You realize that our time here is limited right?


The Story of Job. – Day 19

You realize that there is something after this life on earth right? Will you make the most of your time here? Will you make decisions that will last for a time or will you make decisions that will last forever? Will you be a good steward of your time? Will you be a good steward of your energy? Will you be a good steward of your resources?

In this world there will be troubles. How will you choose to respond? In this life you will face trials of many kinds. How will you choose to respond? We can’t control what will come our way but we can control how we respond!

In the midst of everything, are you able to keep the hope that comes from keeping your focus on God rather than yourself? Are you able to look beyond yourself? Are you able to look beyond your situation? Are you able to look beyond your circumstances? In a world that can be filled with such hopelessness, can you still be a light of hope no matter what you are going through?


Today’s Reading: Job 14

‘“Man, who is born of a woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers; He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. You also open Your eyes upon him And bring him into judgment with Yourself. Who can make a clean thing out of the unclean? No one! Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You [in Your control], And You have made his limits so he cannot pass [his allotted time]. [O God] turn your gaze from him so that he may rest, Until he fulfills his day [on earth] like a hired man. “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the shoots of it will not cease nor fail, [but there is no such hope for man]. Though its roots grow old in the earth And its stump dies in the dry soil, Yet at the scent of water [the stump of the tree] will flourish And bring forth sprigs and shoots like a seedling. But [the brave, strong] man must die and lie face down; Man breathes his last, and where is he? As water evaporates from the sea, And a river drains and dries up, So man lies down and does not rise [again]. Until the heavens are no longer, The dead will not awake nor be raised from their sleep. “Oh, that You would hide me in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, That You would set a definite time and then remember me [and in Your lovingkindness imprint me on your heart]! If a man dies, will he live again? I will wait all the days of my struggle Until my change and release will come. [Then] You will call, and I will answer You; You will long for [me] the work of Your hands. But now You number [each of] my steps; You do not observe nor take note of my sin. My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You cover my wickedness [from Your view]. “But as a mountain, if it falls, crumbles into nothing, And as the rock is moved from its place, Water wears away the stones, Its floods and torrents wash away the soil of the earth, So You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man. You prevail forever against him and overpower him, and he passes on; You change his appearance and send him away [from the presence of the living]. His sons achieve honor, and he does not know it; They become insignificant, and he is not aware of it. But his body [lamenting its decay] grieves in pain over it, And his soul mourns over [the loss of] himself.”’

Job 14:1-22

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

We read about how Job sees life as being short. Be it when he compares it to but a few days or when he compares it to the life of a flow or even a shadow that fades. In the midst of everything, we see that Job leans on the fact that God is in control of everything in life, even though he may not understand or comprehend their meaning and even challenged with some of them. We learn Job’s view of how life works as the chapter beings from how short life is to how we are all sinners to how soon death comes. We learn how Job uses these facts to request grace from God in the midst of this trials he was going thru in hopes of the intensity reducing as his hope was wading in the pain and suffering going on. Feeling that God’s judgement was taking place, we also learn how Job was at the point of asking to die and remain in the earth till the end of the time of judgement when he could be raised to life when called again by God. It is interesting that he would speak of the subject of revelation when the dead would rise too. We see how even in the midst of the wading hope, the pain and the suffering, the trials and tribulation in his life, Job still reached for the hope of resurrection because of his hope and trust in God. We see how even though Job asked for death it had the hope of life again. We learn through Job’s questioning how we all go through the questions and process of trying to understand the who we are, why are we here, and where are we going. Everyone is looking for and wanting to have purpose.

God creates us all on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose! I remember the study of A Purpose Driven Life years ago and what it speaks to these questions. When we know the purpose, it gives meaning to our lives (Jer 29:11 – New Century Version). When we know our purpose, it simplifies our lives (Isa 26:3 – Today’s English Version). When we know our purpose, it focuses our lives. When we know our purpose, it keeps us from changing directions, school subjects, university courses, jobs, relationships, churches, etc. We we know our purpose, it helps to magnify life (Philippians 3:13 – NLT).

Job raises so many questions. Some questions will be answered later in the book of Job like:

‘If a man dies, will he live again? I will wait all the days of my struggle Until my change and release will come. ‘

Job 14:14

which gets answered in Job 19:

‘“Oh, that the words I now speak were written! Oh, that they were recorded in a scroll! That with an iron stylus and [molten] lead They were engraved in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, And at the last He will take His stand upon the earth. Even after my [mortal] skin is destroyed [by death], Yet from my [immortal] flesh I will see God, Whom I, even I, will see for myself, And my eyes will see Him and not another! My heart faints within me. ‘

Job 19:23-27

where the study notes will call out (jumping ahead a bit):

Verses 23-27: God has humiliated Job (verses 8-12), his friends and relatives have abandoned him (verses 13-20), and he has been reduced to pleading for pity (verses 21-22). But from the depths of degradation he expresses the confidence that if his case could only be recorded for posterity, future generations would judge him favorably (verses 23-24). Furthermore, he knows confidently that he has a “Redeemer” (verse 25, Hebrew goel), One who will champion his cause and vindicate him. The Redeemer is more than an arbiter (9:33) or a witness (16:19) but a Kinsman-Redeemer who will avenge him. Clearly, Job viewed God Himself as the Redeemer, and the Hebrew word is in fact used often of God (Psalm 19:14; Isa. 41:14; etc.).

Bible-Study.org Chapter 19

As Christians, we don’t need to live out our lives without hope like the world does but instead let’s take hold of the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13:

My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won’t grieve over them and be like people who don’t have any hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13

We need to be hope and light into the world around us. People are looking for hope. People are looking for a reason to have hope. We need to point people to God so that they won’t need to live lives of hopelessness.

Today’s study continues to speak to us believers the following:

Verses 18-22: The Christian response to suffering should be neither denial nor fatalistic surrender. Jesus offers people hope beyond the immediacy of their pain. The promise of eternal life prevents present anguish from having the last word. Job returned to his complaint before God, and reverted to a hopeless mood, speaking about death as inevitable (verses 18-20), and causing separation (verse 21). He was painfully sad to think of it (verse 22).

Job 14:18 “And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place.” Rather: But (compare Job 13:3-4). The “mountain falling” is the mountain from which great forces detach pieces, as man is subjected to the shattering strokes of God. The second clause shows this to be the meaning. Job was comparing his loss of everything he had, including his children, with the sudden collapse of a mountain. When a volcano erupts, sometimes half of the mountain comes off at the top. Rocks are thrown sometimes for miles away from where they had been. Just as this calamity of the mountain had been sudden, Job’s loss was sudden.

