What will you do if it stops?


Would you ask why? Would you looking what happened? Would you wait a bit to see if it starts up again? Would you be concerned? Would you look things up for yourself? Would you seek truth? Would you seek hope? Would you seek love?

Jesus is the way the truth and the life! Jesus’s love never stop! God so loves the world that He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price in order to make a way for us to be reconciled unto Him. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

Have you started your journey with Jesus? Have you invited Him into your life and started to follow after Him and His ways? Have you started to live out your life first loving God and second loving people? What motivates you? What will it take to make you keep going? What will it take to notice when the posts stop? How long would it take for you to notice the posts stop? Will you pursue it on your own? Will you get your own Bible? Will you get one for your phone like YouVersion Bible? Will you get one you can read on the web like bible.com? Will you allow it to speak to you? Will you allow the alive word of God available through the Bible to speak into your life? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide? Will you allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?

What will you do if it stops?

Is there a legacy of others who will pick up the torch and carry it forward? Is there a legacy of others who will remember and continue? Is there a legacy of others who won’t give up but press in and press on? Are you one of them? Be an overcomer! Be more than a conqueror!

Post a comment, link back, let me know…


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets started with Ezra 4:

‘The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the Lord , the God of Israel. So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, “You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the Lord , the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us.” Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne. Years later when Xerxes began his reign, the enemies of Judah wrote a letter of accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Even later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, the enemies of Judah, led by Bishlam, Mithredath, and Tabeel, sent a letter to Artaxerxes in the Aramaic language, and it was translated for the king. Rehum the governor and Shimshai the court secretary wrote the letter, telling King Artaxerxes about the situation in Jerusalem. They greeted the king for all their colleagues—the judges and local leaders, the people of Tarpel, the Persians, the Babylonians, and the people of Erech and Susa (that is, Elam). They also sent greetings from the rest of the people whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal had deported and relocated in Samaria and throughout the neighboring lands of the province west of the Euphrates River. This is a copy of their letter: “To King Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River. “The king should know that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation and will soon finish its walls. And the king should know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you. “Since we are your loyal subjects and do not want to see the king dishonored in this way, we have sent the king this information. We suggest that a search be made in your ancestors’ records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long and troublesome history of revolt against the kings and countries who controlled it. We declare to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you.” Then King Artaxerxes sent this reply: “To Rehum the governor, Shimshai the court secretary, and their colleagues living in Samaria and throughout the province west of the Euphrates River. Greetings. “The letter you sent has been translated and read to me. I ordered a search of the records and have found that Jerusalem has indeed been a hotbed of insurrection against many kings. In fact, rebellion and revolt are normal there! Powerful kings have ruled over Jerusalem and the entire province west of the Euphrates River, receiving tribute, customs, and tolls. Therefore, issue orders to have these men stop their work. That city must not be rebuilt except at my express command. Be diligent, and don’t neglect this matter, for we must not permit the situation to harm the king’s interests.” When this letter from King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum, Shimshai, and their colleagues, they hurried to Jerusalem. Then, with a show of strength, they forced the Jews to stop building. So the work on the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stopped, and it remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.’

Ezra 4:1-24

Our reading then brings us two chapters from Ezekiel starting with 34:

‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord : What sorrow awaits you shepherds who feed yourselves instead of your flocks. Shouldn’t shepherds feed their sheep? You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve. You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal. They have wandered through all the mountains and all the hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them. “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord : As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord . This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey. “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord . I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice! “And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats. Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled? “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. For you fat sheep pushed and butted and crowded my sick and hungry flock until you scattered them to distant lands. So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused. I will judge between one animal of the flock and another. And I will set over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. And I, the Lord , will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the Lord , have spoken! “I will make a covenant of peace with my people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land. Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear. I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing. The orchards and fields of my people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord . They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them. “And I will make their land famous for its crops, so my people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations. In this way, they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them. And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are my people, says the Sovereign Lord . You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!”’

Ezekiel 34:1-31

and continues into Ezekiel 35:

‘Again a message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face Mount Seir, and prophesy against its people. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord : “I am your enemy, O Mount Seir, and I will raise my fist against you to destroy you completely. I will demolish your cities and make you desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “Your eternal hatred for the people of Israel led you to butcher them when they were helpless, when I had already punished them for all their sins. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come! I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your ravines will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “For you said, ‘The lands of Israel and Judah will be ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care that the Lord is there!’ Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I will pay back your angry deeds with my own. I will punish you for all your acts of anger, envy, and hatred. And I will make myself known to Israel by what I do to you. Then you will know that I, the Lord , have heard every contemptuous word you spoke against the mountains of Israel. For you said, ‘They are desolate; they have been given to us as food to eat!’ In saying that, you boasted proudly against me, and I have heard it all! “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The whole world will rejoice when I make you desolate. You rejoiced at the desolation of Israel’s territory. Now I will rejoice at yours! You will be wiped out, you people of Mount Seir and all who live in Edom! Then you will know that I am the Lord .’

Ezekiel 35:1-15

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Acts 21:

‘After saying farewell to the Ephesian elders, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes and then went to Patara. There we boarded a ship sailing for Phoenicia. We sighted the island of Cyprus, passed it on our left, and landed at the harbor of Tyre, in Syria, where the ship was to unload its cargo. We went ashore, found the local believers, and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children, left the city and came down to the shore with us. There we knelt, prayed, and said our farewells. Then we went aboard, and they returned home. The next stop after leaving Tyre was Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed for one day. The next day we went on to Caesarea and stayed at the home of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven men who had been chosen to distribute food. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy. Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.” When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” After this we packed our things and left for Jerusalem. Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers. ‘

Acts of the Apostles 21:1-16

and continues into Revelation 13:

‘Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority. I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?” Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword.’

Revelation 13:1-10

Today’s reading closes with Psalms 129:

‘From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this: From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. But the Lord is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly. May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat. May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown, ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder. And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The Lord bless you; we bless you in the Lord ’s name.”’

Psalms 129:1-8

So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpases all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejocie with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

What advice do you pass on to the next generation?


Do you realize the value you have to share? Do you realize the learnings you can pass along? Do you realize that people don’t have to learn through their own pain and suffering but could avoid it if you share your story? Do you realize that people need hope and that by sharing your story they can realize even though in this world we will have troubles we can take heart and have hope? Do you realize that people need encouragement and that by sharing your story and the wisdom from your experiences that they can learn to find joy when facing trials of many kinds because the testing of our faith produces endurance and so we need to let endurance have its perfect result, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. So with the experiences and wisdom you have gained over your years, what will you pass on to the next generation?

Will you pass on financial planning wisdom? Will you pass on educational wisdom? Will you pass on the hope that is within you comes from your relationship with Jesus? Will you pass on that the confidence that you have comes through walking out each day with the Holy Spirit? Will you pass on the wisdom of reading God’s Word daily and building up your relationship with God? Will you pass on things that are temporary or things that will last forever? Will you pass on something that will be able to be passed on? Will you pass on something won’t last? What will you pass on to the next generation? Will you be generous? Will you leave a legacy?


‘As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: “I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. If you do this, then the Lord will keep the promise he made to me. He told me, ‘If your descendants live as they should and follow me faithfully with all their heart and soul, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ “And there is something else. You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me when he murdered my two army commanders, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He pretended that it was an act of war, but it was done in a time of peace, staining his belt and sandals with innocent blood. Do with him what you think best, but don’t let him grow old and go to his grave in peace. “Be kind to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead. Make them permanent guests at your table, for they took care of me when I fled from your brother Absalom. “And remember Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me with a terrible curse as I was fleeing to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, I swore by the Lord that I would not kill him. But that oath does not make him innocent. You are a wise man, and you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him. ” Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. David had reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. Solomon became king and sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established. One day Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, came to see Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. “Have you come with peaceful intentions?” she asked him. “Yes,” he said, “I come in peace. In fact, I have a favor to ask of you.” “What is it?” she asked. He replied, “As you know, the kingdom was rightfully mine; all Israel wanted me to be the next king. But the tables were turned, and the kingdom went to my brother instead; for that is the way the Lord wanted it. So now I have just one favor to ask of you. Please don’t turn me down.” “What is it?” she asked. He replied, “Speak to King Solomon on my behalf, for I know he will do anything you request. Ask him to let me marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem.” “All right,” Bathsheba replied. “I will speak to the king for you.” So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak on Adonijah’s behalf. The king rose from his throne to meet her, and he bowed down before her. When he sat down on his throne again, the king ordered that a throne be brought for his mother, and she sat at his right hand. “I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “I hope you won’t turn me down.” “What is it, my mother?” he asked. “You know I won’t refuse you.” “Then let your brother Adonijah marry Abishag, the girl from Shunem,” she replied. “How can you possibly ask me to give Abishag to Adonijah?” King Solomon demanded. “You might as well ask me to give him the kingdom! You know that he is my older brother, and that he has Abiathar the priest and Joab son of Zeruiah on his side.” Then King Solomon made a vow before the Lord : “May God strike me and even kill me if Adonijah has not sealed his fate with this request. The Lord has confirmed me and placed me on the throne of my father, David; he has established my dynasty as he promised. So as surely as the Lord lives, Adonijah will die this very day!” So King Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him, and Adonijah was put to death. Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your home in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not kill you now, because you carried the Ark of the Sovereign Lord for David my father and you shared all his hardships.” So Solomon deposed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord , thereby fulfilling the prophecy the Lord had given at Shiloh concerning the descendants of Eli. Joab had not joined Absalom’s earlier rebellion, but he had joined Adonijah’s rebellion. So when Joab heard about Adonijah’s death, he ran to the sacred tent of the Lord and grabbed on to the horns of the altar. When this was reported to King Solomon, he sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him. Benaiah went to the sacred tent of the Lord and said to Joab, “The king orders you to come out!” But Joab answered, “No, I will die here.” So Benaiah returned to the king and told him what Joab had said. “Do as he said,” the king replied. “Kill him there beside the altar and bury him. This will remove the guilt of Joab’s senseless murders from me and from my father’s family. The Lord will repay him for the murders of two men who were more righteous and better than he. For my father knew nothing about the deaths of Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and of Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. May their blood be on Joab and his descendants forever, and may the Lord grant peace forever to David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne.” So Benaiah son of Jehoiada returned to the sacred tent and killed Joab, and he was buried at his home in the wilderness. Then the king appointed Benaiah to command the army in place of Joab, and he installed Zadok the priest to take the place of Abiathar. The king then sent for Shimei and told him, “Build a house here in Jerusalem and live there. But don’t step outside the city to go anywhere else. On the day you so much as cross the Kidron Valley, you will surely die; and your blood will be on your own head.” Shimei replied, “Your sentence is fair; I will do whatever my lord the king commands.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. But three years later two of Shimei’s slaves ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. When Shimei learned where they were, he saddled his donkey and went to Gath to search for them. When he found them, he brought them back to Jerusalem. Solomon heard that Shimei had left Jerusalem and had gone to Gath and returned. So the king sent for Shimei and demanded, “Didn’t I make you swear by the Lord and warn you not to go anywhere else or you would surely die? And you replied, ‘The sentence is fair; I will do as you say.’ Then why haven’t you kept your oath to the Lord and obeyed my command?” The king also said to Shimei, “You certainly remember all the wicked things you did to my father, David. May the Lord now bring that evil on your own head. But may I, King Solomon, receive the Lord ’s blessings, and may one of David’s descendants always sit on this throne in the presence of the Lord .” Then, at the king’s command, Benaiah son of Jehoiada took Shimei outside and killed him. So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon’s grip.’

