Let your light shine!


We are to be salt and light! We are to be light of the world shining from the hilltop! We are to not hide our light under a bushel but put it high for others to see! We are to let our light shine before people!


Don’t allow fear to creep around in the dark robing others of the joy they could have by living in the light of Jesus! Don’t allow fears to overwhelm you, instead compare them to how great and big God is so that the reality of how small they are so that you can shine bright! Don’t be afraid! Fear Not Just Believe! Stand tall and shine bright! So let’s show everyone how we aren’t afraid by letting our lights shine! Don’t be scared! Let your light shine!

Why not start today with some joy by listening to this short video?

So as we start this day will you be a conduit of light into this dark world around us? Will you let your light shine in and through everything you do in life? Will your light shine so bright that people will notice?

Will you allow God to bring calm to the storm? Will you allow God to bring peace in the midst of the trials? Will you allow God’s light to shine on you in the midst of the darkness? Will you allow God’s love to fill your heart to overflowing? Will you allow God into your heart that He will be with you to lead and guide, direct and correct? Will you put your hope and trust in God and then walk out your steps following His narrow path and into His presence? Let His light shine down on you! Fear not the darkness but rather receive Jesus and allow His light to shine down on you!



Will you let your light shine? Will you let God’s light shine thru you?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 309 of 312)


Ever been faced with a challenge or threat?

Ever been faced with an awkward moment where if you didn’t do something there was going to be trouble?

Ever been faced with a situation where you had to come out and share something personal about yourself?

How did you do it? How did you get the courage? How did you know it was the right thing to do? How did you know it was the right time to do it?

Would you be able to come out and tell people that you are a Christian?

Would you be able to come out and tell people that you are a follower of the one true God?

Would you be able to shine so bright that others will know that Jesus is your Lord and Savior?

Imagine the pressure on Esther. Imagine the potential outcome of inaction. Imagine the position she was in and the impact and influence that could yield. Imagine the risk of sharing who she was to her life and the lives of those she cared for. Imagine what it would take to build up the faith, the courage, and the boldness to go through with it.

Would you consider fasting about it?

Would you consider asking your trusted friends to pray with you about it?

Would you step up and step out to do it?

Wold you let your light shine so brightly that it could let everyone know what you believe in?

Do you realize that if you don’t answer the call you have been given that you will miss the window and God will raise up someone else to get it done. How would you respond to the message that you will be … or you will be nothing? I know it didn’t sit well with me when it happened. We see in today’s reading that Esther didn’t like the other option either and called for a 3 day prayer and fasting in preparation of stepping out and letting her light shine before the king.

You don’t want others to be lost or left behind right? So let your light shine and point them in the right way back to God!

You don’t want others to be lead astray right? So let your light shine so that people will know the truth and the truth will set them free!

You want people to hear of Jesus before it is too late and that they will receive Him so that when He returns they won’t be left behind, have to deal with the trials and tribulations, or even worse end up being thrown into the fiery pit right where they will be mourning and screaming and spend eternity apart from God right?

You don’t anyone to be loss right? So help them to know the spiritual food they need to eat in order to not die.

Consider Paul’s situation and how he wanted to save the people’s lives:

‘About midnight on the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were being driven across the Sea of Adria, the sailors sensed land was near. They dropped a weighted line and found that the water was 120 feet deep. But a little later they measured again and found it was only 90 feet deep. At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight. Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away. Just as day was dawning, Paul urged everyone to eat. “You have been so worried that you haven’t touched food for two weeks,” he said. “Please eat something now for your own good. For not a hair of your heads will perish.” Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and broke off a piece and ate it. Then everyone was encouraged and began to eat— all 276 of us who were on board. After eating, the crew lightened the ship further by throwing the cargo of wheat overboard.’

— Acts of the Apostles 27:27-38

Let’s let the light of God shine through us that nobody would be in the darkness but would know there is light and love and hope.

Let’s let our light shine and praise God!

Let’s let our light shine and reach out to the brokenhearted!

Let’s let our light shine in the darkness just light the stars bring light into the night darknes!

Let’s shine the light of God by sharing God’s Word and God’s love with the world around us!

Let’s make it happen before it is too late!


So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. 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 surpasses 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 rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment 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 do you do when it feels cold and dark?


What if it is outside? What if it is inside? What if it is in your mind? What if it is in your heart? Is your response difference? Are you sure that it is for real? Do you know how long it will last? Do you know that the sun will rise? Do you know if the clouds will clear? Do you know how to replace it in your mind?

Do you have something else to fill your mind and your thoughts with that will bring warmth and light? Do you have something that you can fill your heart with that will bring warmth and light?

Do you realize that there is something that can turn the dark and cold into hope and life? Do you realize that you were never meant to try and go through this life alone? Do you realize that a way was made even though it doesn’t feel like there is a way in the moment? Do you realize that some call it THE WAY? Do you realize there are ways to add warmth and bring light into the situation?

Do you realize there are others around you who are feeling the cold and living in the dark? Do you realize that even when you are doing OK that you may need to be speaking truth and life in love to the people around you? Do you realize that you have been put in such a time and such a place as this in order to make a difference to those around you? Do you realize they see you and wonder how you can be that way? Do you realize they are watching you and wonder how you can feel that way? Do you realize they are observing you and hoping or wondering if it is possible for them to have it too?


Jesus is the key and the answer


What do you do when it feels cold and dark?

Will you share your warmth and your light with others? Will you share that hope that is within you with others? Will you share the truth with others? Will you share love with others?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 3
  • Ezekiel 44
  • Acts 23:12-22
  • Revelation 16:17-21
  • Psalms 136

Look at the broken and help build them up. Look at the injured and help them to heal through love and forgiveness.

Don’t go it alone! Support one another. Encourage one another. Love one another. Help one another. We each have a part to do!

Let’s help others have a heart for God and allow them to invite Jesus into their hearts and be transformed. Let’s help them to receive the Holy Spirit into their lives as their comforter and their guide to help them to live.