Job 14:19 “The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow [out] of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.” The turbulent waters wear away the stones of the brook by their constant action. “Thou washest away”: Rather, the floods thereof (i.e. of the waters), do wash away the soil of the earth. “And thou destroyest”: I.e. so thou destroyest. The “hope” of man which God destroys is not the specific hope of a renewed life (Job 14:7). This idea is dismissed; but more general, the hope of life. The never ending washing of water over rocks can finally cut a hole into them. The never ending pain of Job’s had cut a hole into his heart. He was full of despair and hopelessness.

Job 14:20 “Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.” When once thou takes away this life, it is gone forever. For he speaks not here of man’s future and eternal life in another world. “He passeth”: I.e. he dies, or is about to die. Man’s death is oft called a passage, or a going, to intimate that it is not an annihilation, but only a translation of him into another place and state. His countenance; either, (1) His visage, which by death and its harbingers is quite transformed in color and shape, as we see by daily experience. Or; (2) The face and state of his affairs, as to worldly riches, and pleasures, and honors, all which he leaves behind him. “Sendest him away”: To his long home by death. Job would feel like fighting back, if he had known this was an attack from Satan. He knew it was useless to fight God. Job thought God was sending this endless oppression, and he was aware he would not be able to endure for long.

Job 14:21 “His sons come to honor, and he knoweth [it] not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth [it] not of them.” The meaning seems to be, “If his sons come to honor, it is of no advantage to him. In the remote and wholly separate region of Sheol he will not be aware of it.” “And they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them”: Equally, in the opposite case, if his sons are brought low, he is ignorant of it, and unaffected by their fate. After a man is dead, his family can come to honor him, but he would not even know they were there.

Job 14:22 “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” This is man’s condition; he is miserable both when he dies, because he dies without hope of returning to life, as he had discoursed before. And (as he now adds), while he lives, while his flesh is upon him, and his soul within him. While the soul is clothed with or united to the body, he feels sharp pain in his body, and bitter grief in his soul. Seeing therefore the state of man upon earth is so vain and unhappy every way, Lord, give me some comfort to sweeten my life, or take away my life from me. A man in such great pain as Job is here, was sorrowful of soul.

Bible-Study.org Chapter 19

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

Let’s pray:

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

It was good! Can we live out the rest of our lives to keep it good?


Today is the beginning of the year. Today is the first day and so we can consider and contemplate how 2019 will be. As we awake it is good, nothing has happened to make it anything else. Today is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it. Leave the past where it belongs, behind you – forgiving and moving forward into today which has another name – the present – so let’s take hold of the gift of today and live it out to the fullest in order that in and through it all God will receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory. When God started as we read in Genesis 1 each day was a progression from the previous and each one completed as good.

Will everyone take hold of this view or plan? Unfortunately no and we can’t control what happens or takes place when others do what they do. We can’t control what they do or what they say but we can handle how we will respond. God has called and purposed for us to live our lives in a way that will bring Him praise, honor, and glory. God’s plan has always been good and for our good. God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future no matter what others end up doing or saying that may try to get us off track. So choose to forgive. Choose to leave the past where it belongs, behind you. Take hold of what God has for you to do today so that in all things and at all times you live out your life in a way that will bring God all the glory. When God explains the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 1 we learn about the generations and we know that things didn’t always go smooth and people didn’t always live out their lives in alignment with God’s purposes and plans too. So let’s take hold of the promise we have in Jesus so that our lives that have been transformed by the sacrifice of Jesus and the receiving of the gift of grace from God we can live out our today as new creations where the new has come and the old is gone.

We learn about God’s love through Jesus and we read about the revelation from John 1:1-18

‘In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.’

John 1:1-18

Will it be easy? No. Will there be trials and challenges? Yes. As we read from James 1:1-11

‘This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings! Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.’

James 1:1-11

So just because trouble comes our way we don’t have to turn in despair but rather we can receive it with joy no matter what kind of trouble it is. Let’s allow it to test our faith so that it can grow. Let’s allow our faith to endure it and develop so that when we are finished, we will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing. Don’t try to go it alone or do it in your own strength. Instead, ask God for wisdom believing that He will answer you, for if we ask for wisdom believing, He will provide wisdom generously and without finding fault. God’s Word never returns void and is alive speaking into your very situation. We have a limited time here on earth and so we need to make the most of it so that in the end it will be less about us and more about giving God the glory in what He has done in and through us. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. So every good and perfect gift comes from Him and so lets be good stewards of them to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory.

Let’s meditate on the Word of the Lord. Let’s live out our lives with the hope of Jesus that is within us so that each day we will remember the hope of everlasting life spent with God rather than going against God and having to spend eternity apart from God. Let’s take hold of all that Psalm 1 provides us so that in and through it all we will live out our today in a way that will glorify God yesterday, today, and forever.


Today’s reading came to us from:


God’s timing is perfect and after a yesterday that could have held me back or caused me to spin out of control, today I choose to make it about glorifying God and living out my today in a way that will allow Him to say that it is good and allowing Him to say well done my good and faithful servant. Today I choose to forgive yesterday and consider all that happened as joy. Today I choose to walk in that joy asking God for wisdom to help me with every thought, every word, and every action that I will need to take so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Don’t lose hope!


There are so many things in this world that will try to drain you of hope! There are so many things that will try to rob you of hope! There are so many things that will try to kill that hope you have! There are so many things that are trying to kill your hope!

Don’t lose hope!

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. –from John 10:10

That’s right, the devil’s trying to steal, kill, and destroy! Jesus is trying to give you a rich and satisfying life! Receive Jesus so that you may receive what He has to offer! Reject the devil so that he has no power over you!

Let’s be about unity and unifying people! Let’s be about bringing people hope in this world that tries to sell hopelessness! Let’s be about loving people! Let’s be about sharing Jesus with the world around us!

We have the gospel of hope! So let’s share it! Let’s help people to receive Jesus by intersecting them right where they are at in their lives so that they may receive Him and His transforming power in order to receive His purpose for their lives of a rich and satisfying life – that they may have a hope and a future! A hope of spending eternity with God rather than apart from God thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus!

Let’s today view this life we have been given as today’s devotional speaks to us with endless hope rather than a hopeless end! Let’s share this hope that is within us! Let’s help others to see that it’s not a hopeless end but rather that it’s an endless hope! Let’s do it in Jesus’ name because He is the way, the truth, and the life!

Don’t lose hope! Share that hope you have with the people God brings into your life! Let that light of yours shine into the dark world around you that other may see it and glorify Your Father in Heaven!


