The Story of Job. – Day 12


Ever been accused of wrong you didn’t commit? Ever been accused by someone who doesn’t know the full story? Ever been accused by someone who is judging without understanding? Ever been judged for something that wasn’t even true?

Ever thought you were trying to help by giving advice that was wrong? Ever thought you were trying to help by calling out someone for what is going on? Ever thought you were trying to point someone in the right direction without realizing that they weren’t going in the wrong direction?

How do you know what you should say? How do you know what you should do? How do you know how you should respond? How do you know what you should receive? Will you turn to God? Will you ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance? Will you trust in God or what man has to say? You need to realize you don’t know everything. You need to realize whether you are giving advice or getting advice that neither side may know the reality or the truth of the situation.

Do you realize that even if when you are wrong or you are speaking with the wrong heart, some of the words you speak may be true?


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 8 where we get to hear from Bildad…

‘Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said, “How long will you say these things? And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind? Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness? If your children have sinned against Him, Then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punished them. If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase. “Inquire, please, of past generations, And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers. For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor]. Will they (the fathers) not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their hearts [the deepest part of their nature]? “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water? While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water]. So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish, For his confidence is fragile and breaks, And his trust is [like] a spider’s web. He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds tightly to it, but it does not endure. He thrives and prospers [like a green plant] before the sun, And his branches spread out over his garden. His [godless] roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks, And he gazes at a house of stones. If he is snatched from his place [in the garden], Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’ Behold, this is the joy of His way; And from out of the dust others will spring up and grow [to take his place]. Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”’

Job 8

Today’s study resources come from:


We find that Bildad was getting his turn and was certain in his mind that Job was in need of repenting because he believed that Job had sinned. In addition to today’s brutal attack, we will later read two more in chapters 18 and 25.

Bildad starts by telling Job that he was full of hot air, he was speaking out like a mighty wind.

Bildad is so sure of himself that he says that if Job could be exonerated then it means God is unjust, perverting justice and righteousness and therefore Job’s children must have sinned to have received such a judgment from God.

We see in today’s reading how Bildad’s first speech focuses on God’s justice.

Bildad believed that the principle of punishment · penalty · nemesis · fate · doom · one’s just deserts · due reward · just reward · wages · justice · retributive justice · poetic justice · judgment · reckoning · revenge · reprisal · requital · retaliation · payback · vengeance · an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth) · tit for tat · measure for measure · redress · reparation · restitution · recompense · repayment · damages · satisfaction · remedy · comeback · atonement · amends · one’s comeuppance · measure was at work in this very situation.

We see how part of what he was saying came to be when in Job 42:12, Job was reconciled in restored when here we see how Bildad spoke of how just God would be by restoring Job but the issue or where he missed the mark was that he thought Job had done something wrong and so needed to

“[diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place. Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increase.”

Job 8:5-7

We learn how he even tries to point the past where it was believed that where there was suffering there had to be sin, which we learn through Jesus and the rest of this story isn’t always the case. We learn that sometimes things happen in order to show God’s glory. We learn how just because it is tradition doesn’t mean it is right. We learn how just because that is how it has always been understood or always been done that it doesn’t mean it is right. Today’s devotional puts the advice from the past as follows:

The past is supposed to be a rudder to guide a person, not an anchor to hold him or her down.

Job 8 Study

Bildad was trying to use cause and effect to prove his case and even uses nature as evidence. He used these facts to accuse Job of sin and of having forgotten God.

As friends, we need to try to avoid judging or condemning and instead focus on trying to understand.

It looks like after such a savage attack that Bildad tries to put out an olive branch when he tells Job that there is still hope of restoration.

‘Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless]. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”’

Job 8:20-22

So where do you find yourself today? How will you choose to respond? I know Job used to make me cringe as the idea of what was coming my way. It wasn’t till 2013 when I caught the real meaning of Job 42:12 as it happened on my last day before my new job after having worked for 19 years and 1 day at the previous company. I hold onto God when in the midst of trials and troubles. I trust in God through the storms and waves. I know that in and through it all I can consider it pure joy for it builds my faith, helps me persevere, and in the end will help me to be complete and lacking nothing. Through God’s Word, we learn how pain can have purpose like:

Read more at https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/galleries/6-ways-your-pain-has-a-purpose.aspx

So where are you at today? 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?

The Story Of Job. – Day 11


Ever been to that tipping point where you ask, what’s the point? Ever wonder why do I need to go thru this, is there a purpose? Ever felt like it is futile and that there is nothing you can do? What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you respond? Do you just keep doing what you know how to do? Do you continue to pray and trust God in and they it all? Do you cry and call out to Him for help and strength and hope? What if it feels really bad? What if in the midst of people and friends you feel alone? What if in the midst of your struggle you feel more resistance than you feel support? Will your trust in God and His plan be greater than your pain, your worries, and your sorrows? Will you get up in the midst of it all and put on the full ar,or of God because you know where your help comes from and you are building your life on the solid foundation, the rock of your faith in and through Jesus Christ our Lord? Will you press on in the midst taking hold of the overcoming power of Jesus? Will you press in because God’s Word says to consider it pure joy when you face challenges, trials, and troubles of many kinds? Will you allow your faith to grow by persevering they it all because the joy of the Lord is your strength? Will you persevere so that in the end you will be perfect and complete, lacking nothing thanks to Jesus who paid it all? So how will you get your day started today?


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 7:

““Is not man forced to labor on earth? And are not his days like the days of a hired man? As a slave earnestly longs for the shade, And as a hired man eagerly awaits his wages, So am I allotted months of futility and suffering, And [long] nights of trouble and misery are appointed to me. When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise [and the night be gone]?’ But the night continues, And I am continually tossing until the dawning of day. My body is clothed with worms and a crust of dust; My skin is hardened [and broken and loathsome], and [breaks out and] runs. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. “Remember that my life is but breath [a puff of wind, a sigh]; My eye will not see good again. The eye of him who sees me [now] will see me no more; Your eyes will be upon me, but I will not be. As a cloud vanishes and is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) does not come up. He will not return again to his house, Nor will his place know about him anymore.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul [O Lord]. Am I the sea, or the sea monster, That You set a guard over me? When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,’ Then You frighten me with dreams And terrify me through visions, So that I would choose suffocation, Death rather than my pain. I waste away and loathe my life; I will not live forever. Let me alone, for my days are but a breath [futile and without substance]. What is man that You [should] magnify him [and think him important]? And that You are concerned about him? And that You examine him every morning And try and test him every moment? Will You never turn Your gaze away from me [it plagues me], Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle? If I have sinned, what [harm] have I done to You, O Watcher of mankind? Why have You set me as a target for You, So that I am a burden to myself? Why then do You not pardon my transgression And take away my sin and guilt? For now I will lie down in the dust; And You will seek me [diligently], but I will not be.””

