What do you do when you don’t know what to do?


Do what you know how to do!

You are at a crossroads and need to make a decision, what do you do?

You are at a decision point in your life and need to decide, what do you do?

You are hearing about the state of the world and need to decide where you stand, what do you do?

You are hearing about wars and rumors of wars, you are hearing about natural disasters including floods and fires, what do you think it means, what do you do?

You are hearing about the threat of the end of the world, what do you do?

Who do you believe? What do you believe? Where does your hope come from? Where does you help come from? Where will you turn? Where can you turn? How will you decide? How will you know real from fake? How will you know true from false? What do you do? How do you know?

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. What do I do? I turn to God and pray. I trust in Him with all my heart. I lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him. Worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything. I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. I ask, I seek, and I knock.

How about you? Don’t be deceived! Don’t get mixed up or confused between the world’s way and God’s way!


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Turn to God’s Words for answers, for me I choose a devotional at the beginning of the year (or whenever I finish the previous reading) which brings me through the Bible and allow God to speak to me throughout the year through His Word because He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, nothing comes as a surprise and so He is able to speak to me right where I am at with and through His Word found in the Bible. My current reading is coming from Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan. I pray so that the Holy Spirit can point me in the right direction and cover me with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 305 of 312)

  • Nehemiah 12
  • Zechariah 3
  • Zechariah 4
  • Acts 26:12-23
  • Revelation 19:11-21
  • Psalms 143

Can you never get too far away to be able to turn back to God. You may have gone on your long journey away or apart from God. Why not turn back to God today?

Will you try to rush things or are you willing to work through it at a normal pace? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and allow Him to renew your strength? Are you willing to wait upon the Lord and listen to what He has to say?

Will you start with purifying yourself before you start trying to go around and purifying others?

Will you use the tools and instruments God has given you to use to accomplish His will and His purpose?

Will you give thanks? Will you be generous in your life?

Will you choose to listen and trust God’s Word which is true and desires that you have life and life more abundantly rather than the lies and deception of the devil who is trying to rob, kill and destroy you?

We can trust in God because it is not by force nor by strength but by the Spirit of God that all things are possible. In God’s power nothing can stand against it.

Will you speak to what God has done in and through your life when people ask of you?

Will you tell or speak or testify to what God has done in and through you?

We need to turn back to God and ask for forgiveness for the things we have done wrong.

‘I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. ‘

Acts of the Apostles 26:20

Are you ready for the return of Jesus as He comes from heaven for the final battle? Will do decide before it is too late to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

‘Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.’

Revelation 19:11-21

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

Ask God who will hear your prayer and is faithful.

Don’t lose hope or paralyzed by fear because of the darkness around you. Turn to God and don’t be stuck in depression but instead start to do God’s will and for His glory forgive others and pursue God and His righteousness.


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

Let’s pray:

How bad do you want it?


Do you want it bad enough that you would do something illegal? Do you want it bad enough that you would do something immoral? Do you want it bad enough that you would do something unethical? Do you want it bad enough that you would do something that could ruin you forever? If you can’t have it through doing the right thing can you let it go? If you can’t have it through just means is it worth having at all? What are you basing your decision and actions on? Are you being tempted or tested? Do you already know what you should do and are being tested to make sure you remember and have been strengthened? Are you being tempted out of your fleshly desires to cross that line and ruin your life? Choose wisely! Make your decision based on a firm foundation! Don’t find yourself on shifting sand but rather build your life on the firm foundation of Jesus! Will you choose to go in the direction being lead by the Holy Spirit rather than by your own selfish desires?

What if you could see the warning sign? How strict would it need to be to keep you from crossing the line?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started with 1 Kings 21 where see learn about Naboth, Ahab, and Jezebel.

‘Now there was a man named Naboth, from Jezreel, who owned a vineyard in Jezreel beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. One day Ahab said to Naboth, “Since your vineyard is so convenient to my palace, I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden. I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or if you prefer, I will pay you for it.” But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.” So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat! “What’s the matter?” his wife Jezebel asked him. “What’s made you so upset that you’re not eating?” “I asked Naboth to sell me his vineyard or trade it, but he refused!” Ahab told her. “Are you the king of Israel or not?” Jezebel demanded. “Get up and eat something, and don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!” So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent them to the elders and other leaders of the town where Naboth lived. In her letters she commanded: “Call the citizens together for a time of fasting, and give Naboth a place of honor. And then seat two scoundrels across from him who will accuse him of cursing God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the elders and other town leaders followed the instructions Jezebel had written in the letters. They called for a fast and put Naboth at a prominent place before the people. Then the two scoundrels came and sat down across from him. And they accused Naboth before all the people, saying, “He cursed God and the king.” So he was dragged outside the town and stoned to death. The town leaders then sent word to Jezebel, “Naboth has been stoned to death.” When Jezebel heard the news, she said to Ahab, “You know the vineyard Naboth wouldn’t sell you? Well, you can have it now! He’s dead!” So Ahab immediately went down to the vineyard of Naboth to claim it. But the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He will be at Naboth’s vineyard in Jezreel, claiming it for himself. Give him this message: ‘This is what the Lord says: Wasn’t it enough that you killed Naboth? Must you rob him, too? Because you have done this, dogs will lick your blood at the very place where they licked the blood of Naboth!’” “So, my enemy, you have found me!” Ahab exclaimed to Elijah. “Yes,” Elijah answered, “I have come because you have sold yourself to what is evil in the Lord ’s sight. So now the Lord says, ‘I will bring disaster on you and consume you. I will destroy every one of your male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel! I am going to destroy your family as I did the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat and the family of Baasha son of Ahijah, for you have made me very angry and have led Israel into sin.’ “And regarding Jezebel, the Lord says, ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel’s body at the plot of land in Jezreel. ’ “The members of Ahab’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.” (No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord ’s sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel. His worst outrage was worshiping idols just as the Amorites had done—the people whom the Lord had driven out from the land ahead of the Israelites.) But when Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothing, dressed in burlap, and fasted. He even slept in burlap and went about in deep mourning. Then another message from the Lord came to Elijah: “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has done this, I will not do what I promised during his lifetime. It will happen to his sons; I will destroy his dynasty.”’