Today’s devotional closed with…

Hope is one of the three great theological virtues – the others being love and faith. As Raniero Cantalamessa writes, ‘They are like three sisters. Two of them are grown and the other is a small child. They go forward together hand in hand with the child hope in the middle. Looking at them it would seem that the bigger ones are pulling the child, but it is the other way around; it is the little girl who is pulling the two bigger ones. It is hope that pulls faith and love. Without hope everything would stop.’ –from Day 213: Bible In One Year 2017


Hopeless End or Endless Hope?

Day 213: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 89:46-52, Romans 14:19-23, Romans 15:1-13, 1 Chronicles 11, 1 Chronicles 12:1-22

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/213

  1. Know the hope of eternal life through Jesus … Psalm 89:46-52
    • This psalm ends on a note of hope, ‘Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen’ (v.52). The psalmist clings on to hope in spite of the fact that he is wrestling with his own situation.

      Hope in the midst of suffering and despair

      ‘How long, O Lord?’ (v.46a) is a rhetorical question. It is a cry of despair. Will this suffering go on forever?

      Hope in spite of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death

      Life is so short: ‘Remember how fleeting is my life’ (v.47a). If death is the end then there is no ultimate meaning or purpose, ‘For what futility you have created all humanity!’ (v.47b). No one can raise themselves from the dead: ‘Who can live and not see death, or who can escape from the power of the grave?’ (v.48).

      But the psalmist does not rule out the hope of the resurrection. He knows human beings cannot save themselves. He looks to the Lord: ‘O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David… your anointed one’ (vv.49–51). What the psalmist saw only in blurry outlines is made crystal clear in the New Testament.

      –from Day 213: Bible In One Year 2017

  2. Overflow with hope through the Holy Spirit … Romans 14:19-15:13
    • Paul helps us to see different aspects of the hope that Jesus brings to the world today including:

      Hope for unity

      Paul continues to plead that every effort is made for unity: ‘Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification’ (14:19). Guard this unity by being sensitive to your brothers and sisters in Christ and not offending them unnecessarily (14:20–15:1). Each of us should ‘please our neighbours for their good, to build them up’ (v.2).

      Follow the example of Jesus: ‘For even Christ did not please himself’ (v.3). Like Jesus, be a God-pleaser, not a self-pleaser or a people-pleaser. People-pleasers are those who try to please people even if they have to compromise their own conscience to do so. Paul tried to please people as long as pleasing them did not cause him to displease the Lord (Galatians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 10:33).

      Hope from the Scriptures

      The purpose of the Bible is to give us hope. ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope’ (Romans 15:4). It is through the Scriptures that you know about Jesus and the hope that is in him. The way to keep your hopes up is to study the Scriptures regularly.

      This hope leads to ‘All joy and peace as you trust in him’ (v.13). I love the way that Corrie Ten Boon puts it: ‘Joy and peace mean going around with a smile on our faces and an empty suitcase.’

      –from Day 213: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Put your hope in the coming of the King … 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:22

Let’s take hold of the three virtues…Faith, Hope, and Love! Love is the greatest!

Don’t lose hope! Break the chains of hopelessness that you find around you!

TRUST!


Trust what does it mean to you? Is it easy to give? Is it easy to receive? What does it take? How long does it take? Is there criteria for someone to gain your trust? Anything specific? Who can have it? Who can’t? Where can you find it? Why is it so hard? Why is it so easy?

Trust is defined as:

NOUN
  1. firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something:
    “relations have to be built on trust” · “they have been able to win the trust of the others”
    synonyms: confidence · belief · faith · certainty · assurance · conviction · credence · reliance
    antonyms: distrust · mistrust · doubt
    • acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation:
      “I used only primary sources, taking nothing on trust”
    • the state of being responsible for someone or something:
      “a man in a position of trust”
      synonyms: responsibility · duty · obligation
    • literary
      a person or duty for which one has responsibility:
      “rulership is a trust from God”
    • literary
      a hope or expectation:
      “all the great trusts of womanhood”
  2. confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.
  3. a body of trustees.
    • an organization or company managed by trustees:
      “a charitable trust” · “the National Trust for Historic Preservation”
    • US
      dated
      a large company that has or attempts to gain monopolistic control of a market.
  4. commercial credit:
    “my master lived on trust at an alehouse”
VERB
trusts (third person present) · trusted (past tense) · trusted (past participle) · trusting (present participle)
  1. believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of:
    “I should never have trusted her” · “he can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation” · “a trusted adviser”
    synonyms: rely on · depend on · bank on · count on · be sure of
    • (trust someone with)
      allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence:
      “I’d trust you with my life”
      synonyms: entrust · consign · commit · give · hand over · turn over · assign
    • (trust someone/something to)
      commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of:
      “they don’t like to trust their money to anyone outside the family”
    • have confidence; hope (used as a polite formula in conversation):
      “I trust that you have enjoyed this book”
      synonyms: hope · expect · take it · assume · presume · suppose
    • have faith or confidence:
      “she trusted in the powers of justice”
      synonyms: put one’s trust in · have faith in · have (every) confidence in · believe in · pin one’s hopes/faith on · confide in
      antonyms: distrust · mistrust · doubt
    • (trust to)
      place reliance on (luck, fate, or something else over which one has little control):
      “trusting to the cover of night, I ventured out”
  2. allow credit to (a customer).

So what about God? Do you trust Him? Will you trust Him? What would it take for you to start trusting in Him right here and right now? What are the obstacles keeping you from being able to trust Him? To give Him all of your heart? To give Him all control? We all have freewill and because of that we need to choose – individually. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be robots but rather to choose on our own.

Unfortunately some people take that freewill and choose to do things that aren’t very nice and can really hurt others. Hurting people hurt people. Will you trust God enough to receive Him and try to make a difference in the lives of the hurting people around you?

God is love! God so loved the world that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son, who came and gave His life on the cross as one sacrifice to cover all and enable us to be reconciled to God! We get to choose if we will receive that gift of God! We get to choose if we will ask Him into our hearts and lives! We get to choose if we will trust Him!

