Imagine seeing Him face to face…


Imagine getting to see Him. Imagine getting to hear His voice as He speaks to you. Imagine getting to be with Him. Imagine getting to know Him beyond His Word. Imagine getting to know Him beyond your personal experiences with the Holy Spirit. Imagine getting to know Him like you get to know everyone else. Imagine getting to hear from someone who did. Imagine getting to hear from someone who got to spend time with Him and then came back to life. How would that change things?

What will it take for you to really believe? What will it take for you to really know? What will it take for you to start the relationship with Him? What will it take to really trust Him? What will it take for you to make time to spend with Him? What will it take for you to receive the love and the grace He has for you? What will it take for you to accept His grace and mercy?

Would you be willing to read through God’s Word in a year? Would you be willing to go to bible studies weekly? Would you be willing to go to church each weekend and hear His Word preached? Would you be willing to take the teaching and apply it in your daily life? Would you be willing to share it with others?


What is God Like? — Day 103: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 45:1-9, Luke 15, Deuteronomy 19, Deuteronomy 20

1. King Jesus … Psalm 45:1-9

1My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. 2You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. 3Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. 4In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. 5Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. 6Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. 8All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. 9Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. –from Psalm 45

we also can learn and read from …

8But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” –from Hebrews 1

9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? –from John 14

1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, fn 2to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. –from Isaiah 61

2. Loving Father … Luke 15:1-32

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins 8 Greek ten drachmas, each worth about a day’s wages and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ 

–from Luke 15

God loves you so much! God wants a relationship with you so much! God wants those who know Him and those who have strayed or gotten lost! We should celebrate with the angels and heavenly hosts when people turn back to God! It’s good to be following after Jesus all the days of our lives! We don’t need to get angry or resentful because He offers up forgiveness and eternity to all and some will choose to return back to Him and receive the same gift that we have accepted!

3. Holy Judge … Deuteronomy 19:1-20:20

Cities of Refuge

1When the Lord your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, 2then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess. 3Determine the distances involved and divide into three parts the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that a person who kills someone may flee for refuge to one of these cities.
4This is the rule concerning anyone who kills a person and flees there for safety—anyone who kills a neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought. 5For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. 6Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought. 7This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.
8If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your ancestors, and gives you the whole land he promised them, 9because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the Lord your God and to walk always in obedience to him—then you are to set aside three more cities. 10Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11But if out of hate someone lies in wait, assaults and kills a neighbor, and then flees to one of these cities, 12the killer shall be sent for by the town elders, be brought back from the city, and be handed over to the avenger of blood to die. 13Show no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.
14Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.

Witnesses

15One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
16If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, 17the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, 19then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. 20The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

–Deuteronomy 19

Going to War

1When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
5The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. 7Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” 9When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.
10When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
16However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.
19When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them? 20However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.

Jesus provided a new way and a higher standard for us to live!

38″You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. –from Matthew 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will you go?


If you get invited to a party, will you go? What if it was a party for someone famous or powerful and you received a personal invite, would you accept and go? What it it was the party of the century and you got a personal invite to attend? What would it take to make up your mind to go? What would keep you from accepting such an incredible offer? Would you let anything keep you from such an incredible event? Doubt? Fear? Curiousity? Wonder? Amazement? Status? Worry?

What if the invite was to get to spend eternity with God in heaven? Imagine that party!

The offer is out there…Have you accepted it? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Have you decided to have Jesus be your Lord and Savior? What’s keeping you from receiving this incredible invite?

You won’t want to miss out! The lavish hospitality! The love! Accept the invitation today! Be ready to attend! Don’t come up with lame excuses! Don’t pretend like there is anything more important that you would miss out! Don’t be absurd or irrational in making this most crucial decision! Consider the cost! Estimate the value of going vs missing out! What is the cost to missing it? What is the cost of not attending? What will be the impact on the rest of eternity? Will you not make Jesus your #1 priority?

 


It’s a Party! — Day 102: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 44:13-26, Luke 14:15-35, Deuteronomy 16:21-22, Deuteronomy 17, Deuteronomy 18

1. Cry out to God as King … Psalm 44:13-26

13You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. 14You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. 15I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge. 17All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. 18Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. 19But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals; you covered us over with deep darkness. 20If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? 22Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 23Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. 24Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? 25We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. 2635Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

–from Psalm 44

Suffering…can be caused by disobedience and obedience. It could be the consequence of being disobedient! It could be it makes others feel bad or out of place because of your obedience and they try to take that out on you! Opposition…similarly can be caused by disobedience and obedience. It could be to try to get you back on track! It could be that others are trying to keep you from completing the work God has given you to do!

