It’s a matter of the heart!


From the overflow of your heart, you speak. From the overflow of your heart, you act. From the overflow of your heart, you believe. From the overflow of your heart, you respond. From the overflow of your heart, you trust. So what are you putting into your heart? What are you allowing into your heart? What are you removing from your heart? It is a matter of the heart!


Today’s reading gets us started with Deuteronomy

‘“You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land. They didn’t see what the Lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day! “Your children didn’t see how the Lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here. They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!

“Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year! “If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat. “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. If you do, the Lord ’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you. “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land. “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. (These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley, near the town of Gilgal, not far from the oaks of Moreh.) For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it, you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.’

Deuteronomy 11

Today’s reading continues into Isaiah

‘Then the Lord said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz. ” I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this. Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.” Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to King Rezin and King Pekah. Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel. “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us! ”

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many will stumble and fall, never to rise again. They will be snared and captured.” Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me. I will wait for the Lord , who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him. I and the children the Lord has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion. Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead? Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.’

Isaiah 8

and

‘Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

The Lord has spoken out against Jacob; his judgment has fallen upon Israel. And the people of Israel and Samaria, who spoke with such pride and arrogance, will soon know it. They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone, and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.” But the Lord will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel and stir up all their foes. The Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel. But even then the Lord ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike. For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent. They will not seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Therefore, in a single day the Lord will destroy both the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed. The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail. For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction. That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans. For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness. But even then the Lord ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike. This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke. The land will be blackened by the fury of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The people will be fuel for the fire, and no one will spare even his own brother. They will attack their neighbor on the right but will still be hungry. They will devour their neighbor on the left but will not be satisfied. In the end they will even eat their own children. Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, Ephraim will feed on Manasseh, and both will devour Judah. But even then the Lord ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.’

Isaiah 9

and

‘What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans. What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land? To whom will you turn for help? Where will your treasures be safe? You will stumble along as prisoners or lie among the dead. But even then the Lord ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.’

Isiah 10:1-4

Today’s reading next takes us into the New Testament. We get started here in Matthew

‘Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials —one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus. As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes? ” Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.” Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.’

Matthew 17:1-13

and then into Romans

‘We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. ‘

Romans 15:1-7

So what is the state of your heart? Are you willing to heal? Are willing to restore? Are you willing to repair? Are you willing to forgive? Are you willing to open up and invite Jesus in?

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms.

‘From the depths of despair, O Lord , I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. Lord , if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you. I am counting on the Lord ; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn. O Israel, hope in the Lord ; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows. He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin.’

Psalms 130

Does compensation get considered when speaking of justice?


What comes to mind when you hear the word compensation? Do you think of the workplace? Do you think of the justice system? Where does your mind go first? Is it something you get for good work or something that happens to make up for something bad that happened? Is it something that is to make up for a loss, an injury, or suffering? Is it a thing or an action? Is it the sum total of what you receive for work well done? Is it something that is supposed to make up for something you are having to go through? Is it something that tries to conceal or offset a difficulty?

Today’s reading starts us off in Exodus. First we conclude in Exodus 21.

‘“Suppose someone digs or uncovers a pit and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it. The owner of the pit must pay full compensation to the owner of the animal, but then he gets to keep the dead animal. “If someone’s ox injures a neighbor’s ox and the injured ox dies, then the two owners must sell the live ox and divide the price equally between them. They must also divide the dead animal. But if the ox had a reputation for goring, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, he must pay full compensation—a live ox for the dead one—but he may keep the dead ox.’

Exodus 21:33-36

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 22.

‘“If someone steals an ox or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen. “If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder. But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder. “A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft. If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal. “If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else’s field to graze, then the animal’s owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes. “If you are burning thorn bushes and the fire gets out of control and spreads into another person’s field, destroying the sheaves or the uncut grain or the whole crop, the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crop. “Suppose someone leaves money or goods with a neighbor for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, the compensation is double the value of what was stolen. But if the thief is not caught, the neighbor must appear before God, who will determine if he stole the property. “Suppose there is a dispute between two people who both claim to own a particular ox, donkey, sheep, article of clothing, or any lost property. Both parties must come before God, and the person whom God declares guilty must pay double compensation to the other. “Now suppose someone leaves a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal with a neighbor for safekeeping, but it dies or is injured or is taken away, and no one sees what happened. The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the Lord . If the Lord confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required. But if the animal was indeed stolen, the guilty person must pay compensation to the owner. If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the remains of the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no compensation will be required. “If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation. But if the owner was present, no compensation is required. And no compensation is required if the animal was rented, for this loss is covered by the rental fee.’

Exodus 22:1-15

Today’s reading continues into Job. First we read Job 6.

‘Then Job spoke again: “If my misery could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, they would outweigh all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke impulsively. For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. Their poison infects my spirit. God’s terrors are lined up against me. Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? Don’t people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg? My appetite disappears when I look at it; I gag at the thought of eating it! “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One. But I don’t have the strength to endure. I have nothing to live for. Do I have the strength of a stone? Is my body made of bronze? No, I am utterly helpless, without any chance of success. “One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty. My brothers, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook that overflows its banks in the spring when it is swollen with ice and melting snow. But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears. The brook vanishes in the heat. The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing to drink, so they die. The caravans from Tema search for this water; the travelers from Sheba hope to find it. They count on it but are disappointed. When they arrive, their hopes are dashed. You, too, have given no help. You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid. But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift? Have I begged for anything of yours for myself? Have I asked you to rescue me from my enemies, or to save me from ruthless people? Teach me, and I will keep quiet. Show me what I have done wrong. Honest words can be painful, but what do your criticisms amount to? Do you think your words are convincing when you disregard my cry of desperation? You would even send an orphan into slavery or sell a friend. Look at me! Would I lie to your face? Stop assuming my guilt, for I have done no wrong. Do you think I am lying? Don’t I know the difference between right and wrong?’

Job 6

Today’s reading continues into Job 7.

‘“Is not all human life a struggle? Our lives are like that of a hired hand, like a worker who longs for the shade, like a servant waiting to be paid. I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’ But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn. My body is covered with maggots and scabs. My skin breaks open, oozing with pus.

“My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle. They end without hope. O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again feel happiness. You see me now, but not for long. You will look for me, but I will be gone. Just as a cloud dissipates and vanishes, those who die will not come back. They are gone forever from their home— never to be seen again. “I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain. Am I a sea monster or a dragon that you must place me under guard? I think, ‘My bed will comfort me, and sleep will ease my misery,’ but then you shatter me with dreams and terrify me with visions. I would rather be strangled— rather die than suffer like this. I hate my life and don’t want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days. “What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? For you examine us every morning and test us every moment. Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow! If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you? Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.”’

Job 7

Even in the midst of Job’s plea to God, we see that Job realizes God thinks we matter. He speaks of even how much God thinks about us. You are not alone and you don’t have to go through life alone. So turn back to God. Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Join with Him by inviting Jesus into your heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and guide. He is willing to trade with you because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Don’t try to do it your way, instead turn to God and do life His way! God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way for us to be reconciled back unto Him. He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather that through Him we can all have a way to be saved. So today we all are faced with a decision. Do we want to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Freewill gives us the power to choose and so we need to choose wisely.

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament and starts in John 21.

‘Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.’

John 21:1-14

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 7.

‘Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another. So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.’

1 Corinthians 7:1-9

Today’s reading closes with a psalm. Let’s close meditating with Psalms 53.

‘Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to God. Terror will grip them, terror like they have never known before. God will scatter the bones of your enemies. You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them. Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When God restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.’

Psalms 53

What you believe matters!


What do you believe about yourself? How does that impact how you relate to others? It matters!

What do you believe? How does that impact how you relate to the world? It matters!

What do you believe about God? How does that impact how you live your life? It matters!

Have your eyes been blinded from the truth? Have your ears been deafened from the truth? Has your mind been closed from the truth? Has forgiveness been taken from your options? Your forgiveness? Your forgiveness of others?


Today’s reading starts with disbelief even with everything that was seen, witnessed, done…

The Unbelief of the People

After Jesus said this, he went off and hid himself from them. 37Even though he had performed all these miracles in their presence, they did not believe in him, 38so that what the prophet Isaiah had said might come true:
“Lord, who believed the message we told? To whom did the Lord reveal his power?” 39And so they were not able to believe, because Isaiah also said, 40“God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see, and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God, for me to heal them.” 41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42Even then, many Jewish authorities believed in Jesus; but because of the Pharisees they did not talk about it openly, so as not to be expelled from the synagogue. 43They loved human approval rather than the approval of God.

Judgment by Jesus’ Words

44Jesus said in a loud voice, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in him who sent me. 45Whoever sees me sees also him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47If people hear my message and do not obey it, I will not judge them. I came, not to judge the world, but to save it. 48Those who reject me and do not accept my message have one who will judge them. The words I have spoken will be their judge on the last day! 49This is true, because I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has commanded me what I must say and speak. 50And I know that his command brings eternal life. What I say, then, is what the Father has told me to say.”

–from John 12

We have time to choose before we get judged! For those who choose to believe and follow, they will be saved! For those who choose not to believe, they are opening themselves up to have to deal with the full force of eternal judgment. So will you believe what you have seen? Will you believe what you have heard? Will you put your trust in the Word of God that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow because God doesn’t change? Will you receive the greatest gift of Jesus? The gift of forgiveness? We have all missed the mark, we have all messed up, we all need forgiveness! For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! But that’s not the end of the story! God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. What you believe makes a difference, not only in the here and now, but also in our final destiny!

What do you believe LOVE means? What you believe makes a difference! Knowledge is power some say…The Truth will set you free!

1From the Elder—To the dear Lady and to her children, whom I truly love. And I am not the only one, but all who know the truth love you, 2because the truth remains in us and will be with us forever.
3May God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, give us grace, mercy, and peace; may they be ours in truth and love.

Truth and Love

4How happy I was to find that some of your children live in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5And so I ask you, dear Lady: let us all love one another. This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning. 6This love I speak of means that we must live in obedience to God’s commands. The command, as you have all heard from the beginning, is that you must all live in love. 7Many deceivers have gone out over the world, people who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came as a human being. Such a person is a deceiver and the Enemy of Christ. 8Be on your guard, then, so that you will not lose what we have worked for, but will receive your reward in full. 9Anyone who does not stay with the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God. Whoever does stay with the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10So then, if some come to you who do not bring this teaching, do not welcome them in your homes; do not even say, “Peace be with you.” 11For anyone who wishes them peace becomes their partner in the evil things they do.

Final Words

12I have so much to tell you, but I would rather not do it with paper and ink; instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you personally, so that we shall be completely happy. 13The children of your dear Sister send you their greetings.

–from 2 John 1

What you believe can bring you peace! What you believe can rob you of your peace! What you believe makes a difference! What you believe matters! How you respond matters! How you react matters! What you believe impacts your response!

Job

1-2Why do you keep tormenting me with words? 3Time after time you insult me and show no shame for the way you abuse me. 4Even if I have done wrong, how does that hurt you? 5You think you are better than I am, and regard my troubles as proof of my guilt. 6Can’t you see it is God who has done this? He has set a trap to catch me. 7I protest his violence, but no one is listening; no one hears my cry for justice. 8God has blocked the way, and I can’t get through; he has hidden my path in darkness. 9He has taken away all my wealth and destroyed my reputation. 10He batters me from every side. He uproots my hope and leaves me to wither and die. 11God is angry and rages against me; he treats me like his worst enemy. 12He sends his army to attack me; they dig trenches and lay siege to my tent. 13God has made my own family forsake me; I am a stranger to those who knew me; 14my relatives and friends are gone. 15Those who were guests in my house have forgotten me; my servant women treat me like a stranger and a foreigner. 16When I call a servant, he doesn’t answer—even when I beg him to help me. 17My wife can’t stand the smell of my breath, and my own brothers won’t come near me. 18Children despise me and laugh when they see me. 19My closest friends look at me with disgust; those I loved most have turned against me. 20My skin hangs loose on my bones; I have barely escaped with my life. 21You are my friends! Take pity on me! The hand of God has struck me down. 22Why must you persecute me the way God does? Haven’t you tormented me enough? 23How I wish that someone would remember my words and record them in a book! 24Or with a chisel carve my words in stone and write them so that they would last forever. 25But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at last to my defense. 26Even after my skin is eaten by disease, while still in this body I will see God. 27I will see him with my own eyes, and he will not be a stranger. My courage failed because you said, 28“How can we torment him?” You looked for some excuse to attack me. 29But now, be afraid of the sword—the sword that brings God’s wrath on sin, so that you will know there is one who judges.

–from Job 19

It matters what you believe!


Having a strong foundation makes a big difference in what you are able to do! Having a cornerstone on which to build your life allows it to be built up sturdy and strong! It’s important to have a source of truth that you can believe in and live by. What do you believe? How does your belief impact the way you live? How does what you believe impact your words and your actions?

Today’s reading starts out with Jesus speaking to the Jewish authorities…

You Cannot Go Where I Am Going

21Again Jesus said to them, “I will go away; you will look for me, but you will die in your sins. You cannot go where I am going.” 22So the Jewish authorities said, “He says that we cannot go where he is going. Does this mean that he will kill himself?” 23Jesus answered, “You belong to this world here below, but I come from above. You are from this world, but I am not from this world. 24That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’.” 25“Who are you?” they asked him. Jesus answered, “What I have told you from the very beginning. 26I have much to say about you, much to condemn you for. The one who sent me, however, is truthful, and I tell the world only what I have heard from him.”
27They did not understand that Jesus was talking to them about the Father. 28So he said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’; then you will know that I do nothing on my own authority, but I say only what the Father has instructed me to say. 29And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, because I always do what pleases him.” 30Many who heard Jesus say these things believed in him.

–from John 8

What you believes matters! Jesus tells us

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. –John 14:6

What we do is based on what we believe! What we say is based on what we believe! How we respond is based on what we believe! Where we end up is based on what we believe!

Knowing that Jesus is the answer everyone needs to know about matters! Knowing that we are to be loving people and building relationships with them matters! Nobody should be excluded from being loved since we have the example of God that tells us …

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

–from John 3:16-21

So it really does matter what you believe and how what you believe impacts how you live!

Are you sharing what you believe? Are you filling others up with truth and love in love? Are you an outreaching, embracing, discipling person?

Today’s reading continues with this message…

17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–from 2 Peter 2

So don’t waste it! Don’t turn from it! Don’t lose it! Don’t give it up! Don’t try to go it alone! Don’t be foolish! There is strength in numbers! Put your trust in God!

As we conclude our reading today in the book of Job, I hold onto the fact and the truth how important the relationship with God is over going through the motions and the rituals or religion. So don’t just be going through the motions, but rather build up your relationship with Jesus! If you don’t have one, get one started today and allow Him to help make your path straight and to help you with questions and answers and actions and words that you will need today!

1Call out, Job. See if anyone answers. Is there any angel to whom you can turn? 2To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do. 3I have seen fools who looked secure, but I called down a sudden curse on their homes. 4Their children can never find safety; no one stands up to defend them in court. 5Hungry people will eat the fool’s crops—even the grain growing among thorns—and thirsty people will envy his wealth. 6Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground. 7No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire. 8If I were you, I would turn to God and present my case to him. 9We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end. 10He sends rain on the land and he waters the fields. 11Yes, it is God who raises the humble and gives joy to all who mourn. 12-13He upsets the plans of cunning people, and traps the wise in their own schemes, so that nothing they do succeeds; 14even at noon they grope in darkness. 15But God saves the poor from death; he saves the needy from oppression. 16He gives hope to the poor and silences the wicked. 17Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you. 18God bandages the wounds he makes; his hand hurts you, and his hand heals. 19Time after time he will save you from harm; 20when famine comes, he will keep you alive, and in war protect you from death. 21God will rescue you from slander; he will save you when destruction comes. 22You will laugh at violence and hunger and not be afraid of wild animals. 23The fields you plow will be free of rocks; wild animals will never attack you. 24Then you will live at peace in your tent; when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe. 25You will have as many children as there are blades of grass in a pasture. 26Like wheat that ripens till harvest time, you will live to a ripe old age. 27Job, we have learned this by long study. It is true, so now accept it.

–from Job 5

God’s grace is enough! Turn to Him! Nothing is too big for God to be able to handle! Nothing is too hard for God not to solve!