Category Archives: Kingdom

Where does your confidence come from?


When you are walking down the street? When you face challenges at work? When you face challenges at home? When you are facing a big challenge? When you are facing a small challenge? When you are seeing a huge battle ahead? When you are being accused? When you are being attacked? Consider where you confidence comes from based on when the fear mechanism gets triggered? How will you get through it?

As for me and my house, it comes from the Lord – Jesus!

Today is a big day! It’s taken years to get to this point! There will be a test! But I will not fear, but rather I will put my hope and trust in Jesus! A big day for me! A big day for my wife! A big day for our family! A day I am anticipating to end with a great celebration! Praise be to God!


Today’s reading…

1“The Levitical kohanim, all the tribe of Levi, are to have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They are to eat the offerings made to Adonai by fire as His inheritance. 2They will have no inheritance among their brothers—Adonai is their inheritance, just as He promised them. 3So this will be the share due to the kohanim from the people—from those who offer a sacrifice, whether a bull or sheep, they are to give the kohen the shoulder, two cheeks, and the stomach. 4The firstfruits of your grain, of your new wine, of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you are to give him. 5For Adonai your God has chosen him from all your tribes to stand and serve in the Name of Adonai—him and his sons forever. 6“Suppose a Levite comes from one of your towns, wherever he is living in all of Israel, and he comes whenever his soul desires to the place Adonai chooses, 7and serves in the Name of Adonai his God like all his fellow Levites who stand there before Adonai. 8They are to eat equal portions, regardless of their fathers’ goods.

Occultism Loathsome to Adonai

9When you enter the land Adonai your God is giving you, you are not to learn to do the abominations of those nations. 10There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or a fortune-teller, soothsayer, omen reader, or sorcerer, 11or one who casts spells, or a medium, a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12For whoever does these things is an abomination to Adonai, and because of these abominations Adonai your God is driving them out from before you. 13You are to be blameless before Adonai your God. 14“For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to soothsayers and fortune-tellers, but as for you, Adonai your God will not allow you to do so.

A Prophet is Promised

15“Adonai your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst—from your brothers. To him you must listen. 16This is just what you asked of Adonai your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly when saying, ‘I cannot continue to hear the voice of Adonai my God or see this great fire any more, or I will die.’ 17“Adonai said to me, ‘They have done well in what they have spoken. 18I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him. 19Now whoever does not listen to My words that this prophet speaks in My Name, I Myself will call him to account. 20But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet will die.’ 21“Now should you say in your heart, ‘How would we recognize the word that Adonai has not spoken?’ 22When a prophet speaks in Adonai’s Name and the word does not happen or come true, that is a word that Adonai has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously—do not be afraid of him.

–from Deuteronomy 18

Stay away from cults. Trust and obey prophets from God!

Cities of Refuge

1“When Adonai your God cuts off the nations whose land Adonai your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and houses, 2you are to set apart three cities for yourself within the land He is giving you to possess. 3You are to prepare the way for yourself and divide into three parts the borders of your land that Adonai your God enables you to inherit, so that anyone who kills may flee there. 4Now this is the case of the one who kills, who may flee there and live—whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally and did not hate him in the past— 5as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand takes a swing with the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron flies off the wood and hits his neighbor so that he dies. He may flee to one of these cities and live. 6Otherwise if the way is long, the avenger of the blood, while his heart is hot, may chase the manslayer, catch up to him and strike him dead. Yet no death sentence is on him, since he did not hate him in the past. 7Therefore I am commanding you—set apart three cities for yourself. 8“Suppose Adonai your God enlarges your territory, as He has sworn to your fathers, and He gives you all the land that He promised to give to your fathers— 9when you take care to do all this mitzvah that I am commanding you today, to love Adonai your God and to always walk in His ways. Then you are to add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. 10Then innocent blood will not be shed within your land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance, and there would be blood upon you. 11“But suppose someone hates his neighbor, waits in hiding for him, rises up against him, strikes him dead, then flees to one of these cities. 12Then the elders of his hometown should send and take him from there and hand him over to the avenger of blood, to die. 13Your eye should not pity him, but you must purge the innocent blood from Israel, so that it may go well with you. 14“You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker that the first generations marked out, in the inheritance you will receive in the land Adonai your God is giving you to possess. 15A single witness shall not rise up against a person for any offense or sin that he commits. By the word of two or three witnesses is a case to be established. 16Suppose a hostile witness rises up against someone to accuse him of wrongdoing. 17Then both people who have the dispute will stand before Adonai, before the kohanim and judges in charge at that time. 18The judges are to investigate thoroughly, and if indeed the witness is a false witness and has testified falsely against his brother, 19then you are to do to him just as he had plotted to do to his brother. So you will purge the evil from your midst. 20Those who remain will hear and be afraid, and they will no longer do such an evil thing as this in your midst. 21Your eye must not show pity—life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

–from Deuteronomy 19

Where does your hope come from? Where does your trust come from? He is just! There will be mountain top experience and there will be valley times too, and through it all including through the battles, we need to put our confidence, hope and trust in God!

Confidence in Battle

1“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horse and chariot—a people more numerous than you—do not be afraid of them. For Adonai your God, the One who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2When you draw near to the battle, the kohen will come forward and speak to the people. 3He will say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are drawing near today to the battle against your enemies. Don’t be fainthearted! Don’t fear or panic or tremble because of them. 4For Adonai your God is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies to save you.’ 5“The officers are to speak to the troops saying, ‘What man has built a new house but has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would dedicate it. 6What man has planted a vineyard but has not put it to use? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use it. 7What man has become engaged to a woman but has not married her? Let him go back to his house—otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her.’ 8The officers will speak further to the troops and say, ‘What man is afraid and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house—so he does not weaken his brothers’ heart like his own.’ 9Then when the officers have finished speaking to the troops, they should appoint army commanders at the head of the troops. 10“When you go near a city to fight against it, call out shalom to it. 11Now if it answers you shalom and opens up to you, then all the people found in it will serve you as forced laborers. 12If it does not make peace with you but makes war against you, then lay siege against that city. 13When Adonai your God hands it over to you, you are to strike all its males with the sword. 14Only the women, children, livestock and all that is in the city—all its spoil—may you take as plunder for yourself. So you may consume your enemies’ spoil, which Adonai your God has given you. 15Thus you will do to all the cities that are very distant from you, which are not among the towns of these nations nearby. 16However, only from the cities of these peoples, which Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes live. 17You must utterly destroy them—the Hittites , the Amorites , the Canaanites , the Perizzites , the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as Adonai your God has commanded you. 18You are to do this so they will not teach you to do all the abominations as they have done for their gods, and so you would sin against Adonai your God. 19“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, making war against it to capture it, you are not to destroy its trees by swinging an axe at them. For from them you may eat, so you shall not chop them down. For is the tree of the field human, that it should enter the siege before you? 20You may destroy and chop down only the trees that you know are not trees for food, so that you may build siege equipment against the city that is making war with you until its downfall.

