Category Archives: Rejoice

Repent and let’s start the revival…Rejoice, Respond, and Rebuild!


We all want to have a hope and a future! We all want to have love! So let’s get started by repenting, that is turning back to God!

God’s got a plan and His plan is to give us a hope and a future! God’s got a plan and He goes before us setting up in advance the good work He has for us to do! God’s got a plan and that is why He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God’s got a plan and through Jesus we are able to spend eternity in heaven with Him!

So will you choose to receive the gift of life which is Jesus Christ? Will you turn back to God and receive the gift of grace and love? You do realize that no matter how far you may have strayed that you can always turn back to God! So let’s repent! Let’s turn back to God! Let’s start a revival of people living a great life through an eternal and intimate relationship with God! Let’s receive Jesus and be transformed and start to help transform not only us but our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world!

Let’s take a look into a few readings from God’s Word…

1“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

–from Hosea 6:1-3

 

12“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

–from Joel 2:12-13

 

14if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

–from 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

Are there areas of sin or compromise in your life that you need to give up to God? Not sure? Ask Him for wisdom in this area and then give them up to Him! Ask Him for forgiveness! Remember Jesus paid it all and they will all be nailed to the cross! He paid the price once for all!

When we invite Jesus into our lives, we are born again! There is a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come! It allows us to start walking forward and leaving the past where it belongs behind us and leaning forward into all that God has in store for us!

Today’s devotional talks of repentance this way as it is a good and positive thing…

‘Repentance’ is a very positive word in the Bible. The Greek word ‘metanoia’ means ‘change of mind’. That means, first, turning away from the bad stuff. This is the stuff that spoils your life and breaks your relationship with God. Repentance means to be sorry enough to quit. Getting rid of the bad stuff only enhances your life. But, that is only the first part.

The change of heart and mind means not only turning away from the bad things, but also turning towards God and good. The word ‘repent’ rarely appears on its own in the Bible. Genuine repentance is shown by its fruit. Remorse is not enough. A change of mind, heart and life is required. It is nearly always, ‘repent and…’. Repent and believe. Repent andput your faith in Jesus Christ. It is not just a case of looking back, but also looking forward.

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

So let’s make today count and count for more than just ourselves and for more than just today by receiving Jesus, being filled up to overflowing with Jesus, and then pouring out into the world around us the love of God!

Today’s reading from the book of Revelation (Chapter 16) speaks to the importance of us responding to God’s offer of the gift of Jesus so that we can have the peace and comfort of God…

This must be one of the most terrifying chapters in the entire Bible. It describes God’s final judgment. These are the seven last plagues (see Exodus 7–10). It all ends in ‘Armageddon’. In the midst of the awful judgment, there are four things that should bring you comfort:

    • Jesus is coming back
      ‘Keep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You’re blessed if, awake and dressed, you’re ready for me’ (Revelation 16:15, MSG). Later on in Revelation, we will see all the blessings that the second coming of Jesus will bring to you and to the whole creation.
    • Jesus took your judgment
      The words, ‘It is done!’ (v.17) tell us that once this final judgment has taken place, ‘It is finished’ – echoing the last words of Jesus on the cross (John 19:30). They remind us that Jesus bore God’s wrath upon himself on the cross for you. God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son to die for you so that you might not come under God’s final judgment, but rather receive all the blessings of eternal life (see John 3:16–17).
    • Judgment is delayed
      The judgment only falls on those who ‘refused to repent and glorify him’ (Revelation 16:9). God gives them, like Pharaoh, so many opportunities to repent, ‘but they refused to repent of what they had done’ (v.11). God’s desire is that everyone should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He gives many, many opportunities. It is only those who absolutely refuse to repent that come under his judgment.
    • Judgment will be totally just
      Many people worry, understandably, about passages like this in the Bible. However, God’s judgments are going to be absolutely ‘true’ and ‘just’ (v.7). As the former vicar of HTB, John Collins always says, ‘We will all say on that day, “That is absolutely right.”’

Look forward to Jesus’ return. Get your life sorted out now. Make sure there is no refusal to repent in your own heart. Respond in the right way to these warnings and help everyone else to do the same.

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018


Look Forward – Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

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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

Don’t overstay your welcome.


Ever gone somewhere for a purpose? Ever visited a friend or a neighbor? Ever gone on a trip for a visit? How long did you stay? What drove the decision on when to leave? What is your motivation for going? What is your motivation for staying? How do you know when it is time to go?

