it says:

‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. ‘

Romans 8:1

So let’s check our hearts as we start today and see if we need to forgive, love, or clean up or uproot what is there in order for the overflow of our hearts today to be love!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 14th


The Issues of Life


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.’

Proverbs 4:23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider the heart as a place that reflects or projects what is going on inside of you
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes motives
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes relationships
  • Consider how the heart is a place that analyzes every action in our lives
  • So is your heart healthy enough to that you can see clearly or is your view distorted?
  • The heart is like a lens that is so important that Solomon in today’s proverb encourages us to protect it.
  • He is wanting us to realize that it is so important because it will affect every aspect of our lives positively or negatively depending on its state.
  • What’s in your heart?
  • Are you carrying around anything that needs to be removed or derooted?
  • If you consider your heart as the house of the Holy Spirit, does it need a spring cleaning?
  • When you consider your motives, what is it telling you about the status of your heart?
  • Are you seeing anything selfish that needs to be removed?
  • Are you seeing anything that is keeping you from living a life of integrity?
  • Are you seeing anything that is causing you to exaggerate the truth?
  • Honestly, what are you seeing or finding when you inventory your heart?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s truth?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s purposes?
  • Are you willing to stop putting off taking care of your heart and to start focusing on God’s ways?
  • Are you ready to take what Solomon says seriously and protect your heart by honoring God in all you do?
  • Are you ready to take what Solomon says seriously and protect your heart by honoring God by treasuring love and integrity?
  • Are you ready to fill your heart with God’s things or will you choose to fill it with other things that will leave you feeling empty or that you are missing something or worse if you allow bitterness in.
  • We all have freewill and we all get to make our own decision!
  • We have to make our decision daily and through each moment of the day!
  • We need to choose to let God keep filling us as we pour out or leak through our days!
  • Our decision will make a difference to the life we get to live!
  • Our decision will make a difference in our sense of joy, peace, direction, strength, and fullfilment!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Take a snapshot. What’s the condition of your heart right now?
  • What are some ways you can fill your heart with faith, hope, and love, and then protect it?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you ready to get some help with filling your heart with good things? Are you ready to get some help with pulling out bitter roots in order to be able to find freedom through forgiveness? Are you needing a video testimony on the subject (check out on YouTube “Story Slam Forgiveness GoDaddy” or visit https://youtu.be/tOHCePoPlPo)? Are you ready to have a heart check-up today? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Louder doesn’t mean it’s right. Louder doesn’t mean better.


Ever been in a meeting where people start to raise their voice or even yell in order to make their idea or perspective seem better or right? Ever been in a meeting where it even escalated to the point where people start swearing or cursing? Ever seen those people in the room who are keeping quiet and how the meeting is missing out on their viewpoint and perspective? Ever seen those meetings where the meeting either escalates or gets called because of the behavior? Ever felt like walking out of one of those rooms?

The verse of the day from the Bible App today has an interesting perspective about when we speak:

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:1

It is about our hearts! There are so many things that aren’t about the physical actions but rather about the content of our heart. If we aren’t speaking out of love then we are missing the point. If we aren’t overflowing from our hearts in love then bad things happen. Remember how it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks? If we haven’t filled up our hearts with love then the anger and frustration, the bitterness and resentment, the hate and other ugly things are what come out. So we need to ask God to help us clean house and to fill our hearts with love!

So where are you at today? What is the content of your heart? What are your motives and intentions? Consider them today before you start or get into that conversation and look to speak what you have to say in and out of love!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 12th


Old and New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’