–from Deuteronomy 20

Let’s grab a hold of God’s promises! Let’s grab a hold of His truth. Let’s live in the freedom that His truth gives and grants us! Today is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Boasting in Visions and Weakness

1I must go on boasting—though it does no good, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Messiah (whether in the body I don’t know, or whether out of the body I don’t know—God knows)—fourteen years ago, he was caught up to the third heaven. 3I know such a man (whether in the body or outside of the body I don’t know—God knows)— 4he was caught up into Paradise and heard words too sacred to tell, which a human is not permitted to utter. 5On behalf of such a man I will boast—but about myself I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. 6For if I should want to boast, I would not be foolish—for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me— 7even in the extraordinary quality of the revelations. So that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me—a a messenger of satan to torment me, so I would not exalt myself. 8I pleaded with the Lord three times about this, that it might leave me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah may dwell in me. 10For Messiah’s sake, then, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 11I have become a fool—you drove me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I am in no way inferior to the super-special emissaries—though I am nothing. 12Truly the signs of an emissary were worked out among you, with patient endurance, by signs and wonders and mighty miracles. 13For in what respect were you treated worse than the rest of Messiah’s communities—except that I myself did not burden you? Pardon me this injustice! 14Look, I am ready to come to you this third time, and I will not burden you—for I seek not your possessions, but you! For the children are not obliged to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself. Nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you with trickery! 17I haven’t taken advantage of you through any of those I sent to you, have I? 18I did urge Titus to visit you, and I sent the brother with him. Titus didn’t take any advantage of you, did he? Didn’t we walk in the same spirit, in the same footsteps? 19All along you’ve been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. It is before God that we’ve been speaking in Messiah—and all for building you up, loved ones. 20For I am afraid that perhaps when I come, I may find you not as I wish, or I may be found by you not as you wish—that there may be strife, envy, outbursts of anger, self-seeking disputes, lashon ha-ra , gossip, arrogance, unruly commotions. 21I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I will mourn for many of those who have sinned before and not repented of the impurity and sexual immorality and indecency which they committed.

–from 2 Corinthians 12

Let’s be living testimonies of God’s love and greatness! Let’s boast in our actions and our words of His great love! Let’s live out how in our weakness His strength is revealed! He is more than enough! His grace is more than enough! He can use our weakness to reveal His power and strength! Let’s live out love into the world around us!

Taking the Kingdom by Force

1Yeshua began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. He leased it to some tenant farmers and went on a journey.
2And at the season, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants part of the vineyard’s fruit.
3But grabbing him, they beat him up and sent him away empty-handed.
4And again the man sent another servant to them, and they wounded his head and treated him shamefully.
5He sent another, and that one they killed; and so on with many others, beating some and killing some.
6He had yet one, a well-loved son. He sent him to them last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7“But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir! Come on, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!’
8So grabbing the son, they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
9“What then will the master of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
10Haven’t you read this Scripture? ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.
11This came from Adonai, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’”
12They were trying to seize Yeshua, because they realized that He spoke the parable against them. But they feared the crowd, so they left Him and went away.

A Test of Loyalty

13Then they send some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Yeshua in order to trap Him with a word.
14They come and say to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are honest, and what others think doesn’t concern You. You don’t look at men’s appearance, but teach the way of God according to the truth. Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
15Should we pay, or shouldn’t we?” But Yeshua saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius so I may see it.”
16They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they said to Him.
17Then Yeshua said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were completely amazed at Him.

The Challenge of the Sadducees

18Then Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came and began questioning Yeshua, saying,
19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, then his brother should take the widow and father children for his brother.’
20There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and, when he died, left no offspring.
21And the second took her and died, leaving no offspring, and the third likewise.
22Now the seven left no offspring. Last of all, the woman died, too.
23In the resurrection, when they rise up, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”
24Yeshua said to them, “Isn’t this the reason you’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God?
25For when they rise up from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
26But concerning the dead being raised, haven’t you read in the book of Moses about the burning bush? How God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
27He’s not the God of the dead, but of the living. You have gone far astray!”

Love Ends the Argument

28One of the Torah scholars came and heard them debating. Seeing that Yeshua had answered them well, he asked Him, “Which commandment is first of all?”
29Yeshua answered, “The first is, ‘Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
30And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32“Well said, Teacher,” the Torah scholar said to Him. “You have spoken the truth, that He is echad, and besides Him there is no other!
33And ‘to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love the neighbor as oneself,’ is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34When Yeshua saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared any longer to question Him.

Who Is King David’s Lord?

35While Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, He said, “How is it that the Torah scholars say that the Messiah is Ben-David?
36David himself, through the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’
37If David himself calls Him ‘Lord,’ in what way is He his son?” And the large crowd was listening to Him with delight.
38In His teaching He said, “Watch out for the Torah scholars, who like to walk around in long robes. They like greetings in the marketplaces,
39the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at feasts.
40They devour widows’ houses and make long prayers as a show. These men will receive greater condemnation!”
41He sat down opposite the treasury and began watching how the people were putting money into the offering box. Many rich people were putting in a lot.
42Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny.
43Calling His disciples over, He said to them, “Amen, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those contributing to the box!
44For they all put in from their surplus; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had, her whole living.”

–from Mark 12

 

 

Watch out, and don’t let anyone fool you!


There will be many pretenders. There will be many imitators. There will be many posers. Don’t be lured into believing what isn’t true. Know what you are looking for. Know what you are expecting. Remember how He is to come. Don’t be troubled or concerned when you hear of wars and battles near or far. It’s got to happen. Remember that the battles, the wars, the earthquakes, the famines are like birthing pains. So watch out! Because of your faith you will be challenged and questioned and tried. Because of your faith you will be brought before rulers and kings to give an answer for the hope that is within you. So share the Good News! Do not be afraid to share the reason for the hope that is within you. Before the end comes the world needs to get to hear about this Good News, the gospel must be preached so that everyone gets to hear it. Don’t worry about what to say, for God will give you the words, the testimony, the details of what to say. They won’t be your words, but they will be God speaking through you, the Holy Spirit will speak God’s Word through you. Take a look around as what is taking place and the faith of the children who won’t give up their faith in Jesus, even unto death. Don’t give it up! Don’t turn your back on God! Stand strong no matter what comes your way trusting and believing in Him. We will be saved if we don’t give up! Those children who gave their all are now celebrating and living with Jesus in Heaven forever, all of eternity they will be with Him. Watch out and don’t let anyone fool you!

You are hear for such a day and such a time as this! I remember times when God has allowed or positioned me before leaders and I remember words coming out of my mouth speaking a story and wondering where it was going. And realized it wasn’t just telling them something, but also teaching me what I was supposed to do! So don’t be fooled! Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be lured away from what is truth! And remember that Jesus is coming back the same way He left! If someone says they are Him, but they didn’t come back that way, it’s not Him! Review the book of Revelation for it speaks to it!

We see how in today’s reading we are warned to not be deceived!

