Are you ready for reconciliation?


Where are you at? Did someone do something really bad to you? Did you do something really bad to someone else? Are you ready to forgive them? Are you ready to ask for forgiveness? Are you willing to meet them right where they are at? Are you willing to go back in order to find reconciliation?

Don’t allow bitterness and fear to rob you for forgiveness and freedom. Don’t allow your mistakes and bad decisions rob you from truth and love. Choose wisely in order that true forgiveness, true freedom, and true love win over bitterness, fear, mistakes, and bad decisions. Invite God into the situation and find wisdom about how to proceed. Will you keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking until God provides you wisdom? Will you wrestle with God in order to know what you are to do? How far will you go in order to receive a blessing?

Today’s reading starts for us in Genesis 32.

‘As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him. When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.

Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’” After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups. He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.” Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord , you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! O Lord , please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’” Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present to his brother, Esau: 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.” He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’ You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’” Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.” So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.

During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said. “Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)’

Genesis 32

We continue in our reading to Genesis 33. Will you be persistent and not give up? Will you continue in order that your blessing is receive? Will you choose wisely in order to receive the wisdom necessary to complete the work that God has promised in order to be able to not only complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish but so that You can accomplish it the right way?

‘Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?” “These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him. “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.” But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift. “Well,” Esau said, “let’s be going. I will lead the way.” But Jacob replied, “You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.” “All right,” Esau said, “but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.” Jacob responded, “That’s not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve received me warmly, my lord!” So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day. Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means “shelters”). Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.’

Genesis 33

Our reading now brings us into 2 Chronicles 1 and 2 Chronicles 2.

‘Solomon son of David took firm control of his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him very powerful. Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel—the generals and captains of the army, the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle was located there. (This was the Tabernacle that Moses, the Lord ’s servant, had made in the wilderness.) David had already moved the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri and grandson of Hur was there at Gibeon in front of the Tabernacle of the Lord . So Solomon and the people gathered in front of it to consult the Lord . There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord ’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it. That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel. Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia ; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver, and horses for 150 pieces of silver. They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.’

2 Chronicles 1

Will you make your choices wisely? Will you choose what is best not only for you but also for those God has put under your care? Choose wisely!

‘Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord , and also a royal palace for himself. He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen. Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram at Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace. I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever. “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him? “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David. “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them. An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent. In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley, 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil. ” King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon: “It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented. His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father. “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned. We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.” Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.’

2 Chronicles 2

Now let’s continue today’s reading into the New Testament starting in John 8. Let’s receive the truth! Let’s choose truth and be set free! Let’s accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

‘Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.” “Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.#8:39 Some manuscripts read if you are really the children of Abraham, follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”’

John 8:31-47

Let’s check our character and speak words that show what we believe in. Let’s speak the truth in love! Let’s receive the Holy Spirit and live by His ways, His instruction, His direction, and His comfort. Let’s produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let’s align with the Holy Spirit and not be swayed nor persuaded to do what the devil temps us with.

As we continue into our reading, we now read from Galatians 5.

‘So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.’

Galatians 5:16-26

So let us close and meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 23.

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.’

Psalms 23

Remember the promise and don’t try to make it happen through other ways.


Have you ever received a promise that something would happen? Have you ever received a promise that weren’t seeing materialize? Have you ever received a promise and it was starting to look like all hope was lost and if it was going to happen you would need to go and do it yourself? Did you try? Did it cause things to work better or worse? Did you end up having to apologize, turn back, and allow it to take place the right way? Don’t be fooled or tricked by the lies of the devil to lose hope! Don’t try to get the results of the promise by making your own way. Instead, lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God! Instead, turn to God for wisdom, instruction, and patience through the process so that you don’t end up creating a problem instead of achieving the promise. Receive the promise. Receive the blessing. Give God the praise and the honor and the glory!

Today’s reading starts off with just such a situation. Imagine being promised a child and both you and your spouse being very old and starting to believe that you are too old to have children. What would you do? Would you look into alternative options? Would you try to get it done in your own ways? Let’s jump into Genesis 16 and Genesis 17 to see how this all plays out.

‘Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.) So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt. Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt. The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!” Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.” Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord , who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.’

Genesis 16

and continues into Genesis 17:1-14

‘When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.” Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised. You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you. From generation to generation, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased. All must be circumcised. Your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant. Any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant.”’

Genesis 17:1-14

We see how it created strife but through God it bridged the gap, at least temporarily. As we will read in Genesis we will see how when the promised son Isaac is born strife arises again and eventually to a need to divide and send away Sarai’s slave and son.

Today’s reading then brings us over to 1 Chronicles 12. We see here how as David continued to listen and trust in God’s promise how a group of warriors come to join David’s army. We see how following God’s instruction and wisdom, David’s army enabled that David would be king over all of Israel.


Our reading takes us into John 5 where we learn from Jesus the importance of listening and obeying God the Father. It shares wisdom and hope for listening and obeying God’s purpose and plan and pursing His promises.

‘So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him. “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.#5:27 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.’

John 5:19-30

So receive the promise of Jesus into your heart and your lives. Receive the gift of grace and hope and love. Stop trying to do it in your own strength to earn salvation because Jesus already made it possible. Invite Jesus into your heart so that you can be born again, the old is gone and the new is come, you are a new creation, transformed by the grace of God and reconciled to Him through His Son for their is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


Today’s reading now takes us over to James 5 which speaks to us about being patient and trusting God. Let’s be courageous! Let’s be bold! Let’s not allow us to start to judge or gossip or grumble about others. Let’s trust God and even through the trials and troubles let’s take hold of God’s promises and words through Jesus!

‘Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.’

James 5:7-12

So with all this great wisdom to consider, let’s close and meditate on today’s Psalm – Psalm 11:

‘I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.’

Psalms 11:1-7

Are you ready for a fresh start?


When you walk out that door into the new year, a world that has changed while you were away for all those days will be awaiting, are you ready for that fresh start? Are you mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for what will be there when you walk out that door? Don’t forget that God hasn’t changed, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and so we don’t have to worry or stress about it but rather we can just put our trust in Him. Today’s reading will bring us back to post flood and we can see how things had changed for Adam and Eve and their family in Genesis 8. Will you use the right thing to know the status of things? Would you send out a raven which doesn’t know to come back or would you use a dove that will come back if the destination it was to go to wasn’t available? Would you be patient enough to wait to open the door till the time is right? Would you walk it out in accordance to God’s Word? Will you remember the second chance God gave man through Adam and Eve whenever you see the rainbow? Will you decide to be a good steward and multiply what God has given to you? We continue to read from Genesis 9 where God instructs them as they leave the ark and receive the instruction to be fruitful and multiply. Never forget God’s covenant from God in Genesis 9 whenever you see the rainbow and the eternal covenant we can receive through Jesus Christ with the cross!

As we walk out today as the temple of the Holy Spirit let us reflect on 1 Chronicles 6 and the priests and Levites story considering what position God would give us to live out in our lives and in this world today. Also lets consider each of these priests as we reach through the Psalms through and how they each play a part in God’s great plan.

We need to remember that every good and perfect gift comes from God. We need to remember our role and our place in God’s plan and purpose for our lives. We need to remember to become less and less and allow Jesus to become more in and through our lives and how we live it out. We need to take hold of and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Let’s reflect on that as we read from today’s reading from John 3:22-36:

‘Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people. At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. (This was before John was thrown into prison.) A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”’

John 3:22-36

We need to remember that we each have our own role and that we shouldn’t do more or take on more than walk God has planned and purposed for us. We need to learn to control our tongues for words have power to build and tear down. We need to consider how the bit can control a big horse and so what might we need to do to be able to control the words we speak. We need to be living our lives using words the demonstrate we are filled with God’s Spirit and that the words that come out of us align with this. Let’s allow our words testify that God is in us and is working through us. Let’s reflect on the words from our reading today from James 3:1-12:


‘Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.’

James 3:1-12

Finding it hard to do this? Turn to God and cry out to Him and ask Him for what you have need of. Will you pour out your grief and sadness and needs to God and trust Him to answer your prayers? Will you trust God and not allow those who attack or come against you to sway you from the truth and love and hope of God? Let’s close with the last of today’s reading from Psalms 6:


‘O Lord , don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. Have compassion on me, Lord , for I am weak. Heal me, Lord , for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord , until you restore me? Return, O Lord , and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love. For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave? I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. Go away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.’

Psalms 6

5 days…


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

68431-loveispatient


Be an overcomer!

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

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

Nehemiah Overcomes Opposition to His Work

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

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

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

–Nehemiah 4

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

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

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

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

Oppression of the Poor

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

Nehemiah’s Unselfishness

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

–Nehemiah 5

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

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

Plots against Nehemiah

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

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

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

The Conclusion of the Work

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

–Nehemiah 6

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

God the King

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

–Psalm 93

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

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

Warning to the Rich

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

Patience and Prayer

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

–James 5

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

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

The Promise of the Lord’s Coming

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

–2 Peter 3

It’s time to decide…


Which way will you go? Who will you follow? How will you live? What will that look like? Where will that take you? When will you choose? When will you decide?

It’s time to decide!


If the people before you were heading the wrong way, will you follow? If the people before were heading the wrong way, will you turn around and head in the right direction? It’s now in your hands so choose wisely!

1Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3He walked in all the sins of his father which he had done before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Adonai his God, like the heart of his father David. 4Nevertheless, for David’s sake, Adonai his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, raising up his son after him and establishing Jerusalem. 5For David did what was right in Adonai’s eyes and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6As there had been war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life, 7so there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. The rest of the deeds of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 8Then Abijam slept with his fathers so they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place.