Proverbs 25:17 says:

Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.

Jesus tells us in Mark 6:

10And He told them, “When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11If anyone will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that place, as a testimony against them.”

Today’s reading starts with a story of being sent and after delivering the message to leave quickly…

Jehu Avenges Naboth

1Then Elisha the prophet summoned one of the sons of the prophets and told him, “Strap up your cloak, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive there, look out there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. Then go in, get him to rise up from among his fellows, and bring him to an inner room. 3Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, thus says Adonai: ‘I have anointed you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee—don’t wait around.” 4So the young man, a young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5Now when he arrived, behold, the army commanders were sitting. So he said, “I have a word for you, commander.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” He replied, “For you, commander.” 6Then he rose and went inside the house, and the prophet poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of Adonai, over Israel. 7So you will strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Adonai shed by Jezebel. 8For the whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male, slave or free, in Israel. 9I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasa son of Ahijah. 10The dogs will eat Jezebel in the field of Jezreel, and there will be none to bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled. 11Then Jehu came out to the officers of his master, and one asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy fellow come to you?” He said to them, “You know the man and his babbling.” 12But they said, “It’s a lie! Tell us now.” So he said, “He said something like this to me, saying ‘Thus says Adonai, I have anointed you king over Israel.’” 13Then they hurried and every man took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and blew the shofar, saying, “Jehu is king!” 14So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram had been defending Ramoth-gilead, he and all Israel, against King Hazael of Aram. 15But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought with King Hazael of Aram. Then Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one escape and go out of the city to go to tell the news in Jezreel.” 16So Jehu mounted a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. Meanwhile, King Ahaziah of Judah came down to see Joram. 17Now the watchman stationed on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troop approaching and said, “I am seeing a troop.” Then Joram said, “Take a horseman and dispatch him to meet them, and let him ask: ‘Is it peace?’” 18So the horse rider went to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’” But Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn behind me.” So the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but didn’t come back.” 19Then he dispatched out another horseman, who went to them and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’” But Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Turn behind me.” 20So the watchman reported, saying, “He reached them, but didn’t come back—and the driving is like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi, for he is driving on like a maniac!” 21Then Joram ordered, “Hitch up the chariot!” So he hitched up his chariot. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out each in his chariot to meet Jehu, and found him at the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22Now when Joram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is it peace, Jehu?” So he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” 23So Joram turned his horses around and fled, crying out to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24But Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms, and the arrow went out through his heart, and he collapsed in his chariot. 25Then he said to Bidkar his aide, “Pick him up and throw him on the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together behind Ahab his father, when Adonai took up this burden against him: 26‘As surely as I have seen the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday—it is a declaration of Adonai—I will repay you on this property—it is a declaration of Adonai.’ So now pick him up and throw him onto the property, just as in the word of Adonai.” 27When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. But Jehu pursued him, and said, “Shoot him too!” They shot him in the chariot at Gur Pass near Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, but he died there. 28Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David. 29(Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab.) 30Now when Jehu arrived at Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it. So she painted her eyes and dressed her hair, and looked out the window. 31As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, your master’s assassin?” 32Then he lifted up his face to the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down toward him. 33Then he said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down—then her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled her. 34Then he went inside, ate and drank. Then he said, “Attend now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36So they came back and told him. He said, “This is the word of Adonai, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying: ‘In the field of Jezreel will the dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel, 37and the carcass of Jezebel will be as dung upon the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so that they will not say, “This was Jezebel.”’”

–from 2 Kings 9

If you are called will you answer? If you are directed will you go? If you are instructed will you learn? Will you be fully obedient? Partial obedience is disobedience!

