What are you investing in?


Are you investing in something that will last? Are you investing in something that is trustworthy? Are you investing in something that has a good return? Are your investments a sign of good stewardship? Are your investments into things that will last? Are you investments into the right areas?

Investments…what does that mean to you? Time? Money? Effort? People? Property? Stocks? Stuff?

where-will-you-invest-and-spend-effort-time-money

Are you investing in things that will last forever? An example of such an investment is to invest in people – eternal souls. Are you investing in things that will glorify God? An example of such an investment is to be salt and light to the world around you. Another example is to walk in love. Another example is to be sharing the fruits of the spirit. Are you investing in things that will make a difference? Are you building a legacy?

How are you investing your time, energy, and money? 


Today’s reading brings us into Isaiah again which triggered the above questions…ponder them as you read through today’s reading and see what God has to say to you…

No Profit in Casting Idols

1“But now listen, Jacob My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.” 2Thus says Adonai who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Do not fear, Jacob My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5This one will say, ‘I am Adonai’s.’ That one will be called by the name Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘Adonai’s’ and will take the name Israel.”

First and Last

6Thus says Adonai, Israel’s King and his Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am the first, and the last, and there is no God beside Me. 7Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and announce it! Let him arrange it in order for Me— as I established the ancient nation. Let them declare to them what is coming and future events. 8Do not dread or be afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? So you are My witnesses! Is there any God beside Me? Is there any other Rock? I know of none.

Folly of Idols

9Those who fashion idols are empty. Their precious things do not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol for no profit? 11Behold, all his friends will be ashamed, for the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble. Let them stand up. Let them dread. Let them be put to shame together. 12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. Yet when he is hungry, his strength fails. When he drinks no water, he gets tired. 13A carpenter stretches out a line; he marks it with a pencil; he shapes it with planes; he marks it with a compass; he shapes it like the figure of a man —like the beauty of a man— so that it may sit in a shrine. 14He chops down cedars for himself, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine and rain nourishes it. 15Then it is something for a man to burn. so he takes one of them and warms himself. He also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an idol and bows before it. 16He burns half of it in the fire. With this half, he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17Yet with the rest he makes a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships. He even prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” 18They do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. 19No one reflects in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire and I also baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate—and then I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I bow before a block of wood?” 20He is feeding on ashes. A deceived heart has led him astray, so he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Isn’t what is in my right hand a fraud?” 21Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I formed you, you are My servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! 22I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23Sing, O heavens, for Adonai has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it! For Adonai has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified through Israel. 24Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am Adonai, Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens alone, spreading the earth abroad by Myself, 25causing the omens of boasters to fail, making fools of diviners, turning wise men backward and making their knowledge foolish, 26while confirming the word of His servant, fulfilling the counsel of His messengers, saying of Jerusalem, “She will be lived in” and of the cities of Judah, “They will be built, and I will raise up their ruins,” 27while saying to the deep, “Be dry, I will dry up your rivers,” 28while saying of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall fulfill all My purpose” while saying to Jerusalem, “You will be built” and to the Temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

–from Isaiah 44

God knows your name! God knows your every thought! God sees each tear that falls! God hears you when you call! God created you on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So let’s be good stewards of all we have – time, money, effort. Let’s use it to glorify God and point others to Him! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who have yet to meet Jesus! Let’s allow the Spirit to work in and thru us for to glory of God! Let’s be strengthen by the Lord to do the work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s keep our eyes on God and the work He has for us to do today! How will we invest our time? Will it make a difference to the people around us? Will their lives be impacted because we are there?

Cyrus the Anointed

1Thus says Adonai to His anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him, to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates may not be shut. 2I will go before you and make crooked places straight. I will shatter bronze doors and cut through iron bars. 3I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I am Adonai, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by name, I have given you a title of honor, though you have not known Me. 5I am Adonai—there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me, 6so they may know, from the rising to the setting of the sun, that there is no one besides Me. I am Adonai—there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness. I make shalom and create calamity. I, Adonai, do all these things. 8“Rain down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down justice. Let the earth open up, let salvation sprout, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Adonai, have created it.” 9Oy , to one who quarrels with his Maker, like a pot among the pots of the earth! Shall the clay say to the potter, “What have you made?” Or does your work say, “It has no handles”? 10Oy , to him who says to his father, “What have you begotten?” Or to a woman, “What have you born?” 11Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, “Ask Me about the things to come upon My children. Then you will commit to Me the work of My hands. 12I made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and I commanded all their host. 13“I stirred Cyrus up in righteousness and I will level all his roads. He will build My city and set My exiles free, with no price or bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. 14Thus says Adonai: “Egypt’s toil, Ethiopia’s merchandise, and the tall Sabeans will come over to you and be yours. They will walk behind you in chains. They will bow down to you, and pray, saying, ‘Surely God is with you!’ There is none else— no other God!”

Mystery of Creation

15Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16All of them will be ashamed, disgraced— idol-makers go in dishonor together. 17Israel has been saved by Adonai with an everlasting salvation. You will not be put to shame or disgraced, for ever and ever. 18For thus says Adonai— He is God who fashioned the heavens, who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it desolate but formed it to be inhabited— “I am Adonai—there is no other!” 19“I have not spoken in secret, in a place of a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in desolation.’ I, Adonai, speak righteousness, declaring uprightly.”

