Peace in the midst of change…


2022 is still focused on THRIVE. In the midst of how 2022 is filling up with change, it requires finding a way to manage and navigate the stresses and strains that come with it. Be it something as simple as managing a new puppy. Be it something a challenging as sending your oldest daughter off to boot camp. Be it mentally preparing for your younger daughter to go off to college in the fall. Be it wrapping up the review process to close out 2021. Be it putting together a multitude of documentation to help communicate the roles and responsibilities for your team to a new management chain so that they can be informed and able to best decide what the organizational change that is required to happen to help the business thrive can be done in the most effective and efficient way. Be it prepping for another year of camps that will bless teenage foster kids. And in the midst of all of this, how do we make it so that we can find peace. In the midst of all of this, how do we make forward progress towards thriving rather than just being stuck and going nowhere like running on a treadmill? It comes down to who has the pen! We can’t give the pen over to fear, worry, and doubt! We need to give the pen to God with faith, hope, and love! We need to cling to God who is able to bring about peace in one of three ways: He causes a peace that surpasses any understanding within us (calm the storm in me), He can create peace by calming the storm outside of me, or He can provide peace by walking through the storm with us. The key is not trying to go it alone! We need to walk it out with Him! We need to be sensitive to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit so that we can be good stewards of our time and energy. So today, let’s choose to trust God with helping us write the story of our life and walk out this day in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not allow stress and worries to pile up on our shoulders but grab hold of God’s instruction to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us! Let’s decide to hand the situation over to God because trying to worry or be anxious about it won’t help anything, it won’t make things better, and it won’t help us get through today. So today’s through prayer and supplication, let’s make our needs known to God! He cares for us!

Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Amos 5:24 which says:

‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! ‘

Amos 5:24

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day1.


So where are you at today? As we hit the second hump day of the year, are you needing God to step in and help? Are you needing His peace that surpasses all understanding to come into your life? Are you needing His strength to help you make it through? Are you needing His wisdom and discernment to help you manage and navigate through? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your situation rather than trying to go it alone? Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Peace


Sermon Notes from a sermon preached by Pastor Steve Jamison. You can watch and hear it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/c24vkC7x2yk

‘In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. ‘

Luke 2:1-21

God did amazing things in the midst of Jesus coming.

  • Caesar Augustus decreed a census
  • God sent angels to announce the coming of Jesus to the angels in the hills of Bethlehem
  • Revelation – to lift the cover or the veil.
    • ‘“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” ‘
      Luke 2:14

3 Levels of Peace

  1. Peace with God
    • Isaiah – spoke of the coming of the Messiah
    • ‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’
      Isaiah 53:1-12
  2. Peace of God
    • A sense of wellbeing and wholeness
    • Surrounds you in the midst of the storms
    • He cares and is right with you
    • We may not know the next step or where we are going but we can have peace
    • We need to access, activate, and apply the peace of God
    • ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ‘
      Philippians 4:4-7
    • Not just hearing the truth but it is activating it.
  3. Peace with each other
    • it’s available but you have to act upon what you know is real and true
    • ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ‘
      Colossians 3:12-17

The story of the birth of Jesus was recorded for us.

2019, 2020, 2021, … What comes to mind? Time of stress or stress-free?


What causes stress for you? Where do you turn to try and relieve stress? What do you do to try and relieve stress? How do you try and relieve stress? Who can you go to or turn to in order to try and relieve stress? When is it time to try and relieve stress?

Over the years I have seen much change. Over the years it seemed like some people thought it would be a change of jobs and hence we see the great resignation. Over the years it seemed like some people thought it would be isolating themselves. Over the years it seemed that some people have discovered keeping healthy boundaries in the midst of having to work from home raises concerns, issues, and stress. Over the years many have lost jobs because of mandates and regulations. Over the years many have lost jobs because the businesses have been forced to shut down. Over the years some have grabbed hold of government money and are now having to also deal with inflation and expectations of higher-paying jobs no matter the job. Companies struggle to find people. Companies struggle to retain people. Companies will need to determine how will they consider and address this going forward. With fewer people in the workforce or willing to work does it or will it trigger additional automation and a bigger shortage? Consider the Amazon stores where there aren’t people checking you out or welcoming you in and things just happen as you add/remove items from your cart and whatever is in the cart when you leave gets charged to you. What kind of jobs will require people to do them? What kinds of jobs will require people to go back to them? What kinds of jobs will be lost forever?

STRESS… Is it a verb or noun when you think about it?

Ever realized how much stress is in the world? Ever realized what stress is? Ever considered what the alternatives are? Do you realize that stress is hard for scientists to deal with because it tends to be subjective? Ever considered that different people measure stress differently and that if we can’t measure stress that it can also be hard to manage it? Do you realize that stress is caused by change? 2019, 2020, 2021, … have been filled to overflowing with changes globally.

Do you realize there is a tipping point for stress where it goes from healthy to unhealthy?

https://www.stress.org/what-is-stress#:~:text=stress%20can%20be,before%20you%20are.
Stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.
 As illustrated to the left, increased stress results in increased productivity – up to a point, after which things go rapidly downhill. However, that point or peak differs for each of us, so you need to be sensitive to the early warning symptoms and signs that suggest a stress overload is starting to push you over the hump. Such signals also differ for each of us and can be so subtle that they are often ignored until it is too late. Not infrequently, others are aware that you may be headed for trouble before you are.

Stress can be caused by physical stimuli. Stress can be caused by emotional stimuli. Stress can cause ulcers. Stress can cause shrinkage of lymphoid tissue like lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, adenoids, and other structures. Stress can cause enlargement of adrenals which then impact the body’s ability to keep a healthy metabolism. Persistent stress can cause heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. We can only take so much stress and strain. Stress can be measured by the wear and tear on the body. Before we jump to the definitions, let’s consider the differences between Stress and Strain:

Parameters of ComparisonStressStrain
DefinitionStress is a force and is defined as the repelling force to a unit area of the object or deforming and restoring force per unit area.The Strain is the variation in the shape of an object per the original shape or the deformation per unit area.
Unit of measurementStress has two main categories one is tensile, and another is compressive stress. The measuring unit of Stress is N/m2 (SI).There are two main types of Strain normal strain and shear strain. It has no unit of measurement.
DependenceStress does not depend on Strain as it can exist without Strain.Strain only happens when there is Stress, or it only happens when Stress is applied to an object.
TypesThe various sorts of Stress are tensile, compressive, and shear stress.Strain is categorized into tensile, compressive, shear, and volumetric strain.
Symbol and FormulaStress is designated by the Greek symbol sigma, and the formula for Stress is represented by Stress =force/ Cross-sectional area or σ= F/A.Strain is symbolized by ‘ε,’ that is epsilon, and the formula is given by: ε= dt/t.
https://askanydifference.com/difference-between-stress-and-strain/

We will start with what our human nature or definitions tell us before we turn to God and His Word to find a way to get stress relief.

Definition of Stress found in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress:

stress

noun

\ ˈstres  \

Essential Meaning of stress

  1. a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
    — She uses meditation as a way of reducing/relieving stress.
    — Hormones are released into the body in response to emotional stress.
    — He needs help with stress management. [=ways to deal with stress]
  2. something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
    — I’m sorry for being grumpy. I’ve been under (a lot of) stress at work lately.
    — She is dealing with the stresses of working full-time and going to school.
    — He talked about the stresses and strains of owning a business.
  3. physical force or pressure
    — Carrying a heavy backpack around all day puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and back.
    — To reduce the amount of stress on your back, bend your knees when you lift something heavy.
    See More Examples

Full Definition of stress  (Entry 1 of 2)

  1.  constraining force or influence: such as
    a: a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part especially: the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
    b: the deformation caused in a body by such a force
    c: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
    d: a state resulting from a stress especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium job-related stress
    e: STRAINPRESSUREthe environment is under stress to the point of collapse— Joseph Shoben
  2.  EMPHASISWEIGHTlay stress on a point
  3. archaic intense effort or exertion
  4. intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness
  5. a: relative force or prominence of sound in verse
    b: a syllable having relative force or prominence
  6. ACCENT sense 5a

stress

verb

stressedstressingstresses

Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

  1. to subject to physical or psychological stress
    stressing the equipment
    — this traffic is stressing me out
  2. to subject to phonetic stress ACCENT
  3. to lay stress on EMPHASIZE
    stressed the importance of teamwork

intransitive verbto feel stress stressing about the big exam—often used with out

Definition of Strain found in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strain:

strain

noun

\ ˈstrān  \

Definition of strain (Entry 1 of 3)

  1. a: LINEAGEANCESTRY
    b: a group of presumed common ancestry with clear-cut physiological but usually not morphological distinctions
    — a high-yielding strain of winter wheat
    broadlya specified infraspecific group (such as a stock, line, or ecotype)
    c: KINDSORT
    — discussions of a lofty strain
  2. a: inherited or inherent character, quality, or disposition
    — a strain of weakness in the family
    b: TRACESTREAK
    — a strain of fanaticism
  3. a: TUNEAIR
    b: a passage of verbal or musical expression
    c: a stream or outburst of forceful or impassioned speech
  4. a: the tenor, pervading note, burden, or tone of an utterance or of a course of action or conduct
    b: MOODTEMPER

strain

verb

strainedstrainingstrains

Definition of strain (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb
  1. a: to draw tight cause to fit firmly
    strain the bandage over the wound
    b: to stretch to maximum extension and tautness
    strain a canvas over a frame
  2. a: to exert (oneself, one’s senses, etc.) to the utmost
    b: to injure by overuse, misuse, or excessive pressure
    strained his back
    c: to cause a change of form or size in (a body) by application of external force
  3. to squeeze or clasp tightly: such as
    a: HUG
    b: to compress painfully CONSTRICT
  4. a: to cause to pass through a strainerFILTER
    b: to remove by straining
    strain lumps out of the gravy
  5. to stretch beyond a proper limit
    — that story strains my credulity
  6. obsolete to squeeze out EXTORT
intransitive verb
  1. a: to make violent efforts STRIVE has to strain to reach the high notes
    b: to pull against resistancea dog straining at its leashc: to contract the muscles forcefully in attempting to defecate —often used in the phrase strain at stool
  2. to pass through or as if through a strainerthe liquid strains readily
  3. to make great difficulty or resistance BALK strain a point: to go beyond a usual, accepted, or proper limit or rule

strain

noun (2)

Definition of strain (Entry 3 of 3)

  1. an act of straining or the condition of being strained: such as
    a: bodily injury from excessive tension, effort, or use
    — heart strain
    especiallyone resulting from a wrench or twist and involving undue stretching of muscles or ligaments
    — back strain
    b: excessive or difficult exertion or labor
    c: excessive physical or mental tensionalsoa force, influence, or factor causing such tension
    — a strain on the marriage
    d: deformation of a material body under the action of applied forces
  2. an unusual reach, degree, or intensity PITCH
  3. archaic a strained interpretation of something said or written

So with all this insight and perspective from the natural or human world, let’s take a moment to stop and turn to God, the author, creator, and perfector to see what He has to say:


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 12TH


God’s Formula For Stress Relief


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.’

Isaiah 26:3

Let’s look for more context and details around today’s verse by expanding the verse and using the Amplified version.

‘In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts. Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful and trustworthy. You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. For He has thrown down the [arrogant] ones who dwell on high, the lofty and inaccessible city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He hurls it to the dust. The foot will trample it, Even the feet of the suffering, and the steps of the helpless.” The way of the righteous [those in right-standing with God—living in moral and spiritual integrity] is smooth and level; O Upright One, make a level path for the just and righteous. Indeed, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited expectantly for You; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire and deep longing of our souls. In the night my soul longs for You [O Lord ], Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For [only] when Your judgments are experienced on the earth Will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor, He does not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he deals unjustly, And refuses to see the majesty of the Lord. Though Your hand is lifted up [to strike], O Lord, the wicked do not see it. Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame; Indeed, let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them. Lord, You will establish peace for us, Since You have also performed for us all that we have done. O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled over us; But through You alone we confess Your name. The [wicked] dead will not live [again], the spirits of the dead will not rise and return; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out every memory of them [every trace of them]. You have increased the nation, O Lord; You have increased the nation, You are glorified; You have extended all the borders of the land. O Lord, they sought You in distress; They managed only a prayerful whisper When Your discipline was upon them. As a woman with child approaches the time to give birth, She is in pain and struggles and cries out in her labor, So we were before You, O Lord. We have been with child, we have twisted and struggled in labor; We gave birth, as it seems, only to wind. We could not accomplish salvation for the earth, Nor were inhabitants of the world born. Your dead will live; Their dead bodies will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy! For your dew is a dew of [celestial] light [heavenly, supernatural], And the earth will give birth to the spirits of the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers And shut your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until the [Lord’s ] wrath is past. Listen carefully, the Lord is about to come out of His [heavenly] place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing]; The earth will reveal the [innocent] blood shed upon her And will no longer cover her slain.’

Isaiah 26:1-21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Perfect peace, is that what you want?
  • Perfect peace, is that what you are looking for?
  • Perfect peace, the one that goes beyond all understanding, is that the one?
  • Would you recognize it if you saw it?
  • Do you know what you are looking for?
  • If stress is an alarm clock, when it goes off do you keep hitting the snooze button? Or worse, do you just shut it off or unplug it?
  • Is the alarm that is going off busyness?
  • Is the alarm that is going off hurriedness?
  • Is the alarm that is going off overwhelmingness?
  • Are you looking for peace or a distraction?
  • Are you looking for peace or an escape?
  • So why not stop, turn back to God, and allow His peace into your life?
  • If Isaiah was able to offer such a peace to people who were dealing with a lot more than what we are or could be dealing with then why not us?
  • If Isaiah was able to offer such a peace to men and women who had been defeated in war and taken into slavery, how much do these words mean for you and me and our circumstances today?
  • Feeling like life is out of control? Turn to God and allow Him who promised to rescue you to do so.
  • Feeling like life is out of control? Turn to God and allow Him who promised to restore you to do so.
  • God’s promise wasn’t just physically! It was a promise spiritually and emotionally too!
  • Perfect peace doesn’t come from schedules or happenstance.
  • The key to perfect peace is focusing on God! His goodness! His strength! His kindness! His love! His purpose!
  • Let’s go beyond knowing and step into trusting these things are true of God!
  • Let’s go from head knowledge to heart trusting God!
  • Let’s go from knowing about God to having a relationship and getting to delight and experience His leading each day!
  • Let’s allow His peace be a benchmark for when the stresses of life come our way!
  • Let’s allow God to lead and guide us when those stresses come so that we can say yes or no in alignment with God’s purpose and plan!
  • Let’s focus on getting God’s good works that He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish to get done rather than chasing after possessions, positions, and pleasure!
  • Let’s decide today that we will pursue God’s perfect peace!
  • Are you missing out or lacking in comfort or peace?
  • Do you have peace and hope today?
  • God’s faithfulness isn’t based on us.
  • Peace and Reconciliation (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 12])

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things that rob you of God’s peace?
  • What are some ways you can fix your mind and heart on God’s character and His will for you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Surely it makes sense that the Lord who knew how to create the world knows how to run it– including even your life.”

Zig Ziglar

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which means we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 12:

‘In the meantime, after so many thousands of the people had gathered that they were stepping on one another, Jesus began speaking first of all to His disciples, “Be continually on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees [that is, their pervasive, corrupting influence and teaching], which is hypocrisy [producing self-righteousness]. But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows. “I say to you, whoever declares openly and confesses Me before men [speaking freely of Me as his Lord], the Son of Man also will declare openly and confess him [as one of His own] before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever intentionally discredits the Holy Spirit by attributing the authenticating miracles done by Me to Satan], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness]. When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Someone from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or an arbitrator over [the two of] you?” Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.”

Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.” Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed and ready for active service, and keep your lamps continuously burning. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks they may immediately open the door for him. Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those servants whom the master finds awake and watching when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will prepare himself to serve, and will have them recline at the table, and will come and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch (before midnight), or even in the third (after midnight), and finds them so [prepared and ready], blessed are those servants. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he [would have been awake and alert, and] would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be continually ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us [disciples], or to everyone else as well?”

The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward [of the estate], whom his master will put in charge over his household, to give his servants their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking his time in coming,’ and begins to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and yet did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will be beaten with many lashes [of the whip], but the one who did not know it and did things worthy of a beating, will receive only a few [lashes]. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

“I have come to cast fire (judgment) on the earth; and how I wish that it were already kindled! I have a baptism [of great suffering] with which to be baptized, and how [greatly] I am distressed until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division [between believers and unbelievers]; for from now on five in one household will be divided [over Me], three against two and two against three. They 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.” He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain,’ and that is how it turns out. And when [you see that] a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it happens. You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! You know how to analyze and intelligently interpret the appearance of the earth and sky [to forecast the weather], but why do you not intelligently interpret this present time? “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? For while you are going with your opponent [at law] to appear before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge does not [rule against you and] turn you over to the officer, and the officer does not throw you into prison. I say to you, you [absolutely] will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”’

Luke 12:1-59

So where are you at today? Are you at a tipping point where you need to deal with or find a method so that you can get healthy again? Are you needing God’s wisdom and discernment to help you get your life back on track and His help in running it? Are you looking to find that peace that surpasses all understanding? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and your life? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Do you realize the boomerang effect exists? Some call it the principle of sowing and reaping…


Today is a new day and you get to choose how you will live it. You get to choose what you will sow into it. You will get to reap into the future for whatever you have sown. What will you choose to plant today? Will you choose to plant hope, love, trust, integrity, and faith into the lives of others? Will you choose to plant things that will build up others? It’s not rocket science, it’s agricultural. It’s not magic, it’s science. It’s not made up, it’s the truth. So what will you throw out today? If you know it is going to boomerang back at you would that change your decision? If you know it is going to produce a return that you will get to reap would that change your decision? If you knew that based on the amount you sow the return or amount you will reap will be in accordance, would that change your decision?

Let’s check out what the Bible has to say about sowing and reaping:

  • One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. — Galatians 6:6-10
  • Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” — Luke 6:38
  • The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
  • Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. — Proverbs 22:8
  • Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. — Malachi 3:10
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. — Psalm 126:5-6
  • For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; … — Ecclesiastes 3:1-9
  • For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no flour; if it were to yield, strangers would devour it. — Hosea 8:7
  • “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” — Luke 18:10-14
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. — Hosea 10:12
  • As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.– Job 4:8
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. — Romans 13:7
  • ‘ “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God. ‘ — Matthew 5:9

So what will return to you? What will you reap? Let’s decide to plant what is good, what is right, what is just, what comes from a heart of love in order that what we reap in return will align.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 3rd


Rude Leads to Rude


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.’

Proverbs 15:18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever seen this in real life? In a meeting? In a store? In an intersection? In politics?
  • Ever noticed how the pace of life seems to have picked up which escalate things?
  • Ever noticed how the pressures of life have grown which have escalated things?
  • Do you realize how much has changed in the past couple generations?
  • Two generations ago most Americans lived on farms.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when the pace is based on the seasons of the year.
  • Imagine how life would have been different when it comes to expectations compared to where we are at today.
  • Do you realize how much has changed in one generation?
  • Imagine a place where most people walked to work.
  • Imagine a place where family life was more stable with nightly family dinners with minimal distractions.
  • So where are you at today? What are the stressors in your life? Is it caused by greater mobility? Is it caused by higher expectations? Is it caused by extra stress?
  • Have you noticed the impact of stressed people?
  • Have you noticed the lack of patience and the increase in tension because of stress?
  • Does it seem there are more hotheaded people who go off than there used to be?
  • Does it seem like patience is lower and more people seem to get provoked than before?
  • Does it seem like more people are saying things they wouldn’t have before?
  • Ever noticed how when one person blows up it can trigger a chain reaction?
  • Ever noticed or been the one who steps back and allows or causes things to cool down?
  • It may not be cold and many may stay at the simmering stage, on ready to go off again.
  • Ever noticed how many people have short fuses these days?
  • Are you ready to bring a cooler head to the situation?
  • Are you ready to be a peacemaker who will reduce the fire and tension?
  • Peacemaker doesn’t mean push over!
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than conflict.
  • Peacemaker means being able to speak calmly and go after resolution rather than escalating conflict.
  • Are you at peace or do you need God’s help to bring peace into you first?
  • You need to be filled with peace for peace to come out of you!
  • You need to release the stresses to God so that they don’t come out of you instead of peace!
  • So are you ready to get rid of or reduce the stressors in your life and give them up to God?
  • Let’s grab hold of God’s instruction in James 1 that says:
    • ‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. ‘ James 1:19-25
  • Then we can be peacemakers into the lives of those around us and point them to God too to help them defuse and destress!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When have you seen tension escalate between angry people?
  • Are you a peacemaker? If not, what can you do to reduce stress so you can have a cool head?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people get is taking a bite out of you.” 

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you today? What are you sowing and reaping? Are you deciding to be a peacemaker? Are you ready to live out your today in a way that will make a difference? Are you ready to plant good into the lives of others today? Need some help? Why not invite God into your situation and allow Him to work in and through you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Needing some comfort today?


Yesterday set me in a position where I need God’s favor, God’s help, and most of all God’s comfort in the midst of it all. Be it a miscommunication associated with my daughter’s home coming transportation and so now trying to see if we can still get a bus for the right day. Be it getting what the team needs from a different team to be able to get things done for that other team. Be it working out dates for a camp (which looks to be coming together, thanks be to God!). I am starting this day both with needs of divine intervention as well as God’s comfort to support and encourage me through it all.

So I invite the Holy Spirit into each situation for He is my comforter and my guide. So I lift each of these needs up and cast them on God because He cares for me. My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! And so I ask for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to guard my heart and my mind in order to get through this day with hope and peace by the grace and comfort of God!

How about you? Do you have something weighing on you? Do you have something that needs prayer? If you would like someone to join with you in prayer, please feel free to email prayerrequest@from2005toeternity.com so I can pray with you. God knows what we have need of before we ask. Are you willing to humble yourself enough to ask? Are you ready for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to enter into your situation? Are you ready to be comforted by the comforter who is the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to receive comforting? Are you ready to give comfort? What is it that today will be for each of us?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 12th


Bringing Comfort


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ‘

II Corinthians 1:3-4

Today’s verse is an interesting one where we learn how God is comforting us so that we are able to comfort others in the midst of the troubles that are taking place. Let’s learn from how God comforts us in order to be able to comfort others. Let’s grab hold of the full context of this as verses 3-7 speak to Comfort in Suffering and verses 8-11 speak to Delivered from Suffering. Let’s grab hold of God’s truth and God’s promises. Remember the promise that He will not leave us and will not forsake and will not abandon us! Let’s check out the greater context using the Amplified version:

‘Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

‘For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers]. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you like pain?
  • Do you question pain and suffering?
  • Are you one of those people who say “no pain, no gain”?
  • Are you someone who makes a funny face when someone says “no pain, no gain”?
  • Do you ever wonder where God is in the midst of the pain or suffering?
  • Do you ever wonder why this is happening?
  • Ever reflected on the various reasons for suffering that are called out in the Bible?
    • natural disasters
    • consequences of our own sins
    • effects of other people’s sins on us
  • We may or may not ever figure out the cause or the reason.
  • We can’t control what happens to us but we can control our response.
  • So when it happens (and if it hasn’t yet, it will as we read in John 16:33) we can take hold of Jesus’s additional statement to take heart because He has overcome the world and as such we have 2 things we can include in our response:
    • turn to God for comfort
    • comfort others who are in pain too
  • God never promised that life would be pain-free.
  • Beware of preachers who try and tell you or even promise you unlimited prosperity and wealth for they are hoaxes and not biblical.
  • God does promise to be with us in and through the pain and suffering though. He promises that we won’t have to go through it alone!
  • He offers for us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us!
  • He promises that our pain will never be in vain!
  • He promises to step into the very situation in order to give us comfort in and through the experience.
  • Remember that what the devil planned for evil God is able to turn around and use for good!
  • So invite God in so that you can feel His presence in the midst of the pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide you with comfort in the midst of your pain and suffering!
  • So invite God in so that He can provide enough comfort that you will be able to comfort others even in the midst of your own pain and suffering!
  • So let’s cling to God through this time! No matter how long or short it may be, let’s not let go but instead let God in and cling to Him through it all!
  • Let’s cling to God and allow His mercy and His comfort to help us!
  • We need Him to be comforting us to be in any shape or form to be able to comfort others!
  • With God’s comforting we are then able to comfort those who are in despair, feeling emptiness and heartache.
  • Let’s not try to coverup or camouflage the situations but be real in and through them.
  • Let’s not try to use canned phrases or methods to try and comfort others but instead allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and discernment for the very situation!
  • Let’s be present! The ministry of presence can be sufficient to help us in the midst of our troubles and pain and suffering.
  • Let’s be present! Let’s allow God’s wisdom to help us to keep quiet or to speak as He leads! We don’t want to say something that will make it worse!
  • We need to grab hold of God’s mercy and grace and how it comforted us. We need to remember and experience God’s kindness, tenderness, patience, and love in the dark times in order to be able to support others when they are in their dark times!
  • Let’s not forget what God has done and let’s use it to help others!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when you were hurting. What questions did you ask? What brought real comfort?
  • Who are some people around you today who need to be comforted? What will you do?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There is nothing you will ever face that you and God can’t handle. The Lord promises us He will give us the grace to bear whatever burden comes our way.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you in need of comforting? Are you supposed to come alongside someone to help comfort them as God has comforted you? Are you in the midst of being comforted and still need to be able to comfort others? Are you in need of help to be filled up in order to share? Let’s turn to God and turn to prayer for help in navigating where we are at:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Do you realize the importance of leaders? Do you realize the importance of praying for those in leadership positions?


It is important to have good leaders because they guide others on their way. It is important to have good leaders because they will help mentor, be role models, motivate and support others, and help with communication. It is important to have good leaders because they help build a good environment which translates into success, morale, and connectivity/retention. It is important to have good leaders who are resilient, creative, humble, compassionate and visionary. It is important to have a good leader who can have a vision and communicate it. It is important to have a good leader who can inspire others. It is important to have a good leader who has a passion for the cause, the purpose, and the people. It is important to have a good leader who is able to inspire; who can motivate and rejuvenate people, build and maintain morale. It is important to have a good leader who is positive, in the midst of the highs and the lows. It is important to have a good leader who listens to people and is able to communicate well and clearly. Having a good leader is kind of like love. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ‘ These are all great characteristics of a good leader!

So you get a picture of why a leader is important!

God is looking for leaders who will step up and stand firm on His purpose and calling for their lives. ‘“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. ‘ — Ezekiel 22:30

The consequences when that leader won’t show up and won’t follow God’s directions and prompting can be catastrophic. ‘So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord .”’ — Ezekiel 22:31

So let’s take hold of our role and the state of our heart and mind and how God’s Word directs us:

  • ‘ If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’
    2 Chronicles 7:14
  • ‘ And seek (inquire for, require, and request) the peace and welfare of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captive; and pray to the Lord for it, for in the welfare of [the city in which you live] you will have welfare.’
    Jeremiah 29:7
  • ‘ FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.’
    1 Timothy 2:1-2
  • ‘ Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.’
    1 Peter 2:17

And now that we are aligned with God and have set our hearts and mind on His plan, purpose, will, and wisdom, let’s grab hold of the importance of us praying for those in leadership!

  • ‘ He makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations [and then straitens and shrinks them again], and leads them [away captive]. He takes away understanding from the leaders of the people of the land and of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no path. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them to stagger and wander like a drunken man.’
    Job 12:23-25
  • ‘ Now therefore, O you kings, act wisely; be instructed and warned, O you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him].’
    Psalm 2:10-11
  • ‘ MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. [Prov. 1:7.] For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints. [I Sam. 2:9; Ps. 66:8, 9.]’
    Proverbs 2:1-8
  • ‘ For skillful and godly Wisdom shall enter into your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you. Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you,’
    Proverbs 2:10-11
  • ‘ Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.’
    Proverbs 11:14
  • ‘ THE KING’S heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.’
    Proverbs 21:1

So let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s not grow weary in praying for our leadership. Let’s even consider how we can join together and pray for those in authority. Ever seen or heard of the difference groups available to pray for those in leadership? Here is one example you can check out (https://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/) and that throughout the various leaders in my lifetime I have stayed subscribed to their emails because it is important to pray for those who are in leadership and authority over us! When I did a search for prayer groups for praying for leadership I was also able to find these references too:

So before reading this post did you already realize the importance of leadership? Before reading this post did you already realize the importance of praying for those in authority over you and those in leadership in general? Are you ready to get started or dig deeper now? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you walk into that meeting room? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to work? Are you ready to pray for leaders before you get to church? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you get out of bed in the morning? Are you ready to pray for leadership before you start your day? Will you choose to go beyond knowing to praying?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 12th


Praying for Leaders


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ‘

I Timothy 2:1-4

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you someone who complains about leadership or are you praying to God for them?
  • When it comes to the different leaders in your life does their specific focus area make a difference on your answer to the first question?
  • Do you complain about or pray for national politicians?
  • Do you complain about or pray for corporate managers?
  • Do you complain about or pray for bureaucrats at every level of government?
  • Do you complain about or pray for church leaders?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that good governance brings about peace and stability?
  • Are you praying for them because you know that with the peace and stability the gospel will be able to continue to spread?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter or not?
  • Are you focusing your energy on bickering about politics, wars, bickering, and conflicts?
  • Are you focusing your energy on things that matter like sharing Christ and His Kingdom?
  • We may not agree with the politicians but we can decide to see things as they are with the kingship of Jesus where in that kingdom is grace and forgiveness!
  • Let’s make the choice to focus on God’s will and God’s way, they may not fully be seen yet but it is better this than focusing on the temporary and things that don’t and won’t last or matter.
  • As we learn from God’s Word, political power and any authority can be useful and helpful to the building of the kingdom of God if and when it comes along with providing peace and stability!
  • When we find we have peace and stability we are then able to focus on what matters most.
  • So today when your politicians come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your corporate leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • So today when your church or religious leaders come to mind, pray for them.
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority there will be peace that will allow for you to focus on what really matters!
  • When you pray for them, pray that under their leadership and authority God’s Good News will be able to spread!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you usually think and talk about your political, corporate, and religious leaders?
  • Take some time now to pray for them and for the cause of Christ to spread.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Today’s devotional had an author but in my desire to link to the quote and author I found many conflicting opinions on the origin and so no name is being given.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you a leader or a follower? In reality we are all followers it is a matter of have we been given a position of leadership in some aspect of life. So are you praying for those in authority over you? Are you seeking wisdom on what to do and how to proceed? Are you needing direction and help? Are you needing hope and joy? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Are you troubled? Are you struggling? Are you stressed?


What’s going on in your life today? Are you burning the candle at all four ends? That’s right, I said four. Do you realize how hard and bad things can get when you are burning the candle on both ends? Imagine if you lit the middle of it, now you have it burning on all four ends which means it is going to burn up even quicker. Is it causing you troubles? Is it causing you to struggle? Is it causing you to become stressed? Do you know what to do? Do you know what you can do? Do you know where to turn? Do you know how to get help?

There is a key to this problem. His name is Jesus! Just a few days back we had a post where the verse was about coming to Jesus all those who are weary. There was another recent post about casting our cares on Jesus because He cares for us! Jesus warns us and encourages us when it comes to being troubled and how we can take heart! So when you are feeling troubled, are you willing to take heart? When you are starting to struggle, are you willing to turn to Jesus? When you are starting to get stressed, are you willing to cast your cares on Jesus?