1 Kings 2

‘I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord ’s anger. He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light. He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead. He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains. And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers. He has blocked my way with a high stone wall; he has made my road crooked. He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me. He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated. He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He shot his arrows deep into my heart. My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs. He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink. He has made me chew on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord . And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord ’s demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies. For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. If people crush underfoot all the prisoners of the land, if they deprive others of their rights in defiance of the Most High, if they twist justice in the courts— doesn’t the Lord see all these things? Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good? Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord . Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, “We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us. “You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down, and slaughtered us without mercy. You have hidden yourself in a cloud so our prayers cannot reach you. You have discarded us as refuse and garbage among the nations. “All our enemies have spoken out against us. We are filled with fear, for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.” Tears stream from my eyes because of the destruction of my people! My tears flow endlessly; they will not stop until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. My heart is breaking over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem. My enemies, whom I have never harmed, hunted me down like a bird. They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!” But I called on your name, Lord , from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!” Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.” Lord, you have come to my defense; you have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord . Be my judge, and prove me right. You have seen the vengeful plots my enemies have laid against me. Lord , you have heard the vile names they call me. You know all about the plans they have made. My enemies whisper and mutter as they plot against me all day long. Look at them! Whether they sit or stand, I am the object of their mocking songs. Pay them back, Lord , for all the evil they have done. Give them hard and stubborn hearts, and then let your curse fall on them! Chase them down in your anger, destroying them beneath the Lord ’s heavens.’

Lamentations 3

‘On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other. But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”’

Acts 2:1-13

‘This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’

2 Peter 1:1-15

‘On the holy mountain stands the city founded by the Lord . He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel. O city of God, what glorious things are said of you! Interlude I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me— also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem! Regarding Jerusalem it will be said, “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.” And the Most High will personally bless this city. When the Lord registers the nations, he will say, “They have all become citizens of Jerusalem.” Interlude The people will play flutes and sing, “The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!”’

Psalms 87

What will be your legacy? What will be your message?


With all God has done in and through you, what legacy will you be leaving behind? How many lives have been impact and will be impacted because of the way you chose to follow God and live your life? How have you provided for this generation? How are you giving to the next? How will you pass it along? What will your message be? How will you deliver it? Who will you give it to? Will you give it in a way that can be shared? Will you give it in a way that can be passed along? Will you give it in a way that can go on into the future? How will you choose to gift it?

Take hold of God’s plan which is to give us a hope and a future. Take hold of God’s plan which required giving His one and only Son Jesus so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Take hold of God’s love letter found in the Bible that speaks to us God’s wisdom and God’s Word in a way that is able to be passed along and is able to continue generation after generation. Take hold of God’s example as a servant leader. Take hold of God’s example of stewardship. Take hold of God’s promises for they are true. Finish strong! Be careful to complete the works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish.


Today’s reading from God’s Word:


So let us pray with an alert mind and a thankful heart! Be careful to love God to the end of your life! Trust God in and through it all! Do not worry! Do not fear! Be bold and courageous! Just Believe! Receive His forgiveness! Accept His grace! Live shining light and being salt! Live your life in the peace that surpasses all understanding and comes from God! The power of salvation comes thru forgiveness. The power to break strongholds and bitter and anger is thru forgiveness. So forgive first! Let’s make the most out of every situation!


‘Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.’

Colossians 4:6

Imagine the struggle of having one and then getting two. Imagine the struggle of the two.


Ever been in a situation where you wanted something so bad but it wasn’t materializing? Ever gotten to the point of giving up but instead gave it up to God? Ever had the case of a double blessing? Imagine how that would have played out in today’s reading as we start in Genesis 25.

‘Abraham married another wife, whose name was Keturah. She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s descendants were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These were all descendants of Abraham through Keturah. Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac. But before he died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to a land in the east, away from Isaac. Abraham lived for 175 years, and he died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. This was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites and where he had buried his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev.

This is the account of the family of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant. Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmael’s descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes named after them, listed according to the places they settled and camped. Ishmael lived for 137 years. Then he breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. Ishmael’s descendants occupied the region from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur. There they lived in open hostility toward all their relatives.

This is the account of the family of Isaac, the son of Abraham. When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the Lord about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked. And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born.

As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.’

Genesis 25

Do you realize what you were given? Have you taken it for granted? Are you willing to give it up for some physical benefit? What is more important the temporary or the eternal? What is more important the physical or the spiritual? Would you go against the instructions God has given to comfort you? Would you rather try to satisfy your own data driven attitude than the promises of God? Let’s see what happens in 1 Chronicles 21.

‘Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?” But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab traveled throughout all Israel to count the people. Then he returned to Jerusalem and reported the number of people to David. There were 1,100,000 warriors in all Israel who could handle a sword, and 470,000 in Judah. But Joab did not include the tribes of Levi and Benjamin in the census because he was so distressed at what the king had made him do.

God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.” Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’” So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.” “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord , for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth with his sword drawn, reaching out over Jerusalem. So David and the leaders of Israel put on burlap to show their deep distress and fell face down on the ground. And David said to God, “I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.”

Then the angel of the Lord told Gad to instruct David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. So David went up to do what the Lord had commanded him through Gad. Araunah, who was busy threshing wheat at the time, turned and saw the angel there. His four sons, who were with him, ran away and hid. When Araunah saw David approaching, he left his threshing floor and bowed before David with his face to the ground. David said to Araunah, “Let me buy this threshing floor from you at its full price. Then I will build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.” “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, and the threshing boards for wood to build a fire on the altar, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give it all to you.” But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord . I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” So David gave Araunah 600 pieces of gold in payment for the threshing floor. David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And when David prayed, the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn up the offering on the altar. Then the Lord spoke to the angel, who put the sword back into its sheath. When David saw that the Lord had answered his prayer, he offered sacrifices there at Araunah’s threshing floor. At that time the Tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of burnt offering that Moses had made in the wilderness were located at the place of worship in Gibeon. But David was not able to go there to inquire of God, because he was terrified by the drawn sword of the angel of the Lord .’

1 Chronicles 21

What would you do to make it right? Would you be willing to receive something or would you have to give something? Would you choose to put your punishment in the hands of God or man? How does that compare to what David did? Are you willing to prepare things that you won’t get to finish? Are you willing to give to something you will never witness? Are you willing to be generous because of your love and trust in God? Will you provide wisdom and guidance to your next generation? Let’s continue in today’s reading into 1 Chronicles 22.

‘Then David said, “This will be the location for the Temple of the Lord God and the place of the altar for Israel’s burnt offerings!”

So David gave orders to call together the foreigners living in Israel, and he assigned them the task of preparing finished stone for building the Temple of God. David provided large amounts of iron for the nails that would be needed for the doors in the gates and for the clamps, and he gave more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided innumerable cedar logs, for the men of Tyre and Sidon had brought vast amounts of cedar to David. David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death. Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord , the God of Israel. “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel. For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart! “I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord —nearly 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver, and so much iron and bronze that it cannot be weighed. I have also gathered timber and stone for the walls, though you may need to add more. You have a large number of skilled stonemasons and carpenters and craftsmen of every kind. You have expert goldsmiths and silversmiths and workers of bronze and iron. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you!” Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to assist Solomon in this project. “The Lord your God is with you,” he declared. “He has given you peace with the surrounding nations. He has handed them over to me, and they are now subject to the Lord and his people. Now seek the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. Build the sanctuary of the Lord God so that you can bring the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the Lord ’s name.”’

1 Chronicles 22

God tells us many times throughout His Word to be bold and courageous, so lets’ live out our faith boldly in the world in which God has sent us. Will you turn back to God? Will you seek the Lord with all your heart and soul?


Today’s reading continues into the New Testament. As we jump into it let’s ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us and instruct in how it will apply to our lives today. Let’s allow Him to lead us and guide us, strengthen us and grant us that peace that surpasses all understanding. Let’s start in John 7.

‘After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.

But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders. Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. ‘

John 7:1-14

What will your response be to mocking or disbelief? Will you do what you are supposed to do? Will you be led by the Spirit to respond in according to His will and plan? Let’s continue in Galatians 3.

‘Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.’

Galatians 3:1-14

So let’s put our faith and trust in God. Let’s take hold of the reason we have been made right through Jesus’ sacrifice. Let’s put all our trust in what Jesus has already done. So let’s take hold of Jesus’s instruction of loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s not be held back by the lies of the devil but instead believe the promise and direction of the Holy Spirit in order to live out our today. Victory is ours, not because of anything we have done but because of all that Jesus has already done. We have been rescued through Jesus. It is by grace through faith that we have been saved. So let’s not allow lies of the devil, influences of our culture to take us or draw us away from all that God has planned and purposed for our lives. Let’s live out our today with the joy of the Lord being our strength. Let’s share the grace, the hope, the love of Jesus with the people around us. We may be the only church they will ever encounter. The church isn’t a building, it is us, the body of believers. So let’s be Jesus with skin on into the environment we go into today. Let’s shine the love, the joy, the hope, the faith we have as a bright light into the world around us. Don’t hide it but rather life up high so it can’t be hidden like a city on a hill.

As we close today’s let us come together and meditate on today’s Psalm from Psalms 17.

‘O Lord , hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips. Declare me innocent, for you see those who do right. You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me. They are without pity. Listen to their boasting! They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground. They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart— like young lions hiding in ambush. Arise, O Lord ! Stand against them, and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword! By the power of your hand, O Lord , destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants. Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.’

Psalms 17

JOHN MILTON, SECOND DEFENCE…(The Bible’s Impact on Literature [August 6])


What is being said of you? What are people hearing about you? If or when they come to find out for themselves, what will they find? What will they learn? Will they satisfied? Will they hear about how God is working in and through you? Will you be able to stay close to God and walk out His plans till the end? Who do you say you are? Who does God say you are?

Let’s stop for a moment to listen to a song before jumping into today’s reading…

Today’s reading comes from 2 Chronicles 9

The Queen of Sheba

1Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions, having a very great retinue and camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. 2And Solomon answered all her questions. There was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. 3And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 4the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, and their clothing, his cupbearers, and their clothing, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her.
5And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, 6but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, half the greatness of your wisdom was not told me; you surpass the report that I heard. 7Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 9Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices, and precious stones. There were no spices such as those that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
10Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. 11And the king made from the algum wood supports for the house of the Lord and for the king’s house, lyres also and harps for the singers. There never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah.
12And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.

Solomon’s Wealth

13Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 14besides that which the explorers and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the land brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels of beaten gold went into each shield. 16And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; 300 shekels of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 17The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. 18The throne had six steps and a footstool of gold, which were attached to the throne, and on each side of the seat were armrests and two lions standing beside the armrests, 19while twelve lions stood there, one on each end of a step on the six steps. Nothing like it was ever made for any kingdom. 20All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon. 21For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.
22Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 23And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 24Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and of gold, garments, myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year. 25And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26And he ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. 27And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 28And horses were imported for Solomon from Egypt and from all lands.

Solomon’s Death

29Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from first to last, are they not written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 31And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

–from 2 Chronicles 9

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on literature brings us the topic of John Milton, Second Defense. We learn in today’s devotional about the English civil war and the end of a time with a monarchy  when King Charles I was executed and Oliver Cromwell ruled as leader of the republic. We also learn about how John Milton was one of the most famous defenders of this commonwealth. We learn about Milton’s writings counter to the pro-monarchy writings by french scholar Claudius Salmasius like Paradise Lost and Defensio Secunda. We learn how in Defensio Secunda he writes about the queen of Sheba when she went to visit Solomon – from our reading today in 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 – and compares the queen of Sheba to the queen of Sweden who was a supporter of Salmasius.

Henceforth, the queen of the south will not be alone renowned in history, for there is a queen of the north, who would not only be worthy to appear in the court of the wise king of the Jews, or any king of equal wisdom; but to whose court others may from all parts repair, to behold so fair a heroine, so bright a pattern of all the royal virtues; and to the crown of whose praise this may well be added, that neither in her conduct nor her appearance, is there any of the forbidding reserve, or the ostentatious parade of royalty.

–from Second Defense – John Milton

So how do you want to be remembered? How do you want to be spoken of while you are still here? Who will you be? Will you live as who you say you are? Will you live as who others say you are? Will you live as who God says you are?

Let’s pray…

Prayer of Salvation Example

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that is in it. I praise You Lord for who You are and who You say I am. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void but always speaks truth and life and helps lead and guide me all the days of my life. Help me today Lord to complete the good works You have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. Help me Lord to go beyond what is seen to complete the tasks You have set for me to accomplish. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to obey all that You will lead me and guide me to do today in Jesus’s name I pray. I ask all this so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Pride comes before the fall!


How beautiful do you think you are? How rich do you think you are? How big do you think you are? How powerful do you think you are? How much better do you think you are than others?

Don’t allow it to build pride! Don’t allow it to make your head grow so big it won’t fit thru the door! Stay humble! Be a humble servant! Serve others in humility! Be a good and faithful steward of all that God has given you!

Pride comes before the fall! Be humble so you won’t need to be humbled or humiliated! How do you want people to think of you? How do you want God to think of you? How will you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy of hope and of love? Do you want to leave a legacy of pain and despair?

Beware the risk of not aligning with God! Beware allowing pride and selfishness to be your guides! Beware allowing pride to make you forget the true source and the right way!

Why not live out your life with truth, humility, and justice?

Why not live out your life loving righteousness and hating wickedness?

Why not allow the joy of the Lord be your strength?

Why not seek wisdom from God?

Why not fill your mind daily with God’s Word so that you live a life that is different from others? Why not think God’s way? Why not do it God’s way?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on something we hear from Paul in Philippians 4:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.

We see how Paul tells us how to live and how to think. Imagine if the only things we put into our minds were:  whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy! Imagine if we lived in alignment with what we have learned and received and heard through the Bible! Imagine being able to live with a peace that goes beyond all understanding! Being firm and at peace no matter what is going on around you! It will be craziness to the people around you! Could you even explain to them how you are able to be at peace and have them really understand it? They will want to know more so be prepared to share it with them in humility and love! Lead with love as you share the truth with them! God’s Word is now available to everyone! Jews and non-Jews (gentiles) both have the opportunity to have a relationship with God!

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament, let’s read it together here…

Godʼs Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2Surely you have heard about the administration of Godʼs grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Godʼs holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of Godʼs grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lordʼs people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

–Ephesians 3

and we conclude with 1 Thessalonians 4…

Living to Please God

1As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is Godʼs will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of Godʼs family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Believers Who Have Died

13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lordʼs word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

–1 Thessalonians 4

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 31, 32, Psalm 45, Ephesians 3, 1 Thessalonians 4

What type of ambassador are you?


You are walking around today. People are watching you whether you know it or not. What are your words saying about you? What are your actions saying about you? What are they saying about you? What are you trying to say?

So what is an ambassador? An ambassador is a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity. An ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country. An ambassador is an authorized messenger or representative.

So with that context now on the table, what is your life promoting? What is your life representing? What is your life delivering? What message are you delivering? Who is your message from? To whom is it going? To whom are you trying deliver it?

Are you an ambassador of hope? Are you an ambassador of love? Are you an ambassador of peace? Are you an ambassador of truth? Are you an ambassador of faith? Are you an ambassador of…


What type of ambassador are you?


Today’s reading gets started in Isaiah …

Ambassadors of Peace Weep Bitterly

1Oy , you destroyer, never destroyed, you traitor, never betrayed! When you have stopped destroying, you will be destroyed; and when you finish betraying, they will betray you. 2Adonai, be gracious to us! We long for You. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of trouble. 3From the noise of tumult people will flee; When You lift Yourself up, the nations will be scattered. 4Your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; like a swarm of locusts, they are rushing over it. 5Adonai is exalted, for He dwells on high! He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. 6It will be your time of faithfulness, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge— the fear of Adonai is His treasure. 7Behold, heroes cry outside. Ambassadors of peace weep bitterly. 8Highways are desolate; travel has ceased; covenant is broken; cities are despised; there is no regard for humanity. 9The land mourns and languishes; Lebanon is shamed and withers; Sharon is like a wilderness; Bashan and Carmel are shaken bare.

Our Eternal Judge Arises

10“Now I will arise,” says Adonai. “Now I will be exalted. Now I will lift Myself up. 11You conceive chaff, you will give birth to stubble. My breath is a fire that will consume you. 12Then peoples will be burned as lime, like thorns cut down, burned in the fire. 13Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done, and you who are near, acknowledge My might.” 14Sinners in Zion are afraid. Trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?” “Who among us can live with everlasting burnings?” 15One who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly, who refuses unjust gain by extortion, who shakes his hands free of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from looking on evil. 16He will dwell on the heights— his refuge will be an impregnable cliff. His bread will be provided, his water assured. 17Your eyes will see the King in His beauty. They will gaze at a far-distant land. 18Your heart will meditate on terror: “Where is the counter?” “Where is the weigher?” “Where is the counter of towers?” 19You will no longer see the fierce people, the people of speech too obscure to comprehend, with a stammering tongue no one understands. 20Look upon Zion, city of our Festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem as a quiet home, a tent that will never be folded, Its stakes never pulled up, its cords never broken. 21For there the majestic One, Adonai, will be for us— a place of rivers and wide canals, on which no boat with oars will go, nor any mighty ship will travel by. 22For Adonai is our Judge, Adonai is our Lawgiver, Adonai is our King— He will save us! 23Your cords hang slack, not holding the mast in place firmly, nor spreading out the sail. Then abundant spoil will be divided— even the lame will carry off plunder. 24No inhabitant will say, “I am sick.” The people dwelling there will be forgiven their iniquity.

–from Isaiah 33

Are you an ambassador for the future? Are you an ambassador for a plan? Are you an ambassador for someone? Are you an ambassador for something? Do you realize what your life is saying? Do you realize what you are an ambassador for? Do you realize if you are helping or hindering your cause?

Have you got their attention? Have you lost their attention? Do they get to listen and hear the message you are wanting to deliver? What’s it going to take?

End-Time Vision

1Draw near, O nations, to hear, and listen, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all it contains, the world, and all its offspring! 2For Adonai is enraged at all the nations, and furious at all their armies. He will utterly destroy them. He will give them over to slaughter. 3So their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their corpses will rise, and the hills will be drenched with their blood. 4Then all the host of heaven will dissolve, and the skies will be rolled up like a scroll— so all their array will wither away, like a leaf drooping from a vine, like a fig shriveling from a fig tree.

Seek the Scroll and Read

5For My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens. See, it will come down upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to judgment. 6The sword of Adonai is filled with blood, gorged with fat— the blood of lambs and goats, the fat of kidneys of rams. For Adonai has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7Wild oxen will go down with them, bull calves with mighty steers. So their land will be soaked with blood and their dust greasy with fat. 8For Adonai has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the hostility against Zion. 9Its streams will be turned into pitch, its dust into brimstone, and its land will become burning tar. 10It will not be quenched night or day. Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will lay waste—forever and ever none will pass through it. 11But pelican and porcupine will have it, owl and raven will dwell in it. He will stretch a line of chaos over it and stones of desolation. 12As for its nobles, there are none there to call it a kingdom, and all its princes will come to nothing. 13Thorns will come up in its palaces, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It will be a haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. 14Wildcats will meet with wolves, the goat-demon will cry to its kind— yes, the night monster will settle there and find itself a resting place. 15A tree snake will nest and lay eggs there, hatch and gather them under its shadow. Surely, hawks are gathered there, each one with her mate. 16Seek from the scroll of Adonai, and read! Not one of them will be missing; none will lack its mate. For His mouth commanded it, and His Ruach gathered them. 17He cast the lot for them, and His hand divided it out to them with the line. They will possess it forever, and dwell in it from generation to generation.