We need to share the truth of God’s plan that we will have a hope and a future. We need to share the truth of God’s plan that we are to have life and life more abundantly. We need to share the truth of God’s plan that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. We need to share the truth of God who loves us more than we can ever understand,

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 16-19

Even when there are trials and troubles, we can take hope for Jesus has overcome the world and we can consider it pure joy because we know that when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when our endurance is fully developed, we will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If we see something wrong, we need to speak up and speak out.

If we hear something wrong, we need to speak up and speak out.

We need to ensure that we allow the truth to set us free.

Jesus is the finishing of God’s plan. First when He paid the ultimate price of dying on the cross to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way for us to be reconciled back unto God. Finally when He will return and usher us into heaven and the eternal presence of God.

So let’s allow God’s faithful love that endures forever to cause us to give thanks!


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 surpasses 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 rejoice 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:


Will you allow the light to shine thru and warm up the situation?

What to do when it is so dark and hard to see?


Don’t lose hope! Don’t give in! Don’t give up! It’s time to persevere! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds! Take hope when you face the troubles of this world! Allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength! Let your light shine! Just because the situation changed, it doesn’t mean the hope is gone! Just because the location changed, it doesn’t mean the love it gone! Just because you don’t know what to say, it doesn’t mean it is over!

As I was walking through the San Diego airport and heading to my gate a sign showed up that caught my attention. It made me think of David and his dancing as the ark was coming back into the city. It made me think of the incredible wedding I had gotten to be a part of just a few days earlier and the celebration that took place among family and friends. This was the sign I saw at the bottom of the escalator that I had to stop and take a picture of:

How do we get back to it when the enemy comes and tries to break things up? How do we clarity misunderstandings that cause conversation to clam up? How do we reset something that was going so well just moments before and then felt like the wheels fell off moments after landing? How do we put things back on track when life shows up again and starts pulling at you?


What to do when it is so dark and hard to see?


Today’s reading in God’s Word comes from:

  • Nehemiah 1
  • Nehemiah 2
  • Ezekiel 43
  • Acts 22:30
  • Acts 23:1-11
  • Revelation 16:1-16
  • Psalms 135

Do you realize it is OK to weep and mourn it? Do you realize it is OK to fast and pray about it? Do you realize it is OK to lift it up and trust God for it? Do you realize that you can trust God to rescue the situation? Do you realize that you can trust God to restore the situation? Will you list to God’s direction and obey His instructions? Pray that you will find success today and find favor!

Will you put on a mask to hide the reality? Will you try to pretend like everything is OK, even when it isn’t? Will you allow fear to rule your responses today or will you trust God to help you in and through the moment? Will you take a pause before giving answers in order to give a good answer that comes from God to heal the situation? Will you take a pause and pray for wisdom into how to answer?

Consider the words of God about asking…

7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

God won’t send you alone even though He has given you His Word.

Are you willing to check it out for yourself so that you know the situation? Are you willing to check it out for yourself so that you can understand the situation? Are you willing to do something about it rather than only going based on emotions and feelings? Will you absorb what God has told you and shown you before you open up and take action? Will you trust God to help you succeed? Will you start to rebuild now that you are home?

Will you trust that in the midst of the darkness that God’s light will shine? Will you trust that in the midst of the darkness that God’s glory will shine?

While on vacation do you realize the battle hadn’t stopped? While on vacation do you realize that there is still a spiritual war taking place for the souls of the people around you? Do you realize that by coming back to your land, you have stepped back into the spiritual war zone you had left? Do you realize you may have come back filled and renewed that the enemy of your soul is looking for a way to tear it down, rob it from you, and destroy as much of it as possible?

We need to come back together and make it whole. We need to talk through the misunderstanding in order to restore and renew and refresh the truth, the love, and the relationship.

Will you stand your ground and stand for what you believe in? Even in the midst of the trouble?

Are you able to see the division or reason in the situation? Are you able to bring God’s Word into that situation in order to restore and bring things back under the cover of the Lord?

Receive today’s message from the Lord to Be encouraged! to Preach the Good News!

So let’s praise the Lord! Let’s praise those who serve the Lord! Let’s praise the Lord for He is good! Let’s praise the Lord for He is great! Let’s praise the Lord who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! Let’s praise the Lord who endures forever! Let’s praise the Lord who is known in every generation! Let’s praise the Lord who gives justice to His people! Let’s praise the Lord who has compassion on His servants!


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 surpasses 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 rejoice 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:

Prayer of Salvation

Don’t lose hope! Don’t be afraid! God will make a way!


Are things looking tough? Are things feeling rough? Are things feeling overwhelming? Are things feeling tense? Are things feeling uncertain?

How are you responding? You can’t control what comes your way but you can control how you respond. Are you being light in the midst of the darkness? Are you being encouragement in the midst of despair? Are you being love in the midst of hate? Are you being unifying in the midst of division? Are you being a peacemaker in the midst of quarrel? Are you being a solver in the midst of problems? Are you being wisdom in the midst of confusion? Are you being a provider in the midst of lack? How are you responding so that others can see Jesus through you? How is God calling you to respond in order to glorify Him?

What is your role? What is your purpose? What is your part? What will you do about it?

Remember, even when you feel alone, you are not alone, there are others.


Today’s reading gets us started in 1 Kings 19, so let’s see what we can hear and learn through God’s Word in today’s reading…

‘When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord ,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.’