Asa Starts Out Right

9In the twentieth year of King Jeroboam of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah. 10He reigned 41 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11Now Asa did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, like his father David. 12He also expelled the male prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13Also he deposed his mother Maacah from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image as an Asherah pole. So Asa cut down her image and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14But they did not take away the high places. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to Adonai all his days. 15He brought into the House of Adonai the consecrated things of his father as well as his own consecrated things of silver, gold, and utensils. 16Now there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 17King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah, and he built up Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasuries of Adonai’s House and the treasuries of the royal palace, and delivered them into the hand of his officials. King Asa sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, king of Aram, who resided in Damascus, saying: 19“Let there be a treaty between me and you, as it was between my father and your father. I have just sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with King Baasa of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.” 20So Ben-Hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, conquering Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali. 21When Baasa heard it, he stopped fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. 22Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempted—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber which Baasa had built. Then King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah with them. 23Now the rest of all the deeds of Asa, all his might, all he did and the cities that he built—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and his son Jehoshaphat became king his place.

End of Jeroboam’s Line

25Nadab son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of King Asa of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26He also did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of his father and in his sins that he caused Israel to commit. 27Then Baasa son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasa struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon. 28So Baasa slew him, in the third year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 29As soon as he became king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not spare Jeroboam anything with breath until he had destroyed him, just as was the word of Adonai that He spoke by the hand of His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and caused Israel to commit, by which he utterly provoked Adonai, God of Israel. 31Now the rest of the deeds of Nadab and all he did—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 32So there was war between Asa and King Baasa of Israel all their days. 33In the third year of King Asa of Judah, Baasa son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, reigning 24 years. 34He did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and followed the way of Jeroboam and the sin that he had made Israel commit.

–from 1 Kings 15

Will you start strong? Will continue strong? Will you finish strong? Trust God in and through it all!

Asa’s Reforms Bring Adonai’s Rest

1Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Adonai his God. 2He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. 3He commanded Judah to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, and to obey the Torah and the mitzvah. 4He also removed the high places and the incense stands out of all the cities of Judah. So the kingdom remained untroubled under him. 5He built up fortified cities in Judah, for the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years because Adonai had given him rest. 6Then he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is still ours because we have sought Adonai Eloheinu. We sought Him and He has given us rest all around.” So they built and were successful.

Appeal to Defeat the Cushites

7Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah who bore shields and spears and 280,000 from Benjamin who bore shields and drew bows. All of these were valiant warriors. 8Then Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots. When he arrived at Mareshah, 9Asa went out to meet him and they arrayed for battle in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah. 10Then Asa cried to Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, there is no one like You to help in battle between the mighty and the powerless. Help us, Adonai Eloheinu, for we rely on You and in Your Name we have come against this multitude. You are Adonai Eloheinu! Let no man prevail against You.” 11So Adonai struck down the Cushites before Asa and before Judah. The Cushites fled 12and Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So many of the Cushites fell that they could not recover because they were shattered before Adonai and before His army. They carried away very much spoil. 13They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the terror from Adonai came on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much spoil in them. 14They also attacked the tents of herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

–from 2 Chronicles 14

Stick with God! Don’t stray from Him! Build up your relationship and trust in Him! Don’t turn away from Him! Walk through life with Him! Be patient! Be obedient! Be true! Finish strong and receive the reward!

Prophets Encourage Further Reforms

1The Ruach Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Listen to me Asa, all Judah and Benjamin. Adonai is with you as long as you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will spurn you. 3For many days Israel was without the true God, without a teaching kohen and without Torah. 4But in their distress they turned to Adonai, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. 5In those times there was no shalom for anyone coming or going, for there were many conflicts among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7But you, chazak! Do not let your hands be slack for there is reward for your labor.” 8When Asa heard these words as well as the prophecy of the prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had seized in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired Adonai’s altar that was in front of Adonai’s entryway. 9He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those dwelling with them from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon—for many had defected to him from Israel when they saw that Adonai his God was with him. 10So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11On that day they sacrificed to Adonai 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought. 12They entered into a covenant to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13Whoever would not seek Adonai, God of Israel, would be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14They also made an oath to Adonai with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with shofarot. 15All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their will and He was found by them. Then Adonai gave them rest all around. 16He also deposed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from being queen because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her abominable image, crushed it and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17Though the high places were not removed from Israel, still Asa’s heart was completely committed to Adonai all his days. 18He brought into the House of God his father’s consecrated articles, as well as his consecrated articles of silver and gold, and utensils.

–from 2 Chronicles 15

Keep your eyes on God! Remember His faithfulness! Turn to God first for answers, as you did when you first believed! Don’t allow fear to be the motivation or driver! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Don’t allow pride to get in the way of all God had planned! Stand firm! Put on the full armor of God! Finish strong!

Asa Backslides

1In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasa of Israel marched against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from leaving or coming to King Asa of Judah. 2In response, Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the House of Adonai and from the royal palace, and sent them to King Ben-hadad of Aram who lived in Damascus saying, 3“Let there be a covenant between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with King Baasha of Israel so that he may withdraw from me.” 4So Ben-hadad consented to King Asa’s request and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. They ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abelmaim and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5When Baasa heard, he stopped building Ramah and stopped his work. 6Then King Asa took up all of Judah to carry away the stones of Ramah and the timber with which Baasa had been building—with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah. 7At that time the seer Hanani came to King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you have depended on the king of Aram, and not depended on Adonai your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Adonai, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of Adonai range throughtout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are wholly His. You have acted foolishly in this matter. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 10Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the prison for he was enraged at him for this. Also Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11Behold, the acts of Asa, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12Now in the thirty-nineth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His illness was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek Adonai but physicians. 13Finally Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14He was buried in his own tomb, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him in his resting place, which was filled with sweet spices and various blended perfumes and they made a very large fire for him.

–from 2 Chronicles 16

It’s time to choose before it is too late! It’s time to ask Jesus into your heart and to start that relationship with Him! It’s time to be filled up and encouraged by Him and begin the journey as the new you, as the new creation with the old gone and the new, born again! It’s time to choose to be different! It’s time to choose to make a difference! It’s time to live out a life of faith that will bring God all the praise, the honor, and the glory! It’s time to choose life! It’s time to choose now in order to get to experience the greater things of God!

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

1Then I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and behold, there was a white horse. The one riding on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him. He went out as a conqueror so he might conquer. 3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out, fiery red. The one riding on it was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. He was given a great sword. 5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” And behold, I saw a black horse. The one riding on it held a balance scale in his hand. 6Then I heard something like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius—but do no harm to the oil and wine!” 7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8Behold, I saw a horse, pale greenish gray. The name of the one riding on it was Death, and Sheol was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword and by famine and by plague and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slaughtered for the sake of the word of God and for the witness they had. 10And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “O Sovereign Master, holy and true, how long before You judge those who dwell on the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants was complete—their brothers and sisters who were to be killed as they had been. 12I saw when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as black as sackcloth made of goat’s hair, and the full moon became like blood. 13The stars of heaven fell to the earth like a fig tree drops unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14The heaven ripped apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the military commanders and the rich and the mighty and everyone—slave and free—hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they tell the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

–from The Revelation 6

How much pain do you want to suffer? How much pain do you want to endure?

It’s time to choose! It’s time to decide!

 

 

 

Sure you have a good plan, but will you give the directions up to God?


Will you try to do it all alone? Will you allow God to help? Will you try to do it your way? Will you allow the process to go God’s way? Will you try to do it all in your own strength? Will you allow God’s strength to help carry the load? Will you share the yoke with God? Are your motives in the right spot? Will you commit all that you are going to do up to God? Will you serve with humility? Will you be fair and just? Would you rather wisdom or reward? Wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth — we should be listening twice as much right!

Today’s reading begins in Proverbs…

Commit Your Heart to Adonai

1The plans of the heart belong to man, but the tongue’s answer is from Adonai. 2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but Adonai weighs the motives. 3Commit whatever you do to Adonai, and your plans will succeed. 4Adonai works everything out for his own purpose— even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5Adonai abhors all the proud in heart. Be assured, they will not go unpunished. 6By mercy and truth is iniquity atoned, and by the fear of Adonai one avoids evil. 7When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much income without justice. 9The heart of man plans his course, but Adonai directs his steps.

The Delights of a Just King

10An oracle is on the lips of the king— let his mouth never be treacherous in judgment. 11Honest balances and scales are Adonai’s. All the weights in a bag are His handiwork. 12Wrongdoing is an abomination to kings, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings. He loves those who speak honestly. 14A king’s fury is like messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor like a cloud of spring rain. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright avoids evil. He who guards his way protects his life. 18Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted than to share the spoil with the proud. 20One prudent in a matter will find good Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai. 21The wise in heart is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases persuasiveness. 22Insight is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 23A wise man’s heart teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are honeycomb— sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf, for his hunger drives him on.

Slow to Anger

27A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and on his lips is a scorching fire. 28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent person lures his neighbor, leading him down a path that is no good. 30One who winks his eyes schemes deceit, one who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness. 32Better to be slow to anger than a mighty warrior. One who controls his temper is better than one who conquers a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but their very decision is from Adonai.

–from Proverbs 16

Character…don’t allow money or power pull you away from what is right and what is just! It’s more than just our words and our actions, God is looking to see our motive – what is in our heart! There is nothing we can hide from Him! We are to love everyone! God created each of us and so we should be treating each other with the respect and love! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be flipping the status quo over and live to raise the bar on society! Let’s consider what God says over what people say! Consider Matthew 5 and how Jesus flips what was common and normal towards God’s plan, God’s purpose, and God’s way! Will you walk with integrity in order to find safety? Let’s be looking to create reconciliation and forgiveness rather than allowing anger and frustration and bitterness to grow and fester and take root.