–from Isaiah 34

Are you an ambassador of righteousness? Are you an ambassador of grace? Are you an ambassador of truth! Are you an ambassador of trusting in God? Are you an ambassador of joy? Are you an ambassador of safety or security?

Prayer for Sleep in Shalom

1For the music director, on stringed instruments, a psalm of David. 2Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness! You set me free when I am in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 3O sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into my shame? How long will you love worthlessness and pursue falsehood? Selah 4But know that Adonai has set apart the godly for His own. Adonai will hear when I call to Him. 5Tremble, but do not sin! Search your heart while on your bed, and be silent. Selah 6Offer righteous sacrifices and put your trust in Adonai. 7Many are asking, “Who will show us some good?” May the light of Your face shine upon us, Adonai! 8You have put joy in my heart— more joy than when their grain and new wine overflow. 9I will lie down and sleep in shalom. For You alone, Adonai, make me live securely.

–from Psalms 4

Are you an ambassador for servanthood? Are you an ambassador for leadership? Are you an ambassador for servant leadership? Are you an ambassador for teaching? Are you an ambassador for education? Are you an ambassador for legacy? Are you an ambassador for a legacy of love?

Modeling Servanthood

1Now it was just before the feast of Passover. Yeshua knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end. 2While the seder meal was happening, the devil had already put in the heart of Judah from Kriot that he should hand over Yeshua. 3Yeshua knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God. 4So He gets up from the meal and lays aside His outer garment; and taking a towel, He wrapped it around His waist. 5Then He pours water into a basin. He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel wrapped around Him. 6Then He comes to Simon Peter, who says to Him, “Master, are You going to wash my feet?” 7Yeshua responded, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” 8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9Simon Peter said to Him, “Master, then not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10Yeshua said to him, “He who has bathed has no need to wash, except the feet; he is completely clean. And you all are clean, though not every one.” 11He knew who was betraying Him; for this reason, He said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12So after He had washed their feet and put His robe back on and reclined again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master’—and rightly you say, for I am. 14So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example—you should do for each other what I have done for you. 16“Amen, amen I tell you, a servant isn’t greater than his master, and the one who is sent isn’t greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!”

Yeshua Reveals His Betrayer

18“I am not speaking to all of you—I know whom I have chosen. But so the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19From now on I am telling you, before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I am. 20Amen, amen I tell you, he who receives the one I send, receives Me; and he who receives Me, receives the One who sent Me.” 21After He said these things, Yeshua was agitated in spirit and testified, “Amen, amen I tell you, one of you will betray Me!” 22The disciples began looking at each other, perplexed—who was He talking about? 23One of His disciples, whom Yeshua loved, was reclining at His side. 24Simon Peter nods to him and says, “Ask Him—who is He talking about?” 25Then he who leaned on Yeshua’s chest says to Him, “Master, who is it?” 26Yeshua answers, “It’s the one I will give this bit of matzah to, after I dip it.” After dipping the matzah , He takes it and gives it to Judah from Kriot, the son of Simon. 27And with that bit, satan entered into him. Then Yeshua tells him, “What you’re about to do, do quickly!” 28But no one reclining at the table knew why Yeshua said this to him. 29Since Judah had the moneybox, some thought Yeshua was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30So after Judah received the bit of matzah , he left immediately. Now it was night.

Leaving a Legacy of Love

31Then when Judah had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him! 32If God is glorified in Him, God will glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will search for Me; and just as I told the Judean leaders, so I say to you now, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36“Master, where are You going?” Simon Peter said to Him. Yeshua answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow Me later.” 37Peter said to Him, “Master, why can’t I follow You now? I’ll lay down my life for You!” 38Yeshua answers, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Amen, amen I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times!”

–from John 13

Are you an ambassador for reconciliation? Are you an ambassador for peacemaking? Are you an ambassador for believers? Are you an ambassador for morality? Are you an ambassador of truth or deception? Are you an ambassador for what is permitted or for what is helpful? Are you an ambassador for morality or immorality? Are you an ambassador for the temple of God which is your body?

Settle Disputes Within the Community

1Does any one of you, when he has a matter against his neighbor, dare to go to court before the unrighteous and not before the kedoshim? 2Don’t you know that the kedoshim will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to judge trivial matters? 3Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more the matters of this life! 4So if you have courts for matters of this life, why do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the community? 5I say this to put you to shame! Isn’t there even one wise man among you who will be able to settle disputes between his brethren? 6Instead, a brother goes to court against a brother—and before unbelievers at that! 7Therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you have lawsuits among yourselves. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8But you yourselves do wrong and cheat—and against your brothers and sisters at that!

Morality in the Temple of God

9Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, 10thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11That is what some of you were—but you were washed, you were made holy, you were set right in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the Ruach of our God. 12“Everything is permitted for me”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted for me”—but I will not be controlled by anything. 13“Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food”—but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14Now God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 15Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Messiah? Shall I then take the members of Messiah and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16Or don’t you know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18Flee from sexual immorality! Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body—but the one committing sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Ruach ha-Kodesh who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

–from 1 Corinthians 6

Are you an ambassador for Jesus?

 

 

 

 

 

What legacy do you want to leave?


Are you interested in the one? Are you interested in yourself? Are you interested in others? Are you interested in helping one? Are you interested in helping a multitude?

Will you give them fish to help them for a day? Will you teach them to fish and help them for a lifetime? Will you help them build a fish pond and set them up to help generations to come?

What are you saying? What are you doing? Is it a matter of the heart or are you just going through the motions and not really in it? Do you believe? Are you pretending? What’s it going to take for it to be real? Are you acting out of love? Are you acting out of fear?

God sees beyond the surface! God knows your heart! God knows your every thought! Nothing is hidden from Him!

Why not turn back to Jesus! Why not invite Him into your life? Why not allow Him into your heart? Why not follow after Him and His lead and His example? Be transformed! Be renewed! And be for real! No more acting! Be true! No more pretending! Be real!

This world needs you to be! Live in a way that will leave a legacy! Be transformed! Bring transformation around you!


Today’s reading continues in the book of Isaiah…

Night Vision of Ariel

1Oy , Ariel, Ariel! City where David camped. Year to year again—festivals in a cycle. 2But I will distress Ariel. There will be lamenting and moaning— then will she be like Ariel to Me? 3I will encamp against you all around, I will set up siege-works against you and will raise up ramps against you. 4You will be brought low, you will speak from the ground. From the dust where you are prostrate your speech will come. Your voice will be like a ghost out of the ground, and your speech will whisper out of the dust. 5Yet the multitude of your foes will become like fine dust, and the multitude of the terrifying like chaff that passes away. It will happen in an instant, suddenly. 6You will be visited by Adonai-Tzva’ot with thunder, earthquake, huge noise, whirlwind and storm-wind, and the flame of a consuming fire. 7It will be like a dream, a night vision: the multitude of all the nations warring against Ariel, yes, all warring against her, the ramparts around her and her besiegers. 8It will be like a hungry man dreaming and behold, he is eating, but awakes with his hunger unsatisfied, or like a thirsty man dreaming and behold, he is drinking, but awakes faint, his soul thirsting. So it will be with the multitude of all the nations warring against Mount Zion. 9Wait, and be astounded! Blind yourselves, and be blind! Drunk, but not with wine, Stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For Adonai has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep, and has shut your eyes—the prophets, and covered your heads—the seers. 11So this entire vision is for you like the words of a sealed scroll, which they give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” 12Then the scroll is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please,” but he says, “I don’t know books.” 13So Adonai says, “Since these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, yet their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a mitzvah taught by men. 14Therefore, behold, once more I will do a marvelous work among this people— a marvel and a wonder— so the wisdom of their wise will perish, and the discernment of their discerning will be concealed.” 15Oy , those who go to great depths to hide their plans from Adonai! Their works are in the dark. They say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16Your perversity! Should the potter be regarded the same as the clay? Should the thing made say to its maker, “You did not make me”? Or the thing formed say of its former, “You have no understanding?” 17Will it not be just a very little while before Lebanon turns into a garden, and a garden will seem like a forest? 18In that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19The meek will add to their joy in Adonai, and the needy of humanity will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, and all watching to do evil cut off. 21Those who make a man out to be guilty with a word, and trap him who reproves at the gate, and deny justice with meaninglessness. 22Therefore, thus says Adonai, Redeemer of Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob will no longer be ashamed, no longer will his face grow pale; 23for when he sees his children, the work of My hands in his midst, they will sanctify My Name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and stand in awe of the God of Israel. 24Those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will learn instruction.”

–from Isaiah 29

Wondering where to start? Wondering where to turn? Wondering where to go?

Turn to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear! Ask Him to give you wisdom! Open His Word! Read His Word daily! Open the Bible! Don’t have one and want one? You can read it online at http://bible.com! You can read it on your phone by getting the Bible app at http://bible.com/app! You can get paper versions at bookstores or contact a local church or ask a friend (if they are like me, they have several)! It’s God’s love letter to us! It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! It’s a book of wisdom, instruction, direction, hope, love! (more free resources…)

No Help In Egypt

1“Oy , the rebellious children” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “Who carry out a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Ruach, so they may add sin to sin, 2who go down to Egypt, but did not consult Me, to take refuge in Pharaoh’s stronghold, to seek shelter in Egypt’s shadow. 3Therefore Pharaoh’s stronghold will become your shame, and the shelter in Egypt’s shadow will become your disgrace. 4For though their princes are at Zoan and their ambassadors reach Hanes, 5they will all be ashamed of a people who cannot profit them. They are neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace.” 6The burden concerning the beasts of the Negev: Through a land of trouble and anguish, in which are lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent, they are carrying their riches on the backs of young donkeys, their treasures on camel humps, to a people who cannot profit them. 7Egypt’s help is futile and pointless. Therefore I have called her “Rahab who just sits.”