1 Kings 19

‘“Now then, I will reveal the truth to you. Three more Persian kings will reign, to be succeeded by a fourth, far richer than the others. He will use his wealth to stir up everyone to fight against the kingdom of Greece. “Then a mighty king will rise to power who will rule with great authority and accomplish everything he sets out to do. But at the height of his power, his kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts. It will not be ruled by the king’s descendants, nor will the kingdom hold the authority it once had. For his empire will be uprooted and given to others. “The king of the south will increase in power, but one of his own officials will become more powerful than he and will rule his kingdom with great strength. “Some years later an alliance will be formed between the king of the north and the king of the south. The daughter of the king of the south will be given in marriage to the king of the north to secure the alliance, but she will lose her influence over him, and so will her father. She will be abandoned along with her supporters. But when one of her relatives becomes king of the south, he will raise an army and enter the fortress of the king of the north and defeat him. When he returns to Egypt, he will carry back their idols with him, along with priceless articles of gold and silver. For some years afterward he will leave the king of the north alone. “Later the king of the north will invade the realm of the king of the south but will soon return to his own land. However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy’s fortress. “Then, in a rage, the king of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them. After the enemy army is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will execute many thousands of his enemies. But his success will be short lived. “A few years later the king of the north will return with a fully equipped army far greater than before. At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed. Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught. “The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it. He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail. “After this, he will turn his attention to the coastland and conquer many cities. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and cause him to retreat in shame. He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle. “The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue. Before him great armies will be swept away, including a covenant prince. With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. Without warning he will enter the richest areas of the land. Then he will distribute among his followers the plunder and wealth of the rich—something his predecessors had never done. He will plot the overthrow of strongholds, but this will last for only a short while. “Then he will stir up his courage and raise a great army against the king of the south. The king of the south will go to battle with a mighty army, but to no avail, for there will be plots against him. His own household will cause his downfall. His army will be swept away, and many will be killed. Seeking nothing but each other’s harm, these kings will plot against each other at the conference table, attempting to deceive each other. But it will make no difference, for the end will come at the appointed time. “The king of the north will then return home with great riches. On the way he will set himself against the people of the holy covenant, doing much damage before continuing his journey. “Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him. “Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. “The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all. Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts. Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. “Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants. “But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many. He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him.’

Daniel 11

‘As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” “You can,” Philip answered, “if you believe with all your heart.” And the eunuch replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.’

Acts 8:26-40

‘Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.’

1 John 4:7-21

‘Let all that I am praise the Lord . O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants. You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains. At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth. You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains. They provide water for all the animals, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees. You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor. You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth— wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength. The trees of the Lord are well cared for— the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests, and the storks make their homes in the cypresses. High in the mountains live the wild goats, and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes. You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set. You send the darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals prowl about. Then the young lions roar for their prey, stalking the food provided by God. At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest. Then people go off to their work, where they labor until evening. O Lord , what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small. See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea. They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made! The earth trembles at his glance; the mountains smoke at his touch. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord . Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth; let the wicked disappear forever. Let all that I am praise the Lord . Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 104

Do you know Jesus and are looking for a reason or a plan or a purpose for how to step out today? Do you know Jesus and wonder how you can make a difference in the world around you? Some get called to go out around the world to share the hope and love of Jesus. Some get called into the workplace where they can share the hope and love of Jesus. God’s Word shows us that the commission of Jesus isn’t any greater or less based on distance from home, just that we each have a role to play whether it is local (Jerusalem), in the near by places we go like your city and country (Judea and Samaria), or to the far off places (the uttermost parts of the earth). So when we receive Jesus and we receive His power, we are to go and do His will. So will you pick up the call and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you? Your home? Your neighborhood? Your city or town? Your workplace? Your state or province? Your country? The world?

If you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart yet and started this incredible relationship and journey with Him, is today your day? Let’s pray together and invite Him in.

If you prayed this and asked Jesus into your heart, would you be willing to leave me a note so that I can keep you in my prayers? If you want to talk then please leave a comment to and we can discuss.

If you are going or considering going into the world and would like to chat, leave me a comment so we can chat/discuss.

God has great plans for each of us, so let’s not walk in fear but rather our faith and trust in Him!

YALE UNIVERSITY SEAL AND MOTTO …(The Bible’s Impact on the Academy – Education) [Sept 3]


Ever consider where education got started? Ever considered the original intent of why schools from elementary up to college and university levels were setup? Ever considered where they are now in comparison? Ever considered what was supposed to be in them versus what has now been removed? Ever considered what things we need versus what things we want? Ever considered what things are beneficial versus what things are a detriment to both the student and society? Ever considered what things are necessary to make a school, an education, a student successful in life? What things bring clarity? What things bring confusion? What things bring truth? What things create deception? What is the priority? What should be the priority? What things should be included? What things should be excluded? What things should be added? What things should be removed?

Well today’s reading comes to us from Leviticus 8

Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2″Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. 3And assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” 4And Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
5And Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. 7And he put the coat on him and tied the sash around his waist and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him and tied the skillfully woven band of the ephod around him, binding it to him with the band. 8And he placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. 9And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.
10Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11And he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. 12And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13And Moses brought Aaron’s sons and clothed them with coats and tied sashes around their waists and bound caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.
14Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15And he killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16And he took all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar. 17But the bull and its skin and its flesh and its dung he burned up with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.
18Then he presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 19And he killed it, and Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 20He cut the ram into pieces, and Moses burned the head and the pieces and the fat. 21He washed the entrails and the legs with water, and Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering for the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.
22Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23And he killed it, and Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24Then he presented Aaron’s sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 25Then he took the fat and the fat tail and all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat and the right thigh, 26and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened loaf and one loaf of bread with oil and one wafer and placed them on the pieces of fat and on the right thigh. 27And he put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before the Lord. 28Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 29And Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave offering before the Lord. It was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, as the Lord commanded Moses.
30Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and also on his sons and his sons’ garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.
31And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the flesh at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there eat it and the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat it.’ 32And what remains of the flesh and the bread you shall burn up with fire. 33And you shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for it will take seven days to ordain you. 34As has been done today, the Lord has commanded to be done to make atonement for you. 35At the entrance of the tent of meeting you shall remain day and night for seven days, performing what the Lord has charged, so that you do not die, for so I have been commanded.” 36And Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord commanded by Moses.

–from Leviticus 8

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on the Academy or Education brings us the topic of the Yale University Seal and Motto. We learn about Yale’s ranking as one of the top universities in the world. We learn about its origin and how back in 1701 it was founded to train ministers in theology and ancient biblical languages. We also learn how it eventually expanded to include the sciences and humanities. They also have the notoriety of becoming the first university in the United States to award a doctorate. Today’s devotional points us to the Yale University Seal and Motto and their biblical inspiration. We see the book in the center of the seal that contains 2 Hebrew words: אוּרִים (Urim) and וְתֻמִּים (Thummim). These were put into the priest breastplate as we see from today’s reading with the purpose of helping them to stay connected to God with wisdom about questions and situations as well as receiving discernment of the will of God. The exact meaning of “Urim and Thummim” is unknown, however, today’s devotional provides us with suggestions for possible interpretations as “guilty and not guilty”, “cursed and innocent”, and “light and truth”. Today’s devotional also includes the school motto which is in Latin and is the phrase “Lux et Veritas” which means “Light and Truth”. We see how the two hebrew words comes out of today’s reading from Leviticus 8:8:

‘And he placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. ‘ Leviticus 8:8

It’s amazing all you can find looking up the words, the meanings, the original intent, the purpose, and the history of Yale.