1 Kings 21

‘On July 31 of my thirtieth year, while I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. This happened during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity. (The Lord gave this message to Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and he felt the hand of the Lord take hold of him.) As I looked, I saw a great storm coming from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. There was fire inside the cloud, and in the middle of the fire glowed something like gleaming amber. From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human, except that each had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze. Under each of their four wings I could see human hands. So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings. The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it. Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back. Each had two pairs of outstretched wings—one pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body. They went in whatever direction the spirit chose, and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around. The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches, and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them. And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning. As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each. The wheels sparkled as if made of beryl. All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. The beings could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around. When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too. The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went. When the beings moved, the wheels moved. When the beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them. Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.’

Ezekiel 1

‘And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall. When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.’

Acts 9:20-35

‘And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross —not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. So we have these three witnesses — the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.’

1 John 5:6-12

‘Praise the Lord ! Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord ? Who can ever praise him enough? There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right. Remember me, Lord , when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me. Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage. Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly! Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea. Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power. He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert. So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes. Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived. Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise. Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel! In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland. So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it. The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the Lord ’s holy priest. Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels. Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked. The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold. They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull. They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt— such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea. So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them. The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord . Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness, that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands. Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead! They angered the Lord with all these things, so a plague broke out among them. But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped. So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time. At Meribah, too, they angered the Lord , causing Moses serious trouble. They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly. Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the Lord had commanded them. Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs. They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder. They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the Lord ’s sight. That is why the Lord ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession. He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them. Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power. Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin. Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries. He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love. He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness. Save us, O Lord our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you. Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 106

So what are you facing today? Do you have Jesus in your life to help you make the right decision? Do you want to invite Him in today so that You can walk out the rest of your life with him? Have you met Jesus but then walked away? Why not turn back today and allow Him to restore and renew you and your life into the future? Let’s pray!

Don’t try to do it alone, wait for the power of the Spirit to come upon you!


Imagine how things would have been today if the disciples hadn’t of waited and tried to do it all in their own strength. Consider what happened when they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Consider how things went differently between when Samson lived with the power of the Spirit and when it was removed because his hair was cut. Consider the benefits of walking with the power of the Spirit leading and guiding you. Consider the strength and wisdom that comes when you are living under the covering of the Holy Spirit. Make a difference today! Allow God’s dreams and plans for you to be fulfilled by allowing the Holy Spirit into your life. Don’t try to do it alone, wait for the power of the Spirit to come upon you!

Don’t be driven by what people tell you but rather instead be driven and directed by what the Spirit tells you. Jesus sent the Spirit for us who will believe when He returned to heaven to intercede for us sitting at the right hand of the Father. Turn to God and follow after His ways! Receive the Holy Spirit and live a Spirit lead and Spirit fed life. Don’t walk in fear but instead walk in the leading and trust in God! Let’s make our lives about a relationship with God!


Today’s reading from God’s Word shows of the benefits of living under the power of the Holy Spirit starting with Saul in 1 Samuel 11…

‘About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. “Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants,” they pleaded. “All right,” Nahash said, “but only on one condition. I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you as a disgrace to all Israel!” “Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel!” replied the elders of Jabesh. “If no one comes to save us, we will agree to your terms.” When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the people about their plight, everyone broke into tears. Saul had been plowing a field with his oxen, and when he returned to town, he asked, “What’s the matter? Why is everyone crying?” So they told him about the message from Jabesh. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!” And the Lord made the people afraid of Saul’s anger, and all of them came out together as one. When Saul mobilized them at Bezek, he found that there were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 men from Judah. So Saul sent the messengers back to Jabesh-gilead to say, “We will rescue you by noontime tomorrow!” There was great joy throughout the town when that message arrived! The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us whatever you wish.” But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together. Then the people exclaimed to Samuel, “Now where are those men who said, ‘Why should Saul rule over us?’ Bring them here, and we will kill them!” But Saul replied, “No one will be executed today, for today the Lord has rescued Israel!” Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us all go to Gilgal to renew the kingdom.” So they all went to Gilgal, and in a solemn ceremony before the Lord they made Saul king. Then they offered peace offerings to the Lord , and Saul and all the Israelites were filled with joy.’

