Are you ready for a second chance? Are you ready for another change?


What if you got the message that you can get a do over rather than what happened? What if you got the message that you are worth a second chance? What if you got the message that your past doesn’t define you and so you will be getting a second chance to make a first impression? Did you know that God is the god of the second chances? Did you know that God is the god of the third, forth, … chances? Now the key is how will you respond when you need another chance? Will you be too proud to apologize? Will you be too proud to admin you made a mistake? Will you be too proud to accept responsibility? Will you be too proud to turn back to God and admin you made a mistake? Don’t be robbed by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life which are of this world, instead receive what is from God! Will you be humble and admit your mistake? Will you be humble and ask for forgiveness? Will you be humble and turn back to God and ask for another chance? Ever read the words that “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Do you want to carry that guilt or shame around with you forever? Why not give it up to God so that you can be forgiven and made clean to live the rest of your life? Not sure what to do? Ask God for wisdom for He will give it to you without finding fault. So are you ready for your second chance? What will you do with it? Let’s consider this as we read from today’s reading for the day.


Today’s reading starts out in Exodus 34.

‘Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain. No one else may come with you. In fact, no one is to appear anywhere on the mountain. Do not even let the flocks or herds graze near the mountain.” So Moses chiseled out two tablets of stone like the first ones. Early in the morning he climbed Mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord ! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.” Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.” The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord —the awesome power I will display for you. But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. “Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. You must worship no other gods, for the Lord , whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. “You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves. “You must celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib, for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. “The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son. “No one may appear before me without an offering. “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest. “You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. Three times each year every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord , the God of Israel. I will drive out the other nations ahead of you and expand your territory, so no one will covet and conquer your land while you appear before the Lord your God three times each year. “You must not offer the blood of my sacrificial offerings together with any baked goods containing yeast. And none of the meat of the Passover sacrifice may be kept over until the next morning. “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God. “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.” Moses remained there on the mountain with the Lord forty days and forty nights. In all that time he ate no bread and drank no water. And the Lord wrote the terms of the covenant—the Ten Commandments —on the stone tablets. When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord . So when Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called out to them and asked Aaron and all the leaders of the community to come over, and he talked with them. Then all the people of Israel approached him, and Moses gave them all the instructions the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking with them, he covered his face with a veil. But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the Lord , he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord .’

Exodus 34

Let’s be prepared to receive God! Let’s spend time with God today so that when people see us they can tell that we have met with God! Let’s walk in the grace and mercy of God! Let’s live out today overflowing the love of God!

Today’s reading then brings us to Job 28.

‘“People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold. They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper from rock. They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted as by fire. Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli, and the dust contains gold. These are treasures no bird of prey can see, no falcon’s eye observe. No wild animal has walked upon these treasures; no lion has ever set his paw there. People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures. “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold. “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. Destruction and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’ “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”’

Job 28

Let’s not try to figure it all out on our own but instead let’s receive understanding from God!

Today’s reading then takes us into the New Testament with Mark 5.

‘So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.” Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.” So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.’

Mark 5:1-20

Today’s reading then brings us to 1 Corinthians 11.

‘I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering. A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory. For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority. But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.’

1 Corinthians 11:2-16

As today’s reading closes in the book of Psalms, let’s take a moment to meditate on God’s Word and receive the words from Psalms 64.

‘O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies’ threats. Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly. They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down. Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. Then everyone will be afraid; they will proclaim the mighty acts of God and realize all the amazing things he does. The godly will rejoice in the Lord and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him.’

Psalms 64

UPHOLDING WOMEN IN CRISIS … (THE BIBLE’S IMPACT ON ACTS OF CHARITY) [DEC 11]


Are you living out your today by sharing God’s mercy and grace with others? Are you living out your life by sharing God’s love and hope with others? Are you living out your life being God’s salt and light for others? Are you willing to step up and step out in order to make a difference in the lives of all the people God has put around you to pour into? What is your focus? What is your purpose? What is your intention? Will you speak the truth in love? Will you live out your life in a way that isn’t about deception but sharing the truth and the love of God? Will you wait upon the Lord when things get tough and allow Him to renew your strength? Will you allow God to be the one who brings justice to the situation? Let’s pursue God and His will and His purpose without swaying to the left or the right!

Today’s reading comes to us from Isaiah 30:

Do Not Go Down to Egypt

1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
4 For though his officials are at Zoan
and his envoys reach Hanes,
5 everyone comes to shame
through a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
but shame and disgrace.”

6An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,
from where come the lioness and the lion,
the adder and the flying fiery serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
and their treasures on the humps of camels,
to a people that cannot profit them.
7 Egypt’s help is worthless and empty;
therefore I have called her
“Rahab who sits still.”

A Rebellious People

8 And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
9 For they are a rebellious people,
lying children,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
“Because you despise this word
and trust in oppression and perverseness
and rely on them,
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,
whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a shard is found
with which to take fire from the hearth,
or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, 16and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”;
therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
like a signal on a hill.

The Lord Will Be Gracious

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.


19For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. 22Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”
23And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, 24and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;
his lips are full of fury,
and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
that reaches up to the neck;
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.

29You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. 31The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32And every stroke of the appointed staff that the Lord lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

–Isaiah 30

Let’s take hold of God’s Word right where we are at and receive His wisdom and direction, His instruction and correction so that in every thought, word, and action He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name, Amen.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on Acts of Charity on the subject of Upholding Women in Crisis. We learn that it points to an organization that is based on and inspired by today’s reading from verse 18 which reads:


‘ Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.’

Isaiah 30:18

The organization is called Isaiah 30:18 Ministries. Looking up the organization to learn more about it I found this in their own words:

Power Up with Isaiah 30:18 Ministries
“Women Helping Women in Crisis”
Isaiah 30:18 Ministries is a non-denominational women’s ministry dedicated to helping women through crisis moments in life.  We provide mentoring, training, classes and programs all designed to empower women to rise up and become successful in every area of life.
Our programs are available both in the marketplace to women in business, in the church in the form of Bible and book studies and women’s conferences and other events, in the prison system and in working with women who struggle with addictive behaviors.
We believe in true change coming from within as we learn how to think of and view ourselves and the world around us differently.
We have a team of dedicated teachers and mentors who give of their time, talent and resources to empower women in all areas of life.
We are heavily invested in working inside the women’s correctional institutions in our state as both mentors and teachers and are creating programs to help the women as they re-enter society.
Check out our most current project underway, the opening of The Harbor Home, both a live-in and outpatient training center for women seeking help with addictive behaviors and those leaving incarceration seeking to establish a solid foundation with which to begin their life of freedom.
We believe in equipping women to live with power, passion and purpose in everything that we do.
Volunteer opportunities are available in the Central Arkansas area and we welcome you to contact us for more information and to discover how you can become a member of the Isaiah 30:18 Ministry Team…women of all ages, races, denominations and socio-economic backgrounds…coming together to make a difference in our community.

