Revival: It’s the first Friday of 2022, so let’s go and get it, finishing the week strong!


What an incredible first week! Starting a REVIVE week with Repentance, moving on to Renewal, then to Reconciliation, and yesterday to Restoration. What an incredible way to kick off 2022, a year to THRIVE! These past few years have been tough and we survived them, to what degree is another story but we are here and now and so let’s decide to make the changes and embrace the changes necessary to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions out in the world. Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions through sports and education. Be it organizational changes that come because of unforeseen circumstances. Let’s turn to God and lean in and lean on Him in order to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Let’s not lean on our understanding but instead on everything and at all times, let’s trust God! Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then allow Him to take care of the rest! Let’s ask Him when we have questions! Let’s seek Him when we are in need of Him! Let’s knock when we need to have something opened! Let’s go about this life in God’s way! Let’s go through the highs and lows, the challenges or as some prefer to say opportunities, the troubles, and the trials remembering to count them all joy because we know that God has overcome the world and that when we persevere through the trials God will have refined us and in the end, we will be complete and lacking nothing! Let’s be steadfast like we read about in Philippians 4:6.

So today let’s find revival! Let’s ask God to help us have a revival first in us and then in the body of Christ and then in the world around us! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in me, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in your church, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in our community, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to live out our days in a relationship with You! Help us Lord to walk out each step of each day in Your presence! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to live in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to move in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to shape me to be more like Jesus each and every day of my life! I trust in You Lord! I will give my cares, casting my anxiety and concerns on You because you care for me! Help adjust and change my perspective Lord this year into one that can THRIVE because I have a new perspective on myself, You, my current situations and the future You have planned ahead of me! Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into a closer and deeper relationship with you. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into being the dads we have been created to be. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but everyone around me from my wife to my kids to my neighbors to my community to my workplace to the camps to the world at large. Help me Lord to daily come to You humbly and pray for a desperate move of You in and throughout my life and the world around me. Today Lord, I cry out for revival!

Let’s grab some scriptures to help solidify this idea today:

‘and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. ‘

2 Chronicles 7:14

‘‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams; Even on My bond-servants, both men and women, I will in those days pour out My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will bring about wonders in the sky above And signs (attesting miracles) on the earth below, Blood and fire and smoking vapor. The sun shall be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] shall be saved (rescued spiritually).’ ‘

Acts 2:17-21

‘Will You not revive us and bring us to life again, That Your people may rejoice in You? ‘

Psalms 85:6

‘Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.’

Ephesians 3:20-21

Let’s pray throughout this day:

  • Pray for God to bring spiritual revival to your own heart and life.
  • Pray for Jesus to bring spiritual revival to His Church.
  • Pray for a worldwide move of God that will bring salvation to multitudes around the globe.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 2 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to experience a revival? Are you ready to be a catalyst for revival? Are you ready to give your heart and your life up to God? Are you ready to have God clean house and transform you spiritually? Are you ready to get to live 2022 in a way you don’t just have to survive another year but so that you can THRIVE in it? The let’s pray together!


I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart because I miss seeing everyone.


I am blessed with an incredible wife who is loving and supportive and am so in love with. I am blessed with incredible children who I love and have developed into such incredible people from teens to adulthood. I am blessed with incredible family from parents to sister to extended family who love and care for one another. I am blessed with an incredible church family with incredible pastors and leaders and congregation who are outreaching, embracing, and discipling people who are living life to the full and being generous in giving of their time, their effort, and their money to see the glory of God shared and spread around the earth. I am blessed with incredible friends I have gotten to meet throughout the years from my earliest school days through my career to this day. I am blessed with open doors that allow me to be a blessing to others through all God has put into my hands and my head and my heart. It’s about Jesus! It’s about love! It’s about sacrifice! It’s about generosity! It’s about getting connected! It’s about staying connected!

In the midst of this I know with the isolation there are so many opportunities that may have happened in a hallway conversation, a random encounter, a walk around the block that aren’t happening because of being isolated to try and stop the spread of a virus and also to keep me safe. It is this that causes me great sorrow in the midst of being surrounded by love. It is this that causes me unceasing anguish in my heart from the absence of not getting to see people because the day has gotten so busy that each day becomes a blur and feels almost like every other day and then only connecting with the people who happen to be in the specific meetings that were scheduled for the day. I miss the people, the interactions, and the connections strengthened and created through what used to be normal and was taken for granted. We can’t take life for granted! We can’t just go through the motions anymore! We need to slow down and become intentional! We need to enable what is before us to be clear and our purpose in life to be fulfilled! We need to first renew and strengthen our connection with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit! With this infilling, we then need to overflow into the lives of the people God has brought into our lives, first in our home, then in our neighborhood, and then into the community around us. No more taking things for granted or just going with the flow! Stop and consider what it is that God would have you do today! It’s not too late to invite Jesus into your life if you haven’t done that before! It’s not too late to start your day out talking with God and hearing from God through His Word. It’s not too late to let God direct your steps and make your path straight! It’s not too late to be humble and serve others! It’s not too late turn for our negative ways and back to God! Let’s take hold of the truth for the truth will set us free! Let’s not wait for heaven to be able to live out our lives to the full! Let’s not wait till we get to heaven to live our lives with hope today because we know that through Jesus we have a future with God that will never end and be filled with love to overflowing!

Let’s be the change! Let’s be the love! Let’s be the connections! Let’s make a difference!

With this temporary separation I realize how much more important it is for the message of Jesus to all these people is because if I live out all this life and then get to Heaven and discover that they aren’t there, they didn’t make it, I could have shared Jesus one more time with them, what could it be that I could have done to help them capture the reality of who God is and how much He loves them and how Jesus is the key to eternity with God. As much as it breaks my heart today, it would break my heart more if they never receive the hope that is within me through Jesus! So let’s take hold of this and capture what today’s reading tells us and how we can live out our lives to the full for the glory of God!

If you feel the calling now, jump to the bottom and pray with me for your salvation and then return to read God’s Word with me.


July is in the rearview mirror
They say that hindsight is 2020, what if we can make our vision of what is yet to come 2020? What if we took hold of the promises of God for a hope and a future and started living that out today! What if the windshield of life had clarity of life based on our learning from the lessons in our rearview mirror? Are you ready? Will today be your day?