Ephesians 4:20-24

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever caught yourself battling the ways of the world vs the ways of God?
  • Ever struggled with choosing between the sinful way and God’s way?
  • Ever been challenged with the selfish choice vs the selfless choice?
  • Ever noticed how this challenge can be more evident when you become a Christian?
  • God forgives us for all our sins, we become a child of God, and we have our names written in the book of life that will allow us to spend eternity with God.
  • Ever noticed the challenge of this newness when the old sinful nature hasn’t fully gone away?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that God doesn’t care?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that we are foolish to be following God?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that it is ok to be selfish?
  • Today’s reading points out how the old selfish nature as a self-preservation actually gets worse.
  • Paul as he speaks thru today’s verses uses the metaphor of getting dressed to help us grasp how to deal with the old (selfish) and new (selfless) ways to live.
  • Are you going to put on clean clothes today or are you going to go thru the laundry hamper to pick what to wear?
  • Can you tell the difference? Do you even realize that you are doing it? Do you put all your clothes and so it is harder to detect or distinguish?
  • What happens when you notice that you are wearing something with a stain or an odor? Do you change into something clean?
  • It is similar to how when we notice we are acting in the old way, the stains or odors of pride, arrogance, indifference, and other things need to be taken off and replaced with something new and clean.
  • So when we notice it, let’s give it up to God and ask for forgiveness and then put it down and pick up the new and clean behavior instead.
  • Let’s decide to be putting on clean clothe and habits that will honor God and bless people!
  • Let’s decide to let God’s Word to sink into our hearts and our lives so that walk refreshed and renewed (like clean clothe that just came out of the dryer)
  • Let’s take hold of God’s truth so that we don’t get stuck wandering around wondering what the stink is until others point it out that it is us. That loudness! That rudeness! Let’s make sure we are speaking from a heart filled with love and a mind filled with the Word of God!
  • Let’s be aware so that when we notice the bad behavior, we can stop ourselves and like dirty clothes, we can change our attitude!
  • Let’s not ignore it but instead let’s do something about it!
  • Let’s put on our clean clothes!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some dirty clothes you’ve worn lately? When did you realize they were dirty?
  • What are some clean clothes you need to put on today?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Bob Pierce

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the old to be made new? Are you ready to start living a new? Are you ready to be a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


What’s in your heart? It’s a fountain of its content and what comes out of it is what it is filled with.


So what are you allowing into your heart? Is it love or hate? Is it forgiveness or bitterness? Is it joy or anger? Are you allowing it to take root? Are you allowing it to grow? Are you allowing it to bloom and flooring? What will pour out of it when life gets tough?

“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.”

Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

Matthew‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, what’s in our heart? Are you ready to replace the hate with love? Are you ready to replace the bitterness with forgiveness? Are you ready to replace the anger with joy? Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you He can help you clean things up?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for June 3rd


The Well of the Heart


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Matthew‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you more focused on the outside than the inside?
  • Are you more focused on appearance than reality?
  • Are you more focused on what you are allowing into your heart than what is coming out?
  • Are you more focused on rules, regulations, and routines than on having a real relationship with others and with God?
  • Ready to turn things around and take hold of what Jesus has to say and offer?
  • Ready to turn things around and start or improve your relationship with Jesus?
  • Let’s be more focused on what comes out of our mouthed than what we put into them!
  • Let’s be more focused on the content of our heart and how the words we choose to use can create rather than destroy and heal rather than hurt!
  • How do you communicate with others?
  • You do you communicate with those you love?
  • How are you with the words you speak? Is it intentional or habitual?
  • Are you more interested in being smart or snarky or sarcastic or loving?
  • Let’s purpose to speaking more lovingly in order to bring healing!
  • Let’s tell people how much we love them!
  • Let’s tell people how proud we are of them!
  • Let’s tell people when we see and recognize things hey are really good at!
  • Don’t cut people by using critical words!
  • Don’t hurt people by using sarcasm!
  • Don’t allow silence to cause others to feel self-doubt or emptiness!
  • Be observant of the words that comes out of your mouth as a barometer of what is going on in your heart and look to adjust accordingly!
  • If you are finding that what is pouring out of you is negative, biting, caustic, or sarcastic then turn to God and ask Him to help fill you with faith, hope, and love to overflowing so that what comes out of you aligns with Him more!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Think of the conversation you’ve had in the past day. How would you describe the content of your words?
  • What changes do you need to make in your communication, especially with those you love?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“What comes out of your mouth is determined by what goes into your mind.”

— Zig Ziegler

So ready to get your heart right? Ready to get some help? Let’s pray

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

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

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

Are you aware of your surroundings?


Are you sure the foundation on which you stand is solid? Are you sure that the ground is level? Are you wearing the right footwear to be able to stand firm? Are you wearing the right equipment to be able to stand firm? Are you prepared physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for what is coming your way? Are you standing up for the right things? Are you standing up for anything? Are you prepared? What do you believe in? Do you believe the right thing(s)? Will you continue to do good, even when things get hard? Will you continue to do good and not grow weary? What is motivating you to do good? Is it enough to keep you going and keep you doing good? Are you ready to do good on every opportunity that comes your way?