About Isaiah 30:18 Ministries

Today’s devotional points out that this organization helps women during times of crisis which includes women in prison and battling addiction. It goes on to speak out this ministry looks to live out Isaiah 30:18’s message of offering God’s mercy and grace to women in crisis. Today’s devotional closes by sharing how this organization which is based in Arkansas provides “Harbor Home project” to support women in outpatient or live-in assistance while they recover from addition or transition back into the community as they exit prison.

Everyone is going through something. Everyone is in some type of need. Will you seek the need and fill it? Will you notice the need and do something about it? Will you be God’s hands extended to help with a hand up? Will you be God’s arms of embrace to support and encourage? Will you be Jesus with skin on to people who may never step into a church in order that they may come to know and realize the reality of Jesus in their lives? Is today your day to start? Is today your day to try? Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Fear Not, Just Believe!


Let’s pray… Let’s first pray to commit our lives back to God


Next as we prepare for this day, let’s take hold of the Lord’s Prayer and align with God’s plans and purpose for today…

Now let’s get going with today and live out our lives as living sacrifices so that in and through it all God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s pray to forgive others…


Heavenly Father, Thank You Lord for this new day. Thank You for Your Word that never returns void. Thank You for allowing me to step up and step into Your calling and Your plan for my life. Thank You Lord for eyes to see and ears to hear when there are new people. Thank You Lord for eyes to see and ears to hear when there are needing people. Help me today Lord to be observant and sensitive to Your Holy Spirit so that in it I will respond in a way that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Do you love? Does love flow from you? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 27])


Are you allowing in the inflow of love from God to overflow into the people around you? Are you limiting the flow of love out of you? Are you allowing love to freely flow from you? Is there anything that you are allowing to be or become a barrier to God’s love flowing from you? Is there anyone that you are keeping God’s love from flowing through you?

Remember that God is love!

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

–from 1 John 4:8

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

–from 1 John 4:16

Remember what love is? Let’s have a refresher that love is…

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

–from 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

So we need to love to show God working in and through us. We need to love since God is love or else we don’t know God. We need to love because love is the greatest thing that in the end will last. And because God loves people we need to love them too. So how do we love? Let’s work on making the words of 1 Corinthians be true when we replace the word love with our name. Jesus can do it so let’s live lives where we can too.

Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. Jesus does not insist on HIS own way; Jesus is not irritable or resentful; Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Jesus never ends.

So let’s dive into the full context of today’s reading coming from 1 John 4…

Test the Spirits

1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

God Is Love

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
–from 1 John 4

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on Acts of Mercy focuses on 1 John 4:8 and speaks of Helen Keller on love and justice. She points to 1 John 4:8 as a primary influence in her thinking. We read from today’s devotional:

Bishop Brooks taught me no special creed or dogma, but he impressed upon my mind two great ideas — the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and made me feel that these truths underlie all creeds and forms of worship. God is love, God is our Father, we are His children, therefore the darkest clouds will break, and though right be worsted, wrong shall not triumph.

–The Global Impact Bible – HELEN KELLER ON LOVE AND JUSTICE – p. 1651 – 1 John 4

Have you encountered Jesus yet? Interested in starting your journey? Let’s pray this together…

Prayer of Salvation Example

 

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and all that is within it. Help me lord to live out today with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that Your Love will be made known in and through me. Help me Lord to share the hope that is within me in every situation so that my life will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you still have that childlike faith? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 18])


Are you able to keep it simple like a child? Are you able to live with the innocent intentions of a child? Are you able to approach with the humility of a child? Are you able to approach in an unambitious way? Are you able to be docile like a child? Are you able to live with the affection of a child? Are you willing to “give up your ambitious aims and earthly contests, and imitate the simple unworldly ways of little children“? Are you willing to “lay aside all pride and prejudice and enter in with humility and meekness“? Can you be transformed to be more childlike by being “teachable, mild, humble, and free from prejudice and obstinacy“?

Consider what Matthew 10:15 says …

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.

–from Matthew 10:15

Are you willing to turn to Jesus and receive His gift of love, hope, and salvation?

Will you choose to not be a barrier from allowing children to enter into faith? Will you choose to help children who are seeking to draw closer to Jesus? Will you give children the opportunity to hear the Good News and the opportunity to receive it?

Today’s reading from Matthew 19 includes a similar request in verses 13-15 where we read:

‘Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. ‘

–from Matthew 19:13-15

So let’s take a moment to get some context by reading all of Matthew 19 together…

Teaching About Divorce

‘Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.

Let the Children Come to Me

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.

The Rich Young Man

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

–from Matthew 19:1-30

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on Acts of Mercy speaks to Matthew 19:13-15 on the Bible’s impact on the care of children. Don’t be an obstacle to children getting to Jesus! Don’t be a barrier to the hope and truth and love and healing that is available through Jesus into the lives of the children! We need to be more focused on being servants! We need to be more focused on being like children! We need to be living lives with the awareness and the importance and the sanctity of life! If children are important to Jesus then they need to be important to us too! So let’s do what we can to protect and cherish children!

As I read today’s devotional it brings me back to the problems in this world that require children to be taken out of their homes for safety reason. As I consider and contemplate it I think of the children that I have watched come to both the kids and teen camps. All of whom by no fault of their own have ended up in the foster care system because of choices that were made by adults. We need to take hold of Jesus’ commands today! We need to take hold of what Jesus says in Matthew 19:14, Mark 9:37, and Luke 17:1-2! We need to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves just as Jesus stood up to those who were trying to keep the children away from receiving His blessing.  We need to be a voice of hope, of love, and of blessing over these children so that they too may know the love of God!

So how can you make a difference? Will you first receive the gift of God through Jesus Christ which is eternal life? Will you then be salt and light into the world so that others may also get the opportunity to meet Jesus? For salt to work, it requires contact and so we need to go out into the world! We are not of the world but we are in the world! No, it won’t be easy, but we can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world! So let’s make today count! Let’s step out of ourselves and our selfish ways and step into what God desires for us to do and to be into the world around us!

Never invited Jesus into your life yet? Let’s read this together…

Sample Sinners Prayer

Welcome into God’s kingdom. Want to talk about making a decision? Want to talk about having made the decision to follow Jesus? Leave me a comment and we can start a conversation. Find a local church body that is believing and preaching God’s Word!


Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift You up and ask Lord for Your wisdom for this day. Help me Lord with the decision(s) I will need to make so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. You know the plans You have for me. You go ahead preparing in advance the good works You have for me to accomplish. Grant me wisdom and discernment, faith and confidence, courage and boldness to get it done in Your way. Let Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth and in my life as it is in Heaven. Not my way but Your way! Not my will but Your will. Help me Lord so that every word and action today will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Where do you go to get away from pursuit, danger and trouble? (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 10])


Do you have a safe haven? Do you have a shelter? Do you have a retreat? Do you have a hiding place? Does it provide true safety?

Today’s reading comes from Proverbs 18 …

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace. The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice. A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination. Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders. A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord . The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

— from Proverbs 18:1-24

Are you living humbly before the Lord? Are you trusting more in yourself than God? Do you have hope? Hope that can sustain you? Hope that is beyond you? If your hope built up on Jesus and all that He has done for you? My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I fully trust in Jesus’ name. He is the strong foundation on which I can put 100% of my trust! He is the cornerstone on which I can lean as it will keep me in alignment with God’s will and purpose and plan for my life.