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

–from Romans 8

 

2. Accept the invitation of the King … Luke 14:15-35

15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.
16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ 

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

–from Luke 14

Today’s devotional speaks to all of this as follows…

It is worth remembering the cost of following Jesus is nothing compared to:

What you receive

God has prepared a party for you, a feast, which nothing else on this earth can match.

The cost of not following Jesus

Jesus said those who made excuses will not get ‘a taste of my banquet’ (v.24). There could be no higher cost than missing out on all the blessings that God has prepared for you.

What it cost him to make it possible

Jesus calls you to carry your cross (v.27). But the small cross you carry is nothing in comparison to the cross Jesus carried for you.

Don’t miss out on all that Jesus has made possible for you. Accept his invitation to the party of the kingdom of God. And invite others to it as well as you respond to Jesus’ command to ‘go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’ (v.21).

–from Day 102: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Worship Jesus as your God and King … Deuteronomy 16:21-18:22

21Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the Lord your God, 22and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the Lord your God hates. –from Deuteronomy 16

1Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.
2If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, 3and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, 4and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death. 6On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 7The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.

Law Courts

8If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose. 9Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict. 10You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do. 11Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left. 12Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.

The King

14When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. –from Deuteronomy 17

Offerings for Priests and Levites

1The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. 2They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.
3This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. 4You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep, 5for the Lord your God has chosen them and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the Lord’s name always.
6If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose, 7he may minister in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord. 8He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.

Occult Practices

9When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13You must be blameless before the Lord your God.

The Prophet

14The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. –from Deuteronomy 18

also consider…

7Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. –from Isaiah 9

21Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. –from Acts 3

37″This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ –from Acts 7

 

Does it matter? Does it really matter?


You and a friend or your family are trying to decide what to eat. Does it matter? You need to decide what to wear. Does it matter? You need to decide where to go to school. Does it matter? You need to decide where to apply for a job. Does it matter? You need to pick a job. Does it matter? How you will live your life. Does it matter? How you will raise your kids. Does it matter? What’s most important in life. Does it matter? Can other tell what really matters to you? Are you living a life that shows them what really matters? Are there parts of your character that really matter? Does it matter how you think? Does it matter how you speak? Does it matter how you act? Does it matter what you value? Does it matter what you believe?

When you consider the decisions you need to make in a day, how many of them matter? How many of them really matter?

Do you know what really matters to God?


Eight Things That Really Matter to God — Day 101: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 44:1-12, Luke 13:31-35, Luke 14:1-14, Deuteronomy 15, Deuteronomy 16:1-20

1. Trust … Psalm 44:1-12

1We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. 2With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. 3It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. 4You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. 5Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. 6I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; 7but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. 8In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever. 9But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. 10You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. 11You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. 12You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale. — from Psalm 44

2. Courage … Luke 13:31-14:2

31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” –from Luke 13

1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. –from Luke 14

3. Compassion … Luke 13:34, 14:3-4

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. –from Luke 13

3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. –from Luke 14

Today’s devotional shared this story to emphasize the compassion of a hen…

The story is told of a fire in Yellowstone National Park. When a forest ranger went to assess the damage, he discovered a bird that was lying dead, black and carbonized, at the bottom of a tree. It was a rather unnerving sight so he pushed the bird over with a stick. Suddenly, three little chicks scurried out from under the wing of the dead mother. Because the mother had been willing to die out of compassion for her chicks, the chicks under her wing had lived. So too with Jesus, our mother hen – he died to protect us. –from Day 101: Bible In One Year 2017

4. Humility … Luke 14:7-11

1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6And they had nothing to say.
7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

–from Luke 14

5. Poverty … Luke 14:12-14

12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” –from Luke 14

4However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, –from Deuteronomy 15

11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. –from Deuteronomy 15

11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. –from Matthew 26

6. Generosity … Deuteronomy 15:1-14

The Year for Canceling Debts

1At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. 4However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

14Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.

–from Deuteronomy 15

7. Remembrance … Deuteronomy 15:12-16:

Freeing Servants

12If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.
18Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

The Firstborn Animals

19Set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep. 20Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose. 21If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 23But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.

–from Deuteronomy 15

1Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. 2Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name. 3Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. 4Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
5You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you 6except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary6 Or down, at the time of day of your departure from Egypt. 7Roast it and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. 8For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the Lord your God and do no work.

The Festival of Weeks

9Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.

The Festival of Tabernacles

13Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. 15For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.

