Category Archives: Reflect

A time to reflect on our first week of 2020.


Would you consider the joining in starting with day 2 of a 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this? What if it meant giving up something for those 2 days? What if it meant you had to give them up starting today? Would it have to be significant for you to even consider it? Would it have to be person for you to do it?

Day 7: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 7

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 7 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • This devotional is setup for reflection each seventh day.
  • This 7th day gives opportunity to not only reflect but also to share with others
  • Today’s devotional shares with us the following connections from our reading:
    1. Talk with God.
    2. Praise Him for who He is and what He’s like.
    3. (3) Confess any sin.
    4. Thank Him for complete forgiveness through Jesus, for other blessings in your life, for answers to prayer, and for what He has done for you.
    5. Share your worries with Him, and ask Him for what you and others need.
    6. Ask Him for guidance, and place your trust in Him.
  • Reflecting on the past 6 days, I captured not only the last 6 days of posts that I have shared but also the following:
    1. We need to keep track of what God has promised us and how and when they are fulfilled so that we can testify of His greatness and His great love and why we have the hope that is within us.
    2. God’s Word is truthful and will be fulfilled. We need to take hold of His promises with faith, believing what He says is true and living out our lives as living sacrifices in ways that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.
    3. Don’t worry about the change that is taking place. Put my trust in God and walk out my life in humility so that in the proper time He will lift me up. God’s ways are not my ways but His ways are better. He knows what He is doing! He is in control.
    4. Not to worry about how things used to be but instead focus on the good works that God has prepared in advance for me that are yet to be done. Don’t wallow in the good old days of the past and wine about what is taking place now. In the midst of trials consider it pure joy and allow my faith to grow, to persevere to the finish so that in the end I will be complete, mature, and lacking nothing. God has brought me to such a day for such a time as this.
    5. No matter what your past is, God is able to take you right where you are and use you for the glory of His kingdom. We need to do what is right in the Lord’s sight! We need to be living sacrifices that are pleasing in the Lord’s sight!
    6. Do not walk out your today filled with unknown and uncertainty with fear but instead put all your hope and trust in God, allow your faith to overcome fear and for the unknown to become revealed through God’s purpose and plan for He goes in advance preparing for me the good works He has for me to accomplish. His desire is for a legacy that will bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’s name. Live out today with the joy of the Lord as my strength so that in and through it all God will be lifted up and others may come to know Him through my faith and faithfulness.
  • God cares so much that He didn’t stay out there somewhere but instead sent Jesus to the earth to encounter us, to demonstrate for us, and to give Himself for us so that we could be reconciled back to God.
  • God cares so much that He took things into His own hands because there was nothing we would be able to do in our own strength to reconcile us.
  • Jesus gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice once for all unlike the old testament sacrifices that had to be done continuously.
  • Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to come humbly as a baby and die cruelly on the cross for you and for me, demonstrating truth and grace.
  • There is such thing as absolute truth!
  • We may not deserve it but God’s love is so great that He gives it to us – salvation and blessings.

As day 7 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

Don’t be judgmental! Don’t taunt or find joy in the pain of others! Let’s do good to all!


We are to weep with those who are weeping! We are to celebrate with those who celebrate. Not the reverse…Don’t be kicking people when they are down. Don’t be mocking people when they are going thru troubles. Even if they are your enemies, we are not to hate them and only love our neighbors. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us! Don’t allow judgment and malice to take root in your heart! Allow your heart to be filled with overflowing of the love of God! Just because someone else is being corrected or given discipline doesn’t mean you should celebrate in it! Seek God in all your way! Acknowledge God in all your ways! Lean not on your own understanding of what is going on because you don’t know it all … the why. Don’t be acting in a way that makes you the next target! Do you really want that attention? God cannot be mocked!

Put your trust in God who is love! His love endures forever! Give thanks to God! Do not fear for the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid for God is your helper! Take refuge in God rather than putting your hope and trust in people. He is trustworthy and His love endures forever! Need help? Call out to God who is your help and your salvation! Ask Jesus into your heart and choose life! Yes, Jesus did get rejected even though He is the foundation and the cornerstone. So align to the cornerstone and stand on the rock of Jesus! Cry out to God and ask for His salvation and help you find success! Let’s praise God! Let’s exalt God! He is good and His love endures forever!

So let’s reflect on the words from Galatians from today’s reading…Let’s start with the plan that we are to do good to all…

Doing Good to All

1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each otherʼs burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5for each one should carry their own load. 6Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but the New Creation

11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6

It’s a matter of the heart! We need to make the choice and choose to follow after Jesus! We need to ask Him for forgiveness and into our hearts so that we can be new creations with the old being gone and the new having come!

Let’s celebrate with others who have come into the faith! Let’s turn to God with thanksgiving and praise because of the grace and mercy He has brought into their lives! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed love to motivate the works! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed hope to produce endurance! Let’s allow the power of the Holy Spirit to break thru the lies and open up the truth even greater into the lives of the people around us!

Today’s reading concludes with 1 Thessalonians…

1Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.

Thanksgiving for the Thessaloniansʼ Faith

2We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lordʼs message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

–1 Thessalonians 1

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 25, 26, Psalms 118, Galatians 6, 1 Thessalonians 1

You in a downward spiral? Know how to get out of it?


I remember years back when because of lies, broken promises, deception, I got bitter. Allowing yourself to get bitter is like taking poison and thinking the other person is going to somehow get impacted. Through that experience, I learned that the way to stop it and the key to turning it around is two fold. First we need to turn back to God and give it all up into His hands. Second we need to forgive them! Wit this combination the weight, the pressure, the pain, and the bitterness can all be released and free you from it all. It may sound easy, but it wasn’t easy for me. It took me about 3 months of the downward spiral before I was willing to listen to what God had to say. Every night there would be songs on the radio to forgive and I would battle God over it saying “but God you know what they’ve done to me” and wouldn’t give it up to Him and forgive them. But God’s Word tells us that the battle belongs to the Lord! God’s Word tells us that vengeance is the Lord’s! God’s Word tells us to forgive them! God’s Word tells us to bless those who persecute us, bless and do not curse! God’s Word tells us to bless our enemies – feed them if they are hungry, give them something to drink if they are thirsty! Don’t wait till you hit rock bottom before you look up to God! Remember this quote from Dr. Willie JolleyA setback is just a setup for a comeback!” By focusing on what is yet to come, we can be encouraged and trusting in what God’s Word promises! Jesus is coming back! We will be spending eternity with Him because of our decision to follow Him! And He hasn’t called us to heaven yet, so the best is yet to come!

