Have you completed your commitment? Are you able to go home?


Have you committed to something? Have you completed the commitment? Are you able to return home after your journey? Are you able to return home to celebrate all that God has been able to do in and through you? Are you able to return home and testify about all that you have seen and done? Are you ready to go back and make a difference in your own place? Are you ready to go back and create a culture and an impact on the lives of the people you have left behind? What are you going to do now that you have met your commitment?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:


Will you be just and fair? Will you do what is right and good? Will you speak out when something is going wrong? Will you speak with love and truth? Will you speak life and truth out of love? Will you speak in a way to praise God? Will you be a living sacrifice for God’s glory? Will you live and love in alignment with God’s will? Will you be just and fair? Will you keep your promises? Will you live a blameless life and do what is right?

Will you trust God with what you have been given?


Consider what you have been given. Consider what you have been told. Consider what you have been called to do. Consider what God has promised. Will you trust God? Will you seek God? Will you believe God? Will you respond to God? Will you accept and obey God?


Today’s reading comes to us from:


Will you trust and obey God enough that what He has given you will be multiplied and blessed? Will you put the laws of God into your heart so that you can live knowing the difference between right and wrong? Will you receive and accept Jesus so that you are a new creation? Will you choose to receive the great commission? Will you choose to receive the power of the resurrection? Will you choose to live out your life with Christ in you?

How do you respond to adversity?


What if you learned that something promised to you was about to be taken away? What if you learned that something was going to happen that should have been yours? What if they were playing favorites? What if someone tried to make you do something that felt strange or wrong? What would you do? How would you respond? What if God had spoken how things were going to go but you wanted to do it your own way? Do you think you have more control that God? How will you choose to live?

Today’s reading begins in Genesis 27.

‘One day when Isaac was old and turning blind, he called for Esau, his older son, and said, “My son.” “Yes, Father?” Esau replied. “I am an old man now,” Isaac said, “and I don’t know when I may die. Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare my favorite dish, and bring it here for me to eat. Then I will pronounce the blessing that belongs to you, my firstborn son, before I die.” But Rebekah overheard what Isaac had said to his son Esau. So when Esau left to hunt for the wild game, she said to her son Jacob, “Listen. I overheard your father say to Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare me a delicious meal. Then I will bless you in the Lord ’s presence before I die.’ Now, my son, listen to me. Do exactly as I tell you. Go out to the flocks, and bring me two fine young goats. I’ll use them to prepare your father’s favorite dish. Then take the food to your father so he can eat it and bless you before he dies.” “But look,” Jacob replied to Rebekah, “my brother, Esau, is a hairy man, and my skin is smooth. What if my father touches me? He’ll see that I’m trying to trick him, and then he’ll curse me instead of blessing me.” But his mother replied, “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!” So Jacob went out and got the young goats for his mother. Rebekah took them and prepared a delicious meal, just the way Isaac liked it. Then she took Esau’s favorite clothes, which were there in the house, and gave them to her younger son, Jacob. She covered his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skin of the young goats. Then she gave Jacob the delicious meal, including freshly baked bread. So Jacob took the food to his father. “My father?” he said. “Yes, my son,” Isaac answered. “Who are you—Esau or Jacob?” Jacob replied, “It’s Esau, your firstborn son. I’ve done as you told me. Here is the wild game. Now sit up and eat it so you can give me your blessing.” Isaac asked, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?” “The Lord your God put it in my path!” Jacob replied. Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you and make sure that you really are Esau.” So Jacob went closer to his father, and Isaac touched him. “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s,” Isaac said. But he did not recognize Jacob, because Jacob’s hands felt hairy just like Esau’s. So Isaac prepared to bless Jacob. “But are you really my son Esau?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” Jacob replied. Then Isaac said, “Now, my son, bring me the wild game. Let me eat it, and then I will give you my blessing.” So Jacob took the food to his father, and Isaac ate it. He also drank the wine that Jacob served him. Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come a little closer and kiss me, my son.” So Jacob went over and kissed him. And when Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he was finally convinced, and he blessed his son. He said, “Ah! The smell of my son is like the smell of the outdoors, which the Lord has blessed! “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.” As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and almost before Jacob had left his father, Esau returned from his hunt. Esau prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father. Then he said, “Sit up, my father, and eat my wild game so you can give me your blessing.” But Isaac asked him, “Who are you?” Esau replied, “It’s your son, your firstborn son, Esau.” Isaac began to tremble uncontrollably and said, “Then who just served me wild game? I have already eaten it, and I blessed him just before you came. And yes, that blessing must stand!” When Esau heard his father’s words, he let out a loud and bitter cry. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he begged. But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.” Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?” Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” Esau pleaded, “But do you have only one blessing? Oh my father, bless me, too!” Then Esau broke down and wept. Finally, his father, Isaac, said to him, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.”

From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. Stay there with him until your brother cools off. When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”’

Genesis 27

What will you do with what you are given? How will you live with the instructions you have been given? Whom shall you serve all the days of your life? Where will you turn for answers and direction? When will it be time to return to God and allow His will and His purpose and His plan to be your will, purpose, and plan?

Today’s reading continues into 1 Chronicles 24.