What if you are wrong? What if you were to be confronted with the truth? What if you were confronted by the truth? Would you be ready to be transformed? Would you be willing to take everything you know and use it for good? Would you be able to take everything you know and point people to the real truth? Would you be able to ask for forgiveness? Would you be able to humbly submit yourself to the reality? What would it take for you to get there? Would it be something drastic? Would it be something that impacts your mind? Would it be something that impacts your body? Would it need to be enough to knock you over? Would it need to be enough to knock you down?

How would you take it if the one you were standing up against was the devil using the truth? Would you keep standing?

How would you take it if the one you were standing up against was God and learned you were missing details? Would you be willing to turn back to God?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 21st


When God knocks you down


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Acts 9:3-8

‘As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Don’t allow your position cause you to think you are better than that or higher than that.
  • Don’t allow your education cause you to think you are better than that or higher than that.
  • Don’t allow pride to rob you of living a life that is to serve others out of love and humility.
  • Don’t allow passion to cause you to step over the line or do the wrong thing.
  • Don’t be one of those people who think they are always right.
  • Have you met God?
  • Was it an eye opening experience?
  • Was it a surprise?
  • Did it change your view of things?
  • Did it transform the way you think and feel and act?
  • Did it transform your heart?
  • Did it transform your mind?
  • Did it transform the way you live your life?
  • Did it reveal the truth and did the truth set you free?
  • Did it show you your wrongs or wrong ideas?
  • Did it show you the right things and the things to grasp?
  • Was that moment a pivotal point in your life?
  • Was that moment a pivotal time and changed you and the way you live the rest of your life?
  • Did it surprise you? Did it shock you? Did it devastate you?
  • Did it break your pride?
  • Did it shake your confidence?
  • Was it a time of new beginnings where you were able to humble yourself and receive what God had to offer?
  • Is now your time for a new beginning where you can humble yourself and receive what God has to offer?
  • Are you ready and willing to submit yourself and your life to Jesus?
  • Are you ready to take hold of and meditate on the gospel? The Good News?
  • Are you ready to become a new creation and allow God to rebuild you stronger and better than ever?
  • Don’t allow pride to rob you of being a great leader!
  • Just because you are a great leader doesn’t mean you have to live pridefully!
  • Be a servant leader! Be a leader that God can bless! Be a leader that models the example of Jesus!
  • Do you really want to alternative of being a prideful leader? To have your pride crushed?
  • Either way, God will be able to take the humble, broken pieces to create a new person.
  • Will you be a humble, servant leader who is lead by the Holy Spirit instead of selfish ambition?
  • If or when God needs to knock you down, how will you respond?
  • Will you allow God to reform your passions and redirect your path?
  • Will you allow God to reform your passion in order for you to be able to use all your God given abilities for Him?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How can you tell if it’s God who’s knocking you down?
  • Knocked down by God usually is due to us falling out of line.
  • Knocked down by God usually is caused by pride
  • Knocked down by God usually is caused by selfishness
Does it encourage you or depress you that God is willing to crush your pride to reform you? Explain your answer.
  • Yes
  • It encourages me that God loves me so much that He is willing to encounter me right where I am at and help course correct and direct me.
  • It depresses me that I wouldn’t listen to the still quiet voice and humbly obey God’s wisdom and direction to the point that my pride require Him to step out and knock me over and crush my pride.
  • When God steps in and loves on me like this, He then picks up the pieces and helps me become a new and improved person.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honor. But all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God.”

— H. G. Wells

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Humility or Pride? Humble or Proud? Serving or Served? Ready or Unprepared? Persevere or give up?

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

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

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

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

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

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


It’s Official!


Has 2020 caused you to become weary? As we are heading into the Christmas season are you able to in the midst of it all find a way to rejoice? God’s ways aren’t necessarily our ways but they do tend to be higher and better than our ways. I couldn’t have imagined as 2020 draws to a close so many changes, so much excitement, so much favor, so much direction to appear. Right when I figured things had settled down there was one more change lined up to my surprise as it went from 3×6 to 4×7.

So yesterday 4 and 7 became official as I moved to my new team. Today my new team will move to me as well. They found out yesterday too and so the journey begins to connect with everyone and look for opportunities and ways to best serve and support them. Over the next little while I will also be working to transition my old job away to others and will need to help my old team connect with the respective product teams.