No Other God and Savior

20“Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! Those who carry their wooden idols have no knowledge, praying to a god who cannot save. 21Declare and present your case, Indeed, let them consult together. Who foretold this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Is it not I, Adonai? There is no other God beside Me —a righteous God and a Savior— there is none besides Me! 22Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God—there is no other. 23By Myself I have sworn— the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and is irrevocable: that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. 24They will say of Me, ‘Only in Adonai is righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25In Adonai all the seed of Israel will be justified and give praise.”

–from Isaiah 45

Ask the Spirit to fill you up. Ask the Spirit to give you divine appointments today. Ask the Spirit to give you words of encouragement, words of instruction, words of direction so that you can invest into everyone God brings across your path today. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the surface. Ask the Spirit to give you ears to be sensitive to what is really going on so that you can hear it. Ask the Spirit to help you be bold and courageous to not only hear what is being said, but to be able to speak the words He gives you to speak as He did with Peter.

The Ruach Fills the Disciples

1When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out. 5Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans? 8How is it that we each hear our own birth language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome 11(both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!” 12And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?” 13Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”

Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd

14But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day! 16But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes. 21And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’ 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed. 24But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it. 25For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope, 27because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay. 32“This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses! 33Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36“Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”

Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.” 40With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” 41So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins

42They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. 43Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries. 44And all who believed were together, having everything in common. 45They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. 46Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.

–from Acts 2

Have you already received Jesus? Have you already asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned back to God? Have you already been baptized in the name of Jesus?

What’s holding you back? It’s worth the investment!

Let’s be looking for the opportunity because God’s Word doesn’t return void and to this very day there are people being saved! How will you be investing into the lives who have received Him? How will you be investing into the lives who are yet to receive Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what will you do with your life?


What choices will you make! Will you decide to do things that are good? Will you decide to do things that are wise? Will you decide to do things that will build up? Will you decide to do things that will last? Will you decide to do things that will endure? Will you decide to do things that will show your love for God? Will you decide to do things that will show your love of others? Will you decide to walk with character? Will you decide to walk uprightly? Will you decide to live in a trustworthy manner? Will you decide to forgive rather than to allow a bitter root to eat away at you from the inside out? Will you decide to consider it pure joy when you face trials and troubles of many kinds?  What will you do with your life?

Wisdom Builds Up, Folly Tears Down

1A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. 2The one who walks uprightly fears Adonai, but one devious in his ways despises Him. 3In the mouth of a fool is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 4Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean, but from the strength of the ox comes an abundant harvest. 5A trustworthy witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. 6A scoffer seeks wisdom yet finds none, but knowledge is easy to the discerning. 7Walk away from a fool— for you will find no knowledge on his lips. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to consider his way, but the folly of fools is deception. 9Fools mock guilt of sin, but among the upright is goodwill. 10The heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. 11The house of the wicked will be demolished, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14A backsliding heart partakes of its ways, and a good man is rewarded for his. 15The naïve believes every word, but the shrewd discerns his steps. 16The wise fears and turns away from evil, but the fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17One with a short temper acts foolishly, and one with crafty schemes is hated. 18The naïve inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19Evil men will bow in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Poverty and Riches

20The poor is hated even by his neighbor, but many are those who love the rich. 21Whoever despises his neighbor sins, but whoever is gracious to the needy is blessed. 22Indeed those who plot evil go astray but grace and truth come to those who plan good. 23In all hard work there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 24The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools is foolishness. 25A truthful witness saves lives, but one who utters lies is treacherous. 26In the fear of Adonai one has strong confidence. It will be a refuge for His children. 27The fear of Adonai is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death. 28A large population is a king’s glory, but lack of subjects is a prince’s ruin. 29One who is slow to anger shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one exalts folly. 30A tranquil heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. 31The one who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him. 32The wicked is brought down in his calamity yet the righteous has a refuge even in death. 33Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning, and even among fools she is known. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35The king shows favor toward a servant who acts wisely, but his wrath is on one who is disgraceful.

–from Proverbs 14

How will you answer? How will you speak? Will others be able to receive it? Will you speak in a way that others will be receptive to? Will you speak life? Will you speak hope? Will you speak truth? Will you speak love? Will you speak healing? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks…so fill your life and your heart with the right stuff and the right attitude so that you can live and speak life!

Tongue of the Wise

1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2The tongue of the wise treats knowledge correctly, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. 3The eyes of Adonai are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good. 4A healing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful one crushes the spirit. 5A fool despises his father’s discipline, but one who accepts reproof is smart. 6The house of the righteous has great wealth, but the income of the wicked brings trouble. 7The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but not so the heart of fools. 8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Adonai, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

Pursue Righteousness and Reproof

9Adonai detests the way of the wicked, but loves those who pursue righteousness. 10Stern correction awaits one who forsakes the way. One who hates reproof will die. 11Sheol and Abaddon are before Adonai— how much more the hearts of people! 12A mocker dislikes one who corrects him; he will not go to the wise.