So will you make God your strong tower? Will you run to Him for safety? Will you allow Him to be your shelter? Will you let Him be your fortress when you are weak? Will you seek His face?

Don’t try to go it alone! We were made to be in relationship with God and with one another! Let’s not show partiality! Let’s wait upon the Lord! Let’s lean on God! Let’s have hope that eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord! We don’t want temporary hope that comes from putting our trust in ourselves or others, instead let’s lean not on our own understanding but instead put our full trust in God!

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on Acts of Mercy is based on Proverbs 18:10 which says:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

— Proverbs 18:10

and is on the subject of Dale Earnhardt…it starts on the subject of NASCAR back on Feb 18, 2001. A day looking back that went from excitement to tragedy for the Daytona 500. A day that went from celebration to sorrow. We learn from today’s devotional that Stevie Waltrip, wife of Darrell Waltrip handed a Bible verse, written on the smooth side of a piece of tape to Dale Earnhardt. This was a ritual that began because Dale had caught her writing one for her husband who was still racing at the time and Dale requested if he could have one too. Stevie continue the ritual even after her husband had retired from racing just before the engines started. That day in 2001, Stevie had spent more time than usual picking the Bible verse for Dale. Not sure why at the time but after the incident she realized why as she had selected Proverbs 18:10. That was the day when the accident that may have seemed routine at the time became tragic as the news came out that Dale Earnhardt had died on impact. This verse brought some peace and some comfort to those who knew Dale and the state of his heart and soul. Dale’s son Dale Earnhardt Jr. while still mourning the loss of his dad made the decision to honor his dad by asking Stevie Waltrip if she could bring him a Bible verse that he could have in his car for every race.

The Bible is real! The Bible is true! The Bible is powerful! So why not meditate on it daily? Why not take a piece with you daily to apply and take hold of? Why not let God be your strong tower every day? Let’s make the most of TODAY! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s’ rejoice and be glad in it! Yesterday is gone! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed! So let’s make the most of TODAY! Let’s put our focus on God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s purpose for our TODAY! Let’s not let the past keep us from all God has in store for our present and the future He promises us when we choose Jesus and decide that we want to spend eternity with Him!

So let’s turn back to God! Let’s cry out to Him! Let’s offer up our lives as living sacrifices to Him! Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts! Let’s allow Him to lead us and guide us all the days of our lives! He is our strong tower!

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for Your Word and its impact on the world. I thank You Lord that we can each have a testimony to how You work in and through our lives. I thank You Lord that we can each have the opportunity to speak truth, hope, and life as overflow into the people who You bring into our lives today. Help me Lord to live my today to the full and so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

In a time of need?


Life is filled with ups and downs. Life is filled with joy and pain. Life is filled with hardship and easy. Life we have been warned will have troubles. Life’s troubles we have been promised can be overcome. Life we have been warned will have trials. Life’s trials we have been directed to consider as pure joy because we know that whenever we face trials of many kinds,  that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. The key is that in those times of need, where will you turn? how will you respond?

Today’s reading comes from Hebrews 4 and gives us wisdom into those questions…

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,'” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4

The answer is Jesus! It is by turning to Jesus that we can find rest! It is in Jesus that we can find confidence! It is in Jesus that we can receive mercy! It is in Jesus that we can find grace! It is through Jesus that we can be forgiven!

The primary verse from today’s devotional is Hebrews 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

–from Hebrews 4:16

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible on human rights speaks to “Abraham Lincoln’s call for national humility”. He called for a national day of fasting. He called on all citizens “to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” The call was for humility in the nation, for people to turn back to God in repentance and ask for forgiveness. He pointed to Hebrews 4:16 in order to encourage the people to approach the throne of God, His throne of grace. It influenced Abraham Lincoln to say:

And I do earnestly recommend to all the People, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations, and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace and bring down plentiful blessings upon our Country.

from Proclamation of a Day of Fasting
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
A PROCLAMATION.

We don’t need to go about this things called life alone! We don’t have to worry! We just need to turn back to God! We need to invite Jesus into our lives at the mercy seat! We need to give up our lives as living sacrifices to Him! As we walk out this week of the passion and consider all that took place to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way and the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for you and for me by taking the brutal beatings even though He was innocent, being crucified even though He was innocent, and dying on the cross. We can take heart, we can have hope because on the third day He rose from the dead, just as He had promised. So we have an intercessor, a high priest, that we can turn to and surrender our hurts and pains, our hearts and lives so that we can find peace, we can find rest, and we can find hope for today! Put your trust in Jesus! Have faith in Him! Don’t be robbed of the hope and the peace by the lies of the devil and the world! Put your trust in Jesus!

Will you take hold of what President Lincoln said? Will you take time to turn back to God? Will you take time to build the relationship that you were created to have with Jesus? Will you live the rest of your life in relationship with Jesus? Will you allow His anointing, His power, His truth, His love, His courage, His boldness, to fill you to overflowing so that you can be salt and light into the world around you? No matter what comes your way will you be able to say “the joy of the Lord is my strength” so “Happy Today”? Even in the trials taking hold of God’s Word telling us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds and still saying “Happy Today”? Let’s keep the main thing the main thing and let Jesus be the center! be the foundation! be the cornerstone! So that we can live our lives knowing that the battle is over, the victory is ours, because of our relationship with Jesus and His love for us!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that Your ways are higher than our ways. I thank You Lord that You sent Jesus to make a way for us to be reconciled back to You. I thank You Lord that through Jesus we find grace, mercy, and salvation. I thank You Lord that You can take a hard-hearted heart and soften it to receive Jesus. I thank You Lord that You provide Your Word as a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I thank You Lord that Your Word is alive and active. I thank You Lord that Your Word sharp and can cut to the marrow of the situation piercing the division of soul and spirit. I thank You Lord that Your Word is able to cut through in order to bring discernment of thoughts and intentions of the heart. Help me today I pray in Jesus’ name so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

Do justice! Love kindness! Walk humbly!


Do you realize that we have all missed the mark? Do you realize that God’s will has been missed? Do you realize what God wants? Do you realize that since we couldn’t do it in our own strength that He sent Jesus to make a way when we couldn’t?

Where have you missed the mark? What could you have done? What fruit of the Spirit are you producing? With Jesus as your Lord and Savior, how has your life been transformed? Are you living a life that is different from before? Are you walking humbly before God? Are you an ambassador of peace? Are you being kind? Are you loving God and loving others? Are you seeking and living out a life that is just? Is your life showing you doing justice?

Today’s reading comes from Micah 6. Let’s take a moment to read thru it and take hold of what God’s Word is saying…

The Indictment of the Lord

‘ Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord , and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord .”‘

What Does the Lord Require?

