Category Archives: Overcome

What do you do when you realize you are half way there?


The Story of Job. – Day 26

As I looked at where I am in my reading plan I realized I was at the halfway mark. I always find it interesting how when my mind jumps to playing a song when phrases are thought, said, or heard. Today I thought to myself “I’m halfway there” and all I could here was “Wooah, Livin’ on a prayer“. No matter if we are that the beginning of the journey, nearing the end of the journey, or in the middle of the journey, the key is to keep close to God and keep praying and depending on Him. We don’t need to and we shouldn’t be trying to go it alone. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us as our comforter and our guide and so we need to try to go it alone. So when we need counsel and advice we just need to pray and ask Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it all. Resisting the devil and his temptations and lies that are attempting to rob us of God’s promises, kill us from getting to our destination, and destroy us and any hope or faith we have in order to get us to give up and turn our backs on God. No matter how stormy life is looking or feeling, call to God and allow Him to calm the storm or you so that you can make it thru the storm and come out the other side stronger in faith and courage and boldness to be able to complete the work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish. It isn’t about what people are saying but rather what God is saying. Consider the source of your advice, what do they believe, are they aligned with you spiritually, shouldn’t they be before you take it all at face value, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what parts of what is being spoken to receive and what to ignore or throw out. God’s plan is to give you a hope and a future. God’s purpose is that you will have life to the full. Sometimes to get there it requires that we have trials and troubles. In trials though, we can consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and we need to let perseverance finish its work so that we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In times of trouble in this world we can take heart because Jesus has already overcome the world.



So as we get ready for what is yet to come and we are looking for answers and direction for the days ahead, we need to go to God and His Word. We need to take hold of His promises and truth and not allow the lies of the devil to confuse or frustrate us. We need to put on the full armor of God and stand firm and when he comes again continue to stand firm.


10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [a]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [b]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [c]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [d]God’s people. 19 And pray for me, that words may be given to me when I open my mouth, to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news [of salvation], 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. And pray that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly and courageously, as I should.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 21:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be the consolation. Bear with me, and I also will speak; And after I have spoken, you may [continue to] mock [me]. As for me, is my complaint to man or about him? And why should I not be impatient and my spirit troubled? Look at me and be astonished and appalled; And put your hand over your mouth. Even when I remember, I am troubled and afraid; Horror and trembling take hold of my flesh. Why do the wicked still live, Become old, and become mighty in power? Their children and descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear; And the rod of God is not on them. His bull breeds and does not fail; His cow calves and does not miscarry. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children skip about. They lift up their voices and sing to the tambourine and the lyre And rejoice to the sound of the flute. They fully enjoy their days in prosperity, And so go down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) in a [peaceful] moment. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who [and what] is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what would we gain if we plead with Him?’ But notice, the prosperity of the wicked is not in their hand (in their power); The counsel of the wicked [and the mystery of God’s dealings with the ungodly] is far from my comprehension. “How often [then] is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, And that their disaster falls on them? Does God distribute pain and destruction and sorrow [to them] in His anger? Are they like straw before the wind, And like chaff that the storm steals and carries away? You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’ Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it. Let his own eyes see his destruction, And let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. For what pleasure does he have in his house and family after he is dead, When the number of his months [of life] is cut off? Can anyone teach God knowledge, Seeing that He judges those on high? One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and quiet and satisfied; His pails are full of milk [his sides are filled out with fat], And the marrow of his bones is moist, Whereas another dies with a bitter soul, Never even tasting pleasure or good fortune. Together they lie down in the dust, And the worms cover them. “Behold, I know your thoughts, And the plots by which you would wrong me. For you say, ‘Where is the house of the noble man? And where is the tent, the dwelling place of the wicked?’ Have you not asked those who travel this way, And do you not recognize their witness? That evil men are [now] reserved for the day of disaster and destruction, They will be led away on the day of [God’s] wrath? But who will confront him with his actions and rebuke him face to face, And who will repay him for what he has done? When he is carried to his grave, A guard will keep watch over his tomb. The [dirt] clods of the valley are sweet to him [and gently cover him], Moreover, all men will follow after him [to a grave], While countless ones go before him. How then can you vainly comfort me with empty words, Since your answers remain untrue?”’

Job 21:1-34

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s study provides us with these summary details. Click the links above to dive deeper into today’s reading.

Verses 1-34: Job strikes at the heart of his friends’ assumption that the wicked are judged and the righteous are blessed. Job claims that this simply is not true, if one looks at life objectively: the wicked’s children are established (verse 8), his house is safe (verse 9), his cattle reproduce (verse 10), and so on. He even receives an honorable burial (verses 32-33).

Jobs reply to Zophar’s last speech, ending the second cycle of speeches, refuted the simplistic set of laws by which the mockers lived. He showed that the wicked prosper, and since it is clear that they do (they had argued that the wicked only suffer), then by inference, perhaps the righteous suffer. This presented serious problems for their supposed open and shut case against Job.

This is Jobs reply to Zophar’s second speech: the dogma of retributive judgment fails when one observes truly “wicked” people seeming to prosper. The outcomes of personal fortunes in this life are not the standards of eternity.

Job called for his friends to be quiet and to listen to some amazing and terrifying truth (verses 1-6), namely that the wicked do prosper (verses 7-13), though they deny God (verses 14-15), and they prosper not by their doing, but God’s (verse 16).

Verses 2-5: Job desired to “speak” without being interrupted or subjected to incredulous groans from his friends.

Verses 13-15: Zophar had claimed that longevity and prosperity in this life are linked to one’s wickedness or righteousness (20:4-8). Job countered, emphasizing that the godless and the wicked often enjoy life and go to their deaths in peace (21:32-33; Eccl. 8:10). In fact, Job could not understand why the wicked seemingly live on in their unrighteousness while, as a righteous man, he was dying. The godless are those who say to God, “Depart from us”.

Verses 17-22: Playing off Bildad’s sentiment (see 18:5-6; 18-19), this whole section repeats the assertions of Job’s friends regarding the judgment of sinners. To refute that perspective, Job suggested that his friends were guilty of telling God how He must deal with people (verse 22).

Verses 22-24: Job concluded that in the end, no connection exists between how one lives and the prosperity or poverty a person experiences, and so trying to sort out the life based on observation is futile. Job could see not justice in the world or with God, yet he could clearly recognize “falsehood” in his friend’s “answers”. They had based their assumptions in their own intellect and pride.

Verses 23-26: Some of the wicked live and die in prosperity, but some don’t, canceling the absolutist nature of his counselor’s argument.

Verses 27-28: Again, Job referred to the statements of his friends, Zophar in this case (see 20:7), who were trying to prove their “sin equals suffering” idea.

Verses 29-33: Job knew they would not listen to him, so he suggested they ask travelers, any of whom would tell them that wicked people prosper sometimes in this life, but there will be a day of doom for them when they die.

Book of Job ExplainedChapter 21

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Will you learn from your mistakes?


Ever went to do something with good intentions and then it didn’t turn out like you had hoped? Ever went to do something with good intentions and then watched go bad real quick? Ever had to learn from those mistakes? Ever tried again putting fear and doubt behind you? Ever tried again with all the learnings from the previous attempt(s)? Ever succeeded in a future attempt thanks to what you had learned? Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Consider every attempt either a victory or an opportunity to learn! Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to knock you down or beat you up so that you want to stop or give up! Turn to God! Seek wisdom! Persevere! In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So continue with patient perseverance!

Will you learn from your mistakes? What have you learned from your mistakes? Will you share it with others so that they don’t have to go thru it themselves to learn? We all get to choose… We can learn from others mistakes or we can learn from our own. Will you look for a mentor or mentors so that you can learn from them instead of needing to learn it all in your own experiences? You will make mistakes! The question is, will you learn from them or those of others?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started with 2 Samuel 6…

‘Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart that carried the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark. David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord , singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord ’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God. David was angry because the Lord ’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today. David was now afraid of the Lord , and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household. Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s household and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with a great celebration. After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.

But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord , she was filled with contempt for him. They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord . When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes. When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!” David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord , who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord , so I celebrate before the Lord . Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.’

2 Samuel 6

‘This is the message the Lord gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the Lord ’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.” So I went to see Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah and all his brothers and sons—representing all the Recabite families. I took them to the Temple, and we went into the room assigned to the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was located next to the one used by the Temple officials, directly above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the Temple gatekeeper. I set cups and jugs of wine before them and invited them to have a drink, but they refused. “No,” they said, “we don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. And do not build houses or plant crops or vineyards, but always live in tents. If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.’ So we have obeyed him in all these things. We have never had a drink of wine to this day, nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters. We haven’t built houses or owned vineyards or farms or planted crops. We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed all the commands of Jehonadab, our ancestor. But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked this country, we were afraid of the Babylonian and Syrian armies. So we decided to move to Jerusalem. That is why we are here.” Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. The descendants of Jehonadab son of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’ “Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.’” Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions.’ Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me.’”’

Jeremiah 35

‘After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord ! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”’

Luke 19:28-40

‘Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.’

Hebrews 10:26-39

‘Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord — rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the Lord himself will live forever? Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!” Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines. Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the Lord , the source of Israel’s life. Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali. Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!’

Psalms 68

Overcoming Tragedy… (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 13])


What challenges have you had to face? What trials have you gone through? What troubles have come your way? What tragedies have you had to overcome?

We know that in this life we will have troubles, not may but will. Will you take heart and cling to Jesus who has overcome the world?

We all get to choose how we will respond to the trials of this file. Will you consider it pure joy and persevere so that in and through it all you will be complete and lacking nothing?

We need to take hold of God’s Word and God’s Promises when we go through tough times! We need to not be rules by fear as God tells us to fear not, just believe! (Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50) We need to not be ruled by worry since God tells us that worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything! (Philippians 4:6) We need to persevere and a choice of how we will live out life after the trial, life after the troubles, life after the tragedy in a way that will glorify God and show the world that our trust is built on Him! Today’s reading has the powerful conclusive statement

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .”

–from Isaiah 54:17 

So let’s jump into Isaiah 54 to get the back story on this powerful statement and truth…

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord . “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord , your Redeemer. “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord , who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord , and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .

–from Isaiah 54 

So will keep your hope and trust in God? Will you allow Jesus into Your heart and to help make you a new creation from the inside out? Will you stand on the rock of Jesus Christ? Will you put on the full armor of God as you walk out into the world today? Will you take hope in the truth that today’s verse is real? Will you take confidence in the truth that thanks to God we know that no matter what comes our way we can have hope and joy because no weapon formed against us shall prosper? Will you put your trust in God and lean not on your own understanding? Will you be an overcomer of tragedy?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the area of Acts of Mercy  brings us to the topic of Overcoming Tragedy (p. 962 – Isaiah 54).

Today’s devotional speaks to a time in 2015 on June 17th when a man walked into a church and killed 9 people during a prayer meeting. Among the dead was the senior pastor who was also a state senator. On June 21, just a few days later, the doors of the church were opened for Sunday services. The interim pastor when asked about why so quick to reopen the doors speaks to today’s reading from Isaiah 54:17 when he said “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” We learn in today’s devotional that one of the survivors Felicia Sanders told the killer who was sentenced to the death penalty that she forgave him, while holding onto the bloody Bible she had from the night of the shooting.

Don’t give up! Don’t allow fear to paralyze you from accomplishing God’s call on your life!

Let’s take hold of the truth of God and continue to persevere! Let’s take hold of God’s command to love! Let’s take hold of God’s command to forgive! Let’s take hold of God’s Word to be ambassadors of peace! Let’s take hold of God’s Word and not walk in worry or fear! Let’s take heart knowing that Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm! Let’s receive gift of life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? Have you invited Him into your life? How will you choose to make a difference in the world today? God’s Word has and continues to have global impact. Let’s pray together as we conclude today…

Sample Sinners Prayer


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will come out of it. My hope and trust are in You. I take the weight off of my feet and lean into You! I know Lord because of my trust in You that Your hope will fill me to overflow that true hope can be poured into the lives of the people You bring into my day. Help me Lord to shine for You. Help me Lord to love others as You love. Help me Lord to see people with Your eyes. Help me Lord to love people through Your ways. Let my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Finish the race

How will you finish the race?


Are you preparing? Are you training? Are you living your life to the full?

24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadow boxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

–from 1 Corinthians 9

Will you make it to the end of the race and win the prize? Will you stay faithful and true? Will you persevere no matter what trials come your way? Will you be an overcomer no matter what troubles come your way? Will you be able to celebrate as you cross the finish line?

I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

–from 2 Timothy 4

Will you be ready for that crown that will be put on your head by Jesus? Will you be faithful with the amount He gives you today in order to receive the reward He has prepared and is preparing in heaven for you? Will you be ready to Him say “well done my good and faithful servant“? Or will you not receive the gift of Jesus and not live out your life for Him and under His authority?

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silverb]”>[b] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!c]”>[c]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

–from Matthew 25

Imagine if a huge accident or catastrophic event took place and it was the end… Are you ready to meet your maker? Imagine what the people of Hawaii must have been going through when they received a message across all channels (TV, Radio, Cell Phones, digital Road signs) for a half hour saying that a nuclear missile was coming their way and wasn’t a drill (which ended up being a false alarm). We need to prepared because we don’t know when our last day will be. We need to be prepared for the finish line in a way that we will win the prize and the crown of righteousness. So let’s make sure we are ready and prepared! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s stand firm! Let’s persevere! Let’s be overcomers! Let’s humble ourselves and turn back to God and pray!

God has called us as believers to be a royal priesthood, so let’s be sharing the Good News of Jesus with the world around us! Let’s share the goodness and the blessings of God! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be instruments of reconciliation first to God and then to one another! Let’s do our part that others will come to know Jesus and have their names written into the Book of Life!


Your Crown is Coming — Day 363: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Enjoy the honour of being crowned by the Lord — Psalms 149
  2. Experience your reign with Christ now — Revelation 20
  3. Exercise the authority God has given you responsibly — Nehemiah 9:38Nehemiah 10Nehemiah 11:1-21

Have you decided to make Jesus your Lord and Savior? Have you invited Him into your heart? Have you asked God for forgiveness? Jesus already paid the price so all we need to do is receive the gift of Jesus and ask God!

Let’s pray together…

Sinners Prayer Sample


 

Facing evil and looking for a way to handle it?


Not sure where to turn? Not sure where to go? Not sure how to respond? Looking for hope? Looking for ideas? Looking for a way that will break the cycle?

Let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers! Amid adversity, we can find hope and a future!

Let’s not allow evil to win by responding their way, let’s fight evil using love and truth! Let’s overcome evil through love and doing good!

Don’t be deceived that it will be easy! We can hold to the truth that in this world we will have troubles but we can also take hold of the truth that thanks to Jesus who overcame the world we can walk in hope and strength! We hold to the truth that because we know in whom we believe that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because of the work it will do in us! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The place to turn is the Bible! It is a handbook to help us through life! It can help ground us when we are at our mountain top times! It can lift us up when we are feeling down and out in the valley times! It can point us in the right direction when we are sure what to do! It can encourage us when we need motivation! With Jesus we can be more than conquerors because He strengthens us!

Let’s consider some words of wisdom from the Bible…

33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –from John 16:33

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –from Romans 8:31-39
13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. –from Proverbs 25:21

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. –from 1 John 4:4

4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. –from 1 John 5:4-5

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” –from John 10:28-30

The book of Revelation has many verses we can check too that can be meditated upon:

  • Revelation 2:7-11
  • Revelation 2:17
  • Revelation 2:26
  • Revelation 3:5-12
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Revelation 12:11

So let’s conquer evil by doing good! Let’s conquer evil by serving others! Let’s conquer evil by loving others! Let’s take hold of who Jesus is and share that truth, love and power with the world around us! Let’s take hold of the truth found in God’s Word (the Bible) and use it, share it, pass it along!

Let’s stick with Jesus and be overcomers! If God is for us who can be against us!

Let’s give God the glory! Let’s testify to what God has done in and through our lives! Our stories can speak life to someone who is questioning! Our stories can provide hope in the midst of turmoil! Our stories can point people to Jesus who can break strongholds of the devil and set them free! Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word on the topic of Getting out of the boat… Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word and a crisis to help break a bitterness and anger foothold through forgiveness…Imagine telling a story to someone who watched you walk through some really tough times and the day before you were to start a new journey how your reading that day was from Job 42:12 and the promise that gave you for the future…Imagine the story you can tell to allow others to be freed by the love and truth of Jesus lived in and through your life…

11And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
–from Revelation 12:11

Need to hear a story? Ask me a question!

Have a story? Why not share it? Someone around you might need it to create the spark needed for them to get on track to what God has for them!


Three Ways to Overcome Evil

Day 354: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. God’s love overcomes everything … Psalms 145:8-13
  2. Jesus overcomes the devil … Revelation 12Revelation 13:1
  3. The people of God overcome opposition … Ezra 6Ezra 7:1-10

Let’s allow God’s glory to return to us this season!


What will it take to have God’s glory to return to us? What will it take for God’s glory to present in each house, in each city, in each country, around the world? What will it take for people to glorify God in the highest? What will it take to prepare ourselves so that we are ready and able to glorify God? What will it take to be ready to stand before God and glorify Him and praise Him? How long will it take for us to receive the incredible gift of God? How long will it take before we will humble ourselves and receive the incredible gift of God? How long will it take before we get our hearts and minds right so that we can receive the incredible gift of God?

Do you realize what holy means? It means dedicated! It means set apart! It means devoted!

Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you received Him as your Lord and Savior? He is the way, the truth, and the light to God! Will you choose to receive the gift of Jesus this Christmas season? Will you allow His Spirit to move into your heart? Will you be transformed by the glory of God forever more? Will you be restored?

Put your trust in God! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of any kind for it will work your faith and in and thru it will make you complete and lacking nothing! In this world we will have troubles, but don’t let that get you down because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can faith and hope beyond our circumstances! Let’s stand firm on the rock that is Jesus Christ, and when the pressure is on let’s stand firm! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s find our peace and our strength in God! Let’s find security in God so that we can walk out our lives and our days without fear and despite fear! Let’s be generous! Let’s help the poor and those in need!

Let’s take hold of God’s promises through Jesus! Let’s take hold of faith in Jesus and allow the Spirit of Jesus so that we can live with power, love, and self-discipline rather than being timid for we are not to be timid! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Allow God to give you confidence so that you don’t feel shame! Trust in God! Guard the good deposit that has been placed in your heart! Continue to overflow from what God is and has poured into your life so that you can in all circumstances, at all times, and always, you can  “16 Be joyful always, 17 pray at all times, 18 be thankful in all circumstances.

Let’s be loyal to God! Let’s demonstrate our hope and trust in Him! Let’s share the good news of Jesus in everything we say and do!

Let’s close today’s time with Titus 1…

1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of Godʼs elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good

5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer manages Godʼs household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Rebuking Those Who Fail to Do Good

10For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12One of Creteʼs own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

–Titus 1


Today’s reading: Ezekiel 43, 44, Psalm 112, 2 Timothy 1, Titus 1

How bad do things have to get before you turn back to God? The choice is yours!


Are you ready to put God first? Are you ready to align with Him? Are you ready for the grace and the mercy? Are you ready for the hope and love? How far will you go before you turn back to God? How bad do your circumstances have to get before you trust God fully?

Do you trust Him and are able to find hope beyond the circumstances?

Do you not believe and hence wander in despair and worry?

In this world we will have troubles, but those of us who believe in Jesus can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!

For those who believe in Jesus, we can consider every trial pure joy for when our faith succeeds in such trials that it builds up endurance and we need to let this endurance finish its work so that in the end we will be mature, complete, and lacking nothing!

There is persecution taking place around the world and some may be surprised how close to home this hits. Imagine not being able to have priest and pastors being able to preach the full bible for fear of being thrown in prison for hate crimes. Can you imagine countries where this is the case already?

Jesus preaches love! Jesus preaches unity! Jesus preaches hope! Jesus preaches faith!

So let’s live out love in this world around us! Let’s live out unity! Let’s share hope to this world around us! Let’s have faith that no matter the circumstance we face, we can find hope!

Do we need to have things get so bad before we turn back to God? How much will it take before we realize how much our Heavenly Father loves us and is desiring for us to turn back to Him and return home?

Don’t let hate win! Let’s allow love to unite us!

Don’t let fear win! Let’s allow faith to give us hope beyond our circumstances!

If now now then when? If not you then who?

We know that Jesus has already paid the price and so we just need to make a choice!

We know that in the only those who choose Jesus will get to spend eternity with Him! He is the way, the truth, and the life — no one comes to the Father except thru Him!

Will you receive the gift of love from God? Will reject it?

God’s plan is that we will have a hope and a future! Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it!

So let’s allow the light of Jesus to shine thru us into the world around us!

There is a remnant! Will we stand together in unity and help a revival start up that will point people back to God?

Will you receive the gift of God and be adopted into His family? Will you allow yourself to be a branch, a branch grafted to the vine and allow the love of God to flow into and thru you?

 


Today’s reading: Jeremiah 51, Romans 11

Will you trust Him?


Will you trust His plan? Do you realize what His plan is like? He can take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can restore what has been broken! He can save the lost! He can set the captives free! Will you trust Him?

You need to deny the liars! You need to avoid allowing pride to make you think you can do it all on your own! You need to humble yourself and put all your hope and trust in God! Look for the truth rather than what will just make you feel better! Test the words and see if they are true! Make sure you don’t stir up so much trouble that it goes from being a wooden yoke to an iron one!

Hear God’s Word! Don’t lose hope! Yes in this world there will be troubles, but take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Yes in this world you will have trials, but consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for they will test your faith and the perseverance will help you to endure. Allow that endurance to carry you all the way without failing, so that in the end you will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing!

As we continue into Jeremiah 29, we hear the message to the exiles. A message of hope in the midst of their circumstances! A message of salvation in the midst of their trials! A message for the future! In the midst of what you are going thru, flourish! In the midst of what is taking place, multiply! In the midst of what is going on, prosper! In the midst of what is taking place, seek peace! Don’t be deceived by liars and false prophets! Remember God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan! Just like in Jeremiah, God’s timing is perfect and He has a plan for you and me and the rest of this world! He will provide signs of the time so that you will know the time! He will provide direction so that you will know what to do!

Let’s review what was said…

A Letter to the Exiles

1This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2(This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem.) 3He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It said:
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
15You may say, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,” 16but this is what the Lord says about the king who sits on Davidʼs throne and all the people who remain in this city, your fellow citizens who did not go with you into exile— 17yes, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 18I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse and an object of horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. 19For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord.
20Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you in my name: “I will deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes. 22Because of them, all the exiles from Judah who are in Babylon will use this curse: ‘May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon burned in the fire.’ 23For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighborsʼ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord.

–from Jeremiah 29

So don’t lose hope! Don’t walk away from God! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Invite Jesus into your heart! Align to Him and His ways! Be ambassadors of peace! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to direct your steps! Remember the end of the book, Jesus wins! He won the victory when He conquered the grave! He defeated the power of sin when He paid the penalty on the cross! So don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God! Don’t rebel against Him!

Need wisdom? Humble yourself and cry out to God! Let’s reflect on today’s Psalm…

A prayer of David.

1Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer—it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. 4Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. 5My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled. 6I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. 10They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. 11They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover. 13Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. 14By your hand save me from such people, Lord, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. 15As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

–from Psalms 17

We need to trust Him in and through it all! We need not lean on our own understanding, but put our trust in God! There is no darkness in Him! He is light! God is Love! Let’s try to live dead to sin and alive in Jesus! Let’s be slaves to doing what is right in God’s eyes! As we read in the final chapter of today’s reading from the book of Romans…

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or donʼt you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16Donʼt you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 6

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 28, 29, Psalm 17, Romans 6

Are you asking for help or are you turning back?


Are you asking for help out of desperation? Are you humbling yourself and turning back to God? Are you asking for help because you saw it happen in the past? Are you putting all your hope and trust in God? Are you asking for help as your last chance? Are you asking God for help as your first option?

God is a just god! God so loves the world that He sent His one and only Son so that all who will believe in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! So seek God’s will! Align with Him! Find hope in all circumstances! Find contentment in all circumstances! Allow your life at the highest highs and the lowest lows to glorify God! Don’t lose hope! Remember that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for it will build up perseverance, it will strengthen our faith, and in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing! Remember we will have troubles, Jesus tells us that in this world we will have troubles, but to have hope because Jesus has overcome the world!

So where are you at today? What is in your face? What is building concerns in your heart and mind? Turn to God! Come to Him in humility! Ask Him to search your heart and mind and to help you stay or get aligned with Him! Ask Him to forgive you and help you to forgive others! Ask Him to forgive the things of the world around you! Remember the story of the Lost Son and how the father received him. Trust in God to accomplish His will in and through you for His glory! Let’s walk in the light! Let’s be like the moon that reflects the sun’s light by reflecting the Son’s light! Light try to brighten the world around us! Let’s try to allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength so that we can help lift up others who are struggling! Let’s make a difference! Let’s not be doom and gloom! Let’s not hide the truth! Let’s help people to realize that no matter what is going on, it is possible to have hope beyond our circumstances by receiving Jesus into our hearts!

Are you at the crossroads? One leads to life and the other leads to death? The choices is yours! Freewill was given to you and as such only you can decide!

19″I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

— from Deuteronomy 30

We have a choice to ask Jesus into our hearts and be transformed and receive the gift of eternal life with God! We have a choice to refuse the gift and spend eternity apart from God!

In the day of today’s reading, the people were given a choice too…

8“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. 9Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. 10I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’ –from Jeremiah 21

Take a look around and consider if justice is being served. Consider if it is being served fairly and equally no matter who the person is. Let’s reflect on today’s reading to hear what God told them back then and see if there might be something we can pick up and use today…

11“Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:

“ ‘Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.
13I am against you, Jerusalem, you who live above this valley on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord— you who say, “Who can come against us? Who can enter our refuge?”
14I will punish you as your deeds deserve, declares the Lord. I will kindle a fire in your forests that will consume everything around you.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 21

Everyone should be getting treated equally under the law right? Everyone should be bound by the law right? So is the presumption being followed? Why or Why not?

What do you see? Do you see the good and the bad? Do you realize that vengeance is the Lord’s and as such He can take care of what needs to be and get done! Let’s reflect on this from our reading today…First the good…

4Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. 6My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

–from Jeremiah 24

Now let’s take a look at the bad…

8“ ‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. 9I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them. 10I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 24

So don’t lose hope while following after God! Yes, in this world we will have troubles, but don’t give up, don’t give in, continue to hold on tight to God! For just as Jesus overcame the world, we too can be overcomers!

There is no authority except that which God has given! Don’t believe the lies but trust in the Word of God! There are some that may try to say everything is going to be rosy, but we know that in this world we will have troubles and that through trials God is working in and thru us so that we will be complete and lacking nothing!

Today’s reading shows how this played out in the times of Nebuchadnezzar…

 Judah to Serve Nebuchadnezzar

1Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters: 5With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. 6Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. 7All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.
8“ ‘ “If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. 9So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the Lord.” ’ ”
12I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live. 13Why will you and your people die by the sword, famine and plague with which the Lord has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies to you. 15‘I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’ ”
16Then I said to the priests and all these people, “This is what the Lord says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles from the Lordʼs house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you. 17Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this city become a ruin? 18If they are prophets and have the word of the Lord, let them plead with the Lord Almighty that the articles remaining in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon. 19For this is what the Lord Almighty says about the pillars, the bronze Sea, the movable stands and the other articles that are left in this city, 20which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem: 22‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 27

So don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Put your hope and trust in God! Allow Jesus to move into your heart and for the joy of the Lord to be your strength so that it can overflow and point others today towards God!

1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

–from Psalms 33

Peace in the storm! Sometimes God will calm the storm. Sometimes God will call the person in the storm! Hope in the storm! We can find hope beyond our circumstances when we put our trust in Jesus! God is so good! There is death in our own ways because of the sinful nature, but there is life when we choose to ask Jesus into our hearts and live for Him!

Peace and Hope

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because Godʼs love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Godʼs wrath through him! 10For if, while we were Godʼs enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
13To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyoneʼs account where there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did Godʼs grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one manʼs sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive Godʼs abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–from Romans 5

God rewards those who diligantly seek Him.jpg


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 21, 24, 27, Psalm 33, Romans 5

The pendulum of life…


Take a look at history and watch the pendulum swing…

Good

Obedience

Aligned

Right

The pendulum goes back and forth evil

disobedience

misaligned

wrong

Throughout history we watch civilization align with God and then rebel against God. We see people and societies whose predecessors followed God get too comfortable and then take for granted the way things are not realizing the impact of their comfortable lives and then their rebellious behavior will have on the future. We see people get so far away from God that they get to a breaking point where a revival is needed to get things back on track and to a point where people celebrate in the Lord and walk aligned with God and try to get all the brokenness fixed up.

Take a look around you today. Where are you standing? Where is society on the spectrum? Where is it on the path of the pendulum? Will you help it? Which side will it be? How far down the downward spiral would things have to get before you start to look up to God and call out to Him? How far off kilter do things have to get before someone will try to make a change? Things had to get really bad and really dark before revival happened in the past, how much worse do they have to get before you, before society, before the world turns back to God?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day. I thank You Lord that Your plans are good. I thank You Lord that Your ways are better than our ways and your plans are better than our plans. I thank You Lord that through You all things are possible. Even though things may seem bad or seem tough or seem hard, I know I can keep and put my trust in You because with you all things are possible. Nothing is too big for You. Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place between people of different races, I lift this up to You asking for Your spirit of reconciliation to come into the middle of this.Lord, as I look around at the conflicts taking place within politics, I lift this up to You knowing and trusting in You because nobody is authority except for those You have allowed into those positions to help Your plan come together. Even what the enemy had planned for evil Lord, You can turnaround and use for good. Help us Lord to align with Your will and do what Your plans require. Help us Lord to do what is good and what is right so that Your will and Your plans will happen today. Help us Lord to walk in obedience to Your Word and Your way so that in all we think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory that You so deserve. Help us Lord to live our lives as humble servants so that people will come to the reality of Jesus and be saved. Lord, help us to live selfless lives, putting others first, so that our lives will be living sacrifices to You and living testimonies to the people around us! Lord I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s reading brings us to 2 Kings 21…

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own son in the fire. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even made a carved image of Asherah and set it up in the Temple, the very place where the lord had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws my servant Moses gave them—I will not send them into exile from this land that I gave their ancestors.” 9But the people refused to listen, and Manasseh led them to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10Then the lord said through his servants the prophets: 11“King Manasseh of Judah has done many detestable things. He is even more wicked than the Amorites, who lived in this land before Israel. He has caused the people of Judah to sin with his idols. 12So this is what the lord, the God of Israel, says: I will bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. 13I will judge Jerusalem by the same standard I used for Samaria and the same measure I used for the family of Ahab. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as one wipes a dish and turns it upside down. 14Then I will reject even the remnant of my own people who are left, and I will hand them over as plunder for their enemies. 15For they have done great evil in my sight and have angered me ever since their ancestors came out of Egypt.”
16Manasseh also murdered many innocent people until Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with innocent blood. This was in addition to the sin that he caused the people of Judah to commit, leading them to do evil in the lord’s sight.
17The rest of the events in Manasseh’s reign and everything he did, including the sins he committed, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 18When Manasseh died, he was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. 21He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. 22He abandoned the lord, the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the lord’s ways.
23Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 24But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
25The rest of the events in Amon’s reign and what he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Josiah became the next king.

–from 2 Kings 21

Does it matter if the person is old and does what is wrong vs if the person is young and does wrong? Does it matter what the person’s race or nationality if they are doing what is wrong? Does it matter what the person’s sex is if they are doing what is wrong? No! It’s a matter of the heart! It’s not about their age, their race, their sex, it’s about their character! It’s all about the content of their heart which defines and represents their character!

Manasseh Rules in Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4He built pagan altars in the Temple of the lord, the place where the lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the lord’s Temple. 6Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” 9But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10The lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11So the lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13And when he prayed, the lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the lord alone is God!
14After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. 15Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. 16Then he restored the altar of the lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the lord, the God of Israel. 17However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the lord their God.
18The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel. 19Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers. It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. 20When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.

Amon Rules in Judah

21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22He did what was evil in the lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.

–from 2 Chronicles 33

Let’s press on! Let’s not give up! Let’s take hold of the truth in God’s Word! Let’s take hope in the promises of Jesus! In this world we will have troubles but we can take hope because Jesus has already overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for they do a work in us that will get us to the point if we will allow it to, to be complete and lacking nothing! God’s got it all in His hands and so we need to lean on Him rather than our own understanding so that He can make our paths straight!

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

1We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2God says, “At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.
3When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.
Interlude
4“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’
I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
5Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens
or speak with such arrogance.’”
6For no one on earth—from east or west,
or even from the wilderness—
should raise a defiant fist.
7It is God alone who judges;
he decides who will rise and who will fall.
8For the lord holds a cup in his hand
that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices.
He pours out the wine in judgment,
and all the wicked must drink it,
draining it to the dregs.
9But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
but I will increase the power of the godly.”

–from Psalms 75

Let’s trust in God! Trust Him no matter what happens! Like Paul who was in prison but trusted in God, no matter what would happen. Like Daniel and his friends who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace but trusted in God, no matter what happened. Let’s walk in faith believing and trusting in God and His Word! God has a plan and His plan is good! God can make a way even when there isn’t a way! So let’s trust in Him through every challenge, delight, joy, adventure, … we need to walk through knowing that He is working in it for good! For there is no darkness in Him! God is Love! Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 how it reads when we replace Love with God since God = Love and Love = God? Don’t lose hope! Don’t grow weary in doing what is good and what is right! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to work in and through you no matter the circumstances! Let’s give God the praise and redirect any to Him who is greater!

James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned

1About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

6The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.

The Death of Herod Agrippa

20Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”
23Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
24Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.

–from Acts 12

So don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Let’s stick to God’s Word! It’s our measuring stick, our source of truth! Let’s lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways let’s acknowledge Him who will make our path straight! Let’s tell the truth! Let’s live with integrity! Let’s be honest in the way we live! Let’s be pointing people to God! Let’s not be focusing on self, but rather let’s be giving it all up to God! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not stop speaking of the great love of Jesus! Let’s not stop speaking of what He has done for us! Let’s be salt and light! Let’s share the love, the grace, and the mercy with the world around us that they too will come to know Jesus and His sacrifice for all of us!

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

–from 2 Corinthians 4

Where does your hope come from?


Where does your help come from? What do you believe? Whom do you follow? With who do you align? Are you walking with or walking away? Are you talking with or talking to or talking at? Are you managing or are you building a relationship? Do you see what is going on around you? Will you be salt and light and make a difference? Will you be positive and encouraging so that people turn back to God? Will you allow your life to shine so that people will glorify your Father in heaven? Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you have hope because you know that the best is yet to come? Yes in this world we will have troubles, but as Jesus tells us, “take heart for I have overcome the world“. Yes, we will face trials, but as God’s Word tells us, “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds” not just for kicks or for giggles, but so that in and through them we will come thru the other end complete and lacking nothing. My hope is in Jesus! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! So don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Don’t go it alone! Don’t try to do it your own way and in your own strength! Turn to God and follow after Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah …

Vision of Jerusalem’s Catastrophe

1The burden of the Valley of Vision: What is the matter with you now? For you have gone up to the rooftops. 2You were full of noise, a boisterous city, an exultant town? Your dead were not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. 3All your rulers have fled together, then captured without a bow. All who were caught were taken into exile together, though they had fled far off. 4Therefore I said, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly— don’t try to comfort me about the ruin of the daughter of my people.” 5For my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day of panic, trampling and confusion— in the Valley of Vision— of tearing down a wall, a catastrophe on the mountain. 6Elam took up the quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7So it will come to pass that your choicest valleys will be full of chariots and horsemen posted at the gate. 8So He will expose Judah’s defense, and in that day you will look for the armor in the Forest House. 9Then you will see the breaches in the walls of the city of David—for they will be many—though you collect the water of the lower pool. 10Though you counted the houses of Jerusalem, you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You even made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool—but you did not look to the Maker, or consider the One who planned it long before. 12Now in that day, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will call for weeping and wailing, for baldness and putting on sackcloth. 13But instead, there is joy and gladness, slaughtering cattle and killing sheep, meat and drinking wine! “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die!” 14But Adonai-Tzva’ot revealed in my ears: “Surely this sin will not be atoned for until you die,” says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot. 15Thus says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house: 16‘What are you doing here, and who are you to be here, that you cut out a grave for yourself, carving out a tomb on the height, chiseling a crypt for yourself in the rock? 17Behold, strong man, Adonai is about to hurl you headlong, and seize you firmly. 18He will roll you up tightly and toss you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be the shame of your Master’s house. 19I will remove you from your post, and pull you down from your station. 20“In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21I will clothe him in your robe and fasten your sash on him. I will give your authority into his hands, so he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open. 23I will fasten him as a peg in a firm place, and he will be a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24They will hang all the glory of his father’s house on him—offspring and posterity, all the small vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25“In that day,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “the peg that was fastened in a firm place will give way, break away and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off.” For Adonai has spoken.

–from Isaiah 22

Let’s try to get our nation back on track. Let’s try to get it back in alignment with God’s Word, God’s Will and God’s Ways. Let’s not allow it to stray and have to deal with the consequences. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Just as in the old testament, we have watched how people have had to get into pretty bad situations before they had the aha moments which got them to stop and turn back to God! I pray we don’t have to hit rock bottom before we do turn back to God as a nation! How bad do you need it to be before you will turn back? How bad do you need it to be before you start to intercede for others? How will you point people to the hope that is within you?

How much shaking will it take before God can get your attention? Sometimes it takes shaking things up to get your attention! Are you ready?

Shaking Tyre and Sidon

1The burden of Tyre. Wail, ships of Tarshish! For Tyre is destroyed. There is no house and no harbor. From the land of Cyprus, it was revealed to them. 2Be still, inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossing the sea. 3On many waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile was her revenue and a marketplace of nations. 4Be ashamed, O Sidon. For the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not writhed or given birth. I have not reared young men or brought up maidens.” 5When the report reaches Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre. 6Cross over to Tarshish. Wail, you inhabitants of the island! 7Is this your jubilant city? Whose antiquity is from long ago, whose feet have taken her to settle in far off lands? 8Who planned this against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of earth? 9Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned it, to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of earth. 10Overflow through your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish! There is no restraint any more. 11His hand has stretched out over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms. Adonai has given a commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy its strongholds. 12He said, “You will exult no more.” O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest. 13Look, the land of the Chaldeans— this is the people who no longer exist. Assyria set it up for desert animals. They set up their siege towers; they stripped its palaces; they made it a ruin. 14Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your stronghold is destroyed. 15Then it will come about in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, like the days of one king. At the end of 70 years it will happen to Tyre just as in the song of the prostitute: 16“Take a harp, stroll about the city, forgotten harlot! Skillfully play many songs, so you may be remembered.” 17Then it will come about after the end of 70 years that Adonai will take note of Tyre. She will return to her trade and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her wages will be set apart to Adonai. They will not be stored up or hoarded. For her profit will be for those who dwell in the presence of Adonai, as ample food and as fine clothing.

–from Isaiah 23

So will you turn to Jesus? Will you cry out to Jesus? Will you ask Him into your life? Will you ask Him into your heart? Will you pursue Him? Will follow after Him? Will you listen to Him? Will you be obedient to Him? Will you receive His mercies? Will you walk in His light? Will you reflect it into the world around you? Will you receive Him before it is too late? Will grab hold of the love and the hope He is offering? Will you love Him? He loves you so much He gave up His life on the cross to provide for forgiveness for you!

Mercy for a Sinful Woman

1But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn, He came again into the Temple. All the people were coming to Him, and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, 4they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him. But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. 7When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground. 9Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the woman in the middle. 10Straightening up, Yeshua said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11“No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua said. “Go, and sin no more.”

The Light of the World

12Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13Then the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself, so Your testimony is not valid.” 14Yeshua answered them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid. For I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh, but I do not judge anyone. 16Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, because it is not I alone but I with the Father who sent Me. 17Even in your Torah it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one witness for Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness for Me.” 19Then they said to Him, “Where is your Father?” Yeshua answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” 20He spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the Temple, but no one arrested Him because His hour had not yet come. 21Then again Yeshua spoke to them, “I am going away. You will look for Me and die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22“He won’t kill Himself, will He?” the Judeans asked. “Is that why He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23Yeshua said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world 24Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. If you don’t believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”25So they asked Him, “Who are you?” Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning? 26I have much to say and judge about you. But the One who sent Me is true, and I tell the world what I heard from Him.” 27They didn’t understand that He was talking to them about the Father. 28So Yeshua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am. I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. 29The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him.” 30As He was speaking these things, many people put their trust in Him. 31Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s children and have never been slaves to anyone! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now the slave does not remain in the household forever; the son abides forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! 37I know you are Abraham’s children; yet you are trying to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38I tell of what I have seen with the Father; so also you do what you heard from the Father.” 39“Abraham is our father,” they replied to Him. Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40But now you are seeking to kill Me—a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do! 41You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as illegitimate children—we have one Father, God Himself!” 42Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for from God I came and now I am here. For I have not come on My own, but He sent Me. 43Why don’t you understand My speech? Because you’re not able to hear My word! 44You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46Which one of you convicts Me of sinning? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47He who belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you don’t hear is because you do not belong to God.” 48The Judean leaders responded, “Aren’t we right to say you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Yeshua answered, “I do not have a demon! I honor My Father, yet you dishonor Me. 50But I do not seek My own glory; there is One who is seeking and judging. 51Amen, amen I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” 52“Now we know You have a demon!” the Judean leaders said to Him. “Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.’ 53You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 54Yeshua answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father who gives Me glory—the One of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55Yet you do not know Him, but I know Him. If I say I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you. Yet I do know Him and keep His Word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was thrilled.” 57Then the Judeans said to Him, “You’re not even fifty years old and you’ve seen Abraham?” 58Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!” 59Then they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Yeshua hid Himself and went out from the Temple.

–from John 8

Don’t go it alone!


We weren’t created to do it all in our own strength! We weren’t created to be lone wolves! We are supposed to share the load! We are supposed to work with one another! Will you be open to other people’s ideas? Will you be receptive to other perspectives? Don’t be a fool!

A Fool’s Big Mouth

1One who isolates oneself seeks his own desire; he defies all sound judgment.
2A fool finds no delight in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
3When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with dishonor comes disgrace.
4The words of one’s mouth are deep waters, a fountain of wisdom, a flowing brook.
5Showing partiality to the wicked is not good, nor is depriving the innocent of justice.
6The lips of a fool enter into an argument and his mouth invites a beating.
7A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8The words of a gossip are tasty morsels, going down into one’s innermost being.
9One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
10The Name of Adonai is a strong tower. The righteous one runs into it and is set safely up high.
11A rich person’s wealth is a strong city or like a high wall—in his imagination.
12Before ruin a person’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
13One who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.
14One’s spirit sustains him through illness, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15A discerning heart gains knowledge, the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Overcoming Opposition and Offenses

16A man’s gift makes room for him, and leads him before great men.
17The first to state his case seems just, until another comes and cross-examines him.
18Casting lots ends quarrels and decides between mighty opponents.
19An offended brother is more formidable than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
20From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled— with the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.
21Death and life are in the control of the tongue. Those who indulge in it will eat its fruit.
22Whoever finds a wife finds good, and receives favor from Adonai.
23The poor request favor, but the rich answer harshly.
24A man with many friends may be harmed by them, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

— from Proverbs 18

We need to be people with integrity! People with integrity walk safely!

Better to be Poor with Integrity

1Better to be poor, walking with integrity, than be a fool whose lips are corrupt.
2Zeal without knowledge is not good, or to act hastily and miss the way.
3A man’s folly undermines his way, and his heart rages against Adonai.
4Wealth adds many friends, yet a poor man is deserted by his friend.
5A false witness will not go unpunished, one who breathes lies will not escape.
6Many seek the favor of the generous. Everyone is a friend to a giver of gifts.
7All a poor man’s relatives despise him— how much more his friends avoid him. He pursues them with words, but they are not there.
8One who gets wisdom loves his own soul. One who treasures understanding prospers.
9A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who breathes lies will perish.
10Luxury is not fitting for a fool— how much less for a servant to rule over princes!

Watch Your Temper

11Prudence makes one slow to anger and his glory is to overlook an offense.
12A king’s wrath is like a roaring lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13A foolish son is trouble for his father, and a quarrelsome wife is constant dripping.
14House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from Adonai.
15Laziness brings on deep sleep, and an idle soul will starve.
16One who keeps a mitzvah guards his soul, but one who neglects His ways will die.
17One who is kind to the poor lends to Adonai, and Adonai will reward him for his good deed.
18Discipline your son while there is hope. Do not set your heart on his death.
19One with great rage will pay a penalty. For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

Listen to Wise Counsel

20Listen to advice and accept instruction, so that in the end you may be wise.
21Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of Adonai will stand.
22What is desired in a man is loyalty, and a poor person is better than a liar.
23The fear of Adonai leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied, untouched by harm.

Sluggards, Scoffers, and Disgraceful Sons

24The slacker buries his hand in a bowl and will not even bring it back to his mouth!
25Strike a scoffer and the naïve will learn caution. rebuke a discerning person and he will gain knowledge.
26He who robs his father and drives away his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace!
27My son, if you stop heeding instruction, you will stray from words of knowledge.
28A crooked witness scorns justice, and a wicked mouth devours iniquity.
29Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and floggings for the back of fools.

–from Proverbs 19

So let’s love God and love others! Let’s stick with God for without Him we are nothing!

The Path of Eternal Life

1A Michtam of David. Keep me safe, O God, for in You I have found shelter.
2I said to Adonai: “You are my Lord— I have no good apart from You.”
3As for the kedoshim who are in the land, they are noble—in them is all my delight.
4As for those who run after another god, may their sorrows multiply. I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, nor lift up their names with my lips.
5Adonai is my portion and my cup. You cast my lot.
6My boundary lines fall in pleasant places —surely my heritage is beautiful.
7I will bless Adonai, who counsels me. Even at night my heart instructs me.
8I have set Adonai always before me. Since He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9So my heart is glad and my soul rejoices. My body also rests secure.
10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol nor let Your faithful one see the Pit.
11You make known to me the path of life. Abundance of joys are in Your presence, eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

–from Psalms 16

Let’s not grow weary in doing good!