Will you walk out the plan God has for you?


Will you walk in the peace that goes beyond all understanding through the highs and the lows of being obedient and walking out God’s plan? Will you walk in the joy that goes beyond happiness for a moment by walking out obedience knowing that you are in the will of God? Will you walk out the plan God has for you trust Him and continuing to follow Him even when you get to experience the mountain top highs or the valley lows? Have you had an encounter with God yet? Have you started your life long relationship with Jesus yet? Have you received direction? Have you received confirmation? Have you seen the signs and wonders? Will you align with the voice of truth?

Will you walk out the plan God has for you and your life?

What vision has God given you? Will you take hold of it and pursue it? Will you seek His wisdom and discernment to be able to go for it? How will God use you to transform your community? How will you bring Jesus to the people God has brought into your life? How will you share the love and joy of Jesus with the people around you? Will they notice the difference? Will they experience God’s presence in and through you?

Without vision the people perish! Do you see where you are at? Do you see where things could be? Will you share the vision with the people around you in order to help lead them forward into the presence of God?

Will you take it beyond a dream or a hope by putting your vision into action? Will you take the vision and take action in order to transform the world around you? We need God’s vision because without God’s vision, action is leading to nightmares!


Today’s devotional:

From Vision to Action

Day 336: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Importance of vision … Proverbs 29:10-18
  2. Power of vision … 1 John 2:28-29, 1 John 3:1-10
  3. Fulfillment of vision … Daniel 8:15-27, Daniel 9:1-19

Today’s reading from God’s Word

 

 

 

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How tight of a connection do you have?

Stay Connected to God's Love

Are you able to trust them? Do you have faith in them? Do you stay connected with them? Do you spend time with them? Do speak with them about every decision?

There is an antidote to loneliness and it is called fellowship!

fel·low·ship [ˈfelōˌSHip]

NOUN
  1. friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests:
    “they valued fun and good fellowship as the cement of the community”

We need to come together in fellowship! We were never meant to go through this life alone! In this world we will have troubles and we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! When we stay in fellowship, the devil can’t convince of things that he can when we are alone! When we have fellowship with Jesus in the center it becomes even stronger for a chord of three strands is not easily broken! So let’s come together and stand together! Let’s be filled up daily with God’s Word and God’s Spirit so that we can live out to the fullest all that God has planned for us! Yes we will have trials but let’s persevere so that in the end we will be complete and lacking nothing as our faith builds up and is strengthened through it!

So let’s live out today loving God and loving people! Let’s come together in fellowship pursuing God’s plans and purpose for today!

3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. –from 1 John 1:3

Fellowship is but a mere sampling or small in compared to the Greek word that was originally used in the text. κοινωνία is pronounced/transliterated koinonia and means …

Koinonia {coy NO nyah / coin IN ee ah) is a transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which means communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, etc. It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ. –from Wikipedia

God created us for such a relationship with Him and with others! A relationship where we are able to share everything and not go it alone! A relationship where we are able to do everything together! A relationship where we are constant conversation to build it even better and better today! It opens up the door to incredible friendship! It opens up the door to be open and honest with one another! It opens the door to truth rather than the plans of the devil and the natural tendencies to mask, imitate, trick, deceive, and other things that would cause division and fights! So let’s take hold of God’s plan and build up real relationship with God and with others! Let’s poor into each others lives in order that nobody is ever alone! Let’s make a difference into the people that God has brought into our lives! We are right where we are for His purpose and His plans and so let’s live lives that make a difference!

Living in the Light
5This is the message we heard from Jesus1:5 Greek from him. and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
–from 1 John 1

Let’s build up intimate relationships with God and that will pour into the lives of everyone around you! Let’s thank Him for who He is and for all He has done! Let’s be in constant conversation throughout our days so that we don’t try to do it alone! God cares for us! Let’s not try to go it alone but let’s trust God in and through it all, seeking Him first for wisdom, discernment, direction! When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He takes care of the rest! We need to be living our lives trusting in God! Without Jesus in the center our days are numbered and without Jesus we will find ourselves separated from God for all of eternity! The choice is ours… will we choose to receive and follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior all the days of our lives and building up daily our relationship with Him? Will we choose to walk the road to hell apart from God alone?

We all have freewill and get to choose for ourselves!

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! How will you choose?