Witness Against False Prophets

8Now go, write it on a tablet for them and inscribe it in a scroll, so that it may be as a witness for the last day, forever. 9For this is a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to obey the Torah of Adonai. 10They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us smooth words. Prophesy illusions. 11Get out of the way! Turn away from the path! Let’s hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” 12Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and rely on perversity, 13therefore this sin will be to you like a crack bulging in a high wall, about to fall— its collapse comes suddenly, in an instant! 14Its collapse is like smashing a clay jar, so ruthlessly shattered that a shard will not be found among the pieces to take fire from the hearth or scoop water from the cistern.”

Longing to Be Gracious

15For thus says Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Israel: “By repentance and rest you are saved, in quietness and trust is your strength— but you were not willing.” 16But you said, “No, we will flee on horses!” Therefore you will flee. And, “We will ride on swift horses!” Therefore your pursuers will be swift. 17A thousand will flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you will flee, until you are left like a flag on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill. 18Therefore Adonai is longing to be gracious to you. Thus He will be exalted, so He may have mercy on you. For Adonai is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. 19For the people of Zion who are dwelling in Jerusalem will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears you, He will answer. 20Though Adonai gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, your teachers will no longer be hidden, but your eyes will see your teachers. 21Your ears will hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way, walk in it. When you turn to the right, or when you turn to the left.” 22You will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your metal images covered with gold. You will throw them away like a menstrual cloth. You will say, “Be gone!” 23Then He will give you rain for your seed, which you will sow in the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in wide-open pasture. 24The oxen and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork. 25There will be, on every high mountain and on every lofty hill, streams running with water— on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter— like the light of seven days— in the day Adonai binds up the brokenness of His people, and heals the wounds He inflicted. 27Look, Adonai’s Name comes from afar, burning with His anger, in thick rising smoke, His lips full of indignation, His tongue like a consuming fire, 28His Ruach like an overflowing torrent rising up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of the worthless, to put in the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads away. 29You will have songs as in the night when you keep a holy festival, and gladness of heart like one walking with the flute to go to the mountain of Adonai, to the Rock of Israel.

Punishing Rod

30Adonai will make His glorious voice heard, and reveal His arm descending with fierce fury in a consuming fire, in cloudburst, rainstorm and hailstones. 31For at the voice of Adonai, Assyria will be terrified— when He strikes with the rod. 32Every stroke of His punishing rod that Adonai brings down on him —with tambourines and harps, and battles brandishing His arm— He will fight against them. 33For Topheth has long been ready, prepared for the king, its fire pit made deep and wide, a pyre of fire with plenty of wood. The breath of Adonai, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it aflame.

–from Isaiah 30

We don’t have to be stuck in our old ways! We can choose to have a new start! We can choose to be born again! We can choose to be transformed! We can ask Jesus in and allow His hope to fill us up! We can leave the past where it belongs behind us! We can stop allowing setbacks to define us and just let them be a setup for a comeback! We need to put our trust in God! We need to start a living relationship with Jesus! And then let’s move forward transformed for the glory of God! While you are living, it’s never too late to start believing in Jesus! So why not you? Why not now? Why not right where you are right now?

Jesus gave His life on the cross so that we can live! Don’t allow it to be for nothing! Receive it!

Lazarus Is Dead

1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Miriam and her sister Martha. 2This was the same Miriam who anointed the Master with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3So the sisters sent a word to Yeshua, saying, “Master, the one you love is sick!” 4When Yeshua heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for God’s glory, so that Ben-Elohim may be glorified through it.” 5Now Yeshua loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6However, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two more days. 7Then after this, He said to His disciples, “Let’s go up to Judea again.” 8“Rabbi,” the disciples say to Him, “just now the Judean leaders were trying to stone You! And You’re going back there again?” 9Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of the world. 10But if a man should walk around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11After He said this, He tells them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.” 12So the disciples said to Him, “Master, if he has fallen asleep, he will get better.” 13Now Yeshua had spoken about his death, but they thought He was talking about ordinary sleep. 14Then Yeshua told them clearly, “Lazarus is dead! 15I’m glad for your sake I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. Anyway, let’s go to him!” 16Then Thomas called the Twin said to the other disciples, “Let’s go too, so that we may die with Him!”

Comforting the Mourners

17So when Yeshua arrived, He discovered that Lazarus had been in the tomb already for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many of the Judeans had come to Martha and Miriam to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Miriam sat in the house. 21Martha said to Yeshua, “Master, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died! 22But I know, even now, that whatever You may ask of God, He will give You.” 23Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know, he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She says to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, Ben-Elohim who has come into the world.” 28After she said this, she left and secretly told her sister Miriam, “The Teacher is here, and He’s calling for you.” 29As soon as Miriam heard, she quickly got up and was coming to Him. 30Now Yeshua had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met Him. 31The Judeans, who were with Miriam in the house and comforting her, seeing how quickly she got up and went out, followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32So when Miriam came to where Yeshua was, she saw Him and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!” 33When Yeshua saw her weeping, and the Judeans who came with her weeping, He was deeply troubled in spirit and Himself agitated. 34“Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Master,” they tell Him. 35Yeshua wept. 36So the Judeans said, “See how He loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Couldn’t this One, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have also kept this man from dying?”

Yeshua’s Word Raises the Dead

38So Yeshua, again deeply troubled within Himself, comes to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Yeshua says, “Roll away the stone!” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Him, “Master, by this time he stinks! He’s been dead for four days!” 40Yeshua says to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they rolled away the stone. Yeshua lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. 42I knew that You always hear Me; but because of this crowd standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43And when He had said this, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He who had been dead came out, wrapped in burial clothes binding his hands and feet, with a cloth over his face. And Yeshua tells them, “Cut him loose, and let him go!”

Better that One Man Die

45Therefore many of the Judeans, who had come to Miriam and had seen what Yeshua had done, put their trust in Him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47So the ruling kohanim and Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we doing?” they asked. “This Man is performing many signs! 48If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our holy place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was kohen gadol that year, said to them, “You know nothing! 50You don’t take into account that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” 51Now he did not say this by himself; but as the kohen gadol that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation. 52And not for the nation only, but also so that He might gather together into one the scattered children of God. 53So from that day on, they plotted to kill Him. 54Therefore Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Judeans, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with His disciples. 55Now the Jewish Passover was near; and many people went up out of the regions to Jerusalem before Passover, to purify themselves. 56So they were searching for Yeshua, saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Won’t He come to the feast at all?” 57Now the ruling kohanim and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it so that they might arrest Him.

–from John 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What type of legislators are there?


I know there are some who go in with a servant leadership heart and desires to serve the people that elected them. I know there are some that seek God’s wisdom in every decision they need to make. I know there are some that God uses for big initiatives. I know there are some that have a good heart and allow God to use them for the greater good. They are supposed to be a blessing to us based on what it says in the bible.

I also know there are some who are unjust. I know there are some who put on a certain persona because they think it is more about them and less about their job to serve the people. I know there are some who believe they are above the laws and look to work their way around it. I know there are some who act whatever way will help them advance. There are some who are in it for the money and the power. There are some that have said they believe one thing but then later turn on something that is foundational for their own purposes.

So be aware of the character of the people who are there. Be aware and discerning about the people who are trying to get into positions of leadership. Pray for wisdom about their true intentions. As election season approaches we need to be even more discerning about the character of the people who are running for election. Party doesn’t necessarily speak to the reality of what they believe. Former politicians aren’t immune either and sometimes it isn’t until they are out of the government that we discover where they really stood.

Could you vote for someone who is a liar? Could you vote for someone who is a cheater? Could you vote for someone who is an abuser? Could you vote for someone who would sell out the country? state? province? county? city? Could you vote for someone who is disobeying the laws? How could you trust they would enforce them?

Just like with everything in life, we will be given choices and we have to choose. In some cases people consider there to be 3 choices – (1) Vote for person 1, (2) Vote for person 2, (3) Don’t vote. Do you realize that option (3) gives up your say in the process and that in many cases it means the person you wanted least could win? The process says one of them will win. So do you want to help choose or have to deal with the consequences?

Are you a legislator? What type are you? What is your character? How do you view the role? Is it a blessing where you get to serve people? Is it a power grab where you get to wave authority over people?

Beware the consequence you are setting up the country for…

Take heart that there is a group who are just and walking aligned with God!


Today’s reading begins on this topic in Isaiah 10…

Oy to Unjust Legislators

1Oy to those enacting unjust decrees and recording corrupt legislation, 2to deprive the helpless of justice and rob the rights of the poor of My people, so that widows may be their spoil and orphans their prey! 3What will you do in the day of visitation, when desolation comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth? 4One can only crouch among the captives or collapse among the slain. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched.

Assyria, the Rod

5Oy to Assyria, the rod of My anger— the club in their hand is My indignation! 6I am sending it against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My fury I am commissioning it, to take spoil and plunder, to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7Yet that is not what Assyria intends, nor is that what he is thinking about. Rather his heart is to destroy, and to cut down nations—only a few! 8For he says: “Aren’t all my princes kings? 9Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad? Isn’t Samaria like Damascus? 10As my hand has reached the kingdoms of the idols—with more graven images than Jerusalem and Samaria— 11as I’ve done to Samaria and her idols, won’t I also do to Jerusalem and her idols?” 12Therefore it will come to pass, when Adonai finishes all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glorying of his haughty eyes.” 13For he said: “By the strength of my own hand I’ve done it, and my own wisdom, for I am shrewd! I abolished the borders of peoples, and plundered their treasures. As a mighty one I cast down inhabitants. 14My hand found the riches of the peoples as a nest—like gathering forsaken eggs, I have gathered the entire earth. Not a wing fluttered, not a beak opened or chirped!” 15Should the axe boast against the One who chops with it? Should the saw magnify itself against the One who wields it? It would be like a rod waving the One who lifts it, or like a staff hoisting up the One who is not wood! 16Therefore will the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, send leanness among his fat ones. Under its glory He will kindle a burning like a blazing fire. 17So the light of Israel will become a fire, and its Holy One a flame. He will burn and consume its thorns and briers in one day. 18Both the glory of his forest and his fruitful field, he will consume, both soul and body. It will be like a sick man wasting away. 19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few, a child could record them.