— 1 Samuel 11

‘Then Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have done as you asked and given you a king. Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you—an old, gray-haired man—and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day. Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” “No,” they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe.” “The Lord and his anointed one are my witnesses today,” Samuel declared, “that my hands are clean.” “Yes, he is a witness,” they replied. “It was the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron,” Samuel continued. “He brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt. Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors. “When the Israelites were in Egypt and cried out to the Lord , he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land. But the people soon forgot about the Lord their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor’s army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them. “Then they cried to the Lord again and confessed, ‘We have sinned by turning away from the Lord and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship you and you alone if you will rescue us from our enemies.’ Then the Lord sent Gideon, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to save you, and you lived in safety. “But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the Lord your God was already your king. All right, here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him, and the Lord has granted your request. “Now if you fear and worship the Lord and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord ’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the Lord as your God. But if you rebel against the Lord ’s commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors. “Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do. You know that it does not rain at this time of the year during the wheat harvest. I will ask the Lord to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the Lord for a king!” So Samuel called to the Lord , and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the Lord and of Samuel. “Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.” “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless! The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people. “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away.”’

— 1 Samuel 12

‘This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord , explaining why he was holding back the rain: “Judah wilts; commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt. All the people sit on the ground in mourning, and a great cry rises from Jerusalem. The nobles send servants to get water, but all the wells are dry. The servants return with empty pitchers, confused and desperate, covering their heads in grief. The ground is parched and cracked for lack of rain. The farmers are deeply troubled; they, too, cover their heads. Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field. The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found.” The people say, “Our wickedness has caught up with us, Lord , but help us for the sake of your own reputation. We have turned away from you and sinned against you again and again. O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble, why are you like a stranger to us? Why are you like a traveler passing through the land, stopping only for the night? Are you also confused? Is our champion helpless to save us? You are right here among us, Lord . We are known as your people. Please don’t abandon us now!” So this is what the Lord says to his people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.” Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.” Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord , their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.’” Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them. Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: “Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter—my precious people— has been struck down and lies mortally wounded. If I go out into the fields, I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy. If I walk the city streets, I see people who have died of starvation. The prophets and priests continue with their work, but they don’t know what they’re doing.” Lord , have you completely rejected Judah? Do you really hate Jerusalem? Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing? We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror. Lord , we confess our wickedness and that of our ancestors, too. We all have sinned against you. For the sake of your reputation, Lord , do not abandon us. Do not disgrace your own glorious throne. Please remember us, and do not break your covenant with us. Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.’

— Jeremiah 14

‘Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear. “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”’

– Luke 12:1-21

‘Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.” But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.” And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.’

– Hebrews 1:7-14

‘How great is the Lord , how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender. The kings of the earth joined forces and advanced against the city. But when they saw it, they were stunned; they were terrified and ran away. They were gripped with terror and writhed in pain like a woman in labor. You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish shattered by a powerful east wind. We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever. Interlude O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple. As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory. Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice. Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.’

— Psalms 48

Let’s do it! Not a better us but a Spirit filled Spirit empowered us!


So we took care of what was holding us back. So now let’s do it. Let’s not allow the lies or the fears of the world keep us from accomplishing what God has prepared in advance for us to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged! Walk it out trusting in what God has called for you to accomplish! If it is in the Bible we want it. If it isn’t then don’t waste your time or energy on it. Put your hope and trust in God and walk out what it is He is calling you to do. Is it to lead people? Then do it. Is it to serve people? Then do it. Is it to be generous? Then do it. Whatever it is that God has called you to go or to do, go or do it! Let’s do it! Not in our own strength but instead filled and empowered and inspired by the Holy Spirit!


Today’s reading gets us started in Joshua:

‘Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all your fighting men and attack Ai, for I have given you the king of Ai, his people, his town, and his land. You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the plunder and the livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the town.” So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at night with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action. When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them. We will let them chase us until we have drawn them away from the town. For they will say, ‘The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.’ Then, while we are running from them, you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the town, for the Lord your God will give it to you. Set the town on fire, as the Lord has commanded. You have your orders.” So they left and went to the place of ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night. Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the elders of Israel. All the fighting men who were with Joshua marched in front of the town and camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the town. That night Joshua sent about 5,000 men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the town. So they stationed the main army north of the town and the ambush west of the town. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley. When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurried out early in the morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley. But he didn’t realize there was an ambush behind the town. Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten. Then all the men in the town were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the town. There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the town was left wide open. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Point the spear in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the town over to you.” Joshua did as he was commanded. As soon as Joshua gave this signal, all the men in ambush jumped up from their position and poured into the town. They quickly captured it and set it on fire. When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the town was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers. When Joshua and all the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the town, they turned and attacked the men of Ai. Meanwhile, the Israelites who were inside the town came out and attacked the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in the middle, with Israelite fighters on both sides. Israel attacked them, and not a single person survived or escaped. Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua. When the Israelite army finished chasing and killing all the men of Ai in the open fields, they went back and finished off everyone inside. So the entire population of Ai, including men and women, was wiped out that day—12,000 in all. For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed. Only the livestock and the treasures of the town were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these as plunder for themselves, as the Lord had commanded Joshua. So Joshua burned the town of Ai, and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day. Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today.

Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord , the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal. He followed the commands that Moses the Lord ’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.” Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord . And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar the instructions Moses had given them. Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the Lord , had previously given for blessing the people of Israel. Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction. Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.’