‘ “With what shall I come before the Lord , and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’

Destruction of the Wicked

‘ The voice of the Lord cries to the city— and it is sound wisdom to fear your name: “Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it! Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights? Your rich men are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be hunger within you; you shall put away, but not preserve, and what you preserve I will give to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri, and all the works of the house of Ahab; and you have walked in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”‘

–from Micah 6

So we read in Micah 6:8 which is the verse for today’s devotional what God considers good and requires of us where it says…

‘ He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’

— Micah 6:8 

Today’s devotional speaks to how this verse has impacted history and philosophy through American history…

  • John Winthrop cited Micah 6:8 to convey what the colonist owed to each other and the rest of the world
  • George Washington in his 1783 Circular to the States used this verse to encourage Americans to “todo Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and a pacific temper of mind.
  • William F. McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G Harding, and Jimmy Carter placed their hands upon the Bibles at their inauguration with it opened to Micah 6:8
  • Calvin Coolidge used Micah 6:8 in his State of the Union
  • Richard Nixon used Micah 6:8 in his Thanksgiving Proclamation
  • Bill Clinton used Micah 6:8 at a National Prayer Breakfast
  • Barack Obama used Micah 6:8 at the ground breaking ceremony of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial
  • Martin Luther King Jr. frequently cited Micah 6:8 to express the justice that he and other civil rights leaders were pursuing
  • Cesar Chavez used Micah 6:8 in his fight for justice for farm workers
  • Micah 6:8 is prominently displayed in the main reading room of the Library of Congress above the statue that represents religion

[The Global Impact Bible – Micah 6 – page 1236]

So let’s live out our today seeking justice and to do justice, seeking loving kindness and being loving and kind, and walking humbly before our God in order to serve Him as living sacrifices that will bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Put another way, let’s act justly, let’s love mercy, and let’s walk humbly with our God.

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You for Your Word that speaks truth and life into and over my life. I thank You for Your Word that gives wisdom and direction to my mind and my heart so that my focus isn’t on the things of the world but on how I can best walk out this life humbly with You. Help me today I pray as I step in to a new area and help me Lord to find favor and opportunity that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in and thru Jesus, Amen.

True justice and mercy…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 20th)


The Bible has had such an incredible impact on the world. God has provided us with an instruction manual on how to live lives that can be blessed. God has provided us with direction into how we should be treating one another. Take a look around at what is taking place and can you find true justice taking place in all areas of society? Consider when you are walking around and if true kindness and mercy are being poured out on the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the transients. The lady standing on the street looking for help…how did you respond? Do you ignore her? Do you engage her? Do you walk passed her? Do you look for a way to help her? Do you respond with a humbleness that gives her a sense of being cared for by pouring out kindness and mercy? Ever seen those people who say things that hurt or criticize others unfairly? Ever seen those who being helpful and encouraging speak out and discourage people who are already feeling down? Imagine a poor person trying to find a way to make ends meet for their family because they lost their job. Imagine a widow who lost her husband and now doesn’t know how she will be able to continue. Imagine children who have lost their parents by no action of their own and find themselves alone. Don’t judge them because you don’t know how they got their or what has happened in order to get them there. Don’t ignore them them and think they will just go away. Let’s come with hearts of mercy! Let’s come with an attitude of kindness! Let’s step out of our comfort zone in order to help those in need! Let’s be salt and light into this world and allow Jesus to work in and through us in order to make a difference in the world around us. Do you realize that some of these people are in your neighborhood? Do you realize that some of these people are in your school? Do you realize that some of these people are in your workplace? Do you realize that some of these people are in your church? Don’t discourage them! Don’t denigrate them! Don’t hit them while they are down but come alongside them and help them up! Let’s not look down on them and give them a handout but rather let’s love them with kindness and mercy and give them a hand up! Let’s look to find ways that will help them! Let’s be encouragers – being Jesus with skin on to them! Let’s be hope in the midst of their hopelessness! Let’s be love when they are feeling unlovable! Let’s look for ways to ensure true justice and giving kindness and mercy! Will you make time to visit the widows and the orphans? Will you decide to love on the unlovable? Will you help the desperate? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

It’s a matter of the heart! Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you make God your treasure? Will God be the one you worship? Others will know what is in your heart because from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! We can only serve one master…so whom shall you serve? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! So will you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God by spending time daily in the Bible? Will you make it so that what comes out of your mouth is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Soften your heart so that you will walk out this life aligned with God! Ask God to create a new heart in you! Leave the old ways behind and start fresh and new in His ways! Turn back to God and allow Him to make all things new through accepting Jesus into your heart!

Today’s reading from Zechariah 7 speaks on this very topic and continues in our reading from the  Global Impact Bible on the theme of The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

A Call for Justice and Mercy

7 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. 2 Now the people of Bethel hadsent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,3 saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

4 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? 6 And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”

8 And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13 “As I2 called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”

— Zechariah 7

Have you been able to go and see the Sistine chapel? While you were there did you get to see the fresco of Zechariah painted by Michelangelo?  Did you realize where it came from? Did you consider who he was and his role in the lives of the people of Israel?

Jan 20 - Zechariah 7 - ARTS - fresco painted by Michaelangelo of Zechariah in the Sistine Chapel


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for what You have planned. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void and is able to speak life in love to us, over us, and through us. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that today You bring to mind the people who are in need. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, so that I can respond in a way that will glorify You and allow me to be Your hands extended to give a hand up, Your arms extended to embrace and let them know that they are loved, Your presence so that they know that they are not alone! Lord, thank You for camps where Your love can be shared and shown through volunteers who have nothing to gain but to pour out love, hope, and mercy into the lives of campers who by no fault of their own are apart from their parents and living as orphans. Lord, help me I pray to be a servant leader! Help me Lord to be a good steward! Help me Lord to exalt You in all that I do and all that I am so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to make it an everyday thing! Help me Lord to make it an every hour thing where I can speak hope, life, love into the world around me and that people will see You working in and through me for Your glory so that people may turn back to You and be restored and reconciled to You through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give all this into Your hands so that You will be exalted and lifted up all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How desperate are you for an intimate relationship with God?


Life can keep us busy! Life can keep us focused! Life can keep us engaged! Life can turn then what? It depends on your foundation! It depends on your source of wisdom and strength! It depends on your purpose! It depends if you have built your trust up!

Where are you at today?

Each morning I turn to God’s Word knowing that He wants to speak to me through His Word! My day isn’t the same if I can’t start it out with God’s Word! The Lord fills me up each morning in preparation for today! He knows my very situation! He knows what I am going through and He knows what is coming too! When I learned this truth about having a relationship with Jesus and how important it is for me to start my day with Him, it impacts the way I am able to live out the rest of my day!

17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? 22Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
–from Psalm 139
Each day I know that without God’s filling, there will be a hole, an emptiness, a lack. Without God filling up my heart, my attitude and my words and my actions are off. I need Him to fill me up! I need Him to search my heart in order to make sure anything that will keep me from accomplishing His purpose and plans can be removed out of the way!
Without His truth there would be no absolutes! Without absolutes then things sway back and forth like getting tossed around like the waves! We need to hear from God! We need to stand on the truth! We need absolutes! Through Jesus we are called to go beyond average and raise the bar so that instead of the average moving to the lowest common denominator God’s desire is for us to grow and become more like Jesus!
When we know the truth, the truth sets us free and we won’t be lead astray! There are many who would try to deceive and lead us astray! The devil’s plan is to rob, kill, and destroy us and anyway he can find to instrument he will do it in order to draw us from God and the truth of God and the eternity with God that is offered to us through a relationship with Jesus! So beware of false teachers! Compare what they say against what God’s Word says!