‘This is how Aaron’s descendants, the priests, were divided into groups for service. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons. So only Eleazar and Ithamar were left to carry on as priests. With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their various duties. Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, for there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar. All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, for there were many qualified officials serving God in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. The descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar took turns casting lots. The first lot fell to Jehoiarib. The second lot fell to Jedaiah. The third lot fell to Harim. The fourth lot fell to Seorim. The fifth lot fell to Malkijah. The sixth lot fell to Mijamin. The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz. The eighth lot fell to Abijah. The ninth lot fell to Jeshua. The tenth lot fell to Shecaniah. The eleventh lot fell to Eliashib. The twelfth lot fell to Jakim. The thirteenth lot fell to Huppah. The fourteenth lot fell to Jeshebeab. The fifteenth lot fell to Bilgah. The sixteenth lot fell to Immer. The seventeenth lot fell to Hezir. The eighteenth lot fell to Happizzez. The nineteenth lot fell to Pethahiah. The twentieth lot fell to Jehezkel. The twenty-first lot fell to Jakin. The twenty-second lot fell to Gamul. The twenty-third lot fell to Delaiah. The twenty-fourth lot fell to Maaziah. Each group carried out its appointed duties in the house of the Lord according to the procedures established by their ancestor Aaron in obedience to the commands of the Lord , the God of Israel.

These were the other family leaders descended from Levi: From the descendants of Amram, the leader was Shebuel. From the descendants of Shebuel, the leader was Jehdeiah. From the descendants of Rehabiah, the leader was Isshiah. From the descendants of Izhar, the leader was Shelomith. From the descendants of Shelomith, the leader was Jahath. From the descendants of Hebron, Jeriah was the leader, Amariah was second, Jahaziel was third, and Jekameam was fourth. From the descendants of Uzziel, the leader was Micah. From the descendants of Micah, the leader was Shamir, along with Isshiah, the brother of Micah. From the descendants of Isshiah, the leader was Zechariah. From the descendants of Merari, the leaders were Mahli and Mushi. From the descendants of Jaaziah, the leader was Beno. From the descendants of Merari through Jaaziah, the leaders were Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri. From the descendants of Mahli, the leader was Eleazar, though he had no sons. From the descendants of Kish, the leader was Jerahmeel. From the descendants of Mushi, the leaders were Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the descendants of Levi in their various families. Like the descendants of Aaron, they were assigned to their duties by means of sacred lots, without regard to age or rank. Lots were drawn in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the family leaders of the priests and the Levites.’

1 Chronicles 24

Are you willing to give up control so that no preferential treatment would take as there are many qualified and capable without prejudice of age or rank? Will you trust God?

Today’s reading continues into 1 Chronicles 25.

‘David and the army commanders then appointed men from the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to proclaim God’s messages to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals. Here is a list of their names and their work: From the sons of Asaph, there were Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. They worked under the direction of their father, Asaph, who proclaimed God’s messages by the king’s orders. From the sons of Jeduthun, there were Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six in all. They worked under the direction of their father, Jeduthun, who proclaimed God’s messages to the accompaniment of the lyre, offering thanks and praise to the Lord . From the sons of Heman, there were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman, the king’s seer, for God had honored him with fourteen sons and three daughters. All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the Lord . Their responsibilities included the playing of cymbals, harps, and lyres at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman reported directly to the king. They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord , and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student. The first lot fell to Joseph of the Asaph clan and twelve of his sons and relatives. The second lot fell to Gedaliah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The third lot fell to Zaccur and twelve of his sons and relatives. The fourth lot fell to Zeri and twelve of his sons and relatives. The fifth lot fell to Nethaniah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The sixth lot fell to Bukkiah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The seventh lot fell to Asarelah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The eighth lot fell to Jeshaiah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The ninth lot fell to Mattaniah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The tenth lot fell to Shimei and twelve of his sons and relatives. The eleventh lot fell to Uzziel and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twelfth lot fell to Hashabiah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The thirteenth lot fell to Shubael and twelve of his sons and relatives. The fourteenth lot fell to Mattithiah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The fifteenth lot fell to Jerimoth and twelve of his sons and relatives. The sixteenth lot fell to Hananiah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The seventeenth lot fell to Joshbekashah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The eighteenth lot fell to Hanani and twelve of his sons and relatives. The nineteenth lot fell to Mallothi and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twentieth lot fell to Eliathah and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twenty-first lot fell to Hothir and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twenty-second lot fell to Giddalti and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twenty-third lot fell to Mahazioth and twelve of his sons and relatives. The twenty-fourth lot fell to Romamti-ezer and twelve of his sons and relatives.’

1 Chronicles 25

Do all that you do as unto the Lord. Work as though God is your boss. He knows and sees everything so nothing is hidden, so why not allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Why not wait upon the Lord?

We continue today’s reading into the New Testament in John 7.

‘Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.” While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.” Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?” When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were whispering such things, they and the leading priests sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus. But Jesus told them, “I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me. You will search for me but not find me. And you cannot go where I am going.” The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. “Where is he planning to go?” they asked. “Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks! What does he mean when he says, ‘You will search for me but not find me,’ and ‘You cannot go where I am going’?”’