Job 7

Today’s study resources come from:


We see how after refuting Elisha’s in yesterday’s reading, today Job directs his words to God. We learned how in the midst of the trial and test, Job has started to feel like this has all been just a job, like he was just a laborer or someone on military duty where it had become repetitive and joyless situation in which not his is able to comfort him nor bring him any assurance.

We see how he compares it to a hired man, a slave with a tough master, someone who was just looking for a silver lining be it relief or even reward. We learn how he is suffering thru sleepless nights of trouble and misery. We learn how his life had been hateful · detestable · abhorrent · repulsive · odious · repugnant · repellent · disgusting · revolting · sickening · nauseating · abominable · despicable · contemptible · reprehensible · execrable · damnable · hideous · ghastly · vile · horrible · nasty · frightful · obnoxious · gross · foul · offensive · disagreeable · horrid· yucky · bogging · noisomehateful · detestable · abhorrent · repulsive · odious · repugnant · repellent · disgusting · revolting · sickening · nauseating · abominable · despicable · contemptible · reprehensible · execrable · damnable · hideous · ghastly · vile · horrible · nasty · frightful · obnoxious · gross · foul · offensive · disagreeable · horrid· yucky · bogging · noisome because of

“My body is clothed with worms and a crust of dust; My skin is hardened [and broken and loathsome], and [breaks out and] runs.”

Job 7:5 AMP

We learn how hopeless life felt because he was being tossed around like the waves of the see, hopeless because he knows how short life truly is, hopeless because he thought the time of seeing any good in life was fading away.

Today’s reading shows how Job was trying to reconcile in his own mind what could be going on and what God was doing.

We learn in the second half how Job turn to mourn · grieve (for/over) · weep for · shed tears for · sorrow · wail · moan · groan · weep · cry · sob · keen · plain · howl · pine for · beat one’s breast · ululate God. We see how Job start to question his drawn out and prolonged suffering. His words parallel the text from James 4 that say:

“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air].”

James 4:14 AMP

We learn how the pain is so severe and the reality of death that he has to express it. We see how he questions why he is needing to be monitored and watched over so much, was it because he is raging and tumultuous like the sea. We learn how even when people would find rest in going to bed how he still suffers and is faced with nightmares.

We learn how he keeps question the why. What is the point? What is the purpose? Why?


So where are you at today? 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?

Do you realize the power of forgiveness?


Do you realize the miracle of reconciliation? Do you realize the freedom that comes through forgiveness? Do you realize that you forgiving something has more to do with your health and well being? Do you realize the pain, the anxiety, the suffering that comes from not forgiving? I learned my lesson many years ago and so now I share my story so that others don’t have to spiral down to the bottom like I did. I even got to share my story with people at work when they had asked me to share a story as part of an effort to help people at work get to know others. I will add it hear in case you want to pause and check it out…


the power of forgiveness

So consider where you are right now. Consider if there is anyone you need to forgive? Consider if there is anyone you need to ask for forgiveness? Are you needing to do something to enable the reconciliation process? Will you do what is good, what is right, what is just in order to free yourself from bitterness, anger, frustration, pain, anxiety, depression? Forgiveness is the key! Don’t let that bitterness take root! Rip out the roots before it is too late! Forgiveness is the key! Not sure what to do or where to turn? Ask God! Hear God! Do what God tells you! Remember unforgiveness isn’t a word!

is not a word

Today’s reading from God’s Word starts with a story about David and his son Absalom in 2 Samuel 14…

‘Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say. When the woman from Tekoa approached the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, “O king! Help me!” “What’s the trouble?” the king asked. “Alas, I am a widow!” she replied. “My husband is dead. My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed. Now the rest of the family is demanding, ‘Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn’t deserve to inherit his family’s property.’ They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband’s name and family will disappear from the face of the earth.” “Leave it to me,” the king told her. “Go home, and I’ll see to it that no one touches him.” “Oh, thank you, my lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa replied. “If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father’s house, and let the king and his throne be innocent.” “If anyone objects,” the king said, “bring him to me. I can assure you he will never harm you again!” Then she said, “Please swear to me by the Lord your God that you won’t let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed.” “As surely as the Lord lives,” he replied, “not a hair on your son’s head will be disturbed!” “Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king,” she said. “Go ahead and speak,” he responded. She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son. All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him. “I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps the king will listen to me and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritance God has given us. Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.’ I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the Lord your God be with you.” “I must know one thing,” the king replied, “and tell me the truth.” “Yes, my lord the king,” she responded. “Did Joab put you up to this?” And the woman replied, “My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say. He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!” So the king sent for Joab and told him, “All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom.” Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, “At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!” Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. But the king gave this order: “Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence.” So Absalom did not see the king.
Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds! He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful. Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded. Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?” And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.” So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.’

2 Samuel 14

‘Then all the military leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, approached Jeremiah the prophet. They said, “Please pray to the Lord your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.” “All right,” Jeremiah replied. “I will pray to the Lord your God, as you have asked, and I will tell you everything he says. I will hide nothing from you.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.” Ten days later the Lord gave his reply to Jeremiah. So he called for Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders, and for all the people, from the least to the greatest. He said to them, “You sent me to the Lord , the God of Israel, with your request, and this is his reply: ‘Stay here in this land. If you do, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you. For I am sorry about all the punishment I have had to bring upon you. Do not fear the king of Babylon anymore,’ says the Lord . ‘For I am with you and will save you and rescue you from his power. I will be merciful to you by making him kind, so he will let you stay here in your land.’ “But if you refuse to obey the Lord your God, and if you say, ‘We will not stay here; instead, we will go to Egypt where we will be free from war, the call to arms, and hunger,’ then hear the Lord ’s message to the remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and live there, the very war and famine you fear will catch up to you, and you will die there. That is the fate awaiting every one of you who insists on going to live in Egypt. Yes, you will die from war, famine, and disease. None of you will escape the disaster I will bring upon you there.’ “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Just as my anger and fury have been poured out on the people of Jerusalem, so they will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. You will be an object of damnation, horror, cursing, and mockery. And you will never see your homeland again.’ “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The Lord has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today. For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the Lord your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the Lord our God says, and we will do it!’ And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the Lord your God any better now than you have in the past. So you can be sure that you will die from war, famine, and disease in Egypt, where you insist on going.”’

Jeremiah 42

‘The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.” “Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him. He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.’

Luke 22:1-13

‘Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence,’
“The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Hebrews 13:1-6

‘We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds. God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’” For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist. It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. For 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. But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”’

Psalms 75

Now that you believe. Now that you are ready. It is time to get it done!


It may not have been easy. It may not have been direct. It may have required pain and betrayal. It may have required shaping and adversity. It may have required building trust. It may have required time for you to realize He is dependable. Now that you believe. Now that you are ready. Now is the time to take hold of the dreams and the visions. Now is the time to take hold of the promises and His presence. Now it is time to get it done!


This morning’s reading from God’s Word starts with 2 Samuel 8 and 9…

‘After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath, their largest town. David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots. When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went. David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah and Berothai. When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of Hadadezer, he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of silver, gold, and bronze. King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord , as he did with the silver and gold from the other nations he had defeated— from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek—and from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah. So David became even more famous when he returned from destroying 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He placed army garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went. So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. And David’s sons served as priestly leaders.’

2 Samuel 8

‘One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked. “Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied. The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.” “Where is he?” the king asked. “In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.” So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth ; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.” Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.” “Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!” Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Ziba replied, “Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.” And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.’

2 Samuel 9

‘Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim as the king of Judah. He was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. But neither King Zedekiah nor his attendants nor the people who were left in the land listened to what the Lord said through Jeremiah. Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to ask Jeremiah, “Please pray to the Lord our God for us.” Jeremiah had not yet been imprisoned, so he could come and go among the people as he pleased. At this time the army of Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt appeared at the southern border of Judah. When the Babylonian army heard about it, they withdrew from their siege of Jerusalem. Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: The king of Judah sent you to ask me what is going to happen. Tell him, ‘Pharaoh’s army is about to return to Egypt, though he came here to help you. Then the Babylonians will come back and capture this city and burn it to the ground.’ “This is what the Lord says: Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians are gone for good. They aren’t! Even if you were to destroy the entire Babylonian army, leaving only a handful of wounded survivors, they would still stagger from their tents and burn this city to the ground!” When the Babylonian army left Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s approaching army, Jeremiah started to leave the city on his way to the territory of Benjamin, to claim his share of the property among his relatives there. But as he was walking through the Benjamin Gate, a sentry arrested him and said, “You are defecting to the Babylonians!” The sentry making the arrest was Irijah son of Shelemiah, grandson of Hananiah. “That’s not true!” Jeremiah protested. “I had no intention of doing any such thing.” But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took Jeremiah before the officials. They were furious with Jeremiah and had him flogged and imprisoned in the house of Jonathan the secretary. Jonathan’s house had been converted into a prison. Jeremiah was put into a dungeon cell, where he remained for many days. Later King Zedekiah secretly requested that Jeremiah come to the palace, where the king asked him, “Do you have any messages from the Lord ?” “Yes, I do!” said Jeremiah. “You will be defeated by the king of Babylon.” Then Jeremiah asked the king, “What crime have I committed? What have I done against you, your attendants, or the people that I should be imprisoned like this? Where are your prophets now who told you the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? Listen, my lord the king, I beg you. Don’t send me back to the dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for I will die there.” So King Zedekiah commanded that Jeremiah not be returned to the dungeon. Instead, he was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace. The king also commanded that Jeremiah be given a loaf of fresh bread every day as long as there was any left in the city. So Jeremiah was put in the palace prison.’

Jeremiah 37

‘Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’ “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him. “What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” “How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested. Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.” The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction. Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their trickery and said, “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.’

Luke 20:9-26

‘It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.’

Hebrews 11:8-16

‘Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord , and help me. May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!” But as for me, I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O Lord , do not delay.’

Psalms 70

How do you take care of your house?


Are you a good steward? Are you keeping it tidy? Are you focusing on how it looks from the outside? Are you focusing on how it looks on the inside? Are you focusing on the yard? How does that correlate with your heart and your life? Are you trying to make everything look ok on the outside when on the inside everything is a mess? Are you trying to look good on the outside forgetting to take care of your health? Are you trying to look good on the outside and forgetting to take care of your heart and spiritual self? Ever taken an inventory of your heart house? Have you invited Jesus in to help clean up the pain, the bitterness, the anger, the frustration? Have you invited Jesus in to help kick out the things that don’t belong and replace it with things that are beneficial and strengthening? Where are you at today? How do you take care of your house?


Today’s reading gets us started in Leviticus 14.

‘Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When you arrive in Canaan, the land I am giving you as your own possession, I may contaminate some of the houses in your land with mildew. The owner of such a house must then go to the priest and say, ‘It appears that my house has some kind of mildew.’ Before the priest goes in to inspect the house, he must have the house emptied so nothing inside will be pronounced ceremonially unclean. Then the priest will go in and examine the mildew on the walls. If he finds greenish or reddish streaks and the contamination appears to go deeper than the wall’s surface, the priest will step outside the door and put the house in quarantine for seven days. On the seventh day the priest must return for another inspection. If he finds that the mildew on the walls of the house has spread, the priest must order that the stones from those areas be removed. The contaminated material will then be taken outside the town to an area designated as ceremonially unclean. Next the inside walls of the entire house must be scraped thoroughly and the scrapings dumped in the unclean place outside the town. Other stones will be brought in to replace the ones that were removed, and the walls will be replastered. “But if the mildew reappears after all the stones have been replaced and the house has been scraped and replastered, the priest must return and inspect the house again. If he finds that the mildew has spread, the walls are clearly contaminated with a serious mildew, and the house is defiled. It must be torn down, and all its stones, timbers, and plaster must be carried out of town to the place designated as ceremonially unclean. Those who enter the house during the period of quarantine will be ceremonially unclean until evening, and all who sleep or eat in the house must wash their clothing. “But if the priest returns for his inspection and finds that the mildew has not reappeared in the house after the fresh plastering, he will pronounce it clean because the mildew is clearly gone. To purify the house the priest must take two birds, a stick of cedar, some scarlet yarn, and a hyssop branch. He will slaughter one of the birds over a clay pot filled with fresh water. He will take the cedar stick, the hyssop branch, the scarlet yarn, and the live bird, and dip them into the blood of the slaughtered bird and into the fresh water. Then he will sprinkle the house seven times. When the priest has purified the house in exactly this way, he will release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. Through this process, the priest will purify the house, and it will be ceremonially clean. “These are the instructions for dealing with serious skin diseases, including scabby sores; and mildew, whether on clothing or in a house; and a swelling on the skin, a rash, or discolored skin. This procedure will determine whether a person or object is ceremonially clean or unclean. “These are the instructions regarding skin diseases and mildew.”’

Leviticus 14:33-57

Today’s reading then takes us in the book of wisdom, first with Proverbs 9.

‘Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.’

Proverbs 9
We need to consider both the foundation and the pillars in our lives.

Today’s reading then continues into Proverbs 10.

‘The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother. Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life. The Lord will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked. Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace. The godly are showered with blessings; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away. The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces. People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed. People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace. The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses. Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod. Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster. The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction. The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin. People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense. The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted. When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation. Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes. Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing. The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked. The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.’

Proverbs 10

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Mark 10.

‘Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi, ” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.’

Mark 10:46-52

Today’s reading then brings us into 2 Corinthians 1.

‘We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you. Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice— first on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia. Then you could send me on my way to Judea. You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.’

1 Corinthians 1:12-22

Let’s take a moment and consider the state of our heart house and ask Jesus in and to help us get it in order. Let’s meditate on today’s Word from God and what it is speaking into and over our lives. Let’s consider how we can apply it today in our lives so that in all that we think, say, and do, we can bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms 81.

‘Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival! For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob. He made it a law for Israel when he attacked Egypt to set us free. I heard an unknown voice say, “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. “But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever. But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”’

Psalms 81

When a challenge is coming your way, how do you respond?


Do you view it as an obstacle or an opportunity? Do you view it as a pain or a purpose? Do you view it as a trial or a transformation? How do you view it? Over the years whenever I noticed in my reading Job I used to cringe wondering what was coming my way. I knew some test was coming and so I needed to lean even more into God. My view changed removing my worry and my fear when it happened back in 2013 when the reality of how on my last day on the job at a company I had worked for over 19 years (technically 19 yrs and 1 day) my reading was in Job 42 and verse 12 jumped out at me as I was about to start a new endeavor at a new company. It was a word of hope. It was a word of encouragement. I was the word I needed as I walked out one door that would close behind me and was about to open a new door with many unknowns. So today I am excited to see what God is going to do in and through this season. I am excited to watch His hand lead me and guide me through it all. I am excited because I know that as part of this time I am being called to be a good shepherd to the flock that God has given me. I know that the stay in the boat message and the be a good shepherd meeting are somehow connected to what is about to come. I don’t know what is coming but I know that God won’t make me go it alone. I know that God will is for me and not against me. I know that God is not out there somewhere but He is Emmanuel, God with me. So my hope and trust are in Him. So I will not fear instead I will believe. As I look before me unaware of there is a Jericho or a Red Sea or a Jordan River at flood stage, I know from the message I heard preached this weekend that I have to make sure God has my heart because with God all things are possible and that I will need to walk it out in faith and obedience. I may even need to keep quiet about it until the right time when I shout giving God all the praise, the honor, and the glory as the walls come tumbling down.


Today’s reading comes to use in the book of Exodus.

‘While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord ’s throne, so now the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”’

Exodus 17:8-16

Will I need to be holding up my hands? Will I need to be holding up someone else’s hands? Will we find something so that whoever’s hands need to be held high will stay up till the victory is won.

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 18 teaching about delegation and prioritization. These are great nuggets to take hold of as I look ahead and consider what it is that is yet to come.

‘Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard about everything God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites. He heard especially about how the Lord had rescued them from Egypt. Earlier, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons back to Jethro, who had taken them in. (Moses’ first son was named Gershom, for Moses had said when the boy was born, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” His second son was named Eliezer, for Moses had said, “The God of my ancestors was my helper; he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”) Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God. Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.” So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent. Moses told his father-in-law everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and Egypt on behalf of Israel. He also told about all the hardships they had experienced along the way and how the Lord had rescued his people from all their troubles. Jethro was delighted when he heard about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel as he rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians. “Praise the Lord ,” Jethro said, “for he has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. Yes, he has rescued Israel from the powerful hand of Egypt! I know now that the Lord is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came out and joined him in a sacrificial meal in God’s presence.

The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.” “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves. Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land.’

Exodus 18

What is it that I need to accomplish? What is it that God will do in and through it? What can I do to share the load? What should be my role? Who can I give the other things to? What and how would they bring issues to me? Today’s reading takes us into Job 1.

‘There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord , and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord , “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the Lord , “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord ’s presence. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord !” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.’

Job 1

Beware the accuser. When there had been a reset, God made a new way. My hope and my trust are in God alone. Don’t worry or fear the news. Walk out life humility. Praise God in and through it all. I look and meditate on what I will learn through this time and look towards the end where by being faithful and obedient God will take what was planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good. I will keep my trust in Jesus because of all that He has done in and through my life. The blessings that go beyond having and into providing and preparing and giving me a hope and a future. He has taught me to consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds as through faith and perseverance I can walk out the other end complete and lacking nothing.

Today’s reading bring us into the New Testament and starts in John 19.

‘Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe. ) These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and “They will look on the one they pierced.”’

John 19:28-37

Jesus knew why He had come. Jesus knew His purpose. Jesus knew the plan. Jesus knew that the victory was His. I know that the battle has already been won. I know that I need not fear thanks to Jesus. Instead of fear I believe in Jesus. Instead of worrying, I lift up my cares and prayers to Jesus because He cares for me.

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 4.

‘I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me. That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go. Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit?’

1 Corinthians 4:14-21

So I will choose to live by God’s power. So I will choose to walk humbly. So I will choose to allow my actions do the talking for me. Faith without works is dead God’s Word says and so I will allow my works to speak of my faith in God. My works don’t save me but rather I works to show God’s workmanship in and through me. I have been saved by grace through faith in my Lord Jesus Christ, not by works as I can’t boast. Jesus paid it all. He has fulfilled His purpose and His plan and one day He will be returning on a white horse. But God’s will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would have eternal life through Jesus. God won’t force anyone, we need to choose on our own what we will believe.

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms. Today’s psalm comes to use from Psalms 49. Let’s meditate on these words together.

‘Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! High and low, rich and poor—listen! For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight. I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp. Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave. Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals. This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise. Interlude Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd. In the morning the godly will rule over them. Their bodies will rot in the grave, far from their grand estates. But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals.’

Psalms 49

CONSCRIPTION OF RUSSIAN JEWS…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 19])


What if you knew it was coming, would that change your behavior? What if you knew it was coming, would that change your perspective? What if you knew what was about to be, would it change your attitude? What if you knew how it would play out, would that make you respond or prepare differently? What if you knew and people started to ask you why you are behaving that way? What if you knew and you kept it quiet? What if you knew and didn’t tell anyone? How would that end? How would that happen? How would that finish?

Today’s reading comes to us from Ezekiel 21

The Lord Has Drawn His Sword

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2″Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5And all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.
6″As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. 7And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,'” declares the Lord God.
8And the word of the Lord came to me: 9″Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

“A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
10 sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!

(Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) 11So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord God.
14″As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter. 16Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the Lord have spoken.”
18The word of the Lord came to me again: 19″As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. 20Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver. 22Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken.
24″Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. 25And you, O profane wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
28″And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.”

from Ezekiel 21

How far from the truth can society sway? How far from the truth can society walk? How far from the truth will you walk? How far from the truth before there will be consequences? We each get to decide. We each have to make our own decision what we will do and how we will respond. So will you receive the truth that sets you free?

Will you make a choice to be reconciled? Will you make a choice to be transformed?

Will you decide before it is too late and Jesus returns? Will you receive the Good News of Jesus and let it into your heart? Will you choose to be left behind and deal with the consequences?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of The Bible’s impact on Trade and Taxes and has the reference text from Ezekiel 21:7

‘And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,'” declares the Lord God . ‘

from Ezekiel 21:7

Today’s devotional titled “Conscription of Russian Jews” teaches us about how in 1827, Russian czar Nicholas I created the “Statute of Conscription Duty” in order to maintain a vast army. Looking into this a bit more, I found the following details:

On August 26, 1827 the edict of military conscription (“Ustav rekrutskoi povinnosti”) was introduced, which required Jewish boys to serve in the Russian military for 25 years from the age of 18. Before that many of them were forcibly conscripted into Cantonist schools since the age of 12, while being a Cantonist did not count into the time of military service. They were sent far away from their families to serve in the military so they would have difficulties to practice Judaism and thus be Russified. The poor, village Jews and Jews without families or unmarried Jews were especially targeted for the military service.[31] Between 1827 and 1854 it is estimated that there were 70,000 Jews conscripted. Some of the Jews that served in the Russian military eventually converted to Christianity. from Wikipedia

Today’s devotional points out that the conscription subjected Jews to the same quota as other estates in Russia however the official forced an extremely disproportionate number of Jewish youth into the military service. We learn in our reading how not only was it a hardship on the adult but also the children where they were often abducted and sometimes right off the streets and placed in special “canton schools” until they were needed for military service trying to keep them from practicing Judaism. They were called cantonists.

We learn in today’s reading how during the time of Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi David of Novardok reflected the anguish of the Jewish community over how their youth were being treated by quoting from Ezekiel 21:7.

Imagine living back then and the impact it would have not only on individuals but also on families. Imagine the impact and the feelings people would be going through amidst this trial. So where are you at in your life? Are you turning back to God and calling out to Him? Are you ready for God to step in and intervene? Are you ready to have Jesus come into your heart and your life to be your Lord and Savior? Will you allow Jesus to be Lord of all your life or will you live out life without Him being Lord at all.

Let’s pray…

Prayer of Salvation Example

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything in it. I praise You Lord for trusting in me and giving me opportunities to grow and develop. I praise You Lord for believing in me that I can make good decisions that will bring You praise, honor, and glory. I praise You Lord that You have provided me with wise counsel who can speak truth and life into my life and the situations I face. help me today Lord to get clarity and discernment so that in all that I think, all that I say, and all that I do, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pride comes before the fall!


How beautiful do you think you are? How rich do you think you are? How big do you think you are? How powerful do you think you are? How much better do you think you are than others?

Don’t allow it to build pride! Don’t allow it to make your head grow so big it won’t fit thru the door! Stay humble! Be a humble servant! Serve others in humility! Be a good and faithful steward of all that God has given you!

Pride comes before the fall! Be humble so you won’t need to be humbled or humiliated! How do you want people to think of you? How do you want God to think of you? How will you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave a legacy of hope and of love? Do you want to leave a legacy of pain and despair?

Beware the risk of not aligning with God! Beware allowing pride and selfishness to be your guides! Beware allowing pride to make you forget the true source and the right way!

Why not live out your life with truth, humility, and justice?

Why not live out your life loving righteousness and hating wickedness?

Why not allow the joy of the Lord be your strength?

Why not seek wisdom from God?

Why not fill your mind daily with God’s Word so that you live a life that is different from others? Why not think God’s way? Why not do it God’s way?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on something we hear from Paul in Philippians 4:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.

We see how Paul tells us how to live and how to think. Imagine if the only things we put into our minds were:  whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy! Imagine if we lived in alignment with what we have learned and received and heard through the Bible! Imagine being able to live with a peace that goes beyond all understanding! Being firm and at peace no matter what is going on around you! It will be craziness to the people around you! Could you even explain to them how you are able to be at peace and have them really understand it? They will want to know more so be prepared to share it with them in humility and love! Lead with love as you share the truth with them! God’s Word is now available to everyone! Jews and non-Jews (gentiles) both have the opportunity to have a relationship with God!

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament, let’s read it together here…

Godʼs Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2Surely you have heard about the administration of Godʼs grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Godʼs holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of Godʼs grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lordʼs people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

–Ephesians 3

and we conclude with 1 Thessalonians 4…

Living to Please God

1As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is Godʼs will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of Godʼs family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Believers Who Have Died

13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lordʼs word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

–1 Thessalonians 4

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 31, 32, Psalm 45, Ephesians 3, 1 Thessalonians 4

Do you see what is going on?


Take a look around and consider. Don’t just trust what you see on TV. Don’t just trust what you hear on the radio. Consider what information is available and surfacing.

Search the market place! Search the political space! Search the social place!

Can you find someone who is doing what is right? Can you find someone who is doing what is faithful to God? Can you find someone who really means what they say?

Will getting good things help you realize what is going on? Will getting corrected help you realize what is going on? Will getting instructed help you realize what is going on? How bad would things have to get to wake you up and get your attention? How sensitive are you to what is taking place around you?

Do you see the behavior? Do you know what God requires? Do you realize that God is in charge? Do you realize He has authority? Do you refuse to obey Him? Do you realize the pain and suffering that is taking place because of all of the disobedience? Do you realize the pain and suffering people are causing because of their bad behaviors? Hurting people hurt people!

Do you realize the power of forgiveness? The power of you forgiving others? The power of others forgiving you? The power of God’s forgiveness? Do you realize Jesus is the answer?

Will you turn back to God? Will you go back home to God? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you stop rejecting God? Will you stop pushing Him away? Will you stop denying Him? Will you stop trying to be self sufficient? Will you stop trying to go it alone? Will you stop trying to do it all yourself?

Are you apart from God? Why did you leave God? Why haven’t you honored God? Why are you being stubborn? Why have you rebelled against God?

Do you realize there are good and bad people around you? The bad ones looking to trip you up? There is no limit or limits on what they are willing to do. Do you realize how they try to take away the rights of others? Do you realize they don’t provide justice or even equal justice to the oppressed? Do you hear lies from those you are supposed to trust? Do you hear lies from those who are supposed to be leading or in authority?

The battle belongs to the Lord! Vengeance is the Lord’s!

 


Today’s reading gets us started in Jeremiah…

The Sin of Jerusalem

1People of Jerusalem, run through your streets!
Look around! See for yourselves!
Search the marketplaces!
Can you find one person
who does what is right
and tries to be faithful to God?
If you can, the Lord will forgive Jerusalem.
2Even though you claim to worship the Lord,
you do not mean what you say.
3Surely the Lord looks for faithfulness.
He struck you, but you paid no attention;
he crushed you, but you refused to learn.
You were stubborn and would not turn from your sins.
4Then I thought, “These are only the poor and ignorant.
They behave foolishly;
they don’t know what their God requires,
what the Lord wants them to do.
5I will go to the people in power
and talk with them.
Surely they know what their God requires,
what the Lord wants them to do.”
But all of them have rejected the Lord’s authority
and refuse to obey him.
6That is why lions from the forest will kill them;
wolves from the desert will tear them to pieces,
and leopards will prowl through their towns.
If those people go out, they will be torn apart
because their sins are numerous
and time after time they have turned from God.
7The Lord asked, “Why should I forgive the sins of my people?
They have abandoned me
and have worshiped gods that are not real.
I fed my people until they were full,
but they committed adultery
and spent their time with prostitutes.
8They were like well-fed stallions wild with desire,
each lusting for his neighbor’s wife.
9Shouldn’t I punish them for these things
and take revenge on a nation such as this?
10I will send enemies to cut down my people’s vineyards,
but not to destroy them completely.
I will tell them to strip away the branches,
because those branches are not mine.
11The people of Israel and Judah
have betrayed me completely.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

The Lord Rejects Israel

12The Lord’s people have denied him and have said, “He won’t really do anything. We won’t have hard times; we won’t have war or famine.” 13-14They have said that the prophets are nothing but windbags and that they have no message from the Lord. The Lord God Almighty said to me, “Jeremiah, because these people have said such things, I will make my words like a fire in your mouth. The people will be like wood, and the fire will burn them up.”
15People of Israel, the Lord is bringing a nation from far away to attack you. It is a strong and ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know. 16Their archers are mighty soldiers who kill without mercy. 17They will devour your crops and your food; they will kill your sons and your daughters. They will slaughter your flocks and your herds and destroy your vines and fig trees. The fortified cities in which you trust will be destroyed by their army.
18The Lord says, “Yet even in those days I will not completely destroy my people. 19When they ask why I did all these things, tell them, Jeremiah, that just as they turned away from me and served foreign gods in their own land, so they will serve strangers in a land that is not theirs.”

God Warns His People

20The Lord says, “Tell the descendants of Jacob, tell the people of Judah: 21 Pay attention, you foolish and stupid people, who have eyes, but cannot see, and have ears, but cannot hear. 22 I am the Lord; why don’t you fear me? Why don’t you tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary of the sea, a permanent boundary that it cannot cross. The sea may toss, but it cannot go beyond it; the waves may roar, but they cannot break through. 23But you people! You are stubborn and rebellious; you have turned aside and left me. 24You never thought to honor me, even though I send the autumn rains and the spring rains and give you the harvest season each year. 25Instead, your sins have kept these good things from you.
26“Evildoers live among my people; they lie in wait like those who lay nets to catch birds, but they have set their traps to catch people. 27Just as a hunter fills a cage with birds, they have filled their houses with loot. That is why they are powerful and rich, 28why they are fat and well fed. There is no limit to their evil deeds. They do not give orphans their rights or show justice to the oppressed.
29“But I, the Lord, will punish them for these things; I will take revenge on this nation. 30A terrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31prophets speak nothing but lies; priests rule as the prophets command, and my people offer no objections. But what will they do when it all comes to an end?”

–from Jeremiah 5

Do you see what is taking place? Do you see what is going on around you? Can you see beyond the physical realm into the real battle is is underway? Is there any message that would turn people and their hearts back to God? What do you think it would take nowadays?

Jerusalem Is Surrounded by Enemies

1People of Benjamin, run for safety! Escape from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa and build a signal fire in Beth Haccherem. Disaster and destruction are about to come from the north. 2The city of Zion is beautiful, but it will be destroyed; 3kings will camp there with their armies. They will pitch their tents around the city, and each of them will camp wherever they want. 4They will say, “Prepare to attack Jerusalem! Get ready! We’ll attack at noon!” But then they will say, “It’s too late, the day is almost over, and the evening shadows are growing long. 5We’ll attack by night; we’ll destroy the city’s fortresses.”
6The Lord Almighty has ordered these kings to cut down trees and build mounds in order to besiege Jerusalem. He has said, “I will punish this city because it is full of oppression. 7As a well keeps its water fresh, so Jerusalem keeps its evil fresh. I hear violence and destruction in the city; sickness and wounds are all I see. 8People of Jerusalem, let these troubles be a warning to you, or else I will abandon you; I will turn your city into a desert, a place where no one lives.”

Rebellious Israel

9The Lord Almighty said to me, “Israel will be stripped clean like a vineyard from which every grape has been picked. So you must rescue everyone you can while there is still time.”
10I answered, “Who would listen to me if I spoke to them and warned them? They are stubborn and refuse to listen to your message; they laugh at what you tell me to say. 11Your anger against them burns in me too, Lord, and I can’t hold it in any longer.”
Then the Lord said to me, “Pour out my anger on the children in the streets and on the gatherings of the young people. Husbands and wives will be taken away, and even the very old will not be spared. 12Their houses will be given to others, and so will their fields and their wives. I am going to punish the people of this land. 13Everyone, great and small, tries to make money dishonestly; even prophets and priests cheat the people. 14 They act as if my people’s wounds were only scratches. ‘All is well,’ they say, when all is not well. 15 Were they ashamed because they did these disgusting things? No, they were not at all ashamed; they don’t even know how to blush. And so they will fall as others have fallen; when I punish them, that will be the end of them. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Israel Rejects God’s Way

16The Lord said to his people, “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths and where the best road is. Walk in it, and you will live in peace.”
But they said, “No, we will not!” 17Then the Lord appointed sentries to listen for the trumpet’s warning. But they said, “We will not listen.”
18So the Lord said, “Listen, you nations, and learn what is going to happen to my people. 19Listen, earth! As punishment for all their schemes I am bringing ruin on these people, because they have rejected my teaching and have not obeyed my words. 20What do I care about the incense they bring me from Sheba, or the spices from a distant land? I will not accept their offerings or be pleased with their sacrifices. 21And so I will make these people stumble and fall. Parents and children will die, and so will friends and neighbors.”
Invasion from the North
22The Lord says, “People are coming from a country in the north; a mighty nation far away is preparing for war. 23They have taken up their bows and swords; they are cruel and merciless. They sound like the roaring sea, as they ride their horses. They are ready for battle against Jerusalem.”
24“We have heard the news,” say the people of Jerusalem, “and our hands hang limp; we are seized by anguish and pain like a woman in labor. 25We don’t dare go to the countryside or walk on the roads, because our enemies are armed and terror is all around us.”
26The Lord says to his people, “Put on sackcloth and roll in ashes. Mourn with bitter tears as you would for an only child, because the one who comes to destroy you will suddenly attack. 27Jeremiah, test my people, as you would test metal, and find out what they are like. 28They are all stubborn rebels, hard as bronze and iron. They are all corrupt, going around and spreading gossip. 29The furnace burns fiercely, but the waste metals do not melt and run off. It is useless to go on refining my people, because those who are evil are not taken away. 30They will be called worthless dross, because I, the Lord, have rejected them.”

–from Jeremiah 6

Oh Jesus, give us wisdom for today! Oh Jesus, help us to see beyond our circumstances! Oh Jesus, help to have hope for what is yet to come when we spend eternity with you! Oh Jesus, that you that we have hope beyond our circumstances! Oh Jesus, help us to know what we need to do here and now while we await your return so that in and through it we can give you the praise, the honor, and the glory in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

We know it won’t be easy! We know that not everyone will be ready to hear it! We know that we will face trials! We know we will face troubles! But we have hope thanks to Jesus!

To Macedonia and Achaia

1After the uproar died down, Paul called together the believers and with words of encouragement said good-bye to them. Then he left and went on to Macedonia. 2He went through those regions and encouraged the people with many messages. Then he came to Achaia, 3where he stayed three months. He was getting ready to go to Syria when he discovered that there were Jews plotting against him; so he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4Sopater son of Pyrrhus, from Berea, went with him; so did Aristarchus and Secundus, from Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Tychicus and Trophimus, from the province of Asia; and Timothy. 5They went ahead and waited for us in Troas. 6We sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later we joined them in Troas, where we spent a week.

Paul’s Last Visit to Troas

7On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day. 8Many lamps were burning in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus got sleepier and sleepier, until he finally went sound asleep and fell from the third story to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10But Paul went down and threw himself on him and hugged him. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he is still alive!” 11Then he went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate. After talking with them for a long time, even until sunrise, Paul left. 12They took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

From Troas to Miletus

13We went on ahead to the ship and sailed off to Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had told us to do this, because he was going there by land. 14When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15We sailed from there and arrived off Chios the next day. A day later we came to Samos, and the following day we reached Miletus. 16Paul had decided to sail on by Ephesus, so as not to lose any time in the province of Asia. He was in a hurry to arrive in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost, if at all possible.

Paul’s Farewell Speech to the Elders of Ephesus

17From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. 18When they arrived, he said to them, “You know how I spent the whole time I was with you, from the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19With all humility and many tears I did my work as the Lord’s servant during the hard times that came to me because of the plots of some Jews. 20You know that I did not hold back anything that would be of help to you as I preached and taught in public and in your homes. 21To Jews and Gentiles alike I gave solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus. 22And now, in obedience to the Holy Spirit I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me. 24 But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.
25“I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. 26So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. 28So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son. 29I know that after I leave, fierce wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. 30The time will come when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers away after them. 31Watch, then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you for three years.
32“And now I commend you to the care of God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the blessings God has for all his people. 33I have not wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. 35I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’”
36When Paul finished, he knelt down with them and prayed. 37They were all crying as they hugged him and kissed him good-bye. 38They were especially sad because he had said that they would never see him again. And so they went with him to the ship.

— from Acts 20

 


 

 

 

It’s sad when we lose people…


Have you lost anyone? Do you remember the pain? Do you remember the sadness? Do you remember the emotional rollercoaster? Do you remember the anger? Do you remember the joy? Do you remember the love? Do you remember someone who wasn’t treating you well who passed? Do you remember someone who was like a brother or sister who passed? How did you respond? How did you manage to be able to let them go?

Today’s reading opens up with David facing the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan…

David Mourns Saul and Jonathan

1Now it came to pass after the death of Saul—when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites—that David stayed two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. Now when he approached David, he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3Then David asked him, “Where are you coming from?” “I’ve escaped from the camp of Israel,” he answered. 4“How did things go?” David asked him. “Please, tell me.” He answered, “The troops fled the battlefield—also many of the troops fell and died. And even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.” 5David asked the young man informing him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6The young man informing him answered, “I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, and look, Saul was leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen were closing in on him. 7When he turned around and saw me, he called me. So I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8Then he asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9So he said to me, ‘Stand now over me and kill me! For I’m in agony, yet I’m still alive.’ 10So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew he couldn’t survive after he had fallen. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and brought them here—to my lord.” 11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men that were with him, 12and they mourned, wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the troops of Adonai and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13Then David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” “I am a son of an Amalekite outsider,” he replied. 14Then David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy Adonai’s anointed one?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Come and strike him down.” And he struck him down and he died. 16David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your mouth testified against you saying, ‘I killed Adonai’s anointed.’” 17Then David chanted this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and ordered that the sons of Judah be taught the “Song of the Bow.” (Behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar): 19“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! 20Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in Ashkelon’s streets, lest Philistine daughters rejoice, lest daughters of the uncircumcised gloat! 21Hills of Gilboa, let no dew or rain be on you, nor on bountiful fields, for there the shield of the mighty ones lay defiled—Saul’s shield will no longer be anointed with oil. 22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan’s bow never turned back, Saul’s sword never returned empty. 23Saul and Jonathan, loved and delightful, parted neither in life nor death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who put ornaments of gold on your clothes. 25How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan on your heights is slain! 26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan! Very pleasing were you to me. Wonderful was your love to me more than the love of women. 27How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war destroyed!

–from 2 Samuel 1

Do you remember celebrating their lives? Do you remember mourning their loss?

Let’s be reminders to the world around us the importance of turning back to God! Let’s be testimonies of God’s great love and how His ask is that we love Him and love one another! Be it in the old testament where the prophets were speaking out to people on behalf of God to tell them to turn back to God and love Him and obey Him or be it that they were treating one another bad and needed to be treating one another with love, dignity, and respect. Be it in the new testament where Jesus summarized the 10 commandments into 2 – Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength and second to love your neighbor as you love yourself. It goes beyond ourselves! It goes beyond trying to make us the center! So let’s live out today so that we make a difference and glorify God!

Restore Your People from Captivity

1For the music director, a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Adonai, will you favor Your land? Will You restore Jacob from captivity? 3Will You bear away Your people’s iniquity, Will You pardon all their sin? Selah 4Will You withdraw all Your wrath? Will You turn from Your burning anger? 5Restore us, O God of our salvation, and renounce Your indignation with us. 6Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger from generation to generation? 7Will You not revive us again, so Your people may rejoice in You? 8Show us Your mercy, Adonai, and grant us Your salvation. 9Let me hear what God Adonai will say. For He will speak shalom to His people, and to His kedoshim— but let them not turn back to folly. 10Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land. 11Lovingkindness and truth meet together. Righteousness and shalom kiss each other. 12Truth will spring up from the earth, and justice will look down from heaven. 13Yes, Adonai will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. 14Righteousness is going before Him and prepares a way for His feet.

–from Psalms 85

And let’s do it before it is too late! Let’s make a difference  today! Let’s be light! Let’s be salt! Let’s be love! Don’t be lead astray! Don’t be deceived! Put your hope and trust in God! Allow Jesus to be the center of your life! Follow after Him! Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you all the days of your life! Be prepared! Notice the signs of the times! Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Your time to make a difference is now! Don’t miss out! Don’t be left out! Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s be living the right way and be prepared for the trumpet sound and to be restored and lifted up to meet with and be with Jesus! Let’s be aware of the times we are living in today! God’s Word will last forever! Love the greatest thing will last forever! So grab a hold of the truth and stand firm! Put on the full armor of God and be prepared to make and take a stand today! Let’s live that we may hear “well done my good and faithful servant” from Jesus!

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

–from Matthew 24

 

 

 

Ever gotten to the end of your rope?


Things ever gotten so bad that you couldn’t bear it anymore? Ever go to the point where the aches and pains were so great you just wanted a way out? Ever got sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ever got to the point where you were being attacked and didn’t understand why? Ever had people judging you because of what was happening to you without them really knowing what was going on? Ever pleaded with God?

Ever gotten to the end of your rope and just cried out to God for judgment because you wanted to know what was going on and why? Ever gotten to the end of your rope and just needed God to step in to help you understand what was going on? Ever gotten to the end of your rope and God was the only one who would be able to bring any sense, any wisdom, any discernment out of it all? Ever gotten to the end of your rope and just needed some hope?

Today’s reading from Job shows Job at the end of his rope facing just such points in his life. First in Job 30 where we read about his cry of agony. Then in Job 31 where we read about his cry for judgment.

Today’s reading continues into Luke 20. How do you answer people who as you questions to try and trip you up? How do you answer people who are asking questions but have no real interest in hearing the truth? We see Jesus being confronted in just such a predicament and He answers with a question…check this out.

2And they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is the one who gave You this authority?”
3But answering, Yeshua said to them, “I also will ask you a question, and you tell Me:
4the immersion of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
5They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’
6But if we say, ‘From men,’ then all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John is a prophet.”
7So they answered that they didn’t know where it came from.
8And Yeshua said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
–from Luke 20

Imagine laying all the ground work for a great success, a great harvest, a great outcome…Now imagine what would happen if you delegated it and things went bad, I mean really bad…How would you handle it? Check this parable out…

9Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time.
10And at the season, he sent a servant to the tenants so that they would give him part of the vineyard’s fruit. But the tenants beat him up and sent him away empty-handed.
11So he proceeded to send another servant. They beat him too and treated him shamefully, and they sent him away empty-handed.
12And he proceeded to send a third one. They wounded this one too, and they threw him out.
13“Now the master of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love. Probably they will show him respect.’
14But when the tenants saw him, they discussed the matter among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’
15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the master of the vineyard do to them?
16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” But when they heard this, they said, “May it never happen!”
–from Luke 20

Imagine that! Now being in the future and being able to know the rest of the story, we realize that the son who was killed was Jesus. God’s plan is that all would have the chance to know Him and live in relationship with Him! God’s plan was that people could have a hope and a future. But one day there will be final judgment and everyone will have to account for what they have done! And those who are in the book of life and under the blood of the lamb will spend eternity with God! And those who aren’t and have decided to live apart from God and out of relationship from Jesus will spend eternity apart from God for the rest of eternity!

Jesus responded to their cry with …

17Then Yeshua looked right at them and said, “Then what is this that has been written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone’?
18Everyone who falls on that stone will be shattered; but the one upon whom it falls, it will crush him.”
19The Torah scholars and the ruling kohanim tried to grab Him that very hour, because they realized that He spoke this parable against them—but they feared the people.
–from Luke 20

So they were upset and tried to find a way to trip him up and be able to get rid of Jesus. But Jesus knew their hearts and what they were trying to do and didn’t fall into their snares and traps.

20Now they watched Him and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order to trap Him in His words so they could hand Him over to the power and authority of the governor.
21And they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You tell it straight and You teach it straight. You show no partiality, but teach the way of God according to the truth.
22Is it permitted for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
23But carefully considering their treachery, Yeshua said to them,
24“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” And they said, “Caesar’s.”
25Then He said to them, “Well then, give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
26And they could not trap Him in His words in the presence of the people. Astonished by His answer, they kept silent.
27Then some of the Sadducees (who deny there is a resurrection) came and questioned Yeshua.
28“Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies’ having a wife ‘but no children, then his brother should take the widow and father children for his brother.’
29Now there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife and died childless;
30and the second
31and the third took her, but in this same way, each of the seven brothers died and left no children.
32Finally the woman died too.
33So in the resurrection, whose wife is she? For all seven had married her.”
34Yeshua said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
35But those considered worthy to reach the olam ha-ba and the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
36For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
37But at the burning bush even Moses revealed that the dead are raised, when he calls Adonai ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’
38Now He is God not of the dead but of the living, for to Him they all are living.”
39Some of the Torah scholars replied, “Teacher, You have said it well.”
40For they no longer dared to question Him about anything.
41Then Yeshua said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is Ben-David?
42For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
43until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
44David then calls Him ‘Lord’; so how is He his son?”
45Then with all the people listening, Yeshua said to the disciples,
46“Beware of the Torah scholars, who like to walk around in long robes. They love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at feasts.
47They devour widows’ houses and make long prayers as a show. These men will receive greater condemnation!”
–from Luke 20

So in the end we will all face judgment. In the end we will stand for what did or didn’t do. In the end our choices will be looked at and into. In the end we will find we had a choice to follow after Jesus or no and how that decision will impact the rest of eternity! So choose well! Choose right! Choose now for you can start to live in a relationship with Jesus today and not just in eternity!

If I had started my blog today it would have been 2016 to eternity, but I started it back in 2005. If I had a started my relationship with Jesus back when I was younger rather than in 2000, I could have matured and had more wisdom earlier in my life. But God loves us and He created an opportunity for me to meet with Him and to hear the message of truth and hope that it is more than just a routine, more than just a religion, more than just a pattern, He showed me it was all about having a relationship with Jesus! Walking and listening to the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit who will guide us and comfort us! God’s got incredible plans for us who believe and will choose to follow after Him! Is today your day? Have you already chosen to follow? Are you still trying to get it? Are you wanting to understand it all? Here are two things to consider…

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!

Seek God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength!

And you will find him!

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 15. Oh the greatness of God! Oh the wonders of God! Oh the hope that comes from a relationship with God! Oh the despair for those who see and still choose to not believe! I pray that God’s Word and God’s Truth will speak hope and life to you and that your day and your life will be transformed today in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Know someone who is in deep sorrow?


Ever found someone who was in a position where they were filled with deep sorrow? A position where they were being put down because they couldn’t do or have something? A position where they were being picked on because they weren’t able to do something? Sometimes even a friend or family member who gives love into the situation may not be enough. Sometimes even receiving a double portion to show how much they are loved won’t be enough to meet that need. We need to call in the big guns! We need to pray! We need God’s help, God’s provision, God’s purpose, God’s plan to show up so that this problem can be addressed!

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 1:11

11And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

Imagine wanting something so bad that if you got it, you would give it to God. Imagine having a grieving heart for a child to the point where if God gave you a son, you would give him into the hands of God. Imagine a situation where it mean you gave your son to the priest to train in the ways of God and to live there because God met your need and prayer for a son. Imagine the level of pain that this would be your prayer. Imagine the aches of longing for a child that only God could comfort. Imagine it being your daily prayer to God asking for a child. Do you know someone like this? Do you know anyone who needs prayer for such a situation? Let’s lift them up in prayer! If I can pray for you or them, please let me know as I am happy to do so.