Paul and the False Apostles

1I wish you would tolerate me, even when I am a bit foolish. Please do! 2I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself. 3I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ—in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies. 4For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us! 5I do not think that I am the least bit inferior to those very special so-called “apostles” of yours! 6Perhaps I am an amateur in speaking, but certainly not in knowledge; we have made this clear to you at all times and in all conditions. 7I did not charge you a thing when I preached the Good News of God to you; I humbled myself in order to make you important. Was that wrong of me? 8While I was working among you, I was paid by other churches. I was robbing them, so to speak, in order to help you. 9And during the time I was with you I did not bother you for help when I needed money; the believers who came from Macedonia brought me everything I needed. As in the past, so in the future: I will never be a burden to you!
10By Christ’s truth in me, I promise that this boast of mine will not be silenced anywhere in all of Achaia. 11Do I say this because I don’t love you? God knows I love you! 12I will go on doing what I am doing now, in order to keep those other “apostles” from having any reason for boasting and saying that they work in the same way that we do. 13Those men are not true apostles—they are false apostles, who lie about their work and disguise themselves to look like real apostles of Christ. 14Well, no wonder! Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! 15So it is no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. In the end they will get exactly what their actions deserve. — 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! His love endures forever! In Psalms today we read how much…

1Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal.
2Who can tell all the great things he has done? Who can praise him enough?
3Happy are those who obey his commands, who always do what is right.
4Remember me, Lord, when you help your people; include me when you save them.
5Let me see the prosperity of your people and share in the happiness of your nation, in the glad pride of those who belong to you.
6We have sinned as our ancestors did; we have been wicked and evil.
7Our ancestors in Egypt did not understand God’s wonderful acts; they forgot the many times he showed them his love, and they rebelled against the Almighty at the Red Sea.
8But he saved them, as he had promised,in order to show his great power.
9He gave a command to the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led his people across on dry land.
10He saved them from those who hated them; he rescued them from their enemies.
11But the water drowned their enemies; not one of them was left.
12Then his people believed his promises and sang praises to him.
13But they quickly forgot what he had done and acted without waiting for his advice.
14They were filled with craving in the desert and put God to the test;
15so he gave them what they asked for, but also sent a terrible disease among them.
16There in the desert they were jealous of Moses and of Aaron, the Lord’s holy servant.
17Then the earth opened up and swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and his family;
18fire came down on their followers and burned up those wicked people.
19They made a gold bull-calf at Sinai and worshiped that idol;
20they exchanged the glory of God for the image of an animal that eats grass.
21They forgot the God who had saved them by his mighty acts in Egypt.
22What wonderful things he did there! What amazing things at the Red Sea!
23When God said that he would destroy his people, his chosen servant, Moses, stood up against God and kept his anger from destroying them.

— from Psalm 106:1-23

Clarity and wisdom… Be aware of what is taking place around you! Seek wisdom in how to deal with it!


Ever been trying to get something done and find that there are others trying to sabotage you? Ever been trying to set something up and find that there are others trying to take you out? Don’t rush to conclusions! Don’t be crazy in your response and take out the good and the bad! Seek wisdom about how to deal with it so that in the end not only will you get the reward but also the satisfaction. (check this out)

When we turn to God even with just a small amount of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, it can be enough to get us through the challenges and trials we are facing. God wants us to keep and put our trust in Him! And in so doing, we will not only get to see but also live the miracles of God in this world we live. When we plan that small seed of faith, God will water it and help it grow. It will go from being so small to being a power house, a covering, a place of peace, hope, and courage. So don’t give up! Even if you only have a little, allow God to use it and work it in and through your life. (check this out)

It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t take much to get things started. A small amount can take something from good to great. A small amount and take something from good to devastating. Consider today as you prepare and get ready for what is ahead of you, what are you bringing to the mix. Consider today what you will allow to be included or added to the mixture. That one ingredient can take dough and make it rise. That one ingredient can take dough and make it fall flat. Forgetting to add the right ingredient  can keep it from even starting to rise. So let’s be aware of what’s taking place around us. If someone is trying to stir up love, joy, peace, harmony then let’s try to add more. If someone is trying to stir up bitterness, anger, frustration, displeasure, discontentment we need to keep that out and not allow it into the mix and possibly even start over with a new batch! (check this out)

Today, let’s focus on where we are going! Let’s not let the worries or fears of this world keep us from becoming the people God created us to be. Jesus speaks of what the kingdom of God is like, and we don’t have to wait till we get to heaven to be able to experience.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl

45“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, 46and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.

The Parable of the Net

47“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish. 48When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into the buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away. 49It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good 50and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.
New Truths and Old
51“Do you understand these things?” Jesus asked them.
“Yes,” they answered.
52So he replied, “This means, then, that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who takes new and old things out of his storage room.”
— from Matthew 13 (GNT)

Do you know your audience? Do you prepare so that even before you arrive, you are ready? Do you have expectations of how they will be? Once you start and if you realize that they aren’t what you expected, how do you respond? If they are antagonistic, how will you respond? If they are just trying to mess with you, what will you do? If they are planting seeds of doubt, how will you respond? Don’t set false expectations or the bar so high nobody can meet it! Don’t take it all on your shoulders, as it could be a problem with them. Be wise! Seek wisdom! Respond appropriately! (check this out)

We need to live in the power and the promises of the new agreement and promise. We need to be receiving that and walking in that each step of every day. Sharing it allows the truth to circulate and the Word to get around. Are you stuck? Are you going through the motions? What is leading and guiding you? What is your source of truth? How will you know that you are heading in the right direction? We need to make it about the relationship and hold onto Him. Don’t be held back because of other people’s attitude, but press onward and upward in order to accomplish all that God has planned and purposed for your life! (check this out)

So as we prepare for everything that is ahead of us, let’s put our trust in God!

1I come to you, Lord, for protection; never let me be defeated. You are a righteous God; save me, I pray!
2Hear me! Save me now! Be my refuge to protect me; my defense to save me.
3You are my refuge and defense; guide me and lead me as you have promised.
4Keep me safe from the trap that has been set for me; shelter me from danger.
5 I place myself in your care. You will save me, Lord; you are a faithful God.
6You hate those who worship false gods, but I trust in you.
7I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love. You see my suffering; you know my trouble.
8You have not let my enemies capture me; you have given me freedom to go where I wish.
9Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying; I am completely worn out.
10I am exhausted by sorrow, and weeping has shortened my life. I am weak from all my troubles; even my bones are wasting away.
11All my enemies, and especially my neighbors, treat me with contempt. Those who know me are afraid of me; when they see me in the street, they run away.
12Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead; I am like something thrown away.
13I hear many enemies whispering; terror is all around me. They are making plans against me, plotting to kill me.
14But my trust is in you, O Lord; you are my God.
15I am always in your care; save me from my enemies, from those who persecute me.
16Look on your servant with kindness; save me in your constant love.
17I call to you, Lord; don’t let me be disgraced. May the wicked be disgraced; may they go silently down to the world of the dead.
18Silence those liars—all the proud and arrogant who speak with contempt about the righteous.
19How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you! Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you.
20You hide them in the safety of your presence from the plots of others; in a safe shelter you hide them from the insults of their enemies.
21Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!
22I was afraid and thought that he had driven me out of his presence. But he heard my cry, when I called to him for help.
23Love the Lord, all his faithful people. The Lord protects the faithful, but punishes the proud as they deserve.
24Be strong, be courageous, all you that hope in the Lord.

— from Psalm 31

Don’t ask to make it easier, ask to be made stronger!


When it hurts too much try cry, lean on Jesus and He will comfort you.

God’s not somewhere out there, He is a personal God who desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Take time today to hear from God’s heart. He loves you and desires the best for You. God’s got a plan…

In Jeremiah – through the Old Testament we read:

11I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. 12Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. 13 You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. 14Yes, I say, you will find me, and I will restore you to your land. I will gather you from every country and from every place to which I have scattered you, and I will bring you back to the land from which I had sent you away into exile. I, the Lord, have spoken.’