John 7:25-36

It may not have made sense at the time to those people be we have the benefit of history on our side. We know that by faith we are said by the grace of God. We know that accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, not only will we get to go where He has gone but we will get to see Him face to face. Let’s live by faith and not by sight. Let’s trust in the Lord with all our hearts, mind, soul, and strength. Let’s take time to walk out our lives on earth in relationship with Jesus so that in and through it all God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Let’s allow His light, His strength, His wisdom to work in and through us for the glory of His kingdom. Let’s be prepared for His return and to return to Him in heaven.

Today’s reading continues into Galatians 4.

‘Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.’

–Galatians 4:1-7

Let’s live as God’s children and by His Spirit. Let’s all walk by faith in the inheritance provided to us by Jesus and all that Jesus has done for us. Let’s allow our faith to lead and guide the steps of our lives so that others may see it and glorify our Father in heaven. Let’s trust in the Lord with everything we have. Let’s trust in His plan which is to give us a hope and a future. Let’s trust in His plan to reunite with us and that Jesus has gone ahead in advance to prepare for us. Let’s walk out each day knowing God has prepared good works for us to accomplish and so lets live our lives in order to accomplish it. Let’s live our lives praising our Heavenly Father, so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen. Let’s make Him known!

Let’s close together meditating on today’s psalm – Psalms 19.

‘The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer.’

Psalms 19

Dry Bones…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 15])


Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God! Nothing is impossible with God! Just because it looks like something – an idea, a dream, a goal, a plan, … – looks like it is dead don’t lose hope but invite God into the situation. They are dry bones but that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. Why not ask God how you should respond to the situation and how it compares to your idea, dream, goal, or plan. I remember many years back now when I was driving and gave a dream of an eight year old boy up to God saying “if it is Your will that I would have a horse, can you find me a farm within 20 minutes of the church?” The idea that popped into my head was from a sermon I had heard that spoke of how it is easier to steer a car that is moving and so I went home and started looking. I found 2 available but they were crazy expensive but I didn’t lose hope because God told me I was to start looking for a place. 21 places later after seeing homes my wife wouldn’t live in or properties that couldn’t house horses, we found a place and have lived here now for nearly 14 years. It was 18 minutes away from the church. I remember talking to God thinking how funny this was and so started to joke that I should have said 15 minutes then. A few years later our church moved to a larger building taking off about 2 minutes of my drive (removing 1 set of lights) and decided to stop playing this game. Not only is God faithful and true, He has a sense of humor too.

Today’s reading speaks of dry bones and Ezekiel’s conversation with God, let’s check it out together…

The Valley of Dry Bones

1The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

I Will Be Their God; They Shall Be My People

15The word of the Lord came to me: 16“Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 18And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ 19say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. 20When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, 21then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. 22And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
24“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. 26I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

Are their dry bones in your life that need to be resurrected? Are there things that need to have breath breathed back into them? Are there things you need to give up to God and ask Him how you should proceed? Will you allow God to be your God? Will you become a part of His people? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you become part of the body of Christ to the world around you? Will you allow God to breath into your life and bring it to life?

Why not start today? Let’s pray before we jump into today’s devotional…

Sample Sinners PrayerThe Lord's Prayer

Is this your first time asking Jesus into your heart? Congratulations! This is such an exciting time. Leave me a comment so I can celebrate with you. Look to get plugged in by finding a Bible believing, Bible preaching, Christian church near you so that you can get connected with the body of Christ. We are to love God and love people. So why not gather with like-minded individuals. Let today be the beginning of the rest of your life. Not that it will be easy, more that you will now have God with you in and through the trials and troubles.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the impact on music brings us to the song “Dry Bones”. Today’s devotional speaks first of James Weldon Johnson who composed “Dry Bones“. We learn how this song was popular and was sung and performed by the Delta Rhythm Boys, the Mills Brothers, the Deep River Boys, and the Plainsmen Quartet with Rusty Goodman. This song was inspired by the words of Ezekiel 37. Today’s devotional also shares more about James Weldon Johnson that in addition to a song writer, he was the first executive secretary of the NAACP, as well as writing poems and novels. We also learn about another song that was inspired by the dry bones story from Ezekiel 37 called “Come Alive (Dry Bone)” by Lauren Daigle.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have planned in it. Help me Lord to not lose hope but to lean harder on You. Lord help me to not forget the dreams, the ideas, and the plans You have for me so that in and through all I think, say, and do that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

I know that my redeemer lives…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 8])


Going through tough times? Being tested through hardships? Feeling that friends are being accusatory? Where can you turn and what can you do?

Today’s reading comes from Job 19 in the midst of the trials and the pain Job was walking through. Being tempted by the devil to see if he could make him turn on God. But Job didn’t. Job went through pain and suffering. Job lost family and health through it. Job was accused by people he considered friends. And yet even as we read in today’s reading from Job 19:25, he says:

‘ For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.’

from Job 19:25

Let’s take a few steps back before jumping into our devotional and read all of Job 19 first. How would you have replied? Who or what would you have chosen to cling to through such accusations? Would your response mirror Job’s?

Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives

1Then Job answered and said:
2 “How long will you torment me
and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
4 And even if it be true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
and make my disgrace an argument against me,
6 know then that God has put me in the wrong
and closed his net about me.
7 Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
I call for help, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9 He has stripped from me my glory
and taken the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me
and counts me as his adversary.
12 His troops come on together;
they have cast up their siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me.
15 The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17 My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18 Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’
29 be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”

God’s Word is real and everlasting! God’s Word captured through His inspiration has given us the Bible. The Bible has impact on this world. Today’s devotional speaks to this through The Global Impact Bible on the subject of music. We hear about how Georg Philipp Telemann was inspired by Job 19:25 when he wrote “I know my redeemer lives” which many had misattributed to Johann Sebastian Bach until manuscripts found in the mid-twentieth century revealed Telemann as the true composer. We also learn how George Frederic Handel includes the words from Job 19:25 in part three of his famous oratorio Messiah.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I ask Lord that as my redeemer that You will grant me wisdom and discernment for this new day and for everything that will come my way. I pray Lord that not by my strength but by Your might and Your will and Your way that I will be led and guided by Your Holy Spirit so that in all thing and through all things You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Do you know how to live?


Do you know what will make a difference? Do you know which will make life better or worse? Do you know what is beneficial or a detriment? Do you realize how often the question “How should we live?” has come up? Ever heard of the book “How Now Shall We Live?“? Or what about “How can we survive?“? God wants us to live a life to the full! God wants us to live a life with a hope and a future! God wants us to live a life filled with love! God wants us to live a life that like His plan for us is good! God wants us to live a life where we don’t show favoritism and without prejudice!

God want our lives to be blessed!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord—

all who follow his ways!

You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.

How joyful and prosperous you will be!

Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,

flourishing within your home.

Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees

as they sit around your table.

That is the Lord’s blessing

for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.

May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.

May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.

May Israel have peace!

–from Psalm 128

So much so that He sent Jesus to give us a rich and satisfying life.

So much so that He sent Jesus to make a way for us to have eternal life no matter the troubles and the trials and the temptations we face on this earth!

God wants you to live a life of love!

A Warning against Prejudice

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

–from James 2

So let’s love the people God brings into our lives like He does! Let’s not show prejudice but true love like God! Let’s serve our communities! Let’s be salt and light into our communities! Not so we can earn our salvation as Jesus already did that, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus so that none of us can boast about how we did so much and deserve it, Jesus paid it all! Let’s allow the fruits of our faith to materialize in how we live out our lives!

God put us right here and right now so that we can shepherd the people God brings into our lives!

We need to take care of this God has blessed us with! We need to strengthen the weak and heal the sick and bind up the injured. We have to bring back the strays and search for the lost! We need to live life with justice for those who have been put into our care!

Today’s devotional coming out of Ezekiel 33, 34, 35 reminds us of the following…

How now shall we live? When we compare the good shepherd to those who have failed to look after the flock, it is clear that there are a number of things that you are called to do:

Strengthen the weak

We do this through good teaching, encouragement, prayer and building community.

Heal the sick

Honour all those in the medical profession and all those involved in the healing of the sick. You can lay hands on the sick and pray for them in Jesus’ name.

Bind up the injured

There are so many broken people in our society – in the prisons, homeless on the streets and even in the boardrooms of companies. The Spirit of the Lord enables you to bind up the broken-hearted as you pray for them, embrace them, listen to them and care for them in your community.

Go after the strays

There are many prodigal sons and daughters who have strayed from the Father, like lost sheep. Help them come back to the Father’s arms.

Search for the lost

At times you may have to leave the other sheep to search for the one who is lost, to bring them back to repentance and cause more joy in heaven. (Luke 15:1–7).

Shepherd with justice

Seek justice on behalf of the oppressed, the needy and the poor. We should rescue children, women and men from slavery, bring the perpetrators to justice, set the captives free and care for them.

God’s promises to tend his flock become intertwined with the promise of a new shepherd, ‘my servant David’ (Ezekiel 34:23). This promise points back to the historical king David, who was Israel’s best shepherd to date, but it also points forwards to an even greater ‘David’ who will fulfil all these promises – Jesus.

Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd’ (John 10:14). Through him you receive the ‘showers of blessing’ (Ezekiel 34:26) and salvation (v.27). He says, ‘You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God.’ (v.31).

Bask in his blessings. Live a life of love. Strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, search for the lost and look after people with justice. This is how you should live today.

–from Day 322: Bible in One Year 2017

Are you living the new transformation?


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you allowed the old you to be crucified with Christ so that the new you can live?

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

–from Romans 6:4

Have you experience baptism yet? Not christening as a baby but full immersion water baptism? As you consider or remember the experience of going into the water and dying with Christ and then coming out of the water reborn with Christ how did or would that impact you?

How has your life changed after starting your relationship with Jesus? Have you shared the experience with others so that they would know the impact of Jesus on your life?

So are you living the new life? Are you ready to live a new life? Are you willing to receive Jesus into your life and be transformed? Is today your day? Are you taking hold of everything that life can be thanks to your relationship with Jesus and all that He has already done for you?

If not, why not start today?