So will you make the choice today to stop the downward spiral? Will you choose to forgive? Will you choose to let go of the bitterness? Will you choose to ask God to forgive you and to lead you and guide you forward? Will you allow that setback to be a setup for a comeback? Will you grab hold of the hope that the best is yet to come?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…We need to be light and salt and helping this world around us to turn back to God and to see who He really is. We need to help them turn back to God before they have to deal with the consequences of having walked out from out of the covering of Jesus. We need to help them to come back home where we have protection. We need to help them to turn back to God and be filled with hope before it is too late…We want them to be part of the celebration during the end times…

Curse of Empty Land

1Behold, Adonai makes the land empty and makes it waste, twists its face, and scatters its inhabitants. 2So it shall be: as with the people, so with the kohen, as with a servant, so with his master, as with a maid, so with her mistress, as with a buyer, so with the seller, as with a lender, so with the borrower, as with a creditor, so with the debtor. 3The land will be utterly emptied, and totally plundered. For Adonai has spoken this word. 4The land faints and fades away, The world wilts and fades away, The exalted people of the earth wilt. 5The land is polluted by its inhabitants, for they have transgressed Torah, violated statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse will devour the land. Those dwelling there are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the land will be burned up, so the people remaining are few. 7The new wine fails, the vine wilts, all the merry-hearted sigh. 8The glee of tambourines stops, the noise of revelers ends, the joy of the harp ceases. 9They no longer drink wine with song. Liquor is bitter to those drinking it. 10The shattered city is in chaos. Every house is shut up, none may enter. 11In the streets is an outcry for wine; all joy becomes dark as evening; the mirth of the land is banished. 12The city is left in ruins; the gate is battered down.

Last Days’ Judgments

13So will it be in the earth and among the nations, as when shaking an olive tree, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14They will raise their voices, They will sing for joy, of the majesty of Adonai they shout from the sea. 15‘Therefore glorify Adonai in the east, the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. 16From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” But I say, “I waste away, I waste away! Oy to me! Traitors betray! With treachery traitors betray!” 17Panic, pit and trap are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18And it shall come to pass: whoever flees from the sound of panic will fall in the pit, and whoever climbs up out of the pit will be caught in the trap. For the windows of heaven are opened and the foundations of the earth shake. 19The earth is broken apart, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken utterly. 20The earth reels to and fro like a drunk, and sways like a hut. its transgression is so heavy upon it that it will fall and never rise again. 21It will come about in that day, Adonai will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. 22They will be gathered together, like prisoners in the Pit, and will be shut up in the prison, and after many days be punished. 23Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for Adonai-Tzva’ot will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders, gloriously.

–from Isaiah 24

We need them to realize they have a choice! We need them to realize that their choice makes a difference! We need them to know that their choices have a long lasting impact on what is yet to come! We need them to know that they should choose sooner rather than later in order to avoid even more challenging times than God desires for them to go through! We need them to know that right now, today, there is a choice to be made! We need them to know that they don’t have to wait, but they can make a decision today that will impact their lives into eternity!

Will you choose to ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior?

Last Days’ Deliverance

1Adonai, You are my God, I will exalt You, I will praise Your Name, for You have done wonderful things, plans of old with steadfast faithfulness. 2For You have made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a foreigner’s palace a city no more— never to be rebuilt. 3Therefore a strong people will honor You. Cities of ruthless nations will fear You. 4For You have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a refuge from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against the wall. 5Like heat in a dry place, You subdue the roar of foreigners. Like heat in the shade of a cloud, the song of tyrants is brought low. 6On this mountain, Adonai-Tzva’ot will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples— a banquet of aged wine— of rich food, of choice marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the veil spread over all nations. 8He will swallow up death forever. my Lord Adonai will wipe away tears from every face. He will remove His people’s reproach from all the earth. For Adonai has spoken. 9It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God, We waited for Him—He will save us. This is Adonai—we waited for Him. We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” 10For the hand of Adonai will rest on this mountain. Moab will be trampled under Him, as straw is trampled in a manure pile. 11When he spreads his hands in it as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim, his pride will be brought down low together with the trickery of his hands. 12He will level your high-fortified walls, lay them low, and cast them down to the ground, down to dust.

–from Isaiah 25

Everyone has that spot that they try or have tried to fill with stuff. Everyone has that spot that feels or has felt empty. Everyone has a choice on temporarily filling the spot or permanently inviting Jesus into it and allow His Spirit to move in. Are you just living in the moment or living for eternity? Are you living for a temporary high or living with the hope that the best is yet to come? Are you living on the rollercoaster of emotions? Where does your hope and trust come from? Who can you trust? Turn back to God! He is waiting for you! He is waiting and ready and willing to help you get back in place and back on track! He will rejoice and celebrate upon your return! Just like in the story of the Lost Son or the Prodigal Son, God is ready to receive you and lift you back up! Don’t be downcast! Allow the fountain of living water to come into your life!

My Soul Thirsts for God

1For the music director, a contemplative song of the sons of Korah. 2As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. 3My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God? 4My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day: “Where is your God?” 5These things I remember as I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng, walking with them to the House of God, with a voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a festival. 6Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, for the salvation of His presence. 7My God, my soul is downcast within me! Therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and from the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mitzar. 8Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and breakers have swept over me. 9By day Adonai commands His love, and at night His song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 10I will say to God my Rock: “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning, under the oppression of the enemy?” 11As with a crushing in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, by saying to me all day, “Where is your God?” 12Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.

–from Psalms 42

Let’s open our eyes to see! Let’s be light that other people’s eyes will be opened to see too! Let’s be salt and light into this dark world! Let’s be people pointing to the truth! For the truth will set you free! If Jesus asks you to do something hard to be saved would you do it? If Jesus asked you to do something simple to be saved would you do it? What’s it going to take for you to believe?

Bringing Light to the Blind

1As Yeshua was passing by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” 3Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him. 4We must do the work of the One who sent Me, so long as it is day! Night is coming when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6Having said these things, He spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes. 7He told him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which is translated Sent). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 8Therefore his neighbors and those who had seen him as a beggar kept saying, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9“This is the one!” some said. “No, but it looks like him,” said others. But the man himself kept saying, “I am!” 10So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The Man who is called Yeshua made mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and then I received my sight!” 12“Where is He?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13They bring to the Pharisees the man who once was blind. 14Now the day was Shabbat when Yeshua made the mud and opened the man’s eyes. 15So again the Pharisees were asking him how he received his sight. He responded, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see!” 16So some of the Pharisees began saying, “This man isn’t from God, because He doesn’t keep Shabbat!” But others were saying, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So there was a split among them. 17Again they say to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He’s a prophet.” 18So the Judean leaders didn’t believe that he had been blind and received his sight until they called his parents. 19They questioned them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? Then how does he see now?” 20Then his parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21We don’t know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him—he’s old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Judean leaders. For the Judean leaders had already agreed that anyone who professed Yeshua to be Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough—ask him.” 24So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner!” 25The man replied, “I don’t know whether He’s a sinner. One thing I do know is that I was blind, but now I see!” 26So they asked him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27“I told you already and you didn’t listen!” the man responded. “What, do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28They railed at him and said, “You’re a disciple of that One, but we’re disciples of Moses! 29We know that God has spoken to Moses; but as for this fellow, we don’t know where He is from.” 30The man replied to them, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! 31We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners; but if anyone fears Him and does His will, He hears this one. 32Since the beginning of the world, no one has ever heard that anyone has opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, He couldn’t do anything.” 34They replied to him, “You were born completely in sin, and you’re teaching us?” And they threw him out.

Is Seeing Believing?

35Yeshua heard that they had thrown him out. Finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36The man answered, “Who is He, Sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in Him!” 37Yeshua said, “You have seen Him—He is the One speaking with you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. 39Yeshua said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who don’t see may see, and the ones who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “We’re not blind too, are we?” 41Yeshua said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ So your sin remains.”

–from John 9

So let’s start living today like Jesus! Let’s imitate Him as we humbly serve others! Let’s imitate Him as we love and share with others! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the people we will engage with today to ensure that He is exalted and lift up while the door is being opened to welcome others into the Kingdom of God! Let’s point people to the Son whose light we are reflecting in this world!

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

 

Are you able to see the signs of the time?


Do you see what is going on around you? Are you able to tell what it means? How about the seasons? Are you seeing leaves changing color and falling? Are you seeing flowers starting to bloom? [fall in the northern hemisphere vs spring in the southern hemisphere] How about on a spiritual level? What are you seeing happen in the country? What is going on with the world economies? What’s going on with the world governments? Do you see any conspiracies?

Imagine if God spoke to you the words “Maher-shalal-hashbaz” which can be interpreted as “Hurry to the spoils!” or “He has made haste to the plunder!”. Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you be sensitive to what the Spirit says to you? Don’t try to force your way but walk in alignment to God’s will and plan! If He closes a door then know He has something else planned! You can knock to see if it will open, but don’t knock it down because it may be that you need to knock on other doors to find the right one.

Where are you at in regards to your relationship with God? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you on the journey with Him through this thing called life? What will it take for you to jump onboard? What’s holding you back from being all in with and for Jesus? Receive the gift of grace from Jesus! Receive the gift of forgiveness from Jesus! Receive the gift of a hope and a future from Jesus! All you have to do is accept it and receive it!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Assyria Will Rise to Judah’s Neck

1Then Adonai said to me: “Take yourself a great tablet, and write on it with a man’s stylus: ‘Maher-shalal-hashbaz.’” 2So I took for myself trustworthy witnesses—Uriah the kohen and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. 3Then I went to the prophetess; and she conceived and bore a son. Then Adonai said to me: “Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz. 4For before the child will have knowledge to cry ‘my father!’ or ‘my mother!’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.” 5Then Adonai spoke to me further, saying: 6“Because these people have refused the softly flowing waters of Shiloah, and rejoice with Rezin and Remaliah’s son, 7therefore behold, Adonai is bringing on them the waters of the River— mighty and massive— Assyria’s king with all his glory! It will rise over all its channels and spill over all its banks. 8Then it will sweep through Judah, overflow as it passes through, reaching even to the neck! So the spread of its wings will be the full breadth of your land! Immanuel! 9Make an uproar, O peoples— but you will be broken in pieces. Give ear, all you of far countries. Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! 10Take counsel together, but it will amount to nothing. Speak a word, but it will not stand. For God is with us! 11For thus Adonai spoke to me, with a strong hand, warning me that I should not walk in the way of these people, saying: 12 “Do not say: ‘It’s a conspiracy!’ about everything that these people call a conspiracy. You must not fear or tremble at what they fear. 13Adonai-Tzva’ot, Him will you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, trembling at Him. 14He will be a Sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15Many among them will stumble, fall, and be broken, snared and caught. 16Bind up the testimony, seal the instruction with My disciples. 17I will wait for Adonai, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look eagerly for Him. 18Here I am with the children that Adonai has given me as signs and wonders in Israel, from Adonai-Tzva’ot who dwells on Mount Zion. 19When they say to you: “Consult the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people seek their God? Should a people consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20To Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light. 21They will pass this way that are hard-pressed and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God. Whether they turn their faces upward 22or look to the earth, behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.

A Great Light in Galilee

23But there is no gloom to her who was in anguish, as in time past. He treated lightly the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will bring glory— by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan— Galilee of the Gentiles.

–from Isaiah 8

Do you see the light? Will you be light and salt to the world around you? Will you allow the world to hear the good news? Will you be light in this dark world so that people will be able to see the truth? Will you lift up your light so that more is visible? Will you make a difference so that the world can see that there is hope? Will you reflect the light of Jesus to the world around you in darkness just like the moon lights up the sky by reflecting the light of the sun? Will you shine before it’s too late?

Will you point people to the one who can bring true peace into their lives? Jesus the prince of peace! Will you point people who are looking for direction and advice to the one who is given the name of wonderful counselor? Will you align with Him?

1The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine. 2You will multiply the nation. You will increase the joy. They will rejoice before You like the joy in the harvest, as they revel when they divide spoil. 3For You will break the burdensome yoke and the rod on his shoulder— the war-club of his oppressor— as in the day of Midian. 4For every stomping boot quaking and cloak rolled in blood will be for burning— fuel for the fire.

Prince of Peace

5For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 6Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end— on the throne of David and over His kingdom— to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.

Warning About Defiance

7Adonai sent a word to Jacob, and it fell upon Israel. 8All the people will know what Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria say in pride and in arrogance of heart: 9“The bricks are fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones. The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” 10Therefore Adonai raises up Rezin’s adversaries against them, and spurs on his enemies. 11The Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west— they will devour Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 12Yet the people will not turn back to the One who strikes them, nor will they seek Adonai-Tzva’ot. 13So Adonai will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and bulrush in a single day. 14The elder and the man of rank— he is the head. The prophet who teaches falsehood— he is the tail. 15The leaders of this people lead them astray. Those they mislead are swallowed up. 16Therefore Adonai will have no joy in their young men, nor will He have compassion on their orphans and widows, for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 17For wickedness burns like a fire and consumes the briers and thorns It kindles the thickets of the forest, so they roll up in a column of smoke. 18By the wrath of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the land burnt up; The people are as fuel for the fire. No one spares his brother. 19One grabs with the right hand but is hungry, and eats with the left hand but is not satisfied. Everyone will eat the flesh of his own arm— 20Manasseh will devour Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh, both are against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is outstretched.

–from Isaiah 9

Do you know the day in which you live? Do you want to know? Have you asked? Will you ask? Do you know who to ask? Do you realize there is an answer? Turn to God and God’s Word!

Make Me Know the Number of My Days

1For the music director, for Jeduthun, a psalm of David. 2I said: “I will guard my ways, so I will not sin with my tongue. I will muzzle my mouth while the wicked are before me.” 3So I became utterly speechless, kept silent even from good, but my anguish was stirred up. 4My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: 5“Let me know, Adonai, my end and what the number of my days is. Let me know how short-lived I am. 6Behold, You made my days mere hand-breadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Surely all humanity is but vapor. Selah 7Everyone goes about as a mere phantom. Surely they are making an uproar in vain, heaping up stuff— yet not knowing who will gather it. 8And now, my Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. 9Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of a fool. 10I am speechless, not opening my mouth —for You have done it. 11Remove Your scourge from me. I perish by the blow of Your hand. 12With rebukes You chasten one for iniquity and You consume like a moth what he finds pleasure in. Surely all humanity is but a vapor. Selah 13Hear my prayer, Adonai, and listen to my cry— do not keep silent at my tears. For with You I am an outsider, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 14Turn your gaze away from me, so I may smile again, before I go, and am no more.”

–from Psalms 39

Do you realize that no matter where you are at, Jesus can make a way? Miracles go beyond the pages of the bible and are still taking place today! Will you be part of a miracle? Will you be open and available to be a part of a miracle? Will you be willing to respond to God’s prompting and be part of the miracle God wants and needs you to be? Will you ask for what you have need of? Will you seek for what you have need? Will you knock to open up that door to help fill your need? Ask God!

Water to Wine

1On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, 2and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!” 4Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” 6Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. 7Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. 8Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it. 9Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom 10and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” 11Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Yeshua Purges the Temple

12After this Yeshua went down to Capernaum with His mother, brothers, and disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13The Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep, and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there.15Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!” 18The Judean leaders responded, “What sign do You show us, since You are doing these things?” 19“Destroy this Temple,” Yeshua answered them, “and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Judean leaders then said to Him, “Forty-six years this Temple was being built, and You will raise it up in three days?” 21But He was talking about the temple of His body. 22So after He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He was talking about this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken. 23Now when He was in Jerusalem for the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, seeing the signs He was doing. 24But Yeshua did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for He knew what was in man.

–from John 2

Do you realize how much you have to be thankful for? Do you realize the importance of unity? Do you realize the wisdom you need is available through God?

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge— 6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”

–from 1 Corinthians 1

 

 

Will you share the reflection…


As God in whom there is no darkness shines on you, will you reflect it into the lives of those around you who are walking through this dark world?

As God who is love shines on you, will you reflect into the lives of those around you who are walking in worry, fear, despair, and lack of hope?

As God who grants us peace and hope and joy shines on you, will you share it those God brings into your life so that it will have a multiplying effect and impact more people with the grace and mercy of God?

Will you share the reflection of God with those around you?

Today’s reading begins with David’s last words…God spoke to David in his youth and all the way till the end of his days and David shared it and was a man after God’s own heart…Will you share God with others?

1Now these are the last words of David, the utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet singer of Israel: 2“The Ruach Adonai has spoken through me and His word is on my tongue. 3The God of Israel has said, the Rock of Israel has spoken to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, he who rules in the fear of God— 4he is like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a cloudless morning of glistening as grass springs from the earth.’ 5Is it not true that my house is with God? For He made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered and secured in all things. Will He not make all my salvation and every desire come to fruition? 6But the worthless, all of them will be thrust aside like thorns, for they cannot be picked up by hand. 7But the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear. They must be completely burned up with fire on the spot.”

David’s Mighty Men

8These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains—he wielded his spear against 800 and slew them in one encounter. 9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodo son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle. The men of Israel retreated, 10but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines until his hand became weary and stuck to the sword. So Adonai brought about a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to strip the slain. 11Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. Now the Philistines were assembled in formation where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it, and struck down the Philistines—so Adonai brought about a great victory. 13Once the three of the thirty chiefs went down and came to David at the cave of Adullam during the harvest, while a troop of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was in Bethlehem. 15David said longingly, ‘“Who would get me water to drink from the well which is by the gate in Bethlehem?’” 16So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate, took it and brought it to David. However, he would not drink it but poured it out to Adonai 17and he said, “‘Far be it from me, Adonai, that I should do this—the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?’” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. 18Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, son of Zeruiah, was chief of the Thirty. Once he wielded his spear against 300 and killed them—he had a reputation among the Three. 19He was the most honored of the Thirty, so he was made their commander; however, he did not become one of the Three. 20Then there was Benaiah son of Jehoiada, son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds. He killed the two from Ariel of Moab. Once, on a snowy day, he went down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit. 21He also killed an Egyptian—an impressive man—the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff, snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22These sort of things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, so that he had a name as famous as that of the Three mighty men. 23He was most honorable among the Thirty, but he attained not to the first Three. So David set him over his guard. 24Asahel brother of Joab was one of the Thirty, also Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Aviezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmavet the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Ararite, 34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor-bearer to Joab son of Zeruiah, 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39and Uriah the Hittite—37 in all.

–from 2 Samuel 23

Do you realize the core team God has given you? Just as David has his mighty men, God has surrounded you with people who can help. We were never meant to go it or do it alone! He gave us one another! Do they know how important they are to you? Do you let them know how much they mean and how much you appreciate them? Have you ever told them? Is today your day?

Who do you trust? See how the world around us is trying to push God out of it? Do you realize the impact of trying to walk outside of the covering and the protection of God? Do you really want to walk out from under that protective umbrella and then find yourself getting pelted with everything that is being thrown at you? Do you really want to try and take God out of everything and then actually find hope in something else? Be it fiery darts! Be it fiery words! Be it fiery emotions! Be it attacks! Be it violence! What is it going to take for everyone to turn back to God? How bad does it have to get before you turn back to God! How far away from Him do you have to get before you turnaround and run back into His loving arms? Will you invite Him back into your life? Will you invite Him back into your family? Will you invite Him back into your community? Will you invite Him back into your country? … Before it is too late…? How will you choose? What will it take? If you are reading this then it isn’t too late yet…What will it cost? How much are you willing to pay? Will you make a difference? Will you help point others to the power and the love of God through Jesus?

David’s Unauthorized Census

1Now the anger of Adonai again flared up against Israel, so He incited David against them saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, so that I may know the sum of the people.” 3But Joab said to the king, “May Adonai your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king looks on! But why does my lord the king desire such a thing?” 4Nevertheless, the king’s command to Joab and the army generals remained firm. So Joab and the army generals went out from the king’s presence to number the people of Israel. 5They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the town that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and toward Jazer. 6Then they went to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi. Then they came to Dan-jaan and round about to Sidon, 7and came to the stronghold of Tyre, to all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8So when they had gone throughout all the land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and 20 days. 9Joab reported the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword and the men of Judah were 500,000 men. 10But David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David prayed to Adonai, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! But now, Adonai, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11When David rose up in the morning, the word of Adonai came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying: 12“Go and speak to David, thus says Adonai: ‘Three things I am proposing to you—choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.’” 13So Gad came to David and told him, saying to him, “Shall seven years of famine come on you in your land? Or will you flee from your adversary for three months while he is pursuing you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should return to Him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in a great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of Adonai, for His mercies are great, and let me not fall into the hand of man.” 15So Adonai sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, so that 70,000 men of the people died from Dan to Beersheba. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Adonai relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of Adonai was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17When David saw the angel that was striking down the people, he spoke to Adonai saying, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong! But these sheep, what have they done? Please, let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” 18On that day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up according to the word of Gad, as Adonai had commanded. 20Now when Araunah looked down and saw the king and his courtiers crossing over toward him, Araunah went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to Adonai, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good in his eyes. Look here, the oxen for the burnt offering, as well as the threshing sledges and the ox yokes for the wood. 23All this Araunah gives to the king.” Araunah said further to the king, “May Adonai your God accept you.” 24But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you at a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to Adonai my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver. 25Then David built there an altar to Adonai, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. So Adonai was moved by prayer of entreaty for the land, and restrained the plague from Israel.

–from 2 Samuel 24

Will peer pressure make you do something you shouldn’t? Will you take responsibility to turn things around? Will you do something about it? Will you turn and help others turn from their wicked ways, humble yourself and help them to be able to humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face so that He will hear from heaven and heal our land? The devil will tempt you and each of us but we need to resist the devil and he will flee. Where are you at today? What is God asking you to do? What is God’s calling you to do? Will you answer? Will you obey? How will you respond? Who will you trust? Who will you trust more? Who will you trust most?

Census and Plague

1Then satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel. 2So David told Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan. Then bring me a report so I may know their number.” 3But Joab said, “May Adonai multiply His people 100 times over! But my master the king, are they not all my master’s servants? Why does my master require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” 4Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and finally came back to Jerusalem. 5Joab gave the number of the census of the people to David: in all Israel there were 1,100,000 sword-wielding men; Judah had 470,000 sword-wielding men. 6But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s word was detestable to Joab. 7But God was displeased with this thing and He struck Israel. 8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. But now, I entreat you, take away the guilt of Your servant for I have behaved very foolishly.” 9Then Adonai spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying: 10“Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Adonai, “I offer you three things; choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.”’” 11So Gad went to David and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: ‘Select for yourself 12either three years of famine, or three months being swept away from before your adversaries and the sword of your enemies overtaking you or three days of the sword of Adonai, pestilence in the land and the angel of Adonai ravaging throughout all the territories of Israel. Now, consider what I should reply to the one who sent me.’” 13David said to Gad, “I am in a great anguish! Let me fall into the hand of Adonai for His compassion is very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14So Adonai sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but while he was doing so, Adonai saw and was grieved over the calamity. He said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand!” The angel of Adonai was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of Adonai standing between the earth and the heaven with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded to count the people? I alone am the one who sinned and behaved wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand, Adonai my God, be against me and against my father’s house, but do not let the plague be on Your people.” 18So the angel of Adonai told Gad to instruct David that David should go up and build an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19So David went up by the word of Gad, which he spoke in the Name of Adonai. 20While Ornan was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel. His four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21When David came to Ornan, Ornan looked up and saw David. He went out from the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan: “Give me the site of this threshing floor that I may build an altar to Adonai. Sell it to me for full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.” 23Then Ornan said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever seems good in his eyes. Look, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” 24King David said to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. For I will not take for Adonai what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that cost me nothing.” 25So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26David built there an altar to Adonai and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Adonai and He answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27Then Adonai commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath. 28At that time, when David saw that Adonai had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the Tabernacle of Adonai, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to seek God for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of Adonai.