Greetings from Jude

1This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.
2May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.

The Danger of False Teachers

3Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
8In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. 9But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.
12When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
14Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
16These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

A Call to Remain Faithful

17But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 18They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
20But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
22And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

A Prayer of Praise

24Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
–from Jude 1
So let’s allow the Holy Spirit working in us and through us to become who God desires us to be! Let’s make sure that it is the sins that we hate and not the people! Let’s love people and hate sin! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s speak truth in love to the people around us!
Today’s devotional summarizes Jude’s points as follows:

Jude gives a description of the characteristics of false teachers and false teaching. Typically, cults will display at least one of these:

  • They are deceptive. They ‘have secretly slipped in among you’ (v.4)
  • They reject authority. They want to replace ‘sheer grace’ with ‘sheer license’ (v.4, MSG)
  • They deny Jesus Christ ‘as our one and only Master’ (v.4, MSG)
  • They look down on and ‘sneer at anything they can’t understand’ (v.10, MSG)
  • They ‘do whatever they feel like doing’ (v.10, MSG)
  • They are immoral: ‘carousing shamelessly’ (v.12, MSG)
  • They grumble, complain and find fault (v.16)
  • They grab for themselves ‘the biggest piece of the pie’ (v.16, MSG)
  • They are ambitious, ‘saying anything they think will get them ahead’ (v.16, MSG).
    God’s people are encouraged to be desperate for God’s truth. The beginning and the end of the letter speak of an intimacy with God and how to live as those desperate for God’s truth.

I love the way that Jude begins this letter. He sees himself as ‘a servant of Jesus Christ’ (v.1). There is no higher calling or a more liberating job than to see every day as an opportunity to serve Jesus Christ.

He then reassures his readers that they are ‘called’ and ‘loved’ by God the Father ‘and kept by Jesus Christ’ (v.1). This is true of every Christian. What he wants for his readers is ‘mercy’, ‘peace’ and ‘love in abundance’ (v.2). If these were the only verses we had in the whole Bible, we could meditate on them for the rest of our lives.

He ends by urging them to:

  • Study the truth: ‘Build yourselves up in your most holy faith’ (v.20)
  • Pray: ‘Pray in the Holy Spirit’ (v.20). The Holy Spirit will guide us into the truth
  • Stay close to God: ‘Keep yourselves in God’s love’ (v.21)
  • Be merciful: ‘Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin’ (v.23, MSG)

–from Day 342: Bible In One Year 2018

So let’s live out our lives in a way that will glorify God! Let’s live out lives that will show truth and love to the world around us! Let’s seek God’s purpose and God’s plan! Let’s pursue lives that will align with God’s justice in hopes of living within His overwhelming blessings! It doesn’t mean that everything will be easy but it does mean it will be worth it! Let’s live lives that point people to Jesus so that we can spend eternity in heaven with them with God! Let’s be ambassadors of Jesus who want them to avoid the final judgement in order to find true freedom with Jesus! Share the truth in love for the truth shall set them free!

A Flying Scroll

1I looked up again and saw a scroll flying through the air.
2“What do you see?” the angel asked.
“I see a flying scroll,” I replied. “It appears to be about 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.”
3Then he said to me, “This scroll contains the curse that is going out over the entire land. One side of the scroll says that those who steal will be banished from the land; the other side says that those who swear falsely will be banished from the land. 4And this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using my name. And my curse will remain in that house and completely destroy it—even its timbers and stones.”

A Woman in a Basket

5Then the angel who was talking with me came forward and said, “Look up and see what’s coming.”
6“What is it?” I asked.
He replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain, and it’s filled with the sins of everyone throughout the land.”
7Then the heavy lead cover was lifted off the basket, and there was a woman sitting inside it. 8The angel said, “The woman’s name is Wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and closed the heavy lid again.
9Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky.
10“Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel.
11He replied, “To the land of Babylonia, where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.”
–from Zechariah 5
Don’t lie! Don’t steal! Don’t cheat! Turn to God and pursue His ways! As the end draws near the purpose to make Jesus known grows! As the end draws near the need to share to hope and truth of Jesus and how we are created to have an intimate relationship with Him is necessary! As the end draws near lets share the reality and not sugar coat it! The reality that there is a real heaven and there is a real hell and that based on our choice one of them will be the final destination! Choose Jesus! Invite Jesus into your heart and follow Him all the days of your life! Spend time in God’s Word! Pray to Him throughout your day! Take time to hear what He desires of you and how He wants you to live out today! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Four Chariots

1Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two bronze mountains. 2The first chariot was pulled by red horses, the second by black horses, 3the third by white horses, and the fourth by powerful dappled-gray horses. 4“And what are these, my lord?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.
5The angel replied, “These are the four spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord of all the earth. They are going out to do his work. 6The chariot with black horses is going north, the chariot with white horses is going west, and the chariot with dappled-gray horses is going south.”
7The powerful horses were eager to set out to patrol the earth. And the Lord said, “Go and patrol the earth!” So they left at once on their patrol.
8Then the Lord summoned me and said, “Look, those who went north have vented the anger of my Spirit there in the land of the north.”

The Crowning of Jeshua

9Then I received another message from the Lord: 10“Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11Accept their gifts, and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’
14“The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the Lord to honor those who gave it—Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah son of Zephaniah.”
15People will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know that my messages have been from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All this will happen if you carefully obey what the Lord your God says.
–from Zechariah 6
 Have you heard of the four horsemen? Have you read it in Zechariah or Revelation? There are many terms or sayings in life and without the wisdom of God you won’t realize the source and the truth of such things! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world when He first came! God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life!

 A Call to Justice and Mercy

1On December 7 of the fourth year of King Darius’s reign, another message came to Zechariah from the Lord. 2The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech, along with their attendants, to seek the Lord’s favor. 3They were to ask this question of the prophets and the priests at the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction, as we have done for so many years?”
4The Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me this message in reply: 5“Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? 6And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves? 7Isn’t this the same message the Lord proclaimed through the prophets in years past when Jerusalem and the towns of Judah were bustling with people, and the Negev and the foothills of Judah were well populated?’”
8Then this message came to Zechariah from the Lord: 9“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.
11“Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. 12They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them.
13“Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 14As with a whirlwind, I scattered them among the distant nations, where they lived as strangers. Their land became so desolate that no one even traveled through it. They turned their pleasant land into a desert.”
–from Zechariah 7
 So how will you share the truth of God that His blessings will be seen and He will be glorified? How will you be able to pour out God’s blessings if you aren’t filled first? So let’s take time and make time to be filled with God’s Spirit by spending time in His Word! Let’s allow His Word to speak truth! Nothing is impossible with God!

