In a season of mourning? What do you do? … (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 14])


In this world we will have troubles. In this world we will have trials. Have you lost someone important to you? Are you grieving for some reason? What is going on? What has happened?

Apr 14 - Lamentation 5_16 - Public Death Announcements in Jerusalem - Bible verses for times of grief or loss

The Bible teaches us that we are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” As the body we are to connect together in order to support one another during both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We have the reminder too that when Jesus left the Holy Spirit would come as our comforter.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- — John 14:16

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. — John 14:26 

We were never meant to go through this life alone. We were created to be in relationship with God and with one another. We aren’t supposed to be networking to receive but to build meaningful relationships that will last. We are to serve one another. We are to love one another. We are to support one another. It is so important than we find the commandments and instructions of God about “one another” about 59 times… Let’s consider it…

  1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
  2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
  3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
  4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
  5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
  6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
  7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)
  8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
  9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
  10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
  11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
  12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
  13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
  14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
  15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)
  16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
  17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
  18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
  19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
  20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
  21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15)
  22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
  23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
  24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
  25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
  27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
  28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
  29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
  30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
  31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
  32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
  33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
  34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
  35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
  36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
  37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
  38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)
  39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
  41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
  42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
  43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
  44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
  45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
  46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
  47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
  48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
  49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
  50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
  51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
  52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
  53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
  54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
  55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
  56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
  57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
  58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
  59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)

— From Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.

So don’t go it alone! Lean on God! Lean on one another! And walk thru this together!

Today’s reading comes from Lamentation 5…

Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord

Remember, O Lord , what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. Our pursuers are at our necks; we are weary; we are given no rest. We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough. Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities. Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand. We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine. Women are raped in Zion, young women in the towns of Judah. Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. Young men are compelled to grind at the mill, and boys stagger under loads of wood. The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music. The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. But you, O Lord , reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. Why do you forget us forever, why do you forsake us for so many days? Restore us to yourself, O Lord , that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old— unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Lamentations 5

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of Acts of Mercy comes from Lamentation 5:15

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!

from Lamentations 5:16

and speaks to the public death announcements in Jerusalem. Today’s devotional speaks of the Mea Shearim neighborhood and how a common way of communication (as many of the ultra-orthodox Jews don’t use the internet, television, or smartphones) are posters on the wall which are called pashkevilim. The posters announce various information like commercial, political, and religious topics. What today’s devotional also surfaces is how these posters are used for public death announcements and how the announcements for respected rabbis contain words from Lamentation 5:16. Because of the communities emphasis on scholars, “the death of a great teacher is newsworthy and often leads to a period of deep mourning”. (The Global Impact Bible, Lamentation 5, P. 1092)

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I ask Lord for Your wisdom and discernment for each and every conversation that comes my way. Help me Lord to speak truth and life in love. Help me to be salt and light into the world around me. Help me to be Your hands extended that I can be part of the “one another” as You have called me to be. Lord I give this day into Your hands and ask that You will help me live a life that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Do you realize how important relationships are?


Not supposed to be just superficial. Not supposed to be selective or divisive. Not supposed to be willy nilly but purposeful.

How about your relationship with God?

How about your relationship with God’s people?

How about your wife or husband?

God’s got a plan and a purpose and today’s reading speaks to all three of these areas! The word for today is intimate relationships.


Intimate Relationships

  1. Intimacy with God … Psalm 99:1-9

  2. Intimacy with one another … 1 Corinthians 12:1-26

  3. Intimacy in marriage … Song of Songs 1:1-4:16


Psalm 99 speaks to our relationship with God. Although God is Holy, thanks to Jesus we are able to have an intimate relationship with God! He isn’t God out there somewhere, he is “our God” and so not only do we get to worship and praise Him because He is mighty, holy, and just, we can have an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord who made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way, He opened the door for us to come into relationship with God who is with us, not out there somewhere, but with us each moment of every day.

1 Corinthians 12 speaks to our relationships with one another. It speaks to the fact that we are all important and we each have been created with a purpose (not the same purpose, but a purpose). We each are important to both God and to the body. We each have a part to play and we need to have a relationship which takes hold of the importance of one another to bring unity and support to the rest of the body. It speaks to celebrating together! It speaks to supporting one another just as the human body can’t disassociate itself from any other part and how they are important and connected to each other. Each part is necessary! Each part is important in its own way. We may not look the same or act the same, but we are supposed to have intimate relationships with one another just like the different part of the body do so that nobody is alone and just because they have a different purpose we don’t exclude them. We were never been created to do this thing called life alone and hence why God gave us one another! No need to have labels, when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became part of the body and so we need to come together to glorify Him and fulfill the purpose and plan He has for us!

Today’s devotional speaks to the body this way…

God has designed the body so that there will be this mutual dependence. ‘I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of’ (vv.19–20, MSG).

We particularly need the parts that ‘seem to be weaker’ (v.22). Our internal organs ‘seem to be weaker’ in the sense of being more vulnerable. That is why they need protection. However, they are ‘indispensable’ (v.22). Likewise, those parts of the body that are ‘unpresentable’ are treated with ‘special modesty’ (v.23). No one would suggest that these parts are not important. Indeed, they are vital.

Because we need each other so much there should be ‘equal concern for each other’ (v.25). There should be such intimacy and love that ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (v.26a). This is the community we need where people can process their pain. It is also a place where people can share their joys: ‘If one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it’ (v.26b). As St Augustine said, ‘Take away envy and what I have is yours too. And if I banish envy all you possess is mine!’

–from Day 230: Bible in One Year 2017

Songs of Songs is such an intimate story about a husband and wife. It speaks to God’s purposes and plans for love and sex and how this type of intimacy was designed to be saved and protected for the purpose of marriage. There is so much to to say about the importance and impact of waiting till marriage rather than giving away such an important part of who you are. I remember in the Cleansing Stream class learning about Soul Ties and their potential impact if you have them and get them taken care of. I remember it speaking to the description of good and bad soul ties and how with each such relationship a new soul tie occurs or put another way their soul get tied together. Not all soul ties are sexual and not all soul ties are you good for you either.

Good examples:

In a godly marriage, God links the two together and the Bible tells us that they become one flesh.

  • and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? –from Matthew 19:5

Soul ties can also be found in close strong or close friendships.

  • After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. –from 1 Samuel 18:1

Bad examples:

Soul ties can also be used for the devil’s advantage. Soul ties formed from sex outside of marriage causes a person to become defiled.

  • 2When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her. 3His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. –from Genesis 34:2-3

Demonic spirits can also take advantage of ungodly soul ties, and use them to transfer spirits between one person to another.

  • Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. –from Ezekiel 23:17

Today’s reading in Songs of Songs speaks to the importance of the good and avoiding the bad. It shares the importance of intimacy within the marital relationship. It shares the warnings of allowing such intimacy into relationships prior to marriage too.


Today’s Reading: Day 230

Rewards of obedience…Consequences of disobedience…


Are you part of a group that is being punished for being disobedience even though you didn’t do anything? Ever been in such a situation and then what seemed like out of the blue someone comes by and calls you out because you shouldn’t be lumped in with them? Ever been in such a situation where it happened and you got a choice in how you would respond? Ever been in such a situation and wondered why this was happening or at least why would it have happened to you? Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your way straight!

In today’s reading Jeremiah was part of the group being taken away in chains. He had warned the people to change their ways and turn back to God but they wouldn’t listen. He was approached as he found favor in the commander of the guards who freed him from the chains and gave him two options – to go with them and that he would take care of him or he could go anywhere he wanted on his own.

It’s interesting how life can play out at times. Be it in the workplace or anywhere else, there may be times when we get put together with a group of people for various reasons. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to understand the time, have wisdom about our purpose, and courage and obedience to do what He calls us to do. I may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do. We know that in this world we will have troubles and we also know that Jesus overcome the world so we can take heart! We know that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, it will test our faith producing perseverance, that perseverance when it finishes its work in us will make us mature, complete, and lacking nothing! We know that when we aren’t sure what to do or where to go that we can turn to God and ask for wisdom because He will answer and provide generously without finding fault.

It may be that the deal they have for you might not really be as good as it sounds. I may by your own wisdom seem better from an advancement or positioning perspective, but it may not really be everything you thought it to be. This is why we can’t lean on our own understanding because we don’t know others true motives or intentions. Turn to God! Walk with Him! We are to pray without ceasing and this is because in doing so no matter what we face we are walking and talking with Him!

We aren’t able to do it all in our own strength! The law makes it very clear that we will have troubles measuring up. Jesus calls us to be above average for He has raised the bar. Examples are when He spoke of how to deal with those who would seem to be so against us:

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

–from Matthew 5:44

We were never made to do it alone! That is why we are to be a part of the body of Christ! We are to work together in unity! We are to love one another!

If or when we walk away from God don’t allow the lies of the devil keep you from turning back to God! Just like the story of the lost son, He is waiting for us to turn back and run back into His arms. Don’t lose hope or keep running away in fear, turn back to Him in humility and ask Him for forgiveness and allow Him to transform you life!

glad-you-are-back

As we consider where we are…as we consider where we have been…as we consider where we are headed…let’s reflect on the conclusion to our reading today…

1Follow Godʼs example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godʼs holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Godʼs wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordʼs will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

–Ephesians 5

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 40, 41, Psalm 38, Ephesians 5

It’s time to realize God is God!


What do you believe? Who are you believing in? Where does your trust come from? In whom shall you trust? Are you living for God for something else? How long will you wander? How long will you stray? How long till you come back to God? Or will you run the risk that Jesus will return before you decide? What would it take for you to believe? What would it take for you to turn back? What would it take for you to receive the incredible gift of God? Hurry before it is too late!

It’s time to realize God is God!


Don’t be an Ahab! Don’t be a Jezebel! Turn back to God before it is too late! Walk in the triumph of the Lord!

Elijah Confronts Ahab

1Now it was after many days that the word of Adonai came to Elijah in the third year saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; then I will send rain on the land. 2So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3Ahab summoned Obadiah who was the steward of the palace. Now Obadiah feared Adonai greatly— 4for when Jezebel was cutting off the prophets of Adonai, Obadiah took 100 prophets, hid them 50 to a cave, and provided them with bread and water. 5Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the wadis. Perhaps we may find grass and so keep the horses and mules alive and not lose all the animals.” 6So they divided the land between them to explore it—Ahab went one way by himself while Obadiah went another way by himself. 7As Obadiah was on the road, all of a sudden, Elijah met him. When he recognized him, he fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” 8“It is I,” he answered him. Go tell your lord, ‘Look, Elijah is here!” 9“How have I sinned,” he replied, “that you are giving your servant into the hand of Ahab, to put me to death? 10As Adonai your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you. 11“Now you’re saying, ‘Go tell your lord, “Look, Elijah is here!”’ 12But as soon as I leave you, the Ruach Adonai may carry you off where I wouldn’t know. Then, when I come and tell Ahab and he can’t find you, he’ll kill me! Now I, your servant, have feared Adonai since my youth. 13Wasn’t my lord told what I did when Jezebel slaughtered the prophets of Adonai—how I hid 100 of Adonai’s prophets, 50 to a cave and provided them with bread and water? 14So now you say, ‘Go tell your lord, “Look, Elijah is here!’” He’ll kill me!” 15Then Elijah said, “As Adonai-Tzva’ot lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; then, Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17Now when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, the one who causes trouble for Israel?” 18But he answered, “I have not troubled Israel. Rather, it is you and your father’s house—by forsaking the mitzvot of Adonai and going after the Baalim. 19Now then, send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Triumph on Mount Carmel

20So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If Adonai is God, follow Him; but if Baal is, follow him.” But the people did not answer him, not even a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only prophet of Adonai left, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23Now let them give us two young bulls. Let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it into pieces, lay it on the wood, and put no fire underneath, while I prepare the other bull, lay it on the wood, and put no fire underneath. 24Then you will call on the name of your god, and then, I will call on the Name of Adonai. The God who answers with fire, He is God.” All the people responded and said, “It’s a good thing.” 25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first—since you are so many. Then call on the name of your god, but put no fire underneath.” 26So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning till noon, crying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice—no one was answering. They also danced leaping around the altar that was made. 27Now when it was about noon, Elijah mocked them and said, “Shout louder! After all, he is a god! Maybe he’s deep in thought, or he’s relieving himself, or he’s off on a journey, or perhaps he’s asleep and must wake up!” 28So they shouted even louder and cut themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until the blood gushed over them. 29When midday was past, they kept prophesying ecstatically until the time of offering up the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice, no one answering, no one paying attention. 30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came closer to him. Then he repaired the damaged altar of Adonai. 31Elijah took twelve stones—like the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Adonai had come saying, “Israel shall be your name”— 32and with the stones he built an altar in the Name of Adonai. Then he made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two measures of seed. 33Then he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. 34Then he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” Then he said, “A second time!” and they did it a second time. Then he said, “A third time!” and they did it a third time. 35So the water ran around the altar and he also filled the trench with water. 36Now it was at the time of offering up the evening sacrifice that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Adonai, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel, that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37Answer me, Adonai, answer me, so that these people may know that You, Adonai, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38Then the fire of Adonai fell and consumed the burnt offering—and the wood, the stones and the dust—and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, “Adonai, He is God! Adonai, He is God!” 40Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Let not a single one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and slew them there. 41Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there’s the sound of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, crouched on the ground and put his face between his knees. 43Then he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.” Then he said, “Go back”—seven times— 44and it was the seventh time that he said, “Look! A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” Then he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 45In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. Ahab mounted and rode, and headed to Jezreel. 46Now the hand of Adonai was on Elijah, so he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

–from 1 Kings 18

We aren’t supposed to do it alone! We are supposed to do it with God! With God all things are possible! So fear not, just believe! Turn to God for wisdom and direction so you will know how to respond to what is set before you! It may not be as bad as you think!

Whisper at the Cave

1Then Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, “So let the gods do to me and worse if by this time tomorrow I don’t make your life like the life of one of them.” 3Frightened, he got up and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, he left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom bush. He prayed that he might die. “It’s too much!” he said. “Now, Adonai, take my life! For I’m no better than my fathers.” 5Then he lay down and slept under the broom bush. Then behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Get up, and eat.” 6So he looked, and to his surprise, there by his head was a cake baked on the hot stones and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7Then the angel of Adonai came again a second time, touched him and said. “Get up and eat, because the journey is too much for you.” 8So he arose and ate and drank, and in the strength of that meal forty days and forty nights went to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9When he arrived there at the cave, he spent the night there. Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10“I have been very zealous for Adonai-Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it!” 11Then He said, “Come out and stand on the mount before Adonai.” Behold, Adonai was passing by—a great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and shattering cliffs before Adonai. But Adonai was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but Adonai was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire, but Adonai was not in the fire. After the fire there was a soft whisper of a voice. 13As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then all of a sudden, a voice addressed him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14“I have been very zealous for Adonai Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life!” 15Then Adonai said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram, 16and anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17It shall come to pass that whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu will slay; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will slay. 18Yet I have preserved seven thousand in Israel whose knees have not bowed to Baal and whose mouth has not kissed him.”

Calling of Elisha

19So he departed from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Then Elijah crossed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20So he left the oxen and ran after Elijah saying, “Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” “Come back,” he said to him. “For what have I done to you?” 21So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the oxen’s yoke gear, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, went after Elijah and became his attendant.

–from 1 Kings 19

The time is getting closer! The signs are everywhere! So what will you do about it? How will you show you care?

The Seventh Seal and Seven Trumpets

1Now when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden incense burner. He was given much incense to offer up along with the prayers of all the kedoshim upon the golden altar before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the kedoshim, rose before God from the angel’s hand. 5Then the angel took the incense burner and filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there were clashes of thunder and rumblings and flashes of lightning and earthquakes. 6Then the seven angels holding the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. 7The first trumpeted, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were thrown upon the earth. A third of the earth burned up, a third of the trees burned up, and all the green grass burned up. 8The second angel trumpeted, and something like a huge mountain ablaze with fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10The third angel trumpeted, and a great star fell from the heavens, burning like a torch. It fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11Now the name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the waters that were made bitter. 12The fourth angel trumpeted, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day would not shine, as well as a third of the night. 13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying out with a loud voice as it flew high in the sky, saying, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpets the three angels are about to sound!”

–from The Revelation 8

So what will you do? Who will you tell? How will you share His love with those He brings into your life? It’s not too late yet if you are reading this to choose to follow Jesus! It’s not too late yet if you are reading this to tell others about Jesus! If not you then who? If not now then when? This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

1Then the fifth angel trumpeted, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth. The key to the bottomless pit was given to him. 2He opened the pit, and smoke rose from the pit like the smoke of a gigantic furnace. The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. 3Then from the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them like the scorpions have power over the earth. 4They were told to do no harm to the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5And they were permitted not to kill them, but to torment them for five months—and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a person. 6In those days, people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them. 7Now the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were something like crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. 9They had chests like iron breastplates; and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle. 10They have tails like scorpions with stingers; and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. 11They have as king over them the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12The first woe is past. Behold, two woes are still coming after these things. 13The sixth angel trumpeted, and I heard a single voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God. 14It said to the sixth angel, the one holding the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15So the four angels—who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year—were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of mounted troops was two hundred million—I heard their number. 17Now here is how I saw the horses and those riding on them: they had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were as heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire and smoke and brimstone. 18By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone that came out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads by which they inflict injuries. 20But the rest of mankind, those not killed by these plagues, did not repent and turn away from the works of their hands—they would not stop worshiping demons and the idols of gold and silver and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. 21And they did not repent and turn away from their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their stealing.

–from The Revelation 9

 

Don’t go it alone!


Do you think you are all that and that you don’t need help? Do you think you can do it all on your own? Do you think if you try hard enough, work longer, and don’t give up that you will make it?

Don’t go it alone! We were never made to go it alone! That is why God gave us one another! When things get tough we need to come together and help each other out! Rather than murmuring about hardships, we need to turn to God and turn to one another and ask for help!

Will you step up to help someone in need? Will you humble yourself and ask for help? Will you do something about it vs grumbling and complaining about it? Let’s not be so proud that we won’t give someone a hand up! Let’s not be so proud that we won’t ask for help when we need it! We may just need wisdom! We may just need love! We may just need encouragement! We may just need hope! We may just need to realize we aren’t alone! We may need provision! But don’t grumble or murmur or worry – turn to God! Lift up your cares to Him because He cares for you! It’s about a relationship not about complaining!

Don’t go it alone!


Today’s reading starts off with some murmuring and grumbling…

70 Elders to Share the Burden

1The people were murmuring in the ears of Adonai about hardship, and when Adonai heard, His anger burned. The fire of Adonai blazed among them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses, so Moses prayed to Adonai and the fire died out. 3The name of that place was thus called Taberah because fire from Adonai had burned among them. 4The grumblers among them began to have cravings, so Bnei-Yisrael began to wail repeatedly, saying, “If we could just eat some meat! 5We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, for free—the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic! 6But now we have no appetite. We never see anything but this manna .” 7Now the manna was similar to coriander seed and had an appearance like gum resin. 8The people went about, gathered it up, and ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into cakes. It had a taste like something made with olive oil. 9When the dew descended on the camp at night, the manna descended with it. 10Moses heard the people wailing by their families, each man at the door to his tent. Adonai’s anger became very hot, and Moses was troubled. 11So Moses asked Adonai, “Why have You brought trouble on Your servant? Haven’t I found favor in Your eyes—that You laid the burden of all these people on me? 12Did I conceive all these people, or did I give birth to them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom just as the nurse carries an infant’—to the land You promised to their fathers? 13Where can I get meat for all these people? For they wail to me saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14I am not able to carry all these people by myself! The load is too heavy for me! 15If this is how You are treating me, kill me now! If I have found favor in Your eyes, kill me please—don’t let me see my own misery!” 16Adonai said to Moses, “Bring me 70 of the elders of Israel whom you know to be elders of the people and their leaders. Take them to the Tent of Meeting, so they may stand with you there. 17Then I will come down and speak with you there, and, I will take some of the Ruach that is on you and will place it on them. They will carry with you the burden of the people, so you will not be carrying it alone.” 18“Now to the people say: Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because you will eat meat, for you wailed in Adonai’s ears saying, ‘If only we could eat meat! It was better for us in Egypt!’ Now Adonai will give you meat and you will eat! 19You will eat—not for one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20but for an entire month—until it is coming out of your nostrils and it becomes loathsome to you! For you rejected Adonai who is among you, and you wailed to His face saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?” 21Moses then said, “600,000 foot soldiers—the people I am in the middle of—yet You say, ‘I am going to give them meat to eat for an entire month?’ 22If flocks and herds were slaughtered, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught, would they have enough?” 23Adonai said to Moses, “Is Adonai’s arm too short? Now you will see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Seventy Elders Prophesying