Joshua 8

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah:

‘But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord , your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’” Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Which can predict what will happen tomorrow? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth? “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord . “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes I, am the Lord , and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord . “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon, forcing the Babylonians to flee in those ships they are so proud of. I am the Lord , your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King. I am the Lord , who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world. “But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults. “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence. From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me; all your leaders broke my laws. That is why I have disgraced your priests; I have decreed complete destruction for Jacob and shame for Israel.’

Isaiah 43

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament, first in Matthew:

‘On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.” As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.’

Matthew 26:17-35

and then into Philippians:

‘If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.’

Philippians 2:19-30

Today’s reading closes with a Psalm:

‘Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him. Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord . Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord . You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord , will keep me safe.’

Psalms 4

When you get the call will you accept it?


What if the phone rings and you don’t recognize the number, do you just answer it? What if the phone rings and the app tells you it could be a telemarketer, do you answer it? What if the phone rings and the number is hidden, do you answer it? What if the call was from someone you know who is looking to you as a candidate for a position that needs to be filled because of your gifts and talents, do you answer it? What if the call was for a big ask of you, do you answer it? What if the call is from God, will you accept it? What if the call is upon your life for something greater than you could have asked for or imagined, will you answer and accept it? When you get the call will you accept it? Are you ready to see what God is about to do in and through you?


Today’s reading starts out in the book of Exodus with the completion of Exodus 35.

‘Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.’

Exodus 35:30-35

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 36.

‘“The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded.” So Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and all the others who were specially gifted by the Lord and were eager to get to work. Moses gave them the materials donated by the people of Israel as sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning. Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

The skilled craftsmen made ten curtains of finely woven linen for the Tabernacle. Then Bezalel decorated the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. All ten curtains were exactly the same size—42 feet long and 6 feet wide. Five of these curtains were joined together to make one long curtain, and the other five were joined to make a second long curtain. He made fifty loops of blue yarn and put them along the edge of the last curtain in each set. The fifty loops along the edge of one curtain matched the fifty loops along the edge of the other curtain. Then he made fifty gold clasps and fastened the long curtains together with the clasps. In this way, the Tabernacle was made of one continuous piece. He made eleven curtains of goat-hair cloth to serve as a tent covering for the Tabernacle. These eleven curtains were all exactly the same size—45 feet long and 6 feet wide. Bezalel joined five of these curtains together to make one long curtain, and the other six were joined to make a second long curtain. He made fifty loops for the edge of each large curtain. He also made fifty bronze clasps to fasten the long curtains together. In this way, the tent covering was made of one continuous piece. He completed the tent covering with a layer of tanned ram skins and a layer of fine goatskin leather. For the framework of the Tabernacle, Bezalel constructed frames of acacia wood. Each frame was 15 feet high and 27 inches wide, with two pegs under each frame. All the frames were identical. He made twenty of these frames to support the curtains on the south side of the Tabernacle. He also made forty silver bases—two bases under each frame, with the pegs fitting securely into the bases. For the north side of the Tabernacle, he made another twenty frames, with their forty silver bases, two bases under each frame. He made six frames for the rear—the west side of the Tabernacle— along with two additional frames to reinforce the rear corners of the Tabernacle. These corner frames were matched at the bottom and firmly attached at the top with a single ring, forming a single corner unit. Both of these corner units were made the same way. So there were eight frames at the rear of the Tabernacle, set in sixteen silver bases—two bases under each frame. Then he made crossbars of acacia wood to link the frames, five crossbars for the north side of the Tabernacle and five for the south side. He also made five crossbars for the rear of the Tabernacle, which faced west. He made the middle crossbar to attach halfway up the frames; it ran all the way from one end of the Tabernacle to the other. He overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. Then he overlaid the crossbars with gold as well. For the inside of the Tabernacle, Bezalel made a special curtain of finely woven linen. He decorated it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. For the curtain, he made four posts of acacia wood and four gold hooks. He overlaid the posts with gold and set them in four silver bases. Then he made another curtain for the entrance to the sacred tent. He made it of finely woven linen and embroidered it with exquisite designs using blue, purple, and scarlet thread. This curtain was hung on gold hooks attached to five posts. The posts with their decorated tops and hooks were overlaid with gold, and the five bases were cast from bronze.’

Exodus 36

Today’s reading brings us into Job 31.

‘“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. For what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil? Doesn’t he see everything I do and every step I take? “Have I lied to anyone or deceived anyone? Let God weigh me on the scales of justice, for he knows my integrity. If I have strayed from his pathway, or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen, or if I am guilty of any other sin, then let someone else eat the crops I have planted. Let all that I have planted be uprooted. “If my heart has been seduced by a woman, or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife, then let my wife serve another man; let other men sleep with her. For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns all the way to hell. It would wipe out everything I own. “If I have been unfair to my male or female servants when they brought their complaints to me, how could I face God? What could I say when he questioned me? For God created both me and my servants. He created us both in the womb. “Have I refused to help the poor, or crushed the hopes of widows? Have I been stingy with my food and refused to share it with orphans? No, from childhood I have cared for orphans like a father, and all my life I have cared for widows. Whenever I saw the homeless without clothes and the needy with nothing to wear, did they not praise me for providing wool clothing to keep them warm? “If I raised my hand against an orphan, knowing the judges would take my side, then let my shoulder be wrenched out of place! Let my arm be torn from its socket! That would be better than facing God’s judgment. For if the majesty of God opposes me, what hope is there? “Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold? Have I gloated about my wealth and all that I own? “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, and been secretly enticed in my heart to throw kisses at them in worship? If so, I should be punished by the judges, for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven. “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies, or become excited when harm came their way? No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone or by asking for revenge. “My servants have never said, ‘He let others go hungry.’ I have never turned away a stranger but have opened my doors to everyone. “Have I tried to hide my sins like other people do, concealing my guilt in my heart? Have I feared the crowd or the contempt of the masses, so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors? “If only someone would listen to me! Look, I will sign my name to my defense. Let the Almighty answer me. Let my accuser write out the charges against me. I would face the accusation proudly. I would wear it like a crown. For I would tell him exactly what I have done. I would come before him like a prince. “If my land accuses me and all its furrows cry out together, or if I have stolen its crops or murdered its owners, then let thistles grow on that land instead of wheat, and weeds instead of barley.” Job’s words are ended.’