So what do you believe? Have you had a divine encounter? Have you been seeking your purpose? Have you been pursuing the plan for your life? We each pick a way or choose a path which gives us instruction and direction. Will you invite the Holy Spirit into the situation so that you can find grace, receive instruction and allow God to guide your path?

Let’s pray…

the-lords-prayer

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

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 Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. Help me Lord with wisdom and discernment for every situation so that I may bring You praise, honor, and glory in and through it all, in Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

COPERNICUS ON GOD’S CREATION…(The Bible’s Impact on Scientific Discovery [July 14])


Are you glad? Are you happy? Are you content? At work I have drawn a rainbow on my window which can be seen outside but is more for a backdrop when I am in meetings as right inside the arch are the words “Happy Today!!”. I put under that two assumptions for it being “Happy Today!!” – First assumption is “no matter what happens” and the Second assumption is “you are alive”. Based on these two things every day – 7 days a week – I can say “Happy Today!!” – Happy Monday, Happy Tuesday, Happy Wednesday, Happy Thursday, Happy Friday, Happy Saturday, Happy Sunday. It has become contagious. How many place have you ever been where you here people saying “Happy Monday” – I am blessed and at GoDaddy it is happening. Some people have even started picking up advanced “Happy Today” techniques like saying “Happy Friday-eve” on Thursdays. 🙂 I don’t limit this to the office but the building, the elevator, Starbucks, and most everywhere I go. How about you? Are you letting your light shine? Are you being a being of hope, optimism, truth, and love? Are you letting your light shine in this world where things can seem to dark and gloomy to everyone?

Today’s reading comes to us from Psalms 92 and it says…

How Great Are Your Works

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
5 How great are your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep!
6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8 but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
9 For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

–from Psalms 92

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on scientific discovery brings us the topic of Copernicus on God’s Creation. In today’s devotional, we learn about  how Nicolaus Copernicus who was a Polish mathematician, astronomer, and Canon of Poland’s Frauenburg Cathedral revolutionized science by suggesting that the Sun rather than the Earth was at the center of the universe, contradicting the popular notion that everything rotated around the Earth. We learn how Copernicus ‘ view was an investigation of the mysteries of creation and its creator through the exploration of through scientific investigation. Today’s devotional closes on the subject of Copernicus reflecting on creation in his “On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres” which points to part of our reading from Psalm 92:4 which says…

‘ For you, O Lord , have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.’ — Psalms 92:4

Today’s devotional captures the following …

For who, after applying himself to things which he sees established in the best order and directed by divine ruling, would not through diligent contemplation of them and through a certain habituation be awakened to that which is best and would not wonder at the Artificer of all things, in Whom is all happiness and every good? For the divine Psalmist surely did not say gratuitously that he took pleasure in the workings of God and rejoiced in the works of His hands, unless by means of these things as by some sort of vehicle we are transported to the contemplation of the highest Good.

–from Nicolaus Copernicus, On The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres: Book I

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

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 will be in it. I thank You Lord for this is the day that You have made so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Help me Lord to let my light shine in a way that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory. Help me Lord to let others see Jesus in and through me. Help me Lord to live out my life not with fear or worry but with boldness, courage, and faith that You are with me and so all things are possible because I believe in You. Help me Lord to focus on those things which are beneficial. And Lord as I prepare for this day help me Lord to live it out in a way that will bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

THE SABBATH…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 26])


Do you realize the importance of rest? Do you realize the importance of taking time to stop and rest? Do you realize that we can wear ourselves out if we don’t make time to rest? Do you realize how hard it is to catch up on rest once you fall behind? Do you realize the impact it has on your health? your focus? your relationships? your work? your self-talk? your thoughts? Do you make time to rest? Do you take time to rest?

Is there ever a reason to not do good? Is there ever a reason to not help? Is there ever a reason why you can’t make a difference? Is there ever a reason to not love?

Do you realize that when you lose that reason and purpose and that mission then what is the point? If we are to be salt and light but we aren’t being salt and being seasoning, being a preservative, being a disinfectant then what good are we? If we are supposed to be reflecting the light of Jesus and shine into this dark world and we don’t, then what good are we? You remember what happens to salt once it has lost its taste right?

Today’s reading comes to us from Luke 14

Healing of a Man on the Sabbath

1One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out? 6And they could not reply to these things.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

7Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8″When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

The Parable of the Great Banquet

12He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
15When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’

The Cost of Discipleship

25Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26″If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless

34″Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

from Luke 14

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the impact of the Bible on Trade and Taxes speaks to us on the topic of The Sabbath and points us to Luke 14:1-5 which says…

‘One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” ‘

from Luke 14:1-5

It teaches of how this was part of the Ten Commandments. It teaches us we are to set aside a day of rest. It also teaches us it is a matter of the heart and not just rules and routines. We see how in today’s reading from Luke people were more interested in the rules and rigger than the heart. We see how Jesus spotted that and confronted them on it. Will you do good or will you do evil? Will you live out grace or will you judge? judgement is the Lords! He is just! He is good! And without Jesus there is no reconciliation whereas with Jesus there is forgiveness of sin. So we need to be living out our lives knowing Jesus and being in relationship with Him. We also need to be making Him known in the world around us.

Today’s devotional also goes into the difference between which day of the week is considered the Sabbath for Christians and Jews. We learn about in AD 321, Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity proclaimed Sunday a legal day of rest instead of the longstanding Jewish Sabbath day on Saturday. He ordered all judges, city workers, and craftsmen to rest on that day. Around AD 363, another impact on trade and taxes took place when the Council of Laodicea declared that Christians must work on Saturday and honor Sunday as the Lord’s day.

We see the impact of this even today as many people set aside one day a week to rest from work.