–from Deuteronomy 16

8. Justice … Deuteronomy 16:18-20

Judges

18Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you. –from Deuteronomy 16

 

100…days, percent, …


Today is day 100 in my reading the bible in a year. It’s beyond the double digits and into the triple where it will be from now on. Started in single digits for 9 days and then into double digits for 90 days and today is into triple digits for the rest of the year. It’s a time of transition. It’s a time of change. It’s a time of reflexion. It’s a time of purpose. It’s a time to remember. It’s a time to ponder. It’s a time to envision.

Wisdom gained! Wisdom learned! Wisdom read! Wisdom heard! Wisdom from God!


Seven Ways to Acquire Wisdom

Day 100: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 9:1-12, Luke 13:1-30, Deuteronomy 13, Deuteronomy 14

1. Handling criticism … Proverbs 9:1-12

1Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4“Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” 7Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. 8Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. 9Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

–from Proverbs 9

2. Responding to suffering … Luke 13:1-17

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

3. Pruning and planting … Luke 13:6-9, 18-21

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

18Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.
20Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
–from Luke 13

4. Knowing when to confront … Luke 13:15-17

15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

–from Luke 13

5. Turning to Jesus … Luke 13:22-30

The Narrow Door

22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

–from Luke 13

6. Testing prophecy … Deuteronomy 13

Worshiping Other Gods

1If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
6If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
12If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, 17and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— 18because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

–Deuteronomy 13

and

15″Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

–from Matthew 7

7. Revering God … Deuteronomy 14

Clean and Unclean Food

1You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, 2for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
3Do not eat any detestable thing. 4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. 6You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. 7However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you. 8The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
9Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. 10But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.
11You may eat any clean bird. 12But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 13the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon, 14any kind of raven, 15the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 16the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant, 18the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
19All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them. 20But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.
21Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Tithes
22Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. 24But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. 26Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. 27And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
28At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

–from Deuteronomy 14

and

19For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) –from Mark 7

10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. –from Proverbs 9

 

Do you realize the motivation is love?


Why did your parents setup rules? Because they love you and wanted to protect you! Why did God give us the commandments? Because He loves us and wants to protect us!

It’s not to keep us from having fun but rather it’s to protect us and keep us safe out of love!

It’s to keep us from stumbling into trouble that could hurt us or even worse kill us!

Ever been told don’t …. and then did and got hurt, scared, … and then realized why you were told to don’t …? Did you confess what you did to them? Did you thank them for the warning? Did you ask them to forgive you for not obeying?

So let’s walk out our lives by the instruction given to us out of love so that we can live in the blessings of that love all the days of our lives!

So let’s remember God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! God’s commands are for our own good! God loves us, so much so that He sent His one and only Son that whosoever believe in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved!

So let’s be obedient and live under the covering of Jesus’ blood all the days of our lives!


A Magnet for God’s Blessing — Day 99: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 43, Luke 12:35-59, Deuteronomy 11, Deuteronomy 12

1. The presence of God … Psalm 43:1-5

1Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. 2You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? 3Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 4Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. –from Psalm 43

Turn to God when you are struggling! Turn to God when you are feeling down!

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. –from John 12:27

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” –Mark 14:34

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. –John 2:19-21

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, –Colossians 1:19

Life is not easy and it is ok to be authentic that others may know and be able to pray and see God work in and through your life! In this world you will have troubles, but you can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! With Jesus by our side, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

What does obedience look like? Turning to God no matter the situation or the circumstance! When times seem or feel dark where do you turn? Turn to God who is light for there is no darkness in Him!

2. The reward of Jesus … Luke 12:35-59

35 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” –from Luke 12

Just because the timing doesn’t match your timing, don’t neglect doing what is good, what is right, and what is just! Be a good and faithful servant with the gifts and the talents God has given you! Be a good steward who will return to Him a good return! Let’s serve Him faithfully with the wisdom He provides us in every situation! Not sure what to do? Turn to God and ask for wisdom and He will give it to you without finding fault! Take hold of Jesus to receive the inner peace, even when in the valleys of life or the storms of life! Sometime rather than calming the storm, He bring peace to our hearts and minds in the midst of the storm! Trust in Him! Lean on Him! Walk with Him! Talk with Him! Allow Him to lead you and guide you all the days of your life!

Let’s be peacemakers!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. –Romans 12:18

3. The strength of God … Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32

Love and Obey the Lord

1Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. 5It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place, 6and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.
8Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. 11But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
13So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
22If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
26See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 29When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

–from Deuteronomy 11

The One Place of Worship

1These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land. 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. 5But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; 6there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
8You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, 9since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. 12And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. 13Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. 14Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.
15Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the Lord your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 16But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 17You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place the Lord your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to. 19Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want. 21If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. 22Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. 23But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. 24You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 25Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
26But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the Lord will choose. 27Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. 28Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.
29The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
32See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

–from Deuteronomy 12