How to Live Your New Life

Day 201: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 87, Romans 6:1-14, Hosea 1, Hosea 2

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/201

  1. New song … Psalm 87:1-7
  2. New freedom … Romans 6:1-14
    • You HAVE BEEN saved from the PENALTY of sin
    • You WILL BE saved from the PRESENCE of sin
    • You ARE BEING saved from the POWER of sin
  3. New love … Hosea 1:1-2:23

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for having sent Jesus to demonstrate Your love for us and for His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and resurrection power that conquers both the grave and the power of sin! Thanks You Lord for the truth through Your Word that calls us to live a transformed life leaving the old ways behind and start living out a new life with Jesus! Grant me wisdom for this day Lord that I may accomplish all that You have for me today! Help my light to shine so that You will be seen through me! Help my light shine so that others may see that I am but reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around me. Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to this world that I can be saved. May this day I glorify You in the name of Jesus by being a conduit of Your truth, Your love, and Your ways to the people around me so that in and through it all that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Whose side are you on?


Will you be a part of the restoration? Will you be part of the remnant? Will you align with God? Will you be part of the renewing story? Will you be part of the second chance? Will you stick with God? Will you trust Him in and thru it all? Will you rebel? Will you fight Him? Will you risk the consequences? Will you press your luck? Whose side are you on?

Are you paying attention to what is being said to you? Are you paying attention to what is being shown to you? Will you share it with others so they too can know what is coming?

So how will you live? Will you choose to live to a higher calling? Will you choose to receive the hope of God and live the rest of your life in alignment with God’s will?

Let’s take a moment to hear what today’s reading speaks to us through 1 Timothy…

Widows, Elders and Slaves

1Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
3Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lordʼs people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
16If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.
17The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 19Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
22Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
23Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

–1 Timothy 5

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 39, 40, 1 Timothy 5

Will you trust Him?


Will you trust His plan? Do you realize what His plan is like? He can take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can restore what has been broken! He can save the lost! He can set the captives free! Will you trust Him?

You need to deny the liars! You need to avoid allowing pride to make you think you can do it all on your own! You need to humble yourself and put all your hope and trust in God! Look for the truth rather than what will just make you feel better! Test the words and see if they are true! Make sure you don’t stir up so much trouble that it goes from being a wooden yoke to an iron one!

Hear God’s Word! Don’t lose hope! Yes in this world there will be troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Yes in this world you will have trials, but consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for they will test your faith and the perseverance will help you to endure. Allow that endurance to carry you all the way without failing, so that in the end you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!

As we continue into Jeremiah 29, we hear the message to the exiles. A message of hope in the midst of their circumstances! A message of salvation in the midst of their trials! A message for the future! In the midst of what you are going thru, flourish! In the midst of what is taking place, multiply! In the midst of what is going on, prosper! In the midst of what is taking place, seek peace! Don’t be deceived by liars and false prophets! Remember God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan! Just like in Jeremiah, God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan for you and me and the rest of this world! He will provide signs of the time so that you will know the time! He will provide direction so that you will know what to do!

Let’s review what was said…

A Letter to the Exiles

1This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2(This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
15You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on Davidʼs throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighborsʼ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.

–from Jeremiah 29

So don’t lose hope! Don’t walk away from God! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Invite Jesus into your heart! Align to Him and His ways! Be ambassadors of peace! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to direct your steps! Remember the end of the book, Jesus wins! He won the victory when He conquered the grave! He defeated the power of sin when He paid the penalty on the cross! So don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God! Don’t rebel against Him!

Need wisdom? Humble yourself and cry out to God! Let’s reflect on today’s Psalm…

A prayer of David.

1Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. 4Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. 5My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. 6I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. 10They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. 11They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. 13Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. 14By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. 15As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

–from Psalms 17

We need to trust Him in and through it all! We need not lean on our own understanding, but put our trust in God! There is no darkness in Him! He is light! God is Love! Let’s try to live dead to sin and alive in Jesus! Let’s be slaves to doing what is right in God’s eyes! As we read in the final chapter of today’s reading from the book of Romans…

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or donʼt you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16Donʼt you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 6

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 28, 29, Psalm 17, Romans 6

Has it been a while?


Is it late? Is there a reason why? Is there a reason why we shouldn’t start now? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t invite others to be a part of it? Why not go back? Why not come back? Will you get ready? Will you be prepared? Will you not just be going thru the motions, but actually come prepared? Come ready for what is ahead? Come ready for what God can do in and thru this moment?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles with this example…