How about you? Where does it stand when it comes to you getting rest? Where does it come when you consider being forgiven when you miss the mark or sin?

Let’s Pray…

Salvation Prayer 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 Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that with You all things are possible. I thank You that You sent Jesus to make up for the misses in my life and the lives of everyone. I thank You Lord for the gift to receive salvation and be transformed from the inside out. Help me Lord to be salt and light today. Help me to be like the moon that reflects the sun by reflecting the light of Your Son into the lives of all those around me that You bring into my life today. Help me Lord to have wisdom to reach out. Help me Lord to have wisdom to seek out. Help me Lord to see beyond myself and become more like Jesus today. Help me Lord to be love extended to the world around me. Help me Lord through every thought, word, and deed to bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you walk around bumping into things in the dark?


In this dark world, how are you making your way? In this dark world, how are you staying on track? In this dark world, how are you seeing where to go? In this dark world, how are you knowing what is ahead of you? In this dark world, how are you knowing what your response will be? In this dark world, how are you preparing yourself for what is ahead of you?

I know when I think about when I am driving my car at night, I tend to turn on the headlights and when necessary even putting on the high beams in order to be able to see a bit further ahead. When it is dark and foggy then I need to use normal lights but also to slow down since visibility isn’t as good. In life we need a light that can be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! In life we need to be able to let our light shine that others may see it and praise our Father in heaven. In life we need to lift up our light so that it will increase visibility – kind of like the high beams on a car.

Without the light we won’t know how to proceed when something comes across our path. Without the light we won’t know how to respond when something comes across our path. Without the light we won’t see what is coming across our path. Without light we won’t be able to know that we are staying on the path. So we need to make time to spend time with God and in His Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path so that we can stay on the path and be prepared for whatever may come across our path. We need to build our lives on the solid foundation of Jesus! We need to follow His example loving God and loving people! We need to be spending time with God so that we know Him and can then make Him known in the world around us!

How will you know what to do on the mountaintop? How will you know what to do when you are leaving the mountaintop for the next which requires first going down? How will you know what to do in the valley? How will you know what to do when you have to start going up from the valley? Be it at the top or at the bottom or somewhere in the middle, we need God’s lamp to help us stay on track and on the path He has for us to follow.

Let’s pour out our freewill offerings to God of praise daily! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!

Today’s reading from Psalm 119 speaks to this very point…

Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Aleph

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!

Beth

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Gimel

17 Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

He

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Waw

41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
51 The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.
55 I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts.

Heth

57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
58 I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies;
60 I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments.
61 Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules.
63 I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!

Teth

65 You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
69 The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Yodh

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.
78 Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies.
80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

Kaph

81 My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
82 My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”
83 For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law.
86 All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87 They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Lamedh

89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Mem

97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.
107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Samekh

113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!
118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.

Ayin

121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.
123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken.
127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.

Pe

129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

Tsadhe

137 Righteous are you, O Lord, and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.

Qoph

145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep your statutes.
146 I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.
149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.
150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.
151 But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true.
152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever.

Resh

153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands.
159 Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Sin and Shin

161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

Taw

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord; give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

–from Psalm 119

So let’s spend time in God’s Word which is a love letter to us. Let’s make God’s Word a priority so that we will have light in our hearts and it will overflow from our mouths. Let’s make God’s Word our core so that we will be light in this world to point people to Jesus! Let’s make God’s Word our center so that our eyes won’t grow dim and our vision unclear. Let’s put God first and His kingdom purposes and trust in Him! Let’s be the light we are called to be! Let’s be the light on a hilltop that cannot be hidden! Let’s be the light of the room not hidden under a bowl but held high so that the room brightens up! Let’s let our light shine so that others will see it and praise our heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional that is spoken of in the Global Impact Bible in relations to history and philosophy comes in the form of Aquinas emphasis on faith and reason. Let’s allow faith and reason to work in our lives too so that we can use them throughout our days pointing the truth and the reality of how we do or can live out our lives. Thomas Aquinas ranks among history’s most influential thinkers! Faith and reason are compatible even though may have thought the opposite – he spoke to how they were both gifts from God!

(I know my science and math background have helped me feel more clear about the miraculous – ex. miracles – when I consider that God is in a dimension higher than ours [how many TBD] and compare it to us being 3D and how we can perform miracles for a 2D person with a pencil and eraser, it makes sense to me that God and His miracles are real and can happen).

We see from today’s devotional how “Aquinas taught how that revelation could guide reason, while reason could clarify faith. He also argued that faith and reason could prove the existence of God. Aquinas was well versed in the Bible and often used it to support his points.” (The Global Impact Bible – displayed in Psalm 119)

Consider his impact on Walter Freeman and James Joyce


Heavenly Father,
I lift up this day to You and ask Lord that You will lead me and guide me. Help my actions and my responses to be in alignment with Your will and Your purpose so that in all I say and all I do, Your light will shine as a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Help me to have clarity and increase my vision that I may dream bigger dreams and take hold of Your purpose and plans for me and my life and the generations to come. Lord, Your Word speaks to bringing us before kings and I pray God wisdom in those times. Lord, Your Word speaks to granting us favor and I pray that You will grant me wisdom in those times. Help me to make it more about You Lord so that in and through it all I will let my light shine and people will give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood!


Do you realize the battle taking place all around you? Do you realize the impact it is having on people’s lives? Do you realize the influence it is having on temptation? Do you see how it is causing pain and suffering through division and destruction? Do you know what is causing it? You may not be able to see it, but you can probably feel it! You may not be able to name it, but it is real and it is working to rob, kill, and destroy!

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

–from Ephesians 6:12 NLT

So we need to know what is going on and how to respond! We need to know how to stand firm against it! We need to know how to be prepared!

The Whole Armor of God

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

–from Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT

Don’t be caught by surprise! Don’t allow the enemy of your soul to sow seeds of doubt or division! Don’t allow the enemy of your soul to separate you from others believers leaving you alone to his devilish techniques! He wants to try and get you to believe the lie that he is stronger than God! He wants to try and get you to believe the lie that this world is all that there is! He wants to try and get you to believe the lie that you are all alone! He wants to try and get you to believe the lie that free will isn’t real and to make you believe you are a puppet! He wants to try and get you to believe the lie that you can’t make a difference today or into the future, that you life doesn’t matter!