Intimate Connections

Day 334: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Thank God … Psalms 136:1-12
  2. Talk to God … 1 John 1, 1 John 2:1-11
  3. Trust God … Daniel 5:17-31, Daniel 6

Today’s Reading:

 

God is alive! God is for real! God is great!


God is alive outside and within time. Being outside of time He is able to know the past, the present, and the future at all times! (omniscient) God is all powerful! (omnipotent) God is with us because He is able to be everywhere at the same time! (omnipresent)

When eternity is your timeline and when each of us is eternal, to God we are all alive all the time. How and where we spend eternity is all dependent upon our decision to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior!

He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.

–from Luke 20:38

We don’t need to fear the threats of this world when we put our hope and trust in God!

“Are you afraid of these idols?
    Do they terrify you?
Is that why you have lied to me
    and forgotten me and my words?
Is it because of my long silence
    that you no longer fear me?

–from Isaiah 57:11

God is described as a lion in terms of power! The devil is described as a lion on the prowl! Just like all things in life, we have to choose, in this case which lion will you choose?

God?

5Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

— from Revelation 5:5

or the devil?

8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

–from 1 Peter 5:8-9

Jesus who is the lion, first came to the earth as the sacrificial lamb who gave up His life in order that we could have a way to be saved, forgiven, and reconciled to God! There is nothing we could have or can do in our own strength to be good enough to be righteous enough to be with God, but through Jesus who made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way, with God all things are possible, and through the decision to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we can be saved, forgiven, and reconciled once and for all!

God is Great! We may hear a lot of people saying “God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!” yet the reality is He is better than good, He is great! He always has been and always will be! We may want or try to go from good to great! God is already there! So great that He deserves our praise and worship! Unlike things or people who come and go or fade away, God is forever and is great and deserves our praise!

In today’s reading from God’s Word in Psalms we hear of His greatness…

1Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
2you who serve in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
celebrate his lovely name with music.
4For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own special treasure.
5I know the greatness of the Lord
that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6The Lord does whatever pleases him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
7He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
8He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,
both people and animals.
9He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his people.
10He struck down great nations
and slaughtered mighty kings—
11Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.
12He gave their land as an inheritance,
a special possession to his people Israel.

It took me 30 years before I learned that God isn’t about routine or rituals, He is after a relationship with each of us individually! Going to Sunday school growing up… Going through confirmation class… in all of that the reality of it being about having a living and loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ wasn’t something that I grasped. Yet in my 30th year I had a divine encounter with God when all my plans had been updated to the point of living in a different place than I had planned and received an invitation to attend a Christmas event a a church we happened to drive by daily. I learned about this relationship that Jesus wanted to have with me! A living and loving relationship He desired to have with me! I invited Him into my heart and my life has never been the same since! I felt like a jet pack ride with how He brought me through it and continues to this day to speak to me and teach me in every situation of my life! I now don’t have to look for time but I make time to start my day with Him! It makes a difference to how I am able to live out the rest of my today! He fills me up so that I can make it through the day! Does anyone want to run out before they get to the end? I know I don’t! So make time to spend time in God’s Word and in conversation with Him through prayer!

Today’s reading speaks to spending time with Jesus and in God’s Word (The Bible)…

Greetings from Peter

1This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.
2May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Growing in Faith

3By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Paying Attention to Scripture

12Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
16For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 18We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,1:20 Or is a matter of one’s own interpretation. 21or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

–from 2 Peter 1 NLT

So don’t keep quiet about this truth! God’s not dead! God exists! Let’s share the Good News of Jesus with the world around us!

 

 

 

God’s not a myth! God’s not dead! No matter what the world tries to throw our way, we need to stand firm on the solid rock of Jesus Christ! When the world seems to be falling apart as people try to remove God from every part of it does it surprise you? Could it really be like through all the examples in the Bible where people walk away and then when things get bad enough they turn back to God? How bad does it have to get before people will turn back to God? Will you choose to pursue Him and start your relationship with Him while things are still good? Could it be that things aren’t falling apart but rather are just starting to fall back into place so that people and God will be reunited?

 

So as we look and consider where we are at and the choice that we have to make it all comes to do you believe? Will you believe and ask Jesus to help your unbelief? Will you invite Jesus into your today and allow it to be the beginning of an eternal relationship? Will you make time to get into God’s Word so you won’t have to be running on empty but rather get filled up to face the day? Will you take hold of the fact that God is with you all the time and so you are able to speak with Him every step of every day?