Beware Bribes and Rebellion

1Better is dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance with the brothers. 3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Adonai tests the heart. 4An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker. Whoever rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly and the glory of children is their parents. 7Arrogant lips are not fitting for a fool, much less lying lips for a ruler. 8A bribe is a charm in the eyes of its owner. Wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9Whoever covers up an offense seeks love. Whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person than a hundred lashes on a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion, and so a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to deal with a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good— evil will never leave his house. 14The beginning of strife is like letting out water— so stop a quarrel before it breaks out. 15Acquitting the wicked and condemning the righteous: both are an abomination to Adonai. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking judgment shakes hands on a deal and puts up financial security for his neighbor. 19He who loves sin loves strife. One who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A perverse heart finds nothing good a devious tongue falls into trouble. 21Whoever fathers a fool gets grief. There is no joy for the father of a disgraceful son. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23The wicked one receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the person of understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is grief to his father and bitterness to her that bore him. 26Also, to punish a righteous person is not good, nor to beat up an honorable one for his integrity. 27One with knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning person stays calm. 28Even a fool, who keeps quiet, is considered wise, discerning, if he seals his lips.

–from Proverbs 17

Let’s do a self assessment today…Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. …Use forgiveness and love to replace such things. Jesus, the rock of the faith was rejected. The cornerstone of faith was rejected. So consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will work in you so that in the end you will be complete, lacking nothing. We don’t have to worry, even though in this world we will have troubles, because Jesus has already overcome the world!

We are to make a difference! Do you know why? It’s because you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Living Stones

1So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra . 2As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow toward salvation— 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6For it says in Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen, precious cornerstone. Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” 7Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust, “The stone which the builders rejected— this One has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.” 11Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.

Respect and Order

13For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22“He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

–from 1 Peter 2

God is good! God is love! God is perfect! God is eternal! God is light!

An Aside with the Disciples

1Meanwhile, when thousands of people had gathered, so many that they were trampling one another, Yeshua began speaking first to His disciples, “Be on guard yourselves against the hametz of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4“I say to you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, since after this they have nothing more they can do.
5But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the One who, after the killing, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear this One!
6“Aren’t five sparrows being sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7Indeed, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8Now I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9But the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven.
11And when they bring you to the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
12because the Ruach ha-Kodesh will teach you at that time what is necessary to say.”

A Request from the Crowd

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14But Yeshua said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material goods he possesses.”
16And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops.
17And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
18And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
19And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’
21So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”

Instructions for the Disciples

22Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “So I say to you, do not worry about life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will wear.
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!
25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26So if you cannot do even something very little, why do you worry about other things?
27Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
28But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29“So do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
30For all the nations of the world strive after these things. But your Father knows that you need these things.
31Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and do tzadakah. Make money pouches for yourselves that do not get old—a treasure in the heavens that never runs out, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35“Have your belt strapped on and lamps burning.
36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.
37“Happy are those slaves whose master finds them alert when he comes. Amen, I tell you, he will prepare himself and have them recline at table, and will come and serve them.
38”And if he comes in the second or even the third watch and finds them so, they will be happy.
39But understand this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect.”
41Then Peter said, “Master, are You telling this parable for us, or for everyone?”
42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food portion at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the young slave boys and girls and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. And he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
47“That slave who knew his master’s will but did not prepare or act according to his desire will be harshly whipped.
48But the one who did not know and did things worthy of a beating will be whipped lightly. From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
49“I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!
50But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
51“Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three.
53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Lessons for the Crowds

54Then He also was saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, instantly you say, ‘A rainstorm is coming’—and so it is.
55And when a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a scorcher’—and so it is.
56Hypocrites! The surface of the earth and sky you know how to interpret yet you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57Why can’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58For while you are going with your accuser to the authorities, make an effort to come to a settlement with him—so he doesn’t drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer of the court, and the officer of the court throw you into prison.
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last little bit.”

–from Luke 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will your legacy as a leader look?


Imagine being a follower and one of two who wanted to go but the others all said no – which then impacted the entire group for 40 years. Imagine then being called up to be the leader and facing one of the strongest armies but out of obedience and without much fight the battle was won. Imagine learning the importance of obedience in your actions by having a loss because someone in the group had done something wrong in that first battle. Imagine taking care of it and then going about it again but this time the right way with a spirit of obedience. Imagine being tricked or fooled by  group who dressed up in order to get  you to agree to something that had you known who they really were you wouldn’t have done it. Imagine if you had of asked for wisdom before deciding to agree?

How will you be remembered? What type of legacy in your life are you building? Do people see you as a leader? Do they know where your hope and wisdom come from? Do they respect you because of that? Are they willing to follow you because of that?

How will your legacy as a leader look? How will you be remembered? Are you serving? Are you commanding? Are you leading? Are you patient? Are you loving? Will it be a testimony of all that God had done in and through you and your life?

Today’s reading continues in Joshua as we get to read about his legacy from listening to God and how they remembered him through this book…

Sun Stands Still

1Now it came to pass that Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it—just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king—and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and remained among them. 2So he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a large city, as one of the royal cities—in fact, larger than Ai—and all its men were mighty. 3Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon saying: 4“Come up and help me! Let’s attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and Bnei-Yisrael.” 5So the five kings of the Amorites—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon—gathered themselves and went up, they and all their armies, camped against Gibeon and attacked it. 6Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in camp at Gilgal saying: “Don’t abandon your servants! Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, for all the kings of the Amorites living in the hill country have gathered against us.” 7So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the mighty men of valor. 8Adonai said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will stand before you.” 9So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10Adonai threw them into confusion before Israel, defeated them with a crushing defeat at Gibeon, chased them by the road that goes up to Beth-horon, and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11While they were fleeing before Israel down the descent of Beth-horon, Adonai cast down great stones from heaven on them all the way to Azekah so they died—more of them died from the hailstones than those Bnei-Yisrael killed with the sword. 12Then Joshua spoke to Adonai, on the day Adonai gave the Amorites over to Bnei-Yisrael, and said in the eyes of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, Moon, over the Aijalon Valley!” 13So the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance on its enemies. (Is it not written in the Book of Jashar?) Thus the sun halted in the middle of the sky, and did not hurry to go down for about a full day. 14There was no day like that before it or after it, when Adonai listened to the voice of a man. For Adonai fought for Israel. 15Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal. 16Now these five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17So it was reported to Joshua, “The five kings are found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18Joshua said, “Roll large stones onto the mouth of the cave, assign men over it to guard them, 19but don’t stay there yourselves. Chase after your enemies and attack them at the rear. Don’t let them enter their cities, for Adonai your God has given them into your hand.” 20So it was that Joshua and Bnei-Yisrael finished striking them with a very great slaughter until they were wiped out, though some of their survivors escaped into the fortified cities. 21Then all the people returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. No one dared sharpen his tongue against Bnei-Yisrael. 22Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring out those five kings to me from the cave.” 23So they did so, and brought out those five kings to him from the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24When they brought out those kings to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and put their feet on their necks. 25Then Joshua said to them, “Never fear or be dismayed. Chazak! Be strong! For thus will Adonai do to all your enemies whom you will fight.” 26After this, Joshua struck them and put them to death, then hanged them on five trees, and they remained hanging on the trees until evening. 27It came about at sunset that Joshua commanded that they be taken down from the trees and thrown into the cave where they had hidden themselves. Then they placed large stones at the mouth of the cave which are there to this very day. 28On that day Joshua captured Makkedah and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword, putting it and every single soul in it under a ban of destruction, leaving no survivors. So he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. 29Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 Adonai also gave it with its king into the hand of Israel. So he struck it and every single soul in it with the edge of the sword, leaving no survivors in it. So he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. 31Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, camped against it and fought against it. 32Adonai delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, so he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every single soul in it with the edge of the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. 33Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his people until he had left him no survivors. 34Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon, camped against it and fought against it. 35They captured it on that day and struck it and every single soul in it with the edge of the sword, putting them under the ban that day, just as he had done to Lachish. 36Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it. 37They captured it and struck it, its king, all its towns, and every single soul that was in it with the edge of the sword, leaving no survivors, just as he had done to Eglon, putting it and every single soul in it under the ban. 38Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned back to Debir and fought against it. 39He captured it and its king, and all its towns, struck them with the edge of the sword and put every single soul in it under the ban, leaving no survivors. Just as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had also done to Libnah and its king. 40So Joshua conquered the entire country—the hill country, the Negev, the lowland and the slopes—with all their kings. He left no survivors, but he put everything that breathed under the ban, just as Adonai God of Israel had commanded. 41Thus Joshua defeated them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, all the country of Goshen as far as Gibeon. 42Thus Joshua captured all those kings and their lands at a single stroke, because Adonai God of Israel fought for Israel. 43Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

–from Joshua 10

Interesting how someone’s trickery can cause others (not tricked) to want to get back at you out of fear. Interesting how when you are walking in alignment with God even when some adversary comes your way, He will and can take care of it for you. Imagine needing more time to be able to get something done and getting it.

We need to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord! We need to remember our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities of this dark world! So consider what is taking place and seek God’s wisdom into how He would have you take your spot and complete the legacy He has for you. Check with God and see how He will direct your steps! Wait on Him to hear what He has to say! Imagine after the incredible miracles of Jesus dying and being resurrected and being risen up into heaven having left the people the message to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the promise He had told them. How long? He didn’t say. He just said wait. How long would you wait? Are you willing to wait for the right moment based on what God had/has to say? Back then it lead to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon them and they began to speak in tongues – languages they didn’t know but spoke of God’s greatness to the people from so many place in their native languages. So where are you at today? What wisdom/instruction do you need from God? Will you wait to get it before you take things into your own hands? Will you allow the Spirit to give you wisdom, peace, discernment, direction, hope? Will you then be obedient to His instruction? And go about it His way?

…How will your story be written? How will your story be remembered? What legacy will you leave behind?

Today’s reading continues into Joshua 11…

Conquering the North

1Now when Jabin king of Hazor heard about it, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, 2and to the kings in the north, in the hill country, in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, in the lowland and in the regions of Dor to the west, 3the Canaanites in the east and west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites in the hill country and the Hivites at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4So they came out, they and all their armies with them, a multitude with as many people as the sand on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. 5All these kings joined forces, came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight with Israel. 6But Adonai said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give all of them slain before Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” 7So Joshua and all the people of war with him attacked them suddenly at the waters of Merom and fell upon them. 8Then Adonai gave them into the hand of Israel, so they defeated them and chased them as far as Great Zidon and Misrephoth-maim, and up to the Valley of Mizpeh eastward. They struck them down until they left them no survivors. 9Joshua did to them as Adonai had instructed him—he hamstrung their horses and burnt their ­chariots with fire. 10At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, because Hazor had formerly been the head of all those kingdoms. 11They struck down every single soul in it with the edge of the sword, putting them to the ban. There was none left that breathed after he burned Hazor with fire. 12Thus Joshua captured all the cities of those kings and all their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, putting them to the ban, just as Moses the servant of Adonai had commanded. 13But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel did not burn any of them, except Hazor alone, which Joshua did burn. 14All the spoil of these cities and the cattle, Bnei-Yisrael took as their plunder, but they struck down every person with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, not sparing anyone who breathed. 15Just as Adonai had commanded Moses His servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that Adonai had commanded Moses. 16So Joshua captured all this land: the hill country, the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland, 17from the Mount Halak that ascends to Seir all the way to Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings, struck them down and put them to death. 18For a long time Joshua made war with all those kings. 19There was not a city that made peace with Bnei-Yisrael except the Hivites who inhabited Gibeon. All the rest they took in battle. 20For it was of Adonai to harden their hearts to encounter Israel in battle, that they might be put to the ban, that they might receive no mercy, in order to destroy them as Adonai had commanded Moses. 21At that time Joshua went and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, Debir, Anab, and from the entire hill country of Judah and from the entire hill country of Israel. Joshua put a ban on them with their cities. 22There was none of the Anakim left in the land of Bnei-Yisrael, except some were left in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod. 23So Joshua captured the whole country, according to all that Adonai had spoken to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land had rest from war.

–from Joshua 11

Will you do it God’s way? Will you allow Jesus to live in and through you? Will you allow the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your every thought, word, and action? Will you share God’s love with those around you? Will you share God with those around you? Will you be imitators of God? Will you show love to the world around you? Will you shine light to the world around you? Will you live sacrificially as Jesus did for each of us? Will your words spoken and written speak to who God is? Will your actions speak to who God is? Will you stand in unity with other believers? For a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken – especially when Jesus is the center strand. Will be producing good fruit for the world to see? There are enough people trying to trick or trip up this world, will you be a positive force for good through God’s direction? Will you work to share God’s love with those who come into your life? Will you walk in alignment with God? Will you protect one another? Will you love one another? Will you shine so that the world may see it and glorify your Father in Heaven?

Walk in the Light

1Therefore be imitators of God, as dearly loved children; 2and walk in love, just as Messiah also loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma. 3But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed—don’t even let these be mentioned among you, as is proper for kedoshim. 4Obscene, coarse, and stupid talk are also out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5Know for certain that no immoral, indecent, or greedy person—who is really an idol worshipper at heart—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s judgment comes on the children of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partners with them. 8For once you were darkness, but now in union with the Lord you are light. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them— 12for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that are done by them in secret. 13Yet everything exposed by the light is being made visible, 14for everything made visible is light. This is why it says, “Wake up, O sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Messiah will shine on you.” 15So pay close attention to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise. 16Make the most of your time because the days are evil. 17For this reason do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18And do not get drunk on wine, for that is recklessness. Instead, be filled with the Ruach, 19speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your heart to the Lord— 20always giving thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Orderly Relationships: Marriage

21Also submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Messiah— 22wives to your own husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is head of the wife, as Messiah also is head of His community—Himself the Savior of the body. 24But as Messiah’s community is submitted to Messiah, so also the wives to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives just as Messiah also loved His community and gave Himself up for her 26to make her holy, having cleansed her by immersion in the word. 27Messiah did this so that He might present to Himself His glorious community—not having stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but in order that she might be holy and blameless. 28In the same way, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it—just as Messiah also does His community, 30because we are members of His body. 31“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is great—but I am talking about Messiah and His community. 33In any case, let each of you love his own wife as himself, and let the wife respect her husband.

–from Ephesians 5

 

Will forget, lose hope or give up and then miss out because of it?


Did you forget what just happened? Did lose hope because it was taking longer than you expected? Did you give up and try to go it your own way? Do you realize that trying to get it all down in your own power will remove the blessing of the process? Do you realize the pain it may cause others? Do you realize the impact it could have on those around you? What if you had waited? What if you had trusted? What if it had of gone differently? Then what?

Today’s reading starts with such a scenario. Imagine God showing up and parting the Red Sea. Imagine God showing up and leading you by smoke during the day and fire by night whenever and wherever He wanted you to go. Imagine God providing food and water even though you were wining and complaining. And now if the process is taking longer than you expected and making you anxious or worried, how would you respond? Would you trust Him? Would you wait on Him? Or would you do something and have to deal with the consequences?

Molten Calf and Smashing Tablets

1Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Get up, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what’s become of him!” 2So Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden rings that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3So all the people broke off the golden rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4He received them from their hand, and made a molten calf, fashioned with a chiseling tool. Then they said, “This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5When Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. Then Aaron made a proclamation saying, “Tomorrow will be a feast to Adonai.” 6They rose up early the next morning, sacrificed burnt offerings and brought fellowship offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to make merry. 7Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go down! For your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have become debased. 8They quickly turned aside from the path that I commanded for them. They have made a molten calf, worshipped it, and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you up out of the land of Egypt.’” 9Adonai said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10Now therefore, leave Me alone, so My wrath may burn hot against them, and so I may consume them—and make from you a great nation!” 11Then Moses sought Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, why should Your wrath burn hot against Your people, whom You have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out to do evil, to slay them in the mountains, and to annihilate them from the face of the earth?’ Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this destruction against Your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your offspring, and they will inherit it forever.’” 14So Adonai relented from the destruction that He said He would do to His people. 15Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides, on one and on the other. 16The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war within the camp.” 18But Moses said: “It is not the voice of a shout of victory, nor is it the voice of crying from defeat, but I hear the sound of singing.” 19Then it happened, as soon as Moses came near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing, and his anger burned hot. So he threw the tablets out of his hands, and smashed them at the foot of the mountain. 20Then he took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the surface of the water and made Bnei-Yisrael drink it. 21Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, to make you bring such a great sin upon them?” 22Aaron said, “Don’t be angry, my lord! You know these people yourself, and how they are set on evil. 23They said to me, ‘Make gods for us, to go before us! As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what happened to him.’ 24So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.’ So they gave it to me and I threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” 25When Moses saw that the people were unrestrained, because Aaron had let them run wild, to become a joke among their enemies, 26Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is on Adonai’s side, let him come to me.” Then all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27He said to them, “This is what Adonai, the God of Israel says, ‘Every man put on his sword, and go to and fro, from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’” 28So the sons of Levi did as Moses said, and that day from among the people there fell about 3,000 men. 29Then Moses said, “Consecrate your hands today to Adonai so that He may give you a blessing today, for every man has been against his son and his brother.” 30So it happened the following day, Moses said to the people, “You have committed a horrendous sin. So now I will go up to Adonai—perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31Then Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Alas, these people have sinned greatly, and made gods of gold! 32Yet now, please forgive their sin. But if not, please blot me out of Your book that You have written.” 33Adonai said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. 34Now go, lead the people to the place that I told you about. My angel will go before you. Nevertheless, on the day when I take account, I will hold them accountable for their sin.” 35So Adonai struck the people because of what they did with the calf that Aaron had made.
–from Exodus 32

How would you take responsibility? How would you respond? How would you apologize? How would you try to make things right? Could you have helped others be more patient? Could you have helped other to trust? Could you have helped others to wait for it? Would you lead? Would you stand in the gap for their actions? Would you plead with God to save them? Would you stand in the middle pleading their case? How would you have respond? How do you respond?

Will you trust God? Will you do it His way? Will you walk it out His way? Will you trust Him? Will you obey Him? Will you be one who will not need an interpreter but will speak face to face with Him? Will you bring your asks, your needs, your ideas, your worries, your curiosities, your everything to Jesus and discuss it? Will your hopes, your plans, and your desires be based on God’s plan? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you trust God and do good? Will you delight yourself in Him and then He will give you the desires of your heart? Will you want to stick so close that if God isn’t going with you that you won’t move? Will you ensure God’s presence is with you to the point where you won’t move until you know He is moving too? Stick with Him!

1Then Adonai said to Moses, “Leave, get out of this place, you and the people that you have brought out of the land of Egypt, into the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saying, ‘I will give it to your seed.’ 2I will send an angel before you. I will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites. 3Head up into a land flowing with milk and honey, but I will not move within the midst of you, so that I do not destroy you along the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” 4When the people heard these dreadful words, they mourned, and no one put on any ornaments. 5Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Bnei-Yisrael, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were going up among you for one moment, I would consume you. Take off your ornaments, so that I may consider what to do to you.’” 6So Bnei-Yisrael stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward.

Show Me Your Glory!

7Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the Tent of Meeting. So it happened, everyone who sought Adonai would go out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would arise and stand, everyone at the door of his own tent, and look after Moses, until he had gone into the Tent. 9After Moses entered, the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door, and He would speak with Moses. 10When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the Tent, they all rose up and worshipped, every man at the entrance of his own tent. 11So Adonai spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the Tent. 12So Moses said to Adonai “You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My eyes.’ 13Now then, I pray, if I have found grace in Your eyes, show me Your ways, so that I may know You, so that I might find favor in Your sight. Consider also that this nation is Your people.” 14“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest,” He answered. 15But then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with me, don’t let us go up from here! 16For how would it be known that I or your people have found favor in Your sight? Isn’t it because You go with us, that distinguishes us from all the people on the face of the earth?” 17Adonai answered Moses, “I will also do what you have said, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” 18Then he said, “Please, show me Your glory!” 19So He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass before you, and call out the Name of Adonai before you. I will be gracious toward whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will be merciful.” 20But He also said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.” 21Then Adonai said, “See, a place near Me—you will stand on the rock. 22While My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and cover you with My hand, until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away My hand, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”
–from Exodus 33

Will you be like Abraham and be called a friend of God? Will you be like Jacob and wrestle with God? Will you be like Isaac and follow God even at the risk of death? Will you be like Moses and plead with God? All for His glory and for the good of those under you? Will you receive it with open hands and be a conduit for God? Will you go about it God’s way? Let’s take a hold of His hand and go it His way!

Torah Is a Tree of Wisdom

1Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. 2But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. 3He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops— but in all he does, he succeeds. 4The wicked are not so. For they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand during the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For Adonai knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
–from Psalms 1

In whom will you put your trust? To whom will you turn for wisdom?

Will you be a ace maker? Will you be a person who brings people together? Will you produce unity by the way you live? Will you use your words to build up or tear down? How will you lead others?

Unity in Community

1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of disputes about opinions. 2One person has faith to eat anything, but the weak eats only vegetables. 3Don’t let the one who eats disparage the one who does not eat, and don’t let the one who does not eat judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One person esteems one day over another while another judges every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The one who observes that day does so to the Lord. The one who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who abstains, abstains to the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives for himself, and none dies for himself. 8For if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this reason Messiah died and lived again, so that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you too, why do you look down on your brother? For we all will stand before the judgment seat of God. 11For it is written, “As I live, says Adonai, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us not judge one another from now on, but rather decide this—not to put a stumbling block or a trap in the way of a brother. 14I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Yeshua, that nothing is unholy in itself; but it is unholy for the one who considers it unholy. 15For if your brother is grieved on account of food, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy by your food the one for whom Messiah died. 16Therefore do not let what is good for you be spoken of as evil— 17for the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking, but righteousness and shalom and joy in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 18For the one who serves Messiah in this manner is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19So then let us pursue what makes for shalom and for the building up of one another. 20Stop tearing down the work of God for the sake of food. Indeed all things are clean, but wrong for the man who by eating causes stumbling. 21It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22The faith you have, keep it to yourself before God. How fortunate is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves. 23But the one who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not of faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin.
–from Romans 14

Fear Not, Just Believe!


God speaks to us times throughout the Bible how we are not to fear! Today’s reading speaks to God’s creating a covenant with Abram.

Cutting a Covenant

1After these things the word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2But Abram said, “My Lord Adonai, what will You give me, since I am living without children, and the heir of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3Then Abram said, “Look! You have given me no seed, so a house-born servant is my heir.”
4Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him saying, “This one will not be your heir, but in fact, one who will come from your own body will be your heir.
5He took him outside and said, “Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.”
6Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then He said to him, “I am Adonai who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans, in order to give you this land to inherit it.”
8So he said, “My Lord Adonai, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9Then He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old young cow, a three year old she-goat, a three year old ram, a turtle-dove and a young bird.”
10So he brought all these to Him and cut them in half, and put each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.
11Then birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was about to set and a deep sleep fell on Abram, behold, terror of great darkness was falling upon him!
13Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years.
14But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions.
15But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces.
18On that day Adonai cut a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River:
19the Kenite, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaites,
21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
–from Genesis 15

Other examples of “Fear Not” in the Bible include the angel at the tomb, in Isaiah when we are to be comforted because God is with us, in the field when the angels appeared to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, when the angel appeared to Mary, when Jesus spoke to Jairus after hearing the news about his daughter and more

So take a hold of Jesus! Walk with God! And don’t fear! Trust Him! He will never leave you and never abandon you!

Today’s reading continues showing how sometimes we may become impatient. God’s timing is perfect! We don’t need to rush it! We need to wait upon the Lord and He will renew our strength! We will be able to soar like on wings of eagles! We will be able to walk and not grow weary, run and not grow faint!

Hagar and Ishmael

1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not borne him children. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl—her name was Hagar.
2So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, Adonai has prevented me from having children. Go, please, to my slave-girl. Perhaps I’ll get a son by her.” Abram listened to Sarai’s voice.
3So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her slave-girl Hagar the Egyptian—after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan—and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
4Then he went to Hagar and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, in her eyes her mistress was belittled.
5So Sarai said to Abram, “The wrong done to me is because of you! I myself placed my slave-girl in your embrace. Now that she saw that she became pregnant, so in her eyes I am belittled. May Adonai judge between you and me!”
6Abram said to Sarai, “Look! Your slave-girl is in your hand. Do to her what is good in your eyes.” So Sarai afflicted her, and she fled from her presence.
7Then the angel of Adonai found her by the spring of water in the wilderness, next to the spring on the way to Shur.
8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s slave-girl, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9The angel of Adonai said, “Return to your mistress and humble yourself under her hand.”
10Then the angel of Adonai said to her, “I will bountifully multiply your seed, and they will be too many to count.”
11Then the angel of Adonai said to her, Behold, you are pregnant and about to bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael— for Adonai has heard your affliction.
12He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him, and away from all his brothers will he dwell.
13So she called Adonai who was speaking to her, “You are the God who sees me.” For she said, “Would I have gone here indeed looking for Him who looks after me?”
14That is why the well is named, the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me. (Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.)
15Then Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael for Abram.
–from Genesis 16

What will it take for you to change? Would it be a sacrifice? Would it be a deal? Would it be a name change? Would it be purpose? Would it be a vision? What will it take? What would it take? What did it take? Today’s reading shows an incredible transformation as we continue in Genesis…

Covenant of Circumcision
1When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.
2My heart’s desire is to make My covenant between Me and you, and then I will multiply you exceedingly much.”
3Abram fell on his face, and God spoke with him, saying,
4“For My part, because My covenant is with you, you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5No longer will your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, because I make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6Yes, I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings will come forth from you.
7Yes, I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, in order to be your God and your seed’s God after you.
8I will give to you and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider —the whole land of Canaan—as an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, My covenant you must keep, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
10This is My covenant that you must keep between Me and you and your seed after you: all your males must be circumcised.
11You must be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and this will become a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12Also your eight-day-olds must be circumcised, every male, throughout your generations, including a house-born slave or a slave bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
13Your house-born slave and your purchased slave must surely be circumcised. So My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14But the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin—that person will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her by the name Sarai. Rather, Sarah is her name.
16And I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son from her. I will bless her and she will give rise to nations. Kings of the peoples will come from her.”
17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to his heart, “Will a son be born to a 100-year-old man? Or will Sarah—who is 90 years old—give birth?”
18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live before you!”
19But God said, “On the contrary, Sarah your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac. So I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.
20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. See, I have blessed him and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him very very much. He will father twelve princes and I will make him a great nation.
21But My covenant will I establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
22When He finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all of his house-born slaves and all his purchased slaves—every male among the men of Abraham’s house—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on this very same day, just as God had spoken with him.
24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin,
25and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26On this very same day Abraham and Ishmael his son were circumcised.
27Also all the men of his house, house-born slaves and slaves purchased from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
–from Genesis 17

This reading brings me back to a time when I was questioning God what will the future look like? I felt connected to Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters and so I asked God will I have 4 daughters or will I have a son? I told Him I was ok either way, but wanted to know. That morning my daily reading brought me to Genesis 17:19. Because we never found out before the birth of our children if they would be a boy or girl, we had to be prepared with a boy name and a girl name. Before that morning and that reading, the plan or the name for a boy was Benjamin, however, after that morning, I let my wife know that when we had a boy (not if, but when for I had received a promise from God – your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac.) we would name him, Isaac! God is amazing! If we will make time to spend with Him! If we will make time throughout the day to stay in touch like a best friend! If we will build our relationship with Him, it is amazing what God will do in and through our lives!

So no matter where you are at nor what you are going through, lean on God! Don’t lean on your own understanding! Trust in God! Wait upon the Lord! God knows the beginning from the end! God knows your thoughts, your dreams, what you are doing and what you have been through. Nothing is hidden from Him! So you don’t need to lie or hide it, be honest about the truth! For the truth will set you free! Lies and hiding just setup footholds and snares that devil can then try to hold against you later.

Today’s reading continues and goes into Acts 5.

Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Ruach

1On the other hand, a man named Ananias together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a property.
2He kept back some of the proceeds, with his wife’s full knowledge, and brought part of it and set it at the feet of the emissaries.
3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and keep back part of the proceeds of the land?
4While it remained unsold, it was your own, wasn’t it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? How did this deed get into your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God.”
5As soon as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came upon all who heard about it.
6The young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud, then carried him out and buried him.
7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8Peter responded to her, “Tell me if you sold the land for this much.” She said, “Yes, for that much.”
9Then Peter said to her, “How did you agree to test the Ruach Adonai? Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door—they will carry you out, too!”
10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came back in, they found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11And great fear came over the whole community and all who heard these things.
–from Acts 5

But when you get into trouble, call upon God! Ask your friends to pray for you! Allow Him to be a part of the process! Allow Him to be your source! Keep Him where He belongs in the center of your life!

Signs and Wonders, Angelic Jailbreak, and Bold Witness

12Meanwhile, through the hands of the emissaries many signs and wonders were happening among the people. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.
13But no one else dared to join them, though the people continued to think highly of them.
14Yet more than ever those trusting in the Lord were added—large numbers of men and women.
15They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on stretchers and cots, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.
16Crowds were also gathering from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.
17But the kohen gadol rose up, and all those with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
18They grabbed the emissaries and put them in a public jail.
19But during the night an angel of Adonai opened the prison doors, and leading them out he said,
20“Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people the whole message about this Life.”
21Now when they heard that, they entered the Temple at daybreak and began teaching. When the kohen gadol and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, even the council of elders of Bnei-Yisrael, and sent to the prison to have the prisoners brought in.
22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported,
23saying, “We found the prison locked with maximum security and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened up, we found no one inside.”
24When the captain of the Temple and the ruling kohanim heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering where this would lead.
25But someone came and reported to them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people!”
26Then the captain went off with the officers and brought the emissaries—but not with force, because they feared they might be stoned by the people.
27When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. Thekohen gadol questioned them,
28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!”
29Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whom you seized and had crucified.
31This One God exalted at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and removal of sins.
32And we are witnesses of these events—as is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
33Now when they heard this, they became enraged and wanted to kill them.
34But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.
35Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful what you are about to do with these men.
36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, joined up with him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing.
37After this fellow, Judah the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and got people to follow him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.
38So now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will come to an end;
39but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” They took his advice,
40called in the emissaries, flogged them, ordered them not to continue speaking in the name of Yeshua, and let them go.
41So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were considered worthy to be dishonored on account of His name.
42And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.
–from Acts 5

When God touches your life, you are changed forever! When God does the miraculous, you are never the same! But some may forget! some may wander! So we need to share the experience with others so they may not forget! We need to put down memories so that when the devil comes a prowling or the trials of life appear or the challenges of life come up and they try to fill us with fear, we have something to pull out and hold up as we call upon God to be our hope and our strength and our courage! We can boldly call upon Him because we know He did, He can, and He will!

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Revelation. We need to remember that Jesus wins! Jesus is the answer! So where do you turn? Turn to Jesus! Where do you go? Go to Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the life, nobody gets to the Father except through Him! So if you want to finish on the winning side, choose Jesus before it is too late!

1Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life—bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2down the middle of the city’s street. On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him.
4They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!

Yeshua Is Coming

6He said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true! Adonai, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon.
7Behold, I am coming soon! How fortunate is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8I, John, am the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing me these things.
9But he tells me, “See that you do not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets and those keeping the words of this book. Worship God!”
10Then he tells me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.
11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do righteousness, and the holy still be holy.
12Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to pay back each one according to his deeds.
13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city.
15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify these things to you for My communities. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
17The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life!
18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his share in the Tree of Life and the Holy City, which are written in this book.
20The One giving testimony to these things says, “Yes! I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!
21May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!
–from Revelation 22

He’s coming! Will you choose before it is too late to be with Him?

God’s plans are big! Will align with him so that He can accomplish them in and thru you?


If you will, He will equip you to accomplish His purpose! If you will, He will give you both knowledge and gifts you need to get it done! Will you take time to pray and listen to how God has gifted you? Will you take time to pray and listen to how God has and is strengthening you for His purpose? Will you also prayer for others in the church that God will also fill them of knowledge through His wisdom and understanding through His Spirit? Will grab a hold of the knowledge God is giving you through His wisdom? Will you grab a hold of the understanding God is giving you through His Spirit? Will take a moment and listen for God’s future plan in your life? Will you grab a hold of what God was saying to you in and through that prayer? Will you envision with God where He wants you to be in the next year and all the lives that will be touched through you? Will you ask for patience and peace to wait upon Him so that you can accomplish what He has planned for Him?

Today’s Reading:

Will you envision where God wants to take you?

1Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
— Genesis 12:1

Will you walk in obedience and trust in God for provision? Will you share the love of God with those God brings into your life? Will you be Jesus with skin on to them? Will you live the life God is asking you to live? Will you surrender your way for His way?
Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” by Francis of Assisi

12If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
— 1 Corinthians 9:12

God knows what you have and will have need of! God will gift you to accomplish His will if you will be obedient to pursue and accomplish His will! God doesn’t call the gifted, He gifts the called! I learned this and now take hold of it whenever He calls!

17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
— James 1-17

So God, you see me right where I am at! You love me so much that You don’t want to leave me here! So Lord, as I turn to You in prayer and as I listen again to the audio including in today’s devotion, I give my life into Your hands in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Your love is a gift! Help me stay routed in Your love!

  • 1 year from now…
  • who will I be with…
  • is there somewhere there whose life will have been changed because of me…
  • press into God’s presence and listen…
  • what God are you most excited about in my life this year…
  • speak a word or imagine of your plan for me this year…

Family, T.R.A.C., Workplace, ECA


Thank You God and I give you all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! May I be obedient in the knowledge and understanding of Your plan and purpose. Amen.

Nobody is beyond or bigger than God!


Nobody is above God! Nobody can expect to live outside of the will of God and end up not having to face judgment at some point. Nobody is beyond the reach of God! God’s a merciful god! He is long suffering! He is patient! His hope is that nobody would perish! His will is that everyone would turn back to Him! He didn’t send Jesus the first time to condemn the world, but that through Jesus the world could be saved! But each of us have to make the choice of who we will follow! Each of us needs to decide if we are with God or against God! And by not choosing, the choice is made .. to be against! So choose wisely!

Remember God is love! And Remember LOVE is defined by:

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, Love does not boast, Love is not proudLove does not dishonor others, Love is not self-seeking, Love is not easily angered, Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truthLove always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails–from 1 Corinthians 13

And using logic or Boolean algebra, that means we can replace love with God, since LOVE=GOD and get:

God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proudGod does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truthGod always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

So we all need to make a choice! We all need to choose wisely! And in choosing, we need to realize there are consequences to our choices! If we choose wisely the consequences are good! If we choose unwisely, the consequences are judgment!

Have you made your choice yet? If you are reading this, you still have time! Hoping we both end up in heaven together!


Today’s reading comes from Jeremiah and goes like this…

Babylon’s Capture

1  This is the message that the Lord gave me about the city of Babylon and its people:
2“Tell the news to the nations! Proclaim it! Give the signal and announce the news! Do not keep it a secret! Babylon has fallen! Her god Marduk has been shattered! Babylon’s idols are put to shame; her disgusting images are crushed!
3“A nation from the north has come to attack Babylonia and will make it a desert. People and animals will run away, and no one will live there.”

Israel’s Return

4The Lord says, “When that time comes, the people of both Israel and Judah will come weeping, looking for me, their God. 5They will ask the way to Zion and then go in that direction. They will make an eternal covenant with me and never break it.
6“My people are like sheep whose shepherds have let them get lost in the mountains. They have wandered like sheep from one mountain to another, and they have forgotten where their home is. 7They are attacked by all who find them. Their enemies say, ‘They sinned against the Lord, and so what we have done is not wrong. Their ancestors trusted in the Lord, and they themselves should have remained faithful to him.’
8  “People of Israel, run away from Babylonia! Leave the country! Be the first to leave! 9I am going to stir up a group of strong nations in the north and make them attack Babylonia. They will line up in battle against the country and conquer it. They are skillful hunters, shooting arrows that never miss the mark. 10Babylonia will be looted, and those who loot it will take everything they want. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Babylon’s Fall

11The Lord says, “People of Babylonia, you plundered my nation. You are happy and glad, going about like a cow threshing grain or like a neighing horse, 12but your own great city will be humiliated and disgraced. Babylonia will be the least important nation of all; it will become a dry and waterless desert. 13Because of my anger no one will live in Babylon; it will be left in ruins, and all who pass by will be shocked and amazed.
14“Archers, line up for battle against Babylon and surround it. Shoot all your arrows at Babylon, because it has sinned against me, the Lord. 15Raise the war cry all around the city! Now Babylon has surrendered. Its walls have been broken through and torn down. I am taking my revenge on the Babylonians. So take your revenge on them, and treat them as they have treated others. 16Do not let seeds be planted in that country nor let a harvest be gathered. Every foreigner living there will be afraid of the attacking army and will go back home.”

Israel’s Return

17The Lord says, “The people of Israel are like sheep, chased and scattered by lions. First, they were attacked by the emperor of Assyria, and then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia gnawed on their bones. 18Because of this, I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, will punish King Nebuchadnezzar and his country, just as I punished the emperor of Assyria. 19I will restore the people of Israel to their land. They will eat the food that grows on Mount Carmel and in the region of Bashan, and they will eat all they want of the crops that grow in the territories of Ephraim and Gilead. 20When that time comes, no sin will be found in Israel and no wickedness in Judah, because I will forgive those people whose lives I have spared. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

God’s Judgment on Babylonia

21The Lord says, “Attack the people of Merathaim and of Pekod. Kill and destroy them. Do everything I command you. I, the Lord, have spoken. 22The noise of battle is heard in the land, and there is great destruction. 23Babylonia hammered the whole world to pieces, and now that hammer is shattered! All the nations are shocked at what has happened to that country. 24Babylonia, you fought against me, and you have been caught in the trap I set for you, even though you did not know it. 25I have opened the place where my weapons are stored, and in my anger I have taken them out, because I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, have work to do in Babylonia. 26Attack it from every side and break open the places where its grain is stored! Pile up the loot like piles of grain! Destroy the country! Leave nothing at all! 27Kill all their soldiers! Slaughter them! The people of Babylonia are doomed! The time has come for them to be punished!”
( 28Refugees escape from Babylonia and come to Jerusalem, and they tell how the Lord our God took revenge for what the Babylonians had done to his Temple.)
29  “Tell the archers to attack Babylon. Send out everyone who knows how to use the bow and arrow. Surround the city and don’t let anyone escape. Pay it back for all it has done, and treat it as it has treated others, because it acted with pride against me, the Holy One of Israel. 30So its young men will be killed in the city streets, and all its soldiers will be destroyed on that day. I, the Lord, have spoken.
31“Babylonia, you are filled with pride, so I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, am against you! The time has come for me to punish you. 32Your proud nation will stumble and fall, and no one will help you up. I will set your cities on fire, and everything around will be destroyed.”
33The Lord Almighty says, “The people of Israel and of Judah are oppressed. All who captured them are guarding them closely and will not let them go. 34But the one who will rescue them is strong—his name is the Lord Almighty. He himself will take up their cause and will bring peace to the earth, but trouble to the people of Babylonia.”
35The Lord says, “Death to Babylonia! Death to its people, to its rulers, to its people of wisdom. 36Death to its lying prophets—what fools they are! Death to its soldiers—how terrified they are! 37Destroy its horses and chariots! Death to its hired soldiers—how weak they are! Destroy its treasures; plunder and loot. 38Bring a drought on its land and dry up its rivers. Babylonia is a land of terrifying idols that have made fools of the people.
39  “And so Babylon will be haunted by demons and evil spirits, and by unclean birds. Never again will people live there, not for all time to come. 40 The same thing will happen to Babylon that happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, when I destroyed them and the nearby towns. No one will ever live there again. I, the Lord, have spoken.
41“People are coming from a country in the north, a mighty nation far away; many kings are preparing for war. 42They have taken 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 Babylonia. 43The king of Babylonia hears the news, and his hands hang limp. He is seized by anguish, by pain like a woman in labor.
44“Like a lion coming out of the thick woods along the Jordan up to the green pasture land, I, the Lord, will come and make the Babylonians run away suddenly from their city. Then the leader I choose will rule the nation. Who can be compared to me? Who would dare challenge me? What ruler could oppose me? 45So listen to the plan that I have made against the city of Babylon and to what I intend to do to its people. Even their children will be dragged off, and everyone will be horrified. 46When Babylon falls, there will be such a noise that the entire earth will shake, and the cries of alarm will be heard by the other nations.”
–from Jeremiah 50
Do you see what is taking place around the world? Do you realize the time we are living in? Do you know how things are going to end up? Can you trust anything? Can you trust anyone? Put your hope and your trust in God! If you read the end of the book, you will see He wins! So choose to be on the winning side! Choose to be on the right side of this battle! We are in the midst of a spiritual battle, whether your realize or not! I remember hearing the story of someone who had vision about people sitting on the beach in the midst of a battle totally unaware of what was taking place around them and the lives that were being lost! Will you stand up for yourself? Will you stand up for others? Will you stand in the gap? Before it is too late…

Further Judgment on Babylonia

1The Lord says, “I am bringing a destructive wind against Babylonia and its people. 2I will send foreigners to destroy Babylonia like a wind that blows straw away. When that day of destruction comes, they will attack from every side and leave the land bare. 3Don’t give its soldiers time to shoot their arrows or to put on their armor. Do not spare the young men! Destroy the whole army! 4They will be wounded and die in the streets of their cities. 5I, the Lord God Almighty, have not abandoned Israel and Judah, even though they have sinned against me, the Holy One of Israel. 6Run away from Babylonia! Run for your lives! Do not be killed because of Babylonia’s sin. I am now taking my revenge and punishing it as it deserves. 7 Babylonia was like a gold cup in my hand, making the whole world drunk. The nations drank its wine and went out of their minds. 8Babylonia has suddenly fallen and is destroyed! Mourn over it! Get medicine for its wounds, and maybe it can be healed. 9 Foreigners living there said, ‘We tried to help Babylonia, but it was too late. Let’s leave now and go back home. God has punished Babylonia with all his might and has destroyed it completely.’”
10The Lord says, “My people shout, ‘The Lord has shown that we are in the right. Let’s go and tell the people in Jerusalem what the Lord our God has done.’”
11The Lord has stirred up the kings of Media, because he intends to destroy Babylonia. That is how he will take revenge for the destruction of his Temple.
The attacking officers command, “Sharpen your arrows! Get your shields ready! 12Give the signal to attack Babylon’s walls. Strengthen the guard! Post the sentries! Place troops in ambush!”
The Lord has done what he said he would do to the people of Babylonia. 13 That country has many rivers and rich treasures, but its time is up, and its thread of life is cut. 14The Lord Almighty has sworn by his own life that he will bring many men to attack Babylonia like a swarm of locusts, and they will shout with victory.

A Hymn of Praise to God

15The Lord made the earth by his power; by his wisdom he created the world and stretched out the heavens. 16At his command the waters above the sky roar; he brings clouds from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning flash in the rain and sends the wind from his storeroom. 17At the sight of this, people feel stupid and senseless; those who make idols are disillusioned because the gods they make are false and lifeless. 18They are worthless and should be despised; they will be destroyed when the Lord comes to deal with them. 19The God of Jacob is not like them; he is the one who made everything, and he has chosen Israel to be his very own people. The Lord Almighty is his name.

The Lord’s Hammer

20The Lord says, “Babylonia, you are my hammer, my weapon of war. I used you to crush nations and kingdoms, 21to shatter horses and riders, to shatter chariots and their drivers, 22to kill men and women, to slay old and young, to kill boys and girls, 23to slaughter shepherds and their flocks, to slaughter farmers and their plow horses, to crush rulers and high officials.”

Babylonia’s Punishment

24The Lord says, “You will see me repay Babylonia and its people for all the evil they did to Jerusalem. 25Babylonia, you are like a mountain that destroys the whole world, but I, the Lord, am your enemy. I will take hold of you, level you to the ground, and leave you in ashes. 26None of the stones from your ruins will ever be used again for building. You will be like a desert forever. I, the Lord, have spoken.
27“Give the signal to attack! Blow the trumpet so that the nations can hear! Prepare the nations for war against Babylonia! Tell the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz to attack. Appoint an officer to lead the attack. Bring up the horses like a swarm of locusts. 28Prepare the nations for war against Babylonia. Send for the kings of Media, their leaders and officials, and the armies of all the countries they control. 29The earth trembles and shakes because the Lord is carrying out his plan to make Babylonia a desert, where no one lives. 30The Babylonian soldiers have stopped fighting and remain in their forts. They have lost their courage and have become helpless. The city gates are broken down, and the houses are on fire. 31Messenger after messenger runs to tell the king of Babylonia that his city has been broken into from every side. 32The enemy have captured the river crossing and have set the fortresses on fire. The Babylonian soldiers have panicked. 33Soon the enemy will cut them down and trample them like grain on a threshing place. I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, have spoken.”
34The king of Babylonia cut Jerusalem up and ate it. He emptied the city like a jar; like a monster he swallowed it. He took what he wanted and threw the rest away. 35Let the people of Zion say, “May Babylonia be held responsible for the violence done to us!” Let the people of Jerusalem say, “May Babylonia be held responsible for what we have suffered!”

The Lord Will Help Israel

36And so the Lord said to the people of Jerusalem, “I will take up your cause and will make your enemies pay for what they did to you. I will dry up the source of Babylonia’s water and make its rivers go dry. 37That country will become a pile of ruins where wild animals live. It will be a horrible sight; no one will live there, and all who see it will be terrified. 38The Babylonians all roar like lions and growl like lion cubs. 39Are they greedy? I will prepare them a feast and make them drunk and happy. They will go to sleep and never wake up. 40I will take them to be slaughtered, like lambs, goats, and rams. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Babylon’s Fate

41The Lord says about Babylon: “The city that the whole world praised has been captured! What a horrifying sight Babylon has become to the nations! 42The sea has rolled over Babylon and covered it with roaring waves. 43The towns have become a horrifying sight and are like a waterless desert, where no one lives or even travels. 44I will punish Bel, the god of Babylonia, and make him give up his stolen goods; the nations will not worship him any more.
“Babylon’s walls have fallen. 45People of Israel, run away from there! Run for your life from my fierce anger. 46Do not lose courage or be afraid because of the rumors you hear. Every year a different rumor spreads—rumors of violence in the land and of one king fighting another. 47And so the time is coming when I will deal with Babylonia’s idols. The whole country will be put to shame, and all its people will be killed. 48 Everything on earth and in the sky will shout for joy when Babylonia falls to the people who come from the north to destroy it. 49 Babylonia caused the death of people all over the world, and now Babylonia will fall because it caused the death of so many Israelites. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

God’s Message to the Israelites in Babylonia

50The Lord says to his people in Babylonia: “You have escaped death! Now go! Don’t wait! Though you are far from home, think about me, your Lord, and remember Jerusalem. 51You say, ‘We’ve been disgraced and made ashamed; we feel completely helpless because foreigners have taken over the holy places in the Temple.’ 52So then, I say that the time is coming when I will deal with Babylon’s idols, and the wounded will groan throughout the country. 53Even if Babylon could climb to the sky and build a strong fortress there, I would still send people to destroy it. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Further Destruction on Babylon

54The Lord says, “Listen to the sound of crying in Babylon, of mourning for the destruction in the land. 55I am destroying Babylon and putting it to silence. The armies rush in like roaring waves and attack with noisy shouts. 56They have come to destroy Babylon; its soldiers are captured, and their bows are broken. I am a God who punishes evil, and I will treat Babylon as it deserves. 57I will make its rulers drunk—men of wisdom, leaders, and soldiers. They will go to sleep and never wake up. I, the king, have spoken; I am the Lord Almighty. 58The walls of mighty Babylon will be thrown to the ground, and its towering gates burned down. The work of the nations is all for nothing; their efforts go up in flames. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”