Don’t allow these lies to derail or trick you! Turn to God’s Word which is true! Turn to Jesus where you will find life! Will it be easy? No! In this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Don’t give up! Persevere! Lean on Jesus so that when you face trials of any kind, you can consider it pure joy knowing the truth that whenever you face trials of many kinds it will build up your faith because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and that when we keep going and persevere that we will be be mature and complete, not lacking anything! Jesus came that we would have life and life more abundantly!

This is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it!

Let’s take hold of the truth and resist the devil so that he will flee! Let’s allow Jesus to lead and guide us! Let’s live our lives as salt and light!  Darkness flees because of the light! Let’s be light that exposes the lies of the devil! Let’s be light that enlightens people to the reality of God! Let’s be light which points people to Jesus who is the way out! He is the way, the truth, and the life! Let’s be salt that helps preserve life! Let’s be salt that adds flavor to life! Let’s be salt that helps purify life! Let’s be salt that helps life grow! Let’s be salt that causes others to thirst for Jesus!


Today’s devotional:

How to Avoid Spiritual Infections

Day 335: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Thank God continually … Psalms 136:13-26
  2. Stay close to Jesus … 1 John 2:12-27
  3. Remember his victory is complete … Daniel 7, Daniel 8:1-14

 

Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

Do you see the lights?


On a clear blue sky day…do you see the lights? On a cloudy grey day…do you see the lights? On a clear dark evening…do you see the lights? On a cloudy night…do you see the lights? In the midst of the storm…do you see the lights? At the top of the hill…do you see the lights? While at the bottom of the valley…do you see the lights? While on the journey…do you see the lights?

Are you shining? Are you shining light a city on a hill? Are you shining that others may see the light and praise our Father in heaven? Are you sharing hope and joy each day so that others may see the light no matter what they are going thru?

Do you see the darkness filling up this world? Do you feel the darkness trying to cover this world? Do you see how the world is trying to take way the light and replace it with darkness? How often do you ever see a good news report on the news?

There is a spiritual battle taking place for the souls of the people around us. There is a spiritual battle that requires our action or else they won’t know there is another option, that there is hope, that they have a choice! Will you let your light shine into this spiritually dark world? Will you take it out from under your better or under a basket that others may be able to see it?

14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

–from Matthew 5

Have I gone through dark times? Yes. Has the hope and the light of Jesus gone out during those times? No. Was I being obedient to the prompting of the Spirit during those dark times? Sometimes. When I started to be obedient did it help? Yes – the situation didn’t change but my heart, my perspective, and my responses did. The joy of the Lord became my strength! Forgiveness provided me the key to freedom! When it got dark and I was being obedient, God was there for me, I knew He was and I knew I had to press on! In this world, we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! When we take hold of Jesus in the dark times, we can grab hold of the truth that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because I know that the testing of my faith produces perseverance and when I let perseverance finish its work in me that it will complete me making me be mature, not lacking anything.

So let’s take hold of John 1:5 and let our lights shine because the Holy Spirit is in us!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

–John 1:5

Ever seen what happens when the light is raised in a dark room? Even when the light is a small candle? When they were low it was a dark room, look how bright it gets when everyone lifts up their light and the impact on the world around them…

A little light in the midst of darkness can clear things up


The Light of God’s Smile of Blessing is On You — Day 186: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 80:8-19, Acts 24, 2 Kings 10, 2 Kings 11

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/186


  1. The light of God’s smile … Psalm 80:8-19

    • 19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

  2. The light of the gospel … Acts 24:1-27

    • The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. –from 2 Corinthians 4:4

    • People thinking of Christianity as cult isn’t a new thing, it has been there even since the time of Paul.
  3. The light of young people … 2 Kings 10:1-11:21

    • 21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.

4 days…


Timing… Perspective… Position… Placement… Action… Response… Questions… Answers… Retrospective… Control… Preparation… Faith… Peace… Joy… Hope… Trust… Love… Sow… Reap… Invest… Return… Steward… Selfless… Serve… Heart… Lead… Follow… Obey… Humility… Turn… Patience… Kindness… Goodness… Self-Control… Faithful… Gentleness… Endurance… Restraint…

What will be next? What will end? What will begin? What will continue? What will change? What will stay the same?

Where will you turn? Who will you talk to? When will you notice? When will you realize? Why will it take so long? Why not sooner? Why not now? How will it impact you? How will it make a difference? How will you respond? How will you react? How will you know?

The countdown continues…


Today’s reading comes from Nehemiah 7-8, and 1 John 1. Let’s take hold of all God has to say today and let’s share His hope and His love with the world around us so that they may hear the Good News of Jesus and respond before their time runs out.

What happens to people when they accomplish something? What happens to people when they meet their goals? What happens when it is finished? What’s next? New plan? New purpose? New schedule? New direction? What things will stay the same? What things will change? Will we need to take a count or audit of what is left? Will we need to consider the skills and talents of the remnant? Will we need to press on to the next milestone? Will there be new goals? Will there be new work?

1And now the wall had been rebuilt, the gates had all been put in place, and the Temple guards, the members of the sacred choir, and the other Levites had been assigned their work. 2I put two men in charge of governing the city of Jerusalem: my brother Hanani and Hananiah, commanding officer of the fortress. Hananiah was a reliable and God-fearing man without equal. 3I told them not to have the gates of Jerusalem opened in the morning until well after sunrise and to have them closed and barred before the guards went off duty at sunset. I also told them to appoint guards from among the people who lived in Jerusalem and to assign some of them to specific posts and others to patrol the area around their own houses.

The List of Those Who Returned from Exile

(Ezra 2.1-70)
4Jerusalem was a large city, but not many people were living in it, and not many houses had been built yet. 5God inspired me to assemble the people and their leaders and officials and to check their family records. I located the records of those who had first returned from captivity, and this is the information I found:
6Many of the exiles left the province of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own hometown. Their families had been living in exile in Babylonia ever since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners. 7Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.
8-25This is the list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned from exile:
Parosh – 2,172
Shephatiah – 372
Arah – 652
Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) – 2,818
Elam – 1,254
Zattu – 845
Zaccai – 760
Binnui – 648
Bebai – 628
Azgad – 2,322
Adonikam – 667
Bigvai – 2,067
Adin – 655
Ater (also called Hezekiah) – 98
Hashum – 328
Bezai – 324
Hariph – 112
Gibeon – 95
26-38People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned:
Bethlehem and Netophah – 188
Anathoth – 128
Beth Azmaveth – 42
Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth – 743
Ramah and Geba – 621
Michmash – 122
Bethel and Ai – 123
The other Nebo – 52
The other Elam – 1,254
Harim – 320
Jericho – 345
Lod, Hadid, and Ono – 721
Senaah – 3,930
39-42This is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile:
Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua) – 973
Immer – 1,052
Pashhur – 1,247
Harim – 1,017
43-45Clans of Levites who returned from exile:
Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) – 74
Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) – 148
Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) – 138
46-56Clans of Temple workers who returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
Keros, Sia, Padon,
Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
Besai, Meunim, Nephushesim,
Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
Bazlith, Mehida, Harsha,
Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
Neziah, and Hatipha.
57-59Clans of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile:
Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,
Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Amon.
60The total number of descendants of the Temple workers and of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile was 392.
61-62There were 642 belonging to the clans of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites.
63-64The following priestly clans could find no record to prove their ancestry: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai. (The ancestor of the priestly clan of Barzillai had married a woman from the clan of Barzillai of Gilead and taken the name of his father-in-law’s clan.) Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not accepted as priests. 65 The Jewish governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a priest who could use the Urim and Thummim.
66-69Total number of exiles who returned – 42,360.
Their male and female servants – 7,337
Male and female musicians – 245
Horses – 736
Mules – 245
Camels – 435
Donkeys – 6,720
70-72Many of the people contributed to help pay the cost of restoring the Temple:
The governor 270 ounces of gold
50 ceremonial bowls
530 robes for priests
Heads of clans 337 pounds of gold
3,215 pounds of silver
The rest of the people 337 pounds of gold
2,923 pounds of silver
67 robes for priests
73  The priests, the Levites, the Temple guards, the musicians, many of the ordinary people, the Temple workers—all the people of Israel—settled in the towns and cities of Judah.
–Nehemiah 7

How about setting a common ground? How about setting up a firm foundation on which to build everything else? How about aligning things with a cornerstone so that as things start to get built up they are in line? How about using good resources to ensure it lasts?

Consider the solid foundation which is Jesus Christ! Consider the cornerstone to align with to be Jesus Christ! Consider the common ground to be rules of higher standards Jesus has called us to! Let’s first love God with all of our hearts, mind, soul, and strength! Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves! Let’s lead with love! Let’s put Jesus in the middle of all our relationships so that we can come together with common purposes! A chord of three strands is not easily broken! Let’s point people back to God! Let’s turn our lives back to God! Let’s walk with Him and in His ways! Let’s start a revival where God is glorified and lives are transformed for eternity! None of the “stuff” will last forever, only people! So we need to have God’s eyes and God’s ears and God’s heart for the people around us! God sent Jesus to save the world! His hope was that nobody would perish but that everyone would come to faith in Jesus! So let’s ask God how He would have us kick things off! Let’s ask God for clarity and vision, purpose and passion for His plan! Let’s ask God to make us sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit so that in every situation we will be able to step up and step in and help people be restored to God!

Ezra Reads the Law to the People

1By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to get the book of the Law. 2So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered—men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively.
4Ezra was standing on a wooden platform that had been built for the occasion. The following men stood at his right: Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and the following stood at his left: Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, the great God!”
All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.
7Then they rose and stood in their places, and the following Levites explained the Law to them: Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah. 8They gave an oral translation of God’s Law and explained it so that the people could understand it.
9When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the Law told all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God, so you are not to mourn or cry. 10Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.”
11The Levites went around calming the people and telling them not to be sad on such a holy day. 12So all the people went home and ate and drank joyfully and shared what they had with others, because they understood what had been read to them.

The Festival of Shelters

13The next day the heads of the clans, together with the priests and the Levites, went to Ezra to study the teachings of the Law. 14 They discovered that the Law, which the Lord gave through Moses, ordered the people of Israel to live in temporary shelters during the Festival of Shelters. 15So they gave the following instructions and sent them all through Jerusalem and the other cities and towns: “Go out to the hills and get branches from pines, olives, myrtles, palms, and other trees to make shelters according to the instructions written in the Law.”
16So the people got branches and built shelters on the flat roofs of their houses, in their yards, in the Temple courtyard, and in the public squares by the Water Gate and by the Ephraim Gate. 17All the people who had come back from captivity built shelters and lived in them. This was the first time it had been done since the days of Joshua son of Nun, and everybody was excited and happy. 18From the first day of the festival to the last they read a part of God’s Law every day. They celebrated for seven days, and on the eighth day there was a closing ceremony, as required in the Law.
–Nehemiah 8

Time is short! Life is like a mist! This world in its present form is passing away! We should live like stewards rather than owners as the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! We should live like servants as we serve the Lord! Be God’s hands and arms of love extended! See the world like He does! Hear the cries like He does! Ask Him for wisdom so that you know what to do! Ask Him for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in every situation because there may be more to it than what is on the surface! Let’s meditate on the Word of the Lord always! Let’s hope and trust Jesus in everything! Let’s live for eternity so that not only will we get to spend eternity with God but also that we can help others come into this same relationship!

The Word of Life

1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. 2 When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. 3What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write this in order that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

–1 John 1

Make time with God! Make time to hear from Him! Make time to do what He is calling you to do! Make time to speak life into the people He sends to you!

Can you trust what you are standing on?


What do you believe? What is your foundation? What is the basis for your belief? Is it solid? Is it dependable? Is it reliable? Can you trust it? Can it hold you up? Can you align to it? Are you able to walk out life because of it? Are you able to know how to live because of it? Are you able to get answers? Are you able to find hope? Are you expectant of what is yet to come? Does it set a standard that is high? Does it raise the bar? Are you able to call out? Are you able to know that the best is yet to come for you?

