Will you attack the problem or the person?


The Story of Job. – Day 20

What is your purpose and your intention for debating or questioning the other person? Is your goal to win or to understand? Is your goal to win or to inform? Is your goal to solve the problem or defeat the person? When faced with a problem, how will you address it? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the person? Will you allow Jesus to be in the center of the relationship and then partner with the other person to address the problem? Will you attack the problem or will you attack the other person?

Do you know what is going on? Do you totally comprehend it? Are you assuming based on your knowledge and just trying to win the debate? Are you finding that your technique isn’t helping you win the argument? Are you realizing that you are now trying to go after the person? Are you a real friend with a real relationship or are you a so-called friend and just trying to indict the other person so that you win?


Today’s reading comes to use from Job 15:

‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered [Job] and said, “Should a wise man [such as you] utter such windy and vain knowledge [as we have just heard] And fill himself with the east wind [of withering, parching, and violent accusations]? Should he rebuke and argue with useless talk? Or with words in which there is no benefit? Indeed, you are doing away with fear, And you are diminishing meditation before God. For your guilt teaches your mouth, And you choose [to speak] the language of the crafty and cunning. Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you. “Were you the first man to be born [the original wise man], Or were you created before the hills? Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself? What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not equally clear to us? Among us are both the gray-haired and the aged, Older than your father. Are the consolations of God [as we have interpreted them to you] too trivial for you, [Or] were we too gentle toward you [in our first speech] to be effective? Why does your heart carry you away [allowing you to be controlled by emotion]? And why do your eyes flash [in anger or contempt], That you should turn your spirit against God And let such words [as you have spoken] go out of your mouth? What is man, that he should be pure and clean, Or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous and just? Behold, God puts no trust in His holy ones (angels); Indeed, the heavens are not pure in His sight— How much less [pure and clean is] the one who is repulsive and corrupt, Man, who drinks unrighteousness and injustice like water! “I will tell you, listen to me; And what I have seen I will also declare; What wise men have [freely] told, And have not hidden [anything passed on to them] from their fathers, To whom alone the land was given, And no stranger passed among them [corrupting the truth]. The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And numbered are the years stored up for him, the ruthless one. A [dreadful] sound of terrors is in his ears; While at peace and in a time of prosperity the destroyer comes upon him [the tent of the robber is not at peace]. He does not believe that he will return out of the darkness [for fear of being murdered], And he is destined for the sword [of God’s vengeance]. He wanders about for food, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that the day of darkness and destruction is already at hand. Distress and anxiety terrify him, They overpower him like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God And behaves arrogantly against the Almighty, Running and charging headlong against Him With his ornamented and massive shield; For he has covered his face with his fat, Adding layers of fat to his thighs [giving himself up to pleasures], And he has lived in desolate [God-forsaken] cities, In houses which no one should inhabit, Which were destined to become heaps [of ruins]; He will not become rich, nor will his wealth endure; And his grain will not bend to the earth nor his possessions be extended on the earth. He will not escape from darkness [fleeing disaster]; The flame [of God’s wrath] will wither his branch, And by the blast of His mouth he will go away. Let him not trust in vanity (emptiness, futility) and be led astray; For emptiness will be his reward [for such living]. It will be fulfilled while he still lives, And his branch will not be green [but shall wither away]. He will fail to bring his grapes to maturity [leaving them to wither unnourished] on the vine, And will cast off blossoms [and fail to bring forth fruit] like the olive tree. For the company of the godless is barren, And fire consumes the tents of bribery (wrong and injustice). They conceive mischief and bring forth wickedness, And their inmost soul prepares deceit and fraud.”’

Job 15:1-35

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

After Job’s latest speech, it has intensified the rebuttal of his friends. Their confrontation was energized by what Job had to say.

Today’s reading begins with Eliphaz, who was the first friend who tried to comfort him, the first to dispute with him and the oldest of them. The discussion or debate has escalated and become much more heated.

We see more questions being raised during this conversation and learn thru the study how the book of Job has more questions than any other book in the Bible with over 300 questions. The questions revolve around the subject of wisdom and trying to get understanding.

We read how Eliphaz was now telling Job that his words in vain and would have as little effect on God as the wind. He compares Job’s speech to the east wind which in that part of the world was the worst wind.

Eliphaz says Job’s words are worthless, unprofitable and do no good but instead cause hurt. We see how Eliphaz’s opinion of Job has degraded and felt that Job’s sins were so great that God wouldn’t even be listening to him.

Eliphaz goes on to accuse Job with the severity that Job was trying to undermine other people’s devotion to God. Today’s study goes on to say “He forgot that Job had asked God to take away his fear of Him. Job had spoken boldly of his belief that God would save him. Eliphaz believed that Job was not showing reverence toward God. He even believed that Job was hindering other’s prayers to God.

Eliphaz going from trying to argue to now attacking Job when he accuses Job of ““iniquity” and being “crafty” deceitful, whereas in his first speech he seemed to assume Job’s sincerity. Eliphaz believed that Job’s tongue was speaking from a heart filled with iniquity.

Eliphaz even goes on to accuse Job that his own words have condemned him. That there was no need to try and produce any testimony for his own lips had given enough proof of how he was guilty. Today’s study mirrors the accusation with the ones that Jesus received as it says “Now he was saying that the words he was speaking were condemning himself. He believed that Job had been acting in an irreverent way in speaking to God. Job was in very good company being accused of sinning with what he said. They accused Jesus of speaking blasphemy, and therefore worthy of death. How wrong they were, and how wrong Eliphaz was here.“.

Today’s study gives the following additional summary of what was discussed:

Verses 7-13: Eliphaz condemned Job for rejecting the conventional wisdom, as if he had more insight than other men (verses 7-9), and could reject the wisdom of the aged (verse 10), and the kindness of God (verse 11).

Verses 7-10: With God, true knowledge is not necessarily linked to age but to consistent obedience (Psalm 119:99-100). Knowledge and wisdom come from doing what God instructs and discovering that He always knows what is right (Deut. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:12).

Verses 14-16: A strong statement with regard to the sinfulness of man (Rom. 3:23), that attacked Job’s claim to righteousness. (Verse 15), refers to holy angels who fell and brought impurity into the heavens (Rev. 12:1-4). The truth is accurate, that all men are sinners, but irrelevant in Job’s case, because his suffering was not due to any sin.

Verses 15-20: Retributive justice was not only Eliphaz’s philosophy but that of all three friends. They did not see that while suffering is ultimately the result of original sin not all suffering is the result of a person’s particular sin.

Verses 17-35: Eliphaz once again returned to the same perspective and indicted Job for sin because Job was suffering. To support his relentless point, he launched into a lengthy monologue about the wicked and their outcomes in life, including many parallels to the sufferings of Job. He had pain, and didn’t know when his life would end (verse 20). He suffered from fear, every sound alarmed him, and he thought his destroyer was near (verses 21-22). He worried about having food (verse 23). His suffering made him question God (verses 24-26). Once well-nourished, housed and rich (verses 27-29), he would lose it all (verses 30-33). Eliphaz concluded by calling Job a hypocrite (verses 34-35), saying that this was the reason things were going so badly.

Eliphaz again appeals to his personal experience for authority: “That which I have seen.” He then surveys the judgments that fall on the wicked, thus implying that Job is to be numbered among them.

Bible-Study.org Chapter 15

It was interesting as I looked for an image for today’s post, I found this interesting one and clicked one level further and found an interesting podcast about it. Attack the Problem Not the Person – the question was posed from an Amazon employee where he spoke of their way of Attacking the process not the person which leads into the podcast discussion.


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

Let’s pray:

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

Leadership Principles from Nehemiah


Today we did a fly over of the book of Nehemiah on leadership principles with Wayne Tesch. I will capture here my notes and look forward to putting together a more in depth series in the future.

Chapter 1: Prayer

4When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5Then I said,
“O lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
8“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
10“The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. 11O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”
In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

  • need leaders to show up to make a difference in the inner city, one block at a time
  • make a difference to the community
  • show long term impact
  • How to hit the problem? PRAY!

Chapter 2: Plan

  • he went undercover to scope out the land
  • he made it an “us” plan – “Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”
  • Leadership is about the “us”
  • We are stewards of the dream
  • Plan so that we can be successful

Chapter 3: People

  • Exercise to count the number of names…
  • build and invest into where you live!
  • everyone should be included
  • the hall of fame of the builders of the wall
  • making them heros

Chapter 4: Problems from the outside

  • without good people challenging us we wouldn’t grow
  • sure there will be problems but good Christians come together in tough times
  • they tried to slander them
  • when they try to put us down, if we focus on that we miss out on what God has in sotre
  • they try to say it in humor to try and put us down
  • they get 1/2 way and then start to focus on the rubble rather than the accomplishment
  • see beyond the rubble to what God wants to do in the their lives
  • @1/2 way out comes the excuses — the 1/2 way focus, want to do something else
  • instead of being selfish, look at the good thing God has for you
  • the construction of God’s good instead of the rubble
  • lift your eyes, don’t look for problems, look for opportunities to bring people together
  • issues usually show up @1/2 way point

Chapter 5: Problems within

Chapter 6: All done, let’s celebrate and party

  • wall was finished in 52 days
  • consider how long things take
  • the was was laid baron for over 100 years (4 generations)
  • so let’s celebrate the victories

Other thoughts and topics:

God has called you to do something important –> speak life into teens

Some may not welcome us, but they are work in progress and we haven’t seen the end yet

When did hope start meaning something to me?

With God all things are possible

We are dealing with longer term issues

Reward may not be here, it may be in heaven

Leadership:

  1. Pray
  2. Plan
  3. People
  4. Problems from the inside and the outside
  5. Party

 

Start with Focus

  • then go deeper
  • be focused on the one thing
  • find others to take on the other things

Build and army of compassion!

 

 

 

 

It’s time…to step up and lead!


People are watching you to see who you are. People are watching you to see if you are who you say you are. People are watching you to see what your character says about you. People are watching you to see how you will respond to the situations that come your way. People are watching you and how you act will impact their perception and actions towards and about you.

If we don’t step up and do what is right, it will create problems! If we don’t step up and lead, it will cause confusion and delays! If we don’t step up to do what we have been called to do, then someone else will be called to do the work! What will your legacy say about you? What will the memory of you mean to others? Will you be salt and light and make a difference in the lives of those around you? Do you see what is going on around you? How far down the slippery slope will you allow it to go before you will do something and get involved?

How do you want to be thought of? How do you want to be remembered? How are you going to live your life?

It’s time…to step up and lead!



Today’s reading starts with 1 Kings 16…

Zimri Ends Baasa’s Line

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa, saying: 2“Since I raised you up from the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, yet you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have caused My people Israel to sin, vexing Me with their sins. 3I am about to consume Baasa and his house. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4Anyone of Baasa who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat.” 5Now the rest of the deeds of Baasa and what he did and his might, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 6Then Baasa slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king in his place. 7But the word of Adonai had already come by the hand of the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasa and against his house, because of all the evil he had done in Adonai’s eyes, vexing Him with the work of his hands, becoming thus like the house of Jeroboam which He struck down. 8In the twenty-sixth year of King Asa of Judah, Elah son of Baasa became king over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. 9Then his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariotry, conspired against him while he was in Tirzah, making himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace in Tirzah. 10Then Zimri went in, struck him down and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, and became king in his place. 11It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on the throne, he struck down all the household of Baasa, leaving him not even one man, nor his kinsmen nor his friend. 12So Zimri destroyed the entire house of Baasa, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke against Baasa by the prophet Jehu, 13for all the sins of Baasa and the sins of his son Elah, which they committed and caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel with their useless idols. 14Now the rest of the deeds of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

Rise of Omri

15In the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah, Zimri reigned for seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines. 16When the people encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and even struck down the king,” then all Israel proclaimed Omri—the commander of the army—king over Israel that very day in the camp. 17Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace, and burned down the royal palace over him with fire. So he died too, 19because of the sins which he committed, doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, walking in the way of Jeroboam and in the sin which he had committed, making Israel sin. 20Now the rest of the deeds of Zimri and his treason that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 21Then the people of Israel were divided into two factions: half of the people followed Tibni son of Ginath, making him king, while the other half followed Omri. 22But the people following Omri prevailed against the people following Tibni son of Ginath. Tibni died, and Omri became king. 23In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned 12 years, six years in Tirzah. 24Then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and built a city on the hill. He named the city that he built Samaria, based on the name Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25But Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and in the sins that he had caused Israel to commit, vexing Adonai God of Israel, with their useless idols. 27Now the rest of the deeds of Omri that he did and the valiant deeds that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 28So Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became king in his place.

Ahab Even Worse

29In the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri began to reign over Israel; and Ahab son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria 22 years. 30But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, more than all who were before him. 31Now, as if it was a trifling thing to walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, he also took as wife Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshipped him. 32He also erected an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he had built in Samaria. 33Also Ahab made the Asherah pole. So Ahab did yet more to provoke the Adonai God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

Curse of Jericho Rebuilt

34During his days, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. At the cost of Abiram his firstborn, he laid its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son Segub, he set up its gates—according to the word of Adonai, which He had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.

–from 1 Kings 16

How bad does it really have to get before God will get your attention? How far away will you walk before you realize you are no longer under His covering? How bad do you want your own way that it ends up impacting a family, a community, a region, a country, the world? What’s it going to take for people to see what is really going on and grab a hold of the truth and then turn back to God? What’s it going to take?

Do you realize you don’t have to have a lot to make a difference? Do you realize all it takes is faith, obedience, and to give the little you do have up to God? Do you realize that the miracle is in proportion to the size of your faith? Do you realize the miracles that can happen when you believe and act out of obedience to God? Not the size of what you have but the size of your faith! (not the little flower and oil — the number of jars)

Elijah Proclaims Famine

1Now Elijah the Tishbite, one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab: “As Adonai God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.” 2Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 3“Leave this place, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4It will come about that you will drink from the wadi. I have also commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of Adonai—he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the wadi. 7Then it came to pass after a while that the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8Then the word of Adonai came to him saying: 9“Arise, go to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have just commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

Miracle of Flour and Oil

10So he arose and went to Zarephath. Now when he came to the town gate, to his surprise, a widow was there gathering sticks. So he called her and said, “Please bring a little water in a jar that I may drink.” 11As she was going to fetch it, he called her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12So she said, “As Adonai your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in the jar, and a little oil in the jug. Now look, I am gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Fear not! Go and do as you said, but first make me a little cake from what you have there. Bring it out to me and afterwards, make some for you and for your son. 14For thus says Adonai God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jug of oil be empty until the day Adonai sends rain on the land.’” 15So she went and did according to the word of Elijah—and she and he, and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of flour was not exhausted, nor did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of Adonai which He spoke through Elijah.