Heart Attitude Matters

13A joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. 14A discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 15All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16Better is little with the fear of Adonai than great wealth with turmoil. 17Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened ox where there is hatred. 18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but one who is slow to anger calms a quarrel. 19The way of the slacker is a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. 20A wise child brings joy to his father, but a foolish person despises his mother. 21Folly is joy to one who lacks sense, but one with discernment walks straight. 22Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 23A person has joy in an appropriate answer— how good is a timely word. 24The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to Sheol. 25Adonai tears down a proud man’s house, but He maintains the widow’s boundary. 26Evil thoughts are an abomination to Adonai, but pleasant words are pure. 27One greedy for gain troubles his household, but whoever hates bribes will live. 28A righteous heart thinks before answering, but a wicked mouth blurts out evil things. 29Adonai is far from the wicked, but hears the prayer of the righteous. 30Bright eyes bring joy to the heart. Good news gives health to the bones. 31One whose ear heeds a life-giving reproof dwells among the wise. 32Whoever avoids correction despises himself, but whoever heeds reproof acquires understanding. 33The fear of Adonai is the discipline of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

–from Proverbs 15

Have you been born again? Have you received God’s grace and mercy by ask Jesus into your heart? It’s not too late if you are reading this, so why not make today your birthday?

Interested and not sure what to do or how to do it? Leave me a comment.

John 3 NLT

1There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

3Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,a you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.b 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.c 7So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘Youd must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

9“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Mane has come down from heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.f

16“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.g

Sample Sinners Prayer

Today’s reading closes in 1 Peter 1…

Greetings

1Peter, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua, To the sojourners of the Diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia—chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, set apart by the Ruach for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Yeshua the Messiah: May grace and shalom be multiplied to you.

A Message of Living Hope

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! In His great mercy He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead. 4An incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance has been reserved in heaven for you. 5By trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6You rejoice in this greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. 7These trials are so that the true metal of your faith (far more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire) may come to light in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. 8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. And even though you don’t see Him now, you trust Him and are filled with a joy that is glorious beyond words, 9receiving the outcome of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 10The prophets, who spoke about the grace that was to be yours, searched for this salvation and investigated carefully. 11They were trying to find out the time and circumstances the Ruach of Messiah within them was indicating, when predicting the sufferings in store for Messiah and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were providing these messages not to themselves but to you. These messages have now been announced to you through those who proclaimed the Good News to you by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, sent from heaven. Even angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.

A Call to Be Holy

13So brace your minds for action. Keep your balance. And set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. 14Like obedient children, do not be shaped by the cravings you had formerly in your ignorance. 15Instead, just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. 16For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” 17If you call on Him as Father—the One who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds—then live out the time of sojourning in reverent fear. 18You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors—not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah. 20He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through Him you are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your trust and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth, leading to sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from a pure heart. 23You have been born again—not from perishable seed but imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All humanity is like grass, And all its glory like a wildflower. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, 25But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was proclaimed as Good News to you.

–from 1 Peter 1

 

Do you believe in good and evil?


Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe in righteousness and wickedness? Do you believe in virtuous and dishonoring? Do you believe in diligence and slothfulness? Do you believe and wisdom and foolishness? Do you believe in up and down? Do you believe in North and South? Do you believe in good and evil?

If you don’t, why not? Don’t you realize the battle that is taking place all around you? The battle taking place in the seen and the unseen?

Let’s jump back into the book of wisdom – Proverbs – and see what today’s reading has in store…

The Righteous and the Wicked

1Whoever loves knowledge loves correction, but whoever hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from Adonai, but He condemns a person with evil schemes. 3No one is made secure by wickedness, but a righteous root will not be moved. 4A virtuous wife is her husband’s crown, but a dishonoring one is like rottenness in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the household of the righteous will stand. 8A man is praised according to his insight, but one with a twisted mind is despised. 9Better to have little honor and a servant than to have glory and no bread.

Caring for Animals and Land

10A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, yet even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases daydreams lacks sense. 12The wicked covets the loot of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Fruit of Mouth

13An evil one is ensnared by the sin of lips, but the righteous one escapes trouble. 14By the fruit of his mouth a man will be satisfied with good. The work of a man’s hands will reward him. 15A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but the wise listen to advice. 16A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. 17A trustworthy witness tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue for only a moment. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. 22Lying lips are detestable to Adonai, but those who act faithfully are His delight. 23A clever person conceals his knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.

Diligence or Sloth

24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will become forced labor. 25An anxious heart weighs one down, but a good word cheers him up. 26The righteous gives his friend guidance, but the way of the wicked leads astray. 27A lazy person does not roast his game, but a diligent person prizes his possessions. 28In the path of righteousness is life— it is a path to immortality.

–from Proverbs 12

Do you realize the power of words? Do you manage what comes out of your mouth? Do you control what you say? Do you realize the impact of what comes out of your mouth? Do you realize what is going on inside of you? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So take inventory and make sure you aren’t carrying around stuff you shouldn’t and that God never intended for you to! Use your words to build up others and to tear down strongholds! Your words have the power of life and death so make sure you realize what you are able to say before you left it fly past your lips!