Is your foundation Jesus Christ? Is your cornerstone Jesus Christ?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Trust the Rock of Ages

1In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city. He appoints salvation as its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter— one that keeps faith. 3You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in Adonai forever, for the Lord Adonai is a Rock of ages. 5For He humbles those dwelling on high, leveling the lofty city, leveling it to the ground, bringing it down to the dust. 6Feet will trample it down, feet of the afflicted, the footsteps of the poor. 7The way of the righteous is straight. Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous. 8Yes, in the way of Your judgments, Adonai, we have waited for You. Your Name and Your remembrance is the desire of our soul. 9My soul longs for You at night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness. Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly, not perceiving the majesty of Adonai. 11Adonai, Your hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it; They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame. Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.

Your Dead Will Live!

12Adonai, You will establish shalom for us, for all our works You have done for us. 13Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us, but we remember Your Name alone. 14The dead do not live— dead souls do not rise. Thus You punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them. 15You have increased the nation, Adonai, You have increased the nation. You are glorified as You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16Adonai, they sought You in distress, they poured out a whispered prayer when Your discipline was upon them. 17As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were before You, Adonai. 18We have been with child, we have been in pain, yet we gave birth to wind. We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth, nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life. 19Yet it will be: “Your dead will live! My corpses will rise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust! Your dew is like the dew of the dawn. The land of dead souls will come to life! 20Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until the wrath is past. 21For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed, no longer covering up her slain.

–from Isaiah 26

Who do you depend on? Who do you rely on? Who are you leaning on? Are you leaning on God rather than your own understanding? Is your hope and trust in God? Is God your strength? Do you realize that in your weakness God will be your strength? Jesus is coming back! God’s plan is one of redemption for those who choose to follow Him! God’s plan is one of forgiveness for those who choose to follow Him! Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you invite Him into your heart?

Leviathan the Dragon

1In that day Adonai will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent with His fierce, great, strong sword, Leviathan the twisted serpent! He will slay the dragon in the sea.

Second Song of the Vineyard

2“In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of delight!’ 3I, Adonai, watch over it, I water it every moment. I guard it day and night, so that no one may harm it. 4It is not that I have wrath. Who would give me thorns and thistles? Into battle I would march against them! I would burn them up altogether! 5Rather let them rely on My strength. Let them make peace with Me— make peace with Me.”

Israel Will Blossom Again

6In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7Did He strike Israel as He struck those who struck them? Or were they slain as their slayers were slain? 8You contended with her by banishing her, by driving her away. With His fierce wind He expelled them on the day of the east wind. 9So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned and this the full price to remove his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like shattered chalk stones, so that the Asherah poles and incense rise no more. 10The fortified city is a lonely habitation, forlorn and forsaken like the desert. There the calf will graze, there lie down and consume its branches. 11When the boughs are withered, they will be broken off. Women come and set them on fire, for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—He who formed them will give them no grace. 12It will come about in that day, Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael. 13It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 27

Do you realize the importance of the cornerstone in building up? It ensures that everything is aligned! It ensures everything is in its right place! It ensure that you can build up in strength on that solid foundation! Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb! He came as the sacrificial lamb to give His all that we might be saved! He came as the lamb who showed us how to live a servant’s life! He came to be an example for us to follow! He is coming back as the Lion to finish things off! He will come back to complete the work! He has already won the battle against death! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation so that the new heaven and the new earth will come! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation and we will all live together in harmony with Him!

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God?

Will you choose to align with Jesus? Will you let Jesus be your solid foundation? Will you listen to His instruction? Will you align to His way? Will you live a transformed life?

A Cornerstone of Zion

1Oy , the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks! Its glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is at the head of the fertile valleys of those overcome with wine! 2Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty, like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a downpour of overflowing water, He hurls it down to earth with His hand. 3The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks will be trampled underfoot. 4The glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the fertile valley, like a first-ripe fig before summer— whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm. 5In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot will be a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, 6a spirit of judgment for him who sits on the judgment seat, and strength for those turning back the battle at the gate. 7But these also reel from wine and stagger from strong drink —the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink— are confused because of wine, they stagger because of strong drink, they are muddled in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit, no place is left. 9To whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? 10For it must be ‘precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ 11For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary, here is repose”— but they would not listen. 13So the word of Adonai is to them ‘precept on precept, precept on precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ So they walk, and fall backward, and are broken, trapped, and captured. 14Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem: 15“Because you have said, ‘We cut a covenant with death, we made a pact with Sheol, so when the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come for us, for we have made lies our refuge, and hid ourselves in falsehood’— 16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation— whoever trusts will not flee in haste. 17But I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death is annulled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand. An overflowing scourge will pass through and you will be its trampling place. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—morning by morning, by day and by night passing through. It will be sheer terror to understand the message.’” 20For too short is the bed to stretch on, too narrow the blanket to wrap up in. 21For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His deed, His strange deed, and to work His work, His extraordinary work. 22So now, stop your scoffing, lest your shackles be strengthened! For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot of destruction determined upon the whole land. 23Give ear and hear my voice! Pay attention and hear my words. 24Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed? Does he continually break open and harrow his ground? 25No! When he has leveled its surface, he scatters dill and sows cumin, plants wheat in rows, places barley, and rye on its border. 26For his God teaches him judgment, instructing him. 27For dill is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. 28Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly. Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it would only crush it to powder. 29This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot: Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.

–from Isaiah 28

So will you stop to listen? Will you actively listen to what God is saying to you? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you set it as your foundation? Will you align to the cornerstone? Will you build your life up upon it? Will you be different? Will you live different from the ways of the world? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

Will you follow after Jesus? Will you obey His command? Will you live the life of a servant? When you lead will you lead as a servant? When you work will you work as a servant? When you go, will you go as a servant? Will you stand firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ? Will you choose to believe? Will you choose to obey? Will you choose to serve and be Jesus’ hands extended to the world around you?

Will you walk in the light? Will you be like the moon who we see because it reflects the light of the sun? Will you reflect the light of the Son to the world around you?

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

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

Some Despise the Light and Harden

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

–from John 10