Jehu Destroys Ahab’s Sons and Baal Worshippers

1Now Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons, saying: 2“Now as soon as this letter reaches you—since your master’s sons are with you, and you also have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons— 3choose the best and the most worthy of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4But they were very terrified and said, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand before him, how then can we?” 5So the steward of the palace, the governor of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent word to Jehu saying, “We are your servants, and will do whatever you tell us to. We won’t make any man king. Do whatever is good in your eyes.” 6Then he wrote a second letter to them saying, “If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, then bring the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” Now the king’s sons, 70 people, were with the city’s prominent men. 7When it came to pass that the letter reached them, they took the king’s 70 sons and slaughtered them, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. 8When a messenger came and told him saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.” 9It came to pass in the morning that he went out and stood and addressed all the people, “You are innocent. Behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these? 10Know then that not a word of Adonai will fall to the earth—which Adonai spoke about the house of Ahab—for Adonai has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah.” 11So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his nobles, his acquaintances, his priests—until he left him not a survivor. 12Then he arose and went on his way to Samaria. As he was at Shearing House of the Shepherds along the way, 13Jehu met with the kinsmen of King Ahaziah of Judah and asked, “Who are you?” “We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah,” they replied, “We’ve come down to greet the children of the king and the children of the queen mother.” 14“Take them alive!” he said. So they took them alive, then struck them down at the pit of Shearing House, 42 men—he spared not a single one of them. 15Now when he left from there, he met Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. So he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right as my heart is with your heart?” “It is,” Jehonadab replied. “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for Adonai.” So he let him ride in his chariot. 17When he came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of Adonai spoken to Elijah. 18Then Jehu gathered all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much! 19Now therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers, and all his priests, let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal—whoever is missing will not live.” But Jehu did it in cunning, in order to destroy the worshippers of Baal. 20Then Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21Then Jehu sent throughout Israel and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. When they went into the temple of Baal, the temple of Baal was filled from one end to another. 22Then he said to the one over the wardrobe, “Bring out vestments for all the worshippers of Baal.” So he brought out vestments for them. 23Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and he said to the worshippers of Baal, “Search and look that there is here with you none of the servants of Adonai—only servants of Baal.” 24Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had already stationed 80 of his men outside and said, “If any of the men whom I am bringing into your hands escapes, your life will be for his life.” 25Then it came to pass, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in, strike them down—let none get out.” So they struck them down with the edge of the sword, and the guard and the captains threw them out. Then they proceeded to the inner room of the temple of Baal, 26brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal, and burned them. 27Then they demolished the pillar of Baal, tore down the temple of Baal and turned it into latrines—as it is to this day. 28Thus Jehu eradicated Baal from Israel. 29However, from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit, from these Jehu did not turn away—-the golden calves in Bethel and in Dan. 30Now Adonai had said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation will sit on the throne of Israel.” 31Yet Jehu was not careful to walk in the Torah of Adonai, God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he caused Israel to commit. 32In those days Adonai began to reduce the size of Israel. For Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel, 33from the Jordan eastward in all the land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer by the Arnon Valley up to Gilead and Bashan. 34Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 35Then Jehu slept with his fathers and they buried him in Samaria. And his son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36The days of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria were 28 years.

–from 2 Kings 10

The battle belongs to the Lord! The victory is His! The battle has been won! The victory in His hand! So let’s rejoice and celebrate the victory of the Lord! Let’s not live like we are losing or have lost, for He has already won the battle! Let’s get ready! Let’s be ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s get prepared! Let’s not miss out because of laziness or distractions! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s not miss out because we weren’t prepared! Let the hope that is within you shine! Let’s the faith that is within you lead you and guide you! Put on the full armor of God!

Victory Songs in Heaven

1After these things, I heard something like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, shouting: “Halleluyah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. 2For His judgments are true and just. For He has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her whoring, and has avenged the blood of His servants caused by her hand.” 3And a second time they shouted, “Halleluyah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever!” 4Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen! Halleluyah!” 5Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you His servants and all who fear Him, both the small and the great!”

Wedding of the Lamb

6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude—like the roar of rushing waters or like the rumbling of powerful thunder—saying, “Halleluyah! For Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot reigns! 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready, 8She was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean! For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim.” 9Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” He also tells me, “These are the true words of God.” 10Then I fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that—for I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Yeshua. Worship God! For the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of Prophesy.”

Final Battle of this Age

11Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One riding on it is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and many royal crowns are on His head. He has a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is “the Word of God.” 14And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword—so that with it He may strike down the nations—and He shall rule them with an iron rod, and He treads the winepress of the furious wrath of Elohei-Tzva’ot. 16On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” 17Then I saw a single angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he cried out to all the birds flying high in the sky, “Come, gather for the great banquet of God— 18to eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of generals and the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and those riding on them, the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great!” 19Also I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the One who sat on the horse and against His army. 20Then the beast was captured, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs before him by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast, as well as those who had worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the One riding on the horse. And all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.

–from The Revelation 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your past doesn’t have to define your future!