Hezekiah and all Israel Celebrate Pesach

1Hezekiah then sent word to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of Adonai at Jerusalem to keep the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 3For they were not able to celebrate it at the regular time, since not enough kohanim had consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The matter seemed right in the eyes of the king and of the entire community. 5So they decided to issue a decree and to proclaim it throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. For it had not been celebrated as prescribed for a long time. 6At the king’s command, the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials saying: “You men of Israel, turn back to Adonai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who acted unfaithfully against Adonai, the God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror as you see. 8Do not stiffen your neck as your fathers did, but reconcile to Adonai, and come to His Temple, which He has consecrated forever, and worship Adonai your God that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9For if you return to Adonai, your brothers and children will receive compassion before their captors, and will return to this land. For Adonai your God is compassionate and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10As the couriers traveled from town to town through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were scorned and mocked. 11Nevertheless some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of Adonai. 13Now a very large assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Matzot in the second month. 14They arose and removed the altars and all the incense altars that were in Jerusalem, and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The kohanim and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of Adonai. 16They stood at their post as prescribed in the Torah of Moses, the man of God. The kohanim sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that had not concecrated themselves, therefore the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for everyone that was not ceremonially clean in order to concecrate them to Adonai. 18Although a great multitude of the people—many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, they still ate the Passover lamb contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying: “May Adonai who is good, atone for 19every one who prepares his heart to seek Adonai, the God of his fathers, even though he is not pure according to rules of the sanctuary.” 20Adonai heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21So the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Matzot for seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the kohanim were praising Adonai every day with loud instruments for Adonai. 22Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who demonstrated good understanding of the service of Adonai. For seven days they ate their assigned portions while sacrificing peace offerings and praising Adonai, the God of their fathers. 23Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness. 24Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel. 27Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.

–from 2 Chronicles 30

Do you see what is wrong? Do you see what is going wrong? Do you see what’s in the way? Do you see what what needs to go? Do you see what needs to stay? Do you see what needs to get added back in? Do you know what your part is? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to give? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to get to be a part? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is be involved? Will you embrace the power of doing what is right, what is good, and what is true?

Restoring the Kohanim and Levites

1When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property. 2Then Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites together with their divisions, each of the kohanim and Levites according to his service: for burnt offerings, peace offerings, to minister, to praise, or to sing praises in the gates of the courts of Adonai. 3The king also contributed a portion of his own assets for the burnt offerings: the morning and the evening burnt offerings and the burnt offerings for Shabbatot, the New Moons and the moadim, as it is written in the Torah of Adonai. 4Moreover, he commanded the people, the residents of Jerusalem, to give the portion allotted to the kohanim and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the Torah of Adonai. 5As soon as the word spread, Bnei-Yisrael gave generously the firstfruits of their grain, wine, oil, honey and all the produce of the field, as well as tithe of all the abundance. 6The children of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah, also brought in the tithe of bulls and sheep, and the tithe of the sacred things consecrated to Adonai their God. They piled them in heaps. 7In the third month the heaps began to accumulate and finished in the seventh month. 8When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Adonai and His people Israel. 9Hezekiah asked the kohanim and the Levites about the heaps. 10Azariah the chief kohen from the house of Zadok, replied to him saying, “Ever since the gifts began to be brought into the House of Adonai, we have had enough to eat and more than enough, for Adonai has blessed His people with plenty left over.” 11Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare storerooms in the House of Adonai, and they prepared them. 12They faithfully brought in the offerings and the tithes and the consecrated gifts. Conaniah the Levite was the leader in charge over them and Shimei his brother was next in rank. 13Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader in charge of the House of God. 14Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, distributing the offering of Adonai and the consecrated gifts. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in the towns of the kohanim, making allocations to their brothers by divisions—to great and little alike, 16only considering genealogical records, to the males three years old and upward—to all who entered into the House of Adonai, to perform the daily duties according to their responsibilities and their divisions— 17to the kohanim who were genealogically registered by their ancestral houses, as well as to the Levites 20 years old and upward, according to their duties and their divisions. 18The genealogical registry included all their little ones, their wives and sons and daughters of the entire assembly. Thus in their faithfulness they consecrated themselves as holy. 19As for the sons of Aaron, the kohanim, who lived in the fields of the common lands of their towns—in every town—men were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the kohanim and to all who were genealogically registered among the Levites. 20Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah. He did what was good, right and true before Adonai his God. 21Every work he undertook in the service of the House of God and in the Torah and the mitzvot to seek his God, he did wholeheartedly and succeeded.

–from 2 Chronicles 31

Let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that testify to who Jesus is! Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling! Let’s love them as Jesus loves them! Let’s see them as Jesus sees them! Let’s help them as Jesus would desire for us to help them! Let’s stand in the gap! Let’s intercede for others! Let’s intercede for the believers who are being persecuted that God will lift them up and strengthen them and encourage them! Let’s intercede for the non believers that they will be touched and transformed and come the realization of Jesus!

The Son Glorifies the Father

1Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You. 2Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent. 4I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”

Yeshua Prays for His Disciples

6“I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. 8The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13“But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17“Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. 18Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”

Interceding for All Believers

20“I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message, 21that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You; and these knew that You sent Me. 26I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

–from John 17

Let’s not be working in and through things with power struggles! Let’s not be working in and thru things with an iron fist! Let’s be servant leaders! Let’s lead other by serving them! Let’s be pouring into their lives! Servant leadership is the only type that will make a real difference!

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What legacy do you want to leave?


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

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

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

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

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

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


Today’s reading continues in the book of Isaiah…

Night Vision of Ariel

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

–from Isaiah 29

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

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

No Help In Egypt

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

Witness Against False Prophets

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

Longing to Be Gracious

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

Punishing Rod

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

–from Isaiah 30

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

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

Lazarus Is Dead

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

Comforting the Mourners

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

Yeshua’s Word Raises the Dead

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

Better that One Man Die

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

–from John 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not all about you! It’s not all about stuff! It’s not about having to, it’s about getting to!


It’s not all about feelings, because feelings can be wrong. It’s not all about emotions, because emotions can be wrong. What are you using as your reference point for a source of truth and direction? Does your reference point stand firm and unmoving? Does your reference point shift and move? Have you picked up the Word of God? Are you hearing the direction of loving God and loving people? Are you hearing the calling to a higher standard? Have you invited to be the center and invited Him into your heart? Are you letting your light shine so that others will see it and glorify your Father in heaven? Are you willing to yield authority to God? You do realize that every good and perfect gift comes for your Father in heaven right (aka God)? Where are your morals? What is the makeup of the moral fabric? Are you able to distinguish between right and wrong? What about scientific stuff? What about technology? When God gave dominion over all the earth to man, the expectation was that man would have the fixed reference point of God and that we would yield to His will! God wants a relationship with each of us! Will you have a relationship with Him today? Have you already started on? Will you get started today? Will you start to look to the bible as your reference point? God is the unmovable reference point you need for life – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!


Today’s reading continues in Ecclesiastes…

Futility of Human Pleasures

1I said within myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to see what is good.” Yet behold, this too was meaningless. 2I said of laughter, “It is madness!” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3I thought deeply about how to cheer my flesh with wine—letting my heart guide me with wisdom—and how to grasp folly, so that I could see what was worthwhile for the sons of men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4I increased my possessions. I built myself houses and I planted myself vineyards. 5I made royal gardens and parks for myself, and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I constructed for myself pools of water to irrigate a forest of flourishing trees. 7I purchased male and female servants and had other servants who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than all my predecessors in Jerusalem. 8I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as the treasure of kings and the provinces. I acquired male and female singers for myself, as well as the luxuries of humankind—vaults and vaults of them. 9So I became far wealthier than all before me in Jerusalem, yet my wisdom stayed with me. 10I denied myself nothing that my eyes desired; I withheld from my heart no enjoyment. My heart took delight from all my toil— this was my reward for all my labor. 11Yet when I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended to accomplish it, behold, it all was futile and chasing after the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Futility of Human Wisdom

12Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly. For what more can the one who succeeds the king do than what he has already done? 13I realized that: Wisdom is more beneficial than folly as light is better than darkness. 14A wise man has his eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness. Yet, I also came to realize that the same destiny befalls them both. 15Then said I in my heart: “I, even I, will have the same destiny as a fool. So why have I become so wise?” I said in my heart, “This too is meaningless.” 16For the wise man, together with the fool, is not remembered forever. For in the days to come both will be forgotten. Alas, the wise, just like the fool, must die! 17And so I hated life, because the work done under the sun was grievous to me. All is but vapor and chasing after the wind. 18I also hated all the fruit of my toil for which I had labored under the sun, because I must leave it to the one who comes after me. 19Who knows if he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master over all the fruit of my toil for which I had wisely labored under the sun. This too is futile. 20So I turned my heart over to despair over all the things for which I had toiled under the sun. 21For sometimes a man, who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, must hand over as an inheritance to someone who did not work for it. This also is futile and a great misfortune. 22For what does a man get for all his toil and longing of his heart for which he labors under the sun? 23For all his days, his work is pain and grief. Even at night his mind does not rest. This also is futility. 24There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their labor. This too, I perceived, is from the hand of God. 25For who can eat and who can have joy, apart from Him? 26For to the one who pleases Him, He gives wisdom, knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating wealth to give it to one who pleases God. This also is only vapor and striving after the wind.

–from Ecclesiastes 2

Do you realize the season you are in? Do you realize the timing?

A Time For Everything

1For everything there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven: 2a time to give birth and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted; 3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up; 4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to discard; 7a time to tear apart and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak; 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9What gain, then, does the laborer get with his toil? 10I have seen the task that God has given to the children of men to keep them occupied.

Yet Eternity In Their Heart

11He has made everything beautiful in its time. Moreover, He has set eternity in their heart—yet without the possibility that humankind can ever discover the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy themselves in their lifetime. 13Also when anyone eats and drinks, and finds satisfaction in all of his labor, it is the gift of God. 14I know that everything that God does will endure forever. There is no adding to it or taking from it. God has made it so, that they will revere Him. 15Whatever exists, has already been and whatever will be, has already been, but God recalls what has passed. 16I have also seen under the sun: In the place of justice there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there was wickedness. 17I said in my heart: “The righteous and the wicked, God will judge. For there is a time for every activity and for every deed.”

Humans Same As Beasts?

18I also said in my heart, “As for the sons of man, God tests them so that they may see that they are but animals.” 19For the destiny of humankind and the destiny of animals are one and the same. As one dies, so dies the other. Both have the same breath—a human has no advantage over an animal—both are fleeting. 20Both go to one place. Both were taken from the dust, and both return to the dust. 21Who knows that the spirit of the sons of man ascends upward and the animal’s spirit descends into the earth? 22So I perceived that nothing is better than for man to enjoy his works, because that is his portion. For who can bring him back to see what will be in the future?