The 49 week challenge – Day 222

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 222 link to join me and sign up.

With July in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading begins in Romans 9:1-21 about loving people and being willing to give of one’s self for them:
    • ‘I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? ‘
      Romans 9:1-21
  • Today’s reading takes our lessons from the New Testament and connects them with the Old Testament starting in Genesis 25:
    • ‘Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah. Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east. Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi. This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them. This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord . The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. ) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.’
      Genesis 25:1-34
  • Today’s reading then continues into Exodus 9:
    • ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ” The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on people and animals throughout the land.” So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go. Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’ ” Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside. But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt—on people and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt.” When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields—both people and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said to them. “The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord , for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.” Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord . The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord ’s. But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.” (The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.) Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord ; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land. When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.’
      Exodus 9:1-35
  • Today’s reading then continues into Exodus 33:
    • ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’ ” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb. Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Moses said to the Lord , “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord , in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”’
      Exodus 33:1-23
  • Today’s reading then concludes with Joshua 11:
    • ‘When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph, and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. Joshua did to them as the Lord had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots. At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself. Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. Yet Israel did not burn any of the cities built on their mounds—except Hazor, which Joshua burned. The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed. As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. So Joshua took this entire land: the hill country, all the Negev, the whole region of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah and the mountains of Israel with their foothills, from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and put them to death. Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle. For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses. At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.’
      Joshua 11:1-23

As day 222 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Then what should or can I do?


Yesterday’s message was to not give up! It was a pretty rough day with some very interesting bombs getting dropped on me. The day started with the encouragement and hope from God’s Word as it is today. The day ended with a conversation that caused me to question so many things.

Stress and worry make people behave in ways that are difficult. Sharing those stresses and worries with others seems to amplify or multiply the problem. The behaviors are not acceptable. The message is messed up.

You get a message in Feb that things are awesome and you did great. April begins spreading doubt and persecution. In addition to everything going on around the world an offer to help based on lack of information about the issue but with the tone and words of blame. Having been “shielded” from the process meaning that I wasn’t brought along and as such could possibly getting distracted because you don’t know anymore what you own and what you do.

So today starts with the question: what should or can I do?

Even as I typed that I hear God’s Word in my head from John 16:33 that in this world I will have troubles but that I can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. Even before I finished typing that I am reminded in the midst of the accusations, the attacks, the fear, the worry that have come my way that I am to consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds. The joy of the Lord is my strength and so I know that through the testing of my faith is going to build up perseverance and that when perseverance has finished its work, I will complete and lacking nothing.

Answer: Take heart for Jesus has overcome the world. Persevere so that I will be complete and lacking nothing. Forgive them.

Forgiveness removes their power and their chains that hold you back. Forgiveness brings freedom and power. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to keep living in the abuse, it means when you decide to walk away or make a change that the chains that bound you will no longer be there.

FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY!

DAY 93: 2020 HINDSIGHT
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 93 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 93 link to join me and sign up.

With March in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Today’s Word starts with this message from Matthew 23:

‘ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”’

–Matthew 23:37-39

As day 93 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

The pendulum of life…


Take a look at history and watch the pendulum swing…

Good

Obedience

Aligned

Right

The pendulum goes back and forth evil

disobedience

misaligned

wrong

Throughout history we watch civilization align with God and then rebel against God. We see people and societies whose predecessors followed God get too comfortable and then take for granted the way things are not realizing the impact of their comfortable lives and then their rebellious behavior will have on the future. We see people get so far away from God that they get to a breaking point where a revival is needed to get things back on track and to a point where people celebrate in the Lord and walk aligned with God and try to get all the brokenness fixed up.

Take a look around you today. Where are you standing? Where is society on the spectrum? Where is it on the path of the pendulum? Will you help it? Which side will it be? How far down the downward spiral would things have to get before you start to look up to God and call out to Him? How far off kilter do things have to get before someone will try to make a change? Things had to get really bad and really dark before revival happened in the past, how much worse do they have to get before you, before society, before the world turns back to God?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day. I thank You Lord that Your plans are good. I thank You Lord that Your ways are better than our ways and your plans are better than our plans. I thank You Lord that through You all things are possible. Even though things may seem bad or seem tough or seem hard, I know I can keep and put my trust in You because with you all things are possible. Nothing is too big for You. Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place between people of different races, I lift this up to You asking for Your spirit of reconciliation to come into the middle of this.Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place within politics, I lift this up to You knowing and trusting in You because nobody is authority except for those You have allowed into those positions to help Your plan come together. Even what the enemy had planned for evil Lord, You can turnaround and use for good. Help us Lord to align with Your will and do what Your plans require. Help us Lord to do what is good and what is right so that Your will and Your plans will happen today. Help us Lord to walk in obedience to Your Word and Your way so that in all we think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory that You so deserve. Help us Lord to live our lives as humble servants so that people will come to the reality of Jesus and be saved. Lord, help us to live selfless lives, putting others first, so that our lives will be living sacrifices to You and living testimonies to the people around us! Lord I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s reading brings us to 2 Kings 21…

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” 9But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10Then the lord said through his servants the prophets: 11“King Manasseh of Judah has done many detestable things. He is even more wicked than the Amorites, who lived in this land before Israel. He has caused the people of Judah to sin with his idols. 12So this is what the lord, the God of Israel, says: I will bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. 13I will judge Jerusalem by the same standard I used for Samaria and the same measure I used for the family of Ahab. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down. 14Then I will reject even the remnant of my own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. 15For they have done great evil in my sight and have angered me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.”
16Manasseh also murdered many innocent people until Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with innocent blood. This was in addition to the sin that he caused the people of Judah to commit, leading them to do evil in the lord’s sight.
17The rest of the events in Manasseh’s reign and everything he did, including the sins he committed, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 18When Manasseh died, he was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. 21He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. 22He abandoned the lord, the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the lord’s ways.
23Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 24But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
25The rest of the events in Amon’s reign and what he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Josiah became the next king.

–from 2 Kings 21

Does it matter if the person is old and does what is wrong vs if the person is young and does wrong? Does it matter what the person’s race or nationality if they are doing what is wrong? Does it matter what the person’s sex is if they are doing what is wrong? No! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s not about their age, their race, their sex, it’s about their character! It’s all about the content of their heart which defines and represents their character!