Today’s reading from God’s Word concludes in Daniel…

24Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
25Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”
26The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
27Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. 28But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.
29“While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. 30And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.
31“In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. 32The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, 33its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. 34As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
36“That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means. 37Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 38He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.
39“But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world. 40Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. 41The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. 42But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. 43This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.
44“During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”
Nebuchadnezzar Rewards Daniel
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him. 47The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”
48Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men. 49At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court.

–from Daniel 2:24-49 NLT

1King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. 3So all these officials came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! 5When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king! 10You issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the gold statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments. 11That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”

–from Daniel 3:1-12 NLT


There Is a God and He Is Great

Day 331: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Proclaim the greatness of God … Psalms 135:1-12
  2. Proclaim the truth of God’s word … 2 Peter 1
  3. Proclaim that ‘there is a God’ …  Daniel 2:24-49,  Daniel 3:1-12

You got to have faith!


Faith is…

confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

–from Hebrews 11:1

Are you satisfied? Do you realize that faith is the road to real satisfaction? Until you get it you can’t find something or the right thing or the new thing or the next thing that will complete you. Can you be satisfied? Do you know what it would or will take?

15A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
or trying to hold something with greased hands.

17As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.

18As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.

19As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.

20Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
so human desire is never satisfied.

21Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.

22You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,
even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

–from Proverbs 27:15-22

Do you take hold of the truth that will set you free? Have you begun your journey with Jesus who came to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way? Put another way…

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. –from John 10:10

He will fill us up! He will satisfy! He fills that hole in our hearts that nothing else in the world is able to fill and that without Him would keep us search and seeking and trying to find something to fill it that isn’t as good or beneficial.

Don’t allow your head to swell by the complements of others! Stay grounded and connected to Jesus! What the world sees is Jesus in you and so give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory rather than allowing pride to get in the way! Have you ever heard that the greatest trial we face is success? Can you pass the success test?

The same way we need to realize that God is the owner of everything and that we need to be good stewards of everything He gives us! It’s about glorifying God in all the things that we do!

So let’s pass on the glory to God! Every good and perfect gift comes from God! He is preparing in advance the good work He has for us to do!

So will you trust God? Will you trust Him no matter what? Will you have faith that His Words are true? Will you have faith that God is love? Will you have faith that God will take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around use it for good? Will you have faith to stand firm on His commandments and His promises?

Will you let your life be built on the strong foundation which is Jesus Christ? Will you align your life to Jesus who is the cornerstone? Will you trust Him even when you can’t see what is coming? When I think back almost 5 years now and how God was calling me to move on from my earlier career, I had a reading in Feb that spoke of Peter in the boat and Jesus allowing Him out and the opportunity to walk on water. I remember on my way to work asking God if my workplace was the boat if I was to get out and if I was which side. I fairly quickly got a tweet saying to get out of the boat but He didn’t tell me what side. How would you respond? What would your faith make you do? For me that night I went home, updated my LinkedIn profile and my resume in preparation for what was about to happen. Didn’t know where I was going. Didn’t know what I would be doing. But started knocking on doors by applying for various roles on various companies, even companies I didn’t think I would want to work for but didn’t want to limit God’s options. Till one day in April when it all became clear, great interview, great meetings, and confirmation from God that it was the one and so I stepped out in early May to start my new career and praising God because I know it was Him!

It was a process that faith walked me through in order for me to know where and when and I had to trust Him in and through it all! He trained me through all the interviews! He helped me to see what I wanted and didn’t want! He helped me to know who I was and where I am best suited and set to fit! My faith lead me to understand and lean on Him more so that I would make the right choice for that time.

Today’s devotional has a very interesting way of describing this too…

‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible’ (v.3). St Augustine pointed out, ‘Faith is the first step to understanding; understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.’

–from Day 316: Bible In One Year 2017

When I was asking the message seemed so personal compared to other times I had read it and so had to ask God about it. My faith in Him was made me want to please Him! My faith in Him made me want to do whatever it was He had for me next. My faith in Him allowed me to step up and step out from the normal, the comfortable, the regular, the routine and out into something new that He had prepared in advance for me to do! He has a plan! His plan is good! So take time to listen and hear what He has to say! Then listen to the words and walk out in faith what He calls you to do!