Jeremiah’s Message Is Sent to Babylonia

59King Zedekiah’s personal attendant was Seraiah, the son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. In the fourth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah, Seraiah was going to Babylonia with him, and I gave him some instructions. 60I wrote in a book an account of all the destruction that would come on Babylonia, as well as all these other things about Babylonia. 61I told Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, be sure to read aloud to the people everything that is written here. 62Then pray, ‘Lord, you have said that you would destroy this place, so that there would be no living creatures in it, neither people nor animals, and it would be like a desert forever.’ 63 Seraiah, when you finish reading this book to the people, then tie it to a rock and throw it into the Euphrates River 64and say, ‘This is what will happen to Babylonia—it will sink and never rise again because of the destruction that the Lord is going to bring on it.’”
The words of Jeremiah end here.
–from Jeremiah 51

The Fall of Jerusalem

(2 Kings 24.18—25.7)
1Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of the Jeremiah who lived in the city of Libnah. 2King Zedekiah sinned against the Lord, just as King Jehoiakim had done. 3The Lord became so angry with the people of Jerusalem and Judah that he banished them from his sight.
Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, 4 and so Nebuchadnezzar came with all his army and attacked Jerusalem on the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. They set up camp outside the city, built siege walls around it, 5and kept it under siege until Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 6On the ninth day of the fourth month of that same year, when the famine was so bad that the people had nothing left to eat, 7 the city walls were broken through. Although the Babylonians were surrounding the city, all the soldiers escaped during the night. They left by way of the royal garden, went through the gateway connecting the two walls, and fled in the direction of the Jordan Valley. 8But the Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah, captured him in the plains near Jericho, and all his soldiers deserted him. 9Zedekiah was taken to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was in the city of Riblah in the territory of Hamath, and there Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him. 10At Riblah he put Zedekiah’s sons to death while Zedekiah was looking on and he also had the officials of Judah executed. 11 After that, he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him placed in chains and taken to Babylon. Zedekiah remained in prison in Babylon until the day he died.

The Destruction of the Temple

(2 Kings 25.8-17)
12On the tenth day of the fifth month of the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, Nebuzaradan, adviser to the king and commander of his army, entered Jerusalem. 13 He burned down the Temple, the palace, and the houses of all the important people in Jerusalem; 14and his soldiers tore down the city walls. 15Then Nebuzaradan took away to Babylonia the people who were left in the city, the remaining skilled workers, and those who had deserted to the Babylonians. 16But he left in Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property, and he put them to work in the vineyards and fields.
17  The Babylonians broke in pieces the bronze columns and the carts that were in the Temple, together with the large bronze tank, and they took all the bronze to Babylon. 18They also took away the shovels and the ash containers used in cleaning the altar, the tools used in tending the lamps, the bowls used for catching the blood from the sacrifices, the bowls used for burning incense, and all the other bronze articles used in the Temple service. 19They took away everything that was made of gold or silver: the small bowls, the pans used for carrying live coals, the bowls for holding the blood from the sacrifices, the ash containers, the lampstands, the bowls used for incense, and the bowls used for pouring out wine offerings. 20The bronze objects that King Solomon had made for the Temple—the two columns, the carts, the large tank, and the twelve bulls that supported it—were too heavy to weigh. 21-22The two columns were identical: each one was 27 feet high and 18 feet around. They were hollow, and the metal was 3 inches thick. On top of each column was a bronze capital 7½ feet high, and all around it was a grillwork decorated with pomegranates, all of which was also made of bronze. 23On the grillwork of each column there were a hundred pomegranates in all, and ninety-six of these were visible from the ground.

The People of Judah Are Taken to Babylonia

(2 Kings 25.18-21, 27-30)
24In addition, Nebuzaradan, the commanding officer, took away as prisoners Seraiah the High Priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three other important Temple officials. 25From the city he took the officer who had been in command of the troops, seven of the king’s personal advisers who were still in the city, the commander’s assistant, who was in charge of military records, and sixty other important men. 26Nebuzaradan took them to the king of Babylonia, who was in the city of Riblah 27in the territory of Hamath. There the king had them beaten and put to death.
So the people of Judah were carried away from their land into exile. 28This is the record of the people that Nebuchadnezzar took away as prisoners: in his seventh year as king he carried away 3,023; 29in his eighteenth year, 832 from Jerusalem; 30and in his twenty-third year, 745—taken away by Nebuzaradan. In all, 4,600 people were taken away.
31In the year that Evil-merodach became king of Babylonia, he showed kindness to King Jehoiachin of Judah by releasing him from prison. This happened on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year after Jehoiachin had been taken away as a prisoner. 32Evil-merodach treated him kindly and gave him a position of greater honor than he gave the other kings who were exiles with him in Babylonia. 33So Jehoiachin was permitted to change from his prison clothes and to dine at the king’s table for the rest of his life. 34Each day for as long as he lived, he was given a regular allowance for his needs.
–from Jeremiah 52

What’s coming…


How much will it take for you to get it? Will you respond before it is too late? Will you see the signs and still go your own way? Will you think you are ok because of the blessings you have today? Will you realize and remember that God is just and as such justice is coming? There is hope for those who will turn to Jesus and receive Him. There is still time because God is a patient God. Turn back and receive what He has to offer before it is too late!


Last night as I was serving I took some notes and am putting them here to share.


When you consider what’s going to happen, you need to realize that the only hope we have is Jesus. The book of Revelation is revealing Jesus.  Jesus is my hope, how about you?

As we consider the first 3.5 years of the tribulation, lets see what we can find…

  • Traits that emerge
    • (1) God is JUST and justice is coming
  • One day God is going to right every wrong
  • Rev 5 – we see the revelation of the scroll and that nobody was able to unseal it because nobody was worthy causing John to weep
    • it was the title deed to the world
    • If the scroll couldn’t be opened there was no hope
  • Rev 6 – Lamb opens
    • Matt 24:21-22
      • 21For the trouble at that time will be far more terrible than any there has ever been, from the beginning of the world to this very day. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 22But God has already reduced the number of days; had he not done so, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, God will reduce the days.
    • (1a) God judges with patience
    • v9-11 … we see the in the 5th seal being open that the souls of the martyrs are asking how much longer till judgment day and they are avenged. They are given white robes and told to be patient because it is going to be a bit longer.
      • 2 Peter 3:9
        • 9The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.
      • God doesn’t want anyone to be lost and keeps trying all the way to the end, but there are still people who won’t turn back to Him and repent of their ways.
      • God still loves this world. He doesn’t love the evil taking place though.
      • God’s patience isn’t something to be toyed with nor abused, nor taken for granted
      • Romans 2:4
        • 4Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.
        • Don’t misinterpret or mistake patience for God being ok with how we are living
      • God sent judges in the book of Judges – they were sent to deliver the people from the sin
      • We need to keep sharing the good news
      • Consider Noah… it took 120 years to build the boat
        • people had 120 years to take God seriously
        • people had 120 years to change their ways
        • people had 120 years to get into the Ark
        • Noah was a creature of righteousness and blameless
        • He preached righteousness, yet nobody believed
        • Matt 24:38
          • 38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; 39yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes.
    • (1b) God’s judgment is progressive
      • there is a limit to His patience
      • Three 7s show the progression, the opportunities for people to turn, the chances to change
        • 7 seals
        • 7 trumpets
        • 7 bowls
      • It was progressing through each…7 chances through each seal. 7 chances through each trumpet. 7 chances through each bowl
      • Repent, turn back and God could stop the judgment against you
        • But as we read there are still people who don’t and won’t
      • The progression is like birth pain which get stronger and harder and more frequent
        • 1st seal – Conqueror
        • 2nd seal – World War breaks out
        • 3rd seal – Affects of World War on the world – famine and poverty
        • 4th seal – wide spread death
        • 5th seal – martyrs asking when and God saying to be patient, still a bit more time
        • It’s interesting to consider what John is seeing as he tries to describe it since you know he hasn’t seen anything like this before and is saying things like “it was like” “as a” could it be some of the sophisticated military machines that we have or are yet to come? could it be …
        • Rev 7:1 – could you imagine no wind at all
        • Rev 8 – could you imagine 1/2 hour of complete silence in heaven?
      • New progression starts as opportunities to turn back to God continue (144000 Jewish saved)
        • Trumpet 1 – 1/3 of the earth destroyed
        • Trumpet 2 – 1/3 of the sea destroyed
        • Trumpet 3 – 1/3 of the rivers and streams
        • Trumpet 4 – 1/3 of the sky destroyed (sun, moon, stars, goes dark)
        • Trumpet 5 – Torture of man begins…they will wish they were dead and could die, but won’t
        • Trumpet 6 – 1/3 of the human race killed
        • Trumpet 7 – Judgment, Reward, Destruction begins now
      • Consider two farmers…one who believes and one who doesn’t. One who doesn’t work the field on the Sabbath and one who does. The one who goes against God’s way gets a better harvest and questions the other farmer. The other farmer’s response was “God doesn’t settle accounts in October”. God’s timing is perfect and everyone who doesn’t turn back to God will deal with the judgment because they haven’t been written in the book of life.
      • So don’t judge what is taking place today to mean what will happen, God’s timing is perfect. God is just, and justice is coming.
      • There will be a time when everyone has to give an account
  • (1) God is just
  • (2) God is merciful
    • 144000 Jewish evangelists
    • 2 witnesses speaking to try and convince more
      • some think it may be Moses and Elijah
      • We see in Rev 11 that they are killed, raised back to life, and then raised up to heaven
      • 1/10 of Israel gets destroyed
    • Rev 14:6-7 – Before final judgment, He sends an angel to share salvation
      • 6Then I saw another angel flying high in the air, with an eternal message of Good News to announce to the peoples of the earth, to every race, tribe, language, and nation. 7He said in a loud voice, “Honor God and praise his greatness! For the time has come for him to judge all people. Worship him who made heaven, earth, sea, and the springs of water!”
    • God reaches out through it all trying to get people to turn to Him, to repent
    • People still don’t turn back

God is Just! Jesus is our only hope

We need to deal with the sin problem and only Jesus can deal with it!