A Remnant Will Return

20Yet it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel— those of the house of Jacob who escaped— will never again depend on the one who struck them down, but will depend upon Adonai, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. 22For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction has been decreed. Justice overflows. 23For a complete destruction, as decreed, will Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot make throughout the whole land. 24Therefore thus says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot: “O My people dwelling in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, though he strike you with the war-club, and lift up his rod against you, as Egypt did. 25“For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26Adonai-Tzva’ot will stir up against him a scourge, as in the slaughter of Midian at the Rock of Oreb. As His staff was over the sea, so will He lift it up, as He did in Egypt. 27In that day his burden will be taken off your shoulders, and his yoke off your neck. Indeed, the yoke will be broken because of fatness.

Assyria Advancing

28He has come to Aiath, and passed through Migron. At Michmas he deposited his supplies. 29They have crossed over the pass. They have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is terrified; Gibeath-shaul has fled. 30Shriek your cry, daughter of Gallim! Listen, O Laish! O poor Anathoth! 31Madmenah has fled. The inhabitants of Gebim take cover. 32This very day he will halt at Nob. He shakes his fist at the mountain of the Daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 33Behold, the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot will lop off the branches with terror! So the tall ones will be cut down and the lofty ones laid low. 34Yes, He will hack down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon with its majesty will fall.

–from Isaiah 10

We need to call on Jesus! We need to lean on Him! We need His wisdom! We need His truth!

Ask the Holy Spirit to be your counselor and your guide! Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your path! Lean not on your own understanding but allow God to straighten your path!

The Branch From David

1Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots. 2The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor decide by what His ears hear. 4But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the poor of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. 5Also righteousness will be the belt around His loins, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.

Messianic Age of Shalom

6The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them. 7The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. 8A nursing child will play by a cobra’s hole, and a weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den. 9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.

Second Return from Diaspora

10It will also come about in that day that the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek for Him, and His resting place will be glorious. 11It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13Ephraim’s envy will end, those hostile to Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. 14They will swoop down on the Philistine slope to the west. Together they will plunder the children of the east— laying their hand on Edom and Moab, the children of Ammon obeying them. 15Then Adonai will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea. He will wave His hand over the River with His scorching wind, and will strike it into seven streams, and let men walk over in sandals. 16So there will be a highway for the remnant of His people who remain, from Assyria, as there was for Israel in the day they came up out of the land of Egypt.

–from Isaiah 11

We don’t need to put our hope in government because they don’t have all the answers. We don’t need to put all our trust in government because they don’t have all the power. We don’t need to give them all the authority or power – we can delegate it for a period of time, but we then need to help them stay accountable!

God’s Word shows us the way! God’s people should be taking care of the people! Rather than delegating taxes to try to take care of everyone, imagine if everyone tithed and gave to their church the impact it would have on the local community. God’s instruction manual is available (the bible)! God’s roadmap is available (the bible)! God’s love letter is available (the bible)!

Wells of Salvation

1In that day you will say: “I will give You thanks, Adonai, for though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2Behold, God is my salvation! I will trust and will not be afraid. For the Lord Adonai is my strength and my song. He also has become my salvation.” 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: “Give thanks to Adonai. Proclaim His Name! Declare His works to the peoples, so they remember His exalted Name. 5Sing to Adonai, for He has done gloriously. Let this be known in all the earth. 6Cry out and shout, inhabitant of Zion! For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

–from Isaiah 12

Want the truth? Do you really want it and not just trying to trip up or trick someone? Turn to God! Ask Jesus to give you wisdom for your situation! Have you been born again? Have you joined God’s family (been adopted into it) by asking Jesus into your heart and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Will you believe what God has to say? Will you believe what God’s Word speaks? Will you believe the words of Jesus? Even without seeing it, will you believe it?

Do you know why Jesus came?

A Pharisee Comes Seeking Truth

1Now there was a man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jewish people. 2He came to Yeshua at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You, a teacher, have come from God. For no one can perform these signs which You do unless God is with Him!” 3Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus said to Him. “He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be surprised that I said to you, ‘You all must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Father’s Love Revealed

9“How can these things happen?” Nicodemus said. 10Yeshua answered him, “You’re a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things? 11Amen, amen I tell you, We speak about what We know and testify about what We have seen. Yet you all do not receive Our testimony! 12If you do not believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe when I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has gone up into heaven except the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life! 16“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. 18The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim. 19“Now this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men loved the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21But whoever practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be made known that his deeds have been accomplished in God.”

The Living Word, Source of Life

22Afterwards, Yeshua and His disciples came to the land of Judea. There He was staying with them and immersing. 23Now John also was immersing at Aenon near Salim, because much water was there and many were coming and being immersed; 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now an argument came up between John’s disciples and a Judean concerning purification. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—look, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!” 27John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but rather, ‘I am sent before Him.’ 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete! 30He must increase, while I must decrease.” 31The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32And what He has seen and heard, He testifies to that; yet no one receives His testimony. 33Whoever receives His testimony has certified that God is true. 34The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything into His hand. 36He who trusts in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

–from John 3

 

It’s time…to step up and lead!


People are watching you to see who you are. People are watching you to see if you are who you say you are. People are watching you to see what your character says about you. People are watching you to see how you will respond to the situations that come your way. People are watching you and how you act will impact their perception and actions towards and about you.

If we don’t step up and do what is right, it will create problems! If we don’t step up and lead, it will cause confusion and delays! If we don’t step up to do what we have been called to do, then someone else will be called to do the work! What will your legacy say about you? What will the memory of you mean to others? Will you be salt and light and make a difference in the lives of those around you? Do you see what is going on around you? How far down the slippery slope will you allow it to go before you will do something and get involved?

How do you want to be thought of? How do you want to be remembered? How are you going to live your life?

It’s time…to step up and lead!



Today’s reading starts with 1 Kings 16…

Zimri Ends Baasa’s Line

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa, saying: 2“Since I raised you up from the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, yet you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have caused My people Israel to sin, vexing Me with their sins. 3I am about to consume Baasa and his house. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4Anyone of Baasa who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.” 5Now the rest of the deeds of Baasa and what he did and his might, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6Then Baasa slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king in his place. 7But the word of Adonai had already come by the hand of the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa and against his house, because of all the evil he had done in Adonai’s eyes, vexing Him with the work of his hands, becoming thus like the house of Jeroboam which He struck down. 8In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasa became king over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. 9Then his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariotry, conspired against him while he was in Tirzah, making himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace in Tirzah. 10Then Zimri went in, struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 11It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on the throne, he struck down all the household of Baasa, leaving him not even one man, nor his kinsmen nor his friend. 12So Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasa, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke against Baasa by the prophet Jehu, 13for all the sins of Baasa and the sins of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel with their useless idols. 14Now the rest of the deeds of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

Rise of Omri

15In the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, Zimri reigned for seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines. 16When the people encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and even struck down the king,” then all Israel proclaimed Omri—the commander of the army—king over Israel that very day in the camp. 17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace, and burned down the royal palace over him with fire. So he died too, 19because of the sins which he committed, doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of Jeroboam and in the sin which he had committed, making Israel sin. 20Now the rest of the deeds of Zimri and his treason that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 21Then the people of Israel were divided into two factions: half of the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, making him king, while the other half followed Omri. 22But the people following Omri prevailed against the people following Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned 12 years, six years in Tirzah. 24Then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built a city on the hill. He named the city that he built Samaria, based on the name Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25But Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in the sins that he had caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel, with their useless idols. 27Now the rest of the deeds of Omri that he did and the valiant deeds that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28So Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became king in his place.

Ahab Even Worse

29In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; and Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria 22 years. 30But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, more than all who were before him. 31Now, as if it was a trifling thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he also took as wife Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. 32He also erected an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33Also Ahab made the Asherah pole. So Ahab did yet more to provoke the Adonai God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

Curse of Jericho Rebuilt

34During his days, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram his firstborn, he laid its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son Segub, he set up its gates—according to the word of Adonai, which He had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.

–from 1 Kings 16

How bad does it really have to get before God will get your attention? How far away will you walk before you realize you are no longer under His covering? How bad do you want your own way that it ends up impacting a family, a community, a region, a country, the world? What’s it going to take for people to see what is really going on and grab a hold of the truth and then turn back to God? What’s it going to take?

Do you realize you don’t have to have a lot to make a difference? Do you realize all it takes is faith, obedience, and to give the little you do have up to God? Do you realize that the miracle is in proportion to the size of your faith? Do you realize the miracles that can happen when you believe and act out of obedience to God? Not the size of what you have but the size of your faith! (not the little flower and oil — the number of jars)

Elijah Proclaims Famine

1Now Elijah the Tishbite, one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab: “As Adonai God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.” 2Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 3“Leave this place, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4It will come about that you will drink from the wadi. I have also commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of Adonai—he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the wadi. 7Then it came to pass after a while that the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 9“Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have just commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

Miracle of Flour and Oil

10So he arose and went to Zarephath. Now when he came to the town gate, to his surprise, a widow was there gathering sticks. So he called her and said, “Please bring a little water in a jar that I may drink.” 11As she was going to fetch it, he called her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12So she said, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the jar, and a little oil in the jug. Now look, I am gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Fear not! Go and do as you said, but first make me a little cake from what you have there. Bring it out to me and afterwards, make some for you and for your son. 14For thus says Adonai God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jug of oil be empty until the day Adonai sends rain on the land.’” 15So she went and did according to the word of Elijah—and she and he, and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of flour was not exhausted, nor did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke through Elijah.

Resurrection of a Boy

17After these things, it came to pass that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness was getting much worse until he had no breath left in him. 18So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, man of God? Have you come to me to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her arms, carried him up to the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, have You brought such evil even on the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times. He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, please let this child’s soul come back into his body!” 22Adonai listened to the cry of Elijah, so the soul of the child came back into his body and he was revived. 23Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “See! Your son is alive.” 24Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word in your mouth is truth.”

–from 1 Kings 17

So will you turn back to God? Will you invite Him into your life? Will you walk with him out of reverence and obedience? Will you lift Him up and give Him praise? Let’s answer the call and do what He asks of us!

Who Can Stand in Your Presence?