Exodus 31

Today’s reading now takes us into the New Testament, starting in Mark 6.

‘Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.’

Mark 6:1-13

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 12.

‘Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice ; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.’

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

As we conclude today’s reading let’s take a moment to meditate on God’s Word and receive the encouragement of the Spirit through today’s psalm, Psalms 66.

‘Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people! He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him. For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you— yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble. That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you— the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.’

Psalms 66

Are you filled with the Spirit?


Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you received the Holy Spirit? Do you make time to be filled up daily so that others may receive the overflow? Do you make time to meditate on God’s Word in order to receive wisdom through the Bible for what is about to happen today? The Holy Spirit isn’t a thing but a person in the trinity. The Holy Spirit isn’t an it but a He. He will be your comforter and your guide! He is your counselor and your advocate! He will bring conviction and revelation of truth! He will intercede and teach! He is a witness to everything, verifying and testifying to the facts. Why not invite God into your day right now even before you start today’s reading. Why not ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up to overflow so that not only you will receive what God has but you will also be able to overflow into all the lives of all the people God is preparing to bring into your life or across your path today? Let’s get filled up as we prepare to start today so that we won’t run out of gas part way through the day!

Today’s reading beings in Exodus 28.

‘“Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests. Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. These are the garments they are to make: a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother, Aaron, and his sons to wear when they serve me as priests. So give them fine linen cloth, gold thread, and blue, purple, and scarlet thread.

“The craftsmen must make the ephod of finely woven linen and skillfully embroider it with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces. The decorative sash will be made of the same materials: finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. “Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Six names will be on each stone, arranged in the order of the births of the original sons of Israel. Engrave these names on the two stones in the same way a jeweler engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in settings of gold filigree. Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the Lord . Make the settings of gold filigree, then braid two cords of pure gold and attach them to the filigree settings on the shoulders of the ephod.

“Then, with great skill and care, make a chestpiece to be worn for seeking a decision from God. Make it to match the ephod, using finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Make the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square. Mount four rows of gemstones on it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald. The second row will contain a turquoise, a blue lapis lazuli, and a white moonstone. The third row will contain an orange jacinth, an agate, and a purple amethyst. The fourth row will contain a blue-green beryl, an onyx, and a green jasper. All these stones will be set in gold filigree. Each stone will represent one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it like a seal. “To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, make braided cords of pure gold thread. Then make two gold rings and attach them to the top corners of the chestpiece. Tie the two gold cords to the two rings on the chestpiece. Tie the other ends of the cords to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. Then make two more gold rings and attach them to the inside edges of the chestpiece next to the ephod. And make two more gold rings and attach them to the front of the ephod, below the shoulder-pieces, just above the knot where the decorative sash is fastened to the ephod. Then attach the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod with blue cords. This will hold the chestpiece securely to the ephod above the decorative sash. “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord . Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord ’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord ’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord .

“Make the robe that is worn with the ephod from a single piece of blue cloth, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. Reinforce the opening with a woven collar so it will not tear. Make pomegranates out of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and attach them to the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and pomegranates are to alternate all around the hem. Aaron will wear this robe whenever he ministers before the Lord , and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the Lord ’s presence in the Holy Place. If he wears it, he will not die. “Next make a medallion of pure gold, and engrave it like a seal with these words: Holy to the Lord . Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the Lord will accept the people. “Weave Aaron’s patterned tunic from fine linen cloth. Fashion the turban from this linen as well. Also make a sash, and decorate it with colorful embroidery. “For Aaron’s sons, make tunics, sashes, and special head coverings that are glorious and beautiful. Clothe your brother, Aaron, and his sons with these garments, and then anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they can serve as my priests. Also make linen undergarments for them, to be worn next to their bodies, reaching from their hips to their thighs. These must be worn whenever Aaron and his sons enter the Tabernacle or approach the altar in the Holy Place to perform their priestly duties. Then they will not incur guilt and die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and all his descendants after him.’

Exodus 28

Today’s reading then takes us into Job 17.

‘“My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger. “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. What if I go to the grave and make my bed in darkness? What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”’

Job 17

Today’s reading next takes us into the New Testament starting in Mark 3.

‘Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.

Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him. Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.’

Mark 3:1-12

Today’s reading then continues into 1 Corinthians 9.

‘Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. ‘

1 Corinthians 9:1-14

As we prepare to close today’s reading, let us meditate on today’s psalm. Let’s read Psalms 59 together.