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” 9But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10The lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11So the lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13And when he prayed, the lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the lord alone is God!
14After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. 15Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. 16Then he restored the altar of the lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the lord, the God of Israel. 17However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the lord their God.
18The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel. 19Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers. It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. 20When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.

–from 2 Chronicles 33

Let’s press on! Let’s not give up! Let’s take hold of the truth in God’s Word! Let’s take hope in the promises of Jesus! In this world we will have troubles but we can take hope because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for they do a work in us that will get us to the point if we will allow it to, to be complete and lacking nothing! God’s got it all in His hands and so we need to lean on Him rather than our own understanding so that He can make our paths straight!

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

1We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.
Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’
I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens
or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west,
or even from the wilderness—
should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges;
he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the lord holds a cup in his hand
that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices.
He pours out the wine in judgment,
and all the wicked must drink it,
draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
but I will increase the power of the godly.”

–from Psalms 75

Let’s trust in God! Trust Him no matter what happens! Like Paul who was in prison but trusted in God, no matter what would happen. Like Daniel and his friends who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace but trusted in God, no matter what happened. Let’s walk in faith believing and trusting in God and His Word! God has a plan and His plan is good! God can make a way even when there isn’t a way! So let’s trust in Him through every challenge, delight, joy, adventure, … we need to walk through knowing that He is working in it for good! For there is no darkness in Him! God is Love! Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 how it reads when we replace Love with God since God = Love and Love = God? Don’t lose hope! Don’t grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to work in and through you no matter the circumstances! Let’s give God the praise and redirect any to Him who is greater!

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

1About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

6The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.

The Death of Herod Agrippa

20Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”
23Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
24Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.

–from Acts 12

So don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Let’s stick to God’s Word! It’s our measuring stick, our source of truth! Let’s lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways let’s acknowledge Him who will make our path straight! Let’s tell the truth! Let’s live with integrity! Let’s be honest in the way we live! Let’s be pointing people to God! Let’s not be focusing on self, but rather let’s be giving it all up to God! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not stop speaking of the great love of Jesus! Let’s not stop speaking of what He has done for us! Let’s be salt and light! Let’s share the love, the grace, and the mercy with the world around us that they too will come to know Jesus and His sacrifice for all of us!

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

–from 2 Corinthians 4

Reflections…


Have you taken time to reflect on how you got to where you are? Do you ever consider how you got from where you were to where you are? Do you ever consider what it took to get to where you are right now?

Do you track life? Do you write it down? What do you do to help you remember the adventures? The highs? The lows? The journeys in between?

Today’s reading starts out with such a recollection by Moses…

Israel’s Journeys Reviewed

1These are the journeys of Bnei-Yisrael when they came out of Egypt by their divisions under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
2Moses recorded the stages of their journeys at Adonai’s command. These then are their journeys by stages.
3Bnei-Yisrael set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the first day after Passover. They went out with a high hand in the sight of all Egypt.
4Now the Egyptians were burying those whom Adonai had struck down among them. Adonai had brought judgments on all their first-born and their gods.
5Bnei-Yisrael left Rameses and encamped at Succoth.
6They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
7They left from Etham and turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped before Migdol.
8They left from before Pi-Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the wilderness. They traveled three days journey into the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah.
9They departed from Marah and went to Elim. There were twelve water springs and 70 palm trees in Elim, so they camped there.
10They left Elim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.
11They set out from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the wilderness of Sin.
12They left from the wilderness of Sin and camped in Dophkah.
13They then left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
14They left from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15They set out from Rephidim and encamped in the Sinai wilderness.
16They departed from the Sinai wilderness and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
17They left from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
18Departing Hazeroth, they camped at Rithmah.
19Leaving Rithmah, they camped at Rimmon-perez.
20They left from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.
21They departed Libnah and camped at Rissah.
22They left Rissah and camped at Kehelah.
23They left Kehelah and camped at Mount Shepher.
24They departed Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
25They departed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
26They left Makheloth and camped in Tahath.
27They left from Tahath and camped in Terah.
28They left Terah and camped in Mithkah.
29They departed Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.
30They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
31They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.
32Departing Bene-jaakan, they camped at Hor-haggidgad.
33Leaving Hor-haggidgad, they camped at Jotbah.
34They left Jotbah and camped at Abronah.
35They departed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.
36They left Ezion-geber and encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
37Leaving Kadesh, they camped at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom.
38Aaron the kohen went up Mount Hor at Adonai’s command and died there, in the fortieth year since the departure of Bnei-Yisrael from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
39Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40The Canaanite king of Arad, who was living in the Negev in the territory of Canaan, heard of the coming of Bnei-Yisrael.
41They departed from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
42They left Zalmonah and encamped at Punon.
43Departing Punon, they camped at Oboth.
44Leaving Oboth, they camped at Ije-abarim on the border of Moab.
45They moved on from Ijim and camped at Dibon-gad.
46They moved on from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.
47They departed from Almon-diblathaim and camped at the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
48They moved on from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
49They camped along the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim.
50Adonai spoke to Moses along the Jordan in the plains of Moab across from Jericho saying,
51“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52You must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You must destroy all their idols and cast images, and demolish their high places.
53You will take possession of the land, so you will settle in it, because I have given it to you to possess.
54“You are to divide the land by lot according to your families. To the large, make their inheritance larger, and to the small, make their inheritance smaller. Whatever comes out of the lot will be theirs. You are to distribute the inheritance according to your ancestral tribes.
55“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living.
56Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”

–from Numbers 33

Do you give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Do you thank Him for all He has done to get you where you are at today? God took my work and has multiplied it! God took my work and allowed me to make connections and build relationships with so many people around the company! Good took my weaknesses and used my willingness to glorify His power and might! God rewarded me in my lack thanks to His abundance! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He granted me favor with leadership to the point where when one opportunity wouldn’t work, they didn’t stop but found another way! God is so good! He is awesome! He is so faithful! I find myself at a place that I would hope to be at but had given it up to Him for His perfect will and His perfect timing! And He has made it happen!