1For the music director, on stringed instruments: a psalm of Asaph, a song. 2In Judah God is known. In Israel His Name is great. 3In Salem is His sukkah and His dwelling place in Zion. 4There He broke the fiery shafts of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the battle. Selah 5You are brilliant, more majestic than nourishing mountains. 6The valiant have been plundered— they slumbered in their sleep. The mighty could not lift their hands. 7At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lay dead asleep. 8You are awesome, yes You are! Who can stand in Your presence once You are angry? 9From heaven You pronounced judgment. The earth feared and was still— 10when God rose up to judgment, to save all the humble of the land. Selah 11For wrath upon man will bring You praise, a remnant of wrath You put on as a belt. 12Make vows to Adonai your God and fulfill them. Let all around Him bring tribute to the One who is to be feared. 13He cuts off the breath of princes. The kings of earth are in awe of Him.

–from Psalms 76

Do you want to be left behind? Do you want to have to deal with the pain and the suffering? Will you choose before He comes back? Will you wait till then and decide before the final judgment? What is holding you back? What would it take for God to get your attention? It’s time! He’s coming back soon! He needs those who believe to step up and lead! He needs those who believe to be salt and light! Let’s answer the call and step up and lead as God is calling us to do and to be who God is calling us to be.

144,000 Marked with a Seal

1After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or against any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who were permitted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do no harm to the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Now I heard the number of those marked with the seal: 144,000 from every tribe of Bnei-Yisrael— 5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah; 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben; 12,000 from the tribe of Gad; 6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher; 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali; 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh; 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon; 12,000 from the tribe of Levi; 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar; 8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun; 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph; 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin.

Countless Worshipers Before the Throne

9After these things I looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count—from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues—was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne, along with the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!” 13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” 14Then he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They shall never again go hungry, nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

–from The Revelation 7

It’s not about how much you have, but what you do with the little you do have! Take a look around you! Do you see what is going on all around the world? Every time I go through the book of Revelation, I sense we are getting closer and closer! Consider what God’s Word says! Take a look around at what is going on around the world! And then consider how you will choose and respond!

Teaching in the Temple

1Then Yeshua looked up and saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury box. 2He also saw a poor widow dropping in two small copper coins. 3And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. 4For all these put in their gifts from their surplus. But she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.” 5And while some were talking about the Temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and offerings, Yeshua said, 6“As for these things you are looking at, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 7And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, so when will these things happen? What will be the sign that these things are about to take place?” 8And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.” 10Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. 12But before all these things, they will grab you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons, and leading you away to kings and governors on account of My name. 13This will lead you to be a witness. 14So make up your minds not to prepare ahead of time to defend yourselves— 15for I Myself will give you speech and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16But you will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—and they will put some of you to death. 17And you will be hated by all because of My name. 18Yet not a hair of your head will be lost. 19By your endurance, you will gain your souls. 20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must get out, and those in the countryside must not enter her. 22For these are the days of punishment, to fulfill all that has been written. 23“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath on this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. 26People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!” 29Then Yeshua told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30As soon as they sprout their leaves, you see it and you know at once that summer is near. 31So also, when you see these all these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 34“But watch out so your hearts are not weighed down by carousing, strong drink, and the worries of life. Do not let that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come rushing upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things about to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37So during the days Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, but in the nights He went out and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38And all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the Temple.

–from Luke 21

Is the world hearing the story through how you are living your life?

 

 

 

 

What will be your last message to this world?


How do you want to go out? What legacy do you want to leave? Who do you want to spend it with? What do you want to make sure they know? What do you want to make sure that they hear? What message? What legacy? What wisdom? What hope? What love?

Why wait? Why not tell them now? Why not share it with them today? Why not tell them while you can rather than run the risk that you may never get to tell them? Maybe you will be able to schedule? Maybe you won’t and in that case then what? What will they miss out on finding out? What will they miss out on hearing if you don’t do it today?

Do they know you love them? Do they know how important God is to your life and your life to come? Do they know how important He is and will be to them? Do you want them to questioning things? did they love me? did they care? did they …?

Why not live in a way so that you can be at peace daily? Love! Forgive! Share! Care!

Today’s reading that triggered these questions comes from 1 Kings 2 with King David…

David’s Last Instructions

1Now when the time of David drew near to die, he charged his son Solomon, saying: 2“I—I am going the way of all the earth. So be strong and be a man. 3Keep the charge of Adonai your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His decrees, according to what is written in the Torah of Moses, so that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn 4so that Adonai may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying: ‘If your children watch their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 5“Moreover, you also know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether, whom he killed, shedding the blood of war in peacetime, and putting the blood of war on his waistband and on his sandals on his feet. 6So act according to your wisdom, and let his gray hair not go down to Sheol in shalom. 7But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table—for they befriended me when I fled from your brother Absalom. 8Also behold, you have with you Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by Adonai saying: ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9Now don’t let him go unpunished. For you are a wise man, and you will know how to deal with him, and bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood.” 10Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years—seven years he reigned in Hebron and 33 years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12Then Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David, and his kingdom was established firmly. Solomon’s Throne Secured 13Later Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother. “Is your coming in shalom?” she asked. “It is in shalom,” he said. 14Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” “Speak!” she said. 15Then he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel looked to me to be the king. However, the kingship has turned about and become my brother’s—for it was his from Adonai. 16So now one petition I ask of you; do not deny me.” “Speak!” she said to him. 17Then he said, “Please, speak to King Solomon—for he won’t turn you down—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” 18“Very well,” said Bath-sheba, “I will speak to the king for you.” 19So Bath-sheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king rose up to greet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat down on his throne and had a throne set up for the king’s mother, and she sat at his right hand. 20Then she said: “I ask one small petition of you; do not deny.” “Ask, my mother,” the king said to her, “for I will not turn you down.” 21So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.” 22King Solomon answered and said to his mother: “So why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well—for he is my older brother—for him and for Abiathar the kohen, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!” 23Then King Solomon swore by Adonai saying: “May God do so to me and even more, if Adonijah does not pay with his own life for this request! 24Now therefore, as Adonai lives who has established me and set me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house as He promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day.” 25Then King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada. He struck him down and he died. 26Also to Abiathar the kohen the king said, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, for you deserve death, but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of Adonai Elohim before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.” 27So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being kohen to Adonai—so fulfilling the word of Adonai that He spoke at Shiloh about the house of Eli. 28When the news came to Joab, he fled to the Tent of Adonai and grasped the horns of the altar—for Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. 29It was reported to King Solomon that Joab had fled to the Tent of Adonai, and behold, he was by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying: “Go, strike him down!” 30So Benaiah came to the Tent of Adonai and said to him: “Thus says the king: Come out!” But he replied: “No, for I will die here.” Benaiah reported back to the king saying: “Thus said Joab and thus he answered me.” 31Then the king commanded him: “Do as he has said—strike him down. Then bury him. So you will remove the blood that Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father’s house. 32Thus Adonai will return his blood on his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he—Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah—and killed them with the sword, without my father David’s knowledge. 33May the guilt of their blood return upon the head of Joab and upon the head of his offspring forever, but to David and his seed and his house, and his throne, may there be shalom forever from Adonai.” 34Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, struck him down and killed him, and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35Then the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in his place over the army, and Zadok the kohen the king appointed in Abiathar’s place. 36Then the king sent and summoned Shimei, and commanded him: “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and depart not from there anywhere else. 37For on the day you go out and cross over the Kidron valley, know for certain that you shall surely die—your blood shall be on your own head.” 38“The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. 39But it came about at the end of three years that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. So they told Shimei, saying: “Behold, your servants are in Gath.” 40So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey and went to Gath to Achish, to look for his servants; then Shimei went and brought his servants back from Gath. 41But it was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and back. 42So the king sent someone and summoned Shimei. He said to him: “Didn’t I make you swear by Adonai and forewarned you, saying: ‘Know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere else, you shall surely die’? You even said to me: ‘The saying is good; I have heard it.’ 43Why then haven’t you kept the oath of Adonai and the commandment that I charged you with?” 44The king added to Shimei: “You know all the evil, which your heart should acknowledge, that you did to my father David. Therefore Adonai will return your evil on your own head. 45But King Solomon shall be blessed and the throne of David established before Adonai forever.” 46So the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, so that he died. Thus the kingdom was secured in the hand of Solomon.

–from 1 Kings 2

Don’t you want them to be prepared? Don’t you want them to know? Do you want them to have what they have need of? Do you want the legacy to go on? So will you prepare the way? Will you do something before it is too late? Have you told them? Have you written anything down? Have you told them how much you love them and care for them? Have you told them how great are the plans God has for their lives? What are you waiting for?

Men and Materials

1Now David assembled all the leaders of Israel in Jerusalem—the tribal officers, the commanders of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, and the stewards over all the property and livestock of the king and of his sons, along with the high officials, the mighty warriors and all the men of valor. 2Then King David rose to his feet and said, “Listen to me, my brothers and my people! As for me, it was in my heart to build a resting place for the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai and for the footstool of our God. So I made the preparations for the building. 3But God said to me, ‘You will not build a House for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.’ 4Yet Adonai, the God of Israel, has chosen me out of all my ancestral house to be king over Israel forever. For He chose Judah as ruler, and of the house of Judah, my father’s house, and of my father’s sons, He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. 5Moreover, of all my sons—for Adonai has given me many sons—He has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Adonai over Israel. 6“He said to me, ‘Solomon your son will build My House and My courts for I have chosen him to be a son to Me and I will be a father to him. 7I will establish his kingdom forever, if he resolutely observes My mitzvot and My ordinances as at this day.’ 8Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the congregation of Adonai and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek all the mitzvot of Adonai your God so that you may possess this good land and may bequeath it to your children after you forever. 9“Now you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for Adonai searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 10Consider now, for Adonai has chosen you to build a House for the Sanctuary. Chazak! And do it!” 11Then David gave Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, its houses, its storerooms, its upper rooms, its inner rooms, and the place of atonement; 12and the plan of all that he had by the Ruach for the courts of the House of Adonai and all the surrounding rooms, for the storehouses of the House of God and for the treasuries of the dedicated things; 13 also for the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites, for all the tasks of the avodah of the House of Adonai, and for all the vessels of avodah in the House of Adonai. 14For gold, the weight of gold for all vessels of every kind of avodah, and silver, the weight of silver for all vessels for every type of avodah; 15and the weight for the gold menorot and their gold lamps, including the weight of each menorah and its lamps, for the silver menorot, including the weight of each menorah and its lamps according to the use of each menorah; 16also the weight of gold for the tables of the rows of bread, for every table and silver for the silver tables; 17and the forks, the basins, and the pitchers of pure gold, and for the golden bowls with the weight for every bowl, and for the silver bowls with the weight for every bowl; 18and for the altar of incense with the weight of refined gold; and gold for the form of the chariot—the cheruvim—that spread out their wings covering the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai. 19“All this I put in writing is from the hand of Adonai upon me as He gave me insight regarding the plan of all the works.” 20Also David said to his son Solomon: “Chazak! And be courageous, and do it! Do not be afraid or dismayed, for Adonai Elohim my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the avodah of the House of Adonai is finished. 21Now behold, here are the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites for all the avodah of the House of God, and with you in all the work are willing men, skilled in all types of tasks. Also the officials and all the people are at your command.”

