Category Archives: Just

You know right from wrong? So how are you doing it?


Do you know the difference between right and wrong? What if we ask do you know the difference between good and bad? How about if we ask do you know the difference between moral and immoral or just and unjust or honest and dishonest or pleasing vs evil? Do you have a standard that you can turn to in order to understand and know for sure? Do you have a standard that is unchanging? Do you have some measuring stick that helps you know the difference?

Did you answer yes? Then how are you living it out? How are you doing it? What is your standard that you are able to trust it and stand firm on it? How do you respond? Do you rejoice when you see the right thing taking place? Do you take a stand when you see the wrong thing taking place? What is your role? What is your plan? How will you know what to do when you see something right or wrong taking place? How about if you see something good or bad taking place? How about if you see something moral vs immoral taking place? How about if you see something just vs injust taking place? How about if you see something honest vs dishonest taking place?

Did you answer no? Do you think it depends? Do you base it on your feelings or how you feel about it in the moment? Might you respond differently today than you did yesterday? Might you respond differently today than you will tomorrow? How do you know if what you are doing is right or wrong if you don’t have a standard to base it upon? How do you know if your response is just or injust if you don’t have a measuring stick to compare against? How you know if what you do is moral or immoral if you don’t have something to compare it to that doesn’t change? Let’s be honest, shouldn’t right be right if it is right? Let’s be honest, shouldn’t wrong be wrong if it is wrong? So how can you be honest and not know what truth is? How can you be just and not know what is morally right and fair? How can you be moral and not know what is right and wrong? Where can you find a source of truth that never changes to be your standard and foundation?

Why not start with God’s Word found in the Bible? Why not start in the New Testament and learn what Jesus teaches in relations to the 10 Commandments and His new deal? Why not wrap up all the examples of Jesus so that you can know right from wrong? Why not take hold of the higher calling and higher standard Jesus calls us to in order to know right from wrong? Why not take hold of the 2 Commandments that cover all the others by Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and by Loving your neighbour as yourself? God has a plan and it is good and not for evil, it is not to harm you but rather to give you a hope and a future! Why not lead with unconditional love, like the love of God, who loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whosoever will believe on Him will have everlasting life? God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but instead so that the world could be saved! The key is that we have to choose to receive it! What if today ends up being your last day? Are you saved from judgement? Are you going to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Are you going to spend eternity in heaven or in hell? Let’s read from God’s Word as we consider all the questions.


Today’s reading gets us start in 2 Kings 15:

‘Uzziah son of Amaziah began to rule over Judah in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. The Lord struck the king with leprosy, which lasted until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house. The king’s son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land. The rest of the events in Uzziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Jotham became the next king. Zechariah son of Jeroboam II began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria six months. Zechariah did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, as his ancestors had done. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. Then Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah, assassinated him in public, and became the next king. The rest of the events in Zechariah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. So the Lord ’s message to Jehu came true: “Your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.” Shallum son of Jabesh began to rule over Israel in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. Shallum reigned in Samaria only one month. Then Menahem son of Gadi went to Samaria from Tirzah and assassinated him, and he became the next king. The rest of the events in Shallum’s reign, including his conspiracy, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender the town. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women. Menahem son of Gadi began to rule over Israel in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria ten years. But Menahem did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. During his entire reign, he refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. Then King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria invaded the land. But Menahem paid him thirty-seven tons of silver to gain his support in tightening his grip on royal power. Menahem extorted the money from the rich of Israel, demanding that each of them pay fifty pieces of silver to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned from attacking Israel and did not stay in the land. The rest of the events in Menahem’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Menahem died, his son Pekahiah became the next king. Pekahiah son of Menahem began to rule over Israel in the fiftieth year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria two years. But Pekahiah did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. Then Pekah son of Remaliah, the commander of Pekahiah’s army, conspired against him. With fifty men from Gilead, Pekah assassinated the king, along with Argob and Arieh, in the citadel of the palace at Samaria. And Pekah reigned in his place. The rest of the events in Pekahiah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. Pekah son of Remaliah began to rule over Israel in the fifty-second year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty years. But Pekah did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. During Pekah’s reign, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria attacked Israel again, and he captured the towns of Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, and Hazor. He also conquered the regions of Gilead, Galilee, and all of Naphtali, and he took the people to Assyria as captives. Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah and assassinated him. He began to rule over Israel in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah. The rest of the events in Pekah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. Jotham son of Uzziah began to rule over Judah in the second year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. He rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord . The rest of the events in Jotham’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. In those days the Lord began to send King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel to attack Judah. When Jotham died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.’

2 Kings 15:1-38

Today’s reading continues into Ezekiel 21:

‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. Tell her, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people—the righteous and the wicked alike. Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. Everyone in the world will know that I am the Lord . My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.’ “Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. When they ask why you are groaning, tell them, ‘I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign Lord says: It is coming! It’s on its way!’” Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, give the people this message from the Lord: “A sword, a sword is being sharpened and polished. It is sharpened for terrible slaughter and polished to flash like lightning! Now will you laugh? Those far stronger than you have fallen beneath its power! Yes, the sword is now being sharpened and polished; it is being prepared for the executioner. “Son of man, cry out and wail; pound your thighs in anguish, for that sword will slaughter my people and their leaders— everyone will die! It will put them all to the test. What chance do they have? says the Sovereign Lord . “Son of man, prophesy to them and clap your hands. Then take the sword and brandish it twice, even three times, to symbolize the great massacre, the great massacre facing them on every side. Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate. It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter! O sword, slash to the right, then slash to the left, wherever you will, wherever you want. I, too, will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury. I, the Lord , have spoken!” Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, make a map and trace two routes on it for the sword of Babylon’s king to follow. Put a signpost on the road that comes out of Babylon where the road forks into two— one road going to Ammon and its capital, Rabbah, and the other to Judah and fortified Jerusalem. The king of Babylon now stands at the fork, uncertain whether to attack Jerusalem or Rabbah. He calls his magicians to look for omens. They cast lots by shaking arrows from the quiver. They inspect the livers of animal sacrifices. The omen in his right hand says, ‘Jerusalem!’ With battering rams his soldiers will go against the gates, shouting for the kill. They will put up siege towers and build ramps against the walls. The people of Jerusalem will think it is a false omen, because of their treaty with the Babylonians. But the king of Babylon will remind the people of their rebellion. Then he will attack and capture them. “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come! “O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Take off your jeweled crown, for the old order changes. Now the lowly will be exalted, and the mighty will be brought down. Destruction! Destruction! I will surely destroy the kingdom. And it will not be restored until the one appears who has the right to judge it. Then I will hand it over to him. “And now, son of man, prophesy concerning the Ammonites and their mockery. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord : “A sword, a sword is drawn for your slaughter. It is polished to destroy, flashing like lightning! Your prophets have given false visions, and your fortune-tellers have told lies. The sword will fall on the necks of the wicked for whom the day of final reckoning has come. “Now return the sword to its sheath, for in your own country, the land of your birth, I will pass judgment upon you. I will pour out my fury on you and blow on you with the fire of my anger. I will hand you over to cruel men who are skilled in destruction. You will be fuel for the fire, and your blood will be spilled in your own land. You will be utterly wiped out, your memory lost to history, for I, the Lord , have spoken!”’

Ezekiel 21:1-32

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament with Acts 15:

‘After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.’

Acts of the Apostles 15:36-41

Today’s reading continues into Acts 16:

‘Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.’

Acts of the Apostles 16:1-5

Today’s reading then brings us into Revelation 6:

‘As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory. When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere. When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.” When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.’

Revelation 6:1-8

Today’s reading then concludes in Psalms 119:

‘You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, O Lord , that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments. Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. May I be blameless in keeping your decrees; then I will never be ashamed. I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees. How long must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me? These arrogant people who hate your instructions have dug deep pits to trap me. All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause. They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments. In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws. Your eternal word, O Lord , stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.’

Psalms 119:73-96

So where are you at today? 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 surpases 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 rejocie with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are stil questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

Do you remember the promise? Will you live so that you won’t be disqualified?


Have you ever had someone make a promise with conditions? Have you ever had someone not go through with it because you got disqualified? Have you ever make a conditional promises? Have you ever had the other person break the condition and disqualify themselves from getting it? How did that make you feel? How did that make them feel? Was it just? Was there an alternative? Is there anything that could have been done differently?


Today’s reading gets us started in Deuteronomy before the journey into the promised land.

‘“Next we turned and headed for the land of Bashan, where King Og and his entire army attacked us at Edrei. But the Lord told me, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his entire army, and I will give you all his land. Treat him just as you treated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.’ “So the Lord our God handed King Og and all his people over to us, and we killed them all. Not a single person survived. We conquered all sixty of his towns—the entire Argob region in his kingdom of Bashan. Not a single town escaped our conquest. These towns were all fortified with high walls and barred gates. We also took many unwalled villages at the same time. We completely destroyed the kingdom of Bashan, just as we had destroyed King Sihon of Heshbon. We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered—men, women, and children alike. But we kept all the livestock for ourselves and took plunder from all the towns. “So we took the land of the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—all the way from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon. (Mount Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians, and the Amorites call it Senir.) We had now conquered all the cities on the plateau and all Gilead and Bashan, as far as the towns of Salecah and Edrei, which were part of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. (King Og of Bashan was the last survivor of the giant Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.)

“When we took possession of this land, I gave to the tribes of Reuben and Gad the territory beyond Aroer along the Arnon Gorge, plus half of the hill country of Gilead with its towns. Then I gave the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan—Og’s former kingdom—to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (This entire Argob region of Bashan used to be known as the land of the Rephaites. Jair, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh, conquered the whole Argob region in Bashan, all the way to the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites. Jair renamed this region after himself, calling it the Towns of Jair, as it is still known today.) I gave Gilead to the clan of Makir. But I also gave part of Gilead to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. The area I gave them extended from the middle of the Arnon Gorge in the south to the Jabbok River on the Ammonite frontier. They also received the Jordan Valley, all the way from the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea, with the Jordan River serving as the western boundary. To the east were the slopes of Pisgah. “At that time I gave this command to the tribes that would live east of the Jordan: ‘Although the Lord your God has given you this land as your property, all your fighting men must cross the Jordan ahead of your Israelite relatives, armed and ready to assist them. Your wives, children, and numerous livestock, however, may stay behind in the towns I have given you. When the Lord has given security to the rest of the Israelites, as he has to you, and when they occupy the land the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan River, then you may all return here to the land I have given you.’

“At that time I gave Joshua this charge: ‘You have seen for yourself everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan. Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’ “At that time I pleaded with the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord , you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do? Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains.’ “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more. But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River. Instead, commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them all the land you now see before you as their possession.’ So we stayed in the valley near Beth-peor.’

Deuteronomy 3

Today’s reading then continues into Micah:

‘I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel! You are supposed to know right from wrong, but you are the very ones who hate good and love evil. You skin my people alive and tear the flesh from their bones. Yes, you eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin, and break their bones. You chop them up like meat for the cooking pot. Then you beg the Lord for help in times of trouble! Do you really expect him to answer? After all the evil you have done, he won’t even look at you!” This is what the Lord says: “You false prophets are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you. Now the night will close around you, cutting off all your visions. Darkness will cover you, putting an end to your predictions. The sun will set for you prophets, and your day will come to an end. Then you seers will be put to shame, and you fortune-tellers will be disgraced. And you will cover your faces because there is no answer from God.” But as for me, I am filled with power— with the Spirit of the Lord . I am filled with justice and strength to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion. Listen to me, you leaders of Israel! You hate justice and twist all that is right. You are building Jerusalem on a foundation of murder and corruption. You rulers make decisions based on bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord . “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the Lord is here among us.” Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands.’

Micah 3

and

‘In the last days, the mountain of the Lord ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord , to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise! Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.

“In that coming day,” says the Lord , “I will gather together those who are lame, those who have been exiles, and those whom I have filled with grief. Those who are weak will survive as a remnant; those who were exiles will become a strong nation. Then I, the Lord , will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever.” As for you, Jerusalem, the citadel of God’s people, your royal might and power will come back to you again. The kingship will be restored to my precious Jerusalem. But why are you now screaming in terror? Have you no king to lead you? Have your wise people all died? Pain has gripped you like a woman in childbirth. Writhe and groan like a woman in labor, you people of Jerusalem, for now you must leave this city to live in the open country. You will soon be sent in exile to distant Babylon. But the Lord will rescue you there; he will redeem you from the grip of your enemies. Now many nations have gathered against you. “Let her be desecrated,” they say. “Let us see the destruction of Jerusalem. ” But they do not know the Lord ’s thoughts or understand his plan. These nations don’t know that he is gathering them together to be beaten and trampled like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor. “Rise up and crush the nations, O Jerusalem!” says the Lord . “For I will give you iron horns and bronze hooves, so you can trample many nations to pieces. You will present their stolen riches to the Lord , their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.”’

Micah 4

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew.

‘Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world. ”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!’

Matthew 13:31-43

Today’s reading then continues into Romans.

‘Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it. I am saying all this especially for you Gentiles. God has appointed me as the apostle to the Gentiles. I stress this, for I want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you Gentiles have, so I might save some of them. For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead! And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too. But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root. “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either. Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree. You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong.’

Romans 11:11-24

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms.

‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord .” And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached. All the tribes of Israel—the Lord ’s people— make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord , as the law requires of Israel. Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David. Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.” For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.’

Psalms 122

Ever considered the unconditional love of God that sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins? Ever considered the only condition is to receive Jesus to receive eternal life? God doesn’t want robots, He wants our hearts and a relationship with Himself. So that means we have a choice, a decision to make about how we will spend eternity as well as how we will live out the rest of our lives. I’ve chosen to follow Jesus! How about you?

Just vs Justice … ever considered the difference or the connection?


Just is based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair. Justice is
just behavior or treatment. Justice is the quality of being fair and reasonable. Justice is the administration of the law or authority in maintaining this. Justice is the personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword. So how do people know what is just if there isn’t a source of truth? So how do people know what is just if there isn’t a constant value for just? So if there is a constant value and a source of truth, then what keeps people from knowing what is just? If everyone knows what is just then is justice clear? Beyond the definition looking up the difference between just and justice, I came across an article with some interesting perspective to consider. Beyond just the definition of the words it raise the ideas of “Distributive Justice” and “Commutative Justice“. The article points to:

Distributive Justice is that virtue whose object is to distribute rewards and punishments to each one according to his merits, observing a just proportion by comparing one person or fact with another so that neither equal persons have unequal things, nor unequal persons things equal.

–fromJust / Justice Defined and Explained

and

Commutative Justice is that virtue whose object it is to render to every one what belongs to him, as nearly as may be, or that which governs contracts. To render commutative justice, the judge must make an equality between the parties, that no one may be a gainer by another’s loss.

–from Just / Justice Defined and Explained

Another comparison that can be done with the word justice is internal vs external where internal justice being a conformity of our will whereas external justice a conformity of our actions to the law which come together to define justice. Exterior justice is the object of jurisprudence; interior justice is the object of morality.

So as you look out at the world do you see just things? As you look out at the world do you see justice? What do you find is present? What do you find is missing? How do you or can you tell the difference? Does it matter who you are? Does it matter who they are? Just vs Justice … ever considered the difference or the connection?


Today’s reading gets started with Leviticus 24.

‘The Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the Lord ’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord ’s presence. “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord . Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord .”

One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the Lord with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They kept the man in custody until the Lord ’s will in the matter should become clear to them. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be put to death. “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death. “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed. “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind. “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death. “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.” After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.’

Leviticus 24

Today’s reading continues into Leviticus 25.

‘While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord said to him, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord ’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath. This applies to you, your male and female servants, your hired workers, and the temporary residents who live with you. Your livestock and the wild animals in your land will also be allowed to eat what the land produces. “In addition, you must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. This fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you. During that year you must not plant your fields or store away any of the crops that grow on their own, and don’t gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. It will be a jubilee year for you, and you must keep it holy. But you may eat whatever the land produces on its own. In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God. “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.’

Leviticus 25:1-22

Today’s reading next takes us into the book of wisdom with Proverbs 21.

‘The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord ; he guides it wherever he pleases. People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap. The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just. The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road. It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them. If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser. The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them. Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury. Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers. The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich. The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest. It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust. Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give! The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives. A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak. The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act. No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord . The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord .’

Proverbs 21

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament starting in Mark 14.

‘On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal for you?” So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there. In the evening Jesus arrived with the Twelve. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.” Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?” He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

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

Mark 14:12-31

Today’s reading then continues into 2 Corinthians 6.

‘As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!’

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

As we meditate on God’s Word. As we meditate on God’s truth. As we meditate on God’s foundation through Jesus Christ. As we meditate on Jesus as the cornerstone. Let’s pause to consider just and justice before we close with today’s psalm.

Today’s reading closes with Psalms 90.

‘Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered. We wither beneath your anger; we are overwhelmed by your fury. You spread out our sins before you— our secret sins—and you see them all. We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a groan. Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. Who can comprehend the power of your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. O Lord , come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!’

Psalms 90

Do justice! Love kindness! Walk humbly!


Do you realize that we have all missed the mark? Do you realize that God’s will has been missed? Do you realize what God wants? Do you realize that since we couldn’t do it in our own strength that He sent Jesus to make a way when we couldn’t?

Where have you missed the mark? What could you have done? What fruit of the Spirit are you producing? With Jesus as your Lord and Savior, how has your life been transformed? Are you living a life that is different from before? Are you walking humbly before God? Are you an ambassador of peace? Are you being kind? Are you loving God and loving others? Are you seeking and living out a life that is just? Is your life showing you doing justice?

Today’s reading comes from Micah 6. Let’s take a moment to read thru it and take hold of what God’s Word is saying…

The Indictment of the Lord

‘ Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord , and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord .”‘

What Does the Lord Require?

‘ “With what shall I come before the Lord , and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’

Destruction of the Wicked

‘ The voice of the Lord cries to the city— and it is sound wisdom to fear your name: “Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it! Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”‘

–from Micah 6

So we read in Micah 6:8 which is the verse for today’s devotional what God considers good and requires of us where it says…

‘ He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’

— Micah 6:8 

Today’s devotional speaks to how this verse has impacted history and philosophy through American history…

  • John Winthrop cited Micah 6:8 to convey what the colonist owed to each other and the rest of the world
  • George Washington in his 1783 Circular to the States used this verse to encourage Americans to “todo Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and a pacific temper of mind.
  • William F. McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G Harding, and Jimmy Carter placed their hands upon the Bibles at their inauguration with it opened to Micah 6:8
  • Calvin Coolidge used Micah 6:8 in his State of the Union
  • Richard Nixon used Micah 6:8 in his Thanksgiving Proclamation
  • Bill Clinton used Micah 6:8 at a National Prayer Breakfast
  • Barack Obama used Micah 6:8 at the ground breaking ceremony of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial
  • Martin Luther King Jr. frequently cited Micah 6:8 to express the justice that he and other civil rights leaders were pursuing
  • Cesar Chavez used Micah 6:8 in his fight for justice for farm workers
  • Micah 6:8 is prominently displayed in the main reading room of the Library of Congress above the statue that represents religion

[The Global Impact Bible – Micah 6 – page 1236]

So let’s live out our today seeking justice and to do justice, seeking loving kindness and being loving and kind, and walking humbly before our God in order to serve Him as living sacrifices that will bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Put another way, let’s act justly, let’s love mercy, and let’s walk humbly with our God.

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You for Your Word that speaks truth and life into and over my life. I thank You for Your Word that gives wisdom and direction to my mind and my heart so that my focus isn’t on the things of the world but on how I can best walk out this life humbly with You. Help me today I pray as I step in to a new area and help me Lord to find favor and opportunity that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in and thru Jesus, Amen.

How desperate are you for an intimate relationship with God?


Life can keep us busy! Life can keep us focused! Life can keep us engaged! Life can turn then what? It depends on your foundation! It depends on your source of wisdom and strength! It depends on your purpose! It depends if you have built your trust up!

Where are you at today?

Each morning I turn to God’s Word knowing that He wants to speak to me through His Word! My day isn’t the same if I can’t start it out with God’s Word! The Lord fills me up each morning in preparation for today! He knows my very situation! He knows what I am going through and He knows what is coming too! When I learned this truth about having a relationship with Jesus and how important it is for me to start my day with Him, it impacts the way I am able to live out the rest of my day!

17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? 22Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
–from Psalm 139
Each day I know that without God’s filling, there will be a hole, an emptiness, a lack. Without God filling up my heart, my attitude and my words and my actions are off. I need Him to fill me up! I need Him to search my heart in order to make sure anything that will keep me from accomplishing His purpose and plans can be removed out of the way!
Without His truth there would be no absolutes! Without absolutes then things sway back and forth like getting tossed around like the waves! We need to hear from God! We need to stand on the truth! We need absolutes! Through Jesus we are called to go beyond average and raise the bar so that instead of the average moving to the lowest common denominator God’s desire is for us to grow and become more like Jesus!
When we know the truth, the truth sets us free and we won’t be lead astray! There are many who would try to deceive and lead us astray! The devil’s plan is to rob, kill, and destroy us and anyway he can find to instrument he will do it in order to draw us from God and the truth of God and the eternity with God that is offered to us through a relationship with Jesus! So beware of false teachers! Compare what they say against what God’s Word says!

Greetings from Jude

1This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.
2May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

The Danger of False Teachers

3Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
8In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. 9But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.
12When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
14Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
16These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

A Call to Remain Faithful

17But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 18They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
20But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
22And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

A Prayer of Praise

24Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
–from Jude 1
So let’s allow the Holy Spirit working in us and through us to become who God desires us to be! Let’s make sure that it is the sins that we hate and not the people! Let’s love people and hate sin! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s speak truth in love to the people around us!
Today’s devotional summarizes Jude’s points as follows:

Jude gives a description of the characteristics of false teachers and false teaching. Typically, cults will display at least one of these:

  • They are deceptive. They ‘have secretly slipped in among you’ (v.4)
  • They reject authority. They want to replace ‘sheer grace’ with ‘sheer license’ (v.4, MSG)
  • They deny Jesus Christ ‘as our one and only Master’ (v.4, MSG)
  • They look down on and ‘sneer at anything they can’t understand’ (v.10, MSG)
  • They ‘do whatever they feel like doing’ (v.10, MSG)
  • They are immoral: ‘carousing shamelessly’ (v.12, MSG)
  • They grumble, complain and find fault (v.16)
  • They grab for themselves ‘the biggest piece of the pie’ (v.16, MSG)
  • They are ambitious, ‘saying anything they think will get them ahead’ (v.16, MSG).
    God’s people are encouraged to be desperate for God’s truth. The beginning and the end of the letter speak of an intimacy with God and how to live as those desperate for God’s truth.

I love the way that Jude begins this letter. He sees himself as ‘a servant of Jesus Christ’ (v.1). There is no higher calling or a more liberating job than to see every day as an opportunity to serve Jesus Christ.

He then reassures his readers that they are ‘called’ and ‘loved’ by God the Father ‘and kept by Jesus Christ’ (v.1). This is true of every Christian. What he wants for his readers is ‘mercy’, ‘peace’ and ‘love in abundance’ (v.2). If these were the only verses we had in the whole Bible, we could meditate on them for the rest of our lives.

He ends by urging them to:

  • Study the truth: ‘Build yourselves up in your most holy faith’ (v.20)
  • Pray: ‘Pray in the Holy Spirit’ (v.20). The Holy Spirit will guide us into the truth
  • Stay close to God: ‘Keep yourselves in God’s love’ (v.21)
  • Be merciful: ‘Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin’ (v.23, MSG)

–from Day 342: Bible In One Year 2018

So let’s live out our lives in a way that will glorify God! Let’s live out lives that will show truth and love to the world around us! Let’s seek God’s purpose and God’s plan! Let’s pursue lives that will align with God’s justice in hopes of living within His overwhelming blessings! It doesn’t mean that everything will be easy but it does mean it will be worth it! Let’s live lives that point people to Jesus so that we can spend eternity in heaven with them with God! Let’s be ambassadors of Jesus who want them to avoid the final judgement in order to find true freedom with Jesus! Share the truth in love for the truth shall set them free!

A Flying Scroll

1I looked up again and saw a scroll flying through the air.
2“What do you see?” the angel asked.
“I see a flying scroll,” I replied. “It appears to be about 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.”
3Then he said to me, “This scroll contains the curse that is going out over the entire land. One side of the scroll says that those who steal will be banished from the land; the other side says that those who swear falsely will be banished from the land. 4And this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using my name. And my curse will remain in that house and completely destroy it—even its timbers and stones.”

A Woman in a Basket

5Then the angel who was talking with me came forward and said, “Look up and see what’s coming.”
6“What is it?” I asked.
He replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain, and it’s filled with the sins of everyone throughout the land.”
7Then the heavy lead cover was lifted off the basket, and there was a woman sitting inside it. 8The angel said, “The woman’s name is Wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and closed the heavy lid again.
9Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky.
10“Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel.
11He replied, “To the land of Babylonia, where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.”
–from Zechariah 5
Don’t lie! Don’t steal! Don’t cheat! Turn to God and pursue His ways! As the end draws near the purpose to make Jesus known grows! As the end draws near the need to share to hope and truth of Jesus and how we are created to have an intimate relationship with Him is necessary! As the end draws near lets share the reality and not sugar coat it! The reality that there is a real heaven and there is a real hell and that based on our choice one of them will be the final destination! Choose Jesus! Invite Jesus into your heart and follow Him all the days of your life! Spend time in God’s Word! Pray to Him throughout your day! Take time to hear what He desires of you and how He wants you to live out today! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Four Chariots

1Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two bronze mountains. 2The first chariot was pulled by red horses, the second by black horses, 3the third by white horses, and the fourth by powerful dappled-gray horses. 4“And what are these, my lord?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.
5The angel replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth. They are going out to do his work. 6The chariot with black horses is going north, the chariot with white horses is going west, and the chariot with dappled-gray horses is going south.”
7The powerful horses were eager to set out to patrol the earth. And the Lord said, “Go and patrol the earth!” So they left at once on their patrol.
8Then the Lord summoned me and said, “Look, those who went north have vented the anger of my Spirit there in the land of the north.”

The Crowning of Jeshua

9Then I received another message from the Lord: 10“Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11Accept their gifts, and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’
14“The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the Lord to honor those who gave it—Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah son of Zephaniah.”
15People will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know that my messages have been from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All this will happen if you carefully obey what the Lord your God says.
–from Zechariah 6
 Have you heard of the four horsemen? Have you read it in Zechariah or Revelation? There are many terms or sayings in life and without the wisdom of God you won’t realize the source and the truth of such things! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world when He first came! God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life!

 A Call to Justice and Mercy

1On December 7 of the fourth year of King Darius’s reign, another message came to Zechariah from the Lord. 2The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech, along with their attendants, to seek the Lord’s favor. 3They were to ask this question of the prophets and the priests at the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction, as we have done for so many years?”
4The Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me this message in reply: 5“Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? 6And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves? 7Isn’t this the same message the Lord proclaimed through the prophets in years past when Jerusalem and the towns of Judah were bustling with people, and the Negev and the foothills of Judah were well populated?’”
8Then this message came to Zechariah from the Lord: 9“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.
11“Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. 12They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them.
13“Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 14As with a whirlwind, I scattered them among the distant nations, where they lived as strangers. Their land became so desolate that no one even traveled through it. They turned their pleasant land into a desert.”
–from Zechariah 7
 So how will you share the truth of God that His blessings will be seen and He will be glorified? How will you be able to pour out God’s blessings if you aren’t filled first? So let’s take time and make time to be filled with God’s Spirit by spending time in His Word! Let’s allow His Word to speak truth! Nothing is impossible with God!

Promised Blessings for Jerusalem

1Then another message came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: 2“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!
3“And now the Lord says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain.
4“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. 5And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play.
6“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
7“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west. 8I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.
9“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building. 10Before the work on the Temple began, there were no jobs and no money to hire people or animals. No traveler was safe from the enemy, for there were enemies on all sides. I had turned everyone against each other.
11“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. 13Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!
14“For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 15But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 16But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 17Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.”
18Here is another message that came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in early summer, midsummer, autumn, and winter are now ended. They will become festivals of joy and celebration for the people of Judah. So love truth and peace.
20“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem. 21The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us. Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I’m determined to go.’ 22Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.
23“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
 So let’s live in the truth of God! For the truth will set you free! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and is our one and only way to the Father! God’s plan and hope for us isn’t that we are harmed but that we will have a hope and a future!


Desperate

Day 342: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Desperate for God’s thoughts … Psalms 139:17-24
  2. Desperate for God’s truth … Jude 1
  3. Desperate for God’s Justice and God’s Blessing … Zechariah 5, Zechariah 6, Zechariah 7, Zechariah 8

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

Let’s get things straight and make LOVE the focus.


Love not hate! Love not war! Love God! Love people! Love your neighbor! Love your coworkers! Love your friends! Love those who persecute you! Love your enemies! Love the homeless! Love the orphans! Love the widows! Love the needy! Love rich! Love the poor! Let’s love the unlovables! Love the prisoners! Love the police! Love those in authority! Let’s love enough to forgive! God loves us so much that He gave Jesus so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to Himself! Let’s make our lives about love! Do you remember what love looks like?

68431-loveispatient

So let’s live out today loving God and loving the people He brings into our lives today!

Will you love be the trigger or key to someone finding the truth of Jesus Christ and be redeemed? Will you lovingly confront wrong attitudes and actions? Will you be someone who will help raise the bar through love allowing and enabling respectful behavior?

Today’s devotional closed with this truth…

God is love. He is also just. In his book Justice in Love, Nicholas Wolterstorff points out that justice is a necessary constituent part of any properly formed conception of love.

–from Day 240: Bible In One Year 2017

So will you live out your day leading with love? Will you stand up for what is right and call people to a higher standard? Will you ensure there is just action? Will you stand up for what is right? Will you step up when you see something is wrong? Will you speak up and speak out for those without a voice?  Will your love make a difference today?


Just Love

Day 240: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Justice and the poor … Proverbs 21:5-16
  2. Justice and forgiveness … 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11
  3. Justice and confrontation … 2 Chronicles 31:2-33:20

Today’s Bible Reading comes from …

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>

You know what is needed today? GRACE!


Grace is more than a prayer before meals but a state of mind! Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. So with what has happened or what is about to happen today, can show you the grace of God to the world around you? Can you give it freely? Can you give it without needing someone to live up to some bar you created? Will you allow anger to block your ability to give grace? Will you forgive them and allow grace to flow through you? Forgiveness is less about them and more about you! Do you want to take poison and then expect the other person to get sick or die? Doesn’t work that way! Forgiveness is the key to true freedom! Do not allow bitterness or anger to keep you from what God has planned or in store for you, in you, and through you!

Short video sharing one of my stories…

So today, how can we live out the theme of justice and grace to the world around us? What will it take for us to give it all up to God and rather than worry or get anxious for something give it up to God through prayer so that we can walk out our days with that peace that goes beyond all understanding?

So as we look to jump into today’s devotional and reading, let’s take hold of this thought…

The themes of justice and grace flow through the Bible. We cannot fully understand grace without understanding justice. One definition of grace is ‘undeserved love’. There is a mnemonic used to explain grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. We see today how Jesus Christ makes just grace available for you and me. –from Day 200: Bible In One Year 2017


Just Grace

Day 200: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 17:15-24, Romans 5:12-21, Amos 8, Amos 9

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/200

  1. The vital importance of justice … Proverbs 17:15-24
  2. The abundant provision of grace … Romans 5:12-21
  3.  The God of justice and grace … Amos 8:1-9:15

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that You will do in and through it. I praise You for who You are and for the incredible things You are able to do , more than I could ask or imagine, that’s right infinitely more! Lord, forgive me for worrying and becoming anxious even while praying and giving up the situation to You. I thank You Lord that despite me, You are still Lord and work all things for Your glory! You take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! So today Lord help me to walk out my day in just grace so that in all things I do and all things I say, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What will it take for everyone to know who God really is?


Not gods that are man made. Not gods that are just people elevating themselves to power. Not goes that are statues. Not gods that are made of wood or stone or metals. Not made up gods to explain away what is taking place. Not gods that are used to manipulate others. Not gods that ebb and flow because they are not real but the rules are defined by man.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He created it all! So let’s worship the creator rather than focusing on or worshipping the created!

There is but one God! This God is made up of 3 persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit! Jesus came to the earth fully God and fully man in order to be our Lord and Savior! He came to pay the ultimate price that none of us could have ever paid by ourselves, no matter how much money or time or effort we could try to put into it. All we need to do to receive the gift is to receive Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit came after Jesus ascended to heaven to be our comforter and our guide! He can help us in those tough times with wisdom and discernment.

So don’t bow down to man. So don’t bow down to things. So don’t bow down to stuff. For one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Do you believe it? Have you received it? If you haven’t, what is it going to take before you do? Is it a message? Is it a dream? Is it a vision? Is it an experience? What will it take?

Will it be something like what Egypt had to have happen?

God doesn’t rejoice when He needs to punish or correct people. He laments over them because His plan and His hope is that we will have a hope and a future. He sent Jesus not to condemn the world but that through Him the world would be saved! God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son! God is love!

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

–from 1 Corinthians 13

God is just!

Job 34:17 – “Shall one who hates justice rule? And will you condemn the righteous mighty One,

Job 33:5 – “Refute me if you can; Array yourselves before me, take your stand.

Job 36:6 – “He does not keep the wicked alive, But gives justice to the afflicted.

Job 30:18 – “By a great force my garment is distorted; It binds me about as the collar of my coat.

Job 18:4 – “O you who tear yourself in your anger– For your sake is the earth to be abandoned, Or the rock to be moved from its place?

Job 3:5 – “Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Luke 18:7 – now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

Acts 17:31 – because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Acts 2:7 – They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

Acts 3:25 – “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’

Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And thanks to Jesus being our Lord and Savior, we know

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

–from 2 Thessalonians 1

We don’t need to seek revenge because vengeance is the Lord’s!Whether we read it in the old or the new testament, it is still the truth!

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” –Deuteronomy 32:35

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. –Romans 12:9

So let’s invest in what will last for eternity! Let’s not worship things that will come and go! Let’s not lift up things that will just burn up or be blown away in the wind!

Do you know what will last for eternity? People! So let’s live lives that will help as many people as we can spend eternity with God rather than apart from God! Let’s help them to realize the hope that is within us! Let’s help them find that hope and pursue after Jesus! Let’s complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to do!

So let’s put our hope in His unfailing love! Let’s trust Him in and thru the storms! Let’s trust Him in and thru the valleys! Let’s walk thru each day building our relationship with Him! Let’s be willing to hear what He has to say! Let’s be willing to respond to His wisdom, His instruction, His direction, and His correction! Don’t lose hope! Put your hope and trust in God!

Let’s be alive in Christ! Let’s show the spirit of reconciliation! Let’s live lives so that others can see Jesus in and thru us! Today’s reading speaks to it this way…

Made Alive in Christ

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are Godʼs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with Godʼs people and also members of his household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

–Ephesians 2

Don’t give up! Don’t try to go it alone! Jesus doesn’t want to leave nor abandon you! So let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s reflect on this last part of today’s reading together from 1 Thessalonians 3

1So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in Godʼs service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

Timothyʼs Encouraging Report

6But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

–1 Thessalonians 3

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 29, 30, Psalm 147, Ephesians 2, 1 Thessalonians 3

Do you realize how much you need God?


On day 5 of being at home sick, I pray trusting and believing that God will heal me. I know that He is the ultimate physician and between prayer and petition along with science and medicine, He will provide a way for me to be healthy again! Each day I thank God that I get this time to read thru His Word and reflect upon what He has to say. Each day I praise God because He is able to speak into the very situations and circumstances of my life, aligning His Word for the day with what has or is going to take place. I don’t know what everyone else believes, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

In the world today there are many that seem to be walking away or turning their back on God in order to go and worship someone or something else as their gods. Don’t lose hope for their are those who are still believing and holding onto the faith! God’s will is that we would walk on fire for Him! He doesn’t want us sitting on the fence or standing in the middle being lukewarm, but rather He would we be hot or cold than lukewarm. So let’s not lose hope or lose faith, but let’s keep our faith and press in and press on to all He has planned and in store for us! We know that He works all for His good! We know that He is long suffering for His desire is that nobody should perish but that all would come to repentance and be saved through His Son Jesus Christ!

As we know from history when people turn their backs on God and walk away from Him, people get left to their own ways and they walk out from under the protection and the covering of Jesus. Ezekiel’s message from today’s reading speaks of the judgment and devastation that would take place in their time. Will you choose to receive Jesus into your heart before it is too late? Will you allow God’s love to create a new heart in you and to renew your mind in His ways? Will you choose to return to God before it is too late? How will you handle what will come your way?

It rains on the good and the evil. In this world there will be troubles, but we can take hope who are in Christ Jesus because Jesus has overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we have faith in Jesus which will be built up and strengthened, persevering and pressing forward that will help us to mature and in the end be complete and lacking nothing.

If you were going to be repaid for what you have done, what would that look like? What you sow you will reap! What have you been sowing? What will that mean will sprout up and hence what will you reap?

Is there violence which grows into wickedness? What will come from what you are sowing? God’s Word tells us: “Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.” While we speak of sowing and reaping, let’s consider it as it relates to God’s Word from today’s reading…

A Singular Evil Comes

1The word of Adonai came to me saying:
2“You, son of man, thus says Adonai Elohim concerning the land of Israel: An end! The end has come on the four corners of the land.
3The end is upon you. I will send My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
4My eyes will not spare you nor will I have pity, but I will bring your ways upon you, for your abominations in your midst. Then you will know that I am Adonai.”
5Thus says Adonai Elohim: An evil, a singular evil, behold, it comes.
6An end has come, the end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it is coming!
7Doom has come upon you, inhabitant of the land! The time has come, the day is near—panic, not joyful shouting on the hills.
8Now, soon, I am about to pour out My fury on you. I will exhaust My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
9My eye will not spare you nor will I have pity—I will repay you for your ways—your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that it is I, Adonai, who strikes.
10Behold, the day! Look, it is coming! Doom has gone out. The rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed.
11Violence grows into a rod of wickedness. Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.
12The time has come—the day draws near. The buyer will not rejoice, the seller will not play the mourner, for wrath is on the entire crowd.
13For a seller will not regain what he sold, as long as they are alive. For the vision against her whole crowd will not be revoked. No one will preserve his life, because of his iniquity.
14“They have blown the horn. They have made everyone ready. Yet no one goes to the battle. Surely My wrath is on her whole crowd.
15Outside is the sword, inside plague and famine. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword. Whoever is in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.
16Those survivors who escape will head for the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity.
17All hands will be feeble. All knees will turn to water.
18They will also gird on sackcloth. Horror will cover them. Shame will be upon all faces. Baldness will be upon all their heads.
19They will throw their silver in the streets. Their gold will be as garbage. Their silver and their gold cannot deliver them in the day of Adonai’s wrath. They will not satisfy their appetite or fill their bellies, for their iniquity is a stumbling block.
20They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and made images of their abominations and their detestable idols. Therefore I made it niddah to them.
21I will give it into the hands of the strangers as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.
22I will turn My face from them, as they will profane the place I treasure. Robbers will enter it and profane it.
23“Forge the chain! For the land is full of bloodshed. The city is full of violence.
24I will bring the wicked of the nations. They will possess their houses. So I will end the pride of the strong, when their holy places are profaned.
25Shuddering comes. They will seek peace but there will be none.
26Disaster upon disaster will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will seek a vision from a prophet, but Torah will perish from the kohen and counsel from the elders.
27The king will mourn. The prince will be clothed with despair. The hands of the people of the land will tremble. By their conduct I will deal with them. By their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am Adonai.”

–Ezekiel 7

What is your god? What are you bowing down to? What you allowing to drive you? Will you turn to Jesus and allow Him to be your Lord and Savior? Don’t walk too far away! Don’t turn your back on God! Come back under the covering of the Lord! Allow Him to keep the fiery darts from hitting you! Allow the blood of Jesus to be the prism through which God sees you! Before it is too late!

Let’s praise God! Let’s grab hold of Psalms 117 today…

Praise Him, All You Nations

1Praise Adonai, all you nations! Glorify Him, all you peoples.
2For great is His lovingkindness toward us, and Adonai’s truth endures forever. Halleluyah!

–Psalms 117

Believers, we need to come together in unity! We are the body! We are the church! Let’s live lives that allow others to praise our Father in heaven! Let’s live lives that produce fruit that causes people to praise our Father in heaven! So lets live our lives to the Lord! We know that in the end every tongue will confess and every knee will bow because Jesus Christ is Lord! Let’s live in love and not live lives that will cause others to slip or swayed from the ways of the Lord! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of love! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s live our faith!

So let’s do what is right and what is fair! Let’s pray and give thanksgiving! Let’s share the hope that is within us to those around us who are in need of that hope! Let’s share the mysteries God reveals to us so that we can plan seeds of hope, water seeds of hope so that God can make that seed take root and help it to grow! Show them to power of God working in and thru you in the good times and the challenging times! Let’s share how Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, the believers! Let’s finish the work God has given us to do so that we can receive the reward and message that we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.

 



Today’s reading: Ezekiel 6,7, 8, Psalms 117, Romans 14, Colossians 4

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

 

Just leaders…


Take a look around you…Are you seeing leaders who are just? Are you seeing leaders who are honest? Are you seeing leaders with integrity? or…Are you seeing leaders who are manipulative? Are you seeing leaders who are unjust? Are you seeing leaders who are lying or cheating or using dishonest measures? Are you seeing leaders who are corrupt?

What if the people at the top aren’t telling the truth? What if the people at the top aren’t living lives that are ethical and moral? What if the people at the top are just trying to get away with something?

Do you see the difference when the leadership has morals? Do you see the difference when the leadership has ethics? Do you see the difference when the leadership has a biblical worldview?

How can you tell the difference? How can you know the truth? How can you do something about it?

Are they … Just Leaders? (as I thought about the statement I realized there are 2 ways to interpret that statement…Just = Only vs Just = seeking justice)


Today’s reading begins with Micah 3…

Unjust Leaders, False Prophets

1Then I said: “Hear, leaders of Jacob, rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice? 2You haters of good and lovers of evil, you are robbing their skin from them and their flesh from their bones.” 3Now that they have eaten the flesh of my people, stripped their skin off from them, and smashed their bones to bits, they cut it up like flesh in a pot, or like meat within a caldron. 4Then they will cry out to Adonai, but He will not answer them. Thus He will hide His face from them at that time, because of their evil deeds. 5Thus said Adonai about the prophets who are misleading My people, those who bite with their teeth and cry “Shalom”—a word that He did not put in their mouth— yet they consecrate war against him: 6“Therefore you will have night without vision, and darkness without divination. The sun shall set on the prophets, the day shall become dark upon them.” 7So the seers will be ashamed and the diviners will be abashed. Indeed all of them will cover their lips, for there will be no answer from God. 8Nevertheless I myself am filled with power— with the Ruach Adonai— with judgment, and with might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob, rulers of the house of Israel: You who abhor justice, and twist everything upright, 10who build up Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with injustice. 11Her leaders give judgment for a bribe. Her priests give direction for a price. Her prophets practice divination for money. Yet they lean on Adonai by saying: “Is not Adonai in our midst? No calamity will come upon us!” 12Therefore, because of you Zion will become a plowed field. Yes, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the Temple Mount will become a high place in a forest.

–from Micah 3

Turn to God! Follow in His ways! Learn His ways! Start to live with a biblical worldview! Allow how you live to reflect who God is! Allow how you live to reflect how good God is! Allow how you live to reflect what God’s desire is!

Torah Will Go Forth From Zion

1But at the end of days the mountain of Adonai’s House will be established as chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills. Peoples will flow up to it. 2Then many nations will go and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the House of the God of Jacob! Then He will direct us in His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For Torah will go forth from Zion, and the word of Adonai from Jerusalem. 3He will judge between many peoples and decide for mighty nations far off. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war again. 4But each man will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one causing terror, for the mouth of Adonai-Tzva’ot has spoken. 5Though all the peoples will walk each in the name of his god, so we ourselves will walk in the Name of Adonai Eloheinu, forever and ever. 6“In that day” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “I will gather her who is limping, and her who was banished will I collect, even those whom I have afflicted. 7I will make her who was limping into a remnant, and her who was banished a mighty nation. Adonai will reign over them on Mount Zion from that time and forever.” 8But you, watchtower of the flock, are the hill of the Daughter of Zion. To you she will come. Even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem. 9Why are you crying out aloud now? Is there no King within you? Has your counselor perished, so that agony has gripped you like birth pangs? 10Writhe and give birth, Daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor. For now you will go forth from a city. You will dwell in the field, and you will come as far as Babylon. There you will be rescued. There will Adonai redeem you from the hand of your enemies. 11But now many nations have assembled against you, those who are saying, “Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gaze on Zion.” 12But they do not know Adonai’s thoughts, nor understand His plan. For He has gathered them like grain to a threshing floor. 13Arise and tread, Daughter of Zion, for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves bronze. You will thresh many peoples. I will devote their unjust gain to Adonai, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth. 14Now gather yourself in troops, O Daughter of Troops. He has laid siege against us. With a staff they have struck the Judge of Israel on the cheek.

–from Micah 4

Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy! Jesus came that we would have life to the full! Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it! God is love! There is no darkness in Him!

Prayer Against an Accuser

1For the music director, a psalm of David. O God of my praise, be not silent. 2For the wicked and the deceitful have opened their mouth against me. They spoke to me with a lying tongue, 3with hateful words surrounded me, and fought against me without cause. 4In return for my love they are my accusers, but I am in prayer. 5They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6Set a wicked man over him, let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and may his prayer be as sin. 8Let his days be few, let another take his position. 9May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 10Let his children wander and beg and may they search in their ruins. 11Let a creditor seize all he has, and may strangers plunder his labor. 12Let no one show him mercy, or take pity on his fatherless children. 13Let his posterity be cut off, and his name be blotted out in the next generation. 14May the guilt of his fathers be remembered before Adonai, the sin of his mother never blotted out. 15Let their sins be before Adonai continually, that He may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16For he never remembered to show mercy. But he persecuted a poor and needy man, crushed in spirit, to put him to death. 17How he loved cursing—may it fall on him! He had no pleasure in blessing— may it be far from him! 18He wore cursing like his robe, until it filled his belly like water, and his bones like oil. 19May it be like a cloak wrapped around him, like a belt tied around him always. 20Let this be Adonai’s reward to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against me. 21But You, Adonai my Lord, deal with me for Your Name’s sake. Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me. 22For I am afflicted and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. 23I fade away like an evening shadow, shaken off like a locust. 24My knees totter from fasting, and my flesh is lean, with no fat. 25And I have become a taunt to them. When they see me, they wag their head. 26Help me, Adonai my God, Save me through Your lovingkindness. 27Let them know that it is Your hand— that You, Adonai, have done it. 28They may curse, but You bless. When they arise, they will be ashamed, but Your servant will rejoice. 29My accusers will be clothed in disgrace, and wrapped in shame as in a cloak. 30I will greatly thank Adonai with my mouth, and in the midst of a throng will I praise Him. 31For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who condemn his soul.

–from Psalms 109

Jesus paid it all! He gave His life for you and me! He is a leader who is just! He is a leader who portrays love! He is one who in 1 Corinthians 13 we can replace LOVE with…

So we can replace LOVE above with JESUS! His hope and His plan is that we would try to live as love. That we would push towards being able to live lives where we can put our names in such a place as the unconditional love He provides!

Jesus conquered the grave! Death could not hold Him! So that we too can be overcomers!

Let’s share the good news with the world around us! Let’s point them to the one who is LOVE! Let’s allow the world to come to the realization of how much God loves them!

The Empty Tomb

1When Shabbat was over, Miriam of Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob, and Salome bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Yeshua’s body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they come to the tomb. 3They were saying to each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4Looking up, they see that the stone (it was really huge) had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were startled. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Yeshua of Natzeret, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. 7But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to the Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8And going outside, they fled from the tomb, gripped by trembling and amazement. They didn’t say anything to anybody, for they were afraid.

He Is Risen

9After He had risen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Miriam of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. 10She went and brought word to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe. 12After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking on their way to the country. 13They went and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14Later He appeared to them, the eleven, as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardheartedness, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had been raised.

Tell the World!

15He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. 16He who believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; 18they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” 19Then the Lord Yeshua, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that follow.

–from Mark 16