Need someone to talk to about it? Scroll to the end of this post as I have shared some contact information so that you can reach out to me if you would like. We can share life. We can pray together. We can invite Jesus into your very situation. We can put Jesus in the center and allow Him to help us through it. We had a post recently about getting connected with Jesus and walking out this life with Him! If you are willing, He is able! God is bigger than any troubles we will face! God is bigger than any struggle we can go through! God is bigger than anything that can cause us stress! We just need to choose to invite Him in! Are you willing? He’s able! Are you ready to trade your sorrows and your pain for the joy of the Lord? Are you willing to receive a peace that surpasses all understanding? Jesus is ready to make the trade! Are you willing to give it up?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 27th


Course Correction


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord ’s counsel—that will stand.’

Proverbs 19:21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is really important? What are you focusing on?
  • People are what is most important to God. People are the only things that will go into eternity and God desires that they will choose to spend eternity with Him.
  • Stuff will burn up and fade away.
  • Things won’t last the test of time.
  • Are you currently focusing on taking the world by storm? Is it for something important? Will it impact lives?
  • Are you currently focusing on trying to understand how you go to this point? Are you focusing on what is important? Will it impact lives?
  • Are you focusing on building a legacy? Is it a legacy that is based on what is important? Will it impact lives?
  • How do you know if it is important? How do you know if it is really important? Do you have a consultant or counselor who can let you know for sure?
  • Why not bring it to God so that the you can be focusing on what is important to God and receive the Lord’s counsel!
  • Are you struggling because you are dealing with the urgent without realizing if it is important?
  • Are you troubled because you are dealing with the fire drills of urgency rather than the things that are truly important?
  • Are you stressed because of all the things that are claiming to be urgent rather than being able to focus on doing what is important?
  • Remember how in our younger years how everything seemed so urgent?
  • Remember how that caused us to rush from place to place, event to event, activity to activity without being able to enjoy the journey between them?
  • Do you realize that we need a higher authority to help in deciding importance vs urgency? Do you realize it may mean we don’t have the answers? Do you realize that it may mean our friends don’t have all the answers?
  • Are you ready and willing to turn to God for answers? Are your ready and willing to turn to His Word for instruction and direction? Are you ready to measure these things we thought were so important up against what the Word of God has to say through scripture?
  • Are you ready to find out which things seemed important aren’t in God’s eyes?
  • Are you ready to find out which things seemed trivial are vital in God’s eyes?
  • Are you ready to start measuring using God’s measuring stick rather than what the culture is saying is important?
  • Are you ready to take hold of the difference between something that is central rather than the smaller things?
  • Over the years the topic of First Things First has come up many times in my life. From the audiobook on cassette playing in my car, to the book I picked up, to what God has spoken into and over my life since making the decision back in 2001 to receive and begin a relationship with Him. And the number of times I have included or written about it through this blog.
  • We need to discover God’s purposes
  • We need to pursue God’s purposes
  • We need to pursue God’s purposes with the passion of all of our hearts
  • We need to make our plans follow after God’s leading
  • We can then determine to live a life of plans according to His purposes that will produce good fruit and positive impact that will last and stand the test of time for the praise, the honor, and the glory of God in Jesus’ name.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

What are somethings most people think are really important today?
  • Money
  • Collectibles
  • Food
  • Clothe
  • Cars
  • Houses
  • Notoriety
  • Jobs and Titles
  • Power
  • Control
What does God say is really important? How do your pursuits match up with God’s purposes?
  • Purpose
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Producing Good Fruit
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Corrie ten Boom

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you know God? Will you trust God? Will you cast your cares on Him because He cares for you? Will you receive the gift of love and the gift of grace through Jesus today? What would it take for you to turn to God? What would it take for you to give it up to God? What would it need to be for you to stop running away from God and turn back to God? How crazy would things need to get? How crazy would things need to be? Is today your day? Do you want to turn back before you hit rock bottom? Do you want to turn back before things start twirling out of control? Why not stop and invite Jesus into your very situation today?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Love moved First


As we head into Valentine’s day weekend the theme of love came to mind. All morning before I got before my computer the song by Casting Crowns kept playing in my head Love Moved First. As I was getting ready to head up to write the ideas around how much God loved us, even though we weren’t even alive yet, that He moved first and sent Jesus, He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life. As I was getting ready the idea of how God is love and there is no darkness in Him came to mind. As I was getting ready the thought of God is Love and so that means that God is patient, is kind, He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud, He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs, God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

So as we prepare for this day, will we move in love, will we act in love, will we speak in love, will we prepare in love, will we plan in love, will what comes out of us be from the overflow of love? Will we fill ourselves with love so that the overflow into the lives around us will be love? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks!


Hope you have a GREAT day and a Happy Valentine’s Day weekend. Choose love! Remember, Love moved First! Let’s listen to the song before we continue…

Love Moved First by Casting Crowns

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 12th


God’s Peace Plan


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 29:11

‘The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Peace, what do you think it is? How do you think you can get it?
  • Peace with God – do you have it?
  • Peace of God – do you have it?
  • Peace with others – do you have it?
  • The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Peace with God comes through faith and brings justification!
  • Peace of God requires action and is impacted in how we live our lives. Imagine if we lived out our lives like Philippians 4:4-7 and how we would be filled with and so connected to God that we could feel that peace that surpasses all understanding.
    • ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ — Philippians 4:4-7
  • Peace isn’t the absent of war.
  • Peace isn’t the absent of hassles.
  • Peace is found in the wonder and awe of God.
  • God in the midst of storms can bring peace by calming the storm or by calming the storm in us, walking us through the external storms of life.
  • Through faith we can find strength and peace through God.
  • In the midst of the storms, the winds, and the waves, God is able to bring in us a peace that surpasses all understanding.
  • He will bring us peace in spite of the troubles, trials, and storms of life.
  • If we focus on God rather than the storm then His peace can comfort and strengthen us!
  • If we focus on how great our God is rather than how big our problems are then His peace can comfort and strengthen us!
  • God is love! Let’s never forget that God is love!
  • So are you facing troubles, trials, or storms of life? Are you focusing on how big they are more than how BIG your God is? Change your focus to be on God’s wonder and awe! When we focus on God, His peace can fill us! So let’s praise Him! Let’s worship Him! Let’s live out our today as living sacrifices in order to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!
  • Let’ take hold of God’s peace plan by staying in connection with Him and keeping our focus on Him and remembering He is bigger than any trouble, problem, or storm of life that can come our way!
  • Let’s allow our faith to grow by focusing on His greatness!
  • As we do, our peace will grow too!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What’s the connection between wonder and peace?
  • When we focus on God rather than our problems we can find peace!
  • When we remember the wonders and awe of God our problems pale in comparison and so His peace that surpasses all understand can guard our hearts and minds.
What are somethings you can do to increase your sense of wonder at God’s power?
  • Consider God’s creation!
  • Consider the beauty of the sky He created!
  • Consider the beauty of nature that He created!
  • Focus on how GREAT He is!

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God takes life’s broken pieces and gives us unbroken peace.”

Wilbert Donald Gough

Found this incredible picture in my searches for links for today’s quote and so sharing it and a link to the source:

“Unbroken Peace” – Pinterest

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Exodus 30
  • Exodus 31
    • Do you realize the skills, gifts, talents God has given you?
    • Are you ready to use them for a purpose greater than yourself?

So are you ready for love? Are you ready for God’s peace? Are you ready to let God take life’s broken pieces and receive unbroken peace?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


In the midst of what is going on, what are you feeling?


Where is that feeling coming from? Is it from God or is it from the devil? Is it producing peace or fear? Is it producing peace or anxiety? Is it based on love or doubt? Let’s consider these when we hear voices speaking or trying to speak into our lives so that we can respond accordingly. If it is God then it will be out of love. If it is God then it will be peaceful, with His peace that surpasses all understanding. If it is the devil who goes around trying to stir up fear and doubt, roaring like a lion, trying to find who he can devour. Let’s take hold of God’s Word and His promises, being anxious about nothing and instead lifting up our cares to Him, casting our cares and anxieties upon Him, because He cares for us. Let’s walk in faith in order to overcome fear. Let’s walk in the love of God that covers all wrongs. Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we are ready to stand our ground. Our battles aren’t against flesh and blood, but rather powers and principalities of this dark world. So let’s take hold of God’s gift of peace. Let’s take hold of God’s promises found in His Word. Let’s love out our today in a way to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’s name.


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from John 14 and says:

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

One translation finishes this verse with be courageous. Let’s allow God’s peace that surpasses all understanding to guide and guard our hearts. Let’s refuse the lies of the devil that is trying to stir up fear and intimidation. Let’s live out our lives courageously rather than being cowardly and unsettled. So let’s take hold of the peace that God gives in order to be able to stand in faith, being bold and courageous. Let’s take hold of the incredible gift or peace from God and put on the full armor of God so that we can be ready and stand firm. Rather than being swayed or tossed around by our situations or circumstances, let’s stand firm in our faith in God and His sovereignty, His control, and His Lordship. So wherever we are today, let ask God to help us to rest in His peace.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? What can we learn from the past? They say hindsight is 2020, so let’s learn from the past three quarters of 2020 and apply the lessons learned towards finishing the year strong. Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s allow the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guide and guard our hearts and minds.

The 49 week challenge – Day 280

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 280 link to join me and sign up.

With September in the rear view mirror along with most of September, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD
– THE BIBLE comes to us from:

‘ [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, [Lev. 16:2.] Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. [Ps. 110:4.]’

Hebrews 6:19-20

My Notes:

Verse 19

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,…. This world is as a sea; the church in it, and so every believer, is as a ship; the port that is bound unto is heaven; Christ is the pilot, and hope is the anchor: an anchor is cast on a bottom, out of sight; and when the ship is in a calm, or in danger of a rock, or near the shore; but is of no service without a cable: and when cast aright, keeps the ship steady: so hope is cast on Christ; whence he is often called hope itself, because he is the ground and foundation of it, and who is at present unseen to bodily eyes; and the anchor of hope without the cable of faith is of little service; but being cast aright on Christ, keeps the soul steady and immovable: in some things there is a difference between hope and an anchor; an anchor is not of so much use in tempests as in a calm, but hope is; the cable may be cut or broke, and so the anchor be useless, but so it cannot be with faith and hope; when the ship is at anchor, it does not move forward, but it is not so with the soul, when hope is in exercise; the anchor of hope is not cast on anything below, but above; and here it is called the anchor of the soul, to distinguish it from any other, and to show the peculiar benefit of it to the soul. Pythagoras makes use of the same metaphorF24;

“riches (he says) are a weak anchor, glory: is yet weaker; the body likewise; principalities, honours, all these are weak and without strength; what then are strong anchors? prudence, magnanimity, fortitude; these no tempest shakes.’

But these philosophical moral virtues are not to be compared with the Christian’s grace of hope, which is

both sure and steadfast; it is in itself a grace firm and stable; it is permanent and can never be lost: and it is still more sure and steadfast, by virtue of what it is fixed upon, the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; and by the immutability, faithfulness, and power of God it is concerned with; and through the aboundings and discoveries of divine love, grace, and mercy; and from the instances of grace to the vilest of sinners:

and which entereth into that within the vail; the holy of holies, heaven itself; in allusion to the vail which divided between the holy and the holy of holies: the things within the vail, or in heaven, which hope entering into fixes upon, are the person of Christ, who is entered there, and appears in the presence of God for his people; his blood which he has carried along with him, and by which he is entered there; his justifying righteousness, by which the law is fulfilled, the two tables of stone in the ark of the testimony; the sweet incense of his mediation, which is continually offered up by him; the mercy seat, or throne of grace, on which Jehovah sits as the God of grace; and all the glories of heaven; all which hope is concerned with, and receives strength and rigour from: and their being within the vail, is expressive of their hiddenness and invisibility at present, and of their safety and security, as well as of their sacredness; and this shows a difference between the hope of believers and others, whose hope fixes upon things short of these; and likewise the great privilege of a believer, who being made a priest unto God, has liberty and boldness to enter into the holiest of all. The JewsF25 speak of a vail in the world to come, which some are worthy to enter into.

John Gill’s Exposition for Hebrews 6

Verse 20

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus,…. Christ was a runner; he had a race to run, which lay in going about to heal diseases, in preaching the Gospel, in obeying the law, and in suffering death for his people; which race was run by him with great swiftness, strength, and courage, with patience, cheerfulness, and joy, and is now ended; as appears from the accomplishment of salvation, from his entrance into heaven, and session at the right hand of God; from the glorification of his human nature, and its everlasting freedom from the dominion of death: and this race is run out, as a “forerunner”; Christ is the most excellent runner; there is none like him; there is none that can come up to him; he has out ran and exceeded all others; he has performed in the best manner; he has run out his race first, and has entered into heaven first by his own blood; and he has cleared the way thither, and opened the gates of heaven for his people; and is a guide and pattern for them to follow: and he is the forerunner for them, as well as entered for them; for he was born, and he lived, and died for them, for their good and service; and he is entered into heaven for them, as man and Mediator, and as their high priest; where he represents their persons, appears and intercedes for them, takes care of their affairs, and presents their services; prepares mansions of glory for them, and takes possession of heaven in their name, and opens the way for them to follow him thither; all which gives great encouragement to hope to enter now, where Jesus is: who is

made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek; see Hebrews 5:6. This is repeated here, to lead on to what the apostle had to say concerning Melchizedek in the following chapter.

John Gill’s Exposition for Hebrews 6

As day 280 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

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Peace be with you…


Are you at peace? Do you have peace? Peace with others? Peace with God? Peace of God?

If you don’t then do you want to?

“And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Why not invite Jesus into your heart and life? It begins with a relationship with Him. Through Him we receive forgiveness of sin. Through Him we receive salvation and peace with God. Allowing Jesus in allows the Holy Spirit who will prove you with God’s peace. With God’s peace we can find peace in the midst of our situation and allow us to forgive others and start to build peace with others through God’s wisdom and strength.

Will today be the start of you journey with Jesus? I know it has transformed my life, my mind, and my heart. So what God has given me I offer to you, the gift of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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With all the darkness, the evil, and the anxiety that is going on in this world, wouldn’t you rather trade it in for the peace of God that goes beyond what we can even understand in order that our hearts and our minds will be guarded and protected through Jesus?

Wouldn’t it be great that if and when things happen we can be people with a clear and focused mind because the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guards our hearts and minds while everyone else is panicking or anxious? Even if it doesn’t make natural sense to everyone else but thanks to Jesus, living in and through us, by faith we are able to face the challenge head on. We can be like Benaiah who faced the lion and rather than panic or flee, he roared back and chased the lion. All of this is possible. We can find peace in the midst of the trials because our trust and hope is in Jesus and the eternity with God in heaven. We can find peace in the midst of troubles because we can take heart knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world. We can have peace in the midst of the storms because we know that God will either protect us in he storm or get us through the storm for the glory of His kingdom. To those who don’t know Jesus it probably looks crazy.

What is it you are facing today? Will your first response be to invite Jesus into it? Will you ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance? Will you do what He tells you so that out of this very situation and this very moment Our Heavenly Father will receive the praise, the glory, and the honor in Jesus’s name? No matter what it is, make your first response be to turn to God and then allow His peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind.

With this peace you receive become a peacemaker! For as much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone! Let’s be ambassadors of peace!


August is in the rearview mirror
August is in the rearview mirror and they say that hindsight is 2020. So what have you learned so far from 2020? For some this is a long weekend and it means an extra day to consider and reflect, relax and refresh, energize and motivate and for other to take the lessons learned and put them into action. How will you take the lessons in order to help provide a clearer path forward? Will you pursue vision or dreams? Will you seek God’s direction and instruction? Will you set a plan in motion and then allow God to direct your steps?

The 49 week challenge – Day 249

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 249 link to join me and sign up.

The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from
GOD’S WORD – THE BIBLE
comes to us from:

My Notes:

  • God has a plan for you and it is for good and not for evil, it is to give you a hope and a future. Will go along with it?
  • Will you receive the gift of grace and receive it in faith in and through Jesus?
  • Will you allow love to be the source, the fuel for everything that you will and can do?
  • ‘I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’ Ephesians 3:16-21
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your needs?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your trials?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in the midst of your troubles?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in response to God’s offer to give to you?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom in order to be able to live your life to the fullness of God’s blessings?
  • Will you ask God for wisdom so that you can walk out your life in alignment and accordance to God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s plan?
  • Let’s praise God!
  • ‘Praise the Lord , my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord , my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord , you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord , all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord , all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord , my soul.’ Psalms 103:1-22
  • What will you do with what God shows you?
  • What will you do with what the Spirit reveals to you?
  • How will you take the wisdom from God and respond to it?
  • Will you be someone who speaks truth and life into the world around you?
  • Will you speak it so that others too may find the peace that surpasses all understand and so that they too will be saved?

As day 249 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment
so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?
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why not email or text me instead?

Do you have peace and hope today?


If you don’t what is preventing you from having peace and hope today? If you don’t what is causing you or robbing you of being able to have peace and hope today? Can you put your finger on it? Can you identify it? Can you do something about it?

What type of peace are you finding that you are missing? Is it peace with God? Is it peace within yourself or some may say the peace of God? Is it peace with others? Do you realize the difference and what it takes? The peace with God is a gift that comes from receiving Jesus. Peace of God or peace within yourself is a fruit produced through that relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Peace with others requires work.

So do you have peace with God? We learn about this peace and how it is a gift in a the book of Romans where we read:

  • Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, — Romans 5:1
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23

We learn how this peace is something we receive at the moment we accept Jesus into our heart and are saved. Some may call this spiritual peace.

So do you have peace of God, so peace within yourself? We learn about this peace and how it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in the book of Galatians where we read:

  • 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. — Galatians 5:22-23

We see how it takes time to produce fruit and how these fruits make us more like Jesus and help us to have peace within. It begins through receiving the peace of God which then plants the seeds within us to be able to develop the peace of God no matter what is going on in the outside world. Some may call this emotional peace.

So you have peace with others? Are you working at it to be a peacemaker? Are you working to allow the righteousness of God to work in and through you to achieve peace with others? We read about this type of peace in the Old and New Testaments:

  • The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. — Isaiah 32:17
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. — Romans 12:18
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.– Matthew 5:9

So let us be peacemakers! Let’s do our best to live at peace with everyone rather than trying to stir up the pot. Some may call this relational peace.

So the key all goes back to having peace with God and then everything else can build up and out of that!


July is in the rearview mirror
With hindsight being 2020 and with the past being clear in the rearview mirror. What is it we can learn so as to bring clarity for what is yet to come? We need to moving towards God and with God! We may even need to slow down and listen to God’s Word and what is prompting us to do. We need to be patient. We need to do more listening than speaking as we have 2 ears and 1 mouth and so should be listening twice as much as we speak. Let’s take hold of what is said in James 1:19 that says “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,“.

The 49 week challenge – Day 218

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 218 link to join me and sign up.

With July in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started speaking on hope and peace in Romans 5:
    • ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ — Romans 5:1-21
  • Today’s reading then brings us related messages first in Nahum 2:
    • ‘An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength! The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines. The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished. The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning. Nineveh summons her picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place. The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses. It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts. Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back. Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures! She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale. Where now is the lions’ den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear? The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey. “I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”’ — Nahum 2:1-13
  • Today’s reading then continues with 2 Samuel 14:
    • ‘Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth. When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!” The king asked her, “What is troubling you?” She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.” The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.” But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.” The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.” She said, “Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.” “As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.” Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” “Speak,” he replied. The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. “And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request. Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from God’s inheritance.’ “And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’ ” Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.” “Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said. The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.” The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.” Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.” Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king. In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman. Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!” ’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.” So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.’ — 2 Samuel 14:1-33
  • Today’s reading then closes with 2 Samuel 18:
    • ‘David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.” But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.” The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the king stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands. The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders. David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword. Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going. When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.” Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.” But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake. ’ And if I had put my life in jeopardy —and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.” Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day. Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.” “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off. Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.” But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.” He said, “Come what may, I want to run.” So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite. While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. The watchman called out to the king and reported it. The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the runner came closer and closer. Then the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!” The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.” The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” “He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.” Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.” The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there. Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.” The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”’ — 2 Samuel 18:1-33

As day 218 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Are you missing out or lacking in comfort or peace?


There is a lot going on these days. There are a lot of changes that are and have taken place. In the midst of a global pandemic, are you able to find comfort? In the midst of protests and violence, are you able to find peace? God’s desire is that we wouldn’t be anxious or worried about anything but rather through prayer and petition make our needs and asks known to Him. When Jesus was leaving the earth in His physical body, He said that His Father would be sending the Holy Spirit who would be our comforter and our guide. We learn in God’s Word that when we lean on God and put all of our trust in Him that He gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Have you waited on God? Have you waited until you received the Holy Spirit like the disciples did in the upper room when Jesus commanded them to go back to Jerusalem and wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them? The promise of the Holy Spirit also promises that He will give power to go out and share the good news of Jesus with the world around us.

Are you missing something? Are you missing out? Are you lacking in peace? Are you lacking God’s comfort? Maybe today is the day to turn back to God and run into His arms like the lost son did allowing Him to comfort you and fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Don’t allow the news to freak you out. Don’t allow the situations at home, at work, in the community, in the world freak you out. If something starts to bother you, turn to God and invite Him into that situation. If something starts to try and rob your peace, your joy, you hope, your love, your comfort or anything else (like the devil tries to do with his negative intentions to rob, kill, and destroy through his lying ways) turn to God, cry out to Him for help, invite Him into the situation because He always provides a way out from any temptations the devil would try to ensnare or trap you with. Fear not, just believe! Faith is the antidote for fear! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Lean not on your own understanding, lean on God, in all your ways acknowledge God, trusting Him and He will make your path straight! Allow Jesus’s peace which surpasses all understanding to help bring spiritual peace, emotional peace, and relational peace into your heart and mind and life.


June is in the rearview mirror.
Hindsight is 2020! Don't go rushing into the blur, turn to God and finish the race strong with clarity of vision!
Hindsight is 2020! Don’t go rushing into the blur, turn to God and finish the race strong with clarity of vision!

The 49 week challenge – Day 197

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 197 link to join me and sign up.

With June in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Receive grace and peace from God and Jesus
  • Receive the comfort in all our troubles so that we can share comfort with others
  • Allow comfort to produce in you patient endurance of the same sufferings
  • Don’t put your reliance in self but instead set your reliance in God!
  • Put your hope in God who will protect and sustain you
  • Depend on God’s grace over worldly wisdom
  • In Jesus it is always yes, the promises of God are yes in Him.
  • Walk under the ownership of God and filled with the Holy Spirit
  • Stand firm by your faith
  • Don’t do evil in the eyes of the Lord and be turned over to your wicked ways and suffer the consequences
  • Will you trust in God enough that you will only go if He will go with you?
  • Will you go in order that God will get the praise, the honor, and the glory?
  • Is it more important that God and His people receive the credit over you?
  • Trust God!
  • Don’t try to go it or control it in your own strength, power, and wisdom, instead ask God for wisdom and then go it His way!
  • Put your trust in God over man
  • God is looking to strengthen the hearts of people whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
  • Who will you trust more? God or man? When you are in a situation why not turn to God rather than putting all your trust and hope in man?
  • Who will you be? Will you be one who is marked as God’s people?
  • Will you be part of the people who will spend eternity with God?
  • Will you be part of the people who will spend eternity apart from God?

As day 197 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Our ways aren’t God’s ways. His ways are better!


We can take hold of the fact that what the enemy plans for evil, God can take and turn around for good. We can take hold of the fact that God’s ways are better than our ways. We can take hold of the fact that sometimes the right way is the harder way. We can take hold of the fact that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but rather against powers and principalities of this dark world.

So today my hope and my trust are in God. I see His hand in action as things seem to be in flux and change is happening again. I see the plan changed while I was out. I see people’s responses changed while I was out. So today I give my day, my life, and my work into the hands of God trusting and believing that His ways are better than my ways, His thoughts are better than my thoughts, and so my hope and trust I put in Him!

It is interesting when you are back in the office, attending a meeting to cover for or support others and missing a meeting you would normally be in how it triggers questions and concerns in the heart of others. I will not walk in a spirit of fear or even with thoughts of fear for God’s Word tells me that His plan is not a spirit of fear but rather one of power, love, and sound mind. So I will not worry for worry changes nothing but instead I will pray! So I will not fear but instead I will trust in God! So as I look to heaven, calling Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I will fear no evil even though I may walk through the shadow of the valley of death because I know He is with me.


2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge (Day 105)—

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 105 link to join me and sign up.

With March in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

— John 14:27

My Notes:

  • As I start my blog and share life, it always amazes me how God knows right where I am at. He knows what I need to hear and His Word never returns void.
  • Today’s verse of the day:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27
  • In today’s reading the words are in red for they are the words of Jesus.
  • In the midst of everything that is taking place in this world, we can receive what Jesus is giving us.
  • In the midst of everything that has happened and with recovery time over the sickness and returning back feeling healthier, I can take hold of Jesus’s words to not let my heart be troubled and to not be afraid!
  • Reviewing and looking into today’s verse through John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible, we learn the following:

Verse 27

Peace I leave with you,…. Christ being about to die and leave his disciples, makes his last will and testament, and as the best legacy he could leave them, bequeaths peace unto them;

my peace I give unto you: he left the Gospel of peace with them, to be preached by them to all the world; which is a declaration and publication of peace made by his blood; is a means of reconciling the minds of men to God and Christ, to the truths, ordinances, and people of Christ; of relieving and giving peace to distressed minds; and which shows the way to eternal peace: and as Christ had kept his disciples in peace one with another, so he left them in peace; and left orders with them to maintain it one among another: but what seems chiefly designed here, is peace with God, which Christ is the sole author of; he was appointed in the council and covenant of peace to effect it; he became incarnate with that view, and did procure it by his sufferings and death; and as it was published by angels, when he came into the world, he left it, and gave it to his disciples when he was going out of it: or else that peace of conscience is meant, which follows upon the former, which arises from the sprinklings of the blood of Christ, and from a comfortable view, by faith, of an interest in his justifying righteousness, and is enjoyed in a way of believing, and commonly in the use of ordinances “leaving” it supposes that Christ was about to leave his disciples, but would not leave them comfortless; he leaves a Comforter with them, and bequeaths peace unto them as his last legacy: “giving” it, shows that it is not to be acquired by any thing that man can do, but is a pure free grace gift of Christ; and which being given as his legacy, is irrevocable; for the allusion is to the making of a will or testament when persons are about to die: though some have thought it refers to the custom of wishing peace, health, and prosperity, among the Jews; but Christ does not say “peace be to you”; which was the more usual form of salutation among them, and which was used by them when they met, and not at parting; especially we have no instance of such a form as here used, by dying persons taking their leaves of their relations and friends. It must indeed be owned that the phrase, “to give peace”, is with them the same as to salute, or wish health and prosperity. Take two or three of their rules as instances of it;

“whoever knows his friend, that he is used ליתן לו שלום F1, “to give him peace”; he shall prevent him with peace (i.e. salute him first), as it is said, “seek peace and pursue it”; but if he “gives” it to him, and he does not return it, he shall be called a robber.’

Again,

“cf13 (b) a man may not go into the house of a stranger, on his feast day, ליתן לו שלום, “to give peace unto him” (or salute him); if he finds him in the street, he may give it to him with a low voice, and his head hanging down;’

onceF3 more,

“a man לא יתן שלום, “not give peace to”, or salute his master, nor return peace to him in the way that they give it to friends, and they return it to one another.’

Likewise it must be owned, that when they saluted persons of distinction, such as princes, nobles, and doctors, they repeated the word “peace”F4, though never to any strangers; however, certain it is, that it was another sort of peace which Christ left, and gave to his disciples, than what the Jews were wont to give, or wish to one another;

not as the world giveth, give I you. The peace Christ gives is true, solid, and substantial; the peace the world, the men, and things of it give, is a false one; and whilst they cry, “peace, peace, sudden destruction is at hand”: the peace of the world is at best but an external one, but the peace Christ is the giver of, is internal; the peace the world affords is a very transient, unstable, and short lived one, but the peace of Christ is lasting and durable; the peace of the world will not support under the troubles of it, but the peace which Christ gives, cheerfully carries his people through all the difficulties and exercises of this life: and as these differ in kind, so likewise in the manner of giving, and in the persons to whom they are given; the world gives peace in words only, Christ in deed; the world gives feignedly, Christ heartily; the world gives it for its own advantage, Christ for his people’s sake; the world gives its peace to the men of it, to the ungodly, none to the godly, whom it hates; Christ gives his; not to the wicked, for there is no peace to them, but to the saints, the excellent in the earth. Wherefore says Christ,

let not your heart be troubled; at my departure from you, since I leave such a peace with you:

neither let it be afraid: at the dangers you may be exposed unto, and the trouble you may be exercised with; for in the midst of them all, “in me ye shall have peace”, John 16:33.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – John 14
  • So are willing to receive Jesus and accept this peace He is offering?
  • Are you willing to accept the gift of grace through Jesus and receive His peace into your heart and mind?
  • Are you willing to invite Jesus into your life and build a relationship with Him so that no matter what comes your way, you will not need to be troubled nor afraid?

As day 105 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

How does that change anything?


We know that what the enemy of our soul meant for evil, God can turn it around and use it for good. We know life isn’t going to be easy but by persevering it will be worth it. God’s Word speaks to how in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. So I know I am not to give up! I also know that I am to take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! I also know that I need to persevere so that through the trials and the troubles as faith continues to build and to grow that I will finish strong and be complete, lacking nothing! Through it all, I also know that I will need to continue to forgive and remove any chance of a stronghold for the devil to be able to leverage against me!

God’s Word continues to be my hope in the midst of days of challenge and mixed messages. God’s Word is my strength and wisdom in the midst of stresses and pressures from others that don’t really feel like their words and their actions are aligned. God’s Word is my firm foundation because they never change, just like God they are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I will look to live my life so that the light of Jesus will shine in, out of, and through me. I will work to take hold of the word to finish strong! I will work to take hold of the word to stay focused! I will work to take hold of the word to be confident! I will work to take hold of the word to be disciplined and show discipline!

I will choose to live my life in a way to produce the fruits of the Spirit of which there is no law against them. I will choose to live my life in a way to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

What will I choose to accept into my life vs what will I reject? Will I believe what God says about you? Will I believe what some people choose to say about me? Will I believe who God tells me I am? Will I believe what some people are choosing to say about me? Will I choose to measure what others say against the Word of God? Will I choose to follow Jesus and walk in His ways? Will I choose to turn to the Holy Spirit who is my advocate, who is my teacher, who is my reminder, and who is my helper?

I choose to receive the authority of Jesus! I choose to accept the Word of God as authoritative standard of God! I choose to receive the Word of God that expresses who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing down through world history in both judgment and salvation!

How about you? Where you at today? Will you join me in this journey called life and through God’s Word? Will you allow God’s Word to speak truth and life in to you? Will you receive the salvation that has been made available to you through Jesus? Will you take time to read or have the bible.com site read today’s Word to/for you?


DAY 94: 2020 HINDSIGHT
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 94 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 94 link to join me and sign up.

With March in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Ever been questioned? Ever been questioned unjustly?
  • Will you lean on God rather than your own understanding?
  • Do you realize others are acting out of fear and worry? Do you realize it drives their decisions and actions?
  • Do you realize the evil and consequences in this world?
  • Do you realize what the cornerstone means? Do you realize how many followers of God have been rejected?
  • Do you realize the results of falling on or having the cornerstone land on you? Have you accepted Jesus or are you running the risk of falling on or being crushed by the cornerstone?
  • Do you realize that God has given authority? Do you realize what God says about the division of authority between God and man?
  • The heart of the king is in the hands of the Lord! So what is it that we are to learn through their leadership?
  • Will the fruit produced be good or bad?
  • Will there be justice or bloodshed?
  • Will there be righteousness or cries of distress?
  • What are you pursuing? What is your motivation? Do you realize what it will yield if it isn’t the Lord?
  • Is it from lack of understanding?
  • Don’t they realize the outcome of their actions and behaviors?
  • Consider your priorities and behaviors as their will be an outcome, but will it be something that lasts or something that will be cut short?
  • Can people see the difference between good and evil? light and dark? sweet and bitter?
  • Would darkness and distress cause you to turn back and cry out to God?
  • Will you inquire of God?
  • Will you administer justice?
  • Will you surrender to God? Will you submit your life to Him? Will you obey His command?
  • Will you be consumed by the fire? Will you be thrown out?
  • Will you rejoice with those who rejoice? Will you weep and mourn with those who are weeping and mourning?

As day 94 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Don’t lose hope! Don’t be afraid! God will make a way!


Are things looking tough? Are things feeling rough? Are things feeling overwhelming? Are things feeling tense? Are things feeling uncertain?

How are you responding? You can’t control what comes your way but you can control how you respond. Are you being light in the midst of the darkness? Are you being encouragement in the midst of despair? Are you being love in the midst of hate? Are you being unifying in the midst of division? Are you being a peacemaker in the midst of quarrel? Are you being a solver in the midst of problems? Are you being wisdom in the midst of confusion? Are you being a provider in the midst of lack? How are you responding so that others can see Jesus through you? How is God calling you to respond in order to glorify Him?

What is your role? What is your purpose? What is your part? What will you do about it?

Remember, even when you feel alone, you are not alone, there are others.


Today’s reading gets us started in 1 Kings 19, so let’s see what we can hear and learn through God’s Word in today’s reading…

‘When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord ,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.’

1 Kings 19

‘“Now then, I will reveal the truth to you. Three more Persian kings will reign, to be succeeded by a fourth, far richer than the others. He will use his wealth to stir up everyone to fight against the kingdom of Greece. “Then a mighty king will rise to power who will rule with great authority and accomplish everything he sets out to do. But at the height of his power, his kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts. It will not be ruled by the king’s descendants, nor will the kingdom hold the authority it once had. For his empire will be uprooted and given to others. “The king of the south will increase in power, but one of his own officials will become more powerful than he and will rule his kingdom with great strength. “Some years later an alliance will be formed between the king of the north and the king of the south. The daughter of the king of the south will be given in marriage to the king of the north to secure the alliance, but she will lose her influence over him, and so will her father. She will be abandoned along with her supporters. But when one of her relatives becomes king of the south, he will raise an army and enter the fortress of the king of the north and defeat him. When he returns to Egypt, he will carry back their idols with him, along with priceless articles of gold and silver. For some years afterward he will leave the king of the north alone. “Later the king of the north will invade the realm of the king of the south but will soon return to his own land. However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy’s fortress. “Then, in a rage, the king of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them. After the enemy army is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will execute many thousands of his enemies. But his success will be short lived. “A few years later the king of the north will return with a fully equipped army far greater than before. At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed. Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught. “The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it. He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail. “After this, he will turn his attention to the coastland and conquer many cities. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and cause him to retreat in shame. He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle. “The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue. Before him great armies will be swept away, including a covenant prince. With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. Without warning he will enter the richest areas of the land. Then he will distribute among his followers the plunder and wealth of the rich—something his predecessors had never done. He will plot the overthrow of strongholds, but this will last for only a short while. “Then he will stir up his courage and raise a great army against the king of the south. The king of the south will go to battle with a mighty army, but to no avail, for there will be plots against him. His own household will cause his downfall. His army will be swept away, and many will be killed. Seeking nothing but each other’s harm, these kings will plot against each other at the conference table, attempting to deceive each other. But it will make no difference, for the end will come at the appointed time. “The king of the north will then return home with great riches. On the way he will set himself against the people of the holy covenant, doing much damage before continuing his journey. “Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him. “Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. “The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all. Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts. Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. “Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants. “But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many. He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him.’

Daniel 11

‘As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” “You can,” Philip answered, “if you believe with all your heart.” And the eunuch replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.’

Acts 8:26-40

‘Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.’

1 John 4:7-21

‘Let all that I am praise the Lord . O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants. You placed the world on its foundation so it would never be moved. You clothed the earth with floods of water, water that covered even the mountains. At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth. You make springs pour water into the ravines, so streams gush down from the mountains. They provide water for all the animals, and the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees. You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor. You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth— wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength. The trees of the Lord are well cared for— the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests, and the storks make their homes in the cypresses. High in the mountains live the wild goats, and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes. You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set. You send the darkness, and it becomes night, when all the forest animals prowl about. Then the young lions roar for their prey, stalking the food provided by God. At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest. Then people go off to their work, where they labor until evening. O Lord , what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind, both large and small. See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea. They all depend on you to give them food as they need it. When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made! The earth trembles at his glance; the mountains smoke at his touch. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord . Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth; let the wicked disappear forever. Let all that I am praise the Lord . Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 104

Do you know Jesus and are looking for a reason or a plan or a purpose for how to step out today? Do you know Jesus and wonder how you can make a difference in the world around you? Some get called to go out around the world to share the hope and love of Jesus. Some get called into the workplace where they can share the hope and love of Jesus. God’s Word shows us that the commission of Jesus isn’t any greater or less based on distance from home, just that we each have a role to play whether it is local (Jerusalem), in the near by places we go like your city and country (Judea and Samaria), or to the far off places (the uttermost parts of the earth). So when we receive Jesus and we receive His power, we are to go and do His will. So will you pick up the call and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you? Your home? Your neighborhood? Your city or town? Your workplace? Your state or province? Your country? The world?

If you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart yet and started this incredible relationship and journey with Him, is today your day? Let’s pray together and invite Him in.

If you prayed this and asked Jesus into your heart, would you be willing to leave me a note so that I can keep you in my prayers? If you want to talk then please leave a comment to and we can discuss.

If you are going or considering going into the world and would like to chat, leave me a comment so we can chat/discuss.

God has great plans for each of us, so let’s not walk in fear but rather our faith and trust in Him!

How would you like to be described? How would you like to be remembered?


If someone was lying on their death bed and was going to speak over you, how would you like to be described? If someone was going to share their memories of you , how would you like to be remembered? We all have a past. We all have a present. We all have a future. We have to leave the past where it belongs and learn from it, behind us. We need to live out to our best ability the present, making decisions and living life in a way that will show good stewardship and good character. Our future is based on our decisions – will we choose to receive Jesus and get to spend eternity with God or reject the incredible gift of grace from God and have to spend eternity apart from God? We all get a choice in how we will live out this life on earth and that will form what will be said when people describe us and how people will remember us. So choose wisely!

Today’s reading starts for us in Genesis 49.

‘Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come. “Come and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength, the child of my vigorous youth. You are first in rank and first in power. But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch. “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind; their weapons are instruments of violence. May I never join in their meetings; may I never be a party to their plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport. A curse on their anger, for it is fierce; a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel. I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob; I will disperse them throughout Israel. “Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor. He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk. “Zebulun will settle by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon. “Issachar is a sturdy donkey, resting between two saddlepacks. When he sees how good the countryside is and how pleasant the land, he will bend his shoulder to the load and submit himself to hard labor. “Dan will govern his people, like any other tribe in Israel. Dan will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path that bites the horse’s hooves so its rider is thrown off. I trust in you for salvation, O Lord ! “Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat. “Asher will dine on rich foods and produce food fit for kings. “Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns. “Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey at a spring— one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. May my fatherly blessings on you surpass the blessings of my ancestors, reaching to the heights of the eternal hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, who is a prince among his brothers. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing his plunder in the evening.”’

Genesis 49:1-27

We see in today’s reading as it begins and we hear about Judah the prophecy of Jesus.

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 24.

‘Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord ’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash, and he had sons and daughters. At one point Joash decided to repair and restore the Temple of the Lord . He summoned the priests and Levites and gave them these instructions: “Go to all the towns of Judah and collect the required annual offerings, so that we can repair the Temple of your God. Do not delay!” But the Levites did not act immediately. So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven’t you demanded that the Levites go out and collect the Temple taxes from the towns of Judah and from Jerusalem? Moses, the servant of the Lord , levied this tax on the community of Israel in order to maintain the Tabernacle of the Covenant. ” Over the years the followers of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God, and they had used all the dedicated things from the Temple of the Lord to worship the images of Baal. So now the king ordered a chest to be made and set outside the gate leading to the Temple of the Lord . Then a proclamation was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem, telling the people to bring to the Lord the tax that Moses, the servant of God, had required of the Israelites in the wilderness. This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it. Whenever the chest became full, the Levites would carry it to the king’s officials. Then the court secretary and an officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest and take it back to the Temple again. This went on day after day, and a large amount of money was collected. The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the construction supervisors, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Temple of the Lord . They also hired metalworkers, who made articles of iron and bronze for the Lord ’s Temple. The men in charge of the renovation worked hard and made steady progress. They restored the Temple of God according to its original design and strengthened it. When all the repairs were finished, they brought the remaining money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to make various articles for the Temple of the Lord —articles for worship services and for burnt offerings, including ladles and other articles made of gold and silver. And the burnt offerings were sacrificed continually in the Temple of the Lord during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada lived to a very old age, finally dying at 130. He was buried among the kings in the City of David, because he had done so much good in Israel for God and his Temple.

But after Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah came and bowed before King Joash and persuaded him to listen to their advice. They decided to abandon the Temple of the Lord , the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead! Because of this sin, divine anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem. Yet the Lord sent prophets to bring them back to him. The prophets warned them, but still the people would not listen. Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord ’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord , and now he has abandoned you!” Then the leaders plotted to kill Zechariah, and King Joash ordered that they stone him to death in the courtyard of the Lord ’s Temple. That was how King Joash repaid Jehoiada for his loyalty—by killing his son. Zechariah’s last words as he died were, “May the Lord see what they are doing and avenge my death!”

In the spring of the year the Aramean army marched against Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and killed all the leaders of the nation. Then they sent all the plunder back to their king in Damascus. Although the Arameans attacked with only a small army, the Lord helped them conquer the much larger army of Judah. The people of Judah had abandoned the Lord , the God of their ancestors, so judgment was carried out against Joash. The Arameans withdrew, leaving Joash severely wounded. But his own officials plotted to kill him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest. They assassinated him as he lay in bed. Then he was buried in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery. The assassins were Jozacar, the son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, the son of a Moabite woman named Shomer. The account of the sons of Joash, the prophecies about him, and the record of his restoration of the Temple of God are written in The Commentary on the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah became the next king.’

2 Chronicles 24

How are you living? Does it matter if you are being watched or monitored? Will you do what is right even when nobody is watching? Will you do what God commands or man and fall away from God’s plan and purpose? Would you finish strong in alignment with God’s will and purpose? Don’t abandon God! Invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to be your Lord and Savior for the rest of your life.

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament in John 14.

‘“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.#14:2a Or There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?#14:2b Or If this were not so, I would have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you. Some manuscripts read If this were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.#14:7 Some manuscripts read If you have really known me, you will know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!’

John 14:1-14

Let’s allow our belief in Jesus lead and guide us so that other will see Jesus in and through us praising and glorifying God.

Today’s reading continues into 2 Thessalonians 2.

‘Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.’

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Let us be prepared for Jesus’s return. Let us be prepared as we live and trusting that when our time on earth has ended that our lives will have been living sacrifices to glorify God. Do not be deceived. Do not be fooled. It has happened throughout history but we need to put on the full armor of God and stand firm on the rock of Jesus Christ. Let’s us stand firm and when we have done everything to stand, stand firm. Let our lives be something that when described glorifies God. Let our lives be something that when remembered glorifies God.

Today’s reading concludes in a psalm, so let’s meditate on Psalms 37.

‘Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord . Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord , and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die. The Lord ’s enemies are like flowers in a field— they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial. Put your hope in the Lord . Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.’

Psalms 37

Are you a peacemaker? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 23])


Are you living your life to try to help create peace? Are you living your life to try and produce reconciliation? Are you trying to help people resolve conflicts? Are you looking to make the situation better? Are you trying to help people move forward in a positive way? Are you an arbitrator that people can come to in order to help bring reconciliation? Will you trust God’s Word in regards to peace and justice? Will you trust God’s way in order to take care of conflicts the right way? Will you trust in with every part of your life? Will you trust God with your business? Will you trust God with your property? Will you trust God with your employment? Will you trust God with your family? Will you trust God with your health? Will you trust God with your well-being?

Ever heard that we are to be ambassadors of peace? People who help others reconcile with people and God! Will you help make Jesus known to the people around you? Will you go beyond knowing Jesus to making Him know to the world God has place around you? Will you follow Jesus’ example who came to reconcile us back to God? Let’s consider the following before jumping into today’s reading…

18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

–from 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

and

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

–from Matthew 5:9

Peacemaker - Building relationships

Today’s reading comes from 1 Corinthians 6 and says…

Lawsuits Against Believers

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Flee Sexual Immorality

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

–from 1 Corinthians 6

Today’s devotional speaks to verse 7 from our reading which says:

To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

–from 1 Corinthians 6:7

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of Acts of Mercy speaks to Religious Arbitration. We learn through it that 1 Corinthians 6:7 inspired Peacemakers Ministries to be established back in 1982. It was established to help people within the church to resolve conflicts in order to avoid going to court. They work to provide Christian reconciliation or as they put it “Christian Conciliation” which is a concept conceived in 1970 by some attorneys in L.A. California who met together and decided to follow the words from our reading today in 1 Corinthians 6:7. Consider the impact of going this route over the incredible costs of the legal process and the legal system. Imagine working to resolve conflicts in a way that all parties are reconciled by the end of it. Imagine having issues or conflicts or disputes from all areas of your life being able to get settled without dragging your dirty laundry out into the public square before judges and maybe juries but rather in a way that would be glorifying to God.


side note – not sure why but McAfee warned me about their website and so I didn’t visit it yet but did find someone who seemed to be affiliated to it and let them know, so hopefully it will be ok soon



Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I gift it up tinot Your hands trusting You and leaning not on my own understanding. Help me today Lord in knowing what Your purpose, plans, and will are for today. There are so many thing that try to get my attention Lord and so I need Your Spirit to be my comforter, my guide, and my corrector if I or when I go off track. Help me Lord to live today in a way that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Do realize there is an answer that will solve the world’s problems? Do you realize it is more than the wind in our sails but rather the rudder to direct our path? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 17])


Do you realize that Mahatma Gandhi discovered it when he said “When your country and mine shall get together on the teaching laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our countries but those of the whole world.

Imagine if everyone used the teaching from the Sermon on the Mount as the rudder for their lives rather than just their sails that pushes them along? Having the teaching be what directs them rather than was keeps them moving. Imagine a world where people were trying to live their lives based on this teaching.

It’s interesting how even though Mahatma Gandhi was critical of Christianity, he admired Jesus and was able to use that knowledge in his conversation with the British. He provides an example of what peaceful demonstrations look like which inspired many other peace activists like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was an anti-Nazi pastor as well as Martin Luther King Jr. who was an American civil rights leader.

The reading for today that speaks into this truth comes from Matthew 5-7.

The Sermon on the Mount

1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Giving to the Needy

1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lord’s Prayer

5“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting

16“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Do Not Be Anxious

25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Judging Others

1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Ask, and It Will Be Given

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

The Golden Rule

12“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

I Never Knew You

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Build Your House on the Rock

24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Authority of Jesus

28And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

I know it is a lot of information. It is information necessary though for us to allow be the rudder of our lives. It is the directions we need to follow in order to solve the world’s problems.

In this world we will have troubles but we can take heart because Jesus overcame the world! Thanks to Jesus, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of any kind because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that by letting perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Will you allow God’s Word to be your rudder? Will you be like Mahatma Gandhi and take hold of the Sermon on the Mount in order that we can see transformation in our world?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible in the area of Acts of Mercy, is the topic of Mahatma Gandhi and the impact of Matthew 5-7 on and in and through him.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I ask Lord that even as Your Spirit is the wind in my sail to keep me moving forward for the glory of Your kingdom, I ask Lord that Your Words from the sermon on the mount will be the rudder that directs my path. Help me Lord to take hold of the truths from the beattitudes. Help me Lord to be salt and light. Help me Lord to not allow anger to have a foothold in my life. Help me Lord to resist lustful desires of my flesh. Help me Lord to build up and strengthen my marriage by controlling my eyes and my thoughts. Help me Lord to let me yes be yes and my no be no. Help me Lord to not allow my human nature to be how I respond but to respond as You command by turning the other cheek. Help me Lord to walk out my life in love to everyone who You bring across my path. Help me to be generous in giving to the needy. Help me Lord to take time in prayer and fasting to reset and realign my life with Your will and Your plan. Not only forgiving but being an abassador of peace. Lord help me to be more focused on storing up treasures in heaven than on this earth while being a good steward with all the people and resources You have added to my life. Help me Lord to not lean on my own understanding and not become anxious but rather to lift up every need, concern, desire up to You. Help me Lord to see people through Your eyes and not be judgemental. Help me to treat others as I would like as well as how they should be. Lord, help me I pray to walk out my life with You so that I won’t ever need to hear the words that You never knew me. Lord, I give my life to You and build it upon the rock of my salvation, Jesus Christ my Lord. So Lord, I give this day into Your hands and pray that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

How can you help bring unity?


How can you do things that help bring people together? How can you do things that will heal fractures? How can you do things that will mend broken hearts? How can you do things that will bring reconciliation? How can you do things that will unite? How can you speak words that will build up? How can you speak words that will encourage? How can you live a life of love? Let’s lead with love! Let’s build with love! Let’s unite in love!

Today’s reading comes from Ephesians 2 and speaks to the unity that comes through Christ…

‘Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. ‘

–from Ephesians 2:11-22

The key is to bring Jesus to the center. To the center of all of our relationships. To the center of our marriages. To the center of our nation. By putting Jesus in the center it draws us to Him and so closer to each other. It helps bring unity. His gravity will help us stay united.

Today’s devotional speaks to a radio address done by President Ronald Reagan marking the holidays of Passover and Easter in 1983. It pulls from today’s reading and in particular verses 17-19 where it reads

‘And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, ‘ — from Ephesians 2:17-19

He speaks of how through common faith in God, people from different backgrounds are able to be united in their efforts to promote peace and freedom.

Today’s devotional quotes from the speech and I found a copy of it and share it here:

“This week as American families draw together in worship, we join with millions upon millions of others around the world also celebrating the traditions of their faiths. During these days, at least, regardless of nationality, religion, or race, we are united by faith in God, and the barriers between us seem less significant. Observing the rites of Passover and Easter, we’re linked in time to the ancient origins of our values and to the unborn generations who will still celebrate them long after we’re gone. As Paul explained in his Epistle to the Ephesians, He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you were no longer strangers and aliens, but you were fellow citizens of God’s household.’ “


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift up this day to You Lord and offer it and my life up to You as a living sacrifice. Help me Lord to be an ambassador of peace. Help me Lord to be one who tries to bring people together in unity. Help me to be one who helps people find the hope that is from Jesus. Help me Lord to live a life that will lift You up bringing You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Can you keep hold of peace?


In the midst of a meeting? In the midst of an argument? In the midst of a disaster? In the midst of a storm? In the midst of the news? In the midst of life?

What about a peace that goes beyond all understanding that guards your heart?

There are so many things in life that try to rob you of your peace! There are so many ways that we can give up our peace! So do you know how you can keep hold of peace?

How about being able to see the bigger picture? Can you look at things beyond the moment? Can you look at things through the perspective of eternity? Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you know it will be with God thanks to your relationship with Jesus, won’t that bring you peace that goes beyond understanding because you know that no matter what happens here – right here, right now – you know where you are going to end up?

Some people try to simplify what peace is to absence of war and hostility. The reality is that peace is so much more than that! Peace is “the presence of God and his reign. It means wholeness, soundness, well-being, oneness with God – every kind of blessing and good.” So can you you take hold of peace that surpasses all understanding and never let go? With that peace you have, you are then able to pass it on to others that God brings into your life!

So be a peacemaker! As far as it depends on your live at peace!

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Hold On to Your Peace

Day 233: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Peace with God … Psalm 101:1-8
  2. Peace in the church … 1 Corinthians 14:20-40
  3. Peace in the nation … 2 Chronicles 13:1-15:19

Today’s Reading…