How are you leading people?


Is how you act impacting how others act? Is it creating a positive or negative impact on them and those around them? Are you demonstrating Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control? Are you leading by example so that people are being drawn to God or away from God? Are you helping them to learn how to live life in a way that is better and healthier? Are leading to serve or leading to be served? You are being watched and people are trying to learn from you, so how will you choose to live? Each generation should learn from the previous and live to be better than the previous. How are you leading people?


Unfortunately this isn’t always the case and the pendulum swings back and forth as people forget the lessons learned in the past and then return back to repeat them. Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Kings 3. Today’s reading also brings us into the book that derived the name of this blog, the book of Revelation.

‘Ahab’s son Joram began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years. He did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, but not to the same extent as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up. Nevertheless, he continued in the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed and led the people of Israel to commit. King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He used to pay the king of Israel an annual tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But after Ahab’s death, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Joram promptly mustered the army of Israel and marched from Samaria. On the way, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you join me in battle against him?” And Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses.” Then Jehoshaphat asked, “What route will we take?” “We will attack from the wilderness of Edom,” Joram replied. The king of Edom and his troops joined them, and all three armies traveled along a roundabout route through the wilderness for seven days. But there was no water for the men or their animals. “What should we do?” the king of Israel cried out. “The Lord has brought the three of us here to let the king of Moab defeat us.” But King Jehoshaphat of Judah asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord with us? If there is, we can ask the Lord what to do through him.” One of King Joram’s officers replied, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to be Elijah’s personal assistant. ” Jehoshaphat said, “Yes, the Lord speaks through him.” So the king of Israel, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and the king of Edom went to consult with Elisha. “Why are you coming to me?” Elisha asked the king of Israel. “Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!” But King Joram of Israel said, “No! For it was the Lord who called us three kings here—only to be defeated by the king of Moab!” Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I wouldn’t even bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Now bring me someone who can play the harp.” While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord , but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the Lord , for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones.” The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere. Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who was old enough to strap on a sword, and they stationed themselves along their border. But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!” But when the Moabites arrived at the Israelite camp, the army of Israel rushed out and attacked them until they turned and ran. The army of Israel chased them into the land of Moab, destroying everything as they went. They destroyed the towns, covered their good land with stones, stopped up all the springs, and cut down all the good trees. Finally, only Kir-hareseth and its stone walls were left, but men with slings surrounded and attacked it. When the king of Moab saw that he was losing the battle, he led 700 of his swordsmen in a desperate attempt to break through the enemy lines near the king of Edom, but they failed. Then the king of Moab took his oldest son, who would have been the next king, and sacrificed him as a burnt offering on the wall. So there was great anger against Israel, and the Israelites withdrew and returned to their own land.’

2 Kings 3

‘Then on September 17, during the sixth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, while the leaders of Judah were in my home, the Sovereign Lord took hold of me. I saw a figure that appeared to be a man. From what appeared to be his waist down, he looked like a burning flame. From the waist up he looked like gleaming amber. He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it before in the valley. Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and there to the north, beside the entrance to the gate near the altar, stood the idol that had made the Lord so jealous. “Son of man,” he said, “do you see what they are doing? Do you see the detestable sins the people of Israel are committing to drive me from my Temple? But come, and you will see even more detestable sins than these!” Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Now, son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and found a hidden doorway. “Go in,” he said, “and see the wicked and detestable sins they are committing in there!” So I went in and saw the walls covered with engravings of all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures. I also saw the various idols worshiped by the people of Israel. Seventy leaders of Israel were standing there with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan in the center. Each of them held an incense burner, from which a cloud of incense rose above their heads. Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’” Then the Lord added, “Come, and I will show you even more detestable sins than these!” He brought me to the north gate of the Lord ’s Temple, and some women were sitting there, weeping for the god Tammuz. “Have you seen this?” he asked. “But I will show you even more detestable sins than these!” Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Lord ’s Temple. At the entrance to the sanctuary, between the entry room and the bronze altar, there were about twenty-five men with their backs to the sanctuary of the Lord . They were facing east, bowing low to the ground, worshiping the sun! “Have you seen this, son of man?” he asked. “Is it nothing to the people of Judah that they commit these detestable sins, leading the whole nation into violence, thumbing their noses at me, and provoking my anger? Therefore, I will respond in fury. I will neither pity nor spare them. And though they cry for mercy, I will not listen.”’

Ezekiel 8

‘Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said. Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. “I was in the town of Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me. When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of tame and wild animals, reptiles, and birds. And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’ “‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean. ’ “But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’ This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back up to heaven. “Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon entered the home of the man who had sent for us. He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, ‘Send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved!’ “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with#11:16 Or in; also in 11:16b. water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”’

Acts 11:1-18

‘This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near. This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him— even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen! “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”’

Revelation 1:1-8

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem ; you will rule over your enemies. When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew. The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you. He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts. He will punish the nations and fill their lands with corpses; he will shatter heads over the whole earth. But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious.’

Psalms 110

So where are you at today? Are you living for God or walking away from God? Will today be the day you turn back to God and invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Let’s pray

Did you pray? Leave me a comment so I can celebrate with you.

as thiidD you have questions? Leave a comment so we can discuss.

Are you ready for reconciliation?


Where are you at? Did someone do something really bad to you? Did you do something really bad to someone else? Are you ready to forgive them? Are you ready to ask for forgiveness? Are you willing to meet them right where they are at? Are you willing to go back in order to find reconciliation?

Don’t allow bitterness and fear to rob you for forgiveness and freedom. Don’t allow your mistakes and bad decisions rob you from truth and love. Choose wisely in order that true forgiveness, true freedom, and true love win over bitterness, fear, mistakes, and bad decisions. Invite God into the situation and find wisdom about how to proceed. Will you keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking until God provides you wisdom? Will you wrestle with God in order to know what you are to do? How far will you go in order to receive a blessing?

Today’s reading starts for us in Genesis 32.

‘As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him. When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.

Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’” After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups. He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.” Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord , you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! O Lord , please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’” Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present to his brother, Esau: 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.” He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’ You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’” Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.” So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.

During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said. “Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)’

Genesis 32

We continue in our reading to Genesis 33. Will you be persistent and not give up? Will you continue in order that your blessing is receive? Will you choose wisely in order to receive the wisdom necessary to complete the work that God has promised in order to be able to not only complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish but so that You can accomplish it the right way?

‘Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?” “These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him. “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.” But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift. “Well,” Esau said, “let’s be going. I will lead the way.” But Jacob replied, “You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.” “All right,” Esau said, “but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.” Jacob responded, “That’s not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve received me warmly, my lord!” So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day. Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means “shelters”). Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.’

Genesis 33

Our reading now brings us into 2 Chronicles 1 and 2 Chronicles 2.

‘Solomon son of David took firm control of his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him very powerful. Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel—the generals and captains of the army, the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle was located there. (This was the Tabernacle that Moses, the Lord ’s servant, had made in the wilderness.) David had already moved the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri and grandson of Hur was there at Gibeon in front of the Tabernacle of the Lord . So Solomon and the people gathered in front of it to consult the Lord . There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord ’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it. That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel. Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia ; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver, and horses for 150 pieces of silver. They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.’

2 Chronicles 1

Will you make your choices wisely? Will you choose what is best not only for you but also for those God has put under your care? Choose wisely!

‘Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord , and also a royal palace for himself. He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen. Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram at Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace. I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever. “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him? “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David. “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them. An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent. In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley, 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil. ” King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon: “It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented. His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father. “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned. We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.” Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.’

2 Chronicles 2

Now let’s continue today’s reading into the New Testament starting in John 8. Let’s receive the truth! Let’s choose truth and be set free! Let’s accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

‘Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.” “Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.#8:39 Some manuscripts read if you are really the children of Abraham, follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”’

John 8:31-47

Let’s check our character and speak words that show what we believe in. Let’s speak the truth in love! Let’s receive the Holy Spirit and live by His ways, His instruction, His direction, and His comfort. Let’s produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let’s align with the Holy Spirit and not be swayed nor persuaded to do what the devil temps us with.

As we continue into our reading, we now read from Galatians 5.

‘So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.’

Galatians 5:16-26

So let us close and meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 23.

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.’

Psalms 23

True justice and mercy…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 20th)


The Bible has had such an incredible impact on the world. God has provided us with an instruction manual on how to live lives that can be blessed. God has provided us with direction into how we should be treating one another. Take a look around at what is taking place and can you find true justice taking place in all areas of society? Consider when you are walking around and if true kindness and mercy are being poured out on the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the transients. The lady standing on the street looking for help…how did you respond? Do you ignore her? Do you engage her? Do you walk passed her? Do you look for a way to help her? Do you respond with a humbleness that gives her a sense of being cared for by pouring out kindness and mercy? Ever seen those people who say things that hurt or criticize others unfairly? Ever seen those who being helpful and encouraging speak out and discourage people who are already feeling down? Imagine a poor person trying to find a way to make ends meet for their family because they lost their job. Imagine a widow who lost her husband and now doesn’t know how she will be able to continue. Imagine children who have lost their parents by no action of their own and find themselves alone. Don’t judge them because you don’t know how they got their or what has happened in order to get them there. Don’t ignore them them and think they will just go away. Let’s come with hearts of mercy! Let’s come with an attitude of kindness! Let’s step out of our comfort zone in order to help those in need! Let’s be salt and light into this world and allow Jesus to work in and through us in order to make a difference in the world around us. Do you realize that some of these people are in your neighborhood? Do you realize that some of these people are in your school? Do you realize that some of these people are in your workplace? Do you realize that some of these people are in your church? Don’t discourage them! Don’t denigrate them! Don’t hit them while they are down but come alongside them and help them up! Let’s not look down on them and give them a handout but rather let’s love them with kindness and mercy and give them a hand up! Let’s look to find ways that will help them! Let’s be encouragers – being Jesus with skin on to them! Let’s be hope in the midst of their hopelessness! Let’s be love when they are feeling unlovable! Let’s look for ways to ensure true justice and giving kindness and mercy! Will you make time to visit the widows and the orphans? Will you decide to love on the unlovable? Will you help the desperate? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

It’s a matter of the heart! Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you make God your treasure? Will God be the one you worship? Others will know what is in your heart because from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! We can only serve one master…so whom shall you serve? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! So will you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God by spending time daily in the Bible? Will you make it so that what comes out of your mouth is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Soften your heart so that you will walk out this life aligned with God! Ask God to create a new heart in you! Leave the old ways behind and start fresh and new in His ways! Turn back to God and allow Him to make all things new through accepting Jesus into your heart!

Today’s reading from Zechariah 7 speaks on this very topic and continues in our reading from the  Global Impact Bible on the theme of The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

A Call for Justice and Mercy

7 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. 2 Now the people of Bethel hadsent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,3 saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

4 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? 6 And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”

8 And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13 “As I2 called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”

— Zechariah 7

Have you been able to go and see the Sistine chapel? While you were there did you get to see the fresco of Zechariah painted by Michelangelo?  Did you realize where it came from? Did you consider who he was and his role in the lives of the people of Israel?

Jan 20 - Zechariah 7 - ARTS - fresco painted by Michaelangelo of Zechariah in the Sistine Chapel


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for what You have planned. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void and is able to speak life in love to us, over us, and through us. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that today You bring to mind the people who are in need. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, so that I can respond in a way that will glorify You and allow me to be Your hands extended to give a hand up, Your arms extended to embrace and let them know that they are loved, Your presence so that they know that they are not alone! Lord, thank You for camps where Your love can be shared and shown through volunteers who have nothing to gain but to pour out love, hope, and mercy into the lives of campers who by no fault of their own are apart from their parents and living as orphans. Lord, help me I pray to be a servant leader! Help me Lord to be a good steward! Help me Lord to exalt You in all that I do and all that I am so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to make it an everyday thing! Help me Lord to make it an every hour thing where I can speak hope, life, love into the world around me and that people will see You working in and through me for Your glory so that people may turn back to You and be restored and reconciled to You through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give all this into Your hands so that You will be exalted and lifted up all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s grace is more than enough!


Do you realize the grace that is available to you? Do you realize how amazing that grace is? Do you realize that God’s grace is enough?

Do you know what grace is? It’s undeserved favor! We can’t earn it and can’t deserve, it is more than enough for all of us! It’s undeserved blessings! It’s undeserved kindness!

It’s available to us thanks to Jesus and what He did to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He paid a price that we could never have afforded and it was once for all! No need to do it again! It is finished! He took away the power of sin! He took away the power of death!

God so loves the world that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, not to condemn the world but rather so that everyone who will believe and have faith and follow Jesus would not perish be have everlasting life!

For by grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. –from Ephesians 2:8

17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. –from John 1:17

So will you accept it? Will you receive it? Will you choose it?


God’s Great Grace

Day 330: Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Thank and praise the God of all grace
  2. Humble yourselves before the God of all grace
  3. Put your trust in the God of all grace

This day’s reading

Be careful the company you keep!


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

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

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

Bad company corrupts good character

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

Moabite Seduction and Phineas Arises

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

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

–Numbers 25

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

Numbering the Second Generation

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

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

–from Numbers 26

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

The Superior Way of Love

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

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

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

–from 1 Corinthians 13

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

 

 

 

Don’t go it alone!


Do you think you are all that and that you don’t need help? Do you think you can do it all on your own? Do you think if you try hard enough, work longer, and don’t give up that you will make it?

Don’t go it alone! We were never made to go it alone! That is why God gave us one another! When things get tough we need to come together and help each other out! Rather than murmuring about hardships, we need to turn to God and turn to one another and ask for help!

Will you step up to help someone in need? Will you humble yourself and ask for help? Will you do something about it vs grumbling and complaining about it? Let’s not be so proud that we won’t give someone a hand up! Let’s not be so proud that we won’t ask for help when we need it! We may just need wisdom! We may just need love! We may just need encouragement! We may just need hope! We may just need to realize we aren’t alone! We may need provision! But don’t grumble or murmur or worry – turn to God! Lift up your cares to Him because He cares for you! It’s about a relationship not about complaining!

Don’t go it alone!


Today’s reading starts off with some murmuring and grumbling…

70 Elders to Share the Burden

1The people were murmuring in the ears of Adonai about hardship, and when Adonai heard, His anger burned. The fire of Adonai blazed among them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses, so Moses prayed to Adonai and the fire died out. 3The name of that place was thus called Taberah because fire from Adonai had burned among them. 4The grumblers among them began to have cravings, so Bnei-Yisrael began to wail repeatedly, saying, “If we could just eat some meat! 5We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, for free—the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic! 6But now we have no appetite. We never see anything but this manna .” 7Now the manna was similar to coriander seed and had an appearance like gum resin. 8The people went about, gathered it up, and ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. It had a taste like something made with olive oil. 9When the dew descended on the camp at night, the manna descended with it. 10Moses heard the people wailing by their families, each man at the door to his tent. Adonai’s anger became very hot, and Moses was troubled. 11So Moses asked Adonai, “Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me? 12Did I conceive all these people, or did I give birth to them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom just as the nurse carries an infant’—to the land You promised to their fathers? 13Where can I get meat for all these people? For they wail to me saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me! 15If this is how You are treating me, kill me now! If I have found favor in Your eyes, kill me please—don’t let me see my own misery!” 16Adonai said to Moses, “Bring me 70 of the elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and their leaders. Take them to the Tent of Meeting, so they may stand with you there. 17Then I will come down and speak with you there, and, I will take some of the Ruach that is on you and will place it on them. They will carry with you the burden of the people, so you will not be carrying it alone.” 18“Now to the people say: Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because you will eat meat, for you wailed in Adonai’s ears saying, ‘If only we could eat meat! It was better for us in Egypt!’ Now Adonai will give you meat and you will eat! 19You will eat—not for one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20but for an entire month—until it is coming out of your nostrils and it becomes loathsome to you! For you rejected Adonai who is among you, and you wailed to His face saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?” 21Moses then said, “600,000 foot soldiers—the people I am in the middle of—yet You say, ‘I am going to give them meat to eat for an entire month?’ 22If flocks and herds were slaughtered, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught, would they have enough?” 23Adonai said to Moses, “Is Adonai’s arm too short? Now you will see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Seventy Elders Prophesying

24So Moses went out and told the people Adonai’s words. He gathered 70 of the elders of the people and had them stand around the Tent. 25Adonai descended in the cloud and spoke with him. He took some of the Ruach that was on him and placed it on each of the 70 elders. It so happened that when the Ruach first rested on them, they prophesied—but never again. 26Two men, however, had remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad and the name of the other was Medad. The Ruach rested on them. They were among those listed, but they had not gone out to the Tent. So they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 28Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses since his youth, cried out and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? If only Adonai would make all the people prophets! If only Adonai would put the Spirit on all of them!” 30Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Quails From the Sea

31Now a wind went out from Adonai and drove quails from the sea. He brought them into the camp to about a day’s journey in any direction, about two cubits above the ground all around the camp. 32The people went out all that day and all that night and all the following day and collected quail. No one gathered less than ten omers. They spread them out all around the camp. 33Yet while the meat was between their teeth, before it was swallowed, Adonai’s anger burned against the people. So Adonai struck the people with a severe plague. 34For that reason the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah , because they buried the people who were craving. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth and stayed in Hazeroth.

–from Numbers 11

Stick with God rather than trying to go it all alone or gossip or murmur or grumble.

Would you want to be called to the principals office? How about if it was the principals of life rather than just school? Do you really want to be wining and complaining to the point where you get called out? Are you ready to account for yourself? Would you humbly bring yourself to the person you are having a problem with before you get called out? Ever day we are faced with choices! Ever day we choose what we will do, what we will say and how we will respond! So choose wisely! You don’t want to end up in detention or timeout.

Today’s reading continues as Miriam and Aaron are speaking against Moses and then get called out by God…

Miriam and Aaron Speak Against Moses

1Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Cushite woman he married, because he had married a Cushite woman. 2They asked, “Has Adonai spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He also spoken through us?” Adonai heard it. 3Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. 4Immediately, Adonai said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “The three of you, come out to the Tent of Meeting.” So the three came out. 5Adonai descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them stepped forward. 6“Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. 7Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. 8I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9Adonai’s anger burned against them, and He left them. 10When the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, behold, Miriam had tza’arat, like snow! As Aaron turned toward her, behold, she had tza’arat! 11He said to Moses, “Please, my lord, don’t hold against us the sin we have committed so foolishly! 12Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, who comes from his mother’s womb with his flesh half-eaten away!” 13So Moses cried to Adonai saying, “O God, heal her now!” 14Adonai said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be in shame for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days. After that she may be brought back.” 15So Miriam was restricted to outside the camp for seven days. The people did not move on until Miriam was brought back. 16Afterward, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Wilderness of Paran.

–from Numbers 12

So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s lift Him up throughout the day! Let’s glorify Jesus in all we think, say, and do!

Praise Him, All Creation!

1Halleluyah! Praise Adonai from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! 2Praise Him all His angels! Praise Him all His armies. 3Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all stars of light. 4Praise Him, highest heavens, and waters above the heavens. 5Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for He commanded and they were created. 6He set them in place forever and ever. He made a decree that will never pass away. 7Praise Adonai from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, 8fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm wind doing His bidding, 9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10beasts and all cattle, crawling things and winged birds, 11kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of earth, 12both young men and maidens, old men and children. 13Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for His Name alone is exalted. His glory is above earth and heaven. 14He has raised up a horn for His people, a praise for all His kedoshim, for the children of Israel— a people near to Him. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 148

They say that imitation is the highest level of flattery – so why no imitate Jesus? Let’s be helpers! Let’s be stewards! Let’s be trustworthy! Let’s not judge others! Let’s be blessings! Let’s endure! Let’s speak kindly! Let’s reveal God’s power!

More choices! We get to choose! We get to choose how we live and in effect we get to choose the results!

God’s Word speaks to that today too…

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

So what are you going to do? How are you going to live? What will others see in and through you?

Are you ready? He will be back again! He came once as the savior and next time … So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready! Let’s receive the gift of grace! Let’s share the gift of grace! Let’s be ready to celebrate when He comes back again! Let’s choose to follow Him now! Let’s choose to ask Him into our hearts today! Let’s start the incredible relationship God has always wanted to have with us that will last forever!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God.15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1

 

 

Do you realize how much God loves you?


He loves us so much that even though He loves us as we are, He loves us too much to leave us there. That is why He provided instructions through the law of Leviticus for the Jesus (today’s reading was from Leviticus 15). He loves us so much that God provided us the Bible to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! Another part of today’s reading speaks to His compassion through Psalms…

As a Father Has Compassion

1Of David. Bless Adonai, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. 2Bless Adonai, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3He forgives all your iniquity. He heals all your diseases. 4He redeems your life from the Pit. He crowns you with loving kindness and compassions. 5He satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle. 6Adonai executes justice— judgments for all who are oppressed. 7He made His ways known to Moses, His deeds to the children of Israel. 8Adonai is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and plentiful in mercy. 9He will not always accuse, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10He has not treated us according to our sins, or repaid us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy for those who fear Him. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13As a father has compassion on his children, so Adonai has compassion on those who fear Him. 14For He knows our frame. He remembers that we are but dust. 15As for man, his days are like grass— he flourishes like a flower of the field, 16but when the wind blows over it, it is gone, and its place is no longer known. 17But the mercy of Adonai is from everlasting to everlasting on those who revere Him, His righteousness to children’s children, 18to those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His instructions. 19Adonai has set up His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. 20Bless Adonai, you angels of His: mighty in strength, performing His word, upon hearing the utterance of His word. 21Bless Adonai, all you His armies, His servants who do His will. 22Bless Adonai, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Bless Adonai, O my soul!
–from Psalms 103

Jesus came to clean the slate. He came to make things right. He came to give His all that we could be reconciled back to God, not because of how great we are, but because of how great He is and for all that He has done for us. As today begins I am reminded of the next couple of weeks and their significance and importance. Psalm Sunday this weekend. Good Friday a week from now. Easter/Resurrection Sunday next weekend. He came to save the lost! He came to heal the sick! He came to free the slaves! He overcame the world and now we can be more than overcomers by His grace and power. God is so good! God’s love is so great! We need to walk in alignment and relationship with Him! We need to make time with Him so that when time comes for us to act, speak, listen, we are prepared and filled up.  Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me! Let’s be sensitive to the Holy Spirit that we may hear His voice and respond. God sees beyond the surface and speak right into the life and heart of others! Let’s be prepared! Let’s not allow the thief to come and try to rob all that God has done and prepared for us! Let’s allow the light of God to be in us and to shine it into the world around us!

Today’s reading concludes in John…

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade. 24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.
–from John 10

This is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not allow the world to overwhelm or rob us! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, for when it completes its work, we will complete and lacking nothing! Let’s not fear or doubt because we are having troubles in this world, for Jesus warned us that it would happen (not might, would) but to take heart for He has overcome the world! So let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers through the power of the cross!

 

 

 

 

Does NO really mean no?


When God brings you to it, He will bring you through it! It may be that it will take more than one attempt for God to get the glory He deserves! It may be that for it to really mean something to the other person or people, it needs to be bigger and reinforced.

When God says “No” … that is a no, but make sure to grab a hold of what He does say…is He saying NO or did He say Not Yet? The timing may not be right yet. Either way, we know that He is looking out for our best interest and that we shouldn’t lose hope nor lose faith because of it. So if you want to know if “no” means “no”, ask God!

Imagine being called to go and set God’s people free. Imagine if the person kept saying no, or worse saying no to manipulate you into stopping the troubles saying no had brought.

Today’s reading continues in Exodus with Moses trying to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go!

Locusts, Darkness

1Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, because I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, so that I might show these My signs in their midst, 2and so you may tell your son and your grandchildren what I have done in Egypt, as well as My signs that I did among them, so you may know that I am Adonai.” 3So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long would you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, so they may serve Me. 4Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your borders. 5Then they will cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the ground. They will eat the remainder of what escaped—whatever is left from the hail—and eat every tree that grows for you out in the field. 6Your houses will be filled, as will the houses of all your servants and the houses of all the Egyptians, as neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen since the day they were on the earth until today!” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh. 7Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Send the men, so they may serve Adonai their God. Don’t you realize yet that Egypt is being destroyed?” 8So Moses and Aaron were brought to Pharaoh again. “Go, serve Adonai your God,” he said. “But who will be going?” 9Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our elderly, our sons and our daughters. We will go with our flocks and our herds—for we must have Adonai’s feast for Him.” 10But he said to them, “So may Adonai be with you, if I ever do let you go, with your little ones. See clearly now! Evil is in your face. 11Not so! Go now—the men—and serve Adonai! For that’s what you were seeking.” Then they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence. 12Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so they may come up onto Egypt and eat every plant in the land—everything the hail has left.” 13So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and Adonai brought an east wind over the land all that day and all night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and rested on the entire territory of Egypt. So dense—there was nothing like it before them, nor will there ever be again. 15For they covered the face of the whole earth so that the land was darkened, and they ate every plant in the land and all the fruit from the trees that the hail had left. No green thing remained, not a tree or a plant of the field throughout all the land of Egypt. 16Then Pharaoh quickly called for Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against Adonai your God and against you.17Now forgive my sin, only this once, please! So pray to Adonai your God—just so He would take this death away from me!” 18So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to Adonai.
19Then Adonai turned the wind from the west, very strong, and it carried off the locusts and drove them into the Sea of Reeds. Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. 20But Adonai hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let Bnei-Yisrael go. 21Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, and there will be darkness over the land of Egypt—a darkness that may be felt.” 22So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23They could not see one another, nor could anyone rise from his place for three days. Yet all Bnei-Yisrael had light within their dwellings. 24Pharaoh called Moses and said, “Go, serve Adonai. Only let your flocks and your herds remain. Your little ones may also go with you.” 25But Moses said, “You must also put sacrifices and burnt offerings into our hand, then we will do it for Adonai our God. 26Our cattle must also go with us—not a hoof may be left behind. We must take from them to serve Adonai our God. We ourselves will not know how we will serve Adonai until we ­arrive there.” 27But Adonai hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go. 28So Pharaoh said to him, “Go away from me! Take heed never to see my face again, because on the day you do, you will die!” 29“Right!” Moses said. “You said it! May I never see your face again!”
–from Exodus 10

In this world we will have troubles, but take heart for Jesus has already overcome the world! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, for when it has completed it’s work, you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!

Today’s reading continues in Exodus with the al plague. The one that will finally be enough for Pharaoh to take Moses seriously. Let’s check it out…

Final Plague: Death

1Now Adonai had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely thrust you out altogether from here. 2Speak now into the ears of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and gold.” 3Adonai gave the people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. Indeed, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of Pharaoh’s servants and in the eyes of the people. 4So Moses said, “This is what Adonai says: At around midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt, 5and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die—from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the maidservant behind the mill, along with all the firstborn cattle. 6There will be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, the likes of which has never been before nor will ever be again. 7But not so much as a dog will growl against any of Bnei-Yisrael, neither man nor beast—so that you may know that Adonai makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel. 8All these servants of yours will come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that, I will go.” Then he went out from Pharaoh hot with anger. 9Adonai had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” 10So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, yet Adonai hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so he did not let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land.
–from Exodus 11

God protects His own people through this. He provides for what is now known as the Passover. Looks like we will have to wait for tomorrow’s reading to get more details about what happens and how God’s people were saved and yet every other household in Egypt was impacted.

God is our Refuge! God is our Shelter! He is the place where we can go and find rest. He is the place where we can go and find safety. So let’s praise Him!

Refuge, Sukkah, Shelter

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2In You, Adonai, have I taken refuge: Let me never be put to shame. In Your righteousness, deliver me. 3Turn Your ear to me, rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a stronghold for my deliverance. 4Since You are my rock and my fortress, You lead me and guide me for Your Name’s sake. 5Free me from the net they hid for me, for You are my refuge. 6Into Your hand I commit my spirit. You have redeemed me, Adonai, God of truth. 7I detest those who continue to watch worthless idols, but I trust in Adonai. 8I will be glad and rejoice in Your loving kindness, for You saw my affliction. You knew the troubles of my soul. 9You did not hand me over to the enemy. You set my feet in a wide-open place. 10Be gracious to me, Adonai, for I am in distress. My eyes waste away with grief, my soul and my body as well. 11For my life is consumed in sorrow and my years in sighing. My strength fails because of my anguish and my bones waste away. 12Because of all my adversaries I am the contempt of my neighbors and a dread to my acquaintances. Seeing me on the street, they flee from me. 13I am as forgotten as a dead man. I have become like a broken vessel. 14For I have heard the whispering of many. There is terror on every side as they conspire against me and plot to take my life. 15But I have trusted in You, Adonai. I said: “You are my God.” 16My times are in Your hands. Deliver me from the hands of my foes and from those who pursue me. 17Make Your face shine on Your servant. Save me in Your loving kindness. 18Adonai, let me not be ashamed, for I have called upon You. Let the wicked be ashamed— let them be silent in Sheol. 19Let the lying lips be mute. For they speak arrogantly against the righteous, with pride and contempt. 20How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have given to those who take refuge in You, before the children of men. 21In the shelter of Your presence You hide them from people’s plots. You conceal them in a sukkah from the strife of tongues. 22Blessed be Adonai, for He has shown me His wonderful love in a besieged city. 23I said in my alarm, “I have been cut off from Your sight!” But You heard the sound of my pleas when I cried out to You. 24Love Adonai, all His kedoshim! Adonai preserves all the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. 25Chazak! Let your heart take courage, all you who wait for Adonai.
–from Psalms 31

So, will you live as a servant to God? Will you be a servant leader to those He entrusts to you? Will you walk with humility? Will you allow God to work in and through you? Will you be prepared? Will you do the work to be prepared? Will you be an ambassador of peace and grace to the world around you that they may come to know the truth and the hope of Jesus that is within you? Will you be sensitive to the Spirit so that you can speak the truth in love? Will you choose to live by faith today and make a difference? Will you choose to live a life that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the in Jesus’ name? Will you choose to live in alignment with God’s plan? Will you choose to walk with God rather than away from Him?

Today’s reading brings us into the book of Romans…

Introducing Paul and His Message

1Paul, a slave of Messiah Yeshua, called to be an emissary and set apart for the Good News of God, 2which He announced beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. 3Concerning His Son, He came into being from the seed of David according to the flesh. 4He was appointed Ben-Elohim in power according to the Ruach of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. He is Messiah Yeshua our Lord. 5Through Him we have received grace and the office of emissary, to bring about obedience of faith among all the nations on behalf of His name. 6And you also are called to Yeshua the Messiah. 7To all those in Rome, loved by God, called to be kedoshim: Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Eager to Visit

8First, I thank my God through Messiah Yeshua for all of you, because your faithfulness is made known throughout the whole world. 9For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Good News of His Son. How unceasingly I make mention of you, 10always pleading in my prayers, if somehow by God’s will now at last I will be granted a good journey to come to you. 11For I long to see you, so I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. 12That is to say, we would be encouraged together by one another’s faithfulness—both yours and mine. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that many times I planned to come to you (though I was prevented until now)—so I might have some fruit among you also, just as I have among the rest of the nations. 14I have an obligation to both Greeks and barbarians, to both the wise and the foolish. 15So I am eager to proclaim the Good News also to you who are in Rome.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17In it the righteousness of God is revealed, from trust to trust. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by emunah.”

Yet All Are Guilty

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth, 19because what can be known about God is plain to them—for God has shown it to them. 20His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made. So people are without excuse— 21for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools. 23They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the form of mortal man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. 24Therefore God gave them over in the evil desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies with one another. 25They traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them up to shameful passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature. 27Likewise the men abandoned natural relations with women and were burning with passion toward one another—men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what is not fitting. 29They became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. 31They are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree—that those who practice such things deserve death—they not only do them but also approve of others who practice the same.
–from Romans 1

So how will you live? How will you prepare? How will you come? Don’t miss out on the grace! Don’t miss out on the love! Don’t miss out on the hope! Let’s get ready so we won’t miss out on that day when Jesus returns!

Today’s reading closes in Matthew, speaking of the return, speaking of those who will be ready, speaking of those who will receive, and speaking of those who won’t. How will you respond to the call? How will you respond to the choice?

Invitation to the Wedding Feast

1Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they wouldn’t come. 4Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “Look, I’ve prepared my meal. My oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5“But paying no attention, they went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest grabbed his servants, humiliated them, and killed them. 7Now the king became furious! Sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers and set fire to their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go into the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’ 10And those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to look over the guests, he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was silent. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

A Trap about Paying Taxes

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap Him with a word. 16And they sent to Him some of their disciples, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are honest and teach the way of God in truth. And what others think doesn’t concern You, for You do not look at men’s appearance. 17Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Yeshua, knowing their wickedness, said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21“Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Religious Leaders Ask a Tricky Question

23On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

The Greatest Mitzvot

34But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place. 35And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Yeshua Overturns the Arguments

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they say to Him. 43“Then how is it,” He says to them, “that David by the Ruach calls him ‘Lord’? 44For he says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word. Nor did anyone dare from that day on to question Him any longer.

There are people who will try to trip you up! Make sure to weigh it up against God so that He can give you wisdom to answer the questions, for He know their hearts! Just because it seems like it was the last time, always ask God for He may have a different plan for how it will work this time. Some may want to tri[ you up asking strange questions, so be prepared! Walk with God and allow the Holy Spirit’s prompting to lead you and guide you, direct you and instruct you in every situation!

 

 

 

 

Get back up again!


We are all facing decisions.  Did you get knocked down? Did you fall? Did you trip? Get back up! We face of the decision on how many times will we get back up! Don’t give up! Keeping getting back up! In this world we will have troubles, but take heart Jesus has overcome the world! Get back up again!

We are called to be free! We have been created with freewill. But just because we have been given such a gift doesn’t mean we should abuse it. Don’t let your physical desires control you. Instead, let love make you serve one another for the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But if you act like wild animals, hurting and harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another. Take a look at what is going on in the world around you. Let’s be lights of love that shine and draw others into the light and into LOVE!

There is a battle taking place. Not only all around us, but also within us. The battle of the fleshly desires versus the spirit. The human nature versus the nature of the spirit.

Let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. 17For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. 18If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law. 19What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; 20in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; 21they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God. 22But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. 25The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. 26We must not be proud or irritate one another or be jealous of one another.  — from Galatians 5

Yes we may get tripped up in this battle, but don’t give up! Yes we are but human but let’s work to become more like Jesus by walking in alignment and obedience to the Spirit. Let’s be lead by the Spirit. Let’s not allow our nature cause us to fall or stumble by becoming envious, drunk, or any other things that would lead us off track. Rather, let’s produce the fruits of the spirit…LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, HUMILITY, AND SELF-CONTROL! There are no laws against any of these and so we can live in the benefits.

So to get started, let’s Praise the Lord, all nations! Praise him, all peoples! His love for us is strong, and his faithfulness is eternal. Praise the Lord!

Will you stand up and stand out to help someone else?


We weren’t made to do this thing called life alone. We are supposed to stand up for others, especially those who can’t stand up for themselves. We are supposed to stand out and point people to the reason for the hope that is within us. We are supposed to be looking around with the right perspective…Backwards with forgiveness, Forward with hope, Down with compassion, and up with gratitude! Did you know that your faith can impact the life of someone else? Did you realize if a group of you took your faith and tried to help someone that it could transform their life for ever? Imagine doing something good for someone else not expecting anything in return, just wanting to help them right where they are at. Imagine if you got a group together in an effort to help? Imagine the difference you could make to the world you live in!

Today’s reading starts off with such a story of a group who decided to try and help and because of their hope and belief, their friends life was touched and transformed forever!

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

(Matthew 9.1-8; Luke 5.17-26)
1A few days later Jesus went back to Capernaum, and the news spread that he was at home. 2So many people came together that there was no room left, not even out in front of the door. Jesus was preaching the message to them 3when four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man to Jesus. 4Because of the crowd, however, they could not get the man to him. So they made a hole in the roof right above the place where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they let the man down, lying on his mat. 5Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
6Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7“How does he dare talk like this? This is blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!”
8At once Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, “Why do you think such things? 9Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, 11“I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
12While they all watched, the man got up, picked up his mat, and hurried away. They were all completely amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
~from Mark 2 (GNT)

Did you see that, in verse 5, the impact of those friends, that group who wouldn’t take no for an answer, that group who just because they couldn’t get in through the door to help their friends looked for another way to get him where he needed to be. Did you know your faith can actually help others? Did you realize that your faith can have an impact on more than just today? Did you realize you were put on earth on purpose for a purpose? It’s not by accident that you are right there, right now! It’s on purpose! So how will you stand up for what you believe in? How will you prepare for how you can be used? Will you get filled up with the Holy Spirit? Will you be responsive to the directing of the Spirit? Will you be a catalyst for a miracle? Will you be all that you were created to be? Will you answer the call that has been put on your life?

Apostles of Christ

1You should think of us as Christ’s servants, who have been put in charge of God’s secret truths. 2The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. 3Now, I am not at all concerned about being judged by you or by any human standard; I don’t even pass judgment on myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not prove that I am really innocent. The Lord is the one who passes judgment on me. 5So you should not pass judgment on anyone before the right time comes. Final judgment must wait until the Lord comes; he will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people’s minds. And then all will receive from God the praise they deserve.
6For your sake, my friends, I have applied all this to Apollos and me, using the two of us as an example, so that you may learn what the saying means, “Observe the proper rules.” None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. 7Who made you superior to others? Didn’t God give you everything you have? Well, then, how can you boast, as if what you have were not a gift?
8Do you already have everything you need? Are you already rich? Have you become kings, even though we are not? Well, I wish you really were kings, so that we could be kings together with you. 9For it seems to me that God has given the very last place to us apostles, like people condemned to die in public as a spectacle for the whole world of angels and of human beings. 10For Christ’s sake we are fools; but you are wise in union with Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! We are despised, but you are honored! 11To this very moment we go hungry and thirsty; we are clothed in rags; we are beaten; we wander from place to place; 12we wear ourselves out with hard work. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are insulted, we answer back with kind words. We are no more than this world’s garbage; we are the scum of the earth to this very moment!
14I write this to you, not because I want to make you feel ashamed, but to instruct you as my own dear children. 15For even if you have ten thousand guardians in your Christian life, you have only one father. For in your life in union with Christ Jesus I have become your father by bringing the Good News to you. 16I beg you, then, to follow my example. 17For this purpose I am sending to you Timothy, who is my own dear and faithful son in the Christian life. He will remind you of the principles which I follow in the new life in union with Christ Jesus and which I teach in all the churches everywhere.
18Some of you have become proud because you have thought that I would not be coming to visit you. 19If the Lord is willing, however, I will come to you soon, and then I will find out for myself the power which these proud people have, and not just what they say. 20For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words but of power. 21Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in a spirit of love and gentleness?
~from 1 Corinthians 4 (GNT)

I may ask questions, but God’s Word provides wisdom, answers, directions, instruction. Let’s be ready for Jesus’ return and that we will be in a position of humble servants so that He can welcome us with a spirit of love and gentelness. All have missed the mark which is why need a savior. It is why we need to start and build a relationship wtih Jesus who came to save us! So let’s come together today and be a part of the winning team! I read the end of the book and that is why the blog is called from 2005 to eternity…I started in Jan of 2005 and had a focus/an end point of Eternity. So let’s come together and be the light of the world we are living in today…

God the Victor

HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by Asaph; a song.
 
1God is known in Judah;
his name is honored in Israel.
2He has his home in Jerusalem;
he lives on Mount Zion.
3There he broke the arrows of the enemy,
their shields and swords, yes, all their weapons.
4How glorious you are, O God!
How majestic, as you return from the mountains
where you defeated your foes.
5Their brave soldiers have been stripped of all they had
and now are sleeping the sleep of death;
all their strength and skill was useless.
6When you threatened them, O God of Jacob,
the horses and their riders fell dead.
7But you, Lord, are feared by all.
No one can stand in your presence
when you are angry.
8You made your judgment known from heaven;
the world was afraid and kept silent,
9when you rose up to pronounce judgment,
to save all the oppressed on earth.
10Human anger only results in more praise for you;
those who survive the wars will keep your festivals.
11Give the Lord your God what you promised him;
bring gifts to him, all you nearby nations.
God makes everyone fear him;
12he humbles proud princes
and terrifies great kings.
~from Psalm 76 (GNT)

You’ve been invited, but will you attend?


If you get invited to an important event will you go? If you get invited to something that will transform you life will make time to go? If you get invited to be a guest for a special celebration, will you go? If you were invited to a royal wedding would you go? If you got invited because you deserved to go, would you make it?

What types of excuses might you be able to come up with to not go? What types of reasons do you have for not going? What could get in the way of you being present for such an incredible moment? What could keep you from being part of something so important and exciting? What would it take to hold you back and keep you from making it?

What if it were a matter of life and death? What if it were a matter of highest importance? What if it could change your life forever? What if missing it, meant you would be excluded? What if missing it, meant you not only wouldn’t get to keep what you have but lose what you could have had plus all that you have?


Many are invited, but few are chosen!

We all get a choice! We all have been invited! We all have to make our own decision! The price is high! The consequences of our decisions are huge! So choose wisely!


It’s your choice and so I won’t judge you! It’s your decision and it’s not place to judge! It’s between you and the person sent the invite!

Do you judge? Do you practice great kindness, tolerance, and patience? Or do you despise them? God’s plan is that none should perish (Nobody), so he practices kindness in hopes that we will turn back to Him! Jesus came that we could be saved and that nobody would be lost because they would believe in Him! Will you allow your heart to be softened so that you will listen and receive this underserved grace? Or will you harden your heart even more? What we have done will be reviewed by God…all of it…the good and the bad! God’s standard is immovable, unchangeable, and solid! He judges based on His standard!

Heading isn’t enough, we need to be walking in alignment to His standard!  Will you allow God’s standard to be written on your heart? Will you live it so that in all that you do, your kids, your friends, your family all can see what you stand for and what you believe? God knows your thoughts and your actions. It’s not your thoughts that make you sin, it’s what you do with those thoughts! Will you live your life like a light that will help others to come to the realization of who Jesus is? Will you live your life in a way where your light will shine brightly in the dark world around you so that people can be pointed to the source of your light? The Son! Like the moon lights up the evening sky by reflecting the light of the Sun, let’s allow the light of the Son to make us shine in this dark world in which we live! Let’s live what we say and say what we live! As an ambassador for God, your words, your actions speak great volume! Are they speaking hope, love, truth? Are they speaking faith, hope, love? Are they speaking to who Jesus really is? Are people seeing you and get a glimpse of who Jesus is? Are people getting the right impression of who God is when they look and hear you? If so, press on! If not, what do you need to do to make a change and become more like Jesus?


BE THANKFUL!
That is the greatest worship to God!


So will you live today as a blessing towards others?

There will always be people who question when you do something good for someone else.


Ever noticed that people are suspicious of people who are doing good things. Suspecting that they are going to want something in return. Suspecting that it is a trick of some sort. Things have gotten so off track that doing nice or good things for others isn’t the norm but raises concerns in others. Does that mean we should stop? NO! It means we need to be doing it and helping others to do it too to help stop this trend. If more people weren’t scam artists or trickster, than more people would be appreciative and accepting of people doing nice things to and for them. Where are you at on this situation today? Are you suspicious? Are you doing nice things? Are you trying to manipulate others? Are you only doing in order to get something back in return? Are you being kind and generous because that is what we should do without any expectations of anything in return? Let’s reflect on this and predetermine what and how we are going to act and respond. Let’s respond with grace and gratitude when someone does something nice. Let’s do out of love for God and for others nice things that will give them a hand up, give them a word of encouragement, give them support and courage to press on. This is the day to start a new trend and get things going in the right direction.


Today’s reading is interesting because we see how others question Jesus. They question His actions. They question His authority. They question His character. They judge him even before they can see the miracle. He touched the mans heart and life and then his body to prove His intentions and His authority are all grounded in LOVE!

1Jesus got into the boat and went back across the lake to his own town, 2where some people brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a bed. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the paralyzed man, “Courage, my son! Your sins are forgiven.”

3Then some teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This man is speaking blasphemy!”
4Jesus perceived what they were thinking, and so he said, “Why are you thinking such evil things? 5Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home!”
7The man got up and went home. 8When the people saw it, they were afraid, and praised God for giving such authority to people.
— from Matthew 9

Let’s be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in every situation we are in today. Let’s share the marvels of God with those around us based on His leading and direction. Let’s speak what God wants us to say. Let’s do what God calls us to do. And let’s make sure that in and through it all, He receives the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.

God isn’t looking for perfect vessels, but yielded vessels who are willing to walk with Him and follow after His ways. We see in many cases Jesus stepping into situations which the religious people of the time would have looked down on. He wants to be with people who need and desire Him. He wants us all to walk in that way. Can we walk in a way that points and brings people to Jesus? Will you decide and choose to be an ambassador for Jesus today and help to transform the world around you? One person at a time? Consider the encounter with Matthew…

9Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, he saw a tax collector, named Matthew, sitting in his office. He said to him, “Follow me.”

Matthew got up and followed him.

10  While Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house,#
9.10: in Matthew’s house; or in his (that is Jesus’) house.

many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. 11Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such people?”

12Jesus heard them and answered, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. 13 Go and find out what is meant by the scripture that says: ‘It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.’ I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.”
— from Matthew 9

Are you going to be someone who is giving a hand up rather than a hand out? Are you going to be someone is will help or someone who will enable? Jesus is clear and gives us an example to follow, so let’s take a grab of that today and follow after His ways so that we increase the average, change the temperature of the society, and help not only transform the world, but also point the world heavenly through Jesus Christ our Lord!

God’s put a calling on each of our lives. If God spoke to you to go, would you go? If God spoke to you to let others who you are closely tied to go, would you let them go? Would you go with a blessing or would you go in doubt? Would you let them go with a blessing or would you let them go with regret? Will you pray for them and encourage them to complete the work that God is calling them into? Will you be obedient to the prompting of the Spirit? We see what happens when the Spirit prompts them to send Barnabas and Saul…

1In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Governor Herod), and Saul. 2While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.”

3They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off.
— from Acts 13

We also see what happens when we are obedient to the prompting and the impact it can make not only on a generation but for multiple generations as the story has been captured and published to millions through the Bible.

In Cyprus

4Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus. 5When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues. They had John Mark with them to help in the work.
6They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. 7He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith. 9Then Saul—also known as Paul—was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician 10and said, “You son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord’s truths into lies! 11The Lord’s hand will come down on you now; you will be blind and will not see the light of day for a time.”
At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Antioch in Pisidia

13Paul and his companions sailed from Paphos and came to Perga, a city in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. 14They went on from Perga and arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: “Friends, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them.” 16Paul stood up, motioned with his hand, and began to speak:
“Fellow Israelites and all Gentiles here who worship God: hear me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors and made the people a great nation during the time they lived as foreigners in Egypt. God brought them out of Egypt by his great power, 18and for forty years he endured them in the desert. 19 He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and made his people the owners of the land. 20 All of this took about 450 years.
“After this he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21 And when they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin, to be their king for forty years. 22After removing him, God made David their king. This is what God said about him: ‘I have found that David son of Jesse is the kind of man I like, a man who will do all I want him to do.’ 23It was Jesus, a descendant of David, whom God made the Savior of the people of Israel, as he had promised. 24 Before Jesus began his work, John preached to all the people of Israel that they should turn from their sins and be baptized. 25And as John was about to finish his mission, he said to the people, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not the one you are waiting for. But listen! He is coming after me, and I am not good enough to take his sandals off his feet.’
— from Acts 13

But it doesn’t end there, there is more to this story (probably for me in tomorrow’s reading, but you can read on…). God’s got incredible plans for how you can do good in this world. He will not only bless you, but allow you to be a blessing in the lives of others that He will bring in and through your life. Seek wisdom through the Holy Spirit so that you can understand and know the intentions and the plans. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and protect you and your actions. Let’s make today a great day of doing good for others…for no other reason than to glorify God! And let’s see what God will do in and through our lives!


And then let’s celebrate the victories! Let’s celebrate with others who have breakthroughs! Let’s celebrate for the victories God has provided us! Let’s not forget the good work that He is and has done in and through our lives!

1The king is glad, O Lord, because you gave him strength;

he rejoices because you made him victorious.
2You have given him his heart’s desire;
you have answered his request.
3You came to him with great blessings
and set a crown of gold on his head.
4He asked for life, and you gave it,
a long and lasting life.
5His glory is great because of your help;
you have given him fame and majesty.
6Your blessings are with him forever,
and your presence fills him with joy.
7The king trusts in the Lord Almighty;
and because of the Lord‘s constant love
he will always be secure.
8The king will capture all his enemies;
he will capture everyone who hates him.
9He will destroy them like a blazing fire
when he appears.
The Lord will devour them in his anger,
and fire will consume them.
10None of their descendants will survive;
the king will kill them all.
11They make their plans, and plot against him,
but they will not succeed.
12He will shoot his arrows at them
and make them turn and run.
13We praise you, Lord, for your great strength!
We will sing and praise your power.
— from Psalm 21

When we consider that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, we know that the final chapter speaks to the conclusion and the victory of Jesus. The devil goes around trying to trick people through lies, making plans and plots against Jesus, however, Jesus has already won the victory over death through His resurrection. So let’s be like the psalmist and praise the Lord, sing to Him, let’s worship Him for all He has already done and what He is yet to do in and through our lives and for the rest of eternity!