Have you gone thru some pain that has strengthened your faith? Have there been things that have happened to you that in the moment were horrible but built your faith and trust? I know for me the best example I have is around forgiveness. I was on a downward spiral because of what had happened and how I was being treated. I kept receiving message that I needed to give them forgiveness but I had so many reasons for why I shouldn’t and I couldn’t because of what they had done to me. Until that day when I got to my tipping point and listened to what God said. I trusted Him but wasn’t being obedient to Him until that tipping point. 7×70 came on the radio and the process of forgiveness began…first to those who had hurt me and then I heard that still quiet voice say “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” and started asking God to forgive me for not having listened and forgiven earlier. God brought a peace over me that goes beyond all understanding and comprehension, the anger, the bitterness, the frustration, the hate, … gone – all gone, God removed them and repaired my heart and mind and I was transformed and walked out a new me. With God all things are possible! Nothing is impossible with God! I praise Jesus for having taught me the lesson. I would never have asked for it to happen to me, but with the hundreds of people I have been able to share the hope and power of forgiveness, I was able to speak hope, life, and truth into the lives so many thanks to God’s patience with me and being able to help me to forgive others.


Trust in the Lord

Day 190: Bible In One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/190

Devotional, Psalms 82, Acts of the Apostles 27:13-44, 2 Kings 18, 2 Kings 19:1-13


  1. Trust in the Lord in the midst of injustice and oppression … Psalm 82:1-8
  2. Trust in the Lord in the midst of disaster and turmoil … Acts 27:13-44
  3. Trust in the Lord in the midst of evil and distress … 2 Kings 18:1-19:13

Do you realize what is going on?


Are you lamenting over what is taking place? Are you worried or concerned? Are you sad or depressed?

Do you realize there is a way to have hope beyond all circumstances? Do you realize that we are in the midst of the season that celebrates His birth? Jesus is the reason for this Christmas season!

Today’s reading has interesting bookends starting with two chapters from the book of Lamentations and closing out with one chapter from the book of Philippians.

Let’s read thru them together today and take hold as we get to the end that no matter what is going on we can have hope, we can find hope, and we can share hope because of Jesus!

1How deserted lies the city,
once so full of people!
How like a widow is she,
who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces
has now become a slave.
2Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.
3After affliction and harsh labor,
Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations;
she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.
4The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate,
her priests groan,
her young women grieve,
and she is in bitter anguish.
5Her foes have become her masters;
her enemies are at ease.
The Lord has brought her grief
because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
captive before the foe.
6All the splendor has departed
from Daughter Zion.
Her princes are like deer
that find no pasture;
in weakness they have fled
before the pursuer.
7In the days of her affliction and wandering
Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into enemy hands,
there was no one to help her.
Her enemies looked at her
and laughed at her destruction.
8Jerusalem has sinned greatly
and so has become unclean.
All who honored her despise her,
for they have all seen her naked;
she herself groans
and turns away.
9Her filthiness clung to her skirts;
she did not consider her future.
Her fall was astounding;
there was none to comfort her.
“Look, Lord, on my affliction,
for the enemy has triumphed.”
10The enemy laid hands
on all her treasures;
she saw pagan nations
enter her sanctuary—
those you had forbidden
to enter your assembly.
11All her people groan
as they search for bread;
they barter their treasures for food
to keep themselves alive.
“Look, Lord, and consider,
for I am despised.”
12“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look around and see.
Is any suffering like my suffering
that was inflicted on me,
that the Lord brought on me
in the day of his fierce anger?
13“From on high he sent fire,
sent it down into my bones.
He spread a net for my feet
and turned me back.
He made me desolate,
faint all the day long.
14“My sins have been bound into a yoke;
by his hands they were woven together.
They have been hung on my neck,
and the Lord has sapped my strength.
He has given me into the hands
of those I cannot withstand.
15“The Lord has rejected
all the warriors in my midst;
he has summoned an army against me
to crush my young men.
In his winepress the Lord has trampled
Virgin Daughter Judah.
16“This is why I weep
and my eyes overflow with tears.
No one is near to comfort me,
no one to restore my spirit.
My children are destitute
because the enemy has prevailed.”
17Zion stretches out her hands,
but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has decreed for Jacob
that his neighbors become his foes;
Jerusalem has become
an unclean thing among them.
18“The Lord is righteous,
yet I rebelled against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
look on my suffering.
My young men and young women
have gone into exile.
19“I called to my allies
but they betrayed me.
My priests and my elders
perished in the city
while they searched for food
to keep themselves alive.
20“See, Lord, how distressed I am!
I am in torment within,
and in my heart I am disturbed,
for I have been most rebellious.
Outside, the sword bereaves;
inside, there is only death.
21“People have heard my groaning,
but there is no one to comfort me.
All my enemies have heard of my distress;
they rejoice at what you have done.
May you bring the day you have announced
so they may become like me.
22“Let all their wickedness come before you;
deal with them
as you have dealt with me
because of all my sins.
My groans are many
and my heart is faint.”

–Lamentations 1

1How the Lord has covered Daughter Zion
with the cloud of his anger!
He has hurled down the splendor of Israel
from heaven to earth;
he has not remembered his footstool
in the day of his anger.
2Without pity the Lord has swallowed up
all the dwellings of Jacob;
in his wrath he has torn down
the strongholds of Daughter Judah.
He has brought her kingdom and its princes
down to the ground in dishonor.
3In fierce anger he has cut off
every horn of Israel.
He has withdrawn his right hand
at the approach of the enemy.
He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire
that consumes everything around it.
4Like an enemy he has strung his bow;
his right hand is ready.
Like a foe he has slain
all who were pleasing to the eye;
he has poured out his wrath like fire
on the tent of Daughter Zion.
5The Lord is like an enemy;
he has swallowed up Israel.
He has swallowed up all her palaces
and destroyed her strongholds.
He has multiplied mourning and lamentation
for Daughter Judah.
6He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden;
he has destroyed his place of meeting.
The Lord has made Zion forget
her appointed festivals and her Sabbaths;
in his fierce anger he has spurned
both king and priest.
7The Lord has rejected his altar
and abandoned his sanctuary.
He has given the walls of her palaces
into the hands of the enemy;
they have raised a shout in the house of the Lord
as on the day of an appointed festival.
8The Lord determined to tear down
the wall around Daughter Zion.
He stretched out a measuring line
and did not withhold his hand from destroying.
He made ramparts and walls lament;
together they wasted away.
9Her gates have sunk into the ground;
their bars he has broken and destroyed.
Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations,
the law is no more,
and her prophets no longer find
visions from the Lord.
10The elders of Daughter Zion
sit on the ground in silence;
they have sprinkled dust on their heads
and put on sackcloth.
The young women of Jerusalem
have bowed their heads to the ground.
11My eyes fail from weeping,
I am in torment within;
my heart is poured out on the ground
because my people are destroyed,
because children and infants faint
in the streets of the city.
12They say to their mothers,
“Where is bread and wine?”
as they faint like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
as their lives ebb away
in their mothersʼ arms.
13What can I say for you?
With what can I compare you,
Daughter Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you,
that I may comfort you,
Virgin Daughter Zion?
Your wound is as deep as the sea.
Who can heal you?
14The visions of your prophets
were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
to ward off your captivity.
The prophecies they gave you
were false and misleading.
15All who pass your way
clap their hands at you;
they scoff and shake their heads
at Daughter Jerusalem:
“Is this the city that was called
the perfection of beauty,
the joy of the whole earth?”
16All your enemies open their mouths
wide against you;
they scoff and gnash their teeth
and say, “We have swallowed her up.
This is the day we have waited for;
we have lived to see it.”
17The Lord has done what he planned;
he has fulfilled his word,
which he decreed long ago.
He has overthrown you without pity,
he has let the enemy gloat over you,
he has exalted the horn of your foes.
18The hearts of the people
cry out to the Lord.
You walls of Daughter Zion,
let your tears flow like a river
day and night;
give yourself no relief,
your eyes no rest.
19Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
at every street corner.
20“Look, Lord, and consider:
Whom have you ever treated like this?
Should women eat their offspring,
the children they have cared for?
Should priest and prophet be killed
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21“Young and old lie together
in the dust of the streets;
my young men and young women
have fallen by the sword.
You have slain them in the day of your anger;
you have slaughtered them without pity.
22“As you summon to a feast day,
so you summoned against me terrors on every side.
In the day of the Lordʼs anger
no one escaped or survived;
those I cared for and reared
my enemy has destroyed.”

–Lamentations 2

Be anxious for nothing but bring your prayers and petitions to God! Put your hope and trust in Him! Do not lose hope! Fear Not, Just Believe!

A psalm of Asaph.
1O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2They have left the dead bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
3They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
4We are objects of contempt to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us.
5How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;
7for they have devoured Jacob
and devastated his homeland.
8Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your nameʼs sake.
10Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
12Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
we will proclaim your praise.

–Psalms 79

So let’s grab hold of the fact that we can hope beyond all circumstances thanks to Jesus as we read from Philippians …even in the midst of chains or attacks or pain or suffering or threats or …our lives can be used to glorify God and move forward the Gospel of Christ causing people’s lives to be transformed and reconciled to God!

1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all Godʼs holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in Godʼs grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paulʼs Chains Advance the Gospel

12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and Godʼs provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Life Worthy of the Gospel

27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

–Philippians 1

So let’s live a life that is worthy! Let’s stand firm putting on the full armor of God! Let’s stand firm without fear because our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness! He is faithful! So don’t worry, instead believe in Jesus! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! We can have hope beyond all circumstances because in this world we will have troubles, but Jesus has overcome the world!

 

 

Is it a lost cause?


Is it too far gone? Is there no hope? Isn’t there something that get this thing turned around? Are we that divided? Are we that far gone? Is there no way for us to come back together? Is there no way for people to turn back to God?

If it’s a lost cause then what now? What will be the point? What will be the purpose?

Have things gotten as bad as what is found in today’s reading that starts with Jeremiah 15? When I consider the world as it is today against what is being said in Jeremiah, I wonder if the end times are getting closer. When I consider the world as it is today, even after Jesus has come to the earth and gave His all, and yet still there is division rather than unity, there is lukewarm rather than hot and cold, there is despair rather than hope. There shouldn’t be despair if we would pick up cross daily and follow after Jesus! Yes there will be troubles and trials, but we should still have joy and hope because Jesus overcame the world! Pure joy when we face trials of any kind! Hope beyond our circumstances!

Could it be that bad that we have walked so far out of the cover of God that we will face even greater challenges? Could it be that we have walked so far away that even though He is waiting for us to turn back and come back, that we are now out having to go it alone?

What’s it going to take for a revival to start up? What’s it going to take for people to wake up to the realities and turn back to God? What’s it going to do for people’s heart to be changed and transformed? What’s it going to take for the church to step up and be the church? What’s it going to take for the high standards and the truth to be spoken across the nation? Why can’t all the churches come together in unity? Why can’t all the churches come together in purpose? Why can’t they all join forces to preach the Good News of Jesus without limits and without fear? How bad would it have to get for that to happen? The Bible hasn’t changed! God’s Word hasn’t changed! Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection hasn’t changed! So what’s it going to take to get back on track?

God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. In Jeremiah 15, we aren’t left without hope. God not only speaks to where they are and in a lot cases where we as a nation are, but also speaks hope when He says

19Therefore thus says Adonai: “If you return, I will restore you, you will stand before Me. If you extract the precious from the worthless, you will be as My mouth. Let them turn to you, but you must not turn to them.
20I will make you a fortified bronze wall to this people. They will fight against you, but will not prevail against you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
21“So I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the grasp of the ruthless.”

We need to turn back to God so that there can be peace, a peace that goes beyond all understanding! We need to stand up for what is right and what is just, standing in gap!

How bad does it have to get before people come together and turn to God fully? Would sounds of joy have to be eliminated before people turn back to God? Would sounds of gladness have to be eliminated before people turn back to God? Would the sounds of happy brides and grooms have to be eliminated before people turn back to God? What’s it going to take? God’s plan is that there will be hope! God’s plan is that there will be a future! God’s plan is that there will be a remnant that will return! Will you be a part of it?

God sees what is going on! Nothing is hidden from His eyes!

Do you hear and see the lies taking place? Do you hear and see the futility? Do you hear and see the useless things? So what will be your response? We each need to make a decision for ourselves!

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness! It’s not me, it’s Him! I pray that there will be less of me and more of Jesus in and through me speaking and shining into the world around me!

Today’s reading continues into Psalms on the topic of Freedom from Terror. There is a God even though there are some that say there isn’t. There is a God even though there are some that don’t believe! He is our pathway to freedom from terror! Through all the evil and darkness that is showing up in the world, there is still hope and light through Jesus! Be encouraged in the Lord! Find vindication through the Lord! Let’s turn this nation around so that it doesn’t get put on the list to be wiped out!

How high does this need to get escalated? Do it need to make it all the way to the top? As Paul had to raise it to the level of Caesar, do we need to raise our concerns to the top? How do we get past the craziness and get to the round and round experiences? What’s it going to take? Some have been plotting and others have been deceiving, so what will you need to do to get past all the lies and cheating? What’s it going to take? Are you willing to step up and step out in faith? Are you willing to make that call? Will you choose to stand up for what is right? Will you choose to raise the stakes for the sake of truth and love and hope and faith?

So are you ready? Are you prepared for what is about to happen? Are you sowing? Are you ready to reap based on what you have sown? Have you sown sparingly and hence will reap sparingly? Have you sown generously and hence will reap generously? Are you a cheerful giver? Are you a hilarious giver? Do you want to receive God’s grace? Would you like to always have enough that you can overflow into doing good works? God provides seed and bread! We need to remember that we are to plant the seed and eat the bread! We aren’t to eat the seed too! Let’s be people who glorify God! Let’s be people who praise God! Let’s align with God and walk in His ways!

Heavenly Father,
You see where things are at and You know the outcome based on the hearts of the people. I pray Lord for Your wisdom and discernment through this time. I pray God that Your perfect will and plan will be fulfilled so that people will look to You and give you the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Your ways are higher than our ways! Your ways are better than our ways! And so Lord I give up my cares and my concerns into Your hands! I put my hope and trust in You! And I know Lord that what the enemy wants to use for evil, You can turn it around and use it for good to those who diligently seek You. So I give this day up to you and ask for Your wisdom and discernment in every step of the day and give you the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s reading comes from: Jeremiah 1516, Psalms 10, Acts 25, and 2 Corinthians 9.

Benefits of alignment with God…


Do you realize there is such thing as absolute truth? Do you realize there is such thing as right and wrong? Do you realize there is such thing as good and evil? Do you realize that we all get to choose? Do you realize that our choices have outcomes? Do you realize that our decisions and our actions have consequences? Do you realize that your thoughts do matter? Do you realize that your beliefs do matter? Do you realize that your actions are driven by them both?

So when you think about your life, how are you aligned? What is the impact of that alignment on yourself and on the world around you?

Are you being fair to one another? Are you taking advantage of others? Are you worshipping people or things that won’t help and are leading you down a trail to destruction? Are you putting your trust in things that will return void? will have no return? Are you living a life that being deceptive? stealing? killing? committing adultery? lying under oath? Do you see this being done by others? If you see something, do you say something?

Why not turn to God and align with Him by being obedient to His commands?

What will happen if you get what you want?

Will be the outcomes and consequences?


Let’s consider what Jeremiah has to share today as there are many parallels throughout time with what is taking place right now…

Jeremiah Speaks at the Temple

1The lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2“Go to the entrance of the lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! 3This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:
“‘Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. 4But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The lord’s Temple is here! The lord’s Temple is here!” 5But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; 6only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! 9Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? 11Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the lord, have spoken!
12“‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites. 13While you were doing these wicked things, says the lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. 14So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors. 15And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.’

Judah’s Persistent Idolatry

16“Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you. 17Don’t you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods! 19Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the lord. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”
20So this is what the Sovereign lord says: “I will pour out my terrible fury on this place. Its people, animals, trees, and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.”
21This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves! 22When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them. 23This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’
24“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. 25From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants, the prophets—day in and day out. 26But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors.
27“Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. 28Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the lord their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips. 29Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the lord has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

The Valley of Slaughter

30“The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the lord. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it. 31They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! 32So beware, for the time is coming,” says the lord, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them. 33The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away. 34I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

–from Jeremiah 7

Do you hear what the news is telling you? Do you hear how it varies by source? Do you know what is truth? Do you realize which is truth and which is deception? Do you realize what is truth and what is false?

Do you see where you are at? Did you fall down? Will you get back up? Are you on the wrong road? Will you turn around in order to get back on track?

I really don’t want to see history repeat itself and watch people walk away from God and not turn back. I don’t want them to fall and not get back up. I don’t want them to be clueless of where they are at. The truth will set them free — if they are willing to hear it and receive it!

Don’t be deceived by greed! Don’t be deceived by frauds!

Do you know Jesus? Or do you have a peace which really isn’t peaceful.

Do you know Jesus and even in the midst of chaos or craziness you are able to find a peace that goes beyond all understanding?

Do you know Jesus? Or do you have a hope that is more like wishing?

Do you know Jesus and even in the midst of trials and troubles you have hope beyond your circumstances?

1“In that day,” says the lord, “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem. 2They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars—the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure. 3And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!

Deception by False Prophets

4“Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the lord says:
“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
5Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?
Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?
They cling tightly to their lies
and will not turn around.
6I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
7Even the stork that flies across the sky
knows the time of her migration,
as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.
They all return at the proper time each year.
But not my people!
They do not know the lord’s laws.
8“‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the lord,”
when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?
9These wise teachers will fall
into the trap of their own foolishness,
for they have rejected the word of the lord.
Are they so wise after all?
10I will give their wives to others
and their farms to strangers.
From the least to the greatest,
their lives are ruled by greed.
Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.
They are all frauds.
11They offer superficial treatments
for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace
when there is no peace.
12Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions?
Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,
says the lord.
13I will surely consume them.
There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.
Their fruit trees will all die.
Whatever I gave them will soon be gone.
I, the lord, have spoken!’
14“Then the people will say,
‘Why should we wait here to die?
Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there.
For the lord our God has decreed our destruction
and has given us a cup of poison to drink
because we sinned against the lord.
15We hoped for peace, but no peace came.
We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’
16“The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard
all the way from the land of Dan in the north!
The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.
They are coming to devour the land and everything in it—
cities and people alike.
17I will send these enemy troops among you
like poisonous snakes you cannot charm.
They will bite you, and you will die.
I, the lord, have spoken!”

Jeremiah Weeps for Sinful Judah

18My grief is beyond healing;
my heart is broken.
19Listen to the weeping of my people;
it can be heard all across the land.
“Has the lord abandoned Jerusalem?” the people ask.
“Is her King no longer there?”
“Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols
and their worthless foreign gods?” says the lord.
20“The harvest is finished,
and the summer is gone,” the people cry,
“yet we are not saved!”
21I hurt with the hurt of my people.
I mourn and am overcome with grief.
22Is there no medicine in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why is there no healing
for the wounds of my people?

–from Jeremiah 8

Would you rather make a course correction or get corrected? Are you willing to do what is right no matter the consequences? Are you willing to be obedient to God no matter the warnings? Are you more interested in your eternity than your present?

Paul’s Journey to Jerusalem

1After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. 2There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. 3We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo.
4We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. 5When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, 6and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home.
7The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day. 8The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. 9He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.
10Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. 11He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” 12When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
13But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.” 14When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Paul Arrives at Jerusalem

15After this we packed our things and left for Jerusalem. 16Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers. 17When we arrived, the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem welcomed us warmly.
18The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present. 19After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20After hearing this, they praised God. And then they said, “You know, dear brother, how many thousands of Jews have also believed, and they all follow the law of Moses very seriously. 21But the Jewish believers here in Jerusalem have been told that you are teaching all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn their backs on the laws of Moses. They’ve heard that you teach them not to circumcise their children or follow other Jewish customs. 22What should we do? They will certainly hear that you have come.
23“Here’s what we want you to do. We have four men here who have completed their vow. 24Go with them to the Temple and join them in the purification ceremony, paying for them to have their heads ritually shaved. Then everyone will know that the rumors are all false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws.
25“As for the Gentile believers, they should do what we already told them in a letter: They should abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.”

Paul Is Arrested

26So Paul went to the Temple the next day with the other men. They had already started the purification ritual, so he publicly announced the date when their vows would end and sacrifices would be offered for each of them.
27The seven days were almost ended when some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the Temple and roused a mob against him. They grabbed him, 28yelling, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple—and even defiles this holy place by bringing in Gentiles.” 29(For earlier that day they had seen him in the city with Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, and they assumed Paul had taken him into the Temple.)
30The whole city was rocked by these accusations, and a great riot followed. Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple, and immediately the gates were closed behind him. 31As they were trying to kill him, word reached the commander of the Roman regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32He immediately called out his soldiers and officers and ran down among the crowd. When the mob saw the commander and the troops coming, they stopped beating Paul.
33Then the commander arrested him and ordered him bound with two chains. He asked the crowd who he was and what he had done. 34Some shouted one thing and some another. Since he couldn’t find out the truth in all the uproar and confusion, he ordered that Paul be taken to the fortress. 35As Paul reached the stairs, the mob grew so violent the soldiers had to lift him to their shoulders to protect him. 36And the crowd followed behind, shouting, “Kill him, kill him!”

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

37As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, “May I have a word with you?”
“Do you know Greek?” the commander asked, surprised. 38“Aren’t you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert?”
39“No,” Paul replied, “I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people.” 40The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic.

–from Acts 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be careful the company you keep!


Where are you spending most of your time? Who are you spending it with? How are you spending that time? What impact is it having on your life? Are you helping them? Are they helping you? Are you encouraging them in good things? Are you they encouraging you in good things? Are you they leading you astray? Are they bringing you place you shouldn’t go? What is being produced? Don’t be deceived! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Be aware what is around you and what is taking place! Seek God’s wisdom to ensure you are staying in alignment! Consider the fruits of such a relationship!

Is the relationship producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Against such things there is no law!

Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be lead into temptations! Don’t be lead off track!

Bad company corrupts good character

Today’s reading speaks to a time when people spent time doing the wrong things and keeping bad company…

Moabite Seduction and Phineas Arises

1While Israel was staying in Shittim, the people began to have immoral sexual relations with women from Moab. 2Then they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, so the people were eating, and bowing down before their gods. 3When Israel became bound to Baal of Peor, the anger of Adonai grew hot against Israel. 4Adonai said to Moses, “Seize all the ringleaders and hang them before Adonai facing the sun, so that Adonai’s fierce anger may be turned away from Israel.” 5So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have been joining themselves to Baal of Peor.” 6Then behold, a man from Bnei-Yisrael came and brought a Midianite woman to his brothers before the eyes of Moses and of the whole assembly of Bnei-Yisrael, while they were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting! 7When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saw it, he arose from the midst of the assembly, took a spear in his hand, 8and went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced them through—both the Israelite man and the woman’s belly. Then the plague among Bnei-Yisrael was stopped. 9However, 24,000 were dead because of the plague!

10Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 11“Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen has turned away My anger from Bnei-Yisrael because he was very zealous for Me among them, so that I did not put an end to Bnei-Yisrael in My zeal. 12So now say: See, I am making with him a covenant of shalom! 13It will be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood—because he was zealous for his God and atoned for Bnei-Yisrael.” 14The name of the Israelite man killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, a prince of a Simeonite ancestral household. 15The name of the executed Midianite woman was Cozbi, daughter of Zur—he was a tribal head of an ancestral house in Midian. 16Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 17“Deal with the Midianites as enemies and strike them. 18For they have been enemies to you in their deceptions of you in the matter of Peor and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite prince, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague on account of the Peor incident.”

–Numbers 25

Don’t waste your inheritance! Don’t miss out on all that God has planned for you! Stick with God and allow Him and His will and His way to guide you and guard your heart and mind! Live a life transformed! Live a life that will glorify Him!

Numbering the Second Generation

1After the plague, Adonai said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen saying, 2“Take a headcount of the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael, sons twenty years old and upward, by their ancestral houses, all who can serve in Israel’s army.” 3So Moses and Eleazar the kohen spoke with them on the Moabite plains by the Jordan across from Jericho saying, 4“Just as Adonai commanded Moses, a census will be taken of all men of Bnei-Yisrael who came out of Egypt, from 20 years old and upward.” 5The descendants of the sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: by Hanoch the Hanochite family, by Pallu the Palluite family, 6by Hezron the Hezronite family, and by Carmi the Carmite family, 7these Reubenite families numbered 43,730. 8The son of Pallu was Eliab. 9The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These were the Dathan and Abiram who were community leaders who rebelled against Moses and Aaron and were among the following of Korah in their rebellion against Adonai. 10Then the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with Korah, whose followers died when the fire consumed the 250 men, these men serving as a warning. 11Korah’s sons, however, did not die. 12The sons of Simeon by their families were: by Nemuel the family of the Nemuelites, by Jamin the family of the Jaminites, by Jachin the family of the Jachinites, 13by Zerach the family of the Zerachites, and by Shaul the family of the Shaulites. 14These families of the Simeonites numbered 22,200. 15The sons of Gad by their families were: by Zephon the family of the Zephonites, by Haggi the family of the Haggites, by Shuni the family of the Shunites, 16by Ozni the family of the Oznites, by Eri the family of the Erites, 17by Arod the family of the Arodites, by Areli the family of the Arelites. 18The sons of Gad numbered 40,500. 19Er and Onan were sons of Judah but had died in the land of Canaan. 20The sons of Judah by their families were: by Shelah the Shelanite family, by Perez the Perezite family, by Zerach the Zerachite family. 21The sons of Perez: by Hezron the Hezronite family, by Hamul the Hamulite family. 22These were the sons of Judah. They numbered 76,500. 23The sons of Issachar by their families were: Tola and the family of the Tolaites, by Puvah the Punite family, 24by Jashub the Jashubite family, by Shimron the Shimronite family. 25These were the families of Issachar. They numbered 64,300. 26The sons of Zebulun by their families were: by Sered the family of the Seredites, by Elon the family of the Elonites, by Jahleel the family of the Jahleelites. 27These were the Zebulunite families. They numbered 60,500. 28The sons of Joseph by their families were Manasseh and Ephraim. 29The sons of Manasseh were: by Machir the family of the Machirites (Machir fathered Gilead.), by Gilead the family of the Gileadites. 30The sons of Gilead were: by Iezer the family of the Iezerites, by Helek the Helekite family, 31By Asriel the Asrielite family, by Shechem the Shechemite family, 32by Shemida the Shemidaite family, by Hepher the Hepherite family. 33Hepher’s son Zelophehad had no sons, only daughters. The names of Zelophehad’s daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34These were the families of Manasseh. They numbered 52,700. 35These were the sons of Ephraim by their families: of Shuthelah the Shuthelahite family, of Becher the Bechrite family, of Tahan the Tahanite family. 36These were the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran the Eranite family. 37These were the families of the sons of Ephraim. These numbered 32,500. These were the sons of Joseph by their families. 38The sons of Benjamin by their families were: by Bela the Belaite family, by Ashbel the Ashbelite family, by Ahiram the Ahiramite family, 39by Shephupham the Shuphamite family, by Hupham the Huphamite family. 40The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman. By Ard was the family of the Ardites, by Naaman the family of the Naamanites. 41These were the sons of Benjamin. They numbered 45,600. 42These were the sons of Dan by their families: by Shuham the Shuhamite family. These were the families of Dan by family. 43They were all Shuhamite families, and, they numbered 64,400. 44The sons of Asher by their families were: by Imnah the Imnite family, by Ishvi the Ishvite family, by Beriah the Beriite family. 45Through the sons of Beriah: by Heber the Heberite family, by Malchiel the Malchielite family. 46The name of Asher’s daughter was Serah. 47These were the families of Asher’s sons. They numbered 53,400. 48The sons of Naphtali by their families were: by Jahzeel the Jahzeelite family, by Guni the Gunite family, 49By Jezer the Jezrite family, by Shillem the Shillemite family. 50These were the families of Naphtali by their families. They numbered 45,400. 51These sons of Israel totaled 601,730.

52Adonai then spoke to Moses saying, 53“The land is to be divided to these as an inheritance according to the number of names. 54For the larger, you are to make his inheritance larger, and to the smaller you are to make his inheritance smaller. Each is to receive his inheritance in proportion to his population. 55Certainly the land is to be divided by lot. They will inherit it according to the names of their ancestral tribes. 56The division of the inheritance of larger and smaller tribes is to be decided by the lot.” 57These were the numbers of the Levites by their families: by Gershon the Gershonite family, by Kohath the Kohathite family, by Merari the Merarite family. 58These were the families of Levi: the Libnite family, the Hebronite family, the Machlite family, the Mushite family and the Korahite family. Kohath fathered Amram. 59Amram’s wife’s name was Jochebed daughter of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. She gave birth for Amram, Aaron and Moses, as well as Miriam their sister. 60Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61However, Nadab and Abihu died when they offered sacrifices with unauthorized fire before Adonai. 62The male Levites a month old and upward totaled 23,000, though they were not included among Bnei-Yisrael, since He did not give them an inheritance among Bnei-Yisrael. 63These were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the kohen when they counted Bnei-Yisrael on the plains of Moab across from Jericho. 64Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the kohen when they counted Bnei-Yisrael in the Sinai wilderness, 65because Adonai had said they would surely die in the wilderness. Not one of them was left, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

–from Numbers 26

Focus on the things that will last faith, hope, and love! Choose to live in love! Choose to share God’s love! Choose to express true love!! Do you want to know what love is? Check this out…

The Superior Way of Love

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all that I own and if I hand over my body so I might boast but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up, 5it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, 6it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; 7it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. 8Love never fails— but where there are prophecies, they will pass away; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

–from 1 Corinthians 13

Ever heard that God is love? That means you can take the sentences above and  replace the words love with God! Ever wondered how you should live? Replace love with your name and look to live life out that way!

 

 

 

Do you care? Do you really care? How far will you go to make it happen?


Do you want to help? What if it is going to take effort, will you still help? What if the way seems blocked, will you look for alternatives and go above and beyond to make it happen? Will you not give up? Will you stand up for someone who isn’t able to stand for themselves? Do you realize the impact of this? Do you realize the impact of your faith on others? Do you realize what can happen?


Today’s reading starts with just such a story, let’s take a look at what they did and the results of their faith on their friends life…

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

(Matthew 9.1-8; Mark 2.1-12)
17One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there who had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a bed, and they tried to carry him into the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19Because of the crowd, however, they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the roof, made an opening in the tiles, and let him down on his bed into the middle of the group in front of Jesus. 20When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven, my friend.” 21The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who speaks such blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!” 22Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Why do you think such things? 23Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home!” 25At once the man got up in front of them all, took the bed he had been lying on, and went home, praising God. 26They were all completely amazed! Full of fear, they praised God, saying, “What marvelous things we have seen today!” –Luke 5:17-26

Do you realize that there will be resistance and disbelief as you walk through life? Do you realize there will be doubters who can’t believe that “all things are possible” and that “nothing is impossible for God“. So what will it take to change their minds? What will it take to get past the resistance? What will it take to help them believe? And will their resistance and disbelief keep you from accomplishing everything God has planned and purposed for your life? Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Stand firm! Finish strong! Allow Jesus to be your strength to press onward and not give up! Allow Jesus to give you peace that goes beyond all understanding. Not sure what to do? Not sure how to do it? Turn to God’s Word for wisdom! It is the instruction manual for life after all.

1Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: 6He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. 7Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. 8He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—his death on the cross. 9For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name. 10And so, in honor of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, 11and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. –Philippians 2:1-11

So let’s allow God’s Spirit living in us to help us be kind, to help us see people through God’s eyes and with compassion, share love, and work to live at peace with everyone within your control. Don’t be selfish, but rather live humbly lifting up others, looking out for one another’s interests. Don’t try to force your will on people, but rather we have been give our lives with free will and so live a servant’s life and let your life speak louder than words. You don’t have to lift yourself up, live your life right and allow God to move in your life. Not sure what to do? Not sure where to turn? Turn to God! Open His Word and allow it to speak over you and to you the promises, the wisdom, the desires, the hopes, the plans, and the purposes God has for you.

129Your teachings are wonderful; I obey them with all my heart.
130The explanation of your teachings gives light and brings wisdom to the ignorant.
131In my desire for your commands I pant with open mouth.
132Turn to me and have mercy on me as you do on all those who love you.
133As you have promised, keep me from falling; don’t let me be overcome by evil.
134Save me from those who oppress me, so that I may obey your commands.
135Bless me with your presence and teach me your laws.
136My tears pour down like a river, because people do not obey your law.

–Psalm 119:129-136