Guard the Way of Integrity

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence.
3He who watches his mouth protects his life, but whoever opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.
5A righteous person hates lying, but the wicked acts in shameful disgrace.
6Righteousness guards one who walks in integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor person hears no threat.
9The light of the righteous shines brightly. The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10Arrogance yields nothing but strife. Wisdom belongs to those who take advice.
11Wealth gained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers by labor increases it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises instruction will pay a penalty, but whoever respects a mitzvah will be rewarded.
14Wise instruction is a fountain of life, turning one away from snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Everyone shrewd acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.

The Wise and the Foolish

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18He who spurns discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever accepts correction will be honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning away from evil.
20He who walks with wise men is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23The fallow field of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away by injustice.
24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
25The righteous eats to his heart’s content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

–from Proverbs 13

Do you sing? Do you dance? Do you party? Do you do any of that for God? Do you do any of that to God? Do you do any of that for yourself? So why not praise God with those gifts and talents!

Praise with Singing and Dancing

1Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim.
2Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King.
3Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.
4For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
5Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand—
7to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 149

Do you have treasure? Real treasure that will last? Will it last forever? Even after you leave this earth? Why not store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We are in a season! We need to be ready for each day and each season that is yet to come! So let’s be patient! Jesus is coming back! He won’t rush it because His will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would repent and turn back to God! He is coming back! Are you sharing His love and His hope with the world? How about the world around you? How about your friends and family and neighbors? Are you praying for those in need? for the sick?

Rotten Riches

1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.
3Your gold and your silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the workers who mowed your fields—which you kept back by fraud—are crying out against you. And the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts for a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person—he does not resist you.

Be Patient for His Coming

7So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.
8You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.
12But above all, my dear brothers and sisters, do not swear—either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. But let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no,” be “no”—so that you may not fall under judgment.

Praying for the Sick

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back,
20let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

–from James 5

We aren’t to only pray in the midst of an emergency, although we should! We are to pray without ceasing since we are to be in relationship with God and hence talking with Him all throughout the day! He can speak to us even before something happens and help us get or be prepared! He can even make sure we avoid stuff we are supposed to be avoiding!

Jesus gave it all! Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead and defeated death! He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide so that we are never alone! Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started this life changing process of asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready for something different? What’s it going to take?

Praying Along the Way

1Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2Then Yeshua said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, sanctified be Your Name, Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
5Then Yeshua said to them, “Which of you has a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6because a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.’
7Then from within he may answer, saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even if the friend will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’
11What father, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12And if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach ha-Kodesh to those who ask Him!”

Crowds Demand a Sign from Heaven

14Now Yeshua was driving out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute one spoke and the crowds were amazed.
15But some among them said, “By beelzebul, the ruler of demons, He drives out demons.”
16Others, testing Him, were demanding from Him a sign from heaven.
17But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a house against a house falls.
18Now if satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say by beelzebul I drive out the demons.
19But if by beelzebul I drive out demons, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
20But if by the finger of God I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21“When a strong one, fully-armed, protects his own estate, his possessions are safe.
22But as soon as someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, then he takes away the armor that he had trusted in and divides up his plunder.
23He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest. Not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house where I came from.’
25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first.”
27Then as Yeshua was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd, raising her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that carried You and the breasts that nursed You!”
28But He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
29With the crowds increasing, Yeshua began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The Queen of the South will rise up at the Judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation. And indeed, one greater than Jonah is here.
33“No one lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand so that those entering may see the light.
34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is sick, your body is full of darkness.
35Therefore, watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36If then your body is full of light, with no part of it dark, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its gleam.”

Dinner with a Pharisee

37As He spoke, a Pharisee asked Yeshua to eat with him, so He entered and sat down.
38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Yeshua did not do the ritual handwashing before the meal.
39But the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40Fools! Didn’t He who created the outside also create the inside?
41But give as tzadakah those things that are within, and indeed everything is pure to you.
42“But woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint, rue, and every garden herb, yet bypass justice and the love of God. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.
43Woe to you Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces.
44Woe to you, for you are like unmarked tombs, and people walk over them without knowing.”
45But answering, one of the Torah lawyers says to Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us too.”
46Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
47“Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your own fathers killed!
48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, for indeed they killed them and you are building their tombs.
49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they will kill and persecute,
50so that the blood of the prophets shed since the foundation of the world might be required from this generation—
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the one who perished between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.’
52“Woe to you, Torah lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter, and you stood in the way of those entering.”
53When Yeshua left there, the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to interrogate Him on many issues,
54plotting against Him to catch Him in His words.

–from Luke 11

 

Are you ready?


What if today is the day, are you ready? What if this is the hour, are you ready? What if this is the time, are you ready? Are you prepared for what is to come? Is there something you need to do to get ready? Is there something you need to do to get prepared? Have you started? What are you waiting for?

Do you want to be surprised? Do you want to miss out? Will you be prepared? Are you ready?

Are you focus on doing what you’ve been called to do? Are you more concerned about how others are being treated? Are you OK to do what you agreed to? Will you be OK with the deal you made?

Are you OK to be first? Are you OK to be last? Is it most important to just be in?