Today’s devotional speaks to it this way…

What does this faith look like in practice?

Faith leads to understanding

‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible’ (v.3). St Augustine pointed out, ‘Faith is the first step to understanding; understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.’

Faith pleases God

Enoch pleased God. As a result, he ‘skipped death completely’ (v.5, MSG). The writer goes on to explain, ‘It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him’ (v.6, MSG).

Faith leads to intimacy with God

‘By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told… As a result, Noah became intimate with God’ (v.7, MSG).

Faith means saying ‘Yes’ to God

‘By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going’ (v.8, MSG). True faith commits us to obedience.

Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans at the height of its prosperity (2006–1950 BC). He heard God’s call and ‘obeyed and went’ (v.8). He did not ‘know where he was going’ (v.8). But he knew with whom he was going. His faith brought blessing to him, his family, his nation and to you and me.

He trusted God even when the evidence pointed in the opposite direction. Abraham’s one great disappointment was that his wife couldn’t have children to continue the long family line (Genesis 11). We read that Abraham’s family was ‘as good as dead’ (Hebrews 11:12).

Abraham believed God (see Romans 4). It was not that he never had any doubts. In fact, he got fed up with waiting and had an affair with his maid. Thankfully, God does not judge us on the basis of our lapses, failures or mess-ups. He saw their settled attitude of faith (Romans 4:3,18).

Faith sees beyond this life

Abraham took a long-term view. We live in an ‘instant’ culture. Everything is about instant satisfaction. Abraham was in it for the long haul. He was ‘a stranger in a foreign country’ (v.9). He lived in tents. Yet he knew where God had called him.

He did not look back to what he had left behind through his step of faith. Rather, ‘he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God’ (v.10).

Abel’s faith also had a lasting impact: ’… by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead’ (v.4).

 

The writer concludes: ‘Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing… You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them’ (vv.13,16, MSG).

–from Day 316: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s Word from God puts it this way…

1Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
3By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
4It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.
5It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
7It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
8It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
11It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. 12And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
13All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

–from Hebrews 11:1-16

God is faithful! His Word is true! So let’s allow faith to build up in our too so that we can be so full of faith in God that we will be faithful to God! It’s about a life long relationship with God! It’s not temporary but God wants to have a relationship that will last throughout eternity with us! So don’t give up! Don’t walk away! Stick with it! Stick with Him! Allow Him to complete the work in you that He has already begun!

In this world we will have troubles but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! We can fight back against hatred and fear with love and compassion! Just because others are denying or walking away doesn’t mean you have to follow them but rather that your faith can shine even brighter to speak truth, love, and hope into their lives! Let’s draw closer to God and in faith trust in Him even when the people around us are drawn into sin and start to feel even more empty and then become even more extreme. We are to be salt and light! We are to be a light on a hill that isn’t to be hidden! We are to draw people and point them to God! Let’s be faithful to God that others may see it and praise our Father in heaven! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s take on the position of interceding for the people God has brought into our lives just like how Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me! Let’s stand in the gap! Prayer makes a difference! Worry changes nothing! So be anxious for nothing and pray about everything for prayer changes everything!

So are you feeling that void? Are you looking for something to fill it? Diligently seek God! Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness!

So you really want to be satisfied? Let’s take hold together of these concluding lines from today’s devotional…

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Trust in him. Abide in him. Serve him with all your heart. Live a life of faith. Stay faithful to him and pray faithfully for others. This is the way of true satisfaction. Faith pleases God.

–from Day 316: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s reading from God’s Word closes with the following:

23Again a message came to me from the Lord: 24“Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: In the day of my indignation, you will be like a polluted land, a land without rain. 25Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. 26Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. 27Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! 28And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. 29Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.
30“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

–from Ezekiel 22:23-31

The Adultery of Two Sisters

1This message came to me from the Lord: 2“Son of man, once there were two sisters who were daughters of the same mother. 3They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed men to fondle their breasts. 4The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
5“Then Oholah lusted after other lovers instead of me, and she gave her love to the Assyrian officers. 6They were all attractive young men, captains and commanders dressed in handsome blue, charioteers driving their horses. 7And so she prostituted herself with the most desirable men of Assyria, worshiping their idols and defiling herself. 8For when she left Egypt, she did not leave her spirit of prostitution behind. She was still as lewd as in her youth, when the Egyptians slept with her, fondled her breasts, and used her as a prostitute.
9“And so I handed her over to her Assyrian lovers, whom she desired so much. 10They stripped her, took away her children as their slaves, and then killed her. After she received her punishment, her reputation was known to every woman in the land.
11“Yet even though Oholibah saw what had happened to Oholah, her sister, she followed right in her footsteps. And she was even more depraved, abandoning herself to her lust and prostitution. 12She fawned over all the Assyrian officers—those captains and commanders in handsome uniforms, those charioteers driving their horses—all of them attractive young men. 13I saw the way she was going, defiling herself just like her older sister.
14“Then she carried her prostitution even further. She fell in love with pictures that were painted on a wall—pictures of Babylonian military officers, outfitted in striking red uniforms. 15Handsome belts encircled their waists, and flowing turbans crowned their heads. They were dressed like chariot officers from the land of Babylonia. 16When she saw these paintings, she longed to give herself to them, so she sent messengers to Babylonia to invite them to come to her. 17So they came and committed adultery with her, defiling her in the bed of love. After being defiled, however, she rejected them in disgust.
18“In the same way, I became disgusted with Oholibah and rejected her, just as I had rejected her sister, because she flaunted herself before them and gave herself to satisfy their lusts. 19Yet she turned to even greater prostitution, remembering her youth when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey’s and emissions like those of a horse. 21And so, Oholibah, you relived your former days as a young girl in Egypt, when you first allowed your breasts to be fondled.

The Lord’s Judgment of Oholibah

22“Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will send your lovers against you from every direction—those very nations from which you turned away in disgust. 23For the Babylonians will come with all the Chaldeans from Pekod and Shoa and Koa. And all the Assyrians will come with them—handsome young captains, commanders, chariot officers, and other high-ranking officers, all riding their horses. 24They will all come against you from the north with chariots, wagons, and a great army prepared for attack. They will take up positions on every side, surrounding you with men armed with shields and helmets. And I will hand you over to them for punishment so they can do with you as they please. 25I will turn my jealous anger against you, and they will deal harshly with you. They will cut off your nose and ears, and any survivors will then be slaughtered by the sword. Your children will be taken away as captives, and everything that is left will be burned. 26They will strip you of your beautiful clothes and jewels. 27In this way, I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you brought from Egypt. You will never again cast longing eyes on those things or fondly remember your time in Egypt.
28“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely hand you over to your enemies, to those you loathe, those you rejected. 29They will treat you with hatred and rob you of all you own, leaving you stark naked. The shame of your prostitution will be exposed to all the world. 30You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols. 31Because you have followed in your sister’s footsteps, I will force you to drink the same cup of terror she drank.
32“Yes, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“You will drink from your sister’s cup of terror,
a cup that is large and deep.
It is filled to the brim
with scorn and derision.
33Drunkenness and anguish will fill you,
for your cup is filled to the brim with distress and desolation,
the same cup your sister Samaria drank.
34You will drain that cup of terror
to the very bottom.
Then you will smash it to pieces
and beat your breast in anguish.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!

35“And because you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You must bear the consequences of all your lewdness and prostitution.”

The Lord’s Judgment on Both Sisters

36The Lord said to me, “Son of man, you must accuse Oholah and Oholibah of all their detestable sins. 37They have committed both adultery and murder—adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning as sacrifices the children they bore to me. 38Furthermore, they have defiled my Temple and violated my Sabbath day! 39On the very day that they sacrificed their children to their idols, they boldly came into my Temple to worship! They came in and defiled my house.
40“You sisters sent messengers to distant lands to get men. Then when they arrived, you bathed yourselves, painted your eyelids, and put on your finest jewels for them. 41You sat with them on a beautifully embroidered couch and put my incense and my special oil on a table that was spread before you. 42From your room came the sound of many men carousing. They were lustful men and drunkards from the wilderness, who put bracelets on your wrists and beautiful crowns on your heads. 43Then I said, ‘If they really want to have sex with old worn-out prostitutes like these, let them!’ 44And that is what they did. They had sex with Oholah and Oholibah, these shameless prostitutes. 45But righteous people will judge these sister cities for what they really are—adulterers and murderers.
46“Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring an army against them and hand them over to be terrorized and plundered. 47For their enemies will stone them and kill them with swords. They will butcher their sons and daughters and burn their homes. 48In this way, I will put an end to lewdness and idolatry in the land, and my judgment will be a warning to all women not to follow your wicked example. 49You will be fully repaid for all your prostitution—your worship of idols. Yes, you will suffer the full penalty. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

–from Ezekiel 23

 

 

How do you read the word “content”?


