On Thanksgiving-eve, can you be thankful?


THE STORY OF JOB. – DAY 15

What if you had lost your possessions? What if you had lost your monetary worth? What if you had lost your children? What if you had lost your health? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

What if your friends started to judge you? What if your friends started to accuse you? What if your friends started to attack you? What if your friends started to try and shame you? What if your friends blamed you for something you didn’t do? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

Can you find hope in the midst of troubles? Can you find joy in the midst of trials? Can be thankful FOR THE things God has done in and through you? Can you be thankful EVEN THOUGH things haven’t always been easy? Can you be thankful BECAUSE OF the trials and tests and troubles, knowing that they will all work together for God because of your faith and trust in God?


Today’s reading of Job from God’s Word comes from Job 11:


‘Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said, “Shall a multitude of words not be answered? And should a talkative man [making such a long-winded defense] be acquitted? Should your boasts and babble silence men? And shall you scoff and no one put you to shame? For you have said, ‘My teaching (doctrine) [that God knowingly afflicts the righteous] is pure, And I am innocent in your eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips [to speak] against you, And [that He would] show you the secrets of wisdom! For sound wisdom has two sides. Know therefore that God forgets a part of your wickedness and guilt. “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you [by searching] discover the limits of the Almighty [ascend to His heights, extend to His widths, and comprehend His infinite perfection]? His wisdom is as high as the heights of heaven. What can you do? It is deeper than Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead). What can you know? It is longer in measure [and scope] than the earth, And broader than the sea. If God passes by or arrests, Or calls an assembly [of judgment], who can restrain Him? [If He is against a man, who can call Him to account for it?] For He recognizes and knows false and worthless men, And He sees wickedness, will He not consider it? But a hollow (empty-headed) man will become intelligent and wise [Only] when the colt of a wild donkey is born as a man. “If you direct your heart [on the right path] And stretch out your hands to Him, If sin is in your hand, put it far away [from you], And do not let wrongdoing dwell in your tents; Then, indeed, you could lift up your face [to Him] without moral defect, And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear. For you would forget your trouble; You would remember it as waters that have passed by. And your life would be brighter than the noonday; Darkness [then] would be like the morning. Then you would trust [with confidence], because there is hope; You would look around you and rest securely. You would lie down with no one to frighten you, And many would entreat and seek your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].”’

Job 11

Today’s study comes from these two sources:


Study Notes:

We see another one of Job’s friends step in today and look for an audience with God too, but unfortunately Zophah was wanted the audience in order for God to speak to Job’s iniquity and need to repent. We see how another close friend of Job decides to accuse Job that what he has been going through must be in retaliation to something he had done wrong. As with Job’s other friend who spoke, Zophah is trying to get Job to repent without realizing the reality of the situation. Just as the disciples ask Jesus who sinned to make the man blind from birth, Job’s friends are assuming guilt because of the struggles Job has been going through. Zophah gets started with rebuke · reprimand · reproach · admonishment · admonition · reproval · remonstration · disapproval · disapprobation · criticism · censure · blame · condemnation · fault-finding · telling-off · rap over the knuckles · slap on the wrist · dressing down · blast · ticking off · wigging · serve · rating · reprehension and censure · criticism · castigation · stricture · denunciation · damnation · vilification · opprobrium · reproof · disapproval · disapprobation · flak · a bad press · reprobation · arraignment · excoriation · objurgation. We know from the Bible that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We also know that God convicts us out of love unlike Satan who condemns in order to destroy. Zophah starts out with the assumption that for all this to have happened that Job is guilty. Zophah then goes on to name call Job a talker, a liar, and a mocker. Zophah takes Job’s claim of integrity and twists it by going to the extreme that Job was really saying he was sinless and then Zophah attacked him for it. Zophah wouldn’t stop there, he alleges that not only was Job guilty and unrepentant but also an empty talker, with all that hot air he was spouting off about his innocence and God’s apparent injustice was enough that Zophah would have to speak up and take a stand. Even though Job had earlier acknowledged his sin while maintaining his innocence, Zophah had to respond and retaliate.

As I consider this and ponder this, the words “vengeance is mine says the Lord” come to mind in that we shouldn’t and don’t need to be judging others about things we don’t know and we don’t understand because God won’t be fooled nor mocked and He is able to take care of things himself without our need to judge and accuse. Let’s not fall into the first response being to accuse or assume, let’s make our first response to turn to God for wisdom and discernment how He would choose to use us in the midst of a friends troubles and trials? We need to be considering how when we point at someone there are other fingers pointing back at ourselves and we need to be checking our own lives and hearts and take responsibility and accountability for our own lives. We need to be looking in the mirror and considering what do we need to be doing about our own lives to get more aligned with God’s will and purpose and plan. Receiving Jesus gives us salvation, but God’s plan is that we will have life and life more abundantly and so we need to be move forward from that starting point in alignment with His purpose, plan, and will in order to walk into all the good He has planned for our lives, even in the midst of the trials and troubles.

As we get to verse 5 and following, we learn in today’s study how the words being spoken by Zophah to Job were not helpful but hurtful, they would be helpful if it had been a self-reflection to himself, but in the position Job was in the words brought little to no value.

Verses 5-6: Pastor and scholar Andrew W. Blackwood wrote about this passage, “Such a remark might have considerable value if spoken while looking into the mirror. But from a man who is not suffering, to a man who is suffering, this remark is cruel and utterly without any value at all.”

Job 11:5 “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;” Plead with thee according to thy desire: he would soon put thee to silence. We are commonly ready, with great assurance, to interest God in our quarrels. But they are not always in the right who are most forward to appeal to his judgment, and prejudge it against their antagonists.

Job 11:6 “And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that [they are] double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less] than thine iniquity [deserveth].” “Secrets of wisdom”: Job would have been much wiser if he had only known the unknowable secret of God; in this case the scene in heaven between God and Satan would have clarified everything. But Job couldn’t know the secret wisdom of God (verses 7-9). Zophar should have applied his point to himself. If God’s wisdom was so deep, high, long and broad, how was it that he could understand it and have all the answers? Like his friends, Zophar thought he understood God and reverted to the same law of retaliation, the sowing and reaping principle, to again indict Job. He implied that Job was wicked (verses 10-11), and thought he was wise, thought actually he was out of control as if he were a “wild donkey” (verse 12). As terrible as the attack of Satan had been on Job, Zophar felt that it was not enough for the sins of Job. Zophar wanted God to speak out loud and condemn Job, where they could all hear it. In God is all Wisdom and Truth. Zophar was saying to Job, that he had no wisdom. He thought if Job had been wise, he would have repented of his sins by now.

Job 11:7 “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Literally, can you attain to the searching out of God? Can you suppose, that is, that whatever your wisdom, learning, subtlety, sagacity, power of insight, you will be able to search out and fully know the character, attributes, modes of thought and actions of the Most High? No. In one sense, all men do well to profess themselves “Agnostics”. Not that they can know nothing of God, but that they can never know him fully and never exhaust the knowledge of him. As the apostle says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God”! “how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:33-34). “Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Rather. Can you attain to the perfection of the Almighty? Understand, i.e., his inconceivable perfectness. He was asking Job if he thought that he really could know God? He was saying that the wisdom and knowledge of Job would not help him to know God. He was telling Job, that in no way could he measure up to the expectations of the Almighty God. Zophar was a tormenter, not a comforter.

Job 11:8 “[It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” Literally, the heights of the heavens; what can you do? But the meaning is probably that expressed in the Authorized Version. God’s perfectness is unattainable by man’s thought, as the heights of the heavens are by his feet. Deeper than hell; literally, than Sheol, or the receptacle of the dead (see comment on Job 10:21). Paul speaks of the “deep things,” or rather, “the depths” of God (see 1 Cor. 2:10). “What canst thou know? How small a part of the Divine nature can any man thoroughly comprehend and know!

Job 11:9 “The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” Length is generally ascribed to the earth, and width to the sea. The ends of the earth are used for a great distance, and the sea is called the great and wide sea (see Psalm 72:1). But God and his perfections, particularly his wisdom and understanding, are infinite (Psalm 147:5). And will admit of no dimensions; as his love, so his wisdom, has a height which cannot be reached, a depth that cannot be fathomed, and a length and breadth immeasurable (see Eph. 3:18). From hence it appears that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and incomprehensible; and since he is to be found in Christ, and in him only, it is in vain for us to seek for him elsewhere. Next the sovereignty of God is spoken of. This was speaking of the perfection of the Almighty filling the earth and the seas. The following Scripture says it best.

Job Chapter 11 Study

Ever had someone throw your words back in your face and use them in the totally opposite way? We see starting in Job 11:10 how Zophah does just that.

Verses 10-12: In his rhetorical question in 9:12, Job had compared his own cries to the braying of a wild donkey (6:5). Here, Zophar echoes his question but draws the opposite conclusion and accuses Job of being foolish and “empty-headed” (Psalms 10:14: 39:5).

Job 11:10 “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?” Namely, a person or family. “And shut up”: In prison, or in the hands of an enemy, or in the net of affliction and trouble (Psalm 66:11). “Or gather together”: Make our condition straight and narrow, as some interpret it. Or, gather together as tares to the fire, or gather to himself man’s breath and spirit (Job 34:14). “Then who can hinder him? From doing what he pleases with his creatures? Who can either block the sentence, or oppose the execution? Who can control his power or arraign his wisdom and justice? If he, who made all out of nothing, thinks fit to reduce all to nothing; if he that separated between light and darkness, dry land and sea at first, is pleased to gather them together again. If he that made, think proper to unmake, who can turn him; alter his mind, or stay his hand, or impede or impeach his proceedings? The answer of course, was no one, not even Satan. We must keep remembering that God gave Satan permission to do this to Job. This was in no way a punishment on Job for sins. This was a proving to Satan and to the on-looking angels that Job was truly a righteous man, and that nothing Satan could do to him would change that.

Job 11:11 “For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider [it]?” Though men know but little of God, and therefore are very unfit judges of his counsels and actions, yet God knows man exactly. He knows that every man in the world is guilty of much vanity and folly, and therefore sees sufficient reason for his severity against the best men. “He seeth wickedness also”: He perceives the wickedness of evil men, though it be covered with the veil of religion. “Will he not then consider it?” Shall he only see it as an idle spectator, and not observe it as a judge to punish it? The worst of this was that Zophar was accusing Job of being vain in his own conceit. He was saying that Job had been pretending to be a Godly man, but was not faithful to God in his heart.

Job 11:12 “For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass’s colt.” Man, who since the fall is void of all true wisdom, pretends to be wise, and able to pass a censure upon all God’s ways and works. “Born like a wild ass’s colt”: Ignorant, dull, and stupid, as to divine things, and yet heady and untraceable. Such is man by his birth; this evil is now natural and hereditary, and therefore common to all men. Of consequence it is not strange, if Job partake of the common distemper. Zophar believed that the troubles which had come to Job was because he was vain and puffed up with pride. Zophar believed they came on Job to cause him to repent.

Job Chapter 11 Study

With Zophah’s assumption of Job being a sinner, He points to God’s power of forgiveness if Job will be willing to confess his sin and repent. We learn how Zophah seemed to believe God worked on a tit for tat type of a system or that you get something from God because you first gave God something. But the earth is the Lord’s and everything it, there is nothing we can give God that He doesn’t already have.

We know that isn’t how God’s economy works. We know that isn’t how God works. We know that even simply through the example of Jesus who while we were yet sinners, He died for us. God didn’t wait for us to be good enough, clean enough, smart enough, … He knew that the only way to make a way was to take things into His own hands and hence the ultimate sacrifice, once for all, made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.

We learn as we start in verse 13 how Zophah continues with the message to Job with the conclusion that his sin would lead to his death.

Verses 13-20: Zophar continues to assume that Job is a sinner but reminds him that God will forgive his sin upon his confession and repentance. Zophar asserted that God operates on the basis of “You give Me something, and I will give you something.” But God does not operate this way. His creation has nothing to give Him that is worth any value (Isa. 64:6).

Verses 13-14: Zophar started out this section speaking directly to Job, “If thou prepare …” and concluded speaking proverbially, “But the “eyes of the wicked …”. In so doing Zophar avoided directly calling Job wicked, but succeeded with ever greater force by being indirect. In the end, he told Job that his sin would bring about his death.

Job 11:13 “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;” Thy business, O Job, is not to quarrel with thy Maker, or his works. But to address thyself to him by prayer and supplication, sincerely repenting of all your hard speeches, and other sins against God, and seeking him with a pure and upright heart; without which your prayers will be in vain. “Stretch out thine hands”: I.e. pray, which is here described by its usual gesture (as Job 15:25; Psalm 88:9). “Towards him”: I.e. to God, as appears both from the nature of the thing, and from the context.

Job 11:14 “If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.” If you have in your hand, or possession, any goods gotten by injustice or oppression, as it seems they supposed he had. Or, he means more generally, if you allow yourself in any sinful practices, the hand being put for action, whereof it is the instrument. “Put it far away”: Keep yourself at a great distance, not only from such actions, but also from the very occasions and appearances of them. “Let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles”: That is, in thy habitation, either in thyself or in thy family. Whose sins Job was obliged, as far as he could, to prevent or reform, as it seems he had done (Job 1:5). He said, tabernacles, because anciently the habitations of great men consisted of several tents or tabernacles. He was giving Job advice here. He wanted Job to put his wickedness far from him, so that God would hear his plea for forgiveness.

Job 11:15 “For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear:” With cheerfulness and holy boldness. “Without spot”: Having a clear and unspotted conscience. “Yea, thou shalt be steadfast”: Shall have a strong and comfortable assurance of God’s favor, and shalt be settled, without any fear of losing thy happiness. After Job had driven his iniquity out of his life, then he could look to heaven and to God for help. He reminded Job that if he was steadfast in the LORD, he had nothing to fear.

Job 11:16 “Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away:” Thy happiness shall be so great that it shall blot out the remembrance of thy past miseries. “And remember it as waters that pass away”: Remember it no more than men remember either a land-flood, which, as it comes, so it goes away suddenly and leaves few or no marks or memorials behind it. Or the waters of a river, which pass by in constant succession. Zophar believed that if Job would repent, his troubles would go away and he would remember them no more. It would be gone as the water passes away.

Job 11:17 “And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.” Literally, shall arise above the noonday; i.e. “exceed it in splendor.” Instead of the “thick darkness” to which Job is looking forward (Job 10:21-22). He shall bask in a light brighter than that of the sun at noon. “Thou shalt shine forth”: The Hebrew cannot possibly bear this meaning. The uncommon word used is allied with “obscurity”, and if a verb should mean “thou shalt be obscure,” rather than “thou shalt shine forth.” But it is perhaps a substantive, meaning “darkness;” and the translation of the Revised Version is perhaps correct: “Though there be darkness.” “Thou shalt be as the morning”: “Thy light,” as Professor Lee explains, “shall gradually rise and expand itself far and wide.” It shall dispel the darkness, and take its place,” shining more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). Zophar was saying if Job would do as he had suggested, he would not face the darkness of the grave and hell. He would bask in the Light of the LORD which was greater than the noonday sun. He would be renewed in the LORD.

Job 11:18 “And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig [about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety.” From coming into like darkness, difficulties, and distress again, and from every evil and enemy. Nothing shall come nigh to disturb and hurt, nothing to be feared from any quarter, all around: or “shalt be confident”. Have a strong faith and full assurance of it, in the love of God, in the living Redeemer, and in the promises which respect the life that now is, and that which is to come. “Because there is hope”: Of the mercy of God, of salvation by Christ, and of eternal glory and happiness, as well as of a continuance of outward prosperity. Faith and hope mutually assist each other. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and hope of better and future things on a good foundation encourages faith and confidence. “Yea, thou shalt dig about thee”: To let in stakes for the pitching and fixing of tents to dwell in, and for more commodious pasturage. Or for wells of water, for the supply both of the family and the flocks. Or rather, for ditches and trenches to secure from thieves and robbers, or for drains to carry off floods of water. “And thou shalt take thy rest in safety”: Lie down on the bed and sleep in the night season in peace and quietness, having nothing to fear. Being well entrenched, and secure from plundering and flooding. And, more especially, being hedged about and protected by the power and providence of God (see Psalm 3:5). The Targum is, “thou shall prepare a grave, and lie down, and sleep secure.” Zophar was saying something that really would happen to Job after he was restored. It was not something that Zophar really wanted for Job however. He said this to remind Job of the wonders of how it used to be. Job’s hope was not in what Zophar had said, or not said, but in the LORD.

Job 11:19 “Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.” Either lie down on his bed, as before, or by his flocks, and where they lie down, and none should disturb him or them. Not thieves and robbers, such as the Chaldeans and Sabeans had been to him, nor lions, bears, or wolves. “Yea, many shall make suit unto thee”: Make their supplications, present their requests and petitions for relief under necessitous circumstances, or for protection from the injuries and insults of others. As the poor and needy, the widow and fatherless, had done to him in times past, when in his prosperity, and when he was a friend unto them, and the father of them (see Prov. 19:6). Or, “the great ones shall make suit to thee”; to have his favor and friendship, his counsel and advice, his company and conversation. He should be applied unto and courted by men of all sorts, which would be no small honor to him (see Psalm 45:12). When Job was restored, there would be no warring parties from his neighbors. Instead of stealing from Job, they would be bringing things to him. Again, this was not what Zophar wished for Job, but it was what would happen.

Job 11:20 “But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.” Or be consumed. Either with grief and fears for their sore calamities; or with long looking for what they shall never attain, as this phrase is taken (Psalm 69:3; Jer. 14:6; Lam. 4:17). And this shall be thy condition; O Job, if thou persist in thine impiety. “They shall not escape”: They shall never obtain deliverance out of their distresses, but shall perish in them. “As the giving up of the ghost”: I.e. shall be as vain and desperate as the hope of life is in a man, when he is at the very point of death. Or, as a puff of breath, which is gone in a moment without all hopes of recovery. Zophar was speaking this, as if it was the fate of Job. In reality, he was speaking of himself and what would come to him, because he had spoken evil of Job. He was saying that Job had no other hope, but death. He would be needing the prayers of Job to save himself from the fate he just spoke of Job.

Job Chapter 11 Study

So where are you at today? 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?

The Story of Job. – Day 10


How do you take accusations in the midst of your trials and challenges? How do you handle criticism that is off base and untrue? How do you handle your friends or people you thought were your friends when they start saying things about you that you know are untrue and hurtful?


Today’s reading we get to see Job’s response to Eliphaz’s words:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Oh, that my grief could actually be weighed And placed in the balances together with my tragedy [to see if my grief is the grief of a coward]! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; Therefore my words have been incoherent, Because the arrows of the Almighty are within me, My spirit drinks their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass? Or does the ox low over his fodder? Can something that has no taste to it be eaten without salt? Or is there any flavor in the white of an egg? My soul refuses to touch them; Such things are like loathsome food to me [sickening and repugnant]. “Oh that my request would come to pass, And that God would grant me the thing that I long for! I wish that it would please God to crush me, That He would let loose His hand and cut me off. Then I would still have consolation, And I would jump for joy amid unsparing pain, That I have not denied or hidden the words of the Holy One. What strength do I have left, that I should wait [and hope]? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient and endure? Is my strength and endurance that of stones, Or is my flesh made of bronze? Is it that I have no help within myself, And that success and wisdom have been driven from me? “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not abandon (turn away from) the fear of the Almighty. My brothers have acted deceitfully like a brook, Like the torrents of brooks that vanish, Which are dull and dirty because of ice, And into which the snow melts and hides itself; When it is warm, they are silent and cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. The paths of their course wind along, They go up into nothing and perish. [Your counsel is as helpful to me as a dry streambed in the heat of summer.] The caravans of Tema looked [for water], The caravans of Sheba waited for them [in vain]. They were put to shame and disappointed because they had trusted [that they would find water]; They came there and were ashamed. Indeed, you have now become like a dried-up stream, You see a terror [believing me to be a victim of the wrath of God] and are afraid [to be compassionate]. Did I ever say, ‘Give me something, ’ Or, ‘Pay a bribe for me from your wealth,’ Or, ‘Rescue me from the adversary’s hand,’ Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’? “Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have erred. How painful are words of honesty. But what does your argument prove? Do you intend to reprove my words [with a convincing argument], When the words of one in despair belong to the wind [and go ignored]? You would cast lots (gamble) over the fatherless And bargain away your friend. Now please look at me, And see if I lie to your face [for you know that I would not]. Turn away [from your suspicion], let there be no injustice; Turn away, my righteousness and vindication is still in it. Is there injustice or malice on my tongue? Can my palate not discern what is destructive?’

Job 6

Today’s study notes come from the following 2 studies:


My study notes:

In using the amplified version of the text, we can get a lot of the additional context from the text and so was why I chose the Amplified version for this study.

We read in the start of Job’s words about his grief. We learn looking into that word that it was from the word (כעשׂ ka‛aś) – we also learn that it can be interpreted in two ways: “vexation, trouble, grief; Ecclesiastes 1:18; Ecclesiastes 2:23; or it may mean anger; Deuteronomy 32:19; Ezekiel 20:28.”

It speaks to the level and gravity of what he was going thru and how much he wanted his friends to understand the extent of his sorrow and his suffering before passing judgement on him and trying to condemn him.

We read how he was trying to get a measure by putting them into a scale in order to measure the weight of his sorrows, griefs, and woes. We read how he compares them to the weight of the sand of the sea. We see that the impact of all this pain is making it hard for him to fully express himself.

Job shares how the pain he is suffering is so much greater than anything man could cause. We learn in the studies how the pain was more to his heart, because it had to have been allowed by God, and yet he had loved God so much – with all that he had – and still was having to suffer so severely.

We learn how Job is comparing his plea with the animals as they don’t bray or low for nothing and neither is his complaint without cause. In today’s study we find the reminder that even though we may have cause to complain unlike beasts, wild or domesticated, we as rational beings should display a better spirit.

With Job’s depiction, we learn how he feels that his life has lost its pleasantness as food without salt. He lost his children, taking away his joy. Job speaks to his life to compare to how nauseating he is feeling as well as to answer Eliphaz.

We learn how Job is just wanting God to finish this process that is going on. We learn how his preference was that God would stop the suffering and the misery with death so it would be over with as we learned in chapter 3. Even though Eliphaz spoke to God granting long life, we learn how Job wasn’t wanting that right now without his health and his children to share it with.

Job had taken hold of God’s revelation and his commands and hence pursued them and followed them in his life. He shared what he believed. He realizes the holiness of God. He knows there is a reason for everything that happens. He knew there was purpose behind it, even when it didn’t feel good.

We learn in the studies how “had no strength to bear up against these accumulated trials; that he was afraid that he should be left to sink under them, and to complain of God; and that his friends were not to wonder if his strength gave way, and he uttered the language of complaint.“.

We see how Job was feeling that there was no hope in him to get out of this, he had no more strength to try. We see how any hope of deliverance had left him.

His friends weren’t helping him. He compares their help to a dry riverbed in the hot of the summer.

We don’t find Job admitting to having sinned but instead he asks his friends to teach him, help him understand where he erred, to show him where they think he had sinned for he didn’t know of anything that would have caused his current situation.


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:

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

Do you have a way to get rid of guilt?


What if the question was about trying to get rid of the feeling of guilt? What if the question was about trying to get rid of judgement? What if the question was about trying to get rid of laws or punishment? The reality is that at some point in our lives we find ourselves being guilty of missing the mark because we all have. Now the only way to address it is head on by accepting what you did wrong, confessing to it, and then asking for forgiveness and getting ready for the consequences. Shouldn’t it matter what you did in respect to the consequences of your actions? Shouldn’t it matter how big or small the miss or mess or trouble you cause is and that the consequences should be in proportion? What if people tried to get rid of the judgment part of being guilty? Do you think it would make it better and safer or would it make things more dangerous and much worse? Do you think that the judgment is a deterrent that keeps some people from going too far? Do you think that the punishment for different acts makes people think twice before they act? Have you ever considered that there are some people who don’t feel guilt or remorse and hence without judgment and consequences those people would continue the downward spiral till things got out of control? Have you noticed there are people who are trying to get rid of the consequences for such cases? Have you noticed there are people trying to get rid of the punishment that for people who are logical and can think through and weigh out the risk and the reward in order to change their direction or plans? Have you noticed that there are people who try to release people who need help because they are unable to make good decisions and put even more people at risk? Where are you at? Do you have a way to get rid of guilt? Will it last? Is it long lasting? Will it last or impact eternity? Have you heard of Jesus?


Today’s reading gets started in Leviticus 7.

‘“These are the instructions for the guilt offering. It is most holy. The animal sacrificed as a guilt offering must be slaughtered at the place where the burnt offerings are slaughtered, and its blood must be splattered against all sides of the altar. The priest will then offer all its fat on the altar, including the fat of the broad tail, the fat around the internal organs, the two kidneys and the fat around them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver. These are to be removed with the kidneys, and the priests will burn them on the altar as a special gift presented to the Lord . This is the guilt offering. Any male from a priest’s family may eat the meat. It must be eaten in a sacred place, for it is most holy. “The same instructions apply to both the guilt offering and the sin offering. Both belong to the priest who uses them to purify someone, making that person right with the Lord . In the case of the burnt offering, the priest may keep the hide of the sacrificed animal. Any grain offering that has been baked in an oven, prepared in a pan, or cooked on a griddle belongs to the priest who presents it. All other grain offerings, whether made of dry flour or flour moistened with olive oil, are to be shared equally among all the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

“These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the Lord . If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast—thin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil. This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast. One of each kind of bread must be presented as a gift to the Lord . It will then belong to the priest who splatters the blood of the peace offering against the altar. The meat of the peace offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the same day it is offered. None of it may be saved for the next morning. “If you bring an offering to fulfill a vow or as a voluntary offering, the meat must be eaten on the same day the sacrifice is offered, but whatever is left over may be eaten on the second day. Any meat left over until the third day must be completely burned up. If any of the meat from the peace offering is eaten on the third day, the person who presented it will not be accepted by the Lord . You will receive no credit for offering it. By then the meat will be contaminated; if you eat it, you will be punished for your sin. “Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean may not be eaten; it must be completely burned up. The rest of the meat may be eaten, but only by people who are ceremonially clean. If you are ceremonially unclean and you eat meat from a peace offering that was presented to the Lord , you will be cut off from the community. If you touch anything that is unclean (whether it is human defilement or an unclean animal or any other unclean, detestable thing) and then eat meat from a peace offering presented to the Lord , you will be cut off from the community.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. You must never eat fat, whether from cattle, sheep, or goats. The fat of an animal found dead or torn to pieces by wild animals must never be eaten, though it may be used for any other purpose. Anyone who eats fat from an animal presented as a special gift to the Lord will be cut off from the community. No matter where you live, you must never consume the blood of any bird or animal. Anyone who consumes blood will be cut off from the community.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you present a peace offering to the Lord , bring part of it as a gift to the Lord . Present it to the Lord with your own hands as a special gift to the Lord . Bring the fat of the animal, together with the breast, and lift up the breast as a special offering to the Lord . Then the priest will burn the fat on the altar, but the breast will belong to Aaron and his descendants. Give the right thigh of your peace offering to the priest as a gift. The right thigh must always be given to the priest who offers the blood and the fat of the peace offering. For I have reserved the breast of the special offering and the right thigh of the sacred offering for the priests. It is the permanent right of Aaron and his descendants to share in the peace offerings brought by the people of Israel. This is their rightful share. The special gifts presented to the Lord have been reserved for Aaron and his descendants from the time they were set apart to serve the Lord as priests. On the day they were anointed, the Lord commanded the Israelites to give these portions to the priests as their permanent share from generation to generation.” These are the instructions for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering, as well as the ordination offering and the peace offering. The Lord gave these instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai when he commanded the Israelites to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai.’

Leviticus 7

Today’s reading next brings us to Job as he is confronted by God in Job 40.

‘Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right? Are you as strong as God? Can you thunder with a voice like his? All right, put on your glory and splendor, your honor and majesty. Give vent to your anger. Let it overflow against the proud. Humiliate the proud with a glance; walk on the wicked where they stand. Bury them in the dust. Imprison them in the world of the dead. Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you. “Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox. See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly. Its tail is as strong as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together. Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron. It is a prime example of God’s handiwork, and only its Creator can threaten it. The mountains offer it their best food, where all the wild animals play. It lies under the lotus plants, hidden by the reeds in the marsh. The lotus plants give it shade among the willows beside the stream. It is not disturbed by the raging river, not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it. No one can catch it off guard or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.’

Job 40:6-24

Today’s reading continues in the book of Job into Job 41.

‘“Can you catch Leviathan with a hook or put a noose around its jaw? Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike? Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity? Will it agree to work for you, to be your slave for life? Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with? Will merchants try to buy it to sell it in their shops? Will its hide be hurt by spears or its head by a harpoon? If you lay a hand on it, you will certainly remember the battle that follows. You won’t try that again! No, it is useless to try to capture it. The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down. And since no one dares to disturb it, who then can stand up to me? Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine. “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form. Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor? Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible! The scales on its back are like rows of shields tightly sealed together. They are so close together that no air can get between them. Each scale sticks tight to the next. They interlock and cannot be penetrated. “When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn. Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out. Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes. Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth. “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck strikes terror wherever it goes. Its flesh is hard and firm and cannot be penetrated. Its heart is hard as rock, hard as a millstone. When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror. No sword can stop it, no spear, dart, or javelin. Iron is nothing but straw to that creature, and bronze is like rotten wood. Arrows cannot make it flee. Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass. Clubs are like a blade of grass, and it laughs at the swish of javelins. Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass. It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud. “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion. It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment. The water glistens in its wake, making the sea look white. Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts.”’

Job 41

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting in Mark 8.

‘Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah. ” But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?#8:36 Or your self? also in 8:37. Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”’

Mark 8:27-38

Today’s reading continues into Mark 9.

‘Jesus went on to say, “I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God arrive in great power!”’

Mark 9:1

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 15.

‘But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.’

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

As we meditate on what God has spoken to us today through His Word, let’s close together as we finish today’s reading in Psalms 74.

‘O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth. Walk through the awful ruins of the city; see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary. There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries; there they set up their battle standards. They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest. With axes and picks, they smashed the carved paneling. They burned your sanctuary to the ground. They defiled the place that bears your name. Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!” So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped. We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever? Why do you hold back your strong right hand? Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them. You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan and let the desert animals eat him. You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter. See how these enemies insult you, Lord . A foolish nation has dishonored your name. Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves. Don’t forget your suffering people forever. Remember your covenant promises, for the land is full of darkness and violence! Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again. Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name. Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. Don’t overlook what your enemies have said or their growing uproar.’

Psalms 74

Second chance – Redemption.


Ever wondered if there was going to be a way to right a wrong? Ever wondered if there was going to be a way to move forward and not lose out on all that God had planned? What if someone had taken something away? They get their judgment but what about the gap or hole that was left behind? Would you turn to God and ask? Would you allow God to make a way even when there didn’t seem to be a way? Today’s reading begins in Genesis 4:17-26 that speaks of Cain who was able to have his own family. We also learn how Adam and Eve were redeem and they had another son named Seth. We then go on to learn more about the future generations up to Adam and how long they live in Genesis 5 along with the sons who had the birthrights.

Just because things may have gotten hard or painful doesn’t mean we should give up. Instead we should be leaning on God. We need to be trusting in God rather than our own understanding. We can take heart when we face troubles of any kind because Jesus has overcome the world. We can take hold of what James had told us about trials and how we can consider them pure joy since it builds faith and as we endure it we will be strengthen and become complete and lacking nothing. So instead of worrying about things let’s pray and consider even the example of Jabez who gets called out in our reading from 1 Chronicles 4. We read the following about Jabez

9There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. 10He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Are you willing to allow God such a position in your life that you would ask him such a prayer? Would you pray to expand your territory of influence, of possession, of impact, and more? Would you pray to do God’s work and to receive his instruction, direction, and discipline so that you are kept from causing any types of trouble and pain? Would you have enough faith to believe and trust Him? Will you allow God to redeem you from the past and bless your future – redeemed and taking hold of that second chance?

Will you believe Jesus? Will you believe in Jesus? Will you go beyond believing and allow faith to go into action? We learn how faith without works is dead from James. Will you do as Jesus did to stand up for what is right? Will you take hold of the body of Jesus as a temple that would be torn down for 3 days but then he was resurrected on the third day? We learn and take hold of this from today’s reading in both John 2 and James 2. Let’s live our lives without prejudice. Let’s live our lives blessing and honoring everyone. Let’s take hold of God’s Word of loving our neighbor as ourselves so that we don’t favor one person over another. Let’s not even judge one another because our sin isn’t as bad as someone else’s since if just one is broken it carries the same punishment. Let’s look to live out our lives in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory so that in and through our lives we will love our God with all our hearts, minds, and souls and we will love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s not allow anger to rob us of all God has in store and available to us. Let’s be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to get angry.

Let’s give up this day meditating on Psalms 4:

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

1Answer 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.

2How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies?
Interlude
3You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.

4Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Interlude
5Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.

6Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
7You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
8In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalms 4

Judging…


I remember in high school getting to take law class, it was an awesome experience. I even got to be the judge during mock trials. I had the be read up on the laws for the case but my decision had to be based on the evidence presented in the case. I remember how I presided over two trials (same scenario but different lawyers and presentations of what happened). I gave two rulings based on the cases and felt justice had been served based on the evidence presented. I had to do a write of my decision for the teacher and based on my understanding of the laws and how the cases were presented they agreed with my decisions. It was so much fun I thought I wanted to get to be a judge when I grew up but when I heard I had to be a lawyer first I decided to go another way. I never lost the love for the law classes and got to take one class in university around computer laws. God had other plans but His Word provides us with a frame work to live by not to keep us from having fun, but rather in order to keep us in His path of safety and provision. So many view laws as barriers or things to keep us from fun, but when the laws are based on Judeo Christian laws, we see they have the same purpose God’s laws have. The Old Testament laws show us how much we need a savior because it seems pretty much impossible to make it. The New Testament gives us the hope of Jesus. We see how God is the God of second chances in both the Old and the New Testaments. Be it thru the story of Jonah for Jonah and also the people of Nineveh or Joseph and his brothers or the stories of Jesus.Today’s call out from our devotions is so true…

At the moment, we do not always see justice. We see wickedness (v.3), arrogance and boasting (v.4). We see people being crushed and oppressed (v.5). In particular, we see the poor – the widow, outsider and fatherless (v.6) – suffering.

The psalmist cries out for justice. God is a God of justice. He ‘avenges’ (v.1). This is not vindictive but the appropriate and just response to evil and wickedness. He will ‘pay back to the proud what they deserve’ (v.2b). The wicked will not get away with it any longer. The poor will no longer be oppressed.

God’s judgment is an aspect of his love. He loves the marginalised. Therefore, he acts on their behalf to judge their oppressors.

Injustice is the cause of so much suffering in the world. In order to protect the innocent, it is an act of love to bring to justice those who, for example, traffic people for sex.

Sometimes we might be tempted to think that ‘God does not notice’ or ‘God does not mind’. However, the reality is that God, ‘who implanted the ear’, hears and, ‘who formed the eye’, sees (v.9). This means that God’s judgment will be loving and perfect. God has total knowledge for ‘the Lord knows all human thoughts’ (v.11a), and so he is able to, and will, administer perfect justice.

— from Day 222 – Bible in One Year 2017

Another truth speaks to the importance of settling things between Christians rather than going to court in from of non believers. We need to settle them amongst ourselves.

The general rule in the New Testament is that Christians should never take each other to court.

The apostle Paul was shocked that the believers in Corinth were taking one another to court (v.1a). This is a terrible witness for the church. Believers were fighting each other in front of the ‘ungodly’ (v.1): ‘Does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians?’ (v.1b, MSG).

It is better to be wronged or cheated than to get involved in lawsuits (vv.7–8). However, Paul appeals to them that if they do get involved in disputes they should settle the matter between themselves (vv.4–6).

If it really is necessary to settle a dispute, then they should appoint judges from the church. Paul points out that one day the ‘saints will judge the world’ (v.2): ‘The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus’ (v.2, MSG). This judgment, Paul suggests, will include the judgment of fallen angels (v.3).

Paul’s argument is that if one day we are to be involved in this great day of judgment, surely we are capable of judging relatively trivial cases now (vv.2–3). Do anything to avoid ‘going to law’ against each other in front of ‘unbelievers’ (v.6).

There will be a final judgment: ‘The wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God’ (v.9). Paul lists various types of sinners: ‘Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom’ (vv.9–10, MSG).

A number of those to whom Paul was writing would have been involved in these kinds of lifestyles in the recent past and would have been on Paul’s list. But he writes, ‘Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit’ (v.11, MSG).

All of us deserve to be condemned at the final judgment. We have no cause for self-righteousness or boasting. Through the death of Jesus for you, you were washed, sanctified and justified. To be justified means to be acquitted before the great court of God. The judgment is brought forward and you receive this verdict now.

You can have great confidence about the future. Death is not the end: ‘By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also’ (v.14). Not only can you be sure that one day you will be raised to eternal life, but through Jesus you can also be assured that you can appear with confidence before the judge of all the earth ‘sanctified’ and ‘justified’ (v.11).

This does not mean that you can go off and do anything you like. Rather, the reverse. Your body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit (v.19). You were ‘bought at a price’ (v.20). Therefore, ‘flee from sexual immorality’ (v.18). ‘We must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy leaving us more lonely than ever’ (v.16, MSG). ‘Your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit’ (v.19, MSG).

Do ‘not be mastered by anything’ (v.12). Your body belongs to God. Use it to honour him (v.20).

— from Day 222 – Bible in One Year 2017

So we need to be living and seeking wisdom so that what we do and can do in this world. We need to be praying for good lawyers and judges today so that justice is being served. Let’s consider Solomon the most wise and his life and the difference his heart for serving the people and for doing what was right impacted how he responded to God’s offer to give him whatever he asked.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by something you are supposed to be doing? I certainly do. Solomon was faced with a ‘staggering task’ (v.9, MSG).

Solomon’s kingdom was firmly established (v.1). He spoke to all Israel including the ‘judges’ (v.2).

He himself was also to act as a judge. In fact, throughout history Solomon has been known for his good judgment. The people held him ‘in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice’ (1 Kings 3:28).

Where did this wisdom come from? It was an answer to his prayer. God said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give to you’ (2 Chronicles 1:7). He prayed as I often do, ‘Give me wisdom and knowledge as I come and go among this people – for who on his own is capable of leading these, your glorious people?’ (v.10, MSG).

‘God answered Solomon, “This is what has come out of your heart: You didn’t grasp for money, wealth, fame, and the doom of your enemies; you didn’t even ask for a long life. You asked for wisdom and knowledge so you could govern well my people over whom I’ve made you king. Because of this, you get what you asked for – wisdom and knowledge. And I’m presenting you the rest as a bonus – money, wealth, and fame beyond anything the kings before or after you had or will have”’ (vv.11–12, MSG).

As Jesus said, ‘Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matthew 6:33). And as the apostle James said, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’ (James 1:5).

— from Day 222 – Bible in One Year 2017


God’s Judgment and Ours

Day 222: Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Judge of the earth … Psalm 94:1-11
  2. Judges in the church … 1 Corinthians 6:1-20
  3. Judgment of Solomon … 2 Chronicles 1:1-17


Psalms 94:1-11

•   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/1CO.6">1 Corinthians 6</a>

•   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/2CH.1">2 Chronicles 1</a>

Don’t be judgmental! Don’t taunt or find joy in the pain of others! Let’s do good to all!


We are to weep with those who are weeping! We are to celebrate with those who celebrate. Not the reverse…Don’t be kicking people when they are down. Don’t be mocking people when they are going thru troubles. Even if they are your enemies, we are not to hate them and only love our neighbors. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us! Don’t allow judgment and malice to take root in your heart! Allow your heart to be filled with overflowing of the love of God! Just because someone else is being corrected or given discipline doesn’t mean you should celebrate in it! Seek God in all your way! Acknowledge God in all your ways! Lean not on your own understanding of what is going on because you don’t know it all … the why. Don’t be acting in a way that makes you the next target! Do you really want that attention? God cannot be mocked!

Put your trust in God who is love! His love endures forever! Give thanks to God! Do not fear for the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid for God is your helper! Take refuge in God rather than putting your hope and trust in people. He is trustworthy and His love endures forever! Need help? Call out to God who is your help and your salvation! Ask Jesus into your heart and choose life! Yes, Jesus did get rejected even though He is the foundation and the cornerstone. So align to the cornerstone and stand on the rock of Jesus! Cry out to God and ask for His salvation and help you find success! Let’s praise God! Let’s exalt God! He is good and His love endures forever!

So let’s reflect on the words from Galatians from today’s reading…Let’s start with the plan that we are to do good to all…

Doing Good to All

1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each otherʼs burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5for each one should carry their own load. 6Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but the New Creation

11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6

It’s a matter of the heart! We need to make the choice and choose to follow after Jesus! We need to ask Him for forgiveness and into our hearts so that we can be new creations with the old being gone and the new having come!

Let’s celebrate with others who have come into the faith! Let’s turn to God with thanksgiving and praise because of the grace and mercy He has brought into their lives! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed love to motivate the works! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed hope to produce endurance! Let’s allow the power of the Holy Spirit to break thru the lies and open up the truth even greater into the lives of the people around us!

Today’s reading concludes with 1 Thessalonians…

1Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.

Thanksgiving for the Thessaloniansʼ Faith

2We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lordʼs message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

–1 Thessalonians 1

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 25, 26, Psalms 118, Galatians 6, 1 Thessalonians 1

Do you care? Pray!


Do you care about yourself? Pray! Do you care about your spouse? Pray! Do you care about your kids? Pray! Do you care about your family? Pray! Do you care about your friends? Pray! Do you care about your work? Pray! Do you care about your workplace? Pray! Do you care about your church? Pray! Do you care about the leadership over you? Pray! Do you care about your neighborhood? Pray! Do you care about your community? Pray! Do you pray about your country? Pray! Do you care? Pray!

Worry changes nothing, Prayer changes everything! Said another way…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God–Philippians 4:6

Do you care? Pray!


Do you feel the need to pray for something beyond yourself? Do you know who to turn to? Do you care? Today’s reading speaks about Isaiah’s prayer…

Isaiah’s Prayer for Jerusalem

1Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 2The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the lord’s own mouth. 3The lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 5Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. 6O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the lord. 7Give the lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 8The lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. 9You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.” 10Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 11The lord has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’” 12They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the lord.” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

–from Isaiah 62

Do you realize what you are facing? Do you realize the battle belongs to the Lord? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do? Do you realize vengeance is the Lord’s? Do you realize that giving it into His hands is the best thing you can do?

Judgment against the lord’s Enemies

1Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the lord, announcing your salvation! It is I, the lord, who has the power to save!” 2Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? 3“I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes. 4For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 5I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me. 6I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Praise for Deliverance

7I will tell of the lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. 8He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. 9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. 10But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them. 11Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? 12Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 13Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. 14As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the lord gave them rest. You led your people, lord, and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Prayer for Mercy and Pardon

15lord, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? 16Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. 17lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. 18How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. 19Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

–from Isaiah 63

Let’s lift up our voices to God in praise! Let’s praise Him no matter the circumstances! Let’s give it up to Him through prayer and praise!

Jesus came to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! Jesus came to bring hope, hope and a future! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! So prayer gets answered! Will you be ready to notice it and receive it? Miracles still happen today! Will you be watching to spot them and praising God for all He is doing? Everyday we need Him! Left to our own ways we would be lost! It’s is only by grace through faith that we are saved!

1Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! 2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! 3When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! 4For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! 5You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? 6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. 7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. 8And yet, O  lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. 9Don’t be so angry with us, lord. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. 10Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. 11The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed. 12After all this, lord, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

–from Isaiah 64

We can’t judge people because of the way they look, sound, … but rather we need to love people the same way Jesus does! We need to be living out life trying to allow others to hear about and receive the promises of Jesus! We can’t let our selfishness or bias or prejudice get in the way of what God wants to do in and through us! Let’s share the good news!

Let’s see what Peter faced when he was called by Cornelius…

Cornelius Calls for Peter

1In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.” 7As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.

Peter Visits Cornelius

9The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. 24They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” 27So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled. 28Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 29So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. Now tell me why you sent for me.” 30Cornelius replied, “Four days ago I was praying in my house about this same time, three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man in dazzling clothes was standing in front of me. 31He told me, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God! 32Now send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.’ 33So I sent for you at once, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you.”

The Gentiles Hear the Good News

34Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. 38And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39“And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, 47“Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

–from Acts 10

 

Justice!


Do you know what that means? Do you know what that looks like? Do you know how to get it? Do you know where to find it?

Justice isn’t revenge! Justice doesn’t come from people trying to do it on their own! The definition puts it as “the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals“. Justice brings together goodness and impartiality! Justice is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society. Justice is the standard by which the advantages of social life are handed out, including material goods, rights of participation, opportunities, and liberties. So justice is like a plumb line or measuring line that can be used for punishment and benefits!

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. 
–Isaiah 28:17

So as you look around and consider trying to take justice into your own hands, consider your intentions! consider your heart! consider your purpose! Are you looking to punish out of revenge? Are you trying to benefit someone out of favor?  Justice, consider what it really means!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah 42 in his continuation about Jesus…

First Servant Song: Justice

1Behold My servant, whom I uphold. My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Ruach on Him, He will bring justice to the nations. 2He will not cry out or raise His voice, or make His voice heard in the street. 3A bruised reed He will not break. A smoldering wick He will not snuff out. He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not be disheartened or crushed until He establishes justice on earth. The islands will wait for His Torah. 5Thus says God, Adonai, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and Ruach to those who walk in it— 6“I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, 7by opening blind eyes, bringing prisoners out of the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness out of the prison house. 8“I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another, Or My praise to graven images. 9Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things. Before they spring forth I announce them to you.” 10Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all its fullness, islands and their inhabitants. 11Let the desert and its cities exult— the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the dwellers of Sela sing for joy. Let them shout for joy from the top of the mountains. 12Let them give glory to Adonai and declare His praise in the islands. 13Adonai goes out as a mighty one. He stirs up His zeal like a man of war. He will shout, yes, raise a war cry! He will prevail over His enemies. 14“I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I groan, gasping and panting at once. 15I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. 16I will bring the blind by a way they do not know. in paths they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn darkness before them to light and the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. 17They will be turned back, utterly put to shame— those trusting in idols, who say to molten images, ‘You are our gods.’ 18Hear, you deaf! Look, you blind, so you may see. 19Who is blind, but My Servant? Or deaf as My Messenger that I send? Who is so blind as the one in covenant with Me, blind as Adonai’s Servant? 20You have seen many things, but you do not pay attention. Though ears are open, no one hears.” 21Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious. 22But this is a people robbed and looted. all of them trapped in holes, hidden away in prisons. They have become a prey with no one to deliver them, and plunder, with none to say, “Give them back!” 23Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and heed hereafter? 24Who gave Jacob to the looter, Israel to the plunderers? Was it not Adonai? Have we not sinned against Him? In His ways they were unwilling to walk and His Torah they did not obey. 25So He poured out on him the fury of His anger, and the fierceness of battle. it blazed all around him, yet he did not understand it. it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.

–from Isaiah 42

Take a look at where you are at! Look at it through the prism of love! How does that impact your perspective? How does that change your point of view? How does that impact your responses? Consider how God is love! Consider what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love! Try replacing the word love with God or with Jesus, not imagine being able to live your life out in love and what would be like!

Love for Israel

1But now, thus says Adonai— the One who created you, O Jacob, the One who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you. 3For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4Since you are precious in My eyes, honored, because I love you, I will give a man in exchange for you, and other peoples for your life. 5Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. 6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth. 7Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory. I formed him—yes, I made him!”

You Are My Witnesses

8Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears. 9All the nations are gathered together, and the peoples are assembled. Who among them can declare this, and proclaim to us former things? Let them present their witnesses so they may be justified, or let them hear and say, “It’s true.” 10“You are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and My Servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, and there will none after Me. 11“I, I am Adonai— and there is no savior beside Me. 12I alone declared, saved and proclaimed, and not some foreign god among you. So you are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and I am God. 13From eternity, I am He. None can deliver from My hand. I act, and who can reverse it?” 14Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down the fleeing Chaldeans, all of them, in the ships in which they exult. 15I am Adonai, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” 16Thus says Adonai, who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters. 17who drew out chariots and horses, the army and the warrior (they will lie down together, and not rise again; they are extinguished— quenched like a wick): 18“Do not remember former things, nor consider things of the past. 19Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up— do you not know about it? I will surely make a way in the desert, rivers in the wasteland. 20The field animals honor Me —the jackals and the ostriches— because I give waters in the desert, rivers in the wilderness, to give drink to My chosen people, 21the people I formed for Myself, so they might declare My praise. 22Yet you have not called on Me, Jacob, for you have been weary of Me, Israel. 23You have not brought Me sheep for your burnt offerings; nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I did not compel you to serve offerings nor wearied you with incense. 24You have not spent money buying Me aromatic cane, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices. Rather you burdened Me with your sins, wearied Me with your iniquities. 25I, I am the One who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins. 26Remind me, when we argue our case together—state your case, so you may be proved right. 27Your first father sinned, and your mediators rebelled against Me. 28So I profaned the Sanctuary officials, and gave Jacob over to destruction, and Israel to scorn.

–from Isaiah 43

What is your role? Are you being just in your position of authority? Are you in a place to be able to serve justice? Are you in a position to give out justice? What is your plumbline? What is your measuring line? How do you know what is right or wrong? How do you know if you are to bless or punish? Where do you turn for wisdom? Where do you turn for discernment? What if you were put in the situation of the ladies and the baby? Could you provide justice in that situation? Could you handle that difficult decision?

A Rebuke for Unjust Judges

1A psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in the assembly of God. He judges among the ‘gods’: 2“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3Give justice to the poor and fatherless. Be just to the afflicted and destitute. 4Rescue the weak and needy. Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 5They know nothing; they understand nothing— they walk about in darkness. All of earth’s foundations are shaken. 6I said: ‘You are ‘gods’, and you are all sons of Elyon, 7yet you will die like men, and will fall like any of the princes.’” 8Arise, O God, judge the earth! For You possess all the nations.

–from Psalms 82

Justice will be served! Jesus will be sitting on the judgment seat! God’s desire is that none would perish but that everyone would choose everlasting life with Him! Remember above when we spoke to God is love? Did you click the link and reach it? Did you reach 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is? God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved! But justice will be served! So how long will you wait before asking Jesus into your life? Remember we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Remember that the penalty of sin is death! And remember that Jesus came and died on the cross to pay the penalty so that we could be reconciled to God! Do you want to pay it for yourself? Will you ask God for forgiveness? Will ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior? Choices…it’s up to you to choose! Let’s choose and live out the books of Acts for our day! And be ready for when Jesus returns!

When Will Yeshua Restore the Kingdom?

1I wrote the first volume, Theophilus, about all that Yeshua began to do and teach— 2up to the day He was taken up, after He had given orders by the Ruach ha-Kodesh to the emissaries He had chosen. 3To them He showed Himself to be alive after His suffering through many convincing proofs, appearing to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4Now while staying with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised—which, He said, “you heard from Me. 5For John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh not many days from now.” 6So when they gathered together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7He said to them, “It is not your place to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own control. 8But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9After saying all this—while they were watching—He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10While they were staring into heaven as He went up, suddenly two men stood with them in white clothing. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you keep standing here staring into heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Appointing a New Emissary

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Shabbat day’s journey). 13When they had entered, they went up to the upper room where they were staying—Peter and John and Jacob and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; Jacob son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judah son of Jacob. 14All these with one mind were continuing together in prayer—along with the women and Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, and His brothers. 15In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (the number of names all together was about a hundred and twenty) and said, 16“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Ruach ha-Kodesh foretold by the mouth of David, concerning Judah—who became a guide to those who seized Yeshua. 17For he was counted among us and received his share of this office.” 18(Now this man Judah bought a field with the reward of his wickedness. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and his intestines splattered out. 19And it became known to all those living in Jerusalem, so in their own language that field was called Akeldama—that is, ‘Field of Blood.’) 20For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his dwelling place become desolate, and let there be no one living in it’ and ‘Let another take his position.’ 21“Therefore one of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us— 22beginning with His immersion by John until the day He was taken up from us—must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23So they nominated two—Joseph, called Barsabbas (also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show us which of these two You have chosen 25to take the position in this office as emissary, from which Judah turned aside to go to his own place.” 26Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was added to the eleven emissaries.

–from Acts 1

So let’s receive the Spirit of God! Let’s receive the gifts of the Spirit, God has prepared for each of us! God created us on for purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose and so He will also prepare the gifts and talents necessary to complete the work! Let’s be the body of Christ to the world around us today!

Spiritual Gifts for the Body

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed by idols that cannot speak, and you got led astray. 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Ruach Elohim says, “Yeshua be cursed,” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 4Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Ruach. 5There are various kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are various kinds of working, but the same God who works all things in all people. 7But to each person is given the manifestation of the Ruach for the benefit of all. 8For to one is given through the Ruach a word of wisdom, to another a word of knowledge according to the same Ruach, 9to another faith by the same Ruach, to another gifts of healings by the one Ruach, 10to another workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Ruach activates all these things, distributing to each person individually as He wills. 12For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of the body—though many—are one body, so also is Messiah. 13For in one Ruach we were all immersed into one body—whether Jewish or Greek, slave or free—and all were made to drink of one Ruach. 14For the body is not one part, but many. 15If the foot says, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not part of the body,” is it therefore not part of the body? 16And if the ear says, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not part of the body,” is it for this reason any less part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the parts—each one of them—in the body just as He desired. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20But now there are many parts, yet one body. 21The eye cannot tell the hand, “I don’t need you!” or in turn the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be less important are indispensable. 23Those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe with greater honor; and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty; 24but our presentable parts have no such need. Rather God assembled the body, giving more honor to those who are lacking, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but so that the parts may have the same care for one another. 26If one part suffers, all the parts suffer together. If one part is honored, all the parts rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually. 28God has put into His community first emissaries, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then healings, helps, leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not emissaries, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All do not work miracles, do they? 30All do not have gifts of healing, do they? All do not speak in tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And still I show you a far better way:

–from 1 Corinthians 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

What type of legislators are there?


I know there are some who go in with a servant leadership heart and desires to serve the people that elected them. I know there are some that seek God’s wisdom in every decision they need to make. I know there are some that God uses for big initiatives. I know there are some that have a good heart and allow God to use them for the greater good. They are supposed to be a blessing to us based on what it says in the bible.

I also know there are some who are unjust. I know there are some who put on a certain persona because they think it is more about them and less about their job to serve the people. I know there are some who believe they are above the laws and look to work their way around it. I know there are some who act whatever way will help them advance. There are some who are in it for the money and the power. There are some that have said they believe one thing but then later turn on something that is foundational for their own purposes.

So be aware of the character of the people who are there. Be aware and discerning about the people who are trying to get into positions of leadership. Pray for wisdom about their true intentions. As election season approaches we need to be even more discerning about the character of the people who are running for election. Party doesn’t necessarily speak to the reality of what they believe. Former politicians aren’t immune either and sometimes it isn’t until they are out of the government that we discover where they really stood.

Could you vote for someone who is a liar? Could you vote for someone who is a cheater? Could you vote for someone who is an abuser? Could you vote for someone who would sell out the country? state? province? county? city? Could you vote for someone who is disobeying the laws? How could you trust they would enforce them?

Just like with everything in life, we will be given choices and we have to choose. In some cases people consider there to be 3 choices – (1) Vote for person 1, (2) Vote for person 2, (3) Don’t vote. Do you realize that option (3) gives up your say in the process and that in many cases it means the person you wanted least could win? The process says one of them will win. So do you want to help choose or have to deal with the consequences?

Are you a legislator? What type are you? What is your character? How do you view the role? Is it a blessing where you get to serve people? Is it a power grab where you get to wave authority over people?

Beware the consequence you are setting up the country for…

Take heart that there is a group who are just and walking aligned with God!


Today’s reading begins on this topic in Isaiah 10…

Oy to Unjust Legislators

1Oy to those enacting unjust decrees and recording corrupt legislation, 2to deprive the helpless of justice and rob the rights of the poor of My people, so that widows may be their spoil and orphans their prey! 3What will you do in the day of visitation, when desolation comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4One can only crouch among the captives or collapse among the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched.

Assyria, the Rod

5Oy to Assyria, the rod of My anger— the club in their hand is My indignation! 6I am sending it against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My fury I am commissioning it, to take spoil and plunder, to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7Yet that is not what Assyria intends, nor is that what he is thinking about. Rather his heart is to destroy, and to cut down nations—only a few! 8For he says: “Aren’t all my princes kings? 9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached the kingdoms of the idols—with more graven images than Jerusalem and Samaria— 11as I’ve done to Samaria and her idols, won’t I also do to Jerusalem and her idols?” 12Therefore it will come to pass, when Adonai finishes all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glorying of his haughty eyes.” 13For he said: “By the strength of my own hand I’ve done it, and my own wisdom, for I am shrewd! I abolished the borders of peoples, and plundered their treasures. As a mighty one I cast down inhabitants. 14My hand found the riches of the peoples as a nest—like gathering forsaken eggs, I have gathered the entire earth. Not a wing fluttered, not a beak opened or chirped!” 15Should the axe boast against the One who chops with it? Should the saw magnify itself against the One who wields it? It would be like a rod waving the One who lifts it, or like a staff hoisting up the One who is not wood! 16Therefore will the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, send leanness among his fat ones. Under its glory He will kindle a burning like a blazing fire. 17So the light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. He will burn and consume its thorns and briers in one day. 18Both the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, he will consume, both soul and body. It will be like a sick man wasting away. 19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few, a child could record them.

A Remnant Will Return

20Yet it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel— those of the house of Jacob who escaped— will never again depend on the one who struck them down, but will depend upon Adonai, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land. 24Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot: “O My people dwelling in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, though he strike you with the war-club, and lift up his rod against you, as Egypt did. 25“For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26Adonai-Tzva’ot will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb. As His staff was over the sea, so will He lift it up, as He did in Egypt. 27In that day his burden will be taken off your shoulders, and his yoke off your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken because of fatness.

Assyria Advancing

28He has come to Aiath, and passed through Migron. At Michmas he deposited his supplies. 29They have crossed over the pass. They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is terrified; Gibeath-shaul has fled. 30Shriek your cry, daughter of Gallim! Listen, O Laish! O poor Anathoth! 31Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Behold, the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot will lop off the branches with terror! So the tall ones will be cut down and the lofty ones laid low. 34Yes, He will hack down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

–from Isaiah 10

We need to call on Jesus! We need to lean on Him! We need His wisdom! We need His truth!

Ask the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide! Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your path! Lean not on your own understanding but allow God to straighten your path!

The Branch From David

1Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots. 2The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Messianic Age of Shalom

6The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. 7The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. 8A nursing child will play by a cobra’s hole, and a weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.

Second Return from Diaspora

10It will also come about in that day that the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek for Him, and His resting place will be glorious. 11It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13Ephraim’s envy will end, those hostile to Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the Philistine slope to the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east— laying their hand on Edom and Moab, the children of Ammon obeying them. 15Then Adonai will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea. He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and will strike it into seven streams, and let men walk over in sandals. 16So there will be a highway for the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, as there was for Israel in the day they came up out of the land of Egypt.

–from Isaiah 11

We don’t need to put our hope in government because they don’t have all the answers. We don’t need to put all our trust in government because they don’t have all the power. We don’t need to give them all the authority or power – we can delegate it for a period of time, but we then need to help them stay accountable!

God’s Word shows us the way! God’s people should be taking care of the people! Rather than delegating taxes to try to take care of everyone, imagine if everyone tithed and gave to their church the impact it would have on the local community. God’s instruction manual is available (the bible)! God’s roadmap is available (the bible)! God’s love letter is available (the bible)!

Wells of Salvation

1In that day you will say: “I will give You thanks, Adonai, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord Adonai is my strength and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: “Give thanks to Adonai. Proclaim His Name! Declare His works to the peoples, so they remember His exalted Name. 5Sing to Adonai, for He has done gloriously. Let this be known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

–from Isaiah 12

Want the truth? Do you really want it and not just trying to trip up or trick someone? Turn to God! Ask Jesus to give you wisdom for your situation! Have you been born again? Have you joined God’s family (been adopted into it) by asking Jesus into your heart and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Will you believe what God has to say? Will you believe what God’s Word speaks? Will you believe the words of Jesus? Even without seeing it, will you believe it?

Do you know why Jesus came?

A Pharisee Comes Seeking Truth

1Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” 3Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus said to Him. “He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Father’s Love Revealed

9“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said. 10Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? 11Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! 12If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim. 19“Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be made known that his deeds have been accomplished in God.”

The Living Word, Source of Life

22Afterwards, Yeshua and His disciples came to the land of Judea. There He was staying with them and immersing. 23Now John also was immersing at Aenon near Salim, because much water was there and many were coming and being immersed; 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now an argument came up between John’s disciples and a Judean concerning purification. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—look, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!” 27John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but rather, ‘I am sent before Him.’ 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete! 30He must increase, while I must decrease.” 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, He testifies to that; yet no one receives His testimony. 33Whoever receives His testimony has certified that God is true. 34The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. 36He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

–from John 3

 

Passion (Day #7)


Ever done something you regretted? Ever done something bigger than you? Ever done something so selfless for the benefit of others? Ever been misjudged? Ever been condemned or convicted or judged inappropriately? Ever mocked someone? Ever been mocked? Ever put the needs of others above your own?

In today’s reading we see many of these questions played out. The one thing that we need to make sure to remember is that forgiveness is the key! We need to be able to give it all over to Jesus to take care of! Be it something we did wrong – we need to ask for forgiveness (our part) and then give it up to Jesus to work out the rest of the story! Be it something someone else did to us – we need to forgive them (our part) and then give it up to Jesus to work it out the rest of the story! If we don’t we can become bitter or depressed or worse! We need to remember and do our part in alignment to God’s plans and purposes! Forgiveness is the key! I have gone it both ways – delaying the forgiveness and forgiving immediately and going the immediate route was so much better for me and all those around me. There is a purpose to the adversity! There was purpose in Jesus going to the cross! There was purpose in what you were going through and what you are still going through! So sync up with God and complete the work that you have been given and called to. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, Jesus too the crimson stain and washed it white as snow! We don’t have to allow life to get us down! We don’t have to allow life to tear us apart! Life isn’t falling apart…it’s falling into place when we walk through it with God! It isn’t always easy which is why Jesus had told us that in this life we will have troubles, not might, but “will” but He also tells us to have hope because He has overcome the world! So let’s be overcomers! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds!

So let’s go about it God’s Way!

Today is Easter and so I will be including Matthew 27 and 28 in today’s reading…

Judah’s Remorse

1When daybreak came, the ruling kohanim and elders of the people conspired against Yeshua to put Him to death. 2And they tied Him up, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. 3Then Judah, His betrayer, saw that Yeshua had been condemned. Feeling remorse, he brought the thirty silver pieces back to the ruling kohanim and elders, 4saying, “I’ve sinned, betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What’s that to us? You see to it yourself!” 5After tossing the silver into the Temple sanctuary, he left. Then he went off and hanged himself. 6But the ruling kohanim took the silver pieces and said, “It is not permitted to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So after they conferred, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a cemetery for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the “Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of Him on whom a price had been set by Bnei-Yisrael; 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as Adonai arranged for me.”

“Kill the King!”

11Now Yeshua stood before the governor. The governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “You say so,” Yeshua said. 12And while He was accused by the ruling kohanim and elders, He did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against you?” 14Yeshua did not answer, not even one word, so the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now during the feast, the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner, anyone they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17So when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over out of envy. 19While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous Man, for today I’ve suffered many things in a dream because of Him.” 20Now the ruling kohanim and elders persuaded the crowds that they should ask for Bar-Abba and destroy Yeshua. 21But the governor responded, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Bar-Abba!” 22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Yeshua, who is called Messiah?” “Execute Him!” all of them say. 23But Pilate said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be executed!” 24When Pilate saw he was accomplishing nothing, but instead a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this blood,” he said. “You see to it yourselves!” 25All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released to them Bar-Abba. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Nailed to a Stake

27Then the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe around Him. 29And after braiding a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. And falling on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and they took the staff and beat Him over and over on the head. 31When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him away to crucify Him. 32As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene, Simon by name. They forced him into service, to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (that is to say, Place of a Skull), 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall to drink; but after tasting, He was unwilling to drink it. 35And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36And they sat down and kept guard over Him there. 37Over His head they put the charge against Him, which read: “THIS IS YESHUA, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 38Then two outlaws were executed with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are Ben-Elohim, come down from the stake!” 41Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars and elders, were also mocking Him. 42“He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the stake, and we’ll believe in Him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim.’” 44Even the outlaws who were executed with Him were ridiculing Him in the same way.

Yeshua Lays Down His Life

45Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 47When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” 48Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. 49But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” 50And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. 52And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. 53And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and what was happening, they became terribly frightened and said, “This really was the Son of God!”

The Tomb Is Sealed

55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Yeshua from the Galilee, serving Him. 56Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also become a disciple of Yeshua. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60And he laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone up to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Now Miriam from Magdala was there, and the other Miriam, sitting opposite the tomb.

Guarding the Tomb

62Now on the next day, which is after the preparation, the ruling kohanim and Pharisees were gathered before Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember how that deceiver said while He was still alive, ‘After three days I’m to be raised.’ 64Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, so His disciples do not come and steal Him away. They will tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first!” 65“You have a guard,” Pilate said to them. “Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone along with the soldiers of the guard.
–from Matthew 27
So let’s celebrate today and continue in our reading into Matthew 28
Happy Easter - The Tomb is Empty

The Son Is Risen!

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

The Good News Cannot Be Hidden

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

Authority to Make Disciples Everywhere

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

Don’t jump to conclusions!


Ever been in a situation where because where are at or what happened to you, people assumed you must have done something to deserve it? Ever been in a situation where you saw someone else and jumped to a conclusion about them? Avoid that! Don’t judge them! That’s God’s job since He has all the knowledge and facts! It may be that they are going through it for some other reason, for some greater purpose! So don’t jump to conclusions! Ask God for wisdom and discernment!

Today’s reading speaks to this. It starts with the topic of purification and then in the new testament gives an example of this with the example of a blind man.

Purification of One with Tza’arat

1Then Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 2“This is the Torah of the one with tza’arat in the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the kohen, 3and the kohen is to go to the outside of the camp. The kohen is to examine him, and behold, if the mark of tza’arat is healed in one with tza’arat, 4then the kohen is to command that two clean living birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop be brought for the one being cleansed. 5The kohen shall command them to kill one of the birds in a clay pot over living water. 6As for the living bird, he is to take it, the cedar wood, the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them with the living bird into the blood of the bird that was killed over the living water. 7He is to sprinkle on the one being cleansed from the tza’arat seven times and pronounce him clean, then release the living bird over the open field. 8“The one to be cleansed must wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and bathe himself in water. Then he shall be clean. After that he may come into the camp, but is to dwell outside his tent for seven days. 9Then on the seventh day, he is to shave all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows—he must shave off all his hair. He is to wash his clothes, and bathe his body in water. Then he will be clean. 10“On the eighth day he is to take two male lambs without blemish, a one-year-old ewe lamb without blemish, three tenths of a pint of fine flour as a grain offering, mingled with oil, and a pint of oil. 11The kohen who cleanses him is to set the man who to be cleansed along with those items before Adonai, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 12The kohen shall then take one of the male lambs, and offer it for a trespass offering, with the pint of oil, and wave them as a wave offering before Adonai. 13“Then he is to slaughter the male lamb in the place where they slaughter the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the Sanctuary area. For the sin offering like the trespass offering belongs to the kohen. It is most holy. 14Then the kohen is to take some of the blood of the trespass offering and dab it on the tip of the right ear of the one being cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 15The kohen shall then take some of the pint of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. 16He is to dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before Adonai. 17Then the kohen shall dab some of the rest of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of the one being cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the trespass offering. 18From what remains of the oil that is in his hand, the kohen is to dab on the head of the one being cleansed. In this way the kohen will make atonement for him before Adonai. 19“The kohen shall offer the sin offering and make atonement for the one being cleansed because of his uncleanness. Afterward he is to slaughter the burnt offering. 20Then the kohen is to present the burnt offering along with the grain offering on the altar. So the kohen shall make atonement for him, and he will be clean. 21“If he is poor and cannot afford so much, then he shall take one male lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make atonement for him, plus one tenth of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil for a grain offering, a pint of oil, 22two turtledoves or two young pigeons, such as he is able to afford. The one shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 23“On the eighth day he is to bring them to the kohen for his cleansing, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting before Adonai. 24The kohen is to take the lamb of the trespass offering and the pint of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before Adonai. 25He is to slaughter the lamb of the trespass offering. The kohen is to take some of the blood of the trespass offering and dab it on the tip of the right ear of the one being cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. 26The kohen shall then pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand. 27He is to sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before Adonai. 28Then the kohen is to dab some of the oil that is in his hand on the tip of the right ear of the one being cleansed, also on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the place of the blood of the trespass offering. 29The rest of the oil that is in his hand the kohen is to dab on the head of the one being cleansed, to make atonement for him before Adonai. 30He is to offer one of the turtledoves or the young pigeons, from what his hand can afford, 31the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the grain offering. The kohen shall make atonement for him being cleansed before Adonai.” 32This is the Torah for one on who is the mark of tza’arat, who is not able to afford the sacrifice for his cleansing.

Purification of a House

33Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: 34“Suppose you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put a mark of tza’arat in a house in the land you possess. 35Then the one who owns the house shall come and tell the kohen, saying: ‘Something like a mark has appeared in my house.’ 36The kohen is to order the house emptied before he goes in to examine the mark, so that nothing in the house might be made unclean. Then afterward the kohen is to enter to inspect the house. 37He is to examine the mark, and behold, if the mark is in the walls of the house with hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, and appears deeper than the wall, 38then the kohen is to go out of the house to the door and close up the house for seven days. 39Then the kohen is to come again on the seventh day, and behold, if the mark has spread in the walls of the house, 40then the kohen is to command that they take out the stones which are marked and throw them into an unclean place outside of the city. 41He shall also have the inside of the house scraped all throughout, and they are to dump the mortar that they scraped off outside of the city into an unclean place. 42They may then take other stones and put them in the place of those stones. Likewise he can take other mortar, and plaster the house. 43“But suppose the contamination returns, breaking out in the house, after he has pulled out the stones and after he has scraped the house, and it has been re-plastered. 44Then the kohen is to go examine, and behold, if the plague has spread within the house, it is a destructive mildew inside. It is unclean. 45He is to break down the house, its stones, its timber, along with all the house’s mortar, and carry them out of the city into an unclean place. 46“Moreover, whoever goes into the house while it is shut up will be unclean until the evening. 47The one who lies down in the house must wash his clothes, and he who eats in the house must wash his clothes too. 48“But if the kohen comes in, inspects it, and behold, the plague has not spread within the house after it was re-plastered, then he shall pronounce the house clean, because the contamination is healed. 49In order to cleanse the house he is to take two birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop. 50He is to kill one of the birds in a clay pot over living water. 51Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet and the living bird, and dip them into the blood of the slain bird as well as the living water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52He shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, with the living water, with the living bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet. 53But he is to let the living bird go out of the city into the open field. So he is to make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.” 54This is the Torah for any mark of tza’arat—even for a scab, 55or the tza’arat in a garment or for a house 56or for a swelling, a scab, or a bright spot—57to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean. This is the Torah of tza’arat.
–from Levitus 14

Today’s reading concludes with Jesus answering, providing wisdom, and healing…Will you get out of your comfort zone to meet someone at their point of need? Will you reach into someone else’s life to make a difference? Will you answer the call? Will you help others see the light? Will you help others see the truth? Will you see others see the hope? Will you help others see the reason for the hope that is in you?

Bringing Light to the Blind

1As Yeshua was passing by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” 3Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him. 4We must do the work of the One who sent Me, so long as it is day! Night is coming when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6Having said these things, He spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes. 7He told him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which is translated Sent). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 8Therefore his neighbors and those who had seen him as a beggar kept saying, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9“This is the one!” some said. “No, but it looks like him,” said others. But the man himself kept saying, “I am!” 10So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The Man who is called Yeshua made mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and then I received my sight!” 12“Where is He?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13They bring to the Pharisees the man who once was blind. 14Now the day was Shabbat when Yeshua made the mud and opened the man’s eyes. 15So again the Pharisees were asking him how he received his sight. He responded, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see!” 16So some of the Pharisees began saying, “This man isn’t from God, because He doesn’t keep Shabbat!” But others were saying, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So there was a split among them. 17Again they say to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He’s a prophet.” 18So the Judean leaders didn’t believe that he had been blind and received his sight until they called his parents. 19They questioned them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? Then how does he see now?” 20Then his parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21We don’t know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him—he’s old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Judean leaders. For the Judean leaders had already agreed that anyone who professed Yeshua to be Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough—ask him.” 24So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner!” 25The man replied, “I don’t know whether He’s a sinner. One thing I do know is that I was blind, but now I see!” 26So they asked him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27“I told you already and you didn’t listen!” the man responded. “What, do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28They railed at him and said, “You’re a disciple of that One, but we’re disciples of Moses! 29We know that God has spoken to Moses; but as for this fellow, we don’t know where He is from.” 30The man replied to them, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! 31We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners; but if anyone fears Him and does His will, He hears this one. 32Since the beginning of the world, no one has ever heard that anyone has opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, He couldn’t do anything.” 34They replied to him, “You were born completely in sin, and you’re teaching us?” And they threw him out.

Is Seeing Believing?

35Yeshua heard that they had thrown him out. Finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36The man answered, “Who is He, Sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in Him!” 37Yeshua said, “You have seen Him—He is the One speaking with you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. 39Yeshua said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who don’t see may see, and the ones who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “We’re not blind too, are we?” 41Yeshua said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ So your sin remains.”
–from John 9

 

 

 

Does God need us? Or do you realize it is us who need Him!


God desires a relationship with us! God loves us! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! But does God need us? If we won’t obey Him, will that make Him any less? No! If we won’t receive Him, will that make Him any less? No! If we won’t give, will that mean He won’t have resources? No! If we won’t complete the work He prepared in advance for us to do, will that mean it won’t get done? No!

I remember resisting the call feeling inadequate and unprepared, but He was calling. I had the choice of doing what I was being called to do or becoming irrelevant. God won’t run out of resources. God has others who will be obedient and complete the work He has planned and purposed. We have the opportunity to get to be a part of His plans! We have the option to obey or disregard the call. But don’t we all want to be a part of the big plan? Don’t we all want to be a part of God’s plan?

So it’s not that He needs us, it’s that He is choosing to work in and through us to accomplish His purposes and plans. It’s kind of like the Sabbath verse that legalists tried to use to stop people from doing what was necessary. Jesus is Lord of all. So don’t allow pride to keep you from being everything God desires! Don’t think you understand it all because God’s ways aren’t our ways, His ways are bigger and better.

Today’s reading begins with Job 35. We see Elihu continuing to question and respond to Job. The challenge for me in today’s reading is that Elihu is questioning Job’s understanding of God and at the same time knowing the rest of the story, I know that Elihu is also making assumptions. We need to avoid being judgmental and try to live and walk in the grace and the hope and the peace that comes from God! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!

Today’s reading continues into the book of Psalms with Psalm 6. We need to humble ourselves and turn to God! We need to humble ourselves and submit ourselves to Him! We need to allow Him to work in and through us in every situation. Let’s pray for mercy!

Prayer for Mercy

1For the music director, on the eight-string lyre, a psalm of David.
2Adonai, do not rebuke me in Your anger! Do not discipline me in Your wrath.
3Be gracious to me, Adonai, for I am weak. Heal me, Adonai— for my bones are shuddering with fear,
4as is my soul— and You, Adonai—how long?
5Turn toward me, Adonai, deliver my soul! Save me—because of Your mercy.
6For there is no memory of You in death, in Sheol who will praise You?
7I am worn out with my groaning. Every night I make my bed swim, drenching my pillow with my tears.
8My eyes are weakened with grief— they age because of my enemies.
9Away from me, all you evildoers! For Adonai heard the sound of my weeping.
10Adonai has heard my cry for mercy. Adonai accepts my prayer:
11“May all my enemies be ashamed, and stricken with terror. May they turn back in sudden disgrace.”

–from Psalms 6

Today’s reading continues into Luke where we are witnessing Jesus giving up His life for us to be able to be reconciled to God the Father! First before Pilate who found nothing against this man worthy of crucifixion. But the crowd wouldn’t give up and when the moment where he learned that Jesus was from Galilea, he sent him to Herod since he happened to be around. This connection built up a relationship between Herod and Pilate. Herod send Jesus back to Pilate but neither of them found any grounds against Jesus. They were going to whip Him and just let Him go. As was tradition at this time of year they allow one prisoner to go free and so he asked would they want Barabbas or Jesus and they picked Barabbas wanting Jesus to be crucified. And so he gave Jesus to their will. He was going to carry the weight of the sins of the world. He was going to give up His life as ransom for ours. Jesus even lift up the situation asking God the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do. He was continued to be mocked, but didn’t fight back. They placed Him between two criminals – one who was humble and ask Jesus to save Him and the other who was being rude and mocking Jesus. To the one who asked Jesus, Jesus confirmed he would be in paradise with Jesus. There were signs and wonders that took place as Jesus gave up His spirit. The darkened sky. The torn curtain in the temple that used to divide the holy place from the holy of holies. Jesus had given up His spirit and didn’t have to be broken in order to rush His death. They put a spear in His side which gave witness to Him being dead. Then Joseph asked Pilate for the body and put it into a tomb.

Today’s reading concludes with Revelation 17. Do you realize what is going on around the world? Do you see how in some places people are walking away from God? As the pendulum swung through the times of the Bible where people got too comfortable that they would think they could do it on their own to points where they would turn back to God because they ended up getting what they wanted to do it alone and end up being out of the covering of God. Do you see how some are being tempted away from God by “the good life”, “the pleasures”, …? Realize the truth and don’t be swayed! Draw closer to God! Allow your life to walk in alignment with God! Allow your life to be under the cover of the blood of Jesus that douses the fiery darts from the devil. Don’t be drawn away like a bug into a bug zapper’s light! Draw near to God! Allow your life to live under His will and His plans and His purpose! We need Him! We need our daily provision from Him! We need to be living as ambassadors of peace and forgiveness! Today’s reading from Revelation concludes as follows…

The Vile Prostitute and the Beast

1Then one of the seven angels holding the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the sentencing of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.
2The earth’s kings committed sexual immorality with her, and those who dwell on the earth got drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
3So he carried me away in the Ruach into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. She was holding a golden cup in her hand full of detestable things and the filth of her immorality,
5and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and the detestable things of the earth.”
6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the kedoshim and with the blood of the witnesses of Yeshua. When I saw her, I was totally astounded.
7But the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and yet is about to rise up from the abyss and head for destruction. Those who dwell on the earth—whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world—will be astonished when they see the beast, because he was and is not and is to come.
9“This calls for a mind having wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings—
10five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
11The beast that was and is not—he himself is the eighth, and is one of the seven, and is heading for destruction.
12The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.
13These kings are of one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
14They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
15Then he tells me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
16The ten horns that you saw, and the beast—these will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire.
17For God has put it into their hearts to do His will, and to be of one mind, and to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.
18And the woman that you saw is the great city exercising kingship over the kings of the earth.”

–from Revelation 17