A couple words came to mind today that lead me forward. Manager and Steward. Manager isn’t an owner, they are to manage. To be a good manager requires being a good steward of everything God has given me.

As I reflect on being a good steward 2 thoughts came to mind “to whom much is given, much is required” from Luke 12 and the parable of the talents from Matthew 25. As I reflect on this year and consider what happened, I can see how God was preparing me for something new and for that to truly happen it required things to be taken away. As I reflect on this year and consider what happened, I can see how God was using me to show His hand over my life through it all from comments I later received about someone having my back which told me God’s favor but don’t think the person who said it realized it. As I reflect on this year and consider all the changes and the uncomfortable feelings I praise God for having never left me or abandoned me but was with me through it all. There were a bunch of trials in which to try to live out life considering them pure joy. There were a bunch of trouble in which I tried to take heart because I know that Jesus has already overcome the world.


So as we step up and step into today, not wanting to be held back from all that God has prepared and planned, grabbing hold of the verse of the day for today is key. Forgiveness!

‘ Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].’

— Colossians 3:13

✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

A Weary World Rejoices
– Five Days of Preparing Your Heart for Christmas

Our first Christmas devotional has the prelude of:

Weariness can steal the joy from our Christmas journey! Let the Nativity refresh your heart as you walk with Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and the shepherds in preparation to experience Emmanuel this holiday season.

— A Weary World Rejoices – Five Days of Preparing Your Heart for Christmas

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are: (Day 5)


Today’s Reading:


My Notes:

  • Today’s devotional is so powerful and has such incredible points about Zechariah that speaks to our hearts, Elizabeth that speaks to significance, Joseph that speaks to laying our agendas to the side, Mary that speaks to an eagerness to receive grace, the shepherds and the awe and wonder, and all of this combines into a thrill of hope in order for all of us, the weary world to rejoice! So let’s take time to reflect on this year and consider our lives in relations to all of those from our devotional and how in the midst of the weariness we feel or may feel how we can receive from God rejoice!
  • ‘ IN THOSE days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered. This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused (married) wife, who was about to become a mother. [Matt. 1:18-25.] And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn. And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! [Mic. 5:2.] And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. [I Sam. 2:34; II Kings 19:29; Isa. 7:14.] Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]. When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when [the Baby] was to be circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.’
    — Luke 2:1-21
  • ‘ He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.’
    — Isaiah 53:3
  • ‘ He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord]. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers], and He shall divide the spoil with the mighty, because He poured out His life unto death, and [He let Himself] be regarded as a criminal and be numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore [and took away] the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (the rebellious). [Luke 22:37.]’
    — Isaiah 53:11-12

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

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

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

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

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

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


TREASURE


What comes to mind when you hear the word treasure? Is it a feeling? So that you treasure something or someone? Is it an object? So that you store up your treasure or you seek treasure? What does treasure mean to you? What do you about it? What do you do with it? Where do you store it? Where do you put it?

Let’s take two looks at treasure before we jump into today’s Word:

Definition of Treasure:

If we reflect on treasure as a noun and then consider what we consider valuable. Is it a who? Is it a what? Is it a where? How do we treat things we consider valuable? Do we keep it carefully and show appreciation?

What the Bible says about treasure:

  • For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. — Luke 12:34
  • While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:18
  • And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. — Isaiah 33:6
  • But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. — Matthew 6:20
  • For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:21

So where are your eyes focused? Where are you focusing your time and energy? Where are you storing up your treasures? What do you treasure? Is it a treasure that will last or pass away? Is it a treasure that be stolen or taken away from you? How does it impact your motives and your actions? What do you treasure? What is your treasure?


Today’s verse of the day is Matthew 6:19 which stays with today’s topic of treasure and says:

Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal.

— Matthew 6:19 AMPC

With half of November behind us in the year of 2020, are you ready to stop looking back and start pressing forward into a new world? Are you ready to take the lessons learned, take the good and the bad, and allow God to turn it around and use it all for good going forward? They say hindsight is 2020, so why not take that view in order to pickup and grasp the parts that can help you as you move forward. As this week is coming to a close, let’s finish strong. As change is around the corner again, let’s be prepared and embrace it so that we can walk out our faith, holding tight to our hope, and becoming everything God has created and purposed for us to be. Don’t get stuck in the past! Let’s learn from it and press on into the present so we won’t miss the gift of today. Let’s not be distracted on tomorrow that isn’t guaranteed but rather let’s focus on today and allow to God work in and through us for the glory of His Kingdom.

The 49 week challenge Day 318

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 318 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

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

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


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


My Notes:

  • Are you ready for what will happen as the scroll’s seals are opened?
  • Are you ready for the days that are ahead?
  • Will you take hold of God’s Word in order to be ready and prepared?
  • Will you give your treasures up to God and store them up in heaven so that it will last?
  • Will you pour into and invest in people as people are eternal and so will you give in hopes that they too will turn to God and spend eternity with God?
  • ‘Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.’
    Revelation 5:1-14
  • ‘Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. “Simeon and Levi are brothers— their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel. “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk. “Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon. “Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down among the sheep pens. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor. “Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward. “I look for your deliverance, Lord . “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels. “Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king. “Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns. “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.” All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
    Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. ” When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.’
    Genesis 49:1-33
  • ‘Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord . David the king also rejoiced greatly.
    David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord , the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord , is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord , is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. Lord , the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord , the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.
    The next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and presented burnt offerings to him: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs, together with their drink offerings, and other sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day. Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon. The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before.
    David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king. As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer, together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands.’
    1 Chronicles 29:1-30
  • ‘I call to you, Lord , come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord ; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers. Their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs, and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken. They will say, “As one plows and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave.” But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord ; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.’
    Psalms 141:1-10
  • ‘Praise the Lord . Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them— this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord .’
    Psalms 149:1-9

As day 318 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Confidence!


Ever had a peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of a tough time? Ever had confidence in the midst of a troubling time? Ever had joy in the midst of trials? The central point to each of these situations is confidence in God! Consider the faith Daniel had when he was thrown into the lions den. Consider the hope Moses had when he was wandering around in the wilderness. Consider the heart of David that God would be his defense while he was being chased and pursued. Their central confidence was in the Lord! This morning the song that was in my head was also Confidence, so before we go any further, I want to pause and allow that song to speak to us right where we are at today.

Confidence by Sanctus Real

This morning as I was getting ready it was interesting how in my mind I was reflecting on the reading I had done on vacation from Chase the Lion and pairing that up with Daniel in the lions den. I was asking God to protect me while I am in the lions den and at the same time allow me wisdom and discernment to know which lion I should pursue.


Then I turned to see what today’s verse of the day is and found it to be Psalm 59:16 from the Amplified translation which aligns with putting my confidence in God which says:

‘ But I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense (a fortress and a high tower) and a refuge in the day of my distress.’

Psalm 59:16

We can have confidence because God is faithful. We can have confidence because God is love. We can have confidence because God’s faithful love is for all times, the good times and the troubled times. He has the strength and the power that we can depend on and find our confidence in. We can sing with confidence because of God’s loving-kindness and mercies which are new every morning. We can have confidence because God is our defense, like a fortress to protect us and a high tower to keep us above the fray and allow us to see with a better perspective. We can have confidence when things get rough or tough or challenging that we can turn to Him, stay with Him, run to Him and He will be our refuge in the day of our distress and trouble. We are living in a troubling time and so we need to turn to God and live our lives lead by love. We need to love us into loving others. We need to receive the free gift of love through Jesus. Allow God’s love pouring into you to overflow into the lives of all those God brings into your life today. Let’s be living sacrifices today to God! Let’s be praising Him and worshipping Him through the way we live out our today. Let’s allow God to clean and fill up our hearts in a way that from the overflow of our hearts our mouths will speak words that will glorify God because they are spoken in love.

We have confidence because Jesus paid it all, once for all. Our confidence is in the Lord, not numbers or people, it is in the Lord!


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Will you live it out in confidence in God! Will you take the lessons learned in 2020 and apply them as you move beyond September. They say hindsight is 2020, will you learn from that hindsight in order to be able to live out a better today?

The 49 week challenge
Day 281

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 281 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late.