Today’s reading continues speaking to the importance of inviting God into your praise and giving Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Praise is Awaiting You in Zion

1For the music director, a psalm, a song of David. 2Praise is awaiting You in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be fulfilled. 3O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. 4Records of sins overwhelm me— You will atone for our transgressions. 5Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House—Your holy Temple. 6You respond to us in righteousness with awe-inspiring works —O God of our salvation— hope of all ends of the earth and farthest seas, 7who establishes mountains by His power, being girded with might, 8who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples. 9Those dwelling in the uttermost parts stand in awe of Your signs. You make morning and evening shout for joy. 10You visit the land and make it abundant, greatly enriching it— the stream of God is full of water. You prepare their grain, for so You have prepared the earth. 11You drench her furrows, leveling the ridges. You soften her with showers, blessing her growth. 12You crown the year with Your goodness. Your wagon tracks drip with abundance. 13Pastures of the wilderness overflow and hills are robed with joy. 14Meadows are clothed with flocks and valleys are covered with grain— they shout for joy, yes, they sing!

–from Psalms 65

Don’t hold a grudge! Forgive! Let it go and give it up to God! Don’t allow the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Forgive those who hurt you! Forgive those who have mistreated you! Forgive those who did things to trip you up! Don’t hold onto it for it is a weight you were never asked or expected to carry around for the rest of your life! Let’s live out love rather than hate! Let’s live out love rather than anger! Let’s live out love rather than frustration! Let’s give it all up to God and allow His joy that goes beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds! Let’s be encouragers to those around us! Let’s be build who help our character to be built up but also call others to a higher standard! Let’s be sharing the love of God with everyone around us! Let’s be allow others to come to the realization of how great God’s love is for them!

Today’s reading continues into this theme…

Forgive the Repentant Sinner

1So I made up my mind that I would not come to you again causing sorrow. 2For if I cause you sorrow, then who is there cheering me on but the one I have made sorrowful? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came I wouldn’t have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice—having confidence in you all that my joy is yours. 4For out of much distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears—not to make you sorrowful, but to let you know the love that I have especially for you. 5But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate—to all of you. 6For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough. 7So instead you should forgive him and encourage him. Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9For to this end I also wrote, that I might know your character, whether you are obedient in all things. 10Now anyone you forgive, I also forgive. For indeed, what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), I did it for you in the presence of Messiah, 11so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Revealing Messiah’s Fragrance

12Now when I arrived in Troas for the Good News of Messiah, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13I had no rest in my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus my brother. So I said farewell to them, and I set out for Macedonia. 14But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us reveals everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Himself. 15For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing—16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. Who is competent for these things? 17For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.

–from 2 Corinthians 2

Realize not everyone is ready to hear the good news! Some have hardened hearts and won’t respond well to it. They will look for ways to trip you up! They will look for ways to distract! They will look for way to raise questions! Some are more interested with tradition than the truth! Some are more interested in tradition that the right things! They are more focused on the way it’s been than the way it should be! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up plowing the hard soil, planting seeds, watering the seeds and waiting on God to make it grow!

Today’s reading concludes in Mark with…

Hearts Harden

1Now the Pharisees and some of the Torah scholars who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Yeshua. 2And they saw that some of His disciples were eating bread with unclean hands, that is, not washed. 3(For the Pharisees and all Jewish people do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing. There are many other traditions they have received and hold, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels.) 5The Pharisees and Torah scholars questioned Yeshua, “Why don’t Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders? Why do they eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. 7And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8Having left behind the commandment of God, you hold on to the tradition of men.” 9He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of God, in order that you may validate your own tradition. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever you might have gained from me is korban (that is, an offering to God),’ 12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13making void the word of God with your tradition that you’ve handed down. And you do many such things.” 14Then Yeshua called the crowd again and began saying to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand. 15There is nothing outside the man that can make him unholy by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy.” 16[footnote: Some mss. Add: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.] 17When He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? 19For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.” 20And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.”

Miracles Touch Gentile Lives

24Yeshua got up and left from there to the region of Tyre. When He had entered a house, He didn’t want anyone to know; but He couldn’t escape notice. 25A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him. She came immediately and fell at His feet. 26The woman was a Greek, from Syrophoenicia. And she kept begging Yeshua to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He was telling her, “First let the children get their fill, for it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28“Yes, Master,” she said to Him, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then He said to her, “Because of this word, go your way! The demon has left your daughter.” 30She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31Again He left the region of Tyre and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of the Decapolis. 32They bring Him a deaf man who had a speech impediment, and they beg Him to lay His hand on him. 33Yeshua took him aside from the crowd to a private place, and He put His fingers in the man’s ears. After spitting, He touched the man’s tongue. 34Looking up to heaven, He says to the man, “Ephphatha,” which means “Be opened!” 35Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly. 36Yeshua ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them, the more they continued proclaiming it. 37People were completely astounded, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear and the mute speak!”

–from Mark 7

 

 

 

 

Do you realize making it through adversity will also bless your kids?


perfect, complete and lacking nothingMaking it through benefits more than just you! It helps those you can help too. It helps those who will follow you. It helps those who are depending on you. It will help those who are counting on you. He may bless you with kids. It will create a trickle effect where it will even bless your kids.

Today’s reading continues in the story of Joseph. After all the adversity and trials and after the reunion with his brothers and his father.

Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh

1After these things, someone told Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him.
2When someone told Jacob, saying, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in the bed.
3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “El Shaddai appeared to me in Luz, in the land of Canaan, and blessed me.”
4He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and multiply you and turn you into an assembly of peoples, and I will give this land to your seed after you as an everlasting possession.’
5So now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just like Reuben and Simeon.
6Any descendent of yours whom you father after them will be yours; they will be identified by the names of their brothers for their inheritance.
7“Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, in the land of Canaan, while we were still a distance from entering Ephrath. And I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?”
9Joseph said to his father, “They’re my sons, whom God has given me here.” Then he said, “Please bring them to me, so I may bless them.”
10Now Israel’s eyes had grown heavy with old age—he could not see. So he brought them near to him, and he kissed them and hugged them.
11Then Israel said to Joseph, “To see your face, I didn’t expect—and look, God has let me see your offspring as well!”
12Then Joseph took them from his knees and bowed with his face down to the ground.
13Then Joseph took the two of them—Ephraim with his right hand across from Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand across from Israel’s right—and brought them close to him.
14But Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it upon Ephraim’s head (though he was the younger), and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands (though Manasseh was the firstborn).
15Then he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has shepherded me throughout my life to this day,
16The Angel who redeemed me from all evil, May He bless the boys, and may they be called by my name, and by the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac. May they multiply to a multitude in the midst of the land.”
17When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand upon Ephraim’s head, it was wrong in his eyes. So his took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18Joseph said to his father, “Not like that, my father, because this one’s the firstborn. Put your right hand upon his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will become great. But his younger brother will become greater than he and his seed will be the fullness of the nations.”
20Then he blessed them that day saying, “In you shall Israel bless by saying: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die. But God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers.
22Now I myself give you one portion more than your brothers, that which I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

–from Genesis 48

In this world you will have troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world. When you face trials of many kinds, consider it pure joy for when it completes the work it has started in you it will make you perfect, complete and lacking nothing!