What you’ve gone through, what you’ve experience, how you were treated, who you were, where you’ve been – those are behind you. Yes they shaped you, but they don’t have to define you and your future! Those things people have said about you aren’t what you have to be or become! We all get to choose! We all have choice! The main reason is God’s plans for us is good! God is good and God is love! So we have to choose who we will be be. If we were good or thought we were and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us just like Paul. If we weren’t so good and got into trouble and then had an encounter with Jesus that transformed us. Where are you at right now? How will you choose to finish this race called life? Will you choose good? Will you choose faith? Will you choose obedience? Will you choose to finish strong? Your past doesn’t have to define your future!

Today’s reading gets us started in the book of Judges…

Jephthah’s Valor and Vow

1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was son of a prostitute, while Gilead was Jephthah’s father. 2But Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when the wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You won’t inherit in our father’s house, for you are a son of another woman.” 3Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Some worthless fellows joined with Jephthah and went out with him. 4Now it came about after a while that the children of Ammon fought with Israel. 5When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6They said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief, so we may fight the children of Ammon.” 7Jephthah then said to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? So why are you coming to me now that you’re in trouble?” 8“Here is why we’re now turning to you,” the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah. “Come with us, fight the children of Ammon, and then you will become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you take me back home to fight the children of Ammon, and Adonai gives them over to me, I should become your head!” 10The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Let Adonai be witness between us if we don’t do as you say.” 11Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them, after Jephthah repeated all his terms before Adonai at Mizpah. 12Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon saying, “What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to make war on my land?” 13The king of the children of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when they came up from Egypt, from the Arnon to the Jabbok as far as the Jordan. Now therefore, return them peaceably.” 14But Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon, 15and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah, ‘Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the children of Ammon. 16For upon departing from Egypt, Israel traveled through the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds and came to Kadesh, 17then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom saying, “Please, let me pass through your land,” but the king of Edom would not consent. Similarly he sent word to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel, after staying at Kadesh, 18traveled through the wilderness, around the land of Edom and the land of Moab, came to the east side of the land of Moab and they camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, “Please, let us pass through your land to my place.” 20But Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his troops, camped in Jahaz and fought against Israel. 21But Adonai God of Israel gave Sihon and all his troops into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22Thus they possessed all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and from the wilderness as far as the Jordan. 23So now Adonai God of Israel dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel. So should you possess their land? 24Don’t you possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? Likewise, whatever Adonai our God has dispossessed from before us, this we will possess. 25Besides, are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26While Israel was living in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities on both sides of the Arnon for 300 years, why didn’t you try to recover them all that time? 27So I myself have not transgressed against you, yet you are doing me harm by waging war against me. May Adonai, the Judge, judge today between Bnei-Yisrael and the children of Ammon.’” 28However, the king of the children of Ammon paid no attention to the words of Jephthah that he sent him. 29Then the Ruach Adonai came upon Jephthah, so he marched through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he crossed over to the children of Ammon. 30Then Jephthah vowed a vow to Adonai and said, “If You will indeed give the children of Ammon into my hand, 31then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return safely from the children of Ammon, it will be Adonai’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” 32So Jephthah crossed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them, and Adonai gave them into his hand. 33So he utterly defeated them from Aroer until you come to Minnith—20 towns—and as far as Abel-cheramim. So the children of Ammon were subdued before Bnei-Yisrael. 34Now when Jephthah arrived at his home in Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. Now she was his only child. Besides her he had no son or daughter. 35Upon seeing her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You made me bow down in grief—you’ve made me miserable! For I have opened my mouth to Adonai, and I cannot take it back.” 36“My father, you have opened your mouth to Adonai,” she said to him. “Do to me what proceeded from your mouth—since Adonai brought vengeance on your enemies, the children of Ammon.” 37She said further to her father, “Let this thing be done for me. Let me be alone two months, so that I may go on the mountains and mourn my virginity, I and my companions.” 38“Go!” he said. So he sent her away for two months. So she left, she and her companions, and mourned on the mountains because of her virginity. 39Then at the end of two months she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow he had made—so she was never intimate with a man. So it became a custom in Israel, 40that the daughters of Israel would go annually to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

–from Judges 11

Be careful what you say! Be careful what you promise! Make sure you are good to your word! Don’t lie! Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Don’t make promises you won’t keep! Consider your words carefully before you say them for you need to consider what could and would be rather than just jumping into it and getting put into a situation or position you may regret. We all get to choose if we will be faithful or not! We all get to choose if we will be obedient or not! So let’s choose life and life to the full! Let’s choose integrity and honesty! Let’s choose faith and obedience!

1Then the men of Ephraim were summoned and crossed over to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the children of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” 2So Jephthah responded to them, “I and my people were in a bitter conflict with the children of Ammon, yet when I called you, you didn’t deliver me from their hand. 3So when I saw that you weren’t going to deliver, I put my life in my hand and crossed over against the children of Ammon, and Adonai gave them into my hand. So why have you come up to me today, to fight me?” 4Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim. The men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You Gileadites are just fugitives of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. So when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth,’” and he said “Sibboleth” since he could not pronounce it right, then they would seize him and slay him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of Ephraim fell. 7Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the towns of Gilead. 8After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9Now he had 30 sons, and 30 daughters—he sent them outside and brought in 30 girls from outside for his sons. He judged Israel seven years, 10then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem. 11Then after him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel. He judged Israel ten years, 12then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun. 13After him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys, and he judged Israel eight years. 15Then Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

–from Judges 12

Take a look at the world around you. Consider the roller coaster of life. The ups! The Downs! The twists! The turns! The loops! The good! The bad! The pattern seems to be turning to God and turning away from God! Where are you at? Have you chosen to follow God? Have you had a divine appointment that has changed your life and started your relationship Jesus? Take a look around you. Do you see where the people around you are heading? Your neighbors? Your town or city? Your state or province? Your country? What are the politicians doing? What the people doing? What are the judges doing? What are the leaders doing? Do we need a revival? Is your place in a revival? Are you desiring a revival where you are at? Will you be called to a higher standard? Will you live to that calling? Will you be obedient to the point of setting in a motion a legacy?

Birth of Samson

1Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and Adonai gave them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years. 2Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from a Danite clan, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and bore no children. 3Then the angel of Adonai appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have not borne children, but you will conceive and bear a son. 4Now therefore be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. 5For behold, you will conceive and bear a son. Let no razor come upon his head, for the boy will be a Nazirite to God from the womb. He will begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” 6Then the woman came and told her husband saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome! But I did not ask him where he was from, nor did he tell me his name. 7He said to me, ‘Behold, you will conceive and bear a son. So, drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child will be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” 8Then Manoah entreated Adonai and said, “My Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again and teach us what we will do for the boy to be born.” 9God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the man that came to me the other day has appeared to me!” 11So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked him, “Are you the one who spoke to the woman?” “I am,” he said. 12Then Manoah said, “Now may your words come about! What will be the child’s rule and his mission?” 13The angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “Let the woman abstain from all that I mentioned to her. 14She should not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, or drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. She must observe all that I commanded her.” 15Then Manoah said to the angel of Adonai, “Please, let us detain you so that we may prepare a young goat for you.” 16But the angel of Adonai said to Manoah, “If you could detain me, I would not eat your food. But if you present a burnt offering, then offer it to Adonai.” For Manoah did not realize that he was the angel of Adonai. 17Then Manoah asked the angel of Adonai, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass we may honor you?” 18But the angel of Adonai said to him, “Why do you ask for my name? It is wonderful.” 19Manoah took the young goat with the meal offering and offered them on the rock to Adonai, and He did something wonderful as Manoah and his wife were watching. 20For it came about when the flame went up from off the altar toward heaven that the angel of Adonai ascended in the flame of the altar. Manoah and his wife were looking on, then they fell on their faces to the ground. 21But the angel of Adonai appeared no more to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah realized that he was the angel of Adonai. 22Manoah said to his wife, “We will surely die, because we have seen God.” 23But his wife said to him, “If Adonai had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a meal offering from our hand, nor would He have shown us all these things or let us hear such things as these at this time.” 24Then the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson. So the boy grew up and Adonai blessed him. 25The Ruach Adonai began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

–from Judges 13

Oh how will you make a difference. What will it take for you to listen and obey? Is today your day? As we move forward today, let’s walk trusting in God! As we move forward today, let’s walk in obedience to God’s calling! As we move forward today, let’s use our words wisely! As we move forward today, let’s be encouragers! As we move forward today, let’s correct those who need discipline! As we move forward today, let’s comfort the fainthearted! As we move forward today, let’s help the weak! As we move forward today, let’s be patient with everyone! As we move forward today, let’s pursue what is good for one another and for all! Rejoice always, pray constantly, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus! Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophetic messages, but test all things, hold fast to what is good, keep away from every kind of evil.

Keep Watch for the Day of the Lord

1Now concerning the times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. 3When they are saying, “Shalom and safety,” sudden destruction comes upon them like a woman having birth pains in the womb—there is no way they will escape. 4But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. 5For you all are sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or of darkness— 6so then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain on the alert and sober-minded. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober-minded—putting on the breastplate of faithfulness and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not destine us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 10He died for us so that, whether we may be awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up—just as you in fact are doing.

Instructions for Community Life

12Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who work hard among you and are over you in the Lord and correct you, 13and to esteem them beyond all measure in love because of their work. Keep shalom among yourselves. 14We urge you, brothers and sisters, correct the unruly, comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray constantly, 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua. 19Do not quench the Spirit, 20do not despise prophetic messages, 21but test all things, hold fast to what is good, 22keep away from every kind of evil. 23Now may the God of shalom Himself make you completely holy; and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 24Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen!

Closing Greetings

25Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27I charge you under oath, by the Lord, that this letter be read to all the brothers and sisters. 28The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you.

–from 1 Thessalonians 5

 

Complete the work! God will keep his side, will you keep your side?


Ever had a task to do? Ever had work to complete? Did you do your part? Have you noticed God will keep His Word and do His part? Will you finish or leave it partially or even mostly done? Do you realize the impact? It’s your choice, so choose wisely!

Today’s reading speaks to this topic…

1Now these are the portions that Bnei-Yisrael possessed in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the kohen and Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the ancestral houses of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael apportioned to them. 2Their inheritance was by the lot, as Adonai had commanded by Moses’ hand, for the nine tribes and half-tribe. 3For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe across the Jordan. But he gave no inheritance to the Levites among them. 4For the children of Joseph became two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. They gave no portion to the Levites in the land, except towns to live in, with their pasturelands around them for their livestock and for their cattle. 5As Adonai had commanded Moses, so Bnei-Yisrael did, and apportioned the land.

Caleb Inherits Hebron

6Then the children of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word that Adonai had spoken to Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea concerning me and you. 7I was 40 years old when Moses the servant of Adonai sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him back word as it was in my heart. 8Nevertheless, my fellows that went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear, but I fully followed Adonai my God. 9So Moses swore on that day saying: ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have fully followed Adonai my God.’ 10So now behold, Adonai has kept me alive, just as He said, these 45 years, since the time that Adonai spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness, and now behold, I am 85 years old today. 11I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me—as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12Now therefore, give me this hill country about which Adonai spoke on that day. For you heard on that day how the Anakim were there as well as great, fortified cities. Perhaps Adonai will be with me, and I will drive them out, just as Adonai has spoken.” 13So Joshua blessed him, and he assigned Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his portion. 14Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he followed Adonai the God of Israel fully. 15Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba, for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

–from Joshua 14

Don’t doubt God! Don’t be a neighsayer! Be a believer and walk out God’s call in faith! Do your part and allow God to take care of the rest! Will you allow obedience to lead you into the reward God promises?

Inheritance of Judah

1Now the allotment for the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families was as far as the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. 2Their southern border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay projecting southward. 3Then it proceeded south of the Ascent of Akrabbim and passed on to Zin, and then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and passed on to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned toward Karka. 4It passed along to Azmon and went on to the Wadi of Egypt, where the border ended at the sea—this will be your southern border. 5The eastern border is the Salt Sea to the end of the Jordan. The border on the northern side was from the bay of the sea at the end of the Jordan. 6It then went up to Beth-hoglah and passed north of Beth-arabah, and went up to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 7The border then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal, facing the Ascent of Adummim, which is south of the wadi. Next the border passed along to the waters of En-shemesh and ended at En-rogel. 8Then the border went up the Valley of Ben-hinnom to the southern flank of the Jebusites—that is, Jerusalem—and went up to the top of the mountain that flanks the Hinnom Valley to the west, which is at the northern end of the Rephaim Valley. 9From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and went out to the towns of Mount Ephron, then curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10From Baalah the border turned westward to Mount Seir, passed along to the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon) and went down to Beth-shemesh, then passed Timnah. 11Next the border went out to the slope north of Ekron, then went out to Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah, went on to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea. 12The western border was the Great Sea and its coastline. These were the borders around the children of Judah according to their clans. 13Now to Caleb son of Jephunneh he gave a portion among the children of Judah, at the command of Adonai to Joshua—Kiriath-arba, which is Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). 14So Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak—Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, children of Anak. 15Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir (now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher). 16Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah as a wife to the one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it.” 17So Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s kinsman, captured it, so he gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 18Now it came about when she came to him, that she persuaded Othniel to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her: “What do you need?” 19“Give me a blessing,” she said. “For you have given me land in the Negev, you should also give me springs of water.” So he gave her the Upper Springs and the Lower Springs. 20This is the portion of the tribe of the children of Judah by their clans: 21the towns at the end of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kavzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet, 28Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30El-tolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31Ziklag, Madmanna h, Sansannah, 32Lebaot, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—a total of 29 towns, with their villages. 33In the lowland: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34Zanoach, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah and Gederothaim—14 towns with their villages. 37Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, 38Dilan, Mizpeh, Joktheel, 39Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40Cabbon, Lahmas, Chithlish, 41Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah and Makkedah— 16 towns with their villages. 42Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44Keilah, Achzib and Mareshah—9 towns with their villages. 45Ekron with its towns and villages; 46from Ekron to the sea, all that were under Ashdod’s hand, with their villages, 47Ashdod, its dependencies and its villages; Gaza, its dependencies and its villages, all the way to the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Great Sea. 48In the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51Goshen, Holon and Giloh—11 towns with their villages. 52Arab, Rumah, Eshan, 53Janum, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah, 54Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—9 towns with their villages. 55Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57Kayin, Gibeah and Timnah—10 towns with their villages; 58Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, 59Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon—6 towns with their villages. 60Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim) and Rabbah—2 towns with their villages. 61In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En-gedi—6 towns with their villages. 63As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out. So the Jebusites continue to live among the children of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.

–from Joshua 15

Step up and step into all that God is calling you to be and to do! Complete the work so that you won’t have the nuisance or the pain of a job half or partially done! Imagine life today if the Israelites had of completed the work and hadn’t left the remnant to be a pain in their side. Imagine in your life if you had of completed the work rather than just partially finished it! Where would you be now?

Let’s be thankful for what we have and rejoice in the Lord always! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s allow our words and our actions to proclaim the goodness of God through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!

Greetings

1Paul and Timothy, slaves of Messiah Yeshua, To all the kedoshim in Messiah Yeshua who are in Philippi with the overseers and servant-leaders: 2Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Thanksgiving and Prayers of Joy

3I thank my God at every memory of you, 4always praying with joy in every prayer of mine for you all, 5because of your sharing in the Good News from the first day until now. 6I am sure of this very thing—that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Messiah Yeshua. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart—for you all are partakers of grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News. 8For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Messiah Yeshua. 9Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment, 10in order to approve what is excellent—so that in the Day of Messiah you may be sincere and blameless, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Yeshua the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God.

Even in Chains, Proclaiming Messiah

12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the Good News. 13And so my imprisonment in the cause of Messiah has become well known throughout the whole Praetorian Guard and to everyone else. 14Because of my imprisonment, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord to dare more than ever to speak the message fearlessly. 15Some are proclaiming the Messiah out of envy and strife, but others out of good will. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News. 17The former proclaim Messiah not sincerely, but out of selfishness—expecting to stir up trouble for me in my imprisonment. 18But what does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in dishonesty or in truth, Messiah is being proclaimed—and in this I rejoice! Yes, and I will keep rejoicing,

To Live Is Messiah

19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, through your intercession and the help of the Ruach of Messiah Yeshua. 20My eager expectation and hope is that in no way will I be put to shame, but that with complete boldness Messiah will even now, as always, be exalted in my body—whether through life or through death. 21For to me, to live is Messiah and to die is gain. 22But if to live on in the body means fruit from my work, what shall I choose? I do not know. 23I am torn between the two—having a desire to leave and be with Messiah, which is far better; 24yet for your sake, to remain in the body is more necessary. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith— 26so that your confidence in Messiah Yeshua might overflow because of me through my coming to you again. 27Only live your lives in a manner worthy of the Good News of the Messiah. Then, whether I come and see you or I am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit—striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the Good News 28and not being frightened in any way by your opponents. For them this is a sign of destruction, but for you salvation—and that from God. 29For to you was granted for Messiah’s sake not only to trust in Him, but also to suffer for His sake— 30experiencing the same struggle you saw in me and now you are hearing in me.

–from Philippians 1