24So Moses went out and told the people Adonai’s words. He gathered 70 of the elders of the people and had them stand around the Tent. 25Adonai descended in the cloud and spoke with him. He took some of the Ruach that was on him and placed it on each of the 70 elders. It so happened that when the Ruach first rested on them, they prophesied—but never again. 26Two men, however, had remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad and the name of the other was Medad. The Ruach rested on them. They were among those listed, but they had not gone out to the Tent. So they prophesied in the camp. 27A young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!” 28Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses since his youth, cried out and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? If only Adonai would make all the people prophets! If only Adonai would put the Spirit on all of them!” 30Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Quails From the Sea

31Now a wind went out from Adonai and drove quails from the sea. He brought them into the camp to about a day’s journey in any direction, about two cubits above the ground all around the camp. 32The people went out all that day and all that night and all the following day and collected quail. No one gathered less than ten omers. They spread them out all around the camp. 33Yet while the meat was between their teeth, before it was swallowed, Adonai’s anger burned against the people. So Adonai struck the people with a severe plague. 34For that reason the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah , because they buried the people who were craving. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth and stayed in Hazeroth.

–from Numbers 11

Stick with God rather than trying to go it all alone or gossip or murmur or grumble.

Would you want to be called to the principals office? How about if it was the principals of life rather than just school? Do you really want to be wining and complaining to the point where you get called out? Are you ready to account for yourself? Would you humbly bring yourself to the person you are having a problem with before you get called out? Ever day we are faced with choices! Ever day we choose what we will do, what we will say and how we will respond! So choose wisely! You don’t want to end up in detention or timeout.

Today’s reading continues as Miriam and Aaron are speaking against Moses and then get called out by God…

Miriam and Aaron Speak Against Moses

1Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on account of the Cushite woman he married, because he had married a Cushite woman. 2They asked, “Has Adonai spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He also spoken through us?” Adonai heard it. 3Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. 4Immediately, Adonai said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “The three of you, come out to the Tent of Meeting.” So the three came out. 5Adonai descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them stepped forward. 6“Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. 7Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. 8I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai! Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?” 9Adonai’s anger burned against them, and He left them. 10When the cloud lifted up from above the Tent, behold, Miriam had tza’arat, like snow! As Aaron turned toward her, behold, she had tza’arat! 11He said to Moses, “Please, my lord, don’t hold against us the sin we have committed so foolishly! 12Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, who comes from his mother’s womb with his flesh half-eaten away!” 13So Moses cried to Adonai saying, “O God, heal her now!” 14Adonai said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be in shame for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days. After that she may be brought back.” 15So Miriam was restricted to outside the camp for seven days. The people did not move on until Miriam was brought back. 16Afterward, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Wilderness of Paran.

–from Numbers 12

So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s lift Him up throughout the day! Let’s glorify Jesus in all we think, say, and do!

Praise Him, All Creation!

1Halleluyah! Praise Adonai from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! 2Praise Him all His angels! Praise Him all His armies. 3Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all stars of light. 4Praise Him, highest heavens, and waters above the heavens. 5Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for He commanded and they were created. 6He set them in place forever and ever. He made a decree that will never pass away. 7Praise Adonai from the earth, sea monsters and all depths, 8fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm wind doing His bidding, 9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10beasts and all cattle, crawling things and winged birds, 11kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of earth, 12both young men and maidens, old men and children. 13Let them praise the Name of Adonai, for His Name alone is exalted. His glory is above earth and heaven. 14He has raised up a horn for His people, a praise for all His kedoshim, for the children of Israel— a people near to Him. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 148

They say that imitation is the highest level of flattery – so why no imitate Jesus? Let’s be helpers! Let’s be stewards! Let’s be trustworthy! Let’s not judge others! Let’s be blessings! Let’s endure! Let’s speak kindly! Let’s reveal God’s power!

More choices! We get to choose! We get to choose how we live and in effect we get to choose the results!

God’s Word speaks to that today too…

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

So what are you going to do? How are you going to live? What will others see in and through you?

Are you ready? He will be back again! He came once as the savior and next time … So let’s be prepared! Let’s be ready! Let’s receive the gift of grace! Let’s share the gift of grace! Let’s be ready to celebrate when He comes back again! Let’s choose to follow Him now! Let’s choose to ask Him into our hearts today! Let’s start the incredible relationship God has always wanted to have with us that will last forever!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God.15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1