THRIVE: It’s not over and yet there is a slow drip of departures.


With the Friday graduation that included the surprise addition of my oldest daughter on my younger daughter and this morning she is flying back early, tomorrow we’ll have my parents and then later in the week my mother-in-law. All with early morning departures and so will be getting up earlier than my normal early but I get to bring them to the airport and wish them a safe trip back to their respective homes. It’s been a fun time of celebration and getting to spend time with family.

So today I look forward to the message on the Holy Spirit at church and a day of rest and refreshing, spending time as a family as things continue related to the graduation for a little bit longer. Praying for God’s wisdom and strength to accomplish all He has for me this week as there are continued excitement and growth on the work front. With there being a slow drip it is even more important to have God’s infilling overflowing in my life. With there being a slow drip it is even more important to make sure your heart is filled and that you get rest so that you can stay focused and excited. So let’s choose today to invite Jesus into our hearts and minds to help us stay filled with love and hope from the fountain of living water as well as have our minds renewed to be able to focus and accomplish all He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish for His glory! Let’s choose to thrive for the glory of God!

THRIVE - FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. ‘

Romans 12:10

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 11


So are you ready? Are you rested? Are you prepared? Will you invite Jesus in to fill you up? Will you invite Jesus in to help you out? Will you invite Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior? Will you invite Jesus into your life to lead and guide you?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: Make today count!


Do you know why you should make today count? Do you realize there are many reasons? First of all, this is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it! This is reason enough to make every today count! I have an extra special reason to make today count as 25 years ago I married the love of my life and she has made me the happiest man, husband, and father I could have imagined! 25 years ago God put into motion a relationship that would draw us closer to Him and strengthen our faith and our love for Him and for one another! For me, every day is Happy Today but today is extra special, and am so glad to get to share this with you and to spend forever with my wife. As I was getting ready this morning I noticed a shirt I hadn’t put out to wear today but it says “Married 25 years and looking forward to forever”. So I put it on and adjusted my planned wardrobe. With guests being here I have to pick my clothes the night before instead of in the morning in the dark and so I know what I was going to wear but an adjustment was needed in order to make today count! Fill it with hope! Fill it with joy! Fill it with faith! Most of all, fill it with love!

Wedding Day 1997

So make your today count! Not sure how or what to do? Invite God into the situation and ask Him to help you be a good steward of your time so that you can glorify Him and He can bless you! Have some cares or anxiety you’ve been carrying around and wondering how in such a situation you can make today count? God tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us! Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 to go to Him when we are feeling weak and burdened and He will give us rest. He tells us that He will make a swap with us by allowing us to take His yoke and learn from Him and find rest in our souls! So let’s grab hold of the reality of today and be transformed and led and guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit in order to make today count! THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE, LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!

MAKE TODAY COUNT!


‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ‘

Ezekiel 36:26

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 6


Let’s be positive role models today! Let’s make today count in the words we use, the actions we take, and the thoughts we allow to take hold. Let’s consider and choose to consider it pure joy even when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s choose to make today count! Invite Jesus into your heart! Invite Jesus into your life! Allow Him to lead and guide you!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: Anyone you are remembering?


Do you know anyone who was in the military? Do you know anyone who is in the military? Do you know anyone who lost their lives serving in the military?

Let’s make sure that we appreciate them today! Let’s consider how we can let them know how much we appreciate their service! Let’s consider what we can do for the families who have lost loved ones or who have loved ones serving today!

Let’s consider how we can use today to thrive for the glory of God!


TODAY’S VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ‘

John 15:13

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Popular – Day 13


Where are you today? How are you going to use your day? Will you remember those who gave? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you invite Jesus into your life to help you navigate it? Will you invite Jesus into your life to help know who and how to influence others?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: It’s amazing to get to see the impact of my wife on our kids. Happy Mother’s Day!


This morning as I was reviewing some things online I spotted this quote and it made me think of my wife as I consider the lives of our kids:

Mother Love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.

-- Mario C. Garretty
Happy Mother’s Day!

Every time I get the scripture Proverbs 18:22, I realize how blessed I am and the incredible gift and treasure she is from God!

‘He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord . ‘

Proverbs 18:22

With it being Mother’s day, other scriptures that come to mind include:

‘“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” ‘

Jeremiah 1:5

‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. ‘

Psalms 139:13

‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ‘

Psalms 139:14

‘My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ‘

Psalms 139:15-16

‘At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ‘

Matthew 18:1-5

Children are a heritage from the Lord , offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.’

Psalms 127:3-5

‘Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. ‘

Deuteronomy 6:7

‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. ‘

3 John 1:4

So let’s remember this and be the parents that value our children, teach and train our children by modeling a walk with God, and protect our children so that we all can thrive for the glory of God!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:7

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
Survival Gear for Dads – Day 6


Today let’s choose to live by God’s plan, purpose, and priorities! Let’s choose to invite Jesus in and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us! Let’s choose to spend time in God’s Word so that we have a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

THRIVE: God’s timing is perfect!


As we hit mid-workweek the words God’s timing is perfect came to mind. In the midst of the meetings and the conversations, the waiting and the delays, my hope and my trust are in God because even when I don’t see it He does. God’s never late! God’s rarely early! God’s timing is perfect!

Gods Timing is Perfect!

As I consider where things are at, I look to God to help those who are being driven by fear and worry and pray they will cast their cares upon Him. The responses took place out of worry and fear that create ripple effects to others who hadn’t felt much effect to this point and had been able to focus on getting their work done. The fear and worry over the unknown and trying to align with a view, a vision, a perspective that may not fully align with reality will produce even more ripple effects on more people.

Timing is everything!

Today rather than focusing on the unknowns and the uncertainties, let’s focus on God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever! Let’s focus on how He is trustworthy and dependable! Let’s focus on how He loves us and will never leave us nor abandon us! Let’s focus on how much we can trust Him, even in uncertain, unclear, and volatile times! Let’s lean in on what God’s Word has taught us about THRIVing and decide to pick the right battles! Let’s lean in on what God’s Word has taught us about THRIVing in the midst of struggles! Let’s lean in on what God’s Word tells us when it comes to perseverance!

God's timing is almost never the same thing as our timing, but His timing always proves to be perfect. Trust Him while you wait.

DaveWillis.org

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ‘

James 1:2-4

‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. ‘

James 1:5-8

‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. ‘

2 Peter 3:8-9

‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ‘

Proverbs 16:9

‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. ‘

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

‘For 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. ‘

Jeremiah 29:11-12

‘The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. ‘

Lamentations 3:25-26

‘My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. ‘

Proverbs 3:1-18


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, ‘

Acts 3:19

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 7


So where are you today? Are you ready to lean in on God? Are you ready to trust God? Are you ready to wait on God? Let’s invite Him into our situation to help us to find peace in the midst of the struggles. Let’s invite Him into our situation to help us be patient in the midst of the challenges. Let’s invite Him into our situation to help us to persevere till His timing is right.

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

catching up on the days I missed (back to Feb 8th)


THRIVE: It’s not just for me. You need to know the environment is right.


As I kick off this workweek I realize that THRIVE isn’t just for me but it is also for my family. As I consider what it takes to THRIVE I realize the environment is a key element to being able to grow vigorously, to flourish, and to take new ground regardless of the circumstances. If we think about our lives like we would take care of plants we realize that we need to ensure there is adequate light, let the light of God shine on us, lead us and guide us, purify and strengthen us. If we want to thrive we need adequate water, we need to be so connected to Jesus who gives us the right quality and type of water so that we won’t thirst anymore. If we want to thrive we need to ensure we don’t leak too much or too quickly and as such that we are replenishing things as we know that faith leaks. We need to ensure like the disciples did that we stay filled with the Holy Spirit. Let’s not get drunk on wine but instead, be filled with the Spirit. If we want to thrive we need to ensure we are getting the right quality of food for our mind, body, and spirit. God’s Word is the bread of life and so we need to ensure that we can consume it in order to thrive.