Don’t grumble! Be happy with what you have received!

Why not just be happy that everyone got in rather than who is first and who is last or who serves and who is served? We’ve been called to lead by serving! Want to be greatest then become the least and serve others! Will you have faith enough to believe? Will you have faith enough to obey? Will you have faith enough to be prepared?

Today’s reading comes from 1 Chronicles and Matthew…

1The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath and Merari.
2These are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei.
3The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.
4The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their clans.
5Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
6 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son and Jeatherai his son.
7The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
8Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son,
9Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son and Shaul his son.
10The sons of Elkanah: Amasai and Ahimoth,
11his son Elkanah, Zophai his son, Nahath his son,
12 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
13The sons of Samuel: his first-born Vashni, then Abiah.
14The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son,
15Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
16Now these are the men David appointed to be in charge of the singing in the House of Adonai, after the Ark came to rest.
17They ministered with song in front of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the House of Adonai in Jerusalem. They carried out their avodah according to their regulations.
18These are the ones who took their station, with their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer, son of Joel, son of Samuel,
19son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah,
20son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai,
21son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah,
22son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah,
23son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel.
24His kinsman Asaph stood on his right—Asaph son of Berechiah, son of Shimea,
25son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah,
26son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah,
27son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei,
28son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi.
29On the left hand their kinsmen the sons of Merari: Ethan son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch,
30son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah,
31son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer,
32son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi.
33Their fellow Levites were appointed for all the avodah of the tabernacle of the House of God.
34But Aaron and his sons were the ones presenting offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the service of the Holy of Holies and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
35Now these are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phineas his son, Abishua his son,
36Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
37Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
38Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

Towns and Lands for Levites

39Now these are their dwelling places according to their encampments in their territories. To Aaron’s sons of the Kohathite families (for theirs was the first lot),
40to them they assigned Hebron in the land of Judah, and the open land around it;
41but the fields of the city and the villages, they gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh.
42To sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, also Libnah with its open land, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its open land,
43Hilen with its open land, Debir with its open land,
44Ashan with its open land, and Beth-shemesh with its open land.
45From the tribe of Benjamin: Geba with its open land, and Alemeth with its open land, and Anathoth with its open land. They had 13 cities in all among their families.
46To the rest of the sons of Kohath ten cities were assigned by lot from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh.
47To the sons of Gershom, according to their families, 13 cities were assigned from the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from tribe of Naphtali and from the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
48To the sons of Merari 12 cities were assigned by lot, according to their families, from the tribe of Reuben, from the tribe of Gad and from the tribe of Zebulun.
49So Bnei-Yisrael gave to the Levites the cities with their open land.
50They also assigned by lot from the tribe of the children of Judah, from the tribe of the children of Simeon, and from the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities that were mentioned by name.
51Some of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory from the tribe of Ephraim.
52They assigned to them as cities of refuge: Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim with its open land, Gezer also with its open land,
53Jokmeam with its open land, Beth-horon with its open land
54Aijalon with its open land, and Gath-rimmon with its open land.
55Also from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Aner with its open land and Bileam with its open land, for the rest of the family of the sons of Kohath.
56To the sons of Gershom were assigned, from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its open land and Ashtaroth with its open land,
57and from the tribe of Issachar, Kedesh with its open land, Dobrath with its open land,
58Ramoth with its open land, and Anem with its open land,
59and from the tribe of Asher, Mashal with its open land, Abdon with its open land,
60Hukok with its open land, Rehob with its open land,
61and from the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its open land, Hammon with its open land and Kiriathaim with its open land.
62To the rest—the sons of Merari—were assigned, from the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmono with its open land, Tabor with its open land,
63and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with its open land, Jahaz with its open land,
64Kedemoth with its open land, and Mephaath with its open land
65and from the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its open land, Mahanaim with its open land,
66Heshbon with its open land, and Jazer with its open land.

–from 1 Chronicles 6

God’s got a plan! Will you be ready to answer the call? Will you be ready to complete the work? Will you be ready to finish strong? Don’t lose hope and don’t give up!

Parable of the Day Laborers

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
2Now when he had agreed with the workers for a denarius per day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace, idle.
4And to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’
5So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour and did the same.
6And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing around. And he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?’
7“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. “He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too.’
8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’
9And those who had come about the eleventh hour each received a denarius.
10And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they too received a denarius.
11“But when they received it, they began to grumble against the master of the house,
12saying, ‘These last guys did one hour, and you’ve made them equal to us, who bore the burden and scorching heat of the day!’
13“But answering, he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius?
14Take what is yours and go. But I want to give this last guy the same as you.
15Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
16“So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction: Death and Resurrection

17Now as Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside privately; and on the way he told them,
18“Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death
19and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.”

Leading by Serving

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her sons to Yeshua, and she was kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21“What do you want?” He said to her. She said to Him, “Declare that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.”
22But Yeshua replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” “We are able,” they say to Him.
23He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup. But to sit on My right and left, this isn’t Mine to grant. Rather, it’s for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24Now when the ten heard, they became indignant with the two brothers.
25But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them.
26It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant,
27and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave—
28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

29Now as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.
30And here two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
31The crowd warned them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
32Yeshua stopped and called out to them. “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said.
33They said to Him, “Master, let our eyes be opened!”
34Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched their eyes. Instantly they regained their sight and followed Him.

–from Matthew 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are you dedicated to?


Who are you dedicated to? Have you been dedicated? Who has dedicated you? dedicated

 

We see in the Bible how babies were dedicated. (Samuel, Jesus)

In today’s reading we see how the Levites were dedicated…

Dedication of the Levites

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
2“Speak to Aaron and say to him: When you erect the lamps, the seven lamps are to illuminate the area in front of the menorah.” 3Aaron did so. He erected the lamps facing forward so they illuminated the area in front of the menorah, just as Adonai had commanded Moses. 4Now this is how the menorah was made: hammered gold from its base to its blossoms. Just as was the pattern that Adonai had shown to Moses, so he made the menorah.
5Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
6“Take the Levites from among Bnei-Yisrael and ceremonially cleanse them. 7This is what you must do to them to make them clean: Sprinkle the purifying water on them, then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes, thus purifying themselves. 8“Then they are to take a young bull with its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, plus a second young bull for a sin offering. 9Bring the Levites before the Tent of Meeting, and gather the whole community of Bnei-Yisrael. 10Bring the Levites before Adonai, Bnei-Yisrael will lay their hands on the Levites, 11and Aaron will present the Levites before Adonai as a wave offering from Bnei-Yisrael. Then they may go about the work of the service of Adonai. 12“The Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls. Use one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to Adonai to make atonement for the Levites. 13Have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons and present them as a wave offering to Adonai. 14In this way you are to set apart the Levites from Bnei-Yisrael to be Mine. 15After you have purified them and presented them as a wave offering, the Levites will come to do their work at the Tent of Meeting. 16For they are the ones from among Bnei-Yisrael given to Me in place of all the first from the wombs of Bnei-Yisrael. I have taken them for Myself. 17“For every firstborn among Bnei-Yisrael is Mine, whether human or animal. On the day I struck down the firstborn of the land of Egypt, I sanctified them for Myself. 18So I am taking the Levites in place of the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, 19and I am giving the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among Bnei-Yisrael, to do the work on behalf of Bnei-Yisrael in the Tent of Meeting, and to make atonement for them—so that there would be no plague among them for coming too close to the Sanctuary.” 20So Moses, Aaron and the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael did so with the Levites. All that Adonai had commanded Moses regarding the Levites, so Bnei-Yisrael did to them. 21The Levites also purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes. Aaron presented them as a wave offering before Adonai, and, he made atonement for them to purify them. 22After that, the Levites came to do their tasks before Aaron and his sons in the Tent of Meeting, just as Adonai had commanded Moses concerning the Levites.
23Adonai again spoke to Moses saying,
24“This is for the Levites. Men 25 years old and upward are to present themselves for service to work in the Tent of Meeting. 25But at the age of 50 he is to retire from his service and work no longer. 26He may assist his brothers in the Tent of Meeting to do their duties, but he himself will no longer do the work. Thus, you are to assign to the Levites their responsibilities.”
–from Numbers 8

Have you ever seen time being dedicated to a specific purpose?

Today’s reading speaks to time being dedicated. When we dedicate ourselves to God, He is able to speak into our lives and give us wisdom and direction. He is able to set us up for His purposes!

Second Month Passover

1Adonai spoke to Moses in the Sinai wilderness in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt saying,
2“Bnei-Yisrael is to observe Passover at its appointed time. 3You are to celebrate it at its appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, with all its rules and regulations.” 4So Moses told Bnei-Yisrael to observe Passover. 5They celebrated Passover at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month in the Sinai wilderness. In accordance with all that Adonai commanded Moses, so Bnei-Yisrael did. 6However, there were some men who could not celebrate Passover because of being defiled by a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron on that same day, 7and these men said to him, “We have become unclean because of a dead man’s body. Why should we be kept from presenting the offering of Adonai at the appointed time with the rest of Bnei-Yisrael?” 8Moses answered them, “Wait, and I will inquire what Adonai commands concerning you.”
9Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
10“Say to Bnei-Yisrael saying: If any man, whether you or your descendants, becomes unclean because of a dead body, or is away on a long journey, he may yet observe Adonai’s Passover. 11They are to celebrate it at twilight on the fourteenth day of the second month. With matzot and bitter herbs they are to eat it. 12They are not to leave any of it until morning, or break any bones. When they celebrate Passover they are to observe all its regulations. 13“But the person who is clean and not away on a journey, yet neglects to celebrate Passover, that soul shall be cut off from his people because that person did not present Adonai’s offering at the appointed time. That man will bear his sin. 14“If an outsider living among you would celebrate Passover to Adonai according to the requirement, so he should do. There will be for you the same regulation for the outsider and the native of the land.’”

The Cloud as the Guide

15On the day the Tabernacle was erected, the cloud covered the Tabernacle. By evening until morning, the cloud above the Tent of Testimony had an appearance like fire. 16It was that way continually. The cloud covered it, and by night it appeared like fire. 17Whenever the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, then Bnei-Yisrael would set out, and at the place where the cloud settled, there Bnei-Yisrael would encamp. 18At the mouth of Adonai, Bnei-Yisrael would set out, and at the mouth of Adonai they would encamp. All the days that the cloud remained over the Tabernacle, they would remain in camp. 19When the cloud would remain over the Tabernacle many days, Bnei-Yisrael would obey the command of Adonai and not set out. 20At times the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle only a few days. At Adonai’s word they would encamp, and at Adonai’s word they would set out. 21At times the cloud remained only from evening until morning. When the cloud would lift, they would set out. Whether by day or by night, when the cloud lifted, they would set out. 22Whether for two days or a month or a year, while the cloud remained over the Tabernacle, Bnei-Yisrael remained camped and would not set out. But when it would lift, they would set out. 23At Adonai’s word they would encamp, and at the mouth of Adonai they set out. They obeyed Adonai’s order by Moses’s hand.
–from Numbers 9

Will you look for a sign? Will you listen for a sign? Will you be obedient? Will you stay? Will you go? Will you live out your life dedicated to God?

Silver Trumpets for Assembly

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
2“Make two trumpets of hammered silver for yourself. They are for summoning the community and having the camps set out. 3Whenever both are sounded, the whole community is to gather toward you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 4But if only one is sounded, the princes—the heads of the tribes of Israel—are to gather toward you. 5When you sound the trumpet the first time, the camp of those camped on the east is to set out. 6When you sound the trumpet blast the second time, the camp of those camped on the south is to set out. Short blasts will be the signal for their moving out. 7To gather the whole national community, you are to sound the sustained blasts, but not the short blasts. 8The sons of Aaron, the kohanim will blow the trumpets. This is to be an eternal ordinance for you as well as for your generations to come. 9Whenever you go to war in your own land against the enemy who is hostile to you, you are to sound short blasts of alarm. Then you will be remembered before Adonai your God and be delivered from your enemies. 10Also at your days of rejoicing, feasts and new moons, you are to blow on the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. They will then be a reminder for you before Adonai your God. I am Adonai your God!”

Journey From Sinai

11On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted up from above the Tabernacle of the Testimony.
12Then Bnei-Yisrael set out on their travels in the Sinai wilderness. The cloud came to rest in the wilderness of Paran.
13So they set out the first time by the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand.
14The standard of the camp of the sons of Judah set out first by their divisions. Over them was Nahshon son of Amminadab.
15Over the division of the tribe of the sons of Issachar was Nethanel son of Zuar.
16Over the division of the tribe of the sons of Zebulun was Eliab son of Helon.
17Then the Tabernacle was disassembled, and the sons of Gershon and Merari, who were carrying it, set out.
18The standard of the camp of Reuben then set out, by their divisions. Over his division was Elizur son of Shedeur.
19Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, was over the division of the tribe of the sons of Simeon.
20Over the division of the tribe of the sons of Gad was Eliasaph son of Deuel.
21Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy items. The Tabernacle was to be erected before their arrival.
22The standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim set out next, by their divisions. Over his division was Elishama son of Ammihud.
23Over the division of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh was Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.
24Over the division of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin was Abidan son of Gideoni.
25The standard of the camp of the tribe of the sons of Dan, being the rear guard of all the camps, set out by their divisions. Over his division was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.
26Pagiel son of Ochran, was over the division of the tribe of the sons of Asher.
27Ahira son of Enan, was over the division of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali.
28This is the order by which Bnei-Yisrael, by their divisions, set out.
29Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out to the place about which Adonai said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will do good to you, because Adonai has spoken goodness to Israel.”
30But he said to him, “I will not go, because I would rather go to my own country and to my own people.”
31But he said, “Do not leave us now, because you know where we should camp in the wilderness. You can be like eyes to us.
32If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good Adonai gives to us.”
33So they advanced from the mountain of Adonai, a trip of three days, the Ark of the covenant of Adonai going ahead of them for those three days to seek out a resting place for them.
34The cloud of Adonai was over them by day when they advanced from the camp.
35Whenever the Ark would set out, Moses would say: “Arise, Adonai! May Your enemies be scattered! May those who hate You flee from before You!”
36Then whenever it came to rest, he would say: “Return, Adonai, to the myriad thousands of Israel!”
–from Numbers 10

Let’s be showing our dedication by working together! So let’s build upon a solid foundation! Let’s not build on shifting sands, but rather let’s build upon the rock of Jesus Christ! Let’s not build in alignment to our thoughts and ideas, but rather let’s build based on the cornerstone of our lives Jesus Christ to keep things aligned. We each have our piece! We each have our part! We each have our role! We each have our responsibility! And when we do our part then we are setting up the situation for God to show up and do His part! We need to consider if we are aligning to God’s will in what and how we are living and doing things! We need to reflect on where we are at and how we got here and how God has and will move in and through our lives! Let’s be using good material to build with! Let’s build something that will last! Let’s plant into the lives of others! Let’s plant into something that will last forever! Let’s live to make a difference! Let’s work together towards a common purpose and upon the solid foundation of Jesus!

Building Together on God’s Foundation

1And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as Spirit-filled but as worldly—as infants in Messiah. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. Indeed, even now you are not yet ready, 3for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, aren’t you worldly and walking in a human way? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere humans? 5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to trust—and to each as the Lord gave. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. 8Now he who plants and he who waters work as one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each consider carefully how he builds on it. 11For no one can lay any other foundation than what is already laid—which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear. For the Day will show it, because it is to be revealed by fire; and the fire itself will test each one’s work—what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss—he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool so he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. For it is written, “He catches the clever in their craftiness.” 20And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are useless.” 21So let no one boast about men. For all things are yours— 22whether Paul or Apollos or Kefa, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come. All are yours, 23and you are Messiah’s, and Messiah is God’s.
–from 1 Corinthians 3

 

 

Are you building on something that will last?


Are you focused on the here and now? Are you focused on immediate gratification? Are you focused on now and missing what it will mean for your future? Are you willing to cut off your nose to spite your face? (that’s an interesting quote I remember that seemed to fit in with the thoughts and questions) Are you so focused on you that you would hurt, annoy, or offend others? Are you so focused on your results that you would deliberately hurt, annoy, or offend someone? Are you so focused on you that you would act out of revenge and not even realize it will hurt you too? Are you so focused on your results now that you would doing that that will actually impact your life in the future?

Don’t act out of spite! Act out of love, grace, and forgiveness instead! Allowing spite, anger, bitterness, or revenge to control you is like taking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person. Don’t act out in ways that are detrimental to you and to others!

Consider all that God has done! He is LOVE! He gives grace! He sent Jesus to bridge the gap that no other man could bridge in order to reconcile us to God and provide the gate of forgive with God!

Do you want a limited or a lifetime warranty?

Today’s devotional is a new one. It’s day 1 of 7 and is Forward.

Today’s reading associated with day 1 says this…

8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

–from Isaiah 40

Let’s keep our focus on the permanent, the everlasting, the eternal!

Let’s make decisions that will mean something in the future!

Let’s put our hope and trust in something that will stand forever!

Let’s turn to God!

Let’s turn to God’s Word!

Let’s be building our lives on a truth that will last forever!

No matter what you are facing, turn back to God! Not sure what to do? Turn to His Word (The Bible)


Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 1 of 7)

“Forward Leaders”

My book, Forward, focuses on seven distinguishing marks for leaders. In Forward, I call for a different kind of leader to rise up—a leader that guides people to a better future. These leaders—Forward leaders—are able to lead people to go further than they would have ever gone on their own.

Forward leaders call people to rise beyond their own preferences and desires to be a part of something greater than themselves. In a day when people want to define their own truth, I challenge you to anchor your life in forward truth, but what is forward truth? It is a leadership style and lifestyle that are fastened to God’s truth. Read and meditate on these powerful words in Isaiah 40:8: “The grass wither, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.”

Additionally, Forward leaders are only distinguished from others when they are led by the Holy Spirit. Even though brilliance, discipline, and charisma are friends to a leader, it is only the presence of God that ultimately sets you apart.

The time is now for future leaders to desire Forward leadership. It is time to anchor our lives in forward truth, which is the only truth that existed in the past, the only truth that will exist in the future, even throughout eternity. Then we do this, we will not drift in our lives and leadership.

If you plan to lead in the future in any capacity, I am ready to walk with you and pray with you this week. Today, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to fall upon us and guide us this week as we contemplate how to best build our leadership skills.

“Lord, fill me and empower me today and throughout this week with the Holy Spirit. Lord, compel me to live and for your glory.”

–from Forward – Day 1 of 7

Would you be upset if you got what you asked for rather than what you could have had?


How many times have you thought you wanted something and then came to discover it wasn’t? How many times have you asked for something to find out it wasn’t what you expected? How many times have you gotten upset because you got what  you asked for but then discovered how much you could have received had you just taken what you would have been offered? Imagine if we had just been obedient to God’s will rather than obsessing over our choices? Ever heard the saying “Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it”? God’s Word tells us that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness everything else will be taken care of, so what will we decide to do? Chase after God? or Be someone who keeps asking can I have …, can I have …, give me… give me that…, etc?

We’ve all been given free will, so we all get to choose for ourselves. Choose wisely!


What is the impact of order? What is the impact of being chosen first or last? What is the impact of being rewarded first or last? What will your response and reaction be? How do you respond to generosity? Isn’t a deal a deal? Imagine being a part of this story…

The Workers in the Vineyard

1“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard. 3He went out again to the marketplace at nine o’clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing, 4so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’ 5So they went. Then at twelve o’clock and again at three o’clock he did the same thing. 6It was nearly five o’clock when he went to the marketplace and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them. 7‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them. 8“When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’ 9The men who had begun to work at five o’clock were paid a silver coin each. 10So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each. 11They took their money and started grumbling against the employer. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day’s work in the hot sun—yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’ 13‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day’s work for one silver coin. 14Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’” 16And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”

— from Matthew 20 (GNT) —

Ever been in a situation where you hear the question, “Who wants to go first?”? Did you jump to get to be first or were you willing to let others go before you? Where was your heart at in the moment?  Did you go first and then feel like you should have waited? Did you go last and then wish you had of gone first? It’s a matter of the heart! Where will you be?