— Jeremiah 29:11-14

So don’t give up and don’t give in! Seek God and build up your relationship with Him!

Some may think that God wants to judge and condemn us, but that is shown to be wrong when He sent Jesus. In the end we will be judged, however, before that we are given freewill to choose who we will follow and how we will live. The New Testament speaks to it this way:

14 As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
— John 3:14-21

So today, not matter what you are facing, don’t turn in fear, don’t run away. Put on the full armor of God and stand firm. Ask God to make you stronger. Ask God to fill you up with the Holy Spirit that you may have wisdom and courage to take on the lies and the attacks of the enemy.

10Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. 12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. 19And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel’s secret. 20For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison. Pray that I may be bold in speaking about the gospel as I should.
— Ephesians 6:10-20 (GNT)

God brought you to it, He can and will get you through it!

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

1There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. 3When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape. 4But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. 5All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. 7It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. 8But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. 9God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. 13Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.
14We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.
16Be joyful always, 17pray at all times, 18be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
19Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; 20do not despise inspired messages. 21Put all things to the test: keep what is good 22and avoid every kind of evil.
23May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.
25Pray also for us, friends.
26Greet all the believers with the kiss of peace.
27I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
— 1 Thessalonians 5

So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not give up nor turn away, but let’s hold onto the hand of God and press forward for He will get us through it! Let’s complete the work that God is calling us to that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

When will you look beyond the material stuff, the feel good stuff, and the self promoting stuff?


How much stuff do you need? Money isn’t evil, the love of money is the root of all evil.

Is it more important to feel good than to do good?

Is it more important to self promote than to be a servant leader?


 

What will it take to grow up and look beyond this?

It’s not about planting or watering, it is about the reason behind it. It’s the fact that we are doing what we do out of obedience to God so that in all we do, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. One may plant the seed, another may water, but it is God that makes it grow! Let’s remember the solid foundation we have to be able to build upon, it is Jesus! Let’s make sure we are building our lives on top of this foundation with material that is good, that is just, that is right, that is of value, that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory. Let’s make sure that when it is tested that it will stand the test! We are the temple of God, so take care of it! Let’s live by God’s rules for His ways are right and pure and just! Being God’s fool is better than being smart according to the world! Don’t brag or inflate yourself or others, everything you have is a gift from God!

Will you live your life as a servant to others? Will you lead through a servant lifestyle? Will you stop trying to make it all about you? Consider how you can help! Consider how you can serve! Be a guide rather than trying to be a guard! Be reliable! Be accurate in your knowledge! Don’t make it or allow it to become a popularity contest! Don’t be judgmental towards others! Be aware and smart about what you do and how you do it! God knows our heart and our mind, He sees our intentions, He knows our purposes, He hears our prayers, so don’t think you will get away with anything for one day it will all come out into the open. Are you willing to live a life where when you are done you will get to hear from God “Well done my good and faithful servant”? Perspective is key! It’s important to look at things through God’s perspective or point of view. Don’t let gossip or hearsay direct your actions or reactions! Don’t allow hearsay to inflate or deflate reputations! Do any of us really know it all? What’s in a person’s mind? What’s in a person’s heart? Is there anyone who really knows you or that you really know them? Is there anything that could be found out that we could actually take credit for? Isn’t everything just a gift from God? So why are you comparing yourself to others? Why are you competing against others? With God giving you everything you need and allowing you full access to Himself (more than you can handle) why not just focus on you and Him? Let’s come alongside one another as brothers and sisters in love! Let’s live our lives for God, so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Not focusing on trying to make everyone feel good or making sure we have every new gadget that comes out or pumping ourselves up. We need to make sure we live a good life, not as spoiled children. There will be many who are looking to pop your balloon and drag you down, but live a life filled with the Father’s Love that helps us and other to grow up! Make the time! It’s important! Make the effort! It’s worth it! Don’t live life as a balloon full of hot air, but rather live a life of purpose that’s empowered by the Spirit of God!

What way would you want someone to come into your life to speak to you?

As a severe disciplinarian who makes you toe the mark? Or as a good friend and counselor who wants to share heart-to-heart with you? You decide. — from 1 Corinthians 4:21


Consider the road you are taking! Consider those around you that need you to step in, step up, and give them a hand up! Consider the love they need from you! Consider the hope that you can share! How will you show up today for those around you who are looking to you?

Do you need help with directions?


Wondering where your next step should be? Wondering which direction to head? Wondering which way to turn? Wondering what way to go? Need help? What’s the plan? What’s the message? What’s the purpose? Turn to God and ask Him for wisdom, help, direction, discernment, a plan. We may come up with a plan but God will direct our path! God’s ways may not be our ways, however, His ways are better than our ways! Listen attentively to His direction! Be obedient to His calling on your life! See His hand do incredible things in and through your life!

1-3Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn’t offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek.
4-5As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.
6-8They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
9-10That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.
11-12Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
13-14On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
15After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
— Acts 16

 

Just because you do something that takes a burden off someone’s shoulder doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about it! Know who you are! Remember who sent you! Worship God in the sun and in the storm! Let the joy of the Lord flow out of you that others may come to know the hope that is within you. Let the worship of the Lord open eyes and hearts to receive the message of Jesus Christ. Stay where God wants you to be, He will get you through it. Be the instrument God wants to use to forward His plan and purpose. Let your light shine! Like a city on a Hill! Like a lighthouse that warns about the traps that are around you. Focus on God’s will and plan for you! You may be the one that saves the life of one or the lives of many. Don’t allow the devil to rob you of your joy and hope that is inside of you. Make sure you know who you are dealing with before you get yourself into hot water!

16-18One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to us by yelling out, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
19-22When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.
22-24The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.
25-26Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
27-28Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”
29-31The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”
32-34They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.
35-36At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”
37But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”
38-40When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.
— Acts 16

 

God will give you a stage! God will give you a platform! Will you step up? Will you step in? Will you speak what He has for you to say? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Thessalonica
1-3They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. He opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that “this Jesus I’m introducing you to is that Messiah.”
4-5Some of them were won over and joined ranks with Paul and Silas, among them a great many God-fearing Greeks and a considerable number of women from the aristocracy. But the hard-line Jews became furious over the conversions. Mad with jealousy, they rounded up a bunch of brawlers off the streets and soon had an ugly mob terrorizing the city as they hunted down Paul and Silas.
5-7They broke into Jason’s house, thinking that Paul and Silas were there. When they couldn’t find them, they collared Jason and his friends instead and dragged them before the city fathers, yelling hysterically, “These people are out to destroy the world, and now they’ve shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear! And Jason is hiding them, these traitors and turncoats who say Jesus is king and Caesar is nothing!”
8-9The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges.
Berea
10-12That night, under cover of darkness, their friends got Paul and Silas out of town as fast as they could. They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul’s message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence.
13-15But it wasn’t long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard-line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too. With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip—caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: “Come as quickly as you can!”
Athens
16The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.
17-18He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What an airhead!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
19-21These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, “This is a new one on us. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? Explain it so we can understand.” Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.
22-23So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31“God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32-34At the phrase “raising him from the dead,” the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, “Let’s do this again. We want to hear more.” But that was it for the day, and Paul left. There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul—among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris.
— Acts 17

GOD’S LOVE NEVER QUITS!!

1-3Thank God! He deserves your thanks.
His love never quits.
Thank the God of all gods,
His love never quits.
Thank the Lord of all lords.
His love never quits.
4-22Thank the miracle-working God,
His love never quits.
The God whose skill formed the cosmos,
His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations,
His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light,
His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day,
His love never quits.
Moon and stars as guardians of the night,
His love never quits.
The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn,
His love never quits.
And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression,
His love never quits.
Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand,
His love never quits.
Split the Red Sea right in half,
His love never quits.
Led Israel right through the middle,
His love never quits.
Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea,
His love never quits.
The God who marched his people through the desert,
His love never quits.
Smashed huge kingdoms right and left,
His love never quits.
Struck down the famous kings,
His love never quits.
Struck Sihon the Amorite king,
His love never quits.
Struck Og the Bashanite king,
His love never quits.
Then distributed their land as booty,
His love never quits.
Handed the land over to Israel.
His love never quits.
23-26God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!
— Psalm 136

It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference!


Do you have any? Even just a little bit? What are you going to do with it? What are you doing with it? Do you realize the potential is? Even if you only have a little bit? Don’t give up! Don’t quit! There is hope even when you only have a little! A little hope is huge! A little forgiveness is huge! A little faith is huge!


 

If we start with the story of a poppy seed or mustard seed – so small but a big example we read:

1-2He said to his disciples, “Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but too bad for whoever brings them on! Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time!
3-4“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”
5The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
6But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
7-10“Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’”
11-13It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14-16Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.
17-19Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”
— Luke 17

In other versions it speaks of a mustard seed instead:

5 The apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith (that trust and confidence that spring from our belief in God). 6 And the Lord answered, If you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even [so small] like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.
–Luke 17 (AMP)

So have faith, allow that little bit of hope and faith within you to kindle a new fire, a revival fire within you that will prepare you to help transform the world around you. Don’t give up! There is so much more to come.

Don’t be fooled! In God’s Word, we know how Jesus is going to come back, so don’t allow frauds or fakes to trick you into thinking otherwise. Many will try to trick you, but stick with a good crew who are teaching God’s Word from God’s Word and not their own ideas! When the time comes, don’t turn back! As I say sometimes in my own house, no going back, only going forward! 🙂

20-21Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.”
22-24He went on to say to his disciples, “The days are coming when you are going to be desperately homesick for just a glimpse of one of the days of the Son of Man, and you won’t see a thing. And they’ll say to you, ‘Look over there!’ or, ‘Look here!’ Don’t fall for any of that nonsense. The arrival of the Son of Man is not something you go out to see. He simply comes.
24-25You know how the whole sky lights up from a single flash of lightning? That’s how it will be on the Day of the Son of Man. But first it’s necessary that he suffer many things and be turned down by the people of today.
26-27The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah—everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away.
28-30It was the same in the time of Lot—the people carrying on, having a good time, business as usual right up to the day Lot walked out of Sodom and a firestorm swept down and burned everything to a crisp. That’s how it will be—sudden, total—when the Son of Man is revealed.
31-33“When the Day arrives and you’re out working in the yard, don’t run into the house to get anything. And if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.
34-35“On that Day, two men will be in the same boat fishing—one taken, the other left. Two women will be working in the same kitchen—one taken, the other left.”
37Trying to take all this in, the disciples said, “Master, where?”
He told them, “Watch for the circling of the vultures. They’ll spot the corpse first. The action will begin around my dead body.”
— Luke 17

Pray without ceasing! Don’t give up! Keep asking! Keep seeking! Keep knocking! Don’t give up!

1-3Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
4-5“He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’”
6-8Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”
— Luke 18

Do you want to be right with God? Do you want to look all that or really be ok?

9-12He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’
13“Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”
14Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.
15-17People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
— Luke 18

Do you really want to have eternal life? Do you really want to live with God forever?

Where your treasure is so will your heart be. What’s impossible for man is possible with God! Don’t give up! There is still hope! Have faith even if it is small! Trust in Him!

18One day one of the local officials asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to deserve eternal life?”
19-20Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good—only God. You know the commandments, don’t you? No illicit sex, no killing, no stealing, no lying, honor your father and mother.”
21He said, “I’ve kept them all for as long as I can remember.”
22When Jesus heard that, he said, “Then there’s only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go.
24-25Seeing his reaction, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom? I’d say it’s easier to thread a camel through a needle’s eye than get a rich person into God’s kingdom.”
26“Then who has any chance at all?” the others asked.
27“No chance at all,” Jesus said, “if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
28Peter tried to regain some initiative: “We left everything we owned and followed you, didn’t we?”
29-30“Yes,” said Jesus, “and you won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children—whatever—will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!”
— Luke 18

God wants us to get it! God wants us to understand! God wants to take that little seed of faith and help it grow! That’s why He gave us His Word!

31-34Then Jesus took the Twelve off to the side and said, “Listen carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. Everything written in the Prophets about the Son of Man will take place. He will be handed over to the Romans, jeered at, made sport of, and spit on. Then, after giving him the third degree, they will kill him. In three days he will rise, alive.” But they didn’t get it, could make neither heads nor tails of what he was talking about.
— Luke 18

Don’t just be quiet! Go after it like you can’t live without it! Allow that little seed of faith to prompt you and lead you and guide you! Allow your life to be transformed because you go after it like it matters!

35-37He came to the outskirts of Jericho. A blind man was sitting beside the road asking for handouts. When he heard the rustle of the crowd, he asked what was going on. They told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is going by.”
38He yelled, “Jesus! Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”
39Those ahead of Jesus told the man to shut up, but he only yelled all the louder, “Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!”
40Jesus stopped and ordered him to be brought over. When he had come near, Jesus asked, “What do you want from me?”
41He said, “Master, I want to see again.”
42-43Jesus said, “Go ahead—see again! Your faith has saved and healed you!” The healing was instant: He looked up, seeing—and then followed Jesus, glorifying God. Everyone in the street joined in, shouting praise to God.
— Luke 18

So today is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s meditate on His Word daily! His Word will speak to us right where we are at! Don’t just sit on the side of the road, but let’s pursue after Him so that we can be touched and transformed so that we can live the life that He so planned and desired for us to live! It doesn’t take a lot, and we have to step out with what we have to allow His miraculous touch to transform our life and the lives of those around us. Don’t be held back by fear, rather step out in faith and see God’s hand work in and through your life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is too big for God!


Ever been in a situation where what was in front of you seemed so big that you weren’t sure how you were going to make it? Ever been in a situation where what was in front of you was so big that you knew the only way you could make it was if God showed up? Notice the difference in perspective? Notice the difference in focus? Where are you looking? What are you focusing on? Where are you putting your hope and trust? Do you need help? Do you want to believe? Nothing is impossible for God!

Have you ever heard about the mustard seed?

31Another parable He put forth to them, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,32which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
— Matthew 13
20So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.21However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
— Matthew 17

It doesn’t take a lot and if you are struggling, turn to God and ask for help! Consider what happened when a man was asked if He believed:

17Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” 19He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”20Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. 21So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”26Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
— Mark 9

Have you ever heard about the odds of a wealthy person getting into heaven? Nothing is impossible with God!

23Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.24And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
— Matthew 19

God is never late! God’s timing is perfect! His glory and is power are reveal in His timing! People may start to lose hope or faith because they think God is late. People may say things or act out because they think that God didn’t show up! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t lost hope! Don’t lose faith! Put your trust in God! In today’s reading (John 11-12, Psalm 112), we see such a situation when Jesus didn’t make it back in time while Lazarus was only sick. But God had other plans, He wasn’t late, He was right on time for all He wanted to accomplish in and through this event.

1-3A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”
4When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”
5-7Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. After the two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8They said, “Rabbi, you can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill you, and you’re going back?”
9-10Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn’t stumble because there’s plenty of light from the sun. Walking at night, he might very well stumble because he can’t see where he’s going.”
11He said these things, and then announced, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I’m going to wake him up.”
12-13The disciples said, “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.” Jesus was talking about death, while his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap.
14-15Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”
16That’s when Thomas, the one called the Twin, said to his companions, “Come along. We might as well die with him.”
17-20When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.
21-22Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”
23Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”
24Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”
25-26“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”
27“Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”
28After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”
29-32The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33-34When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”
34-35“Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.
36The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”
37Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
38-39Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”
40Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41-42Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.”
They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”
43-44Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.
Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”

Have you blocked the opening where you thought it was good as gone or dead? Would you ask God if he were to resurrect it? Would you remove the blockage and open up that door again? Do you realize that nothing is impossible with God and for God? Don’t lose hope, put your trust in God! Do you need Jesus to do something big in your life? Do you believe He can? Ask Him to help your unbelief if you are struggling and allow Him to do the miraculous in and through your life! Luck won’t help, but miracles is where the power is found!

Are you encouraging and pressing God’s plans forward? Are you trying to stop or get in the way so that people won’t believe? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light! Share what He is doing and has done in your life with those around you so that you can build up their faith! Victory is won by the blood of the lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, and by the words of our testimonies. So let’s work together with Jesus to help save lives from the pit of hell, from the grip of the deceiver, from the lies of the devil and bring them into the light of life where they can spend eternity with God rather than separated from Him for all of eternity. Even when others are plotting, God’s hand is at work. He can get people to say things that later will prove the point. Jesus came as the lamb of God, the final offering to reconcile man to God if man would only believe.  We can see this all materialize as we continue into God’s Word for today’s reading:

45-48That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”
49-52Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people.
53-54From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.
55-56The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: “What do you think? Do you think he’ll show up at the Feast or not?”
57Meanwhile, the high priests and Pharisees gave out the word that anyone getting wind of him should inform them. They were all set to arrest him.
— John 11

We all have a part. We all have a purpose. We all have a calling on our lives. Ring…Ring…Ring… Will you pick it up? It’s for you. Nobody else, just for you. If you have been walking with Jesus for years, months, days, hours, or you haven’t started yet. Will you pick up the receiver and receive what God has in store for you? Will you hear the message and receive it and take action? Will you pick it up and run with it, walking with Jesus in an intimate relationship so that you don’t have to go it alone? We all have a part. God’s plan is that nobody would miss out. Maybe there are people in your part of the world, the country, the state/province, the county/region that you could be speaking hope and life to. Maybe there are people who need a little bit of light in their lives and you have been put there for such a day and such a time as this!

He came the first time in peace – riding on a donkey. He will be coming back on a white horse for the final battle. He came as the ultimate sacrifice to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. He is coming back to shut down the devil’s plots and setup His kingdom through a new heaven and a new earth. We don’t have to wait for His second coming, but can rather receive Him now so that we can live a good life now rather than waiting till we get to Heaven. On this earth we will have troubles, but we don’t have to walk in fear, because Jesus has already overcome the world. Don’t try to wait for the last second, but start your relationship with Jesus today. It’s more than a religion, it’s a relationship! It’s getting to walk and talk with God with every step and every breath of every day! Jesus fulfilled the prophesies! Jesus completed the task He needed to do since none of us can or could do it on our or in our own power. God’s plans are better than our plans, God’s ways are greater than ways.

Life is to be so much more than just a routine. Life is to be so much more than just a busy schedule. Life is to be so much more than just carrying the weight of it all. We read in today’s reading how Jesus explains:

 “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24-25“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
26“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
27-28“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
29The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
30-33Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
34Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35-36Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”
— John 12

If God brings you to it, He will get you through it! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Put your trust in God! Allow Him to work in and through your life! Glorify Him in how you live and what you say! Let’s live lives that give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Are you more interested in the approval of God or the approval of men? What is going to manage/control the things you do and say? What is going to be your motivation for moving forward? Do you believe enough to live it?

41Isaiah said these things after he got a glimpse of God’s cascading brightness that would pour through the Messiah.
42-43On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe. But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it. They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place. When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory.
44-46Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.
47-50“If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.”
— John 12

So today is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s hold onto Jesus and step out in faith trusting and obeying what He speaks to us! Let’s pick up that phone that is a calling for each of us. We each have something specific God has planned for us to be a part of that is s much greater than anything we could have done on our own.

God won’t give you more than you can handle…are you adding more?


At lunch with a friend yesterday this very topic came up. He was sharing how God had spoken to him about not everything we get is from Him, but that we add to it ourselves. He mentioned about how insurance policies speak about “acts of God” and that how about 98% of the events can be traced back to somebody, leaving 2%. The example of New Orleans also came up in that the waves and the storms will come, but God never told anybody to build a city below sea level. In this morning’s reading from Matthew 19-20, Psalm 94, this topic was revealed to me as well when the Pharisee’s were questioning Jesus and His response to them was:

…a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. — Matthew 19

Everything we are facing isn’t always because it was God’s will or part of God’s original plan. So we need to seek wisdom first rather than trying to figure it out on own later. If we had of asked for wisdom first, it may not have been easy, but it would have been in alignment with God’s perfect plan and purpose. If He brings you to it then He will bring you through it.

God’s Word bring up the gateway to Heaven. We should be helping people get into His presence and not trying to prevent them or getting in the way.

13-15One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.
16Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”
18-19The man asked, “What in particular?”
Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.”
20The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?”
21“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.”
22That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.
23-24As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”
25The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?”
26Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
27Then Peter chimed in, “We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?”
28-30Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”Matthew 19

Nothing is too difficult for God! Things that seem impossible to us – are in our own power – but with God nothing is impossible! It’s not God+, it’s just God that we need to have in our lives. The question, do you want to be first or last? Will you push to the front of the line and then realize they switch the direction and now you are at the end? Will you be willing to allow others ahead of yourself? Will you think of others before yourself? Selfless rather than selfish?

Are you going to be stingy or generous? Are people good to their word or will they try to get more?

1-2“God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.
3-5“Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.
5-6“He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’
7“They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
8“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
9-12“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’
13-15“He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’
16“Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”Matthew 20

Don’t let power and influence go to your heads! Whatever influence you have received, use it to serve others! Be A Servant Leader!

20It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request.
21“What do you want?” Jesus asked.
She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.”
22Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?”
They said, “Sure, why not?”
23Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.”
24-28When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”Matthew 20

Jesus is the ultimate servant leader. He gave everything for the opportunity for us to be saved from the fiery pits of hell as our final destination. What type of leader do you want to be? What type of leader are you being? How does that align with the ultimate leader?

Do you want it? Do you really, really want it? What if there were resistance how would you respond? What if they were shushing you?

29-31As they were leaving Jericho, a huge crowd followed. Suddenly they came upon two blind men sitting alongside the road. When they heard it was Jesus passing, they cried out, “Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!” The crowd tried to hush them up, but they got all the louder, crying, “Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!”
32Jesus stopped and called over, “What do you want from me?”
33They said, “Master, we want our eyes opened. We want to see!”
34Deeply moved, Jesus touched their eyes. They had their sight back that very instant, and joined the procession. — Matthew 20

Will you go after it with faith, trusting and believing in God no matter what the naysayers have to say? Will you put all your hope and trust in Jesus because you know that He is the way, the truth, and the life, the only way to the Father? Will you get louder? Will you get more passionate? Will you care enough for others to help them get there too? Will be more interested in sharing the good news with others than with puffing yourself up? Will you be more interested in sharing the hope with the hopeless than keeping it to yourself? Every day we are faced with choices. Every day we have to make decisions. Make sure you have your bearings straight and your heart in the right place because others are watching you and needing you. Help reflect the love of Jesus into the lives of those around you so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.

Create in me a clean heart!

Is your heart right? Is there anything polluting your heart?


Are you saying things to make excuses for doing things right? Are you doing things that don’t align with what you should really be doing? Where is your heart in all of this? What is really going on? Are you doing the right thing or is your heart really not in it?

This morning’s reading from God’s Word: Matthew 15-16, Psalm 92 starts off with this title: “What Pollutes Your Life“. One quote that comes to mind as I am reading this is “Methings thou dost protest too much” from William Shakespeare in Hamlet. We see the reading start with Pharisees and religion scholars coming and protesting about how Jesus’ disciples are living. We see it is a matter of the heart why they are attacking Him and them.

1-2After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?”
3-9But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? God clearly says, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel around that by saying, ‘Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I’ve given to God.’ That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God’s command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye:
These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their heart isn’t in it.
They act like they’re worshiping me,
but they don’t mean it.
They just use me as a cover
for teaching whatever suits their fancy.”
10-11He then called the crowd together and said, “Listen, and take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.”

It’s not a matter of what you put in that pollutes you, it’s a matter of what comes back out! What goes in isn’t as big of a problem, unless it affects what is on the inside. If your heart is good then what comes out will be good. If your heart is hurting, what you speak out will be hurting words. If your heart is polluted, then that pollution will be coming back out. Jesus explained it this way:

15Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”
16-20Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.”

So where are you at today? Is your heart in the right place? Are you asking Jesus to help clean house? Have you asked Him into your heart so that in your heart is only Jesus? Not Jesus plus but Jesus only. Are you ask God to search your heart and make it pure and clean? Like David did?

Don’t give up! Keep pressing on! Allow your faith to find victory!

21-22From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.”
23Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.”
24Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.”
25Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.”
26He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”
27She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.”
28Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well. — Matthew 15

There are so many people around you today who are in need. Have you prepared to be able to help them? Have you gone in advance to be ready for all that God wants and needs you to do today? Jesus did, so let’s follow His example.

29-31After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute—all sorts of people in need—and more or less threw them down at Jesus’ feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them. — Matthew 15

But He didn’t stop there, He met them at their point of need and then saw their was more that He could do. Are you seeing those around you and their immediate problem? Are you assisting them in that area? Do you think you are done or are you asking God for wisdom in regards to if there is anything else that He would want you to be doing or helping with? Jesus did and it glorified His Father in Heaven!

32But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He called his disciples and said, “I hurt for these people. For three days now they’ve been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can’t send them away without a meal—they’d probably collapse on the road.”
33His disciples said, “But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?”
34-39Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
“Seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few fish.” At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills. — Matthew 15

Imagine someone coming up to Jesus demanding a sign? Imagine getting back the only sign they will get is the sign of Jonah? Imagine the confusion as this was before the crucifixion and resurrection. Jonah was in the fish for 3 days — Jesus was dead and in the tomb for three days. Jonah was given new life on the third day — Jesus was resurrected and defeated death and sin forever! So be careful in your life, because a little bit of a bad thing can ruin the entire batch. As we head into the next chapter (16), we see that is where this starts with the title “Some Bad Yeast“.

1-4Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.
5-6On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread. In the meantime, Jesus said to them, “Keep a sharp eye out for Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.”
7-12Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. Jesus knew what they were doing and said, “Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven’t you caught on yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? Haven’t you realized yet that bread isn’t the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.” Then they got it: that he wasn’t concerned about eating, but teaching—the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching. — Matthew 16

Do you realize who Jesus is? Do you know that He came to have a relationship with us? Do you know that it is about more than religion and rituals, but it is about a relationship with Jesus? In this way new doors of opportunity and life have been open.

13When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
19“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
20He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.

Let Jesus take the wheel! Let Him be in the driver’s seat! Trust Him, He is good to His Word! Do what He says to do. Avoid what He says not to do. This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Jesus did it all that we could be reconciled to God.

21-22Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”
23But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
24-26Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
27-28“Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.” — Matthew 16

It’s a gift through grace. Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you live it?

Would you recognize him if you saw him? Would you believe it if you had been there?


This morning’s reading starts in Malachi 3 and has two very interesting titles: “The Master You’ve Been Looking For” and “The Difference Between Serving God and Not Serving Him“. The reading speaks to the coming of John who will prepare the way for when Jesus comes. It then references how when Jesus comes, to take away the sin of the world. To clean up things. To point people in the right direction. Now where are you in regards to God? Are you following Him? Is He your God? Do you know what it takes to return to God? Here’s what He says in His Word:

“You ask, ‘But how do we return?’

8-11“Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.
“You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’
“The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse—the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.” The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. — Malachi 3:8-11

Not only does He share what needs to be done, He also provides the one time in the Bible where we are asked to test God in this. Are you putting God first? or are you just giving Him the leftovers? Are you giving Him your best? or just what you have left or don’t value? Trying bringing Him your best first. 100% is His, however, to show that we trust Him and to show how much He loves us, a tithe or 10% or a tenth is what we are to give back to Him and then live with 90% that is blessed. Would you rather have 100% that is yours or 90% that is blessed and is yours? This is where the challenge is given, the gauntlet is put down: “Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.” In another translation, we read it this way: “10Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12“Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Imagine doing the right thing the right way and being called blessed because God’s delight is shining on you. Imagine 90% that is worth more because of God’s blessing than 100% that you have to handle all on your own. It’s an interesting lesson to learn. It’s an interesting thing to do and test God with to see the difference. I know every so often at church when our pastor teaches on tithe, he goes to the grocery store and buys 10 of various fruits and vegetables. He takes 1 and puts it on the table that represents God’s 10% and he then piles up the rest on the table that represents ours. It’s an incredible visual and gets the point home.

Ever questioned why anyone would serve God? Ever thought what’s the point? Ever talked down to people who are serving God? Ever asked what do you get out of serving God? Ever asked what do you get out of it or what difference does it make? Or how about thinking that those who aren’t following God have a better life? more fun? are lucky?

When God goes into action, will you be found in the book of life? Will you get special treatment? Will you risk finding out what the difference is by seeing others get special treatment and you won’t?

17-18God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving him.” — Malachi 3:17-18

Jesus is coming back. We might know the day and the time, however, we know He is coming back. People look at the signs and forecast the weather, look at what is going on all around us that point to the fact that He is coming back. Be it what we read in Matthew:

4-8Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.

Matthew 24:4-8

Be it what we read in Mark:

5-8Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming. 9-10“And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth. The Message has to be preached all across the world. 11“When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.
12-13“It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.