‘Rescue me from my enemies, O God. Protect me from those who have come to destroy me. Rescue me from these criminals; save me from these murderers. They have set an ambush for me. Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord , though I have not sinned or offended them. I have done nothing wrong, yet they prepare to attack me. Wake up! See what is happening and help me! O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, wake up and punish those hostile nations. Show no mercy to wicked traitors. Interlude They come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths; their words cut like swords. “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer. But Lord , you laugh at them. You scoff at all the hostile nations. You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies. Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield. Because of the sinful things they say, because of the evil that is on their lips, let them be captured by their pride, their curses, and their lies. Destroy them in your anger! Wipe them out completely! Then the whole world will know that God reigns in Israel. Interlude My enemies come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. They scavenge for food but go to sleep unsatisfied. But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.’

Psalms 59

Holy, Holy, Holy…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 29])


Will you be ready on that day? Will you be expectant until that day? Will you be obedient until that day? Will you be faithful and faith filled until that day? Will you be a living sacrifice till that day? Will you be humble? Will you be willing? Will you be seeking?

Jesus is coming back! So we need to be prepared for His return unlike the story of the bridesmaid who weren’t – didn’t bring enough oil and missed out – let’s be filled with the Holy Spirit and be expectant until the day of His return! Let’s be expectant! Let’s be loving and caring! Let’s be sharing the love and hope of Jesus with the world around us that they too will get to experience His return and spend eternity in heaven. Let’s worship God by doing all that we do as worship and sacrifice up to Him, not working as unto man but as unto the Lord! Let’s be worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth!

The reason for the name of this blog is that back in 2005 my readings was from the book of Revelation. And now you know where the name from 2005 to eternity comes from.

Today’s reading comes from Revelation 4

The Throne in Heaven

1After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
 
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible speaks to the impact of the Bible on music. It pulls from Revelation 4:8 which says

‘And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”‘ — Revelation 4:8

It points us to the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” composed by Reginald Heber. “Holy, Holy, Holy” is his best known composition and as we can see was inspired by Revelation 4:8 as it speaks to the power of God. This hymn has been included in movies such as Titanic and The Fastest Gun Alive. Even with the song being sung through churches around the world, we see how it has been recorded by contemporary artists like Keith Green, Marcos Witt, Amy Grant, Sufjan Stevens, Ronnie Milsap, and Jimmy Needham.

So will you live out your life worshipping God in and through everything you do? Will you allow each day to help you be more prepared for His return from the clouds just as when He left the disciples? Let’s worship the creator rather than the created! Let’s worship the healer rather than the healing! Let’s live out our lives to the full that one day we may get to hear “Well done my good and faithful servant“.

Have you started your relationship with God yet? If not, is today your day? Let’s pray together…

Sample Sinners Prayer

I am celebrating with all of heaven for those who choose to start your relationship with Jesus. I am celebrating with all of heaven for those who choose to return to having a relationship with Jesus. We can never stray too far away and so I pray that everyone will turn back and be reunited with their heavenly Father who is waiting for your return.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything in it. I ask Lord for Your hand to be over me and guiding me through this day. Grant me eyes to see and ears to hear so that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in and through all of my life. Help me to be the person You have created me to be and to pursue Your purposes and Your plans so that in Jesus’ name You will be exalted even as our reading from Revelation says “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty, who was and is and is to come” for I know Jesus is coming back and Lord help me to be prepared and to finish the work You have given me to do and to be a good steward of all that You have given me. I ask all this Lord so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

LL Cool J – Rapping the Bible…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 7])


 

When we stop doing things the same way it opens up opportunities for God to work in and through us differently. Today’s reading shares the words of encouragement of:

‘and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord ), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord , “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the Lord , was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. ‘

from 2 Chronicles 5:13-14

Imagine that type of an encounter with God. Imagine having the Holy Spirit show up at work in a way that stops everything in its place because the main thing becomes the main thing, God’s presence is felt and visually apparent in the house. Imagine if the truth of God went from head knowledge to understanding? Imagine if we allowed the Holy Spirit to help us go from knowing about God and knowing about Jesus to knowing God and knowing Jesus and understanding of all that God’s Word has for us. Imagine if we get filled up every day with the Holy Spirit – even to overflowing – and allowed God to lead us and guide us, comfort us and strengthen us, so that we can be like the Holy Spirit pointing people back to Jesus. The more you draw close to Jesus, the more He reveals His Spirit and the more we get filled with the Spirit the more we point people to Jesus! We get to be like what we read in the Bible, we get to be His witnesses in Jerusalem (our hometown, our families, our city), in all of Judea and Samaria (our state and our country) and to the ends of the earth. You don’t have to be a missionary going out there to be a witness, we have the opportunity to be a witness right here and right now. God has put us here for such a day and such a time as this. So Jesus already paid the price and made a way where didn’t seem to be a way when He gave His life on the cross bridging the gap between man and God and providing us with forgiveness. We need to receive the Holy Spirit and cling to Him because that will empower us to take on Acts 1:8 where we read:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

from Acts 1:8

The Old Testament foreshadowed the New Testament. Be it Abraham and Isaac where God provided a ram as the sacrifice that foreshadowed Jesus as the sacrifice. Be it Moses in Egypt where God provided a deliverer that foreshadowed Jesus as the deliverer. Be it Hosea the prophet who God told to marry a prostitute who went out to the streets and the Hosea paid the price to redeem her foreshadowing how Jesus made a way for us who had walked away from God and paid the price to redeem us from our old ways.