–1 Chronicles 21

Jesus paid it all! No discounts! No reductions! It cost Him everything! He has provided a way to bridge the gap! He paid once for all! It wasn’t a weekly, monthly, annually, or daily payment, He paid once for all of eternity! David was a man after God’s own heart, he knew that to make an offering he had to pay full price.

Jesus paid that we could be reconciled back to God! We need to be instruments of forgiveness! We need to be God’s ambassadors of forgiveness! Not only receiving but also giving it! The world needs this message of hope! The world needs this message of love! So let’s reflect God into the world around us!

Greetings to a House Group

1Paul, a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow worker. 2To Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the community that meets in your house: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Messiah Yeshua!

Thanks for Love and Comfort

4I thank my God always when mentioning you in my prayers, 5hearing of your love and the trust you have toward the Lord Yeshua and all the kedoshim. 6May the fellowship of your faith become effective, with the recognition of all the good that is ours in Messiah. 7For I’ve received much joy and comfort in your love, brother, because the hearts of the kedoshim have been refreshed through you.

Request for Philemon’s Runaway

8Therefore, though I have plenty of boldness in Messiah to order you to do what’s right, 9yet for love’s sake I appeal to you instead. I, Paul, am an old man and now also a prisoner belonging to Messiah Yeshua. 10I beg you for my child Onesimus—for whom I became a spiritual father while in chains. 11He once was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and me. 12I sent him back to you—he is my very heart. 13I really wanted to keep him with me, so that on your behalf he might serve me while I am in chains for the Good News. 14But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your goodness wouldn’t be by force but by free will. 15For perhaps he was separated from you for a while in order that you might have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave but more than a slave—as a beloved brother, especially to me but even more so to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18But if he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay. (Not to mention that you owe me your very self.) 20Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Messiah.

Added Request and Farewell

21Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than what I say. 22At the same time also, prepare a guest room for me—for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you. 23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Messiah Yeshua, greets you. 24So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25May the grace of our Lord Messiah Yeshua be with your spirit. Amen.

–from Philemon 1

 

 

Reflections…


Have you taken time to reflect on how you got to where you are? Do you ever consider how you got from where you were to where you are? Do you ever consider what it took to get to where you are right now?

Do you track life? Do you write it down? What do you do to help you remember the adventures? The highs? The lows? The journeys in between?

Today’s reading starts out with such a recollection by Moses…

Israel’s Journeys Reviewed

1These are the journeys of Bnei-Yisrael when they came out of Egypt by their divisions under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
2Moses recorded the stages of their journeys at Adonai’s command. These then are their journeys by stages.
3Bnei-Yisrael set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the first day after Passover. They went out with a high hand in the sight of all Egypt.
4Now the Egyptians were burying those whom Adonai had struck down among them. Adonai had brought judgments on all their first-born and their gods.
5Bnei-Yisrael left Rameses and encamped at Succoth.
6They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
7They left from Etham and turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped before Migdol.
8They left from before Pi-Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the wilderness. They traveled three days journey into the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah.
9They departed from Marah and went to Elim. There were twelve water springs and 70 palm trees in Elim, so they camped there.
10They left Elim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.
11They set out from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the wilderness of Sin.
12They left from the wilderness of Sin and camped in Dophkah.
13They then left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
14They left from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15They set out from Rephidim and encamped in the Sinai wilderness.
16They departed from the Sinai wilderness and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
17They left from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
18Departing Hazeroth, they camped at Rithmah.
19Leaving Rithmah, they camped at Rimmon-perez.
20They left from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.
21They departed Libnah and camped at Rissah.
22They left Rissah and camped at Kehelah.
23They left Kehelah and camped at Mount Shepher.
24They departed Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
25They departed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
26They left Makheloth and camped in Tahath.
27They left from Tahath and camped in Terah.
28They left Terah and camped in Mithkah.
29They departed Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.
30They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
31They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.
32Departing Bene-jaakan, they camped at Hor-haggidgad.
33Leaving Hor-haggidgad, they camped at Jotbah.
34They left Jotbah and camped at Abronah.
35They departed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.
36They left Ezion-geber and encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
37Leaving Kadesh, they camped at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom.
38Aaron the kohen went up Mount Hor at Adonai’s command and died there, in the fortieth year since the departure of Bnei-Yisrael from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
39Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40The Canaanite king of Arad, who was living in the Negev in the territory of Canaan, heard of the coming of Bnei-Yisrael.
41They departed from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
42They left Zalmonah and encamped at Punon.
43Departing Punon, they camped at Oboth.
44Leaving Oboth, they camped at Ije-abarim on the border of Moab.
45They moved on from Ijim and camped at Dibon-gad.
46They moved on from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.
47They departed from Almon-diblathaim and camped at the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
48They moved on from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
49They camped along the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim.
50Adonai spoke to Moses along the Jordan in the plains of Moab across from Jericho saying,
51“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52You must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You must destroy all their idols and cast images, and demolish their high places.
53You will take possession of the land, so you will settle in it, because I have given it to you to possess.
54“You are to divide the land by lot according to your families. To the large, make their inheritance larger, and to the small, make their inheritance smaller. Whatever comes out of the lot will be theirs. You are to distribute the inheritance according to your ancestral tribes.
55“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living.
56Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”

–from Numbers 33

Do you give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Do you thank Him for all He has done to get you where you are at today? God took my work and has multiplied it! God took my work and allowed me to make connections and build relationships with so many people around the company! Good took my weaknesses and used my willingness to glorify His power and might! God rewarded me in my lack thanks to His abundance! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He granted me favor with leadership to the point where when one opportunity wouldn’t work, they didn’t stop but found another way! God is so good! He is awesome! He is so faithful! I find myself at a place that I would hope to be at but had given it up to Him for His perfect will and His perfect timing! And He has made it happen!

Today’s reading continues speaking to the importance of inviting God into your praise and giving Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Praise is Awaiting You in Zion

1For the music director, a psalm, a song of David. 2Praise is awaiting You in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be fulfilled. 3O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. 4Records of sins overwhelm me— You will atone for our transgressions. 5Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House—Your holy Temple. 6You respond to us in righteousness with awe-inspiring works —O God of our salvation— hope of all ends of the earth and farthest seas, 7who establishes mountains by His power, being girded with might, 8who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples. 9Those dwelling in the uttermost parts stand in awe of Your signs. You make morning and evening shout for joy. 10You visit the land and make it abundant, greatly enriching it— the stream of God is full of water. You prepare their grain, for so You have prepared the earth. 11You drench her furrows, leveling the ridges. You soften her with showers, blessing her growth. 12You crown the year with Your goodness. Your wagon tracks drip with abundance. 13Pastures of the wilderness overflow and hills are robed with joy. 14Meadows are clothed with flocks and valleys are covered with grain— they shout for joy, yes, they sing!

–from Psalms 65

Don’t hold a grudge! Forgive! Let it go and give it up to God! Don’t allow the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Forgive those who hurt you! Forgive those who have mistreated you! Forgive those who did things to trip you up! Don’t hold onto it for it is a weight you were never asked or expected to carry around for the rest of your life! Let’s live out love rather than hate! Let’s live out love rather than anger! Let’s live out love rather than frustration! Let’s give it all up to God and allow His joy that goes beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds! Let’s be encouragers to those around us! Let’s be build who help our character to be built up but also call others to a higher standard! Let’s be sharing the love of God with everyone around us! Let’s be allow others to come to the realization of how great God’s love is for them!

Today’s reading continues into this theme…

Forgive the Repentant Sinner

1So I made up my mind that I would not come to you again causing sorrow. 2For if I cause you sorrow, then who is there cheering me on but the one I have made sorrowful? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came I wouldn’t have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice—having confidence in you all that my joy is yours. 4For out of much distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears—not to make you sorrowful, but to let you know the love that I have especially for you. 5But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate—to all of you. 6For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough. 7So instead you should forgive him and encourage him. Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9For to this end I also wrote, that I might know your character, whether you are obedient in all things. 10Now anyone you forgive, I also forgive. For indeed, what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), I did it for you in the presence of Messiah, 11so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Revealing Messiah’s Fragrance

12Now when I arrived in Troas for the Good News of Messiah, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13I had no rest in my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus my brother. So I said farewell to them, and I set out for Macedonia. 14But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us reveals everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Himself. 15For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing—16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. Who is competent for these things? 17For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.

–from 2 Corinthians 2

Realize not everyone is ready to hear the good news! Some have hardened hearts and won’t respond well to it. They will look for ways to trip you up! They will look for ways to distract! They will look for way to raise questions! Some are more interested with tradition than the truth! Some are more interested in tradition that the right things! They are more focused on the way it’s been than the way it should be! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up plowing the hard soil, planting seeds, watering the seeds and waiting on God to make it grow!

Today’s reading concludes in Mark with…

Hearts Harden

1Now the Pharisees and some of the Torah scholars who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Yeshua. 2And they saw that some of His disciples were eating bread with unclean hands, that is, not washed. 3(For the Pharisees and all Jewish people do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing. There are many other traditions they have received and hold, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels.) 5The Pharisees and Torah scholars questioned Yeshua, “Why don’t Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders? Why do they eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. 7And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8Having left behind the commandment of God, you hold on to the tradition of men.” 9He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of God, in order that you may validate your own tradition. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever you might have gained from me is korban (that is, an offering to God),’ 12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13making void the word of God with your tradition that you’ve handed down. And you do many such things.” 14Then Yeshua called the crowd again and began saying to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand. 15There is nothing outside the man that can make him unholy by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy.” 16[footnote: Some mss. Add: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.] 17When He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? 19For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.” 20And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.”

Miracles Touch Gentile Lives

24Yeshua got up and left from there to the region of Tyre. When He had entered a house, He didn’t want anyone to know; but He couldn’t escape notice. 25A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him. She came immediately and fell at His feet. 26The woman was a Greek, from Syrophoenicia. And she kept begging Yeshua to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He was telling her, “First let the children get their fill, for it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28“Yes, Master,” she said to Him, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then He said to her, “Because of this word, go your way! The demon has left your daughter.” 30She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31Again He left the region of Tyre and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of the Decapolis. 32They bring Him a deaf man who had a speech impediment, and they beg Him to lay His hand on him. 33Yeshua took him aside from the crowd to a private place, and He put His fingers in the man’s ears. After spitting, He touched the man’s tongue. 34Looking up to heaven, He says to the man, “Ephphatha,” which means “Be opened!” 35Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly. 36Yeshua ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them, the more they continued proclaiming it. 37People were completely astounded, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear and the mute speak!”

–from Mark 7

 

 

 

 

There is a time and a place for everything


Do make the most out of every day? Do you enjoy each part of each day? Do you reflect on it? Do you consider what is the purpose? Do you consider what is your part? Do you consider how will it play into the bigger picture and the bigger plans of God? Are you waiting for something? Are you planning something? Are you preparing for something? Are you bring it all to God? God’s timing is perfect! Will you give it to Him so that He can use it? Will you do your part so that it will be accomplished? Do you mark important dates on your calendar? Do you remember them? Do you celebrate or take part in them? Do you see the seasonality? Do you see the pattern? Do you realize the way to go? Do you realize what it took? Do you realize what your part will be?

Do you believe? Are you living out your belief? Are you prepared to accomplish what has been prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Do you know where to turn? Do you know who to ask? Do you know how to ask?

Will you show your love by living up to the higher calling of Jesus? Will you accept, receive, and obey His commandments? Have you received the Holy Spirit who will help you through each day? Will you ask for what you have need of or will you try and do it all on your own? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? So is Jesus in you? Let’s take Jesus’ Word and live it out so that to the world around us we are Jesus with skin on! Let’s be the light that shines through the darkness! Let’s be the salt that spices things up! Let’s live lives that will show that Jesus is living in us! Let’s live life without doubt and fear, but with hope and love that we can give and share with the world around us!

Jesus loved the Father to the point of being obedient to death on the cross! Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to go and die on the cross for you and for me! So let’s take a hold of that and love those God has brought into our lives so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Miracles still happen! The body needs to stick together and do their part! We each have our place and our purpose and we need to finish the work God has given us to do! We need to do what we are called to do daily! We need to respond like it is life or death, because it is! In the last few weeks a couple examples in our church included a man who had a heart attack at church during the service just after the Word of God was read about the importance of each part of the body. In the row in front of the man happened to be a fire captain who jumped into action, doctors and nurses came in too, the people prayed and after many minutes without a pulse, he was anointed with oil and the nurse shouted we have a pulse. The paramedics took him to the hospital and only 2 weeks later he was back sitting in his normal seat in the 3rd row healthy and without any negative complications. Praise God that the body responded each doing their parts – congregation, safety team, pastors, … everyone has a part. God is still in charge! His timing is perfect!

Another story is of a man who had already had a near death experience having been “brain dead” as the doctors had called it and 15 years later was in the world of the living. Unfortunately, his family and the pastors were called because the hospital call them in saying they should come quick so they could say their last goodbyes. They all went in. But to the surprise of the doctors and nurses, he was release only a few days later and then after a few more treatments and tests, he was actually at church Easter weekend. God is good and is the ultimate physician.

All things are possible! God’s timing is perfect! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Put your hope and trust in Him!


Today’s reading came from Leviticus 22 (speaking of the way the family of Aaron was to live holy), Leviticus 23 (speaking of the festivals), and John 14.

The Way to the Father’s House

1“Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. 2In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to Him, “Master, we don’t know where You are going. How can we know the way?” 6Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7If you have come to know Me, you will know My Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” 8Philip said to Him, “Master, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Yeshua said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you haven’t come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own; but the Father dwelling in Me does His works. 11Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe because of the works themselves. 12“Amen, amen I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do, because I am going to the Father. 13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

The Believer’s Helper

15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper so He may be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him. You know Him, because He abides with you and will be in you. 18I will not abandon you as orphans; I will come to you. 19In a little while, the world will no longer behold Me, but you will behold Me. Because I live, you also will live! 20“In that day, you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” 22Judah (not the one from Kriot) said to Him, “Master, what has happened, that You are about to reveal Yourself to us and not the world?” 23Yeshua answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. 24He who does not love Me does not keep My words. And the word you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25These things I have spoken to you while dwelling with you. 26But the Helper, the Ruach ha-Kodesh whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I said to you. 27“Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid. 28You’ve heard Me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe! 30“I will not talk with you much longer, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has nothing on Me. 31But in order that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. “Get up, let’s go from here!”
–from John 14

It’s new!


A time to start! A time to reflect! A time to plan! A time to do!

Happy New Year everyone! I pray that you will have an incredibly blessed 2016!

May we start the year off planning how God can use us to accomplish His will. May we start the year reflecting on His goodness and faithfulness! May we start to do what He has called us to.

As I consider this year I think of the following priorities…(with it all starting with God)

  1. To be the best husband my wife could ever have
  2. To be the best father my kids could ever have
  3. To be the best friend I can be to my friends
After 3 it becomes a list of important things to do all the time.
  • To be the best employee I can be to my company
  • To be the best coworkers I can be to my coworkers
  • To be the leader God called me to be for the youth in foster care and to those who will serve with me this year
  • To be the leader God called me to be for the church God has planted me in
  • To be the servant God has called me to be to everyone in my life

Heavenly Father,
I lift this year up into your hands. I ask Lord for your help and wisdom through each day that I may complete the work you have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. I ask Lord for your instruction and direction with each task that I have before me. I ask Lord for your heart and compassion for each of the people I will get to serve, lead, and support. And Lord, most of all I ask that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Cry out to God with a desperate and honest plea for salvation!

Stuck in a dark place? Great time to raise it up to God!


Where are you at? What are you facing? Where are you stuck? Do you feel like you are stuck in a dark place? Do you need help? Do you need wisdom? Do you need direction? Turn to God! Any situation is a good situation to turn and give up to God! Any situation is the right situation to pour out your heart to God! Is there something dark that is bothering you? Is there something deep that is bothering? Be honest with God! Cry out with the urgency that you are feeling! Cry out with the desperation that you are feeling about it!

God is waiting! I have read Ask, Seek, Knock in Matthew where it says:

7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

God is waiting! I have read you ask but don’t receive because of wrong motives in James where it says:

2You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

We can’t allow pride to get the best of us! We need to able to humble ourselves and pray! We need to humble ourselves and turn back to God our true source of help in times of need!

13“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. — from 2 Chronicles 7

So let’s consider today’s reading and where Jonah was at and his response…

Today’s Reading: Jonah 2:1-9

1Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. 8Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Where are you at? Do you know where you are going to end up? Do you want to? Salvation is more than just saving you from the right here and the right now, it’s the saving you from what is yet to come as well. It’s about getting into the book of life and not being cast away. It’s about getting to spend eternity in paradise! So consider where you are at and if you really want to know where you will end up when the story if fully written about you!

Jesus is the answer… If we were playing Jeopardy, do you know what the question is?

You know what jeopardy means right? danger of loss, harm, or failure…with synonyms of in danger, in peril, at risk