Look at what is taking place right now in the world. Listen to the news about what the threats are and what the possible wars could be. Consider the lawsuits and bills that are taking place around us and what they are all pointing to. Is it worth it some may ask, and the answer is yes. Remember how Jesus closes as we read in Mark “Stay with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.”.

This morning’s reading speaks of the return this way:

1-3“Count on it: The day is coming, raging like a forest fire. All the arrogant people who do evil things will be burned up like stove wood, burned to a crisp, nothing left but scorched earth and ash— a black day. But for you, sunrise! The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking. And you’ll tromp on the wicked. They’ll be nothing but ashes under your feet on that Day.” God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so. — Malachi 4:1-3

It’s not too late, this morning’s reading speaks to what we need to do. We also see it in the writings of John the Baptist and the disciples. John speaks:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”

Matthew 3:2

Peter speaks:
37Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?” 38-39Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” 40He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!” 41-42That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.

 

5-6“But also look ahead: I’m sending Elijah the prophet to clear the way for the Big Day of God—the decisive Judgment Day! He will convince parents to look after their children and children to look up to their parents. If they refuse, I’ll come and put the land under a curse.” — Malachi 4:5-6

So today, I lift up this choice to you. Choose life! We all get a choice and some wait it out and never get to choose, others choose early and know when they get called home, they are saved. What does it take to be saved you may ask?

5For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.   6But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). 7And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” 8In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 9If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”   12Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” — Romans 10:5-13

Where are you focused?


There is so much going on. There are so many things that could be getting your attention. There are so many things competing for your attention and your time. Are you on the look out? Are you following something or someone? What do you have your eye on?


This morning’s reading starts with the title “The Whole World Has Its Eyes on God“.

Do you have something that you are keeping your eyes on so that you know where you are going? Do you have a destination you are wanting to get to and have a north star or something that you are using to get there? Are you keeping your eye on God so that you can follow after Him? What are you expecting? What are you anticipating? What are you hoping?

The next title speaks to Jesus riding in on a donkey. Kings tend to come on donkeys in peace and horse for battle. Jesus’ first visit had Him on a donkey that Palm Sunday with people shouting and speaking prophesy. Today’s reading speaks to it this way:

9-10“Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion! Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem! Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right, a humble king riding a donkey, a mere colt of a donkey.
I’ve had it with war—no more chariots in Ephraim, no more war horses in Jerusalem, no more swords and spears, bows and arrows. He will offer peace to the nations, a peaceful rule worldwide, from the four winds to the seven seas. — Zechariah 9:9-10

When I think of the colt of a donkey on Palm Sunday, I also reflect on His second coming when He will be coming back to claim what is His, what is already His and finish the battle with Satan. He will be on a horse that time and ready for battle. The first time He came to fulfill the law and to open the doorway to reconciliation with God for the sins of the world. So that everyone who will receive Him, who will accept Him as their Lord and Savior, who will follow after Him. As we read in John 3:16, God loves us, He sent Jesus to save us not to condemn us. So now we need to keep our eyes on Him. God’s Word also speaks to us being prepared:

  • I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. — 2 Timothy 4:1-2
  • Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. — Ephesians 6:13-18
  • With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. — 1 Corinthians 15:58
  • You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. — Mathew 24:44
  • 13Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! — 1 Peter 3:13-17

There are many more. Trying to find a list, I found this link that you can check out.

The chapter finishes with the Jesus on a horse, the one who will fight and win the war of all wars. The war for the souls.

14-17Then God will come into view, his arrows flashing like lightning! Master God will blast his trumpet and set out in a whirlwind. God-of-the-Angel-Armies will protect them—all-out war, The war to end all wars, no holds barred. Their God will save the day. He’ll rescue them. They’ll become like sheep, gentle and soft, Or like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun. Then how they’ll shine! shimmer! glow! the young men robust, the young women lovely! — Zechariah 9:14-17

Let’s pray for those who are lost, sheep without a shepherd. Let’s pray that the truth and hope that comes from a living relationship with Jesus can be brought into their hearts. Let’s pray that lives will be reset and returned under the hand and covering of God. Let’s pray that our light, our words, our actions will point people to the one true God in a transformational way that will and does save. Jesus came to be the shepherd. He came to show us the way. He is the truth, the way, and the life, nobody gets to the Father except through Him. There aren’t many ways. There is but one way.

As I get into chapter 11, an interesting question comes to mind. Do they really care about you? Who is over you? Do they care? Or are they just wanting to get what they can and move on? It’s interesting to see what the difference looks like. It’s interesting to experience what the difference feels like.

Take a look around, are people trying to get rid of something? Something important and real? Something that should be the highest priority? Is there an attack going on against the way? Are they preparing the world for a time of battle? Are they preparing the world for a time of reset? Do you see that there is a battle underway? Do you see there is a battle going on right now for your soul? Who is going to stand up and be counted? Who is going to stand in the gap? Or are we headed towards the end? Is the momentum that strong that there is no turning back? Is there still time for a people to come together and try to restore truth, hope, love, justice? What is the purpose? What is the intention? What is the reason for such actions and decisions? Are things being improved or is the average being lowered? Are we headed back up? Are we heading back down? What’s really at the heart of the matter? What is driving people’s actions and decisions? Really… What’s really motivating them? It’s a matter of the heart so let’s inspect what the motive is.

How close are we to the Big Day?

There is only one thing that can wash away the filth, the grime, the sickness, the chains, and it the love of Jesus. It is only by His blood that we can be reconciled back to God, become new and clean in the eyes of God. He is the fountain that will wash away the sin of the world. When the Big Day comes will you be on the right side? Is God your god? Are you part of His people?

Chapter 14, starts with the title “The Day Is Coming”.  What day you may ask? The chapter is clear and starts with:

“God’s Judgment Day is on the way”

It will be an incredible day – Jesus in the lead and an army of angels with Him.

6-7What a Day that will be! No more cold nights—in fact, no more nights! The Day is coming—the timing is God’s—when it will be continuous day. Every evening will be a fresh morning.
8What a Day that will be! Fresh flowing rivers out of Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea, half to the western sea, flowing year-round, summer and winter!
9God will be king over all the earth, one God and only one. What a Day that will be!
10-11The land will stretch out spaciously around Jerusalem—to Geba in the north and Rimmon in the south, with Jerusalem towering at the center, and the commanding city gates—Gate of Benjamin to First Gate to Corner Gate to Hananel Tower to the Royal Winery—ringing the city full of people. Never again will Jerusalem be totally destroyed. From now on it will be a safe city. — Zechariah 14:6-11

Which side will you be on? Are you for Him or against Him?

12-14But this is what will happen to all who fought against Jerusalem: God will visit them with a terrible plague. People’s flesh will rot off their bones while they are walking around; their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues in their mouths; people will be dying on their feet! Mass hysteria when that happens—total panic! Fellow soldiers fighting and killing each other—holy terror! And then Judah will jump into the fray! — Zechariah 14:12-14

Today, I lift this day up to God and I ask how I can help and what I can do to point others towards Him. I ask Lord for Your wisdom and favor in what I say and do so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Help me Lord to be a good ambassador for You. Help me Lord to shine so that others will see that I am just like the moon in the dark sky, reflecting the light of Your Son Jesus my Lord and Savior. Lord, help me today so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.