So let’s go from a consumer mentality and just taking from God but let’s live our lives as witnesses right here, right now, where God has positioned us to be.

Today’s reading from 2 Chronicles 5 is a powerful one, so let’s read it all together…

1Thus all the work that Solomon did for the house of the Lordwas finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, and stored the silver, the gold, and all the vessels in the treasuries of the house of God.

The Ark Brought to the Temple

2Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of theLord out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3And all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the feast that is in the seventh month. 4And all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5And they brought up the ark, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the Levitical priests brought them up. 6And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.7Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 8The cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. 9And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 10There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, 12and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; 13and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever,”
the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of music points us to LL Cool J who used ideas from 2 Chronicles for the lyrics to his song “Can’t Think“. Did you realize that even some rap songs were inspired by the Bible? It is the subject of rapping the Bible. Some people may think different kinds of music aren’t for me, but God’s created music to lift Him up and so no matter what kinds of music it is, God can be worshipped and praised through it. We see in “Can’t Think” from the Greatest of All Times album (G.O.A.T.) how 2 Chronicles 5 is in the lyrics where it says:

The Ark of the Covenant was held by a king
I ain’t tradin my soul in for skins and chrome rims

The Bible inspires all sorts of music and today’s devotional points us to how it inspires religious rap. I remember when we had Sean Slaughter came to our church and sang and it was my first Christian rap experience and it was awesome – having enjoyed dance and rap music I even picked up his CD which I later gave to a guy I met who was doing Teen Challenge while helping someone move who was into rap. God is amazing and doesn’t want anyone to miss out because of their prefered music style or type. We also see many other rappers singing the Bible like Lecrae, Toby Mac, and many others.

So why not put on your favorite type of music on while on your way to work. Why not try something different and make it something out of the Bible or consider the love songs being about God rather than that guy or girls most people think about it? Why not find an internet Christian radio station that plays your type of music? I’ve tried with my phone with thinks like “Google play Christian rap music” or “Good play Christian dance music” and many other combinations based on my mood for music that day. Will you look for ways to get filled with the Holy Spirit in order to be able to overflow into the lives of the people around you witnessing to the greatness of Jesus?

Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Are you ready to start your journey with the Holy Spirit? Let’s pray this together before we go out and start our day…

Sample Sinners Prayer

If it is your first time praying this prayer, why not leave me a comment. If you want to discuss more why not leave me a comment. This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it.

With the world looking for things to disagree about imagine a book across so many languages, people, and places that comes together in a way that doesn’t change. With science books going out of day so quickly as more and more discoveries are made making the old theories invalid, why not take hold of a book that is God’s Word inspired by the Holy Spirit as a manual for us to learn about and experience God. It’s the Bible! The Bible has impact around the world.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I praise You Lord for Your Word that never returns void. I praise You Lord that You provide so many styles of music to take hold of and praise You. Help me Lord as I go out today to be Your witness in the world around me. Help me Lord to walk in the fullness of Your Spirit so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Will receive the call? Will you go? Will you walk in the power given you?


You have been given a call! You have been given a mission field! You have been given the power of the Holy Spirit!

11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

–from Ephesians 4 ESV

So answer the call! So go into the field(s) you have sent into! So walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, using what you have and allow God to multiply it, using what He provides to proclaim the truth of who Jesus is!

Today’s reading comes from Luke 9 and says…

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

‘And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus

‘Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

‘On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

‘Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Foretells His Death

‘And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

‘And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.

The Transfiguration

‘Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

‘On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

‘An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

‘John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.

A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus

‘When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

‘As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.
–from Luke 9

We need to consider what we are facing and be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish what it takes. It may take prayer and fasting to accomplish His purpose and His plans. We need to receive the power of Jesus to accomplish His will! So let’s be prepared for what is ahead of us! Let’s meditate on God’s Word that we will be filled up enough to be overflowing into the lives of the people God has given into our lives! Let’s be telling the people God has brought into our lives about the Good News of Jesus! Let’s not grow weary in doing good works! God has prepared them in advance for us to do! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s step out of the boat in faith, keeping our eyes on Jesus and not being distracted by the wind or the waves! Let’s be all that God is calling us to be so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Today’s devotional speaks about Jean Jacques Rousseau and his writing on the life of Jesus which was motivated by Luke and the other gospels.

Feb 22- Jean-Jacques Rouseau on the life of Jesus Christ - Luke 9


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I praise You Lord for having created me for such a day and such a time as this. I exalt You for having called me out of the darkness into the light that I may shine the light and hope of Jesus into the world around me. Lord You are good and Your mercy endures forever. Help me Lord today to be salt and light into the world You have called me into. Help me Lord to be prepared to discuss the hope that is within me so that in all I think, all I say, and all I do, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Are you united in love through the power of the Holy Spirit?


God’s got a plan and it is for the body to be in unity! The body of believers coming together in love and serving with one purpose, to make Jesus known! The body of believers serving with the power of the Holy Spirit leading them, guiding them, and showing them what they should be doing!

Are you united in the body?

14Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

–from 1 Corinthians 12

We each have our part to do! Some are more visible than others but that doesn’t make those more important! Some are more behind the scenes but that doesn’t make them any less important! We each have a part to do and we need to come together doing them in order to glorify God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We need to lead with love! We need to live with love! Not the love that is material based but love that is God based! We need to live our lives showing how love is!

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

–from 1 Corinthians 13

God is love and He is all of the things above! We need to become more like Jesus and so we can start to live out our lives where we can replace the word love in the verses above with our name.

We can’t do it alone! (so we need one another) We can’t do it in our own strength! (so we need the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to make it a reality!)

So today, let’s walk in unity coming together as the body of Christ to this world we live in! Let’s lead with love speaking and displaying it to the world we are in! Let’s pursue obedience as the Holy Spirit directs our every thought, word, and deed! And let’s do it all in a way that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Love, Unity and the Holy Spirit

Day 329: Bible In One Year 2017

 

It’s what is on the inside that matters most.


What’s on the inside? What’s in your heart? From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! It’s not about the outside! It’s not about what you put inside! It’s what is on the inside that makes the difference!

When others see you is it the overflow of your heart that they get to experience?

Are you taking what is on the inside and sharing it with the people around you?

Are you making a difference in the lives of the people that are brought into your life everyday?

Are you allowing Jesus’ holiness to transform you from the inside out? Are you allowing Jesus’ holiness to make you holy? Are you allowing Jesus’ holiness to pour out of your heart into the lives of the people around you?

Are people learning how it isn’t dull or boring? Are people learning how it is irresistible and unstoppable?

Are you a living sacrifice that is being lived out and on display that others may see you and praise Your Father in heaven? Are you living a life as a servant leader who is more interested in serving others than having others serve you? Are you living a life that is a blessing to others? Are you living as the temple for the Holy Spirit?

Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Asking Him to move in and start working in you? Have you started a lifelong relationship with Him that will change your destination for ever? If yes, then you are forgiven and you need to forgive both others and yourself over the past because Jesus already made it so that you are already forgiven after you received the gift through His ultimate sacrifice and receiving Him into your life!

So now will you walk out this life with God’s Spirit in you and being transformed! We are new creations! The world will continue to try and tempt us and trouble us but we get to continue growing in the truth and the hope and the grace and the love of Jesus! We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that when the devil tries to tempt us or trouble us with his lies that we can stand firm on the truth of Jesus Christ and resist him so that he will flee! We need to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. We don’t have to worry about anything because we can pray about everything! We don’t have worry about the troubles of this world because Jesus has overcome the world!

And one day when we are reunited with Jesus, we will be removed from this world that has sin and into His perfect peace and presence where there is no more sin. Jesus is coming back and He will be victorious! The devil will be gone with his angels and demons thrown into the pit of fire! And we will live with Jesus for the rest of time!

We need to take hold of the relationship with Jesus that has been made available to us! My life was changed when I realized it wasn’t about a church or a service or a ritual or a religion or a routine but that it was about a relationship with Jesus! When I invited Him into my life and my heart and started spending time with Him and talking with Him through prayer, He brought me through a journey that changed my life and the life of my family forever!

Why not start your journey and relationship with Jesus and watch how things will be so amazing and allow you to leave the past where it belongs behind you and not worry about the future which isn’t guaranteed so that you can enjoy today to the full!

jesus-inside-so-let-your-light-shine


Your Serene Beauty

Day 314: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Where do you find holiness? … Psalm 122:1-9
  2. When do you become holy? … Hebrews 10:1-18
  3. How do you become holy? … Ezekiel 19, Ezekiel 20

Did you hear that? The still quiet voice.


How will you respond? Will you receive it without needing to hear the loud booming voice? Will you set yourself in the right position and posture to respond and react? Will you be obedient to what it says? Are you even trying to set time aside so you can hear it and receive it? Do you hear the wisdom? Do you hear the instruction? Do you hear the direction? Now what will you do with it? How will you respond?

Having ignored the still quiet voice at a point in my life till the point where the big booming voice was used, I recommend listening and obeying the still quiet voice as the loud booming voice is enough to freak you out … it did me anyways.

Will you allow the Spirit to speak words of wisdom to you so that you can share and speak life into the lives of the people around you? Will you allow the Spirit to speak words of discernment to you so that you can help other find peace and answers they are looking for? Will you allow the Spirit to speak truth that will set people free with the reality of Jesus Christ? Will you be a conduit and obedient to speak it, even it feel uncomfortable?

Will you find a way in the midst of the noise, talk, and distractions of this world to allow the Holy Spirit to encounter you? Will allow Him to speak to you in a way where you will realize that Jesus is real and wants to have a relationship with you? A real, intimate relationship with you? What about to help those around you to come to the realization of Jesus?

If not you then who? If not now then when? If not through you then how? If not here then where? If not for His glory then why? If not for salvation then what?


How to Listen to the Holy Spirit

Day 232: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Listen to wisdom and knowledge … Proverbs 20:15-24
  2. Listen through the gifts of the Holy Spirit … 1 Corinthians 14:1-19
  3. Listen to good advice and prophetic words … 2 Chronicles 10:1-12:16

Today’s Reading:

  • Devotional
  • Proverbs 20:15-24
  • 1 Corinthians 14:1-19
  • 2 Chronicles 10
  • 2 Chronicles 11
  • 2 Chronicles 12

Hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit