Are you ready to listen? Are you ready to do?

Will you go beyond hearings and being a hearer of the Word and instead listen and become a doer of the Word? What did God’s Word speak to you? What instruction did God’s Word give to you? What direction did God’s Word give to you? Are you being an active listener rather than just a hearer? Are you being an active listener and becoming a doer? We aren’t saved by our works! We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus! We have people around us watching how we live and are they seeing that we live what we believe? that we are not just people who know the Word but rather are people who live out the Word? Today is a new day! Are you ready to start today? This is the day that the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord be our strength!

Are you ready to listen? Are you ready to do?

Today’s reading gets us started in Deuteronomy. I took the song Moses shared publicly and generated the word cloud I used for today’s post.

‘So Moses recited this entire song publicly to the assembly of Israel:’

Deuteronomy 31:30


‘“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say! Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord ; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! “But they have acted corruptly toward him; when they act so perversely, are they really his children? They are a deceitful and twisted generation. Is this the way you repay the Lord , you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father who created you? Has he not made you and established you? Remember the days of long ago; think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you. Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court. “For the people of Israel belong to the Lord ; Jacob is his special possession. He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes. Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. The Lord alone guided them; they followed no foreign gods. He let them ride over the highlands and feast on the crops of the fields. He nourished them with honey from the rock and olive oil from the stony ground. He fed them yogurt from the herd and milk from the flock, together with the fat of lambs. He gave them choice rams from Bashan, and goats, together with the choicest wheat. You drank the finest wine, made from the juice of grapes. “But Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them; they made light of the Rock of their salvation. They stirred up his jealousy by worshiping foreign gods; they provoked his fury with detestable deeds. They offered sacrifices to demons, which are not God, to gods they had not known before, to new gods only recently arrived, to gods their ancestors had never feared. You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth. “The Lord saw this and drew back, provoked to anger by his own sons and daughters. He said, ‘I will abandon them; then see what becomes of them. For they are a twisted generation, children without integrity. They have roused my jealousy by worshiping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols. Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even a people; I will provoke their anger through the foolish Gentiles. For my anger blazes forth like fire and burns to the depths of the grave. It devours the earth and all its crops and ignites the foundations of the mountains. I will heap disasters upon them and shoot them down with my arrows. I will weaken them with famine, burning fever, and deadly disease. I will send the fangs of wild beasts and poisonous snakes that glide in the dust. Outside, the sword will bring death, and inside, terror will strike both young men and young women, both infants and the aged. I would have annihilated them, wiping out even the memory of them. But I feared the taunt of Israel’s enemy, who might misunderstand and say, “Our own power has triumphed! The Lord had nothing to do with this!”’ “But Israel is a senseless nation; the people are foolish, without understanding. Oh, that they were wise and could understand this! Oh, that they might know their fate! How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? But the rock of our enemies is not like our Rock, as even they recognize. Their vine grows from the vine of Sodom, from the vineyards of Gomorrah. Their grapes are poison, and their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. “The Lord says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’ “Indeed, the Lord will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. Then he will ask, ‘Where are their gods, the rocks they fled to for refuge? Where now are those gods, who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their offerings? Let those gods arise and help you! Let them provide you with shelter! Look now; I myself am he! There is no other god but me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one can be rescued from my powerful hand! Now I raise my hand to heaven and declare, “As surely as I live, when I sharpen my flashing sword and begin to carry out justice, I will take revenge on my enemies and repay those who reject me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword will devour flesh— the blood of the slaughtered and the captives, and the heads of the enemy leaders.”’ “Rejoice with him, you heavens, and let all of God’s angels worship him. Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles, and let all the angels be strengthened in him. For he will avenge the blood of his children ; he will take revenge against his enemies. He will repay those who hate him and cleanse his people’s land.” So Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song to the people. When Moses had finished reciting all these words to the people of Israel, he added: “Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River.”’

Deuteronomy 32:1-47

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah:

‘What sorrow awaits you Assyrians, who have destroyed others but have never been destroyed yourselves. You betray others, but you have never been betrayed. When you are done destroying, you will be destroyed. When you are done betraying, you will be betrayed. But Lord , be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee! Just as caterpillars and locusts strip the fields and vines, so the fallen army of Assyria will be stripped! Though the Lord is very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and righteousness. In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord will be your treasure. But now your brave warriors weep in public. Your ambassadors of peace cry in bitter disappointment. Your roads are deserted; no one travels them anymore. The Assyrians have broken their peace treaty and care nothing for the promises they made before witnesses. They have no respect for anyone. The land of Israel wilts in mourning. Lebanon withers with shame. The plain of Sharon is now a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel have been plundered. But the Lord says: “Now I will stand up. Now I will show my power and might. You Assyrians produce nothing but dry grass and stubble. Your own breath will turn to fire and consume you. Your people will be burned up completely, like thornbushes cut down and tossed in a fire. Listen to what I have done, you nations far away! And you that are near, acknowledge my might!” The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear. Terror seizes the godless. “Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry. “Who can survive this all-consuming fire?” Those who are honest and fair, who refuse to profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong— these are the ones who will dwell on high. The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress. Food will be supplied to them, and they will have water in abundance. Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land that stretches into the distance. You will think back to this time of terror, asking, “Where are the Assyrian officers who counted our towers? Where are the bookkeepers who recorded the plunder taken from our fallen city?” You will no longer see these fierce, violent people with their strange, unknown language. Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals. You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure. It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut and whose stakes are firmly fixed. The Lord will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon. For the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. He will care for us and save us. The enemies’ sails hang loose on broken masts with useless tackle. Their treasure will be divided by the people of God. Even the lame will take their share! The people of Israel will no longer say, “We are sick and helpless,” for the Lord will forgive their sins.’

Isaiah 33

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Matthew:

‘“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord !’”’

Matthew 23:37-39


‘As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”’

Matthew 24:1-2

Today’s reading continues into Ephesians:

‘Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’

Ephesians 5:11-21

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Psalms:

‘Praise the Lord ! Let all that I am praise the Lord . I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 146

We were created to be more than survivors but rather be thrivers through Jesus!

Ever asked someone “How are you doing?” Ever been asked by someone “How are you doing?” Ever been given or answered “surviving”? Do you remember what was going on in your life? Did you ask them why or what’s going on? Today’s devotional starts with an interesting thought and so will put it here before I continue…

Some people see life today as the Three Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth put it, ‘Double, double toil and trouble.’ My own perspective on life changed when a friend wisely pointed out to me that, in a sense, this life is a series of problem-solving exercises. We will never be without problems in this life. If, in the midst of all the challenges, you cannot learn to thrive in the situation in which you find yourself, you will never find contentment.

–from Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

“In this world we will have troubles”, Jesus told us but that wasn’t where he ended, He ended with “but take heart because I have overcome the world.” He is sharing this with us so that in every situation we can have hope and not be held down or held back but be over comers in and through Him!It is in and through this power of Jesus that we can “consider it pure joy” whenever we “face trials of many kinds” because we “know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance” and that when we “let perseverance finish its work” we can “be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”The devotional continues with this wisdom from Solomon as it closes before getting into today’s Bible reading…

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, ‘We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now’ (Ecclesiastes 5:19, MSG). Learn to enjoy life in the present. If you do not, life will pass you by and you will never enjoy where you are right now.

–from Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

So let’s be more than survivors! Let’s be conquerors! Let’s thrive in the midst of the trials and troubles so that in and through it all, God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.As we know from Romans 8…

More Than Conquerors

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

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 8

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive

Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Trust, respect and honour God … Proverbs 19:23-20:4

  1. Be totally devoted to the Lord … 1 Corinthians 7:17-35
  2. Enjoy the blessings of work and relationships … Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12

Today’s devotional jumped into each of these items as does today’s reading from God’s Word…

Day 224 of 365 • This day’s reading

Do you need help with directions?

Wondering where your next step should be? Wondering which direction to head? Wondering which way to turn? Wondering what way to go? Need help? What’s the plan? What’s the message? What’s the purpose? Turn to God and ask Him for wisdom, help, direction, discernment, a plan. We may come up with a plan but God will direct our path! God’s ways may not be our ways, however, His ways are better than our ways! Listen attentively to His direction! Be obedient to His calling on your life! See His hand do incredible things in and through your life!

1-3Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn’t offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek.
4-5As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.
6-8They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
9-10That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.
11-12Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
13-14On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
15After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
— Acts 16


Just because you do something that takes a burden off someone’s shoulder doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about it! Know who you are! Remember who sent you! Worship God in the sun and in the storm! Let the joy of the Lord flow out of you that others may come to know the hope that is within you. Let the worship of the Lord open eyes and hearts to receive the message of Jesus Christ. Stay where God wants you to be, He will get you through it. Be the instrument God wants to use to forward His plan and purpose. Let your light shine! Like a city on a Hill! Like a lighthouse that warns about the traps that are around you. Focus on God’s will and plan for you! You may be the one that saves the life of one or the lives of many. Don’t allow the devil to rob you of your joy and hope that is inside of you. Make sure you know who you are dealing with before you get yourself into hot water!

16-18One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to us by yelling out, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
19-22When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.
22-24The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.
25-26Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
27-28Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”
29-31The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”
32-34They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.
35-36At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”
37But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”
38-40When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.
— Acts 16


God will give you a stage! God will give you a platform! Will you step up? Will you step in? Will you speak what He has for you to say? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

1-3They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. He opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that “this Jesus I’m introducing you to is that Messiah.”
4-5Some of them were won over and joined ranks with Paul and Silas, among them a great many God-fearing Greeks and a considerable number of women from the aristocracy. But the hard-line Jews became furious over the conversions. Mad with jealousy, they rounded up a bunch of brawlers off the streets and soon had an ugly mob terrorizing the city as they hunted down Paul and Silas.
5-7They broke into Jason’s house, thinking that Paul and Silas were there. When they couldn’t find them, they collared Jason and his friends instead and dragged them before the city fathers, yelling hysterically, “These people are out to destroy the world, and now they’ve shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear! And Jason is hiding them, these traitors and turncoats who say Jesus is king and Caesar is nothing!”
8-9The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges.
10-12That night, under cover of darkness, their friends got Paul and Silas out of town as fast as they could. They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul’s message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence.
13-15But it wasn’t long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard-line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too. With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip—caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: “Come as quickly as you can!”
16The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.
17-18He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What an airhead!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
19-21These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, “This is a new one on us. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? Explain it so we can understand.” Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.
22-23So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31“God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32-34At the phrase “raising him from the dead,” the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, “Let’s do this again. We want to hear more.” But that was it for the day, and Paul left. There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul—among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris.
— Acts 17


1-3Thank God! He deserves your thanks.
His love never quits.
Thank the God of all gods,
His love never quits.
Thank the Lord of all lords.
His love never quits.
4-22Thank the miracle-working God,
His love never quits.
The God whose skill formed the cosmos,
His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations,
His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light,
His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day,
His love never quits.
Moon and stars as guardians of the night,
His love never quits.
The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn,
His love never quits.
And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression,
His love never quits.
Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand,
His love never quits.
Split the Red Sea right in half,
His love never quits.
Led Israel right through the middle,
His love never quits.
Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea,
His love never quits.
The God who marched his people through the desert,
His love never quits.
Smashed huge kingdoms right and left,
His love never quits.
Struck down the famous kings,
His love never quits.
Struck Sihon the Amorite king,
His love never quits.
Struck Og the Bashanite king,
His love never quits.
Then distributed their land as booty,
His love never quits.
Handed the land over to Israel.
His love never quits.
23-26God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!
— Psalm 136

Your name can come to the top of the pile. Your efforts can be remembered.

Ever wonder how come you were rewarded for something you had done long ago? It came out of the blue.

Ever wonder how come you were raised up in the pile on someone’s desk so that you got the chance to interview?

Ever wonder why it seemed to take so long?

Ever wonder why now?


As I was continuing my reading today through the book of Esther, it talks about the king having problems sleeping. So what did he do? He wanted to get someone to read through the history of events that have taken place. In this reading, they came across a section about Mordecai (Esther’s cousin who had raised her) who happened to have heard about a plot to kill the king and then spoke out and saved the kings life. What did that trigger? Why now in the midst of all the sorrow and sadness Mordecai was going through? Why now as Haman was getting even more frustrated and angry with him?


God’s Word speaks to us about how He raises up and He tears down. In Job, He puts it this way:

11He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety.Job 5:11

In Luke, He puts it this way:

52He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.Luke 1:52

In Proverbs, He puts it this way:

25The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.Proverbs 15:25


Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! God’s timing is perfect! Put your hope and trust in God! He will never leave you nor abandon you!

Love others! Let your goodness to those who persecute you be like coal being dumped on their heads. Don’t just love those who love you, but also love the unlovable. Bring up the average by living a life that is above average. If you lower your integrity. If you lower your character. If you lower… to average, it has the affect of lowering the average and that is that last thing we would need or want. Call yourself to a higher calling. Call others to a higher calling. Lead other to love. Lead other to have character. Lead other to have integrity. Lead others to grow and develop into people who raise the bar and in so doing raise the average so that society keeps getting better with every day and every generation.


So why did you happen to make it to the top of the pile? God’s perfect plan and timing!

So why did you come to mind and get remembered and possibly even rewarded for something you did so long ago because you knew it was the right thing to do? God’s perfect plan and timing along with your faith and obedience to do what is right!


Have you done something that our heavenly king would like to honor you for? Will there be a parade because of what you have done? Is there a celebration taking place because you didn’t slip, but rather did what is right in God’s sight?


If you find favor with the king, will you do what is right? Will you step up and step into what God is asking you to do? Esther found favor with the king and after the 3 day fast, during the second dinner, she speaks to the king what is on her heart:

3Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives. 4“We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed—sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold off into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over.” 5King Xerxes exploded, “Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!” 6“An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman,” said Esther. Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen.Esther 7:3-6


Are you willing to become a man of God or woman of God? Are you willing to take a look at your life and become the person God is calling you to be? And live a life that will glorify and exalt the King of kings and Lord of lords? We all get choices. We have freewill to choose what to do. Will you choose to be an ambassador of love for God to all those you have in your life?


When we are bold and courageous, God can use us for the glorify of His kingdom. We see with Esther that because she was willing to give up her life for her people, that the King would give her anything she would desire:

What else do you want? Name it and it’s yours. Your wish is my command.” Esther 9:12


Have you recorded the things God has done for you? Do you celebrate with thanksgiving and praise all that God has done for you and your family and your friends?

4Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.Psalms 100:4


When you are raised up, do so with humility. Do so in a way that will glorify God. We read how in the end, Mordecai lived a life for others, not self serving nor self centered:

3Mordecai the Jew ranked second in command to King Xerxes. He was popular among the Jews and greatly respected by them. He worked hard for the good of his people; he cared for the peace and prosperity of his race.Esther 10:3

As a new year dawns…

As I start this new day and consider the last year, all I can say is “Wow!”. There were so many different experiences and feelings. There were so many different responses and changes. There were big changes, happy changes, experiences to share and be open rather than to fear and clam up. There were times to learn and times to prepare. There were times to listen and times to take action. So many changes and God was in them all. He calmed any doubts or fears. He spoke into every question or doubt. He answered when I had questions. He encouraged as I waited.

It started with bad news, but God told me He had my back. He rewarded my behavior and actions better than the company that seemed to turn its back on me. From a previous experience, I knew I had to start it with forgiveness. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Because of God’s love and provision, I was openly sharing how I knew that God was working on something and either things would be fixed and improved or He had something else planned for me. I used it as a testimony of how we don’t have to worry or fear what man can do to us, but rather that we can trust in God and allow the joy that surpasses all understanding to help us get through it all.

I had times of doubt, not in God, but if there was really anyone who cared  or could be trusted. God made it clear that there was by setting divine appointments where people would come in and speak truth, speak care, speak love into the situations.

Then the message about Peter shows up in one of my morning devotionals when get walks on water. As I drive to work I ask God if the company I was working for was the boat and if it was and if I was to get out, that He would grant me wisdom to know which side. I was just about to turn onto the highway after driving over the hill and my phone made it’s texting message that ended up being “get out of the boat“. I knew what that meant. I knew that no matter how things changed at work, my time there was limited and that God was preparing me for the next phase of my career. Since I included the clarity of “which side”, I knew that wasn’t the day, but that night I had to start to prepare. I updated my resume, I updated my LinkedIn profile, and I started to reach out to people who worked at companies where I found jobs of interest and the process began. I went to work each day with the joy of knowing God was with me and that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I knew He was working out a plan for my future and so I did my job the best I could for His Word tells me “work as unto the Lord“, He is the real boss of it all.

Interviews were happening. Preparation was taking place. And then right when I thought I knew which side of the boat, God opened the door with the clear message that He had a different idea. He provided me with every sign, every notice, every encouragement I needed so that I knew which side to get out on. Be it rainbows. Be it songs on the radio. Be it my morning Bible reading. Be it the offer. He knew what He has planned and started so many months earlier and this has been an incredible year and one I wouldn’t want to give up. The valley may be deep and it may not be easy, but when you come out the other side and look back, the things you learn are things you wouldn’t want to give up or give back. What an incredible time it has been in my new role. What an incredible group of people I have been blessed to meet. What an incredible opportunity and challenge faces us. And with God directing my path, I know that even greater things are yet to come.

So today as a new year begins, what do I think? what do I want? what do I think? what do I need? what do I plan? Theses are incredible and powerful questions.

What do I think?

I am blessed by God!

What do I want?

To help share the love of God with my family and friends and those who God will bring across my path.

What do I think?

God, what is it you have for me to do today. No need to worry about tomorrow, today has enough things to keep me busy.

What do I need?

God’s wisdom for every action, every activity, every decision, every moment of every day.

What do I plan?

To have another great year spent with my wife, my kids, and my friends and family trying to love them better and share God’s love with them to a new level. To help those I work with to accomplish even greater things that we could have ever asked for or imagined by the grace of God!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Thank You Jesus!



365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

1 Peter 2:17 (KJV)

Be of good character and live your life with integrity, treating everyone the same, with dignity. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ and be respectful of authority. Honor and revere the Lord God!

Spurgeon’s Morning Devotional – Day 59 – My Expectation is from God!

5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

Are you worth reading?

If you are the only book someone would ever get to read, is your life worth reading? When you are out and about what is your life speaking to those around you? When you are living life, is it an exciting story for others to grab a hold of? Do you share with others what is taking place in your life? Do you share the ups and the downs? Do you share the joy? Do you share the confidence you have? Do you share the miracles that take place? Do you share the things that you have learned?

It has been said that we may be the only Bible that someone reads. Are we walking the faith we say we believe in? Are we acting the way that would bring God praise, honor, and glory? Are we sharing God’s grace with others? Does our life reflect the truth of who God is and how it isn’t by our works but by His grace that we have been saved?

It has been said that we are to be Jesus with skin on to those around us. Are we His hands reach out? Are we his arms embracing? Are we?

Are you a shelter of hope and love for your friends and coworkers? Those that believe in and are walking with Jesus as well as those who don’t believe? Are you a breath of fresh air to them? Are you someone who helps encourage them? Are you someone who shields them?  Are you someone who puts wind in their sail and helps to refresh them?

1-8But look! A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice. Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds, provide safe cover in stormy weather. Each will be cool running water in parched land, a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert. Anyone who looks will see, anyone who listens will hear. The impulsive will make sound decisions, the tongue-tied will speak with eloquence. No more will fools become celebrities, nor crooks be rewarded with fame. For fools are fools and that’s that, thinking up new ways to do mischief. They leave a wake of wrecked lives and lies about God, Turning their backs on the homeless hungry, ignoring those dying of thirst in the streets. And the crooks? Underhanded sneaks they are, inventive in sin and scandal, Exploiting the poor with scams and lies, unmoved by the victimized poor. But those who are noble make noble plans, and stand for what is noble.

Isaiah 32:1-8 (MSG)

Don’t be afraid but rather stand firm and be a book worth reading. Be someone that people want and like to be have speak life and hope into their lives. God is your source. He is your rock. He is your shield. He is your fortress. So share His love, His joy, His strength, His wisdom, His courage, Him with those around you in the way you live your life.

5-8Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

Matthew 10:5-8 (MSG)

This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!





Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for Your Word and the truth that comes from walking in a relationship with You. I thank You Lord that through the mountain tops and the valley lows, You are with me and are available to help me to keep moving forward. Help me Lord to be a book worth reading that others feel they can turn to and hear of Your great love not only for me, but also for them. Lord, I look to You as I prepare to start this day because You have gone in advance to prepare the work You have for me to do and that is what I look to accomplish today. Grant me wisdom and discernment to know what to do and not do. Grant me the courage and the strength to do it. Lord, may every thought, word, and action today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What are you going to do with it?

Been going through a trial? Been going through a challenge? What have you learned? What have you picked up? What has changed? Coming out the other side we will always get something.

In TGIF by Os Hillman,

Possessions of the Kingdom

“But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.”Genesis 15:14

Do you realize where wisdom comes from?

“Wisdom comes from obedience, not knowledge. When we have been tested and proven, the reality of our faith results in possessions from God that we would never receive if we had not gone through those trials. These are precious in His sight and should be valued greatly. Those who know you will be amazed at the wisdom that comes from your mouth. It is one of those mysteries of the gospel that only those who experience incredible testing and hardship can explain. ” – Os Hillman

It is amazing the testimony that is available after the testing. It is amazing how you get to speak as an expert because you have been through the fiery furnace. It is amazing what you can say into other people’s lives to build them up and encourage then because of the incredible wisdom and miracles that God has given and shown you. It is also amazing to me how He knows in advance what those around you are going through and as such is preparing us to be lights that shine for truth and speak in love. He sets us up to be an ambassador of peace and light of hope for others. He provides us words of wisdom that we can speak directly into their lives to help them stand up, step up, and be encouraged to do what is right so that they won’t need to go through all that you have needed to.

God desires that His testimony through our lives is something visible that others are able to see and believe. If we consider Israel, Os goes on to say:

“God kept the people of Israel enslaved 400 years, but when the time came to free them from the bondage of slavery, they came out with great possessions. These physical possessions symbolize the spiritual possessions we receive when we come out of being enslaved to those things that have hindered us all our lives. These possessions are to be shared with others so that they also can know how they might become free. ” – Os Hillman

When I consider the testimonies around my roof, my home, my finances and extend it to consider what will happen over the next little while and look with anticipation to see God’s hand work in and through me it is exciting. I know that I wouldn’t ask for some of the experiences I have had, however, there is no way I would want to give them back. God’s hope and wisdom that came through these experiences that I am able to share with others to help encourage them and prevent them from needing to go so long or so deep into it that they can stop and look up and start fresh. God is faithful. We can and need to trust God with both the little things and the big things. We need to build up our faith experiences so that a bunch of little things gives us hope and trust in God when something bigger comes along. We need to trust Him through the big challenges and continuously seek Him and speak with Him and listen to Him so that we can learn what we need to through the experience and not give up. Os closes with the following:

“What has God freed you from that allows you to share your possessions with others? Share what God has done in your life with someone you work with today. It may be the possession they need most in their life.” – Os Hillman

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. – Psalm 128:1-4 (NLT)

Biblical Truth:

Celebrate and cherish the blessings from the Lord, enjoy the fruits of wisdom and goodness. Worship Him and walk in His ways always.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be within it. I praise You Lord that You are able to make a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way. I praise You Lord that You always give us a way out and won’t give us
more than we can handle. I praise You Lord for the love and hope and truth and trust that I feel because I have You in my life. I praise You for the incredible testimonies I have to share to encourage others as well as myself. Lord, You know what will happen today and I thank You for going before me to prepare in advance what is needed for me to accomplish. I thank You for guarding my back. I thank You Lord that You walk with me and talk with me throughout the day building up our relationship and speaking life and love into my heart. Lord, help me today to live a life where every thought, every word, and every action glorify You, praise You, and honor You, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The best training is when you are in the middle of it.

When you consider what training to take each year or how to learn new things what do you look for? Is it a class? Is it a seminar? Is it a online study? Is it a book?

Over the years the training that seems to stick the most is “on the job” training where you have the opportunity to try something new and you have the support of someone who knows the ropes and is available to mentor you through challenges and questions you may face. In many cases this is the best type of training because you don’t just put it in your head, but you get to apply it so that you build that muscle. When I think of school and getting to be a part of the co-op program where I got to take my learnings and go into the workplace and practice them, it allowed me to graduate not only with a bachelor’s degree worth of learning, but also 2 years of work experience.

Consider God’s training manual … the Bible, it allows information to get into our heads, but until we start putting it into motion, into action, and allow it to sink into our hearts it doesn’t make a big difference. So let’s consider what we can do when we start to do what we have or are learning.

Today’s TGIF devotional by Os Hillman – “The Training Ground of God” starts with the verse:

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” – Psalm 144:1

God’s Word speaks to us about the fact that for us to learn and to become who He has created us to be, we need to be in the midst of life to be able to learn and become the mighty warriors for His glory. It is while living that we learn and develop skills and talents to be able to overcome and see victories. When I consider the battle when I had to deal with lies, mistruths, deception and what was I to do, I learned that the key was forgiveness because when I allowed bitterness and unforgiveness to have their way it started to tear me up from the inside out. A diamond would just be carbon without the pressure. When we face situation or events that bring uncertainty or threats having faith moments that remind us that we can trust God rather than allowing the enemy of our soul to be able to paralyze us in fear. Knowing God will provide when we are pursuing after Him. His ways are not our ways, they are greater than our ways. His plans allow what the enemy planned for evil to be turned around and used for good. Building up our faith be it something small like a parking space or something major like a job or your health, we can trust God and it is in the midst of our daily lives that we are trained and our faith is built up and our boldness can be seen.

As Os comment, “Simply reading your Bible will not make you a warrior for the Kingdom. Knowledge without experience is mere folly. Only when you are placed in situations where there is nothing or no one who can save you but God will you learn the lessons of warrior faith.”

Without the field experience we are just know it all’s. Consider what goes through your mind when you statements like “book smart” and “street smart”.

Are you in a situation where without God you don’t know what you will be able to do? Don’t shrink back, but rather draw closer to God … spend time in His Word, spend time with His people, spend time in prayer. Listen to His promptings. I have lived through many which helps me to press forward today.  When I feel like I am getting close to the end of me, I know that is when God is going to have to step in and help. I know He never leaves me nor will He abandon me. I know that He loves me and His plans for me are good. I know that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for His rod and His staff will comfort me and guide me. There are times when I start to hear the cheer in my head “You did it before You can do it again, Yeah!! God!!” I know I can’t do it all myself and in my own power, but I will not cower back or step back because I know that God is for me and with God on my side who can be against me. So let’s move forward for the glory of God and allow our lives to give Him praise, honor, and glory. Let’s live lives that share His glory and His love with those around us that this world can be transformed and point people to the true source of hope. I remember telling a friend once, “If you can’t trust Him with the little things, how are you going to be able to trust Him with the big ones?”. That was when he asked me if I was praying as we were looking for parking spot coming back from lunch. It was an incredible testimony because we found a parking spot that was better than we could have asked or imagined. God is so good and so faithful. He knew it was a faith moment and He knew it was going to be for His glory. It’s not about me, it’s all about Him.

Receive those faith moments. Build up your faith! And remember even with faith the size of a mustard seed, we have enough to move a mountain. Are you in a situation where you believe but are feeling doubt? Remember what was said in Mark:

23“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:23-24

We can trust Him! So let’s step forward today with God and grab onto the verse we saw that started the TGIF devotional:

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” – Psalm 144:1


365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.

Psalm 65:8 (NIV)

Biblical Truth:

From the ends of the earth we stand in awe at your wondrous signs and miracles. Day in and day out we worship You! You are the daybreak and the sunset of the day that never ends.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for the reminder today and all that Your Word speaks to my mind and my heart. I thank You Lord for the incredible blessings of my wife, my family, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, my pastors, my community, … Lord, as I step out today, I
ask for Your wisdom and discernment for every situation. I praise You Lord for making a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way and for allowing Your hand to guide a situation that could go wrong back onto the tracks and produce an incredible testimony for Your glory. Lord, help me I pray to share Your glory with others. Help me Lord to go from glory to glory. Allow Your will and Your plan to be done on earth as it is in heaven so that with every thought, every word, and every action that I take today, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen

Today’s Bible Reading comes from…

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 223 of 349

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Feeling like your dream has died? Don’t give up!

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
– John 12:24

TGIF by Os Hillman today speaks to Death and Birth of a Vision and how “almost every significant thing God births He allows to die before the vision is fulfilled in His own way.”  Os gives the following examples from God’s Word:

  • Abraham had a vision of being the father of a great nation (birth). Sarah was barren and became too old to have children (death). God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. He became the father of a great nation (fulfillment).
  • Joseph had a vision that he would be a great leader and that many would bow down to him (birth). Joseph’s brothers sold him to some merchants and he became a slave. Later he was falsely condemned to spend his years in prison (death). God allowed Joseph to interpret the dreams of the butler and baker and later the king, whereupon, he was made a ruler in the land (fulfillment).
  • Moses had a vision of leading his people out of the bondage of Egypt (birth). Pharaoh as well as his own people drove Moses out of Egypt after Moses’ first attempt to relieve their bondage (death). God gave Moses signs and wonders to convince Pharaoh to free the people and bring them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (fulfillment).
  • The disciples had a vision of establishing the Kingdom of God with Jesus (birth). The very ones He came to save killed Jesus, and the disciples saw Him buried in a tomb (death). God raised Jesus from the dead, and the disciples performed great miracles until the gospel had spread through all the world (fulfillment).
  • A grain of wheat has a “vision” of reproducing itself and many more grains of wheat (birth). The grain dies in the ground (death). A harvest springs up out of the very process of “death” in the ground (fulfillment).

Today’s devotional from Today God Is First, gives us hope to keep on going and to not lose hope nor give up. It is amazing God’s timing for every Word that comes based on His Word. Os even closes with incredible thoughts that speak to me right now:

“Has God given you a vision that is yet unfulfilled? If that vision is born of God, He will raise it up in His own way. Do not try to raise the vision in your own strength. Like Moses, who tried to fulfill the vision of freeing the Hebrews by killing the Egyptian, it will only fail. But wait on your heavenly Father to fulfill the vision. Then you will know that it was His vision when He fulfills it in the way only He can do.”

I receive that God is working the plan for me. I receive that I am not to try and raise the vision in my own strength and power. I hear the warning of trying to do it all in my own strength and how it would fail just like what happened to Moses. Heavenly Father, I look to You, I seek You, I ask You, I knock on doors wondering which You will open for me. But I will wait upon You Lord knowing that in the right timing You will fulfill Your will and Your vision only the way You can.

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

Turn your worries over to the Lord. He will keep you going. He will never let godly people fall.

Psalm 55:22 (NIrV)

Biblical Truth:

God in His own way and time is able to quiet our worries. Through prayer and faith we entrust them to His care.

What seed (vision) has God put into your heart, your mind, your future? Will you plant it? Will you water it? Will you take care of it? Will you believe, trust and watch God make it grow? Will you look to godly people in your life for wisdom? Will you look to godly friends for encouragement to not give up nor give in? Will you look to a multitude of counselors to help you walk forward in faith into the real of success? Don’t give up! Don’t be robbed of the love and faithfulness of God because it hasn’t happened yet. Keep believing! Keep trusting! Keep hoping! For nothing is impossible with God!

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord that You put the wind into my sail and You speak hope and life into my day. I praise You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You for speaking right into my heart and mind what is needed and necessary. Grant me wisdom today for
everything that comes my way. Grant me the courage to do what You have called me to do and to not hesitate nor sway, but to move forward so that I can share Your glory with others. Thank You Lord and may every thought, word, and action today bring You praise,  honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My Bible Reading today: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Day 218 of 349