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

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

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


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

My Notes:

  • Hebrews 8:1-4
    • ‘Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. ‘
      Hebrews 8:1-4
  • Numbers 1
    • ‘The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you. These are the names of the men who are to assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon; from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur; from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni; from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai; from Asher, Pagiel son of Okran; from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel; from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.” These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel. Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been specified, and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people registered their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, as the Lord commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai: From the descendants of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500. From the descendants of Simeon: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were counted and listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300. From the descendants of Gad: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Gad was 45,650. From the descendants of Judah: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Judah was 74,600. From the descendants of Issachar: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400. From the descendants of Zebulun: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400. From the sons of Joseph: From the descendants of Ephraim: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500. From the descendants of Manasseh: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200. From the descendants of Benjamin: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400. From the descendants of Dan: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Dan was 62,700. From the descendants of Asher: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500. From the descendants of Naphtali: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. The number from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400. These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. The total number was 603,550. The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. The Lord had said to Moses: “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death. The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard. The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.” The Israelites did all this just as the Lord commanded Moses.’
      Numbers 1:1-54
  • Numbers 2
    • ‘The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.” On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. His division numbers 74,600. The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. His division numbers 54,400. The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. His division numbers 57,400. All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first. On the south will be the divisions of the camp of Reuben under their standard. The leader of the people of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. His division numbers 46,500. The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. His division numbers 59,300. The tribe of Gad will be next. The leader of the people of Gad is Eliasaph son of Deuel. His division numbers 45,650. All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben, according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second. Then the tent of meeting and the camp of the Levites will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in their own place under their standard. On the west will be the divisions of the camp of Ephraim under their standard. The leader of the people of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. His division numbers 40,500. The tribe of Manasseh will be next to them. The leader of the people of Manasseh is Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. His division numbers 32,200. The tribe of Benjamin will be next. The leader of the people of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. His division numbers 35,400. All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim, according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third. On the north will be the divisions of the camp of Dan under their standard. The leader of the people of Dan is Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. His division numbers 62,700. The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Asher is Pagiel son of Okran. His division numbers 41,500. The tribe of Naphtali will be next. The leader of the people of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. His division numbers 53,400. All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last, under their standards. These are the Israelites, counted according to their families. All the men in the camps, by their divisions, number 603,550. The Levites, however, were not counted along with the other Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses. So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.’
      Numbers 2:1-34
  • Numbers 3
    • ‘This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Those were the names of Aaron’s sons, the anointed priests, who were ordained to serve as priests. Nadab and Abihu, however, died before the Lord when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron. The Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle. They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him. Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.” The Lord also said to Moses, “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord .” The Lord said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, “Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.” So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord . These were the names of the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. These were the names of the Gershonite clans: Libni and Shimei. The Kohathite clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. The Merarite clans: Mahli and Mushi. These were the Levite clans, according to their families. To Gershon belonged the clans of the Libnites and Shimeites; these were the Gershonite clans. The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 7,500. The Gershonite clans were to camp on the west, behind the tabernacle. The leader of the families of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. At the tent of meeting the Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle and tent, its coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the curtains of the courtyard, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, and the ropes—and everything related to their use. To Kohath belonged the clans of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites and Uzzielites; these were the Kohathite clans. The number of all the males a month old or more was 8,600. The Kohathites were responsible for the care of the sanctuary. The Kohathite clans were to camp on the south side of the tabernacle. The leader of the families of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. They were responsible for the care of the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain, and everything related to their use. The chief leader of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest. He was appointed over those who were responsible for the care of the sanctuary. To Merari belonged the clans of the Mahlites and the Mushites; these were the Merarite clans. The number of all the males a month old or more who were counted was 6,200. The leader of the families of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail; they were to camp on the north side of the tabernacle. The Merarites were appointed to take care of the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use, as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs and ropes. Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the east of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the tent of meeting. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else who approached the sanctuary was to be put to death. The total number of Levites counted at the Lord ’s command by Moses and Aaron according to their clans, including every male a month old or more, was 22,000. The Lord said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names. Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the Lord .” So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the Lord commanded him. The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273. The Lord also said to Moses, “Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites are to be mine. I am the Lord . To redeem the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites, collect five shekels for each one, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. Give the money for the redemption of the additional Israelites to Aaron and his sons.” So Moses collected the redemption money from those who exceeded the number redeemed by the Levites. From the firstborn of the Israelites he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel. Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord .’
      Numbers 3:1-51

As day 281 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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