–1 Chronicles 28

Will you make the big deal it is out of the moment? Will you make it something important and memorable so that they will remember what you had said and done? Will you share your heart? Will you share your preparations you have made for them? What will you do?

David Commissions His Son

1Then King David said to the entire assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced and the task is great, for the palace is not for man but for Adonai Elohim. 2Now I have made every effort to prepare for the House of my God gold for the golden objects, silver for silver, copper for copper, iron for iron, and wood for wood; onyx stones and inlay stones, stones of antimony and varigated colors—every kind of precious stones and marble in abundance. 3Moreover, in my devotion to the House of my God, I have given over my private treasure of gold and silver to the House of my God, in addition to all that I have already supplied for the holy House: 4 3,000 gold talents of gold from Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver to overlay the walls of the houses— 5gold for golden objects and silver for silver for all the work—into the hands of craftsmen. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself this day to Adonai?” 6Then the leaders of the clans, the officials of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and hundreds and the supervisors over the king’s work contributed willingly. 7They gave for the service of the House of God: 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8Whoever possessed stones gave them to the treasury of the House of Adonai in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9Then the people rejoiced over their freewill offerings because with a whole heart they offered willingly to Adonai. King David also rejoiced with great joy. 10David blessed Adonai before the whole congregation saying, “Blessed are You, Adonai, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity! 11Yours, Adonai, is the greatness, the power and the splendor, and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything in heaven and earth. Yours is the kingdom, Adonai and You are exalted above all. 12Both riches and honor come from You. You rule over everything. In Your hand is power and might, in Your hand, to magnify and give strength to all. 13Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise Your glorious Name. 14“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For everything comes from You, and from Your hand we have given to You. 15For we are sojourners before You, mere transients like our fathers. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, without security. 16Adonai Eloheinu, all this abundance that we have laid aside to build You a House for Your holy Name is from Your hand; it all belongs to You. 17I know, my God, that You search the heart and take pleasure in uprightness. With integrity of heart I have willingly offered all these things. And now I have seen with joy Your people who are present here willingly contribute to You. 18Adonai, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel our fathers, preserve forever such motives and thoughts in the heart of Your people and make their heart constant toward You. 19As for my son Solomon, give him a whole heart to keep Your mitzvot, Your decrees and Your statutes, and to fulfill them all and to build the Temple for which I have made provision.” 20Then David said to the whole congregation, “Now bless Adonai your God.” So the whole congregation blessed Adonai, the God of their fathers. They bowed down and fell prostrate before Adonai and the king.

Solomon Acclaimed King

21The next day, they sacrificed sacrifices to Adonai and offered burnt offerings to Adonai; 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 lambs, along with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22So they ate and drank before Adonai on that day with great joy. Then they designated Solomon the son of David as king a second time, anointing him before Adonai as ruler and Zadok as kohen. 23So Solomon sat on the throne of Adonai as king instead of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. 24All the officials and mighty men, as well as all the sons of King David, pledged their hand in support of King Solomon. 25Adonai highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had never been on any king before him in Israel. 26Now David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27The length of his reign over Israel was 40 years. He reigned in Hebron seven years and he reigned in Jerusalem 33 years. 28He died at a good old age, full of days, riches and honor, and his son Solomon became king in his place. 29Now the acts of King David, the first and the last, behold, are written in the chronicles of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet and in the chronicles of Gad the seer 30together with all his reign, his power and the events that involved him, Israel and all the kingdoms of the lands.

–from 1 Chronicles 29

They need to know the truth! They need to know how important God is not only in your story but in the story of their life that is yet to come! We need to give them hope! We need to share that hope that is in us! We need to share that peace that goes beyond our understanding! We need to share that God isn’t out there somewhere but when we start our relationship with Him, He is with us! He will never leave us nor forsake us! He is our rock and our fortress! He is our comforter and our guide! Share God’s heart! Speak that their heart will be softened to God’s love and promises!

Make Every Effort to Enter God’s Rest

1Let us fear then! Though a promise of entering His rest is left open, some of you would seem to have fallen short. 2For we also have had Good News proclaimed to us, just as they did. But the word they heard did not help them, because they were not unified with those who listened in faith. 3For we who have trusted are entering into that rest. It is just as God has said, “So in My wrath I swore, ‘They shall never enter My rest,’” even though His works were finished since the foundation of the world. 4For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works,” 5and again in this passage: “They shall never enter My rest.” 6So then it remains for some to enter into it; yet those who formerly had Good News proclaimed to them did not enter because of disobedience. 7Again, God appoints a certain day—“Today”—saying through David after so long a time, just as it has been said before, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So there remains a Shabbat rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered God’s rest has also ceased from his own work, just as God did from His. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through the same pattern of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13No creature is hidden from Him, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Yeshua, Our Compassionate Kohen Gadol

14Therefore, since we have a great Kohen Gadol who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua Ben-Elohim, let us hold firmly to our confessed allegiance. 15For we do not have a kohen gadol who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all the same ways—yet without sin. 16Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.

–from Hebrews 4

We can’t hide anything from God! So let’s live with Him and allow Him to work in and through us! Let’s allow others to come to see the reality of His Word, His love, His promises through us!

 

 

 

What will you pass along?


Ever considered the legacy you will be passing along? Ever consider the impact or the stories that will continue after you? Ever reflected on the past and the generations that came before you? Do you feel connected? Are you making connections? Imagine getting to put that connection together from the origin till now. So what will be your legacy? What will you pass along?

Today’s reading starts in 1 Chronicles mapping out the genealogy from Adam to Abraham…

From Adam to Abraham

1Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; 4Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tuval, Meshech and Tiras. 6The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Diphath and Togarmah. 7The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim. 8The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan. 9The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Sabteca. The sons of Raama: Sheba and Dedan. 10Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first mighty warrior on the earth. 11Mizraim fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12Pathrusim, Casluhim—from whom the Philistines came—and Caphtorim. 13Canaan fathered Zidon his firstborn, Heth, 14and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites. 17The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud; Aram: Uz, Chul, Geter and Meshech. 18Arpachshad fathered Shelah and Shelah fathered Eber. 19To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg —for in his days the earth was divided— and his brother’s name was Joktan. 20Joktan fathered: Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah; 21Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were sons of Joktan. 24Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 25Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27Abram—that is Abraham.

Abraham’s Descendants

28The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29These are their descendants: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah. 34Abraham also fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek. 37The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. 38The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. 39The sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam. Lotan’s sister was Timna. 40The sons of Shobal: Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41The sons of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran. 42The sons of Etzer: Bilhan, Zaavan, Jaakan. The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.

Edom’s Rulers

43Now these were the kings who ruled in the land of Edom, before any king ruled over Bnei-Yisrael: Bela the son of Beor, the name of his city was Dinhabah. 44When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah ruled in his place. 45When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites ruled in his place. 46When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, ruled in his place—the name of his city was Avith. 47When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah ruled in his place. 48When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth-on-the-River ruled in his place. 49When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor ruled in his place. 50When Baal-Hanan died, Hadad ruled in his place—the name of his city was Pai, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-zahab. 51Then Hadad died. So the tribal chiefs of Edom were: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth 52chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon 53chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 54chief Magdiel, and chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.

–from 1 Chronicles 1

Will you pass along things that will last? Will you pass along things that will endure? Will you pass along things that will raise up? Will you pass along things that will encourage? Will you pass along things that will weigh the future generations down? Will you pass along things that will provide a way up and a way out? Will you pass along instruction and direction that will help them stay on track? Will you pass along information that calls them to a higher standard? Will you pass along things that will be a burden? What will you pass on the generations to come? Will you pass along the importance of God’s Word? Will you pass along the importance of treating others right? Will you pass along the truth of how what comes out of the heart is what determines if it is good or bad? Will you pass along the importance of perseverance? Will you pass along the hope and the truth of God’s love and provision? Will you pass along the miracles God has done in and through your life?

Religious Leaders Quiz Yeshua

1Then some Pharisees and Torah scholars came to Yeshua from Jerusalem. They said, 2“Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not do the ritual handwashing when they eat bread.” 3And answering, He said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 5But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever you might have gained from me is a gift to God,” 6he need not honor his father.’ On account of your tradition, you made void the word of God. 7Hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying, 8‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” 10Then Yeshua called the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. 11It’s not what goes into the mouth that makes the man unholy; but what comes out of the mouth, this makes the man unholy.” 12Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this saying?” 13But He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14Leave them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 15Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16“Are you also still lacking understanding?” Yeshua said. 17“Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and then is ejected into the sewer? 18But the things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and those things make the man unholy. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. 20These are the things that make the man unholy; but to eat with unwashed hands does not make the man unholy.”

A Reward for a Humble Woman

21Now Yeshua left from there and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22And behold, a Canaanite woman from that district came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, O Master, Ben-David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.” 23But He did not answer her a word. And when His disciples came, they were urging Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” 24But He responded, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25So she came and got down on her knees before Him, saying, “Master, help me!” 26And answering, He said, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27But she said, “Yes, Master, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then answering, Yeshua said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed in that very hour. 29After Yeshua left there, He went along the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on a mountainside and was sitting there. 30And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, blind, disabled, mute, and many others. And they laid them at His feet, and He healed them. 31So the crowd marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the disabled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Feeding More Hungry Followers

32Yeshua called His disciples and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they’ve stayed with Me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, because they might pass out on the way.” 33The disciples said to Him, “Where in this wasteland is enough bread to satisfy such a large crowd?” 34Yeshua said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.” 35After directing the crowd to recline on the ground, 36He took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks, He broke them. And He began giving them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds. 37And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up the broken pieces left over—seven baskets full. 38And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39And after sending away the crowds, Yeshua got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

–from Matthew 15