So remember the hope, the truth, the love and continue to press onward towards what God is calling you to do.

Today’s reading continues with Jacob sharing what is yet to come…It even speaks how the scepter will stay in the line of Judah till the day when Jesus comes to claim it.

Jacob Speaks Over His Sons

1Jacob called his sons and said to them: Gather together so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the last days.
2Be assembled and listen, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben, my firstborn are you, my vigor and firstborn of my power, endowed with extra dignity, endowed with extra strength—
4like water boiling over you will not have extra, for you got up into your father’s bed, when you defiled a maid’s couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers, instruments of violence are their knives.
6In their secret counsel may my soul not enter. In their contingent may my honor never be united. For in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they maimed oxen.
7Cursed be their anger for it was strong and their rage for it was cruel— I will disperse them in Jacob, I will scatter them in Israel.
8Judah, so you are— your brothers will praise you: Your hand will be on your enemies’ neck. Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9A lion’s cub is Judah— from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches, lies down like a lion, or like a lioness— who would rouse him?
10The scepter will not pass from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs will come. To him will be the obedience of the peoples.
11Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine, and in the blood of grapes his robe.
12His eyes are darker than wine, and teeth that are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will dwell by the seashore, and be by a harbor for ships— his distant border reaches Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong-boned donkey, lying down between two saddlebags.
15He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant. He leaned his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a forced laborer.
16Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Let Dan be a serpent beside a road, a viper beside a path, who strikes a horse’s heels, so that its rider falls backward.
18For your salvation I wait, Adonai!
19Gad—attackers will attack him, but he will attack their heels.
20Asher—rich is his food— he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21Naphtali is a doe let loose, who offers words of beauty.
22A fruitful son is Joseph, a fruitful son beside a spring— daughters walk along a wall.
23The archers were bitter and shot arrows and were hostile towards him.
24Yet his bow was always filled, and his arms quick-moving— by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. From there a Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,
25from the God of your father who helps you, and Shaddai who blesses you, with blessings of heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father surpassed the blessings of the ancient mountains, the desire of the everlasting hills. May they be upon Joseph’s head, upon the crown of the one set apart from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravening wolf— in the morning he devours spoils, and in the evening divides plunder.
28These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father spoke to them. He blessed them, each one he blessed with a suitable blessing.
29Then he charged them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, that is next to Mamre in the land of Canaan—the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a property for burial.
31There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, and there I buried Leah.
32The field was purchased along with the cave in it from the sons of Het.”
33When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, then breathed his last and was gathered to his peoples.

–from Genesis 49

Will you be bold enough to testify of who God is and what He has done for you? Let’s watch Paul before the religious rulers of his day…

1Paul, looking intently at the Sanhedrin, said, “Brothers, I have lived my life in all good conscience for God up to this day.”
2But the kohen gadol Ananias ordered those standing by him to strike him on the mouth.
3Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you on the mouth, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit judging me according to the Torah, and yet in violation of the Torah you order me to be struck?”
4Those standing nearby said, “Do you insult God’s kohen gadol ?”
5Paul said, “I didn’t know, brothers, that he is the kohen gadol . For it has been written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
6But recognizing that one group was Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees! I am on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead!”
7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
8For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees affirm them all.
9Then there was a great uproar. Some of the Torah scholars of the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested sharply, “We find nothing wrong with this man! What if a spirit or angel has spoken to him?”
10As a big dispute was developing, the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them. So he ordered the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them and to bring him into headquarters.
11The following night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, “Take courage! For just as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome!”

Conspiracy to Kill Paul

12When it was day, the Judean leaders formed a conspiracy. They bound themselves by an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
13There were more than forty who formed this plot.
14They went to the ruling kohanim and elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.
15So now you and the Sanhedrin serve notice to the commander to bring him down to you—like you are about to investigate his case more thoroughly. But we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
16But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush. He went into the headquarters and told Paul.
17Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has a message for him.”
18So the centurion took him and led him to the commander and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.”
19The commander took him by the hand, stepped aside, and began asking him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?”
20And he said, “The Judean leaders have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow—as if they are about to investigate more thoroughly about him.
21But do not give in to them, for more than forty of them have bound themselves by an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. Even now, they are ready and waiting for your consent.”
22So the commander dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me about these things.”

Escorted to Caesarea

23Calling two of his centurions, he said, “At the third hour of the night, prepare two hundred soldiers, along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen, to proceed as far as Caesarea.
24Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, so that he might be brought safely to Felix the governor.”
25He wrote a letter to this effect:
26“Claudius Lysias, To the Most Excellent Governor Felix: Greetings!
27This man was seized by the Judean leaders and was about to be killed by them, when I came on the scene with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he is a Roman citizen.
28Desiring to know the charge of which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Sanhedrin.
29I found that he was accused concerning issues of their law, but charged with nothing worthy of death or imprisonment.
30When I was informed that there was a plot against the man, I sent him to you immediately, also ordering his accusers to state before you what they have against him.”
31So the soldiers, in keeping with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.
32On the next day, they returned to headquarters, leaving the horsemen to go on with him.
33When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul before him.
34Upon reading the letter, the governor asked what province he was from. When he learned that Paul was from Cilicia,
35he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers have arrived also.” Then he gave orders for Paul to be guarded in Herod’s Praetorium.

–from Acts 23

God has a plan for each of us! Let’s walk to complete that plan! Let’s move forward to finish the race He has set in motion! Let’s not grow weary in doing what is good! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s be overcomers as Jesus was an overcomer! Let’s press on and never give up! Let’s not make it about it being a show and tell, but let’s live lives that testify to the hope and truth that is within us thanks to Jesus!

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Matthew…

Religious Leaders Demand Signs

1Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Yeshua, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.
2But He replied to them, “When evening comes, you say, ‘Fair weather coming, for the sky is red,’
3and in the morning, ‘Stormy weather today, for the sky is red and gloomy.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times!
4An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” And leaving them behind, He went away.
5Now when the disciples came to the other side of the sea, they had forgotten to take bread.
6“Watch out,” Yeshua said to them, “and beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “We didn’t bring any bread.”
8But knowing this, Yeshua said, “O you of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
9You still don’t get it? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered?
10Or how about the seven loaves for the four thousand and all the baskets of leftovers you gathered?
11How is it that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking to you about bread? Now beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”
12Then they understood that He wasn’t talking about the hametz in the bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Father Reveals His Son

13When Yeshua came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14They answered, “Some say John the Immerser, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15He said, “But who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17Yeshua said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven!
18And I also tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My community; and the gates of Sheol will not overpower it.
19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will have been forbidden in heaven and what you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven.”
20Then He ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah.

First Prediction: Death & Resurrection

21From that time on, Yeshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and be raised on the third day.
22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Never, Master! This must never happen to You!”
23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of men.”
24Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
27For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then ‘He will repay everyone according to his deeds.’
28Amen, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

–from Matthew 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you respond to adversity?


What will it reveal about your character? What will your response say about who you are? Where will you find strength? Where will you put your trust? Where does your hope come from? In this world you will have troubles – Jesus tells us that – He doesn’t say you may, He says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He doesn’t leaving us hanging with a message of despair, but speaks to us encouragement with a message of being an overcomer! Jesus also tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds – He doesn’t leave it there though, He provides more details by saying “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – that’s right “perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. So let’s allow it to work in us and through so for good. Let’s remember that what the enemy plans for evil God can turn it around and use it for good.

Today’s reading starts out speaking about adversity as we continue with the story of Joseph…God was with him. God gave him favor. Joseph’s character kept him from doing anything that would hurt him, even though it ended up he was put into prison. He found favor again thanks to God in and through all the adversity he faced. He succeeded in the face of adversity! So can you!

Joseph Succeeds in Adversity

1Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh, commander of the bodyguards, bought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites, who had brought him down there.
2But Adonai was with Joseph. So he became a successful man in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
3His master saw that Adonai was with him and that Adonai made everything he set his hand to successful.
4Joseph found favor in his eyes, so he served him as a personal servant and he made him an overseer over his household; everything that was his he entrusted into his hand.
5From the time that he made him an overseer in his house and over everything that belonged to him, Adonai blessed the Egyptian’s house because of Joseph; Adonai’s blessing was on everything that belonged to him, in the house and in the field.
6So he released everything he owned into Joseph’s hand. With him in charge, he did not think about anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and handsome in appearance.
7Now after these things, the master’s wife lifted up her eyes at Joseph and said, “Come, lie down with me!”
8But he refused. “Look,” he said to his master’s wife, “my master doesn’t think about anything in the house with me in charge, and everything that belongs to him he’s entrusted into my hand.
9No one in this house is greater than I, and he has withheld nothing from me—except you, because you are his wife. So how could I commit this great evil and sin against God?”
10So whenever she spoke to Joseph, day after day, he did not listen to her invitation to lie down beside her, to be with her.
11Now on one such day, he came into the house to do his work, and none of the people of the house were there in the house.
12Then she grabbed him by his garment saying, “Come, lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, fled and went outside.
13When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside,
14she screamed to the men of her house and said to them, “Look! Someone brought a Hebrew man to us to fool with us. He approached me to lie with me so I screamed out loud.
15When he heard me raise my voice and scream, he left his garment with me, fled and went outside.”
16Then she kept the garment with her until his master came home.
17She spoke the same words to him saying, “The Hebrew slave that you brought us approached me to fool with me.
18When I raised my voiced and screamed, he left his garment with me and fled outside.”
19Now when his master heard the words his wife spoke to him saying, “Such are the things your slave did to me,” his anger burned.
20Then Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So there he was, in the prison.
21But Adonai was with Joseph and extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the eyes of the commander of the prison.
22The commander of the prison entrusted into Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison, so that everything that was done there, he was responsible for it.
23The commander of the prison did not concern himself with anything at all under his care, because Adonai was with him, and Adonai made whatever he did successful.
–from Genesis 39

God can position you and use you right where you are at. Will you let Him? God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. Will you trust Him? Do you have a chip on your shoulder that needs to be knocked off? Do you have some pride that you need broken off? Is there anything that is keeping you away from everything God wants for your life? His plan for you is good! His plan isn’t to harm you, it’s to give you a hope and a future! God loves you! For God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever will believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life! For God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, God sent Jesus to save it!

Let’s see how Jesus responds…Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Others may forget, but God never forgets! He will never leave you nor abandon you! Stick with God!

Interpreter of Dreams

1Now it was after these things that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt.
2Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, with the chief of the cupbearers and with the chief of the bakers.
3So he put them in custody of the house of the commander of the bodyguards—in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined.
4The commander of the bodyguards assigned Joseph to be with them and served them as their personal servant. They were in custody for some time.
5Then the two of them each dreamed a dream on the same night. The dream of each man—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each had its own interpretation.
6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he observed them, and there they were, looking miserable.
7So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in the custody of the house of his master saying, “Why are your faces so sad today?”
8They said to him, “We dreamed a dream and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Please tell me.”
9So the chief of the cupbearers told his dream to Joseph, saying to him, “In my dream, suddenly, there was a vine in front of me.
10On the vine were three branches, and as it was budding, its blossoms came out, its clusters ripened into grapes.
11Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand and I took the grapes, pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in Pharaoh’s palm.”
12“This is its interpretation,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches: they are three days.
13In another three days, Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position. Then you’ll put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand just as you used to do before when you were his cupbearer.
14But if you remember me, that I was with you, when it goes well with you, please show me kindness and mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.
15For I was forcibly kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing at all that they should put me in this pit.”
16When the chief of the bakers saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream. Expectantly, there were three baskets of white bread on my head.
17In the top basket was food for Pharaoh—all kinds of baked goods. But the birds were eating them from the basket on my head.”
18Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation. The three baskets: they are three days.
19In another three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—off of you—and will hang you on a tree. Then the birds will eat your flesh off of you.”
20Then it happened on the third day—Pharaoh’s birthday—that he held a banquet for all his servants. He lifted up the head of the chief of the cupbearers and the head of the chief of the bakers among his servants.
21He restored the chief of the cupbearers as his cupbearer, and he put the cup on the palm of Pharaoh’s hand.
22But the chief of the bakers he hung. It was just as Joseph had interpreted for them.
23Yet the chief of the cupbearers did not remember Joseph—indeed, he forgot him.
–from Genesis 40

This isn’t the end of the story! You may feel like you are in prison. You may feel like you are in a pit. You may feel like you have been forgotten. But realize and don’t give up because it’s not the end of the story! (we’ll pick up more on Joseph tomorrow)

God hasn’t forgotten you! Remember what we learned about having troubles? Remember what we learned about trials? Don’t give up! Allow endurance to complete its work! Put all your trust in God and allow Him to complete the work in His perfect timing!

If God tells you to go, what will you do? If God tells you to speak, what will you do? If God tells you to do something, will you be obedient to His calling on your life? Let’s allow God’s completing work to be done in and through our lives!

Today’s reading continues into Acts and the journey of Paul…

Many Respond in Corinth

1After these things, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
2There he found a Jewish man named Aquila—a native of Pontus having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see them;
3and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and began working, for by trade they were tent-makers.
4And he was debating every Shabbat in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jewish and Greek people.
5Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul became occupied with the message, urgently testifying to the Jewish people that Yeshua is the Messiah.
6But when they resisted and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said, “Your blood be upon your own heads—I am clean! From now on, I will go to the Gentiles.”
7After leaving there, Paul went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a God-fearer whose house was next door to the synagogue.
8Crispus, the synagogue leader, put his faith in the Lord, along with his whole household. And many of the Corinthians, upon hearing, were believing and being immersed.
9Now the Lord said to Paul through a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent!
10For I am with you and no one shall attack you to harm you—many people in this city are for Me.”
11So he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jewish leaders made a united attack against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
13saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the Torah.”
14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jewish people, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or a vicious crime, there would be a reason to put up with you, O Jews.
15But since it is issues about words, names, and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of these.”
16And he drove them from the judgment seat.
17Then they all grabbed Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio paid no attention to these things.

Sailing East to Revisit Communities

18Paul, having stayed many more days, said farewell to the brothers and set sail to Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchrea Paul had his hair cut off, for he was keeping a vow.
19When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. But he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jewish people.
20When they asked him to stay longer, he declined,
21instead taking leave of them while saying, “God willing, I’ll return to you again.” He set sail from Ephesus.
22After landing at Caesarea, he went up and greeted Messiah’s community; then he went down to Antioch.
23After spending some time there, he departed and went one place after another throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Discipling New Leaders

24Now a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, well versed in the Scriptures.
25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. With a fervent spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the facts about Yeshua—while only being acquainted with the immersion of John.
26This man began speaking out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.
27When Apollos wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. Upon arrival, he greatly helped those who by grace had believed.
28For he powerfully refuted the Jewish people in public, demonstrating through the Scriptures that the Messiah was Yeshua.
–from Acts 18

Will you answer? Will you go? Will you stay? Will you do? How will you respond? What if it isn’t easy? How will you respond? What if it bring you to a point of adversity? What are you going to do? Let’s not lose hope and let’s not give up! Jesus isn’t just lord of somethings, He is Lord of and over everything!

The Lord of Shabbat

1At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on Shabbat. His disciples became hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and eat them.
2But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not permitted on Shabbat.”
3But He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he became hungry, and those with him?
4How he entered into the house of God, and they ate the showbread, which was not permitted for him to eat, nor for those with him, but only for the kohanim?
5Or haven’t you read in the Torah that on Shabbat the kohanim in the Temple break Shabbat and yet are innocent?
6But I tell you that something greater than the Temple is here.
7If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent.
8For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat.”
9Leaving from there, He went into their synagogue.
10A man with a withered hand was there. And so that they might accuse Him, they questioned Yeshua, saying, “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat?”
11He said to them, “What man among you will not grab his sheep and lift it out, if it falls into a pit on Shabbat?
12How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is permitted to do good on Shabbat.”
13Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out and it was restored, as healthy as the other.
14But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.
God’s Chosen Servant Brings Hope
15Knowing this, Yeshua went away from there. And large crowds followed Him, and He healed them all.
16And He sternly warned them not to make Him known.
17This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
18“Here is My servant whom I chose, the One I love, in whom My soul takes delight. I will put My Ruach upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the nations.
19He will not quarrel or cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20A crushed reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, until He brings forth justice to victory.
21And in His name the nations shall hope.”
–from Matthew 12

We need to make sure we get it straight! We need to make sure we know what is real and what we can hope in! We need to realize the purpose! We need to remember where to turn! We need to remember who to call upon! We need to remember who has authority over everything!

Whose Power Will Rule?

22Then a demon-plagued man, who was blind and mute, was brought to Yeshua; and He healed him, so that he spoke and saw.
23All the crowds were astounded and saying, “This can’t be Ben-David, can it?”
24But hearing this, the Pharisees said, “This fellow drives out demons only by beelzebul, the ruler of demons.”
25Knowing their thoughts, Yeshua said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26If satan drives out satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
27And if I drive out demons by beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
28But if I drive out demons by the Ruach Elohim, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he will thoroughly plunder his house.
30He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
31“For this reason I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Ruach will not be forgiven.
32Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven, neither in this age nor in the one to come.”
33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for the tree is known by its fruit.
34You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
35The good man from his good treasury brings forth good, and the evil man from his evil treasury brings forth evil.
36But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment, men will give account for every careless word they speak.
37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
–from Matthew 12

We need to remember His plans are for good! We need to remember the power of unity! A house divided will fall! We need to realize that from the overflow of our hearts and other’s hearts the mouth speaks! We need to remember that you can see and tell a lot about someone by the fruit they produce! So guard your tongue for you will have to give an account for everyone of them.

A Sign Greater than Jonah

38Then some of the Torah scholars and Pharisees answered Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39But Yeshua replied to them, “An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
40For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
41The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42The Queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
43“Now when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest and doesn’t find it.
44Then it says, ‘I’ll go back home where I came from.’ And when it comes, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order.
45Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first. So also will it be for this evil generation.”
–from Matthew 12

Jesus and Jonah had some similar experiences. 3 days … one in a giant fish and the other in a tomb. On the 3rd day came back to life (one on the shore, the other raised from the dead). So let’s live believing Jesus and believing in Jesus! Let’s be more than readers of the Word, let’s be doers of the Word! Let’s be more than knowing about Jesus and start a real relationship with Him where it becomes a dialog rather than a monologue! That was the light or the aha moment for me! It was went I realized it was more than routines and rituals, flows and lines up, it was about having a living relationship with Jesus when my life was turned around and turned upside down. God was then able to do things in me and through me that weren’t ever available before because I was now listening as well as speak, I was no longer deaf but could hear Him speak into me. He put a jetpack on my back and accelerated my learning and transformation, a metamorphism from who I was to who I am becoming.

So let’s do what God calls us to do! So let’s be part of the family of God by being obedient to God!

Embrace and Refrain

46While Yeshua was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and brothers were standing outside, trying to speak to Him.
47Someone said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, trying to speak to You.”
48But to the one telling Him this, Yeshua responded, “Who is My mother? And who are My brothers?”
49Stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers.
50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
–from Matthew 12

 

 

 

Are you going through some tests and trials too?


Consider it pure joy!

2My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. –from James 1

Don’t be afraid to ask! Believe!

5But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 6But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. 7-8If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord. –from James 1

Believe! What can get in the way of the truth?


Do you believe? What would it take for you to believe? What is keeping you from believing? Do you feel you need to believe but need help with your unbelief? The reality is that the truth will be revealed! The reality is that the truth will set you free! We still all get a choice and so it is up to us if we will believe and be transformed or not. Don’t let prejudice get in the way! Don’t let fear get in the way! So … Believe!


Believe!

This morning’s reading starts with unbelief…

The Unbelief of the Jewish Authorities

45When the guards went back, the chief priests and Pharisees asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46The guards answered, “Nobody has ever talked the way this man does!” 47“Did he fool you, too?” the Pharisees asked them. 48“Have you ever known one of the authorities or one Pharisee to believe in him? 49This crowd does not know the Law of Moses, so they are under God’s curse!” 50One of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the others, 51“According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done.”
52“Well,” they answered, “are you also from Galilee? Study the Scriptures and you will learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.”

–from John 7

Do you just need to be prompted and reminded? Do you need to learn more? Do you have a Bible believing and Bible preaching and Bible leading church? We need a strong foundation and His name is Jesus! We need a cornerstone from which to build up and build out our lives and His name is Jesus! With that in place we need to go out and love others! We need to be willing to go out with God’s grace and mercy and share His love with those He has put into our lives! It’s not about judging others! It’s all about relationships! A relationship with God! A relationship with others! Today’s reading continues with the following…

12And so I will always remind you of these matters, even though you already know them and are firmly grounded in the truth you have received. 13I think it only right for me to stir up your memory of these matters as long as I am still alive. 14I know that I shall soon put off this mortal body, as our Lord Jesus Christ plainly told me. 15I will do my best, then, to provide a way for you to remember these matters at all times after my death.

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

16We have not depended on made-up stories in making known to you the mighty coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. With our own eyes we saw his greatness. 17We were there when he was given honor and glory by God the Father, when the voice came to him from the Supreme Glory, saying, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased!” 18We ourselves heard this voice coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19So we are even more confident of the message proclaimed by the prophets. You will do well to pay attention to it, because it is like a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawns and the light of the morning star shines in your hearts. 20Above all else, however, remember that none of us can explain by ourselves a prophecy in the Scriptures. 21For no prophetic message ever came just from the human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.

–from 2 Peter 1

Had a great lunch with a dear brother yesterday and we talked about how Job was showing up in my readings again. One interesting topic came up about how Job speaks about how God doesn’t have to give an account for what too place as well as the difference between Job and his friends. It is interesting as we spoke how it was all about relationships. Job had a relationship with God that allowed God to work deeper truths into his life. The response of his friends seemed to be more religious response than relational responses. And is a good lesson for us as the church. By being the church and going out into the world, we need to be building relationships. We know the law, but we even see through the Bible how God used grace, mercy, love, compassion first prior to bringing up the law. Consider the woman caught in adultery … where are your accusers? … now go and sin no more! When Jesus was healing those that society wouldn’t go near, He touched them right in their time of need! No prejudice! No judgment! Let’s model our lives after Jesus and allow God to do the work He needs to do in and through our lives! Now let’s continue into the book of Job…

Satan Tests Job Again

1When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the Lord again, Satan was there among them. 2The Lord asked him, “Where have you been?” Satan answered, “I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth.” 3“Did you notice my servant Job?” the Lord asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil. You persuaded me to let you attack him for no reason at all, but Job is still as faithful as ever.” 4Satan replied, “A person will give up everything in order to stay alive. 5But now suppose you hurt his body—he will curse you to your face!” 6So the Lord said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power, but you are not to kill him.” 7Then Satan left the Lord’s presence and made sores break out all over Job’s body. 8Job went and sat by the garbage dump and took a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores. 9His wife said to him, “You are still as faithful as ever, aren’t you? Why don’t you curse God and die?” 10Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God.

Job’s Friends Come

11Three of Job’s friends were Eliphaz, from the city of Teman, Bildad, from the land of Shuah, and Zophar, from the land of Naamah. When they heard how much Job had been suffering, they decided to go and comfort him. 12While they were still a long way off they saw Job, but did not recognize him. When they did, they began to weep and wail, tearing their clothes in grief and throwing dust into the air and on their heads. 13Then they sat there on the ground with him for seven days and nights without saying a word, because they saw how much he was suffering.

–from Job 2

Lord, grant me the wisdom, the courage, the strength to accomplish Your will. Turn what the devil has planned for evil and use it for God! Help me I pray to pass the tests and the trials. And as Your Word says, I will consider it all joy when I face trials of any kind because the testing will produce perseverance and endurance, and that it’s finished work will make me mature, complete, and lacking nothing! I ask all of this in Jesus’ name.