Promised Blessings for Jerusalem

1Then another message came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: 2“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!
3“And now the Lord says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain.
4“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. 5And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play.
6“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
7“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west. 8I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.
9“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building. 10Before the work on the Temple began, there were no jobs and no money to hire people or animals. No traveler was safe from the enemy, for there were enemies on all sides. I had turned everyone against each other.
11“But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. 13Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!
14“For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 15But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 16But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 17Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.”
18Here is another message that came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in early summer, midsummer, autumn, and winter are now ended. They will become festivals of joy and celebration for the people of Judah. So love truth and peace.
20“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem. 21The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us. Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I’m determined to go.’ 22Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.
23“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
 So let’s live in the truth of God! For the truth will set you free! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and is our one and only way to the Father! God’s plan and hope for us isn’t that we are harmed but that we will have a hope and a future!


Desperate

Day 342: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Desperate for God’s thoughts … Psalms 139:17-24
  2. Desperate for God’s truth … Jude 1
  3. Desperate for God’s Justice and God’s Blessing … Zechariah 5, Zechariah 6, Zechariah 7, Zechariah 8

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

Do you realize that your family goes beyond blood?


Some have blood family like parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. Some have marital family where people get married and form extended families. Another family comes when we receive Jesus into our hearts and we become a part of the family of God! At that point we become brothers and sisters in Christ! A family that will live on for eternity! A family that has a father whose love is unconditional!

Have you had an encounter with God yet so that you become a part of His family? Have you taken the time and the steps to ask Jesus into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior? Have you been feeling the tug on your heart and knowing that something is going on in you? Will you choose to do it today? If not today then when? If not here then where? If not you then who? If not because God’s unconditional love for you then why? What will it take for you to receive such a precious gift from God?

What your past looks like doesn’t define your future, you get to choose that and so you need to choose wisely!


Your Family Tree

Day 207: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 89:14-18, Romans 9:22-33, Romans 10:1-4, 1 Chronicles 1, 1 Chronicles 2:1-17

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/207

  1. Your God is the God of Israel … Psalm 89:14-18
  2. Your salvation began with Israel … Romans 9:22-10:4
    • Salvation is based on:

      Faith – not your good works
      Mercy – not what you deserve

      Belief – not where you were born.

                                                                   –from Day 207: Bible In One Year 2017

    • ‘Christ is the end of the law’ is a huge, groundbreaking, life-changing, history-making statement. There has been a great deal of debate about exactly what Paul meant. However, some things are clear.

      First, Jesus has set you free from seeking salvation through the law. No one can be saved by the law. No one, apart from Jesus, has ever managed to keep the entire law. ‘Christ is the end of the law’ in that he has set you free from trying to establish your own righteousness. Instead, you are now given ‘the righteousness that comes from God’ (v.3).

      Second, ‘Christ is the end of the law’ in that he has fulfilled the law. Jesus once described himself as having come to ‘fulfil the law’ (Matthew 5:17). The purpose of the law was to point us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). Now Jesus has come, its role has been completed.

      Third, ‘Christ is the end of the law’ in that he has satisfied the law. Jesus was the only person who has ever fully kept the law, yet through the cross you receive the benefit of his obedience.

      Fourth, ‘Christ is the end of the law’ in that he has set you free from the burden and condemnation of the law. As we are constantly failing, we live life under a black cloud of condemnation. Because of Jesus, ‘there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1).

      –from Day 207: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Your history is bound up with Israel … 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17

5 days…


Only 5 days left. Should I start looking to see what’s next? Should I focus on today and when I get there I will find it? It’s amazing how fast a year can go. It’s amazing to consider reading thru the entire Bible in that amount of time. It’s incredible the various options and ways, translations and formats, to allow God’s Word into my life daily and to hear what I need to hear on that day when I didn’t pick the chapters I am going to read. Today I will get to read Nehemiah 4, Nehemiah 5, Nehemiah 6, Psalm 93, James 5, and 2 Peter 3 and with anticipation I wonder what today’s topic for me will be. Normally I just post the reading in the footer and name the post after the topic that comes to me in reading the first chapter of the day, but today I felt the need to do a count down to a new reading year. Looking forward to everything God has in store for me this year as I close out my reading and the coming year as I get rolling. God is good! God’s timing is perfect! God is love! And Love is

68431-loveispatient


Be an overcomer!

In this world we will have troubles — Jesus told us not so that we would worry but so that we could be prepared and also so that we could take hope with us in knowing that He has already overcome the world! So don’t worry! Don’t fret! Put your hope and trust in God and allow Him to help you overcome whatever it is that comes your way to try and hold you back or stop you from becoming everything God has for you to do and to become!

Our first chapter from today speaks to the troubles Nehemiah faced and how he overcame…

Nehemiah Overcomes Opposition to His Work

1When Sanballat heard that we Jews had begun rebuilding the wall, he became furious and began to ridicule us. 2In front of his companions and the Samaritan troops he said, “What do these miserable Jews think they’re doing? Do they intend to rebuild the city? Do they think that by offering sacrifices they can finish the work in one day? Can they make building stones out of heaps of burnt rubble?”
3Tobiah was standing there beside him, and he added, “What kind of wall could they ever build? Even a fox could knock it down!”
4I prayed, “Hear how they make fun of us, O God! Let their ridicule fall on their own heads. Let them be robbed of everything they have, and let them be taken as prisoners to a foreign land. 5Don’t forgive the evil they do and don’t forget their sins, for they have insulted us who are building.”
6So we went on rebuilding the wall, and soon it was half its full height, because the people were eager to work.
7Sanballat, Tobiah, and the people of Arabia, Ammon, and Ashdod heard that we were making progress in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and that the gaps in the wall were being closed, and they became very angry. 8So they all plotted together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion, 9but we prayed to our God and kept men on guard against them day and night.
10The people of Judah had a song they sang:

“We grow weak carrying burdens;
There’s so much rubble to take away.
How can we build the wall today?”

11Our enemies thought we would not see them or know what was happening until they were already upon us, killing us and putting an end to our work. 12But time after time Jews who were living among our enemies came to warn us of the plans our enemies were making against us. 13So I armed the people with swords, spears, and bows, and stationed them by clans behind the wall, wherever it was still unfinished.
14I saw that the people were worried, so I said to them and to their leaders and officials, “Don’t be afraid of our enemies. Remember how great and terrifying the Lord is, and fight for your relatives, your children, your wives, and your homes.” 15Our enemies heard that we had found out what they were plotting, and they realized that God had defeated their plans. Then all of us went back to rebuilding the wall.
16From then on half of my men worked and half stood guard, wearing coats of armor and armed with spears, shields, and bows. And our leaders gave their full support to the people 17who were rebuilding the wall. Even those who carried building materials worked with one hand and kept a weapon in the other, 18and everyone who was building kept a sword strapped to their waist. The man who was to sound the alarm on the bugle stayed with me. 19I told the people and their officials and leaders, “The work is spread out over such a distance that we are widely separated from one another on the wall. 20If you hear the bugle, gather around me. Our God will fight for us.” 21So every day, from dawn until the stars came out at night, half of us worked on the wall, while the other half stood guard with spears.
22During this time I told the men in charge that they and all their helpers had to stay in Jerusalem at night, so that we could guard the city at night as well as work in the daytime. 23I didn’t take off my clothes even at night, neither did any of my companions nor my servants nor my bodyguards. And we all kept our weapons at hand.

–Nehemiah 4

Are you carrying baggage that could hold you back or hold you down? Are you carrying burdens that you should either be sharing or giving up to God? Jesus calls us to take on His burden and to become yoked to Him! For Jesus tells us how His yoke is easy and His burden is light! At the same time though, we need to be concerned about others! Jesus gives warnings to avoid being hypocrites.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. –from Matthew 23:23

God’s desire is for us to come together as one body and look out for one another. Let’s not be selfish! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s do what we do for the credit of God! Let’s do what we do so that God get’s the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Let’s take a look at what we find in today’s reading as we continue in Nehemiah…

Oppression of the Poor

1Some time later many of the people, both men and women, began to complain against the other Jews. 2Some said, “We have large families, we need grain to keep us alive.”
3Others said, “We have had to mortgage our fields and vineyards and houses to get enough grain to keep us from starving.”
4Still others said, “We had to borrow money to pay the royal tax on our fields and vineyards. 5We are of the same race as the other Jews. Aren’t our children just as good as theirs? But we have to make slaves of our children. Some of our daughters have already been sold as slaves. We are helpless because our fields and vineyards have been taken away from us.”
6When I heard their complaints, I grew angry 7 and decided to act. I denounced the leaders and officials of the people and told them, “You are oppressing your own relatives!”
I called a public assembly to deal with the problem 8and said, “As far as we have been able, we have been buying back our Jewish relatives who had to sell themselves to foreigners. Now you are forcing your own relatives to sell themselves to you, their own people!” The leaders were silent and could find nothing to say.
9Then I said, “What you are doing is wrong! You ought to obey God and do what’s right. Then you would not give our enemies, the Gentiles, any reason to ridicule us. 10I have let the people borrow money and grain from me, and so have my companions and those who work for me. Now let’s give up all our claims to repayment. 11Cancel all the debts they owe you—money or grain or wine or olive oil. And give them back their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses right now!”
12The leaders replied, “We’ll do as you say. We’ll give the property back and not try to collect the debts.”
I called in the priests and made the leaders swear in front of them to keep the promise they had just made. 13Then I took off the sash I was wearing around my waist and shook it out. “This is how God will shake any of you who don’t keep your promise,” I said. “God will take away your houses and everything you own, and will leave you with nothing.”
Everyone who was present said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. And the leaders kept their promise.

Nehemiah’s Unselfishness

14During all the twelve years that I was governor of the land of Judah, from the twentieth year that Artaxerxes was emperor until his thirty-second year, neither my relatives nor I ate the food I was entitled to have as governor. 15Every governor who had been in office before me had been a burden to the people and had demanded forty silver coins a day for food and wine. Even their servants had oppressed the people. But I acted differently, because I honored God. 16I put all my energy into rebuilding the wall and did not acquire any property. Everyone who worked for me joined in the rebuilding. 17I regularly fed at my table a hundred and fifty of the Jewish people and their leaders, besides all the people who came to me from the surrounding nations. 18Every day I served one beef, six of the best sheep, and many chickens, and every ten days I provided a fresh supply of wine. But I knew what heavy burdens the people had to bear, and so I did not claim the allowance that the governor is entitled to.
19I pray you, O God, remember to my credit everything that I have done for this people.

–Nehemiah 5

Don’t allow others to trip you up into sin! Don’t allow others to try and rob your peace and hope from God! Don’t allow others to keep you from your hope and trust in God by stirring up rumors and lies to try and cause you fear or doubt! Keep your trust in God!

Let’s take a look at what we find in today’s reading as we continue in Nehemiah…

Plots against Nehemiah

1Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and the rest of our enemies heard that we had finished building the wall and that there were no gaps left in it, although we still had not set up the gates in the gateways. 2So Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message, suggesting that I meet with them in one of the villages in the Plain of Ono. This was a trick of theirs to try to harm me. 3I sent messengers to say to them, “I am doing important work and can’t go down there. I am not going to let the work stop just to go and see you.”
4They sent me the same message four times, and each time I sent them the same reply.
5Then Sanballat sent one of his servants to me with a fifth message, this one in the form of an unsealed letter. 6It read:

“Geshem tells me that a rumor is going around among the neighboring peoples that you and the Jewish people intend to revolt and that this is why you are rebuilding the wall. He also says you plan to make yourself king 7and that you have arranged for some prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem that you are the king of Judah. His Majesty is certain to hear about this, so I suggest that you and I meet to talk the situation over.”
8I sent a reply to him: “Nothing of what you are saying is true. You have made it all up yourself.”

9They were trying to frighten us into stopping work. I prayed, “But now, God, make me strong!”
10About this time I went to visit Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was unable to leave his house. He said to me, “You and I must go and hide together in the Holy Place of the Temple and lock the doors, because they are coming to kill you. Any night now they will come to kill you.”
11I answered, “I’m not the kind of person that runs and hides. Do you think I would try to save my life by hiding in the Temple? I won’t do it.”
12When I thought it over, I realized that God had not spoken to Shemaiah, but that Tobiah and Sanballat had bribed him to give me this warning. 13They hired him to frighten me into sinning, so that they could ruin my reputation and humiliate me.
14I prayed, “God, remember what Tobiah and Sanballat have done and punish them. Remember that woman Noadiah and all the other prophets who tried to frighten me.”

The Conclusion of the Work

15After fifty-two days of work the entire wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Elul. 16When our enemies in the surrounding nations heard this, they realized that they had lost face, since everyone knew that the work had been done with God’s help.
17During all this time the Jewish leaders had been in correspondence with Tobiah. 18Many people in Judah were on his side because of his Jewish father-in-law, Shecaniah son of Arah. In addition, his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. 19People would talk in front of me about all the good deeds Tobiah had done and would tell him everything I said. And he kept sending me letters to try to frighten me.

–Nehemiah 6

He’s got the whole world in His hands, so let’s trust in God! Let’s build upon the solid foundation of Jesus! Let’s align to Him and His way as our cornerstone! So let’s humble ourselves and serve the Lord our God and King!

God the King

1The Lord is king.
He is clothed with majesty and strength.
The earth is set firmly in place
and cannot be moved.
2Your throne, O Lord, has been firm from the beginning,
and you existed before time began.
3The ocean depths raise their voice, O Lord;
they raise their voice and roar.
4The Lord rules supreme in heaven,
greater than the roar of the ocean,
more powerful than the waves of the sea.
5Your laws are eternal, Lord,
and your Temple is holy indeed,
forever and ever.

–Psalm 93

So be a good steward! Be faithful with God has given you! To whom much is given, much is required! So pursue your calling and complete the good work God has given you to do!

Don’t become proud and selfish! Put all your trust in God! Build your relationship God and serve Him and His people! Be patient! Pray for wisdom!

Warning to the Rich

1And now, you rich people, listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3 Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days. 4 You have not paid any wages to those who work in your fields. Listen to their complaints! The cries of those who gather in your crops have reached the ears of God, the Lord Almighty. 5Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent people, and they do not resist you.