So in order for us to thrive, we need to make sure not only are we filled but that our kids are filled too. You need to “Keep doing the things that make you strong.” You need to “Allow yourself to grieve for what you have lost.” You need to “Be patient with the uncertainty.” You need to “Watch how you rebound and fill in the gaps.” You need to remember “Faith is resistible; learn not to resist, but to receive more.” You need to “Get involved.” You need to “Focus on the positive.” You need to “Have deep water faith in the shallow end.

Are you being challenged and wondering how to respond? You need to “Lean Into the Faith You Have“. You need to “Pray for Strength and Guidance“. You need to “Remain Planted in Good Soil“.

Let’s grab hold of what it says in Luke 8:

‘But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. ‘

Luke 8:15

Let’s be looking beyond our circumstances in order that we can see God at work and lean on Him for wisdom and guidance for our steps forward. Let’s choose that we will thrive in 2022 and that we will make sure to bring our families and friends along with us by speaking love, faith, and hope into their lives! Let’s choose to be people who build up rather than tear down. Let’s choose to be people who pour love and life into the world God puts around us so that He can receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Let’s decide that we want to THRIVE for the glory of God! Let’s grab hold of all God’s Word is teaching us through Exodus so that we won’t and don’t lose hope but instead are able to take what we are given and decide and determine what we need to do for God’s purpose and plan to play out in our lives and allow us to THRIVE!



Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord , and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘

Isaiah 55:6-7

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 10 Challenges Every Dad Must Conquer – Day 5


So where are you at today? What are you facing in your life? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you wondering what to do? Are you ready to turn to God? Are you ready to thrive for the glory of God? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation and allow Him to lead and guide us! Let’s turn to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to fill us to overflowing so that we can live life to the full.

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)


THRIVE: Share love, hope, and faith.


As I get to the midpoint of the workweek and consider what is on my plate, getting to share the good news with people is part of my schedule today. To share the good news with love to let them know how important and valuable they are. To share the good news to provide them with hope for the future. To share the good news believing in faith that God’s plan for us is for good and not for evil, to give us hope and a future. When we consider the fruits of the spirit and getting to produce faith, hope, and love, which are the three fruits that will last forever, getting to pass them along to our spouses, our kids, and our world is so important. The greatest one to make sure we share and give is love! So today, let’s choose to thrive by sharing love with the people God brings across our path. Today, let’s choose to thrive by sharing hope with the people God brings across our path. Today, let’s choose to thrive because of our faith and persevering for we know that no matter how good or bad things get, in the midst of it all when we let perseverance finish its work we can be complete and lacking nothing. So today, let’s consider it pure joy, no matter what comes our way. Let’s have a Happy Today because this is the day that the Lord has made!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. ‘

James 1:22-24

Today’s post from Be The Dads is How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 5.


So have you turned back to God? Are you being challenged? Are you struggling and wondering how to struggle well? Are you facing trials and wondering how to consider them pure joy? Are you facing troubles and wondering how to take heart? Then today, invite Jesus into your situation and allow Him to work in and through you.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

THRIVE: Happy Valentine’s Day!


Not only is today Happy Monday as we kick off the work week but it is also Happy Valentine’s Day! After a week getting to be filled up and encouraged to STAND, after a day off work for a company Wellness Day, after a weekend with my family and seeking volunteers, it’s today! A day going back without fully knowing what happened while you were out. A day going back where the theme is supposed to be love because it is Valentine’s day. Today is a day we are to thrive! Today is a day where we get caught up and move forward! Today is a day of reconnection and renewal! Today let’s choose to walk in the boldness and courage God gives us! Today let’s choose to walk in the wisdom and discernment of God to navigate the conversations, the situations, and the obstacles that come our way. Let’s choose to persevere and not quit, to elevate God’s power and authority! Let’s choose to cultivate unity with health! Let’s choose to trust God, that He is good even when our circumstances are not, that His purpose is for our good and His glory!


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4

Today’s post from Be The Dads is How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 3.


So where are you today? What are you facing to kick off the work week? Are you ready and filled with God and His Spirit to step out and be more than conquerors? Are you ready and filled with trust and hope from God to be able to walk boldly and courageously? Are you ready and willing to invite Jesus into your life and situation to help you move forward for the glory of God and your own good? Are you ready to make the choice that will change your destiny and direction forever?

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Let’s Read the Bible Together (February)

THRIVE: Do you realize what is going to take? Overcoming fear! Do you know how to do that? Perfect Love!


Yesterday was interesting as it began filled with tension and stress which started to trigger fear. It caused me to pause longer and lean on God harder. The day closed better than it started which was good as I went from work to a birthday party. I got to spend time picking up pizza and riding along with my wife which helped. I got to speak to an incredible friend and leader too. It is interesting how in our conversation words like karma, reap what you sow, and this morning it came to me, to overcome fear with faith requires perfect love! Why do we have faith? Because Jesus loved us so much He gave His all and gave us the scriptures to help us remember and be encouraged. No need to fear trouble because Jesus overcame the world. No need to fear trials because they should be considered pure joy as they are a tool to allow perseverance to complete its work in making us complete and lacking nothing. Let’s receive the love of Jesus into our hearts, that perfect love that is so large that it will overwhelm and overcome fear.


Let’s grab hold of 1 John 4:18 that says:

‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ‘

1 John 4:18

So we need to grab hold of what this scripture is saying by expanding on it:

‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.’

1 John 4:7-21

So no matter what it is that is trying to trigger or cause fear, turn to Jesus! No matter what is trying to create worry or anxiety, turn to Jesus! Don’t try to go it alone! Don’t allow yourself to get isolated and tricked into believing things that you wouldn’t if you had been around your fellow believer friends. Whatever it is, cast it upon God because God cares for you!


Today’s verse of the day:

‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. ‘

1 John 3:16

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Strange Words – A Dad’s Prayer For His Children – Day 6


So are you ready to step into the new world of love? Are you ready to overwhelm fear with love? Are you ready to be filled with so much love that it casts out all fear? Are you ready to refill so that you are topped up and keep topping up throughout the day so that there won’t be any room for fear? Are you ready to start thriving? Let’s invite Jesus in!

Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: As the work week closes and a long weekend begins, what level of change is required to thrive?


Workweek 2 is in the books and yet the busyness and balance continue to happen. The direction towards THRIVE is still top of mind. The reality that it is going to take change is at hand. Each week has closed with the reality of quite significant changes to the organization. Each week has included surprises that I couldn’t have predicted and don’t think I would have asked for. In the midst of it all, my hope is not in those changes but in the reality that God is in control of it all. Just like how in the first week of prayer and fasting God brought peace and hope in the midst of it all, God was still present as we navigated through week 2. We get a long weekend here and yet I know the 4-day workweek next week will contain more changes and possibly even some insight and visibility into what is going to be. Even as I contemplate and consider all of this I started my day with God’s Word and it spoke the following truth into my very situation:

‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ‘

2 Timothy 1:7

So as we close out week 2 and head into the weekend while having a view towards week 3, let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that doesn’t make us easily frightened · lacking courage · fearful · apprehensive · afraid · frightened · scared · faint-hearted · trembling · quaking · cowering · weak-kneed · shy · diffident · bashful · self-effacing · shrinking · unassuming · unassertive · reserved · retiring · reticent · quiet · timorous · nervous · modest · demure · coy · meek · humble · cowardly · pusillanimous · lily-livered · pigeon-hearted · spineless · craven · poor-spirited · recreant. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives us and fills us with power. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives and fills us with love. Let’s grab hold of God’s Spirit that gives and fills us with self-discipline. By grabbing onto this in the midst of the changes, we can be ready and prepared to thrive as we come out the other end. So let’s keep our eyes on Jesus rather than the distractions of the enemy like the winds and waves of a storm. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and walk with Him into and through it all.


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day 4.


So where are you at today? What are you going through? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready for the change that will required for you to thrive? Are you trying to see where to go or what to do? Let’s decide today that 2022 is the year to thrive and invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to lead and guide us. Let’s choose to make the rest of our lives count for God by living with purpose, on purpose and for His purpose. Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: Workweek #2 begins – Lots to do with all the change that is taking place…


With a new year there is always a lot of things to wrap up from the previous year but this year on top of the normal year-end review type things I am faced with some major changes coming down the pipe. As part of these changes, I need to prepare to explain and present our group to executives who will want to learn more about who we are as a team and what we do for the company. With the normal heavy lifting of reviews, this extra layer of work at first made me wonder and even stress a little bit. Thankfully our first week of the year was one of prayer and fasting which meant I was leaning into God more and so it allowed His truth and His promises to cause me to cast the cares, the anxieties, the worries onto Him because He cares for me. I grabbed hold of the 1 Peter 5:7 that says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I was able to grab hold of the truth that for me to thrive required change, I couldn’t just keep living life the way I had been if I wanted to make 2022 a year to thrive. I didn’t realize it meant in both my personal and professional lives though. Be it with my girls leaving home in 2022. Be it org changes to kick-off 2022. Be it prepping for camps in 2022. So today as I prep for what this week will include, anticipating my wife and daughter coming home from their trip to a soccer showcase, getting my son to and from school, taking care of the home including a puppy, the animals, putting out the trash, and what not, writing up the review docs, writing up the org docs, writing up a report for a board meeting, scheduling the kick-off meeting for the camp core team, and whatever else comes my way.


Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Ephesians 4:2 and says:

‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ‘

Ephesians 4:2

So today in the midst of it all, God reminds me that I need to live out my today completely humble and so I can’t be walking around being proud or overbearing. God’s Word speaks to the need of being gentle and so living out my today
kind
 · kindly · tender · benign · humane · lenient · merciful · forgiving · forbearing · sympathetic · considerate · understanding · clement · compassionate · benevolent · kindhearted · tenderhearted · good-natured · sweet-tempered · loving · mild · soft · quiet · shy · demure · modest · humble · retiring · unassuming · still · tranquil · peaceful · peaceable · pacific · placid · serene · reposeful · reverent · meek · docile · lamblike · dove-like. God’s Word continues with the need to be patient that’s right, be
forbearing
 · uncomplaining · tolerant · long-suffering · resigned · stoical · calm · composed · serene · even-tempered · tranquil · imperturbable · unexcitable · accommodating · understanding · indulgent · kind · considerate · longanimous · equanimous · inexcitable · persevering · persistent · tenacious · diligent · assiduous · indefatigable · dogged · determined · resolved · resolute · obstinate · insistent · single-minded · purposeful · pertinacious. Which all comes together with love when He closes it out saying to bear with one another in love. Do you remember what love is? Let’s grab a quick look in 1 Corinthians 13 as a reminder where it says:

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So here we go into week 2 of 2022 with a mission and goal to THRIVE. Let’s grab a hold of it and live it out in love for one another.


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 5 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you facing a lot of change? Don’t allow yourself to try and carry it alone and get overwhelmed, instead cast it on God who cares for you! Don’t be overwhelmed by it instead overwhelm it with love! If you are feeling the pressures of evil, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Let’s invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through our busy today. Let’s be transformed by the renewing of our heart, minds, and souls. Let’s pray:


What is your source? What fuels you?


Where does your power come from? Where does your hope come from? What allows you to keep going? What is the foundation that helps you stand firm? What is the ground you are allowing your roots to grow into? What is feeding you? What is filling you? What is it helping you to become?

Don’t allow bitter roots to take hold because they will eat you up from the inside out! Trade those feelings and emotions of bitterness for forgiveness! Don’t be chained in bitterness instead choose to be freed by forgiveness? The choice is yours! Forgiveness is the key! God is required! Having problems with a friend, family member, colleague? Have you been able to forgive them? Have you ever been forgiven even when you didn’t deserve it?

Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help clean house? Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help you uproot things that shouldn’t be there? Have you invited Jesus into your heart to help create a new heart, a new perspective, and a new life for you? When you allow God to be your source and fill you to overflowing then you are able to pour life and love and hope into the people God brings your way. When you allow Jesus to be your foundation and cornerstone then you are able to stand firm and be prepared by putting on the full armor of God! When we allow Jesus to be in charge then we are able to live out our lives in pursuit of His plans and purposes for our lives and be His hands and arms extended to reach a lost world and point them to an eternity with God instead of one where they will continue to suffer apart from God. What’s it cost? Your decision! It’s too expensive for us to be able to pay for it or even afford it and so God is giving it away to those who will accept and receive it! It’s not something we can borrow from others but rather something we have to decide and receive for ourselves. Unlike material things which can be borrowed for a season, faith in Jesus requires us to accept and receive it for ourselves. The decision is ours and ours alone to make. It’s personal! It’s intimate! It’s real! So we need to make the decision on our own and for ourselves!

Are you ready to truly live? God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! Are you ready to fully live? Jesus came that we can have life and life to the full! Yes, in this world we will have troubles but with Jesus we have the promise that He has overcome the world! Yes, we will face trials but with Jesus we can consider them pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So are you ready to be filled with the power to truly live? Are you ready to be filled with the hope that will allow you to truly live? Are you ready to be filled with the life that is powered by and fueled by God? Could today be the day it starts?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 27TH


POWER TO LIVE


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.’

I Corinthians 6:14

Let’s get more context for this statement by expanding the verses around it and getting more details by using the Amplified version.

‘Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will do away with both of them. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again because of the sacrifice of the cross]. And God has not only raised the Lord [to life], but will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Am I therefore to take the members of Christ and make them part of a prostitute? Certainly not! Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall be one flesh .” But the one who is united and joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Run away from sexual immorality [in any form, whether thought or behavior, whether visual or written]. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the one who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]? You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.’

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • If you consider your eyes as the sight then what is your aim in life?
  • If you consider your eyes as the sight then what are you pointing at or towards?
  • Are you pointing upwards and towards God and His purpose and plans?
  • Are you pointing to earthly things and away from God?
  • Are you earthly like the young in their faith Corinthians that Paul is speaking to?
  • Are you ready to level up your life in response to Paul’s writing?
  • We see how Paul is speaking to them in today’s verses about food and sex.
    • ‘Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will do away with both of them. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again because of the sacrifice of the cross]. ‘
      1 Corinthians 6:12-13
  • Are you ready to receive the truth that our body and our urges have come from God?
  • Are you ready to receive the truth that everything we are and have is to glorify God?
  • Are you ready to live free rather than being restricted or imprisoned within our bodies by food and sex?
  • Are you ready to live free by dedicating your body to God?
  • Are you ready to live free by dedicating your body to honoring God?
  • The body is important! The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit!
  • The body is so important that Christ’s body was raised from the dead!
  • The body is so important that one day our bodies will also be resurrected too!
  • God works in and through our bodies to enable us to accomplis His will and His purposes!
  • Our bodies may not be perfect but they do have purpose to honor God and help others!
  • So let’s consider our bodies sacred!
  • Let’s decide to not use our bodies for immoral behavior!
  • Let’s decide that they are too valuable for such things!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • In what ways are you using your body to honor God? In what ways are you failing to use it for that purpose?
  • What are some choices you can make today to use your body more effectively for Christ?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If Christ was not raised, His death was in vain. Your faith in Him would be pointless, and your sins would still be counted against you with no hope of a spiritual life.”

John MacArthur

So where are you at today? Are you ready to decide to live a life to the full? Are you ready to decide to live a life that has been redeemed? Are you ready to decide to live a life that has been forgiven and can forgive others? Are you ready to receive hope? Are you ready to receive joy? Are you ready to receive love? Are you ready to overflow in all of these into the lives of the world around you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Love you! Love you more! Love you most!


Ever gotten into one of those games where you try to express how much you care and it gets upped? Ever had someone or been someone who goes one level more? Going from more to most? More is additional or a higher degree than without more right? Most on the other hand is used when it is the greatest amount or degree. So what does it take to go to the level of more? What would it take to get to the greatest level of most?

Where do you turn to understand the degrees of love? Where do you turn to understand the levels of love? Where do you turn to understand the levels of love? Where do you turn to get started understanding what love is? For me I start with 1 Corinthians 13 where it tells me:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Then to compare the levels of love, I go to the reality that God is love and see what God’s Word has to say about that:

‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ‘

1 John 4:8

‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ‘

1 John 4:8-12

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ‘

John 3:16-18.

God is love and gave us an example of true love. So we ought to love one another. We may not be able to love more than God who loves most but we can live our lives learning and leaning in to be able to love more and more. So as we head into the Christmas season when we celebrate the coming of Jesus, let’s decide to live out this holiday season in and with love. Let’s not only look for and expect the gift of love but let’s be people who are giving generously love to the world around us. Let’s both be friends to others but also decide to receive by faith Jesus into our lives and be called friends of God just like Abraham.

‘And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God , and this [faith] was credited to him [by God] as righteousness and as conformity to His will ,” and he was called the friend of God. ‘

James 2:23

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 23RD


Can’t Love You More


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. ‘

John 15:13

Let’s look to get the context from the additional version and more details through the Amplified version.

‘ “This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another. ‘

John 15:12-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you just talking the talk but not walking the walk?
  • Are you able to talk the talk and walk the walk?
  • Are you truly committed to your spouse? Do you love them?
  • Are you truly committed to your kids? Do you love them?
  • Are you truly committed to your friends? Do you love them?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then what is the level of sacrifice you have or are or will make for them?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own pleasures in order to meet their’s?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own comforts in order to meet their’s?
  • If we consider that the measure of love as described in today’s verse is sacrifice then how often are you willing to give up your own desires in order to meet their’s?
  • Do you love them enough to give up your own pleasures, comforts, and desires?
  • Do you love unconditionally?
  • Do you love genuinely?
  • When a test comes during a time of crisis, what does it reveal about the state of your heart and your love for others?
  • Consider soldiers and the commitment, sacrifice, and love they show by being willing to give their lives for one another.
  • Consider all those who have sacrificed their lives for their country, their democracy, their unit but most of all for their friends in the foxhole with them.
  • What about a crisis like chronical illness? What are you able to see through the response of others? Authentic love!
  • Are you able to show authentic love to annoying people by being patient?
  • Are you able to show authentic love to people who habitually and continually offend you by forgiving them?
  • Are you able to show authentic love by speaking the truth rather than just going and hiding?
  • So are you being self-absorbed or self-sacrificing?
  • Selfishness has been something to deal with for a very long time as the Bible teaches us about it. It’s not new! It’s not just something we are having to deal with!
  • Will you be willing to sacrifice even if the other person doesn’t get it?
  • Will you be willing to sacrifice even if the other person doesn’t appreciate it?
  • Will you just choose to live your life to demonstrate God’s love to you, in you, and through you?
  • Will you choose to live your life patiently in the midst of unappreciative and misunderstood people?
  • Will you persevere and allow perseverance to finish its work through the times of trials so that when it finishes its work you will be complete and lacking nothing?
  • Will you live focused on bringing the love of Jesus into the world around you?
  • Will you live your life in order to point people to Jesus and His love and ultimate sacrifice for each of us?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does authentic love look like to you?
  • In what ways was Christ’s life as much of a sacrifice as His death?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The greatest enemy of Christianity may be people who say they believe in Jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed. We have allowed screens to beat our imaginations into submissions and have become tourists rather than travelers. We have been stunted by mediocrity…”

Mike Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder

As we continue through December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kicked off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters so that we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 23:

‘Then the whole assembly got up and brought Him before Pilate. They began to accuse Jesus, asserting, “We found this Man misleading and perverting our nation and forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and claiming that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), a King.” So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is just as you say.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this Man.” But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people [to rebel], teaching throughout Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as here [in Jerusalem].” When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that He belonged to the jurisdiction of Herod [Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee], he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly pleased. He had wanted to see Him for a long time because of what he had heard about Him, and was hoping to see some [miraculous] sign [even something spectacular] done by Him. And he questioned Him at some length, but Jesus made no reply. The chief priests and the scribes were standing there, continually accusing Him heatedly. And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking and ridiculing Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. Now that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—before this they had been enemies.

Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who corrupts and incites the people to rebellion. After examining Him before you, I have found no guilt in this Man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and indeed, He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” [ Now he was obligated to release to them one prisoner at the Feast. ] But they [loudly] shouted out all together, saying, “Away with this Man, and release Barabbas to us!” (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection that happened in the city, and for murder.) Pilate addressed them again, wanting to release Jesus, but they kept shouting out, “Crucify, crucify Him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what wrong has He done? I have found no guilt [no crime, no offense] in Him demanding death; therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” But they were insistent and unrelenting, demanding with loud voices that Jesus be crucified. And their voices began to prevail and accomplish their purpose. Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he handed over Jesus to their will.

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in [to the city] from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. Following Him was a large crowd of the people, including women who were mourning and wailing for Him. But Jesus, turning toward them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not given birth, and the breasts that have never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be executed with Him.

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves. Now the people stood by, watching; but even the rulers ridiculed and sneered at Him, saying, “He saved others [from death]; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him and [cruelly] offering Him sour wine, and sarcastically saying, “If you are [really] the King of the Jews, save Yourself [from death]!” Now there was also an inscription above Him: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals who had been hanged [on a cross beside Him] kept hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us [from death]!” But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? We are suffering justly, because we are getting what we deserve for what we have done; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, [please] remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” It was now about the sixth hour (noon), and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), because the sun was obscured; and the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two [from top to bottom]. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.” All the crowds who had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to return [to their homes], beating their breasts [as a sign of mourning or repentance]. And all His acquaintances and the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, watching these things.

A man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), a good and honorable man (he had not consented to the Council’s plan and action) a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for and expecting the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And [after receiving permission] he took it down and wrapped it in a linen [burial] cloth and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had yet been laid. It was the day of preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning. Now the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed [closely], and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they went back and prepared spices and ointments and sweet-smelling herbs. And on the Sabbath they rested in accordance with the commandment [forbidding work].’

Luke 23:1-56

So where are you at today? Are you loving? Are you feeling the love? Are you loving first? Are you loving more? Are you loving most? Are you ready to receive true and unconditional love from God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Are you ready for things to be different? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


They say that sharing is caring… So are you showing how much you care as we head into the Christmas season?


Day 5 of December and it is hard to believe how fast 2021 has gone. It has had a bit more normalcy than 2020 did but still some challenges when it comes to engaging and connecting with others. So with the working from home, the physical distancing, the mandates that some politicians somehow think are needed even if they seem to interfere with our privacy and ability to support our local businesses, it is still challenging to be able to connect and engage with others in a social atmosphere in a lot of cases. So how are you caring for those around you? So how are you caring for those in need or with needs? So how are you caring for those who don’t have anyone else? So how are you caring for those who can’t go out? So how are you caring for those who can’t or won’t be able to meet the demands of the political mandates? So how are you caring for those who can’t care for themselves? So how are you caring for those who would normally be caring for the people who are sick, who are in need, who are at risk but have been removed from those positions by mandates made up by people?

Are you ready to share? Are you ready to do your part to make sure others know you care? Are you ready to let your family know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let your friends and neighbors know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let your coworkers know you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let the service workers know how much you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to stand up for what is right and just so that those who can’t stand up for themselves know how much you care by sharing with them? Are you ready to let them know how much you care by sharing?

Sharing is caring because it helps you be more empathetic by caring for others unconditionally. Sharing is caring because it helps you build social skills that are needed to be well adjusted. Sharing is caring because it develops a selfless attitude in us by showing how much others are appreciated. Sharing is caring because it helps you take responsibility for caring for others in society. Sharing is caring because it brings hope and positivity into the lives of others. Sharing is caring because it teaches you to sacrifice for a greater good and purpose. Sharing is caring because it helps you live life with humility to the needs of others. Sharing is caring because it is an act of kindness where you are able to offer something that belongs to you to someone else because you believe they need it and that you have enough to pass it around. Sharing is caring because it has the potential to change a life and change the world. Sharing is caring because it demonstrates that you love. Sharing is caring because it demonstrates how you have shaken off selfishness in order to become more selfless.

So as we head into our today, are you ready to share in order to say that you care? Ever considered what you have that you can share with others? What about your faith?


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 5TH


Sharing Your Faith


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.’

Colossians 4:2-4

Let’s look at this to get more context and details by expanding a bit and using the Amplified version.

‘Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. As to all my affairs, Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome]. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.’

Colossians 4:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • So will you let God lead you to share your faith with others?
  • Will you allow God to work in and through you to share His love and your hope with others?
  • Will you allow God to open doors for you to share your faith with others?
  • Will you allow God to motivate your words and testimony of His impact on your life?
  • Will you share Jesus with the world through the way you choose to live your life?
  • Will you share how life is a partnership with God?
  • Will you allow God to do the heavy lifting and when others come ready that you will be ready to share with them?
  • Are you sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you respond and share when prompted by the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you go where the Holy Spirit leads you?
  • Will you no go where the Holy Spirit blocks or stops you?
  • We see how Paul had such an experience:
    • ‘Now they passed through the territory of Phrygia and Galatia, after being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor]; and after they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; so passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. Then a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from [the Roman province of] Macedonia was standing and pleading with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” And when he had seen the vision, we (including Luke) tried to go on into Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. ‘
      Acts 16:6-10
  • Trying to bulldoze others with your faith won’t work.
  • We need God to prepare the heart and have the other person ready to receive the good news.
  • Side Note: I remember many years back when our admin came up to me and said I wasn’t like that last Christian who was on the team who went around threatening people that if they didn’t accept Jesus they were going to hell. I told her that wasn’t me and not how I operated. I try to live a life where people are able to see Jesus in and through the way I choose to live my life. I try to live my life in a way where if people are seeking or curious they can feel open and free to ask me. I try to live my life ready to share when prompted by the Holy Spirit.
  • So today let’s be prayed up so that we are filled up and ready to act based on the Spirit’s leading and direction.
  • So today let’s be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in order to do and accomplish what He asks of us.
  • So today let’s be obedient to the prompting of the Spirit.
  • Remember Paul’s original encounter with Jesus on the road to Demascus?
  • It was a life changing experience that kept him going for the rest of his life, spreading the truth and the good news of Jesus.
  • Let’s be ready like Paul to share the love and forgiveness of God as they are our live and breath imparted by Jesus.
  • Let’s be ready to tell everyone who is ready and willing about Jesus!
  • Let’s be ready to tell everyone who is ready and willing to hear about Jesus, no matter the consequences!
  • Let’s be ready to share our faith with the world around us rather than thinking or believing that we can leave that to the professionals.
  • God has put us right here and right now for the people who we have around us. We might be the only experience of Jesus and the church they may ever experience or see.
  • Be it inviting people to come to church. Be it asking God to help you with open doors to speak love and life through your faith in to the lives of friends and family.
  • Be ready for when the timing is right and the Spirit prompts you, tell them about the hope that is within you and how Jesus has transformed you life.
  • We don’t have to be professional speakers or preachers to be able to communicate authentically the love of God and how He has worked in and through your life.
  • We don’t have to be biblical scholars who can answer all the questions either.
  • People are looking for authentic faith.
  • People are looking for authentic love.
  • People are looking for authentic people.
  • Will that be you the one who can show that to them?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Take a few minutes to ask God for an open door to share your faith with particular people who are on your heart.
  • Write an outline of what you will tell them when God opens the door. Write about what your life was like before you trusted Christ, the even when you trust Him, and the difference He has made in your life.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Since the Lord in the great commission clearly tells us to ‘Go ye therefore into all the world, teaching and preaching’, I felt that not only was I instructed to do so but I wanted to do so. As a believer I felt I needed through my own life to be an example of my belief.”

Zig Ziglar

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which mean we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 5:

‘Now it happened that while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), with the people crowding all around Him and listening to the word of God; that He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the shore. And He sat down and began teaching the crowds from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon [Peter], “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch [of fish].” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night [to the point of exhaustion] and caught nothing [in our nets], but at Your word I will [do as you say and] lower the nets [again].” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were [at the point of] breaking; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats [with fish], so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all his companions were completely astounded at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon [Peter]. Jesus said to Simon, “Have no fear; from now on you will be catching men!” After they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].

While Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man covered with [an advanced case of] leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean and well.” And Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. Jesus ordered him to tell no one [that he might happen to meet], “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony (witness) to them [that this is a work of Messiah].” But the news about Him was spreading farther, and large crowds kept gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion]. One day as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present with Him to heal. Some men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to bring him in and lay him down in front of Jesus. But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof [and removed some tiles to make an opening] and lowered him through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” The scribes and the Pharisees began to consider and question [the implications of what He had said], saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies [by claiming the rights and prerogatives of God]? Who can forgive sins [that is, remove guilt, nullify sin’s penalty, and assign righteousness] except God alone?” But Jesus, knowing their [hostile] thoughts, answered them, “Why are you questioning [these things] in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But, in order that you may know that the Son of Man (the Messiah) has authority and power on earth to forgive sins” —He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” He immediately stood up before them, picked up his stretcher, and went home glorifying and praising God. They were all astonished, and they began glorifying God; and they were filled with [reverential] fear and kept saying, “We have seen wonderful and incredible things today!”

After this Jesus went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And he left everything behind and got up and began to follow Jesus [as His disciple]. Levi (Matthew) gave a great banquet for Him at his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes [seeing those with whom He was associating] began murmuring in discontent to His disciples, asking, “Why are you eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]?” And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” Then they said to Him, “The disciples of John [the Baptist] often practice fasting and offer prayers [of special petition], and so do the disciples of the Pharisees; but Yours eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “Can you make the wedding guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But days [for mourning] will come when the bridegroom is [forcefully] taken away from them. They will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old one; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’ ”

Luke 5:1-39

So where are you at today? Are you someone who is needing others to share their faith with you? Are you someone who needs to be sharing their faith with others? Are you ready to share to show that you care? Are you ready to care enough to share? God called me many years ago to start this blog and so I obeyed and many lives have been touched through my sharing of my faith because I cared for those God loves. So are you ready to receive this love of God through Jesus? Are you ready to start your own journey in a relationship with Jesus? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What’s up with you? Are you ready to explain why you are that way?


Ever been questioned about why you act the way you do? Ever been questioned about why you believe the way you do? Ever been asked how you seem so confident? Ever been asked about how you seem so sure? Ever been asked how in the midst of storms to be at peace? Ever been asked about how in the midst of troubles you seem to have hope? Ever been asked how in the midst of trials you seem to be filled with joy?

Ever been able to give an answer? I remember at work one time someone said they had some questions and do I have time to chat. We went into a conference room where he said he noticed I seem to be a religious person and wanted to know and understand more so that maybe he could have and live a different life. When he said religious it triggered something in me as religious has certain connotations to me and made me think of rituals and routines rather than relationships and after he explained himself, I explained to him that it isn’t religious, it is about a personal relationship with Jesus. After talking it over for a while he asked me how he could have this relationship and I was able to lead him to the Lord including the sinners’ prayer. I wasn’t looking for such an encounter or such a meeting but I have been preparing so that if or when such an event was to happen I would be ready! I have taken hold of the fact that I am to be ready in and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is within me. I remembered how in God’s Word it wants me to be prepared in season and out of season! I have chosen to live a life that proclaims God’s goodness in the way I choose to treat, engage, and speak with others so that Jesus in me is shining out to the world around in so that in the case or on the day when someone comes to me and asks about the reason for the hope that is within me and how my life has been transformed or seems different from others, I will be ready to share Jesus with them and how Jesus encountered me and how through a relationship with Him, I have been transformed from the inside out! I will be ready to overflow God’s love that has filled my heart and pour into the lives of others! How about you? Do you have this hope? If you don’t then do you want it? If you do then are you ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? If you don’t think you are then get prepared because the day is coming! If you don’t think you are ready then get ready!

People are watching us every day and when they noticed the difference they start watching more closely. And one day they might even build up the courage to approach you about it and ask you about it. So let’s get ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s allow the love and hope of Jesus to flow out of our lives ad God continues to pour it into our lives!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 19th


Defending Hope


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; ‘

I Peter 3:15

Let’s get additional context around this statement and use the Amplified version to get a better understanding:

‘Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. D o not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; in which He also went and preached to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the great patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons [Noah’s family], were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that [rescue through the flood], baptism [which is an expression of a believer’s new life in Christ] now saves you, not by removing dirt from the body, but by an appeal to God for a good (clear) conscience, [demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God [that is, the place of honor and authority], with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.’

1 Peter 3:13-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you ready for it?
  • You don’t know the day or the time or even the location!
  • Are you ready to give an answer?
  • What if it happens at work? on vacation? at the grocery store?
  • What is it that makes them ask? Is it your kindness? Is it your joy? Is it your generosity? Is it the way you treat others? Is it an event in the news? Is it a family problem? Not sure…
  • So are you ready or getting ready? What if it happens today?
  • Do you know what you will say? Do you know what you would say?
  • Do you know how you would say it?
  • We don’t know how they will ask or why they will ask.
  • Some ask from an intellectual perspective.
  • Some ask from an ethical perspective.
  • Some ask from a personal perspective.
  • No matter the how they are asking, the why they are asking tends to be related to wanting to know if your faith experience is rich, is real, and makes a difference!
  • They are looking for hope!
  • Will you be a hope dealer?
  • They are looking to know they are loved!
  • Will you be a love dealer?
  • They are looking to know they forgiven!
  • Will you be an ambassador of reconciliation?
  • They are looking to be accepted by God!
  • Will you be a messenger for God?
  • Are you ready to tell them the truth? That Jesus encountered you and can meet with them right here and right now?
  • Are you ready to tell them it isn’t fake but that it is real?
  • Are you ready to tell them God loves them too?
  • Is your heart ready? Have you allow Jesus to work in your heart so that from the overflow of your heart the mouth speaks with such love, hope, and power it points people back to Jesus?
  • Are you able to share the truth with authenticity?
  • It’s not about winning an argument!
  • It’s not about intimidating someone to accept God!
  • It’s about loving them authentically and sharing the truth of God with them!
  • It’s not about rituals and routines but rather a living relationship with God!
  • It’s about becoming children of our loving Father, God!
  • So let’s grab a hold of Peter’s recommendation to enter into the conversation with “meekness and fear” with the awe of God for the opportunity and the responsibility and the priviledge to share the light of the God’s Word into a dark world and into darkened and hopeless or saddened hearts!
  • Are you ready?
  • Let’s be ready! If needed, get ready now!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • If someone asked you about your faith today, what would you say and how would you say it?
  • What are some specific things you can do to “sanctify” Christ in your heart so you’ll be ready?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If knowing Jesus means a lot to you—and if you know Him, it does—then let me urge you to pray for God’s guidance so that you might witness effectively, and for God’s courage so that you will witness often.”

― Zig Ziglar, The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you seeking? Are you asking? Are you knocking? Are you ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Are you ready to witness to the world around you who Jesus is? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


A new week begins – lead start it with LOVE!


As we prepare for this day and this week ahead, let’s turn to the ultimate love letter (God’s Word) and the ultimate source of love (which is God) to be filled up to overflowing into the world around us. Ever looked at God’s Word as a love letter to you from your Heavenly Father? God’s Word tells us that God is love and we get the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 where we read about God’s love, now let’s look to live our lives so that we can replace the word love with our name. Give it a try and see which characteristics of love you need to work on as you start this day.

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Since God is love, we can replace Love with God and say: God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

Now give this a try and consider where you need to focus or need to improve: [insert your name here] is patient, [insert your name here] is kind. [insert your name here] does not envy, [insert your name here] does not boast, [insert your name here] is not proud. [insert your name here] does not dishonor others, [insert your name here] is not self-seeking, [insert your name here] is not easily angered, [insert your name here] keeps no record of wrongs. [insert your name here] does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [insert your name here] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [insert your name here] never fails.

So considering what authentic love looks like let’s consider before we walk into today what it means and what it will take to live our lives with authentic love and live our lives as love would lead us. Is there something we can do to be more patient or kind? Is there something we can do to be more selfless than selfish? Is there a way to live out today without envying or boasting? Is there something we can do to humble rather than proud? Is there a way to honor others? Is there something we can do to serve others? Is there something we can do to be of good humor or pleased? Is there a way for us to forgive rather than keep a log of the wrongs against us? Is there a way to do the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish so that we can rejoice with and in the truth? How can we protect today? How can we trust today? How can we hope today? How can we persevere today no matter what troubles come our way so that we can consider them pure joy and allow perseverance to finish the work in us?

So are you ready for today? Are you ready to make today count? Are you ready to make today a Happy Today no matter what? Are you ready to rejoice in today because God made it? Are you ready to love in and through today because that is what this world needs and what God wants? Remember how the commandments were summarized in two love commmands?

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ — Mark 12:30
  • The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:31

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 8th


Authentic Love


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”’

John 13:34-35

Let’s get a bit more context about when Jesus said this and use the Amplified version in case it gives us some more details.

‘So when Judas had left, Jesus said, “Now is [the time for] the Son of Man [to be] glorified, and God is glorified in Him; [if God is glorified in Him,] God will also glorify Him (the Son) in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. Little children, I am with you [only] a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now, ‘Where I am going, you are not able to come.’ I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will be able to follow later.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!” Jesus answered, “Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before a rooster crows you will deny and completely disown Me three times.’

John 13:31-38

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • There is a difference between being impressed and being transformed.
  • Flashy stuff or experiences can impress but it takes authentic love to bring transformation.
  • Will you choose to live your life with authentic love in order that those questioning this love that Christians speak of is for real?
  • Are you ready to live your life with authentic love that shows how Jesus in you touches hearts and changes lives?
  • Are you ready to live your life showing love in action? Not just chit chat but in action.
  • Are you ready to live your life with authentic love in order to break through the hypocrisy that others have heard or seen before?
  • So are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ?
  • Today’s verse speaks that this is like a litmus test that will allow others to know it is for real.
  • Today’s verse speaks that this is like a litmus test that will allow others to know we are following Jesus.
  • You know you are being watched right?
  • You do realize you are being watched right? What type of a role model are you being?
  • Ever feel like somebody’s watching you?
  • What does authentic love in action look like to you?
    • Is it trying to mend a broken heart?
    • Is it showing up at the hospital when someone was hurt or sick?
    • Is it bringing a meal or some friendly company to someone who is stuck at or just got home from the hospital?
    • Is it showing up to help put the pieces together after a blowup or breakup?
    • Is it being present in the moments of need?
    • Is it stepping up or stepping in to help?
    • Is it listenting when nobody else will?
  • People will wonder if what we are talking about is for real.
  • It is our actions through authentic love that proves that it is for real.
  • The overflowing and outpouring of God’s love through our relationship with Jesus!
  • Our loyalty to Jesus is demonstrated through our authentic love for one another.
  • Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us!
  • Let’s be Jesus’s hands reaching out and arms embracing to the needy people around us.
  • So let’s be ready to be living out authentic love to the people God brings into our lives.
  • Let’s make sure we pass the litmus test of authentic love!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How would you define “authetic love”? What does inauthentic love look like?
  • What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate authentic love to someone in need?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Love each other as God love each one of you, with an intense and particular love. Be kind to each other: it is better to commit faults with gentleness than to work miracles with unkindness.”

Mother Teresa

“Learn to love and you learn to serve.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Nehemiah 7 – Let’s come together and do our part.
  • Nehemiah 8 – If you don’t remember then go back to the source, the Word of God.
  • Nehemiah 9 – Reflect and remember all that God has done.

So where are you today? Are you ready to be filled with love so that you can overflow love into the lives of others? Are you ready to fill your heart with love so that from the overflow of your heart the words your mouth speaks will be in love? Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts as the fountain of love to help clean it up and clean it out, filling it to overflowing with love! Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Considering what will last, will you spend your time on what will impact them?


So what will last, you may be asking yourself? Souls and Faith, Hope, and Love with the greatest of the 3 being LOVE. So people’s souls will last and their destination is the difference, the opportunity, and the focus point. So as we begin today are you ready to spend your time investing in what will last? Are you ready to invest in the lives of others in a way that will point them to God and enable them to make the decision to spend eternity in heaven with God? Are you ready to invest in both growing your faith, hope, and love in the hopes that it will then be able to overflow into the lives of everyone you come in contact with? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and a conviction of things not seen. Hope when fulfilled is the tree of life whereas hope deferred makes us heartsick. Love is best defined by 1 Corinthians 13 so let’s take a look at it, since it is the greatest of the 3.

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all. Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.’

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

So today, let us choose to focus on making an impact on and in the world we live in by focusing on what is going to last forever. Let’s get and be filled up with faith, hope and love to the point of overflowing! Let’s then overflow into the people God brings to mind, across our paths, and into our lives today so that we can point them to an eternity where they will get to live with God in Heaven and not in the abyss of hell apart from God.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 4th


Each One Reach One



MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.’

Colossians 4:5-6

Let’s dig a bit more into this with the surrounding context and using the Amplified version.

‘Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. As to all my affairs, Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him is Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome]. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.’

Colossians 4:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to shine for God?
  • Do you realize your environment is an opportunity to be salty for God?
  • Do you realize the unbelievers around you and how they need the salt and light of Jesus in their lives too?
  • Do you realize or look for opportunity to be salt and light into their lives?
  • Don’t be too busy doing your own thing to miss out on being able to do God’s things in the lives of the people God brings across your path.
  • Don’t be too self absorbed in your own stresses that you miss the open door opportunities to speak hope and love in faith to the world around you.
  • Don’t consider it a bother when they come your way, consider it an opportunity to be salt and light in their lives.
  • Keep your eyes open for when they come by so that you can make an effort to be salt and light into their lives.
  • Someone come to mind in this life where so much is being done virtually? Why not reach out and let them know and check in to make sure they are doing ok and if there is anything you can do to help them.
  • Do you realize your mission to reach as many people as possible like Paul did?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need someone to shine the light and hope of Jesus into their situations?
  • Do you realize how many people in your mist are lost and need you to spice things up for them with salt of Jesus into their lives?
  • Will you speak to people others are ignoring?
  • Will you go to places others won’t go?
  • Consider every interaction an opportunity!
  • Consider every interaction as an open door to represent Jesus to them!
  • Lead with God’s grace, giving it to them freely.
  • Let God’s love overflow out of your heart and be how your words speak to them.
  • We need to be both reaching out in love as well as seasoning our words with the His salt.
  • Salt that goes bad has no purpose and gets thrown out on the roads.
  • So let’s instead use salt with the purposes it has in life!
    • salt adds taste
    • salt preserves
  • So let’s be salty so as to add flavor to people’s lives!
  • So let’s be salty so that we are the most creative, optimistic, compassionate, sensitive, and alive people to the world around us!
  • Let’s be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us too!
  • There will come a time when someone will ask you to explain yourself, why are you like that? what is allowing you to be that way? So be ready to give people the reason for that spunk in your step and share the truth, the love, the hope of Jesus in your life!
  • Let’s be the people God created us to be in the place God has positioned us to be.
  • Let’s reach out to those God has allowed us to have relationship with so that they can encounter Jesus like we did.
  • Let’s help them realize it isn’t about rituals and routines but about an intimate relationship with Jesus.
  • Let’s be salty in this world we live!
  • Let’s be salty so that we can touch the life of the one(s) that need it.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, how salty are you? Explain your answer.
  • Who are some unbelievers God has put in your life? How can you be salty with them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I’m convinced that the lost person will respond to a sincere believer far better than to an insincere Bible scholar.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living for Him and will pick up the call to be salty and make a difference in the world around you? Are you one who knows Jesus and is living in a relationship with Him to fill you to overflowing with faith, hope, and love in order to be able to pour it out over all those God brings into your life? Are you someone looking for answers, seeking hope, or looking for love? Are you someone whose final destination is unknown to you? Are you ready to decide and choose to spend eternity with God in Heaven? Will today be your day? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What would it take for you to invite someone to be comfortable and be themselves?


When you are at work are there people that you have built relationships with to whom you can invite them to a meeting, a party, or even your house and tell them to make themselves comfortable and feel free to be themselves like this was all about them? When you are at home are there people out there that you have built relationships with to whom you would invite to make themselves comfortable in your home and act like they were at home? 

What would it take for you to feel that comfortable or sure and open that door? Would there have to be a level of trust? Would there have to be a level of understanding? Would there have to be a level of love? Would there have to be a level of commitment? Would there have to be a good relationship? 

Ok, so someone comes over to visit you at your place. Do you welcome them in? Do you help them get in and get settled? Do you say “make yourself at home”? Why or why not? What is the decision or tipping point to you being able to open that door? 


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 30th


Make Yourself At Home


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. ‘

John 14:23

Ever considered the context of this message? Do you realize the relationship Jesus had been forming with these men? Do you realize the place God had in their hearts? Let’s check out a bit more context in this conversation and add details with the Amplified version.


‘ And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” Judas (not Iscariot) asked Him, “Lord, what has happened that You are going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him. One who does not [really] love Me does not keep My words. And the word (teaching) which you hear is not Mine, but is the Father’s who sent Me. “I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] You heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming back to you.’ If you [really] loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going [back] to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does take place, you may believe and have faith [in Me]. I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of the world (Satan) is coming. And he has no claim on Me [no power over Me nor anything that he can use against Me]; but so that the world may know [without any doubt] that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father has commanded Me [and act in full agreement with Him]. Get up, let us go from here.’

John 14:16-31

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • If God left this message for His disciples don’t you think we should pick it up too?
  • Love God! Loving God is linked to obeying God!
  • Obey God! God richly rewards our faithfulness!
    • ‘ “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. ‘ John 14:15-18
    • ‘The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” ‘ John 14:21
    • ‘Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him. ‘ John 14:23
  • Let’s grab hold of Jesus’s promises of a rich relationship with God out of our obedience driven by love!
  • Let’s grab hold of the reality of feeling at home with God as we read in verse 23.
  • We need to be in relationship with God who we know and trust!
  • When we don’t know someone important who comes into our homes we feel on edge because we don’t know what to expect or if we are living up to the situation.
  • When we know someone well, a friend or family member, and they come into the house you are prepared and can experience anticipation rather than fear.
  • You are able to kick back with them, talk, listen, unwind, and speak to and from the heart.
  • You are able to deal with quiet moments or disruptions without fear or worry.
  • You are able to pick right back up like you didn’t miss a beat.
  • You are able to fill each others tanks because of the love and understanding.
  • You are feel great and at peace because you know they love you and you can trust them.
  • It’s unconditional love and so there is no pretenses, no masks, and no head games.
  • By building that loving and trusting relationship with God opens the door for such conversations and time together, with the same stress free moments together.
  • Don’t take God for granted or even consider that you are on the same level as Him.
  • Let’s decide to love and obey God as we would do or want with a close friend.
  • Let’s decide to live our lives as ambassadors to our loving King.
  • Let’s decide to live our lives with love and obedience as the loved child we are of our very powerful Father.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does it mean to you to be at home with God?
  • Are your love for God and your obedience to Him making you feel more at home with Him? Why or why not?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is the most astounding thing what happened to a tax gatherer, a fisherman, a farmer and a small business man — the disciples — when they lived with Jesus. They were transformed as the marvelous alchemy of His spirit had its way with them.”

Henry Drummond

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Where are you with others? Where are you at with God? Are you loving and obeying God and feeling at home? Are you feeling a bit uncomfortable at times because you miss the market on one of those areas? Loving God? Obeying God? Are you ready to step up and step in to live your life in alignment with God? Are you ready to live a life of love out of obedience to God? Are you ready to get started on your journey today? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What do you want to leave behind?


Are you someone who is collecting things that others will need to deal with and figure out how to handle once you pass? Are you someone who is giving things to others that will help them into the future? Are you doing it in a way that will leave behind a better place than how you found it?

Do you realize what will last? Love and Souls. God’s Word tells us that faith, hope, and love will last forever! On this side of eternity we need them all. On the other side of eternity, once we enter into God’s presence love will be the greatest because we will see God and so won’t need faith, we will be with God and His love will overwhelm us that we will have His reality rather than needing to hope for a better future. We are all eternal beings and as such we can hand over to the next generation and to the world around us a legacy of people who choose to accept Jesus into their hearts so that we can all spend eternity with God in heaven rather than apart from God in the pits of hell.

Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will point people to God? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that creates a legacy where people remember who Jesus is and how important He is to you? Will you choose to live out your today in a way where your family, friends, and even strangers will get to experience the love of God through you in your encounter with them?

What do you want to leave behind? What will your legacy be?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 20th


An Immortal Legacy


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.’

Ecclesiastes 3:14

Let’s look to get more context for this verse by expanding the reading and using the Amplified version of the Bible:

‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor can anything be taken from it, for God does it so that men will fear and worship Him [with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is God]. That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself]. Moreover, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked,” for there is a time [appointed] for every matter and for every deed. I said to myself regarding the sons of men, “God is surely testing them in order for them to see that [by themselves, without God] they are [only] animals.” For the [earthly] fate of the sons of men and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no preeminence or advantage for man [in and of himself] over an animal, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows if the spirit of man ascends upward and the spirit of the animal descends downward to the earth? So I have seen that there is nothing better than that a man should be happy in his own works and activities, for that is his portion (share). For who will bring him [back] to see what will happen after he is gone?’

Ecclesiastes 3:11-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that what you do matters?
  • Do you realize that what you do for God matters?
  • Do you ever compare how others are doing in contrast to you?
  • Do you ever compare the progress of others who aren’t serving God to yourself?
  • Do you ever get discouraged by such comparison?
  • Do you ever get discouraged by coveting others?
  • Are you ready to trust God, no matter what?
  • Are you ready to give your all for God and for eternity?
  • Are you ready to give your all to honor God?
  • Are you ready to give your all to show how much you trust God?
  • Are you ready to give your all to share God’s truth?
  • Are you ready to give your all in pursuit of God? following after Him and His will?
  • Are you ready to allow God to work in and through you for His glory?
  • Do you realize that God remembers all of your work and effort?
  • Are you more interested in the applause of man or God?
  • Are you doing what you do to glorify God or to get credit from people?
  • Do you realize how many times by pursuing trying to get the applause or credit of people we can become disappointed?
  • Do you realize the benefits of living your life in reverence of God, to honor God, and to glorify God since He has the final determination?
  • Let’s choose to live our lives for something that has real value!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives for something that will show eternal value!
  • We are all going to leave a legacy!
  • How will God value the eternal value of the life you have lived?
  • Will you hear well done good and faithful servant because of your stewardship?
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will glorify God and so that we can get to the end of the race with confidence that God will be happy with what we have done!
  • Let’s choose to be graded by God rather than people!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will be valued by God!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives in a way that will put a smile on God’s face!
  • Let’s choose to live our lives with faith, hope, and love!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are you doing these days that has eternal value?
  • What adjustments do you need to make so that your legacy is more pleasing to God?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The greatest investment you can make in this world is in God’s Word and God’s people. They are two things that last forever and pay eternal dividends.”

— Rick Warren

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you seeking answers and direction? Are you sharing answers and direction? Are you collecting or distributing a legacy? Are you pursuing out of love or lust? Are you searching and living out your life from an overflow of love? Are you ready to be filled to overflowing with God’s love? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart so that you will have a fountain of love that will never run out within you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Needing some comfort today?


Yesterday set me in a position where I need God’s favor, God’s help, and most of all God’s comfort in the midst of it all. Be it a miscommunication associated with my daughter’s home coming transportation and so now trying to see if we can still get a bus for the right day. Be it getting what the team needs from a different team to be able to get things done for that other team. Be it working out dates for a camp (which looks to be coming together, thanks be to God!). I am starting this day both with needs of divine intervention as well as God’s comfort to support and encourage me through it all.

So I invite the Holy Spirit into each situation for He is my comforter and my guide. So I lift each of these needs up and cast them on God because He cares for me. My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! And so I ask for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to guard my heart and my mind in order to get through this day with hope and peace by the grace and comfort of God!

How about you? Do you have something weighing on you? Do you have something that needs prayer? If you would like someone to join with you in prayer, please feel free to email prayerrequest@from2005toeternity.com so I can pray with you. God knows what we have need of before we ask. Are you willing to humble yourself enough to ask? Are you ready for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to enter into your situation? Are you ready to be comforted by the comforter who is the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to receive comforting? Are you ready to give comfort? What is it that today will be for each of us?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 12th


Bringing Comfort


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ‘

II Corinthians 1:3-4

Today’s verse is an interesting one where we learn how God is comforting us so that we are able to comfort others in the midst of the troubles that are taking place. Let’s learn from how God comforts us in order to be able to comfort others. Let’s grab hold of the full context of this as verses 3-7 speak to Comfort in Suffering and verses 8-11 speak to Delivered from Suffering. Let’s grab hold of God’s truth and God’s promises. Remember the promise that He will not leave us and will not forsake and will not abandon us! Let’s check out the greater context using the Amplified version:

‘Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

‘For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers]. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you like pain?
  • Do you question pain and suffering?
  • Are you one of those people who say “no pain, no gain”?
  • Are you someone who makes a funny face when someone says “no pain, no gain”?
  • Do you ever wonder where God is in the midst of the pain or suffering?
  • Do you ever wonder why this is happening?
  • Ever reflected on the various reasons for suffering that are called out in the Bible?
    • natural disasters
    • consequences of our own sins
    • effects of other people’s sins on us
  • We may or may not ever figure out the cause or the reason.
  • We can’t control what happens to us but we can control our response.
  • So when it happens (and if it hasn’t yet, it will as we read in John 16:33) we can take hold of Jesus’s additional statement to take heart because He has overcome the world and as such we have 2 things we can include in our response:
    • turn to God for comfort
    • comfort others who are in pain too
  • God never promised that life would be pain-free.
  • Beware of preachers who try and tell you or even promise you unlimited prosperity and wealth for they are hoaxes and not biblical.
  • God does promise to be with us in and through the pain and suffering though. He promises that we won’t have to go through it alone!
  • He offers for us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us!
  • He promises that our pain will never be in vain!
  • He promises to step into the very situation in order to give us comfort in and through the experience.
  • Remember that what the devil planned for evil God is able to turn around and use for good!
  • So invite God in so that you can feel His presence in the midst of the pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide you with comfort in the midst of your pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide enough comfort that you will be able to comfort others even in the midst of your own pain and suffering!
  • So let’s cling to God through this time! No matter how long or short it may be, let’s not let go but instead let God in and cling to Him through it all!
  • Let’s cling to God and allow His mercy and His comfort to help us!
  • We need Him to be comforting us to be in any shape or form to be able to comfort others!
  • With God’s comforting we are then able to comfort those who are in despair, feeling emptiness and heartache.
  • Let’s not try to coverup or camouflage the situations but be real in and through them.
  • Let’s not try to use canned phrases or methods to try and comfort others but instead allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment for the very situation!
  • Let’s be present! The ministry of presence can be sufficient to help us in the midst of our troubles and pain and suffering.
  • Let’s be present! Let’s allow God’s wisdom to help us to keep quiet or to speak as He leads! We don’t want to say something that will make it worse!
  • We need to grab hold of God’s mercy and grace and how it comforted us. We need to remember and experience God’s kindness, tenderness, patience, and love in the dark times in order to be able to support others when they are in their dark times!
  • Let’s not forget what God has done and let’s use it to help others!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when you were hurting. What questions did you ask? What brought real comfort?
  • Who are some people around you today who need to be comforted? What will you do?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There is nothing you will ever face that you and God can’t handle. The Lord promises us He will give us the grace to bear whatever burden comes our way.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need of comforting? Are you supposed to come alongside someone to help comfort them as God has comforted you? Are you in the midst of being comforted and still need to be able to comfort others? Are you in need of help to be filled up in order to share? Let’s turn to God and turn to prayer for help in navigating where we are at:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?