Resurrection of a Boy

17After these things, it came to pass that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house fell sick, and his sickness was getting much worse until he had no breath left in him. 18So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, man of God? Have you come to me to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her arms, carried him up to the upper room where he was staying and laid him on his own bed. 20He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, have You brought such evil even on the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself upon the child three times. He cried out to Adonai and said, “Adonai my God, please let this child’s soul come back into his body!” 22Adonai listened to the cry of Elijah, so the soul of the child came back into his body and he was revived. 23Then Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “See! Your son is alive.” 24Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word in your mouth is truth.”

–from 1 Kings 17

So will you turn back to God? Will you invite Him into your life? Will you walk with him out of reverence and obedience? Will you lift Him up and give Him praise? Let’s answer the call and do what He asks of us!

Who Can Stand in Your Presence?

1For the music director, on stringed instruments: a psalm of Asaph, a song. 2In Judah God is known. In Israel His Name is great. 3In Salem is His sukkah and His dwelling place in Zion. 4There He broke the fiery shafts of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the battle. Selah 5You are brilliant, more majestic than nourishing mountains. 6The valiant have been plundered— they slumbered in their sleep. The mighty could not lift their hands. 7At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider lay dead asleep. 8You are awesome, yes You are! Who can stand in Your presence once You are angry? 9From heaven You pronounced judgment. The earth feared and was still— 10when God rose up to judgment, to save all the humble of the land. Selah 11For wrath upon man will bring You praise, a remnant of wrath You put on as a belt. 12Make vows to Adonai your God and fulfill them. Let all around Him bring tribute to the One who is to be feared. 13He cuts off the breath of princes. The kings of earth are in awe of Him.

–from Psalms 76

Do you want to be left behind? Do you want to have to deal with the pain and the suffering? Will you choose before He comes back? Will you wait till then and decide before the final judgment? What is holding you back? What would it take for God to get your attention? It’s time! He’s coming back soon! He needs those who believe to step up and lead! He needs those who believe to be salt and light! Let’s answer the call and step up and lead as God is calling us to do and to be who God is calling us to be.

144,000 Marked with a Seal

1After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or against any tree. 2Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who were permitted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do no harm to the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4Now I heard the number of those marked with the seal: 144,000 from every tribe of Bnei-Yisrael— 5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah; 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben; 12,000 from the tribe of Gad; 6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher; 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali; 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh; 7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon; 12,000 from the tribe of Levi; 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar; 8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun; 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph; 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin.

Countless Worshipers Before the Throne

9After these things I looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count—from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues—was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne, along with the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!” 13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” 14Then he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason, they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They shall never again go hungry, nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

–from The Revelation 7

It’s not about how much you have, but what you do with the little you do have! Take a look around you! Do you see what is going on all around the world? Every time I go through the book of Revelation, I sense we are getting closer and closer! Consider what God’s Word says! Take a look around at what is going on around the world! And then consider how you will choose and respond!

Teaching in the Temple

1Then Yeshua looked up and saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury box. 2He also saw a poor widow dropping in two small copper coins. 3And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. 4For all these put in their gifts from their surplus. But she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.” 5And while some were talking about the Temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and offerings, Yeshua said, 6“As for these things you are looking at, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 7And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, so when will these things happen? What will be the sign that these things are about to take place?” 8And He said, “Watch out that you are not led astray! For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9And when you hear of wars and chaos, do not be terrorized. For these things need to happen first, but the end will not come at once.” 10Then He continued telling them, “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes along with famines and epidemics in various places, and there will be terrors along with great signs from heaven. 12But before all these things, they will grab you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues and prisons, and leading you away to kings and governors on account of My name. 13This will lead you to be a witness. 14So make up your minds not to prepare ahead of time to defend yourselves— 15for I Myself will give you speech and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16But you will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—and they will put some of you to death. 17And you will be hated by all because of My name. 18Yet not a hair of your head will be lost. 19By your endurance, you will gain your souls. 20“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must get out, and those in the countryside must not enter her. 22For these are the days of punishment, to fulfill all that has been written. 23“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath on this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25“There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. 26People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!” 29Then Yeshua told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30As soon as they sprout their leaves, you see it and you know at once that summer is near. 31So also, when you see these all these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 34“But watch out so your hearts are not weighed down by carousing, strong drink, and the worries of life. Do not let that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come rushing upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things about to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37So during the days Yeshua was teaching in the Temple, but in the nights He went out and stayed on the Mount of Olives. 38And all the people would come early in the morning to hear Him in the Temple.

–from Luke 21

Is the world hearing the story through how you are living your life?

 

 

 

 

What’s bigger? Where are you putting your trust?


So what is in front of you? Is it a big challenge? So it seems impossible? So it seems like times been compressed and yet even more work is being asked of you? So everyday more things kept changing? And the one thing that stayed the same was the end date?

So what will you do? Where will you turn? How will you respond? Where will you put your trust? Can anyone help you through it? What type of a report will you deliver?

You may feel this way. You may be facing just such a challenge. Do what I did and give it up to God! God is bigger than any of my problems! God is able to do infinitely more than I could ever ask or imagine! If God is for me, who can be against me? So there was a huge effort put before me. Gave it up to God and watched the mountain move! Gave it up to God and watched the answers come! Gave it up to God and watched even in the compressed time it come together!

I’m here to tell you that if God doesn’t show up there would have been a problem. I’m here to tell you that if my focus was on the problem rather than God, I could have had a bad attitude and come back with a bad report! I kept trusting Him and checking on status! And as always God was there and made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!

So how about you? Where are you at today? What report will you bring back? Will you see it through the lenses of God and what will He do and how will He respond? Will you give a good report? And then get to be a part of the incredible breakthrough when it happens? Don’t be left out! Don’t be left behind! Be a part of the group who trusts in God and believes that with Him and through Him all things are possible!


Today’s reading starts out on such a topic. Let’s check it out…

Twelve Scouts and the Bad Report

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
2“Send some men on your behalf to investigate the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael. Each man you are to send will be a prince of the tribe of his fathers, a man from each tribe.”
3So according to the word of Adonai, Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran. All the men were princes of Bnei-Yisrael.
4These are their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur. 5From the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori. 6From the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh. 7From the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph. 8From the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun. 9From the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu. 10From the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi. 11From the tribe of Manasseh, part of the tribe of Joseph, Gaddi son of Susi. 12From the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli. 13From the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael. 14From the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi. 15From the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi. 16These are the names of the men Moses sent to investigate the land. (Now he gave Hoshea son of Nun, the name Joshua.)

17As he sent them to explore the land of Canaan, he said to them, “Go up there through the Negev, then go up into the hill country. 18See what the land is like and the people living there, whether they might be strong or weak, few or many. 19In what kind of land are they living? Is it good or bad? Also, what about the cities in which they are living? Are they unwalled or do they have fortifications? 20How is the soil—fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

21So they went up and explored the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob the entrance of Hamath. 22They continued on up through the Negev and came to Hebron. There lived Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, descendants of Anak. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23When they reached as far as the Valley of Eshcol, they cut a single branch with a cluster of grapes. It was carried on a pole between two of them. They also cut some pomegranates and some figs. 24That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster cut by Bnei-Yisrael.

25They returned from investigating the land after 40 days. 26They traveled and returned to Moses, Aaron and the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They gave their report to them and the entire assembly. They showed the land’s fruit. 27They gave their account to him and said, “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey—this is some of its fruit. 28Except, the people living in the land are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw the sons of Anak there! 29Amalek is living in the land of the Negev, the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites are living in the mountains, and the Canaanites are living near the sea and along the bank of the Jordan.” 30Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “We should definitely go up and capture the land, for we can certainly do it!” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We cannot attack these people, because they are stronger than we.” 32They spread among Bnei-Yisrael a bad report about the land they had explored, saying, “The land through which we passed to explore devours its residents. All the people we saw there are men of great size! 33We also saw there the Nephilim . (The sons of Anak are from the Nephilim .) We seemed like grasshoppers in our eyes as well as theirs!”

–from Numbers 13

Will you be someone who sees through the lens of God’s goodness? Will you consider what He has already done in and through you? (remember they walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, they were provided for with manna from heaven, …) Or will you allow your human perspective guide your response? Will you allow the natural to create fear when the supernatural that you have already seen, heard, and read about shows that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!

Will you be Joshua and a Caleb in giving your report? Or will you be like the others giving a doom and gloom report? Where will you get your hope from? Where will you put your trust? Do you want to get what the grumblers got? Check this out and consider what you think…

Grumblers Will Not Enter the Land

1All through that night, the entire community raised up their voices. The people wept. 2All Bnei-Yisrael grumbled against Moses and Aaron and the whole community said, “If only we had died in Egypt! If only we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is Adonai bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be like plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4They said to each other, “Let’s choose a leader and let’s go back to Egypt!”

5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire assembly of the community of Bnei-Yisrael. 6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes. 7They said to the whole assembly of Bnei-Yisrael, “The land through which we passed is an exceptionally good land! 8If Adonai is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land and will give it to us—a land flowing with milk and honey. 9Only don’t rebel against Adonai, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They will be food for us. The protection over them is gone. Adonai is with us! Do not fear them.”

10But the whole assembly talked about violently stoning them. Then the glory of Adonai appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all Bnei-Yisrael.

11Adonai said to Moses, “How long will these people treat Me contemptibly? How long will they neglect to trust in Me—in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? 12I will strike them with the plague. I will destroy them. But you I will make into a nation greater and stronger than they!” 13Moses said to Adonai, “The Egyptians will hear about it, because You brought up this people by Your power from among them. 14They will tell the residents of this land about it. Already they have heard that You, Adonai, are in the midst of this people, that You, Adonai, have been seen eye to eye, that Your cloud remains over them, and that in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night You go before them. 15If you kill these people all at once, the nations who have heard this report about You will say, 16‘Because Adonai was unable to bring this people to the land He had promised them, He has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17“So please, let Adonai show His strength, just as You have spoken saying, 18‘Adonai is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Still, He does not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations.’ 19Forgive now the guiltiness of this people in accordance with the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You have pardoned this people from Egypt until now!”

20Adonai answered, “I have forgiven them just as you have spoken. 21But as certainly as I live and as certainly as the glory of Adonai fills the entire earth, 22none of the people who saw My glory and My miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness—yet tested Me these ten times and did not obey My Voice— 23not one of them will see the land I promised to their forefathers. None of those who treated Me with contempt will see it! 24However, My servant Caleb, because a different spirit is with him and he is wholeheartedly behind Me, I will bring him into the land where he went—his offspring will inherit it. 25Now since the Amalekites and Canaanites are inhabiting the valley, turn back tomorrow and set out by the wilderness route toward the Sea of Reeds.”

26Adonai then said to Moses and Aaron saying, 27“How long will this wicked community be grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of Bnei-Yisrael grumbling against Me. 28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live,’ says Adonai, ‘I will do to you just as I heard you say in My ears. 29In this very wilderness your bodies will drop—every one of you 20 years of age and older who was numbered in the census and grumbled against Me. 30Not one of you will enter the land about which I lifted My hand to make home for you—except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31“As for your children—whom you said would be like plunder—I will bring them in and they will experience the land that you spurned. 32But your bodies will drop in this wilderness. 33Your children will be herdsmen in the wilderness for 40 years. They will suffer because of your unfaithfulness until your corpses are consumed in the wilderness. 34For 40 years, corresponding to the number of the 40 days you explored the land—one year for each day—you will suffer for your iniquities and know My hostility. 35I, Adonai, have spoken and certainly will I do this to all this wicked community banding together against Me. In this wilderness they will meet their end and there they will die!”

36Then the men whom Moses had sent to explore the land, who had returned and caused the whole community to grumble against him by spreading a bad report about the land, 37these men, spreading the bad report about the land, died of the plague in Adonai’s presence. 38Of those men who had gone to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

39When Moses related these things to all of Bnei-Yisrael, the people mourned bitterly. 40They rose the next morning and went up to the high mountains, saying, “Look! Let’s go up to the place which Adonai promised. For we have sinned.” 41But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the mouth of Adonai? That will never succeed. 42You should not go up, because Adonai will not be among you and you will be defeated before your enemies! 43For the Amalekites and Canaanites are there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword. Adonai will not be with you, because you turned away from following Adonai.” 44But presumptuously they went up to the high mountain country, though neither the Ark of Adonai’s covenant nor Moses moved from within the camp. 45The Amalekites and Canaanites living in the mountain country came down, attacked them, and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

–from Numbers 14

Would you really want to miss out on the promised land because of the bad report? Would you really want to miss out on the promised land because you gave the bad report? In whom will you trust? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

So let’s celebrate God’s goodness, let’s cheer His great work, let’s praise Him, let’s live lives that will glorify Him!

Hear O Israel

1For the music director, on the Gittite lyre, of Asaph. 2Sing for joy to God our strength, shout to the God of Jacob! 3Lift up a song and sound a tambourine, a sweet lyre with a harp. 4Blow the shofar at the New Moon, at the full moon for the day of our festival. 5For it is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. 6He set it up as a testimony in Joseph, when He went throughout the land of Egypt, I heard a language I did not understand. 7“I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were set free from the basket. 8You called out in trouble, and I rescued you. I answered you from the hiding place of thunder. I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah 9Hear, My people, I will admonish you— if you would listen to Me, O Israel! 10Let there be no foreign god among you, and you shall not worship any alien god. 11I am Adonai your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 12But My people did not listen to My voice. Israel was not willing to be Mine. 13So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own counsels. 14Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! 15I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their foes. 16Those who hate Adonai would cringe before Him— their time of doom would be forever. 17But you would be fed with the finest wheat, with honey out of a rock would I satisfy you.”

–from Psalms 81

God will provide! Will you do your part? Will you give Him the rest? And then will you trust Him?

Will you live to the high calling of God? Each one of us has been called? God is calling us to step it up and live to a higher bar! Not to work at the lowest common denominator! God is wanting “each one” of us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ“. Submission isn’t a way for people to get their way over us! Submission isn’t a way for illegal things to be made ok. Submission is so that we give up our rights out of reverence for the other person. Submission is person! Submission is spiritual! Submission is beneficial! Submission is counter cultural! If we will give it all up into God’s hands He can redeem it – we just need to be willing to let it go and submit it to Jesus! If we keep going around “mine, mine, mine” with closed fists, yes it won’t get out, but God’s blessings won’t be able to get into your hands either! So we need to trust God as Lord of all and overall! Submitting out of reverence to Chris, we are being called to a higher bar!

Today’s reading concludes with 1 Corinthians 5…

Removing the “Hametz” from Your House

1It is actually reported that among you there is sexual immorality, and such immorality as is not even among the pagans—that someone has his father’s wife. 2And you are puffed up! Shouldn’t you have mourned instead, so that the one who did this deed might be removed from among you? 3For even though I am absent in body, I am present in spirit—I have already passed judgment on the one who has done this thing, as though I were present. 4When you are gathered together in the name of our Lord Yeshua, I am with you in spirit. With the power of our Lord Yeshua, 5you are to turn such a fellow over to satan for the destruction of his fleshly nature, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Yeshua. 6Your boasting is no good. Don’t you know that a little hametz leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old hametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened—for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us celebrate the feast not with old hametz, the hametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread—the matzah of sincerity and truth. 9I wrote to you in my letter not to mix together with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the sexually immoral people of this world or the greedy or swindlers or idolaters, for then you would have to exit the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to mix together with anyone who is being called a brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy or an idolater or a slanderer or a drunkard or a swindler—not even to eat with such a fellow. 12For what business do I have judging outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? 13But those who are outside, God judges. Put away the wicked fellow from among yourselves.

–from 1 Corinthians 5

When you are having a discussion…


Are you listening to the other person or thinking about what you will say next? Are you actively listening to what the person is saying so that you are sure you are getting it? Are you more interested in what you have to say than what they are telling you? This is a problem! Especially if there is a conflict since you won’t really get their side of the story!

If we start with the advice we first get from today’s reading, we hear:

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

–from James 1

If we consider the priority order of this instruction we see that first we need to hear what the person is saying — active listening — I remember when I took calls in tech support this was a very important skill. You are acknowledging what they are saying and if you don’t understand something you get clarification. You aren’t challenging or arguing, you are just working to make sure they know you are hearing them and making sure you know what the actual problem or reason for their being upset, frustrated, or angry. It’s not always easy, but it is the right thing to do when in the middle of a situation! Rather than fighting each other, put the target on the actual problem! We have two ears and 1 mouth so let’s try to listen twice as much as we speak! Our reading tells us to be slow to speak, let’s make sure we don’t overreact or blow things out of proportions but rather gather the information necessary to move forward! Getting angry won’t reduce the conflict, it will in most cases cause it to escalate! And that doesn’t do either of you any good. Our reading not only tells us priority of actions, it also gives us instructions on how to get there by getting rid of the junk that gets in the way! We need to get rid of the intention or desire to do evil! We need to get rid of immoral behavior! We need to be humble! We need to humbly receive the Word of God! We need to humbly accept the Word of God placed in us! It can be the thing that saves our soul. It will help us walk in alignment with God! It can direct us into a relationship with Jesus! And Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light — Romans puts it this way “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” and Acts puts it this way “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved“. We need to be able to listen to what God is saying in and through the situation! We need to be able to hear what the heart of the other person is also saying!


So today,
let’s be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
and
even slower to get angry!


 

Today’s devotional (Conflict At Work day 3) also speaks about this verse. This is what they have to say on the subject…

Be Quick to Listen

Christians need to listen well, both to people and to God. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). You listen, not as a technique to influence others, but as a way to let God’s word “rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness” (James 1:21). Listening well to others removes our anger and arrogance. When others speak words that we do not welcome—words of disagreement, criticism or dismissal—it is easy to respond in anger, especially in high-pressure situations. But doing so usually makes our position worse and discredits our witness as Christ’s servants.

When approaching a co-worker about conflict, you must set aside your self-justification long enough to listen to what the other person has to say. This is very difficult! But it works. Your goal at first is not to come to agreement, but just to understand the other person’s point of view. Say something like, “I realize that this is coming between us, so I want to start by listening to how you see things.” Then listen without interrupting. Repeat back what the other person said without modifications or corrections. “I think you said…. Is that right?” You may have to try several times until you get it so the other person can respond, “Yes that is what I said.” Success!

Now ask the other person to listen to your perspective and repeat it back to you, just as you did for him or her. Repeat until the other person actually repeats what you said, without asking the person to agree with it.

Now you both understand the other person’s point of view. You may still disagree. Yet most of the time, the feeling of being heard and respected is so wonderful that both of you have a new energy and sense of working together. Now you can begin to find a solution to the conflict that you can both live with.

Video

Watch this short video about being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Prayer

Dear God, It is difficult to listen and not defend my own position. Help me approach conflict with meekness, humility and a heart that is willing to truly understand another’s perspective. Amen.

Further Exploration

Click to read more from the Theology of Work Project about listening in James 1.

–from Conflict At Work (day 3)

 

 

 

 

In the midst of a storm? Starting to panic? Not sure what to do?


Be of good cheer! Take courage! Don’t be afraid! Jesus is with you! This Word rings to close to me. It was on a day when the water was rocky at work. Things were out of line and I was wondering what God had in store for me next. I was able to receive the crazy message, along with the errors and mistruths, and forgive them. Rather than getting angry and bitter, I turned to God and forgave them. I came up with a plan on how to try and get through this and make it better. I kept doing my best and supporting those around me. I met with those who had setup the situation to discuss it, but afterwards I would have probably been better off not having done that based on what was said and the lack of knowledge, understanding, and even awareness of who I was and what I was doing. But I didn’t get bitter, I gave it up to God for He says, what we forgive on earth is forgiven in heaven and what we don’t forgive on earth won’t be … it is like a heavy anchor we decide to carry instead of releasing it when we don’t forgive and I learned that lesson once and didn’t forget it. So as I pushed forward, aware of the situation and circumstances around me, doing what the team wanted and needed, I started a day where today’s reading materialized. I remember driving to work praying and seeking God saying ‘God, if my workplace is the boat and you want me to get out, please let me know what side.‘ To get to work I drive over a big hill each day and as I was driving down the other side and about to turn my cell phone made the “you have a new text” type of sound. Sitting at the stop sign, I take a look and it’s a text message saying getting out of the boat from my pastor’s wife who was Tweeting that day’s devotional message. Wow, what timing, and I wasn’t going to allow the storms of life, the crazy waves around me keep me from God’s will in my life. So that night I updated my resume and my LinkedIn profile so that I was getting prepared for what God was setting into motion for me. I started researching companies. I started networking with friends (who were former colleagues) who were at any of the companies that would fit/suit my skills. I received many referrals and went through many interviews as I knocked on doors so that God could speak to me what side of the boat I was to get out on. Trusting Him, I didn’t have to worry or doubt, but just keep doing my work, for I was working as unto the Lord! I was supporting and encouraging those around me and share the hope that was within me. By the time the door opened for me to get out, I had disconnected from the company — I have many friends there, but on day 1 of my new life, I wasn’t looking back and I wasn’t missing what I had for God had already done the work in me to be prepared to step out of the boat. In the midst of the storm, without panic and with clarity of mind, with good cheer, with no fear, holding onto the courage given to me in faith by God.

I am so glad that I learned the lesson and power for forgiveness earlier, for it allowed me to respond properly to what had taken place. I am so glad that I was able to not only go through it, but share the experience with those around me so that they could see the power of God in and through my life and response. It became a platform for who God was in my life and all that He is and was able to do in and through me. It provided a testimony because my morning readings (which were based on a bible reading plan I had chosen to get through the bible in a year months earlier) were so right on the mark for the situation I was going through. People were amazed how spot on they were and wondered how I chose them. But the reality is God had a plan, long before I ever got to that page or that point. God still has a plan for what He is going to do in and through my life. My last day on my old job the verse that sticks with me and will continue to stick with me came from Job 42:12 which spoke to the second half of Job’s life was twice as good as the first. What a way to start a new beginning. I remember when Job showed up in my reading thinking, really God, with all that I am and have gone through I am going to go through a Job time. But it was to let me know it was a boxed in time. It would only last till I finished that book of the bible. Now I didn’t know that when I started it, but that is exactly how it played out. Wow, God is incredible! God’s timing is perfect! He works all things for good for those who love and trust Him!

Don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Be bold and courageous! Put on the full armor of God! Don’t cower by only putting on the helmet, the breastplate, the belt, the shoes, and the shield in a defensive stance. Grab onto the Word of God, the SWORD so that you can take it on and move into an offensive stance. Without the Word of God we are defending! With the Word of God we can go on the offense and start taking back what the devil tried to rob, kill, and destroy! Not just in our lives, but in the lives of those around us. So let’s take a stance today! Let’s stand firm and stand strong! Let’s protect our mind with the helmet and keep out things that shouldn’t get in through our eyes or our ears! Let’s put the belt of truth around our waist. Let’s wear that breastplate and protect our hearts from the lies of the devil who is out to try and make us ineffective, weak, and scared! Let’s hold up that shield to keep those fiery darts the devil keeps throwing from being able to affect us! Let’s put on the shoes that allow us to share the faith through the Good News of Jesus Christ! And now that we are ready and prepared and getting into the right environment for success, let’s pick up the Word of God, our sword and start working to help others break free from the chains, the shackles, the lies, the brokenness that the devil is putting them into and locking them up in.

Don’t doubt! Trust in God! Don’t focus on the size of the problem, focus on the size of your God! He is so big that it makes any problem seem small.


Today’s reading: (from day 43)

  • Matthew 14:22-36
  • Acts 20:13-38
  • Psalm 34
  • Exodus 30
  • Exodus 31

Watch over the flock God has given you!