Patience and Prayer

7Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as they wait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains. 8You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.
9Do not complain against one another, my friends, so that God will not judge you. The Judge is near, ready to appear. 10My friends, remember the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Take them as examples of patient endurance under suffering. 11 We call them happy because they endured. You have heard of Job’s patience, and you know how the Lord provided for him in the end. For the Lord is full of mercy and compassion.
12 Above all, my friends, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only “Yes” when you mean yes, and “No” when you mean no, and then you will not come under God’s judgment.
13Are any among you in trouble? They should pray. Are any among you happy? They should sing praises. 14 Are any among you sick? They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord. 15This prayer made in faith will heal the sick; the Lord will restore them to health, and the sins they have committed will be forgiven. 16 So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. 17 Elijah was the same kind of person as we are. He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years. 18 Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and the earth produced its crops.
19My friends, if any of you wander away from the truth and another one brings you back again, 20 remember this: whoever turns a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner’s soul from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

–James 5

So let’s be about forgiveness! Let’s humble ourselves and ask for God’s forgiveness! Let’s be humble enough to forgive the sins of others against us! There is no benefit to carrying a grudge – the bitterness will eat you from the inside out! Forgiveness is the key!

Hold onto the truth! Hold onto the promise! Walk with Jesus all the way home!

The Promise of the Lord’s Coming

1My dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written you. In both letters I have tried to arouse pure thoughts in your minds by reminding you of these things. 2I want you to remember the words that were spoken long ago by the holy prophets, and the command from the Lord and Savior which was given you by your apostles. 3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days some people will appear whose lives are controlled by their own lusts. They will make fun of you 4and will ask, “He promised to come, didn’t he? Where is he? Our ancestors have already died, but everything is still the same as it was since the creation of the world!” 5 They purposely ignore the fact that long ago God gave a command, and the heavens and earth were created. The earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 and it was also by water, the water of the flood, that the old world was destroyed. 7But the heavens and the earth that now exist are being preserved by the same command of God, in order to be destroyed by fire. They are being kept for the day when godless people will be judged and destroyed.
8 But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. 9The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.
10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that Day the heavens will disappear with a shrill noise, the heavenly bodies will burn up and be destroyed, and the earth with everything in it will vanish. 11Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, 12as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. 13 But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.
14And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him. 15Look on our Lord’s patience as the opportunity he is giving you to be saved, just as our dear friend Paul wrote to you, using the wisdom that God gave him. 16This is what he says in all his letters when he writes on the subject. There are some difficult things in his letters which ignorant and unstable people explain falsely, as they do with other passages of the Scriptures. So they bring on their own destruction.
17But you, my friends, already know this. Be on your guard, then, so that you will not be led away by the errors of lawless people and fall from your safe position. 18But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever! Amen.

–2 Peter 3

Not about rituals and routines, it’s about doing it right! Justice and Mercy!


Are you just going thru the motions? Are you just trying to look all buttoned up? Are you creating a persona that you are ok? Is it more of living out of rituals and routines at this point?

God wants more than just that! He desires justice and mercy! What do you think of when you think of justice and mercy?

Justice … fairness · justness · fair play · fair-mindedness · equity · evenhandedness · impartiality · objectivity · neutrality · disinterestedness · honesty · righteousness · morals · morality

Mercy… leniency · clemency · compassion · grace · pity · charity · forgiveness · forbearance · quarter · humanity · soft-heartedness · tenderheartedness · kindness · sympathy · liberality · indulgence · tolerance · generosity · magnanimity · beneficence

Do any of these words come to mind? When you look around at what is going on around you and around the world, is justice and mercy what you are seeing? Are people getting treated right? Are people being mistreated? Are people being treated justly? Are people receiving mercy?

When you consider Jesus, how do you think He would respond differently? If you consider that old saying WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? Do you think things would be different? Do you think there would be more unity and less division? Do you think people who say they believe in Him would come together in unity? Do you think there would still be disagreements because of beliefs?

Remember how Jesus told and warned us that in this world we will have troubles, but to take heart because He has overcome the world! Remember also how we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds (not if but when) because they work in us so that we will be mature and lacking nothing!

Remember how we are not supposed to be focusing on how others are living but on ourselves? Remove the plank before we try to remove the speck or splinter…

Why are you living this way? Is it for your own benefit or is it because of what God is instructing? Are you thinking selfless or selfish? Are you thinking justice and mercy?

How would you like to leave this land in which you live? Better or worse than you found it?

How do you want to be seen or treated? Will you live to be blessed by God rather than have to deal with the curses because of living improperly?

Let’s be God’s people! Let’s allow our hands to be strong! Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Let’s walk in His blessings!

Do not be afraid! Let your hands be strong! Do good! Speak the truth! Render true judgment! Do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely! Love truth and peace.

Let your trust be in God! Don’t let your trust be in stuff that will fade or destroyed! Don’t be impacted by pride – your own or that of others!

Let’s praise God! Let’s worship God! Let’s allow our lives to be living sacrifices to God that are good and pleasing to Him!

Share hope and love with the world around you! Allow the truth of God to flow from you! Let the world realize the truth and turn back to God in humility and joy!

Let’s ask God to teach us His ways – Let’s consider what was said in the psalms…

Teach Me Your Paths

1Of David. To You, Adonai, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in You I trust, so I will not be ashamed, and my enemies will not gloat over me.
3Surely no one who waits for You will be ashamed. But the treacherous without cause will be ashamed.
4Show me Your ways, Adonai. Teach me Your paths.
5Guide me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are God, my salvation, for You I wait all day.
6Remember, Adonai, Your compassions and Your mercies— for they are from eternity.
7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my rebellion. According to Your mercy remember me, for the sake of Your goodness, Adonai.
8Good and upright is Adonai. Therefore He directs sinners in the way.
9He guides the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.
10All Adonai’s ways are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11For Your Name’s sake, Adonai, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12Who is this man who fears Adonai? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13His soul abides in goodness, and his offspring will inherit the land.
14The secret of Adonai is for those who fear Him. He makes His covenant known to them.
15My eyes are always looking to Adonai, for He will pull my feet out of the net.
16Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart increase. Bring me out of my distress.
18See my affliction and my suffering, and take away all my sins.
19See my enemies, how many they are— they hate me with violent hatred.
20Guard my soul and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
21May integrity and uprightness protect me—for I wait for You.
22Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles.

–Psalms 25

Let’s stick with Jesus! Let’s receive the gift of Jesus … the reason for the Christmas season! Jesus came that we can life and life to the full! Let’s receive Jesus into our heart and be transformed! He is the way!

Let’s reflect together on the New Testament readings for today together…

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
3Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

13By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

–Hebrews 8

Jesus is the answer! Jesus is the way! Jesus is our hope! He will help us live within the society we are in!

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The Living Stone and a Chosen People

4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”

7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
8and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Godʼs special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

11Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13Submit yourselves for the Lordʼs sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is Godʼs will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as Godʼs slaves. 17Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
18Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22“He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

–1 Peter 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today's Reading: Zechariah 7, Zechariah 8, Zechariah 9, Psalm 25, Hebrews 8, 1 Peter 2