–from Ecclesiastes 3

We need to give it all up to God! The good and the tough times! We need to realize that if God isn’t in it, we are working in vain! We need to realize that since everything is God’s we need to be good stewards of what He has given us and need His help to get it done! Without having God in the plans, the plans are futile! Trying to do it alone was never part of God’s plan which is why we learn about one another as well as having a relationship with Jesus! So let’s be good stewards! Let’s be good examples in our words and our actions so that others will see us and glorify God! It’s not all about us! It’s not about having to do it, it’s about the opportunity that we get to do it!

Futility of Human Labor

1Again I looked and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter. Power is in the hand of their oppressors, but they had no comforter. 2So I considered the dead, who are already dead, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive. 3Yet better than both is one who has not yet been, who has never seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4Then I saw that all toil and all skill that is done come from man’s envy of his neighbor; this too is fleeting and striving after the wind. 5The fool folds his hands together and eats his own flesh. 6Better is a handful with tranquility than two handfuls of toil and striving after the wind. 7Again I saw something futile under the sun: 8There is one who has no one else, neither son nor brother, yet there is no end to all his toil. His eyes are not content with riches. “So, for whom am I toiling, and depriving myself of prosperity?” This too is meaningless— a grievous task!

Two Are Better Than One

9Two are better than one, because they get a good return for their effort. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his companion. But oy to the one who falls and has no one to lift him up! 11Furthermore, if two lie together, then they will be warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12Though a man might overpower one, two can stand against him. Moreover a threefold cord cannot be quickly broken. 13Better is a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. 14For he came out of prison to become king—though he was born poor in his kingdom. 15I considered all the living that walk under the sun as well as the next youth who stands in his place. 16There is no end to all the people—to all who were before him. Also those who will come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this too is meaningless and striving after the wind.

Watch Your Words Before God

17Watch your feet when you go to the House of God. Draw near to listen, rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing wrong.

–from Ecclesiastes 4

Let’s learn God’s Word so that we can be living it in front of the world we live in! Let’s learn God’s Word so that our words and our actions are speaking in spirit and in truth! Let’s learn God’s Word so that we always have the one offensive weapon ready if the devil shows up in a situation! Let’s learn God’s Word so that by having the full armor of God on we will be able to stand firm and withstand the attacks not only on us but those around us who God has brought into our lives and we can be peacemakers, encouragers, hope makers, love builders in Jesus’ name! We’ve been given the opportunity, the privilege and the honor to get to go out as ambassadors, so let’s live up to the calling God has put into and onto our lives!

1Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one born of Him.

Love God—Live God’s Word

2We know that we love God’s children by this—when we love God and obey His commandments. 3For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?

Believe God’s Own Testimony of Yeshua

6Messiah Yeshua is the One who came by water and blood—not by water only, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify— 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are one. 9If we accept men’s testimony, God’s testimony is greater—for this it is the testimony that God has given about His Son. 10The one who trusts in Ben-Elohim has the testimony in himself; the one who does not trust in God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given about His Son. 11And the testimony is this—that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12The one who has the Son has life; the one who does not have Ben-Elohim does not have life.

Walk Now in Eternal Privileges

13I wrote these things to you who believe in the name of Ben-Elohim, so you may know that you have eternal life. 14Now this is the confidence we have before Him—that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have the requests we have asked from Him. 16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask, and God will give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death—I am not saying you should ask about that. 17All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not leading to death. 18We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; rather, the One born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And we know that Ben-Elohim has come and given us insight, so that we may know Him who is true—and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Yeshua the Messiah. This One is the true God and eternal life. 21Children, guard yourselves from idols.

–from 1 John 5

Are you helping those closest to you? Your family? Your friends? Your inner circle?

Do they get it? Do they know what to expect? Do they know how to respond? Do they realize that they get to too?

Back to Teaching His Own

1Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom they come! 2It would be better for him to have a millstone put around his neck and to be hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3“Keep yourselves alert! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” 5Then the emissaries said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6Then the Lord said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7But if you have a slave who is plowing or tending sheep, who among you will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come right in, and recline at table’? 8But won’t he instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat! Dress yourself and wait on me while I eat and drink; and afterward, you may eat and drink’? 9He doesn’t thank the slave because he did what he was commanded, does he? 10So you too, when you’ve done everything you are commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves. We have done only what we were supposed to do.’”

On the Move through Samaria

11Now while going up to Jerusalem, Yeshua was passing between Samaria and the Galilee. 12As He entered a certain village, ten men with tza’arat came toward Him. They stood some distance away 13and raised their voices, saying, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the kohanim.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 16And he fell at Yeshua’s feet, facedown, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Yeshua answered and said, “Weren’t ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18Weren’t any found who came back to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19Then Yeshua said to the man, “Stand up and go! Your faith has made you well.” 20Now when Yeshua was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be seen. 21Nor will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘There!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22Then Yeshua said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go and chase after them. 24For just as the lightning flashes from one part of the sky and lights up another part, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25But first He must suffer much and be rejected by this generation. 26As it was in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. 27They were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28“It was just the same in the days of Lot. They were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29But on the day Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30Things will be the same on the day when the Son of Man is made fully known. 31In that day, the one who is on the roof, and his possessions in the house, must not go down to take them away. In the same way, the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding at the same place. One will be taken and the other left.” 36 37“Where, Lord?” they replied. And He said to them, “Where there is a corpse, there also will the vultures be gathered.”

–from Luke 17