It’s funny that this is the word for today as I put “content?” on my whiteboard at word and asked people how they say it.

Some read it as [ˈkäntent] – which with the fact that we work on content delivery on the website and via email makes sense. I would then ask them if they were sure. Most then said [kənˈtent] – which was what I was going for when I wrote it out.

Let’s consider the definitions…

con·tent
[kənˈtent]

ADJECTIVE
  1. in a state of peaceful happiness:
    “he seemed more content, less bitter”
    synonyms: contented · satisfied · pleased · gratified · fulfilled · happy · cheerful · glad · unworried · untroubled · at ease · at peace · tranquil · serene
    antonyms: discontented · dissatisfied
    • satisfied with a certain level of achievement, good fortune, etc., and not wishing for more:
      “he had to be content with third place” · “the duke was content to act as Regent”
VERB
contents (third person present) · contented (past tense) · contented (past participle) · contenting(present participle)
  1. satisfy (someone):
    “nothing would content her”
    synonyms: satisfy · please · soothe · pacify · placate · appease · mollify
    • (content oneself with)
      accept as adequate despite wanting more or better:
      “we contented ourselves with a few small purchases”
NOUN
  1. a state of satisfaction:
    “the greater part of the century was a time of content”
  2. a member of the British House of Lords who votes for a particular motion.
ORIGIN
late Middle English: via Old French from Latin contentus ‘satisfied,’ past participle of continere (see contain).
con·tent
[ˈkäntent]

NOUN
contents (plural noun) · contents (plural noun)
  1. the things that are held or included in something:
    “he unscrewed the top of the flask and drank the contents” · “he picked up the correspondence and scanned the contents”
    • the amount of a particular constituent occurring in a substance:
      “milk with a low-fat content”
      synonyms: amount · proportion · quantity
    • a list of the titles of chapters or sections contained in a book or periodical:
      “the contents page”
      synonyms: constituents · ingredients · components · elements
    • information made available by a website or other electronic medium:
      “online content providers”
  2. the substance or material dealt with in a speech, literary work, etc., as distinct from its form or style:
    “the outward form and precise content of the messages”
    synonyms: subject matter · subject · theme · argument · thesis · message · thrust · substance · matter · material · text · ideas
ORIGIN
late Middle English: from medieval Latin contentum (plural contenta ‘things contained’), neuter past part. of continere (see contain).

I added a word that I wrote up on my window “contentment”.  There are so many words in the English language which are written the same but unless you have context can be very confusing since they have different meanings or in some cases tenses of the verbs (like “read”).

What is important to you? What is most important in your life? Are you too concerned with stuff that you would give up your life? Are you so concerned with this life that you would miss out on the one to come? What would it take for you to be content no matter what you have? What would it take for you to find or receive or accept contentment? What is your motivation? What is your purpose? What is driving you?

Have you come to that moment of meeting Jesus and realizing that it’s not about religion or rituals but that it is all about having a living relationship with Jesus? God isn’t out there somewhere, He is right here and wanting to be a part of everything in your life! He immanuel God with us! For so many years I had walked out my life knowing there was a God but never realizing that He wanted a relationship with me. It was like going through the motions — more about doing religion and rituals than building a real relationship with God. Even at that one point where I felt Him calling me to go through communion I somehow in and through it all missed out on that important detail. Without it things become about doing good deeds to balance out the bad ones. Without it things become about trying to pay your way into heaven rather than receiving the gift of eternal life through a relationship with Jesus! He paid the price! He paid once for all! He did what nobody else would be able or is able to do! He is the one and only way to eternity with God rather than eternity apart from God! Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior? Have you asked Jesus to be your Lord? Are you living out your life with Him as your best friend and serving Him as your Lord and Savior?

So what will you choose? What is most important to you? Your relationship with God or your stuff?

24“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. –from Matthew 6:24

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make money or have money, that we should have things, but it is about what is the main thing? What is your top priority? What is the motivation for what you do each day? Are you seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then letting God take care of the rest? Are you being a good steward of what God has given you? We need to remember that the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and with that in mind live out this life as good stewards! God wants us to be able to enjoy our lives! He wants us to be able to live our lives with contentment! We need to be leaning into God throughout our lives and our days, no matter the circumstances and situation! We can’t control what comes our way, but we can control how we respond to it! Consider what Paul spoke about his life and how it applies to our word of the “content”:

 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — from Philippians 4

We need to put all our hope in God rather than money and stuff! We need to be putting first things first! As we read in Matthew 6:33 putting God first! We need to take hold of the truth and the power of God’s Word – which is the inspired Word of God! We can’t be selective but we need to draw closer to God in and through it all! Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but that through Him, it would be and could be saved! Ever considered what is said in 1 Timothy 6:17 on the subject of being wealthy?

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. –from 1 Timothy 6:17

We need to be moving closer to God rather than apart from Him! The further society gets from the Bible and God, the more confusion and distortion appears! When you look through history you find the pendulum where society walks to and with God as well as where society walks away from God. Consider what is taking place around the world today! Consider the confusion taking place! Consider the distortion that is taking place! Consider how so many are trying to take God out of the society while at the same time they are wanting better things for their children and the next generation. If you don’t have a solid foundation then you find that whatever you build on it will not be very stable or sturdy. When you build on a solid foundation then you know that you can build something that will last. We should build our lives on the foundation that is Jesus with the cornerstone that will help us keep the building aligned which is Jesus!

When we build our lives on stuff or money then we are on shaky ground and instead of being able to live our lives with a peace we live our lives with worry and fear about our stuff. It creates perpetual insecurity because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring! When we build our lives based on God, His Word, and a relationship with Jesus, we can allow the Holy Spirit to bring us a peace that goes beyond all understanding, a joy unspeakable that we just can’t explain, and a hope for what is yet to come! We know that this life isn’t the end and that we will get to spend eternity with God when this life is over! When troubles come we can take heart because we know that Jesus has already overcome the world! When trials come we can consider it pure joy 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So it isn’t that it is bad to have money and wealth, it is just an issue of what is first! Some have been blessed with wealth in order to fund the things of God and to bless the needy. Today’s devotional speaks to this as follows:

He does not command them to give all their money away, but not to put their hope in it. If you get your attitude towards money sorted out, it will help sort out almost every other area of your life. Paul gives five ways to sort out our attitude to money (vv.17–18):

  • Don’t be full of yourself
    One of the dangers attached to wealth is arrogance: ‘Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves’ (v.17, MSG).
  • Don’t put your security in wealth
    ‘We enter the world penniless and we will leave it penniless’ (v.7, MSG). Wealth provides only a false security. ‘Quit… being so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow’ (v.17, MSG). The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.
  • Put God first
    Put your hope in God, who richly provides you with everything for your enjoyment (v.17). There is nothing wrong with enjoying the good things of life. God provides all good things for our enjoyment. But recognise that it all comes from him and it all belongs to him.
  • Do all the good you can
    Paul urges the wealthy to ‘do good’ and to ‘be rich in helping others’ (v.18, MSG). Don’t focus on how much money you can make, but how much good you can do. It is possible to be materially rich but spiritually poor. Equally it is possible to be materially poor but ‘rich in good deeds’ (v.18).
  • Share your resources

    John Wesley said, ‘When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.’ Generosity is the way to break the hold of money in our lives. ‘Be extravagantly generous’ (v.18, MSG).

— from Day 294: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s devotional closed with the following truth and so I am including it and sharing it with you here:

Ultimately, contentment only comes from putting your hope in God: ‘godliness with contentment is great gain’. The promise of God’s word is that those who ‘put their hope in God’ (v.17) find ‘a firm foundation’ and ‘take hold of the life that is truly life’ (v.19). — from Day 294: Bible In One Year 2017


Living Content

Day 294: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Hope in God’s word and invest your time in it … Psalm 119:73-80
  2. Hope in God and not in wealth … 1 Timothy 6:3-21
  3. Hope in the Lord and not in powerful people … Jeremiah 46:1-47:7

Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from: