What are you in need of renewing?


First Tuesday of 2022, a year that has kicked off with a theme of THRIVE, a day that has kicked off with the theme of renewal, and the importance of planting lots of seeds and knowing that they are good seeds because whatever you sow you will also reap.

In the beginning, God wanted to make sure we understood the importance of seeds and so on the third day:

‘Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. ‘

Genesis 1:11-13

God’s Word speaks to the impact of knowing what you are sowing and how it will make a difference:

‘Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. ‘

Proverbs 22:8

‘Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated— as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. ‘

Hosea 10:12-14

So let’s consider as we reach the 4th day of this new year what seeds we have, what seeds we sow, how we will sow, and what it will mean in terms of what we will reap.

‘ “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ‘

Luke 6:37-38

‘ “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ‘

Luke 6:43-45

‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. ‘

Galatians 6:7

‘Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.’

Psalms 126:5-6

God also demonstrated His love by sowing in order to bring salvation to this world, taking things into His own hands because He knew we were unable to take care of it on our own and so He sowed once it has caused an eternal harvest! So will you receive this seed and plant such faith into your life and the world around you?

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ‘

John 3:16-18

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 4 – Putting Up the Bumpers


So are you ready for renewal? Are you ready to turn to God and ask Him to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you? Are you ready to do something different and not conform to the ways of this world but instead ask God to transform you by the renewing of your mind, the testing of your faith to build discernment of what is good, acceptable, and perfect? Are you ready to wait on the Lord in order to have your strength renewed so that you can walk out this life without fainting and run and not grow weary? So let’s receive Jesus and accept Him into our lives today, putting on our new self that is being renewed in the knowledge of God, our creator!

Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen

Now let’s renew ourselves by reading the Lord’s Prayer:

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us . And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Did you hear about that “new” thing? Do you realize how much history repeats and how not much new happens?


If it’s news does it make it new? Nope. If it is portrayed as different does it make it new? Nope? What’s new? Let’s see what the dictionary has to say:

Definition of New from Oxford Dictionary per bing.com

https://www.bing.com/search?q=define%20new&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=define%20&sc=8-7&sk=&cvid=93F0577EC5CB4883B1A69FB6FFC5EEC7
Oxford Dictionary definition of New

Because it looks different the next time, it gets called new. Because it feels different the next time, it gets called new. Because it sounds different the next time, it gets called new. Because it tastes different the next time, it gets called new. Because it smells different the next time, it gets called new. But is it really new?

How do you respond to what others are considering new? How do you react to what others are considering new? Ever heard the quote about history by George Santayana?

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

George Santayana

Ever heard other similar quotes?

  • Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. — Edmund Burke
  • Learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it. — Jesse Ventura
  • He who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it. — Pittacus Lore
  • The philosopher and historian George Santayana once remarked that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. A perusal of some of the essays will reveal that this is not always true. In some cases psychologists have known about mistakes of the past and sought to repeat them. But the recurrence can sometimes be fruitful: going round in circles can be a good thing, provided the circle is large that when one returns to the task one sees it in a new light and the error brings new insights. — Noel Sheehy

So is it new or is it history? Is it a repetition because we didn’t know or is someone pulling the strings in order to force something to repeat? This past year our church went through the book of Acts and there were so many things that mirrored what is going on in society today, thousands of years later. Ever considered that there might be a book that can help you navigate through life, even if it seems new? Ever considered the information you could pull from the lessons taught through the Bible? Might you consider starting your journey into the Bible today? Consider insights like Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 which says:

‘I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. ‘

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Consider insights like Esther 4:14 which says:

‘For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?” ‘

Esther 4:14

Consider insights like Genesis 45:5-8 which says:

‘Now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to save life and preserve our family. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five more years in which there will be no plowing and harvesting. God sent me [to Egypt] ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on the earth, and to keep you alive by a great escape. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. ‘

Genesis 45:5-8

Consider insights like Psalms 13:1 which says:

‘How long, O Lord ? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? ‘

Psalms 13:1

So are you ready to experience something old in a new way? Are you ready to look at something old in a new way? Are you ready for today? It’s a new day! Are you ready for today? It’s a new work week! Are you ready for today? Will look at it in a new way?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 18th


Qué Será, Será


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.’

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Let’s take a bigger view at what Solomon is saying about life. Let’s dig a bit deeper by using the Amplified version with additional context from verses around this one.

‘The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “Vanity of vanities! All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity [futile, meaningless—a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind].” What advantage does man have from all his work Which he does under the sun (while earthbound)? One generation goes and another generation comes, But the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hurries to the place where it rises again. The wind blows toward the south, Then circles toward the north; The wind circles and swirls endlessly, And on its circular course the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again. All things are wearisome and all words are frail; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be [again], And that which has been done is that which will be done again. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it can be said, “See this, it is new”? It has already existed for [the vast] ages [of time recorded or unrecorded] Which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things, Nor also of the later things that are to come; There will be for them no remembrance By generations who will come after them. ‘

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever taken time to absorb the wisdom God had given to Solomon?
  • Ever taken time to consider the lessons God provides us through the wisdom He gave Solomon?
  • Ever considered the benefits of constancy in the world, the universe, and life?
  • Ever taken things for granted because of that constancy?
  • Ever taken for granted the patterns of life like days, weeks, seasons, and years?
  • Ever taken for granted directions like up, down, left, right?
  • Ever taken hold of the benefits of constancy?
  • Do you find constancy and consistency boring?
  • Do you appreciate the constancy of life as a gift from God?
  • Do you appreciate the constancy of life because it allows you to live your life without worry or fear thanks to God?
  • With things that come into our lives, have you considered how much of it remains constant?
  • Do you appreciate the stability that is life?
  • Do you appreciate the stability and constancy of life that keeps you from needing to spend too much energy on living or surviving?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things that can make a difference in the lives of others?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things that can care for others?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things and taking risks that will allow you to accomplish greater things for God?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things you appreciated about God’s gift of constancy?
  • How can you use the security of constancy to focus your energies on things that matter?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“One cure for boredom is to forget yourself through activities which bring you in touch with people and ideas outside yourself.”

Blanche McKeown

So where are you at today? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and your heart? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take?


What are you going through today? Are you on a treadmill of experiences? Are you feeling like you are on a hamster wheel? Are you trying to find a way out or a way off? Are you ready for something new? Are you ready for a change? Are you wondering which way to turn? Are you wondering what it would take? Could today be your day for things to become new? Could today be your day to get off the treadmill of life? Could today be your day to stop going round and round in the hamster wheel? What is it going to take for you to get sick and tired of being sick and tired and grab a hold of something new? Would it take an act of God? Would it take a vision of heaven? Would it take a dream of the next step? Would it take a God given purpose that would make a difference? What’s it going to take? Would it require that everything change?

Person running on a hamster wheel

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 3rd


All Things New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”’

Revelation 21:4-5

Let’s take a moment and gather a bit more context from the chapter using the Amplified version:

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [ as their God, ] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ‘

Revelation 21:1-8

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your views on eternity?
  • Do you wonder what life after death is like?
  • Do you have a desire, interest, curiosity about about the afterlife?
  • Do you realize that God put a desire in our hearts for eternity?
    • ‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. ‘
      Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • Do you feel like there is life after death?
  • Do you feel like there is more than just what we experience in our lives?
  • Do you realize you aren’t alone in that feeling because people from every culture and in every age have tried to identify what it might be like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation in order to learn about what heaven is like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation and felt like the return of Jesus is getting closer?
  • I know when I started my reading of God’s Word in conjunction with this blog that is how I felt and also how come this blog has the name it does. I started in 2005 and the book of Revelation is how I got the “to eternity” part, hence From 2005 to Eternity!
  • Are you ready for the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you looking forward to the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every pain will be comforted?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every tear will be dried?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all of the confusion, doubt, and heartache will pass away?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when bitterness, resentment, and strains of every kind and in every relationship will vanish?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all things will be made new?
  • From God’s Word what do you think are some assumptions we can make about heaven?
  • Things that bring us joy will be amplified?
  • Love, affirmation, understanding, and encouragement will thrill us because they won’t be tainted by selfishness?
  • Laughter will be more heartily than ever before?
  • We will worship God more effectively and wholeheartedly?
  • All the things that cause pain, suffering, anxiety will vanish in the light of God’s love!
  • Are you looking forward to getting spend eternity with God?
  • Are you looking forward to being in heaven with God?
  • Are you looking forward as those who had been oppressed in the past?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were slaves had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were poor and desolate had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were sick and disabled had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were prisoners had done in history?
  • Or is life ok, going well for you and you are still looking forward to spending eternity with God in heaven knowing that it will even be better?
  • Not sure? Why not take some time today to consider and meditate on it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you think heaven will be different from your life now?
  • What do you look forward to most?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.”

—  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 25 (God knows! even those things that incapable of being fully explored or understood)
  • Proverbs 26 (Understand the season, the reason, the purpose)
  • Proverbs 27 (Don’t brad! Don’t fill yourself up! Don’t be prideful! Instead be wise)

So where are you at today? Are you at a crossroad on which you need to make a decision? Are you at a turning point where you need to decide to move forward to turnaround? Are you ready to step off the wheel and start pursuing your God given purpose? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Does your reputation need a rebrand?


When you think about your reputation what comes to mind? What do people believe about you? What do people think about you? What habits do they believe you have? What characteristics do they believe you have? Does it line up with who you want to be? Does it align with who God wants you to be? Does it align with who God says you are? Do you need your reputation to be rebranded? refreshed? renewed? refined?

Who does God say you are?

‘ For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.’ — John 3:16

you are loved!

‘ SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.’ — 1 John 3:1

you are His!

‘ The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.’ — Zephaniah 3:17

you are worthy!

‘ For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.’ — Jeremiah 29:11

you are purposed!

‘ In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,’ — Ephesians 1:7

you are redeemed!

So will you decide to live up to your calling? Will you decide to live up to your purpose? Will you decide to live up to your worth? Will you decide to live up to being a child of God? Will you decide to live like you are redeemed? The decision is yours? Are you being a reflection of Jesus to the world around you? Are you being Jesus with skin on to the people God brings across your path? Are you being His hands, His feet, His arms? Or do you need a reset so that you can rebrand and refine your reputation?


today’s devotional…


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 14th


Refining your Reputation


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a man is valued by what others say of him.’

Proverbs 27:21

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Has your reputation ever been unfairly tarnished?
  • Was it caused by gossip or manipulation?
  • When you consider what the majority of the people think though, what does your reputation look like?
  • When you contemplate the reality of your reputation is it a good thing or a bad thing?
  • What is the general opinion about you point to?
  • Is it going to take some heat and refining to get you to the next level?
  • Is it going to take some removal of some pieces like the dross and sludge that is removed as part of the precious metal refining process?
  • Let’s allow other people’s opinion of us be the fire that will help the impurities float to the top so that they can be skimmed off gradually!
  • Let’s allow the noble things to stay and the selfish things to be removed!
  • Let’s allow the good things to stay and the bad things to be removed!
  • Let’s be wise to evaluate the feedback, the reports, the messages about us by accepting them and implementing a change process to get better! (ex. Be more assertive)
  • Let’s allow the fire to complete the purification process rather than trying to be removed from the fire by using excuses or the blame game and miss out on the lessons we can learn and benefits from the criticism.
  • A good reputation takes time to earn!
  • Let’s pay attention to other’s opinion of us!
  • Let’s make sure to way everyone’s opinion though and not get tripped up by bad intentions or motives!
  • Look for wise people to give you feedback!
  • Consider discounting the value (don’t take at full value) the feedback of gossips, angry, bitter or even those who are trying to use flattery to manipulate you.
  • Stay in the heat! Learn the lessons! Let God us the fire to purify your heart!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you respond to criticism?
  • Depends…
  • sometime try to come up with justification or excuses
  • sometimes try to explain or reject
  • when it is from someone I trust, I take it to heart for real consideration
Who are the people you trust to tell you the truth?
  • Wife
  • Friend
  • Many of my managers

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“To disregard what the world thinks of us is not only arrogant but utterly shameless.”

Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43BC)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So who can you trust to get a real evaluation? Who can you ask for real feedback? How will you choose to respond? How will you be transformed? How will you be refined? How will you be renewed? How will you be rebranded? Might it take some humility and grace? Might it take some apologies and forgiveness? Might it take deciding and taking a stand?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Thankful this New Year’s Eve!


Has this been a fun year? No. Has this been an enjoyable year? No. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been troubles? Yes. Have there been challenges? Yes. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been shake ups and shake downs to try to destabilize me? Yes. Have the challenges and the struggles slowed down or stopped? Nope. Even as I sit here on the eve of a new year, there are many open questions for what is yet to come.

But in the midst of all that there has been so much to be thankful for this new year’s eve that will start my second semi-centennial. I got more time to be with my family as so much of the world shutdown for a while. My wife and I started a routine of reading a devotional and then praying for each other each night after dinner. God’s opened up new doors of communication where I am able to speak to people from around the country and around the world. God’s opened doors for me to have conversations most mornings with other men and share life together. God’s even opened the door for me to be able to connect and pour into on evening a week too. God has provided for the needs of my family. God has protected my family as they come and go. God is love! God is light! My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’s blood and righteousness! My faith allows me to know this is not the end but as each day goes by it draws us closer to His return. I have learned the importance of love! I have learned how important it is to allow God’s love to fill me up in order that I can overflow into the world around me. There are so many things to be thankful for!

I continue to learn from the lessons of the past in order to press forward towards the prize which Jesus has prepared and put before me. I continue to celebrate all that God has done and continues to do to help me through each day. I continue to lean on Him rather than my own understanding so that I won’t be in despair from the attacks of the enemy. I continue to pray believing for God’s wisdom and discernment so that the Holy Spirit can be my comforter and my guide, leading me through each day.

Happy New Year’s Eve of my second semicentennial!


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Philippians 4:13 and says:

13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

— Philippians 4:13

With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? T-1 day till we will have October in the rearview mirror. T-1 day till a semicentennial will be in the rearview mirror. It is interesting to consider the first 30 against the last 20 and all that has taken place in the last 20 with God as the focal point, as the center, so that the chord of with Him in the middle has been so much stronger in helping me in and through life. How in the last 20 I have seen lives transformed including my own. I have seen incredible children grow up into incredible human beings who love God and serve people. How God was able to speak to me daily through His Word about where I am at, not to give up, and press in and press on for the glory of His kingdom. They say hindsight is 2020 and it has revealed to me that I still have more to learn and more growing to do. It has revealed to me the importance of have God at the center of the house and the impact it makes not only in my hope but beyond as it extends to work, to the community, to the next generation. So as I reflect on the past, I am excited for the future because I know that God is in control and that He will give me strength to complete the good works He has prepared in advance for me to accomplish. So let’s learn form the past and press forward today! Let’s make the most of today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do know that today will be more than enough to deal with.

The 49 week challenge
Day 304

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 304 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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


Today’s reading
from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:

My Notes:

  • ‘Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’ — 2 Peter 3:1-18
  • ‘Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down. Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record? Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord , whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.’ — Psalms 56:1-13
  • ‘“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord . Therefore this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord . “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord . “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord . “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord . They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord , “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord . “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord . “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord . “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord , “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? “Therefore,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord . “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord . “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord ?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord .’ If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ I will punish them and their household. This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord ’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord .’ Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”’ — Jeremiah 23:1-40
  • ‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people. During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile. While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it. Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the Israelites.” So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched. In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, did not the Israelites, that rebellious people, ask you, ‘What are you doing?’ “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This prophecy concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites who are there.’ Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you.’ “As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives. “The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he will die. I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will pursue them with drawn sword. “They will know that I am the Lord , when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they will know that I am the Lord .” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your water. Say to the people of the land: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about those living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because of the violence of all who live there. The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’? Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ”’ — Ezekiel 12:1-28

As day 304 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

It’s new but is it better? Is it really new? Is it just different?


Ever heard that there is nothing new under the Sun? Ever heard people try to reformulate something and then put it out there as new? Is it new? Is it better? Is it different? What impact is the change supposed to make? What improvement is the change supposed to make? Who will benefit? How will they benefit? Will it be real or just a perception? Will it be truth or an illusion? Will it make things better in the long run? Will it help the group? Will it help the customers? When we consider the who, what, where, when, why, and how elements can we answer them and understand them? So how should you respond? How will you respond? How much time should you give it before you need to make a decision or act? Where will you turn for such wisdom and guidance? Do you have a source you can depend on that is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Will you share your hope with those around you who may struggle? Will you share your joy with those around you who may need it? Will you share the love of God with everyone so that you can be the difference and make a difference? Are you ready for a transformation?


Day 59: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 59 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 59 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

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

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Ever heard of the word TRANSFIGURED? It means to transform into something more beautiful or elevated. It means to transform outwardly and usually for the better.
  • Ever read of a case where someone was transfigured?
  • Can you imagine the response or reaction to being present when someone is transfigured?
  • What would you response be to a loud, deep, booming voice without someone visible to have said it? I know for me it shocked me, it surprised me, it made me look all around and realize there was nobody else in the room.
  • Would it take a still quiet voice to get your attention and response or does it need to be loud?
  • Will you choose to respond out of faith or out of fear?
  • Will you decided to do it when you are prompted by the Spirit in a still quiet voice?
  • Are you getting prepared before you start your day so that you are ready to respond and accomplish the will of God in and through your life?
  • Do you have faith? Even just a little bit of faith? Will you choose to believe?
  • Will you trust God to provide? Will you trust God that when He calls you too it, He will provide and get you through it?
  • What needs to die for something better to live?
  • Consider how a seed needs to go into the ground and die for the plant to grow and produce more.
  • Will you allow God to get the glory through the good and bad times?
  • Will you praise God when He takes what the enemy planned for evil and used it for good?
  • Will you trust God enough that even when you look or feel cornered?
  • Will you trust God enough that you won’t fear and you won’t worry?
  • Imagine the miracle when God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!
  • God goes before you preparing the good works He has planned for you!
  • God goes behind you to protect you as you move forward after His plan and His will.
  • Imagine finding the Egyptian’s stuff at the bottom of the Red Sea
  • God will use those in authority over you for His glory! The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord!

As day 59 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

It’s a new day!


Up and at ’em. Dressed and ready to go. But before I can get my day started I need God’s Word and wisdom. I need to get prepared and the best way I have found to make that happen is to jump into God’s Word which provides with wisdom and discernment to get my day started. It helps bring questions and curiosities to the surface and answers and revelations to help me get ready for today. God’s Words never returns void!


Day 41: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge
– Day 41 —


Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 41 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


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


My Notes:

  • Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Be aware of the hearts of the people around you!
  • Be aware that some may be hard and so may not be receptive to you and will require time and effort to build a real relationship of love and trust in order for them to be able to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be sharp and so need to tread carefully to that neither of you get hurt, it will require that you tread carefully and remove the sharp edges in order to provide room and space for water to go and the seeds to be planted before they will be ready and available to receive the see of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be filled with thorns and require much more careful and sensitive behaviors, it may require approaching the situation with gloves to protect yourself and still be able to show you care as you pull out the thorns and allow for the sun, the water, and the seed to come in and take root in order for them to be ready and willing to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Some may be ready and have their hearts in a situation to receive the Good News and be saved.
  • In any of these cases we need to be prepared.
  • In any of these cases we need to be willing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in order to know how to act, respond, and engage.
  • Let’s allow our lights to shine into this dark world.
  • Let’s not allow fear or worry or doubt to turn or hide our lights.
  • Let’s take hold of God’s Word and put it into practice.
  • No matter the storm that comes our way, let’s pray and trust Jesus who can calm the storm or calm our hearts in the midst of the storm.
  • Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of restoration! Let’s do it because the redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We each have a part to play!
  • We each have something to carry!
  • Let’s be prepared for this new day and allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!
  • Trust in God’s timing! He is never late! rarely early! always on time!
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to engage you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to transform you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to direct you?
  • Let’s live out today glorifying God as living sacrifices!
  • Be prepared for the call of the Lord!
  • Be the one who can answer God’s call He has for you.
  • God has sent the Holy Spirit to give us power to accomplish His purpose, will you be prepared and willing to do what He asks of you?
  • Don’t allow nature or man to cause fear in your heart!
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind!
  • Believe the Lord!
  • Believe the Word of God!
  • Take hold of the promises of Isaiah about Jesus

‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’

Isaiah 53
  • We learn even that back then God was preparing people for the arrival of Jesus!
  • Praise God!
  • Trust God’s timing!
  • Trust God’s plan!
  • Trust God’s purpose!
  • Be prepared for what He will ask of you today!
  • Be bold and courageous for what comes your way!
  • Fear not, Just Believe!

As day 41 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

Are you tired?


Long day? Late night? Early morning? All of the above? Do you realize how it impacts you? How it impacts you physically? How it impacts you emotionally? How it impacts you mentally? How it impacts your ability to be patient? How it impacts your memory? How it impacts your ability to concentrate? How it impacts your mood changes? How it impacts your focus? How it impacts your immune system? How it impacts your blood pressure? How it impacts your sugar levels? How it impacts your weight? How it impacts your heart? How it impacts your balance?

They say that knowing is part of the solution. Don’t deny it, realize it so that you can manage your day. If you are too tired, you probably should be going back to bed.

We need to consider our schedules. We can’t burn the candle at both ends too long or it will impact your life. If you are up early and out late and then put in a hard day in the middle, it is almost like you are burning the candle on all four ends (burning in the middle). I learned the hard way when my diabetes had gone out of whack many years back. I learned the importance of prioritization. I learned the importance of healthy boundaries. I learned the importance of delegation. So before it is too late, check out what is going on to ensure you stay healthy with the right balance and boundaries.


How can you focus and set things in perspective? Let’s turn to trusting God and lean on His Word rather than our own understanding! Will you renew your strength by putting your hope in God?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Are you tired? What will you do about it? How will you handle it?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 4
  • Ezekiel 45
  • Acts 23:23-35
  • Revelation 17:1-10
  • Psalms 137

What would you do to find rest? What would you do to stand strong?

5Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

7Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8For you, LORD, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:7-9

How will you respond to when you are tired? How will you respond when others are tired? Will you put a plan into action to support and protect them? Will you set healthy boundaries? Will you enable them to be ready?

Will you divide things up in a way that supports good balance and health?

Will you make sure that the portions can be supported and balanced out?

Will you consider the impact on your actions? Will you consider the impact of your behavior? Will you adjust with the knowledge you have to make it be better?

Will you lean harder on God and put your hope in Him?

Will you make sure you are drinking enough water and eating healthy food?

Will you support those around you? Will you setup a safety boundary?

Don’t fall into sin because you are tired. Don’t be fooled because you are tired. Don’t get tripped up because you are tired. Don’t do things that will be hurtful or harmful to you and to others.

We need to have a mind with understanding. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment.

Renew your mind. Renew your spirit. Renew your hope. Renew your faith. Renew your strength.


So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

What does it take to get refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated?


Consider the desert land around you and turn to God and cry out to Jesus for living water that never runs dry and will refresh you. In the midst of life and the hustle and bustle, are you willing to wait upon the Lord and be renewed? How will you prioritize living in a way that will make you leave the past where it belongs behind you and enjoy the present while pressing forward , rejuvenated in the power of God?

Will you take time to hear from God through His Word and be filled up? Will you take time to build and enhance your relationship with your spouse? Will you take time to pour out love on your kids and extended family? Will you invite Jesus into your life so that you can live eternally filled with living water that never runs dry? Will you invite the Holy Spirit into your everyday, every moment in order to be renewed and filled with wisdom and discernment in every situation? Will you invite the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide? Will you take time to wait upon the Lord so that you Anne refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated?


What does it take to get refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Ezra 9
  • Ezekiel 39:25-29
  • Ezekiel 40
  • Act 22:12-21
  • Revelation 14:14-20
  • Psalms 133

Do you see what has taken place? Do you see the spiritual desert? Do you see the biblical illiteracy? What can be done to help the people? What can be done to help the know of this love letter from God the Father? The Bible is so powerful, it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Will you use the Word of God to help teach what is true and realize what is wrong in our lives, correct when you are wrong, and teach us what is right?

Will you surrender your life and your situation up to God and be prepared to hear from and listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks?

Will you walk in the joy of the Lord, seeking His face and His will for you and your life?

Will you look with your eyes and hear with your ears and set your heart and your mind on all that God has for you? Will you share it so that others will also know the great love of our God?

If God says to go, will you go? If God says to stay will you stay? If God says to wait will you wait?

Will you be a part of the harvest of the righteous through Jesus or will you be a part of the harvest of the ripe for judgement and the wine press of God’s wrath?

“Then another angel came from the Temple and shouted to the one sitting on the cloud, “Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe.” So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the whole earth was harvested. After that, another angel came from the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, who had power to destroy with fire, came from the altar. He shouted to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sickle now to gather the clusters of grapes from the vines of the earth, for they are ripe for judgment.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath. The grapes were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle.”

Revelation‬ ‭14:15-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Will you choose to live in harmony with your brothers and sisters? Do you realize how precious harmony is? Do you realize how refreshing harmony is? Are you ready to receive the blessings of God even unto life everlasting?


So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

Are you ready to start over and rebuild?


Ever noticed how much things change in life? Ever noticed things can’t stay the same because things happen? Growth triggers change. Plans trigger change. People trigger change. Responses trigger change. Actions trigger change. What about when a new structure is required? That triggers change too. Reorgs trigger change. Repentance triggers change. Salvation triggers change. Receiving Jesus into your heart triggers change. Bad decisions trigger change. Bad responses trigger change. Forgiveness triggers change. Grace triggers change. So what type of change are you facing? If instead of change people used the word renew would that change the perception of change?


Are you ready to start over and
rebuild things a new way?


Let’s turn to God’s Word and see what it has to say in our daily reading as part of Day 290 of Read the Bible for Life 4 + 1 Plan.

Today’s reading gets us started with Ezra 3:

‘In early autumn, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose. Then Jeshua son of Jehozadak joined his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his family in rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel. They wanted to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, as instructed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening. They celebrated the Festival of Shelters as prescribed in the Law, sacrificing the number of burnt offerings specified for each day of the festival. They also offered the regular burnt offerings and the offerings required for the new moon celebrations and the annual festivals as prescribed by the Lord . The people also gave voluntary offerings to the Lord . Fifteen days before the Festival of Shelters began, the priests had begun to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord . This was even before they had started to lay the foundation of the Lord ’s Temple. Then the people hired masons and carpenters and bought cedar logs from the people of Tyre and Sidon, paying them with food, wine, and olive oil. The logs were brought down from the Lebanon mountains and floated along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa, for King Cyrus had given permission for this. The construction of the Temple of God began in midspring, during the second year after they arrived in Jerusalem. The work force was made up of everyone who had returned from exile, including Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jehozadak and his fellow priests, and all the Levites. The Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of rebuilding the Lord ’s Temple. The workers at the Temple of God were supervised by Jeshua with his sons and relatives, and Kadmiel and his sons, all descendants of Hodaviah. They were helped in this task by the Levites of the family of Henadad. When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord ’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord , just as King David had prescribed. With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord : “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord ’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.’

Ezra 3:1-13

Will you change in a way that will bring joy to God? Will you change in a way that will rebuild the foundation on which you build your life? Will you set Jesus as your foundation and your cornerstone to help ensure you are aligned and on solid ground?

Today’s reading continues into Ezekiel 33:

‘Once again a message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’ “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord , I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live. “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live. O people of Israel, you are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right.’ But I judge each of you according to your deeds.” On January 8, during the twelfth year of our captivity, a survivor from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has fallen!” The previous evening the Lord had taken hold of me and given me back my voice. So I was able to speak when this man arrived the next morning. Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours? Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’ “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die by the sword. And I will send wild animals to eat those living in the open fields. Those hiding in the forts and caves will die of disease. I will completely destroy the land and demolish her pride. Her arrogant power will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate that no one will even travel through them. When I have completely destroyed the land because of their detestable sins, then they will know that I am the Lord .’ “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the Lord is saying!’ So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”’

Ezekiel 33:1-33

Will you only change if the change is for the good? Will you only change if the change is in alignment with God’s Word, wisdom, and discernment? Will you change in a way that will bless God and benefit people demonstrating your love of God and love of your neighbors?

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament with Acts 20:

‘But when we landed at Miletus, he sent a message to the elders of the church at Ephesus, asking them to come and meet him. When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus. “And now I am bound by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. I don’t know what awaits me, except that the Holy Spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. “And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood —over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you. “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself. “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. They all cried as they embraced and kissed him good-bye. They were sad most of all because he had said that they would never see him again. Then they escorted him down to the ship.’

Acts of the Apostles 20:17-38

Will you be an agent of change for the better? Will you point people to repent and turn back to God? Will you point people to Jesus so that they can be changed and saved? Will you point people to Jesus so that they can be transformed with the old being gone and the new having coming? Will you share the love of Jesus so that others too may be transformed and saved?

Today’s reading continues into Revelation 12:

‘Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time. Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.’

Revelation 12:7-17

Will you be ready for the change that will come when upon Jesus’s return? Will you have to deal with the change of people vanishing and being left behind or will you change first and be taken with that first group? Will you have to decide to follow Jesus and be changed after the first group in order that you won’t have to deal with the eternal pit? Will you choose to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Will you choose to spend eternity with God or will you have to deal with the same consequences of the devil?

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 128:

‘How joyful are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord ’s blessing for those who fear him. May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!’

Psalms 128:1-6

So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpases all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejocie with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

Do you take time to stop?


Do you make sure you get rest? Do you set apart time to stop? Do you have time to do a reset and be refreshed? Is there a day you set aside to stop and focus? Is there a day you set aside to wait and listen? If not, how is that working for you? If not are you feeling tired? If not, do you know or realize what you are missing? Ever considered how important God says it is? Ever considered the purpose rather than the legality of it all when Jesus speaks of it? What does rest look like to you? What does stopping mean to you? How do you go about getting refreshed and renewed? Do you take time to stop?


Today’s reading gets us started in Exodus 35.

‘Then Moses called together the whole community of Israel and told them, “These are the instructions the Lord has commanded you to follow. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord . Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. You must not even light a fire in any of your homes on the Sabbath.”

Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Take a sacred offering for the Lord . Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the Lord : gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. “Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen. Construct everything that the Lord has commanded: the Tabernacle and its sacred tent, its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases; the Ark and its carrying poles; the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; the inner curtain to shield the Ark; the table, its carrying poles, and all its utensils; the Bread of the Presence; for light, the lampstand, its accessories, the lamp cups, and the olive oil for lighting; the incense altar and its carrying poles; the anointing oil and fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the Tabernacle; the altar of burnt offering; the bronze grating of the altar and its carrying poles and utensils; the washbasin with its stand; the curtains for the walls of the courtyard; the posts and their bases; the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; the tent pegs of the Tabernacle and courtyard and their ropes; the beautifully stitched garments for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests.” So the whole community of Israel left Moses and returned to their tents. All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord . They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle, for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments. Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the Lord . All those who owned the following items willingly brought them: blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; and tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather. And all who had silver and bronze objects gave them as a sacred offering to the Lord . And those who had acacia wood brought it for use in the project. All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen cloth. All the women who were willing used their skills to spin the goat hair into yarn. The leaders brought onyx stones and the special gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. They also brought spices and olive oil for the light, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense. So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord .’

Exodus 35:1-29

Today’s reading next takes us into the book of Job where we start in Job 29.

‘Job continued speaking: “I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. My steps were awash in cream, and the rocks gushed olive oil for me. “Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths. The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect. “All who heard me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me. For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy. Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and plucked their victims from their teeth. “I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life. For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew. New honors are constantly bestowed on me, and my strength is continually renewed.’ “Everyone listened to my advice. They were silent as they waited for me to speak. And after I spoke, they had nothing to add, for my counsel satisfied them. They longed for me to speak as people long for rain. They drank my words like a refreshing spring rain. When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. Like a chief, I told them what to do. I lived like a king among his troops and comforted those who mourned.’

Job 29

Today’s reading continues into Job 30.

‘“But now I am mocked by people younger than I, by young men whose fathers are not worthy to run with my sheepdogs. A lot of good they are to me— those worn-out wretches! They are gaunt from poverty and hunger. They claw the dry ground in desolate wastelands. They pluck wild greens from among the bushes and eat from the roots of broom trees. They are driven from human society, and people shout at them as if they were thieves. So now they live in frightening ravines, in caves and among the rocks. They sound like animals howling among the bushes, huddled together beneath the nettles. They are nameless fools, outcasts from society. “And now they mock me with vulgar songs! They taunt me! They despise me and won’t come near me, except to spit in my face. For God has cut my bowstring. He has humbled me, so they have thrown off all restraint. These outcasts oppose me to my face. They send me sprawling and lay traps in my path. They block my road and do everything they can to destroy me. They know I have no one to help me. They come at me from all directions. They jump on me when I am down. I live in terror now. My honor has blown away in the wind, and my prosperity has vanished like a cloud. “And now my life seeps away. Depression haunts my days. At night my bones are filled with pain, which gnaws at me relentlessly. With a strong hand, God grabs my shirt. He grips me by the collar of my coat. He has thrown me into the mud. I’m nothing more than dust and ashes. “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look. You have become cruel toward me. You use your power to persecute me. You throw me into the whirlwind and destroy me in the storm. And I know you are sending me to my death— the destination of all who live. “Surely no one would turn against the needy when they cry for help in their trouble. Did I not weep for those in trouble? Was I not deeply grieved for the needy? So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell. My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me. I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help. Instead, I am considered a brother to jackals and a companion to owls. My skin has turned dark, and my bones burn with fever. My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep.’

Job 30

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Mark 5.

‘Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.’

Mark 5:21-43

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 11.

‘But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized! When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this! For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.#11:24 Greek which is for you; other manuscripts read which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.’

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Today’s reading concludes with a psalm. Today’s psalm as we stop and meditate on today’s Word from God comes to us in Psalms 65.

‘What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple. You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy. You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so. You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!’

Psalms 65

TEL AVIV FOUNDERS MONUMENT…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 15])


New beginnings! New creations! New start! Are you needing one? Are you looking for one? Are you starting one? Are you ready for one? Ready for mourning to be turned to joy? Are you ready for grace? Are you ready to lean on that true, everlasting love? How will you respond? How will you celebrate? How will commemorate it? Are you ready for things to get straightened out? Are you ready to return to God, God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s purpose? Will you share your story? Will you share your testimony? Will you tell others of how God has touched, rescued, and transformed your life? Will you share that hope that is within you? Are you ready to have a covenant with God by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Will you welcome the Holy Spirit so that the law will be within you, written on your heart?

Today’s reading comes to us from Jeremiah 31

The Lord Will Turn Mourning to Joy

1″At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

2 Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
3 the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5 Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6 For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.'”
7 For thus says the Lord:
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
‘O Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9 With weeping they shall come,
and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
I will make them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
and they shall languish no more.
13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares the Lord.”
15 Thus says the Lord:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future,
declares the Lord,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
18 I have heard Ephraim grieving,
‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined,
like an untrained calf;
bring me back that I may be restored,
for you are the Lord my God.
19 For after I had turned away, I relented,
and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh;
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
20 Is Ephraim my dear son?
Is he my darling child?
For as often as I speak against him,
I do remember him still.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
I will surely have mercy on him,
declares the Lord.
21 “Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
consider well the highway,
the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.
22 How long will you waver,
O faithless daughter?
For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth:
a woman encircles a man.”

23Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes:

“‘The Lord bless you, O habitation of righteousness,
O holy hill!’

24And Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks. 25For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
26At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.
27″Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord. 29In those days they shall no longer say:

“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

The New Covenant

31″Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

35 Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name:
36 “If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the Lord,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”
37 Thus says the Lord:
“If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done,
declares the Lord.”

38″Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 39And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. 40The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”

from Jeremiah 31

June 15 - Isaiah 31_4 - Tel Aviv Founders Monument - Family Names list

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on our theme of the Bible’s impact on Trade and Taxes speaks of the Tel Aviv Founders Monument. The Tel Aviv Founders Monument commemorates the 66 families who originally found the city in 1909. We learn that it is located in front of Israel’s Independence Hall.. We find on it a quotation from today’s reading from Jeremiah 31:4 which says…

‘ Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.’

from Jeremiah 31:4

The monument shows the quotation: “Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!” Today’s devotional also teaches us that the name Tel Aviv comes from Ezekiel 3:15

‘And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days. ‘

from Ezekiel 3:15

which speaks to the exiles.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. Help me Lord with wisdom and discernment. Grant me wisdom as I speak to others for there is success in the council of many. Lord, there are so many open questions now and so I ask Lord that You will help me with answers, instruction, wisdom, and discernment in each of the cases. Help me Lord to be able to speak life and respond in a way that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not over till God says it is over! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 24th)


Ever felt like you were getting to the end of your rope? Ever felt like you were near the breaking point? Ever felt like things were getting to be too much? Ever felt like it was the end?

But then discovered that it wasn’t! God intervened and things changed? God spoke into your life and things turned around? God stepped in and helped you through it?

I have so many stories of my own like when I was deceived and started a downward spiral. Or when I was being called to step into a role that felt and looked like it would be too big for me. Or when a group looked to want to try and sabotage my career.

God stepped in and taught me to forgive! God stepped in and showed me that if He calls me to it that He will get me through it! God helped me to forgive first and move forward and then to begin the journey of getting out of the boat I had been working in for nearly 20 years. There are many stories throughout this blog, a few others can be read here.

It’s not over till God says it is over! When He says it is over it usually means there is something new ahead of you! Other times He is able to birth something new into the situation! So don’t lose hope! So don’t give up! So don’t give in to the lies of the devil! Put your trust in God! Lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God! As we do that we can be overcomers through Jesus as He shared to give us hope because He has overcome the world! Sometimes they are trials to helps us grow stronger in our faith and able to give a testimony to others who need to receive a word of encouragement. So we don’t have to be downcast because we can put our trust in God! We don’t have to give up because we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds!

Imagine being Lazarus… Imagine being Mary… Imagine being Martha…

Today’s reading comes from John 1 and speaks to the story of Lazarus

The Death of Lazarus

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night,he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them,“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death,but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

–from John 11:1-16

Everyone thought it was over! Everyone thought that Lazarus was dead! People were feeling that it was hopeless! God’s timing is perfect! God’s ways are not our ways but rather they are higher than our ways and better than our ways! Reading the rest of the chapter we see how Jesus comforted the others in their grief, He wept with them, He demonstrated His power to resurrect and heal, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and through Him we can return to and be reconciled to the Father!

So don’t lose hope because sticking with God and pressing on while standing on the Rock of Jesus Christ, we can live lives that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory, like the story of Lazarus did! We need to share our testimonies that others may learn and hear of the power of Jesus to heal, to restore, to forgive, to reconcile, … We do not need to fear what is ahead of us, rather we can believe that Jesus will be there in our moment of need and that He has gone before us preparing in advance the good works He has for us to do!

Today’s reading also imapcted the world of the arts… The raising of Lazarus by Rembrandt…

Jan 24th - John 11_1-16 - The_Raising_of_Lazarus by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the truth that comes from seeking Your Word and Your face daily. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that You have given me milestones or landmarks or road markers to help me to remember what You have already done so that I don’t lose hope for what You are about to do. I may not know what today will hold but I do know that my hope and my trust are in You! I know that my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! I know that I wil look to live out my faith actively and that my works will be from the overflow of the Spirit that I may produce fruit that will bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory! Help me today Lord to see beyond the fog and take hold of my next steps. Help me today Lord to know what to do and what to say in order to bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory. Help me Lord to live as a living sacrifice for You that is pleasing so that I can finish the race strong and get to hear You say “well done my good and faithful servant”. I ask all this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you need a change? Is it on the inside or the outside?


Do you know what it will take? Do you know what to do? Do you know where to turn? Do you realize the benefits it has?

Have you already made the decision and started moving forward in change? Has it been a mental change? Has it been a physical change? Has it been a heart change? Has it been a spiritual change?

As I ponder these questions, I am so glad that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior because when I made that decision, I was transformed. I know spiritually I had begun the transformation from the inside out. As I ponder these questions and with knowing through God’s Word that my body is the temple for the Holy Spirit, I am considering what can I do to help make the outside better too. I have purchased workout equipment which probably a good start. I am now considering diet, and how I eat to help as well.

I know that because of the big decision to receive Jesus, it has impacted my life for eternity. I am now considering best ways to live a longer and healthier life to be able to be around for the next generations where not only can I share the importance of living with and for God but also living and eating well. I want to see them grow up and develop into all that God has purposed and planned for each of their lives. Time goes by so fast and so I need to make time to do what is right and make sure to stay on track for all the things God has planned and purposed for my life too.

Will you allow God to radiate in your life to the point where your life will point others to God and to believe in Him? Will you allow God to work in and through your life so that when others see your good works they will praise your Father in heaven?

When someone looks into your eyes, what do they learn? When you look into the eyes of others, what do you learn? Ever heard that the eyes are the window to the soul? Ever considered that windows tell a story based on what you can see? Consider windows you can look in through and see the beauty, the love, the hope. Consider tinted windows where you can’t see anything but darkness or maybe a reflection of yourself. Consider windows that do the screening so that they tell one story without actually knowing what is on the inside, you might be able to get close enough to look through the dots and see in, but from a distance you only case see what it was designed to say. When people take a look into your eyes what do they see? When you look through your eyes how do you see? Is your vision keeping you from seeing others as God does? Are you allowing God glasses to help you see the people He has brought into your life in the way He does so that you can see, hear, understand, and respond like you should?

So what does your face and your eyes say to the world around you?

What does the Bible say about faces and eyes?


How to Have a Spiritual Facelift

Day 242: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God’s face … Psalm 104:19-30
  2. Our faces … 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
  3. God’s eyes … 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:23

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

  • Psalms 104:19-30
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
    • 7The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
      12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
      16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

  • 2 Chronicles 35:20-27
  • 2 Chronicles 36

Are you living the new transformation?


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you allowed the old you to be crucified with Christ so that the new you can live?

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

–from Romans 6:4

Have you experience baptism yet? Not christening as a baby but full immersion water baptism? As you consider or remember the experience of going into the water and dying with Christ and then coming out of the water reborn with Christ how did or would that impact you?

How has your life changed after starting your relationship with Jesus? Have you shared the experience with others so that they would know the impact of Jesus on your life?

So are you living the new life? Are you ready to live a new life? Are you willing to receive Jesus into your life and be transformed? Is today your day? Are you taking hold of everything that life can be thanks to your relationship with Jesus and all that He has already done for you?

If not, why not start today?


How to Live Your New Life

Day 201: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 87, Romans 6:1-14, Hosea 1, Hosea 2

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/201

  1. New song … Psalm 87:1-7
  2. New freedom … Romans 6:1-14
    • You HAVE BEEN saved from the PENALTY of sin
    • You WILL BE saved from the PRESENCE of sin
    • You ARE BEING saved from the POWER of sin
  3. New love … Hosea 1:1-2:23

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for having sent Jesus to demonstrate Your love for us and for His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and resurrection power that conquers both the grave and the power of sin! Thanks You Lord for the truth through Your Word that calls us to live a transformed life leaving the old ways behind and start living out a new life with Jesus! Grant me wisdom for this day Lord that I may accomplish all that You have for me today! Help my light to shine so that You will be seen through me! Help my light shine so that others may see that I am but reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around me. Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to this world that I can be saved. May this day I glorify You in the name of Jesus by being a conduit of Your truth, Your love, and Your ways to the people around me so that in and through it all that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

To be restored!


Have you lost something? Have you been hurt? Have you been damaged? Have you been worn down or worn out? Are you tapped out or running out of gas? Are you burned out or exhausted? Are you ready to drop or debilitated?

Do you know what to do? Do you know where to turn? Do you know how to find peace? Do you know how to get filled up? Do you know how to replenish? Do you know how to get restored?

Turn to God! Go get filled up by hearing the Word of God! Go get filled up at a Christmas pageant and hear a message of hope! Go to a place where people are not only speaking the Word of God but living it out in the world around them! Take time to read God’s Word! Take time to find a devotional to encourage you where you are at thru God’s Words of truth, love, and hope! Join a bible study! Talk to God! Pray! Ask others to come alongside you and pray for you! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Jesus for help! Don’t lose hope! Volunteer somewhere that you can help others! You have been given gifts and talents that can not only help you but is available to help others too! It is possible to have hope beyond your circumstances!

Let’s look to be fully restored! Just as the lost son who turned back and went back home to his father, you too can be restored! God’s Word speaks to us that we are to restore others gently, helping them come back to a relationship with Jesus! Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into sin while trying to help someone else! Are you wondering about being restored?

Let’s not turn away from God! Let’s walk in humility! Let’s allow God to receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Let’s close today with our reading from the New Testament…

The Appeal Renewed

1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victorʼs crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But Godʼs word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Dealing With False Teachers

14Keep reminding Godʼs people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, Godʼs solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Donʼt have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lordʼs servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

–2 Timothy 2

and to conclude today’s post…

Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel

1You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

–Titus 2

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 45, 46, Psalm 36, 2 Timothy 2, Titus 2


Reference link to someone else’s post on the subject of restoration.

Has it been a while?


Is it late? Is there a reason why? Is there a reason why we shouldn’t start now? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t invite others to be a part of it? Why not go back? Why not come back? Will you get ready? Will you be prepared? Will you not just be going thru the motions, but actually come prepared? Come ready for what is ahead? Come ready for what God can do in and thru this moment?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles with this example…

Hezekiah and all Israel Celebrate Pesach

1Hezekiah then sent word to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of Adonai at Jerusalem to keep the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 3For they were not able to celebrate it at the regular time, since not enough kohanim had consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The matter seemed right in the eyes of the king and of the entire community. 5So they decided to issue a decree and to proclaim it throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. For it had not been celebrated as prescribed for a long time. 6At the king’s command, the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials saying: “You men of Israel, turn back to Adonai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who acted unfaithfully against Adonai, the God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror as you see. 8Do not stiffen your neck as your fathers did, but reconcile to Adonai, and come to His Temple, which He has consecrated forever, and worship Adonai your God that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9For if you return to Adonai, your brothers and children will receive compassion before their captors, and will return to this land. For Adonai your God is compassionate and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10As the couriers traveled from town to town through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were scorned and mocked. 11Nevertheless some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of Adonai. 13Now a very large assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Matzot in the second month. 14They arose and removed the altars and all the incense altars that were in Jerusalem, and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The kohanim and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of Adonai. 16They stood at their post as prescribed in the Torah of Moses, the man of God. The kohanim sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that had not concecrated themselves, therefore the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for everyone that was not ceremonially clean in order to concecrate them to Adonai. 18Although a great multitude of the people—many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, they still ate the Passover lamb contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying: “May Adonai who is good, atone for 19every one who prepares his heart to seek Adonai, the God of his fathers, even though he is not pure according to rules of the sanctuary.” 20Adonai heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21So the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Matzot for seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the kohanim were praising Adonai every day with loud instruments for Adonai. 22Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who demonstrated good understanding of the service of Adonai. For seven days they ate their assigned portions while sacrificing peace offerings and praising Adonai, the God of their fathers. 23Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness. 24Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel. 27Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.

–from 2 Chronicles 30

Do you see what is wrong? Do you see what is going wrong? Do you see what’s in the way? Do you see what what needs to go? Do you see what needs to stay? Do you see what needs to get added back in? Do you know what your part is? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to give? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to get to be a part? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is be involved? Will you embrace the power of doing what is right, what is good, and what is true?

Restoring the Kohanim and Levites

1When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property. 2Then Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites together with their divisions, each of the kohanim and Levites according to his service: for burnt offerings, peace offerings, to minister, to praise, or to sing praises in the gates of the courts of Adonai. 3The king also contributed a portion of his own assets for the burnt offerings: the morning and the evening burnt offerings and the burnt offerings for Shabbatot, the New Moons and the moadim, as it is written in the Torah of Adonai. 4Moreover, he commanded the people, the residents of Jerusalem, to give the portion allotted to the kohanim and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the Torah of Adonai. 5As soon as the word spread, Bnei-Yisrael gave generously the firstfruits of their grain, wine, oil, honey and all the produce of the field, as well as tithe of all the abundance. 6The children of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah, also brought in the tithe of bulls and sheep, and the tithe of the sacred things consecrated to Adonai their God. They piled them in heaps. 7In the third month the heaps began to accumulate and finished in the seventh month. 8When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Adonai and His people Israel. 9Hezekiah asked the kohanim and the Levites about the heaps. 10Azariah the chief kohen from the house of Zadok, replied to him saying, “Ever since the gifts began to be brought into the House of Adonai, we have had enough to eat and more than enough, for Adonai has blessed His people with plenty left over.” 11Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare storerooms in the House of Adonai, and they prepared them. 12They faithfully brought in the offerings and the tithes and the consecrated gifts. Conaniah the Levite was the leader in charge over them and Shimei his brother was next in rank. 13Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader in charge of the House of God. 14Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, distributing the offering of Adonai and the consecrated gifts. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in the towns of the kohanim, making allocations to their brothers by divisions—to great and little alike, 16only considering genealogical records, to the males three years old and upward—to all who entered into the House of Adonai, to perform the daily duties according to their responsibilities and their divisions— 17to the kohanim who were genealogically registered by their ancestral houses, as well as to the Levites 20 years old and upward, according to their duties and their divisions. 18The genealogical registry included all their little ones, their wives and sons and daughters of the entire assembly. Thus in their faithfulness they consecrated themselves as holy. 19As for the sons of Aaron, the kohanim, who lived in the fields of the common lands of their towns—in every town—men were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the kohanim and to all who were genealogically registered among the Levites. 20Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah. He did what was good, right and true before Adonai his God. 21Every work he undertook in the service of the House of God and in the Torah and the mitzvot to seek his God, he did wholeheartedly and succeeded.

–from 2 Chronicles 31

Let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that testify to who Jesus is! Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling! Let’s love them as Jesus loves them! Let’s see them as Jesus sees them! Let’s help them as Jesus would desire for us to help them! Let’s stand in the gap! Let’s intercede for others! Let’s intercede for the believers who are being persecuted that God will lift them up and strengthen them and encourage them! Let’s intercede for the non believers that they will be touched and transformed and come the realization of Jesus!

The Son Glorifies the Father

1Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You. 2Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent. 4I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”

Yeshua Prays for His Disciples

6“I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. 8The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13“But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17“Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. 18Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”

Interceding for All Believers

20“I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message, 21that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You; and these knew that You sent Me. 26I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

–from John 17

Let’s not be working in and through things with power struggles! Let’s not be working in and thru things with an iron fist! Let’s be servant leaders! Let’s lead other by serving them! Let’s be pouring into their lives! Servant leadership is the only type that will make a real difference!

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get tricked or fooled…seek wisdom


In this world there will be many things that will try to tempt you into doing things you shouldn’t! In this world there will be many things that will try to tempt you into doing things you will regret! In this world the devil who comes to rob, steal, and destroy will be trying to pull you away from God in order to bring you to the fiery pits with him since He know that his destination has been determined and he loses. So don’t fall for this trickery! Don’t allow the fear he tries to create to take root! Trust in God! In all your ways acknowledge God and He will make your path straight! People with integrity walk safely! So let’s take hold of that and when we are being tempted, let’s call to God to get insight, wisdom, direction, and discernment so that we will walk with Him and in alignment with His will and His way!

Today’s reading continues in the book of Proverbs…

Beware Seduction

1My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Incline your ear to my insight, 2that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. 3For a seducing woman’s lips drip honey and her mouth is smoother than oil. 4But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to Sheol. 6She does not keep straight to the path of life, her paths are crooked —but she does not know it. 7So now, my sons, listen to me and do not turn aside from the words of my mouth. 8Keep your path far from her and do not go near the door of her house— 9lest you give your strength to others and your years to one who is cruel; 10lest strangers feast on your strength, your labors go to a foreigner’s house. 11At the end of your life, you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent— 12and you will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned reproof! 13I would not listen to my teacher’s voice or incline my ear to my instructors. 14I was almost in utter ruin amid the community and congregation.” 15Drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well. 16Should your springs flow in the streets, your streams of water in public squares? 17Let them be yours alone and not shared with strangers. 18May your fountain be blessed and may you delight in the wife of your youth. 19A lovely hind, a graceful doe— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you always be captivated by her love. 20Why, my son, be captivated by a seducing woman? Why embrace a foreigner’s bosom? 21For a man’s ways are before the eyes of Adonai, and He observes all his paths. 22The iniquities of a wicked man will ensnare him. The cords of his sin will hold him down. 23He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

–from Proverbs 5

God has called us on purpose for a purpose! He created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So do not be tricked! Do not be fooled! Let’s finish the race strong! Let’s not grow weary in doing good! Trust in the Lord and He will renew your strength!

Economic Entanglements

1My son, if you have become a cosigner for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge with a stranger, 2if you are trapped by your own words, ensnared by the words of your mouth, 3then do this, my son, and free yourself, since you fell into your neighbor’s hand: Go, humble yourself, plead with your neighbor! 4Allow no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. 5Escape like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Laziness and Perversity

6Go to the ant, you slacker— consider its ways and be wise! 7It has no commander, no overseer or ruler. 8Yet it prepares its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9How long will you lie there, slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? 10A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— 11and your poverty comes like a bandit and your need like an armed man. 12A scoundrel, a wicked man, is one who goes around with a perverse mouth, 13winking his eyes, shuffling his feet, pointing his fingers, 14who continually plots evil with deceit in his heart stirring up strife. 15Therefore his disaster will come suddenly —in an instant he will be broken, with no remedy. 16Six things Adonai hates, yes, seven are abominations to Him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run to evil, 19a false witness who spouts lies, and one who stirs up strife among brothers.

A Father’s Warning Against Adultery

20My son, keep your father’s mitzvah, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21Bind them on your heart continually— tie them around your neck. 22When you walk, they will guide you. When you lie down, they will watch over you, and when you wake up, they will speak to you. 23For the mitzvah is a lamp, Torah a light, and corrective discipline the way of life, 24keeping you from the immoral woman, from a wayward wife’s smooth tongue. 25Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyelids. 26For on account of a prostitute one is reduced to a loaf of bread; a man’s wife preys on your precious life. 27Can a man scoop fire into his lap without burning his clothes? 28Or can a man walk upon hot coals without scorching his feet? 29So is he who goes to another man’s wife. No one who touches her will go unpunished. 30Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. 31Yet if he is caught, he must repay sevenfold, giving up all the wealth of his house. 32He who commits adultery with a woman lacks sense. Whoever does so destroys himself. 33He will find disease and disgrace. His shame will never be wiped away. 34For jealousy enrages a man and he will show no mercy in the day of revenge. 35He will not accept any compensation, he will not consent, even if your bribe is great.

–from Proverbs 6

So let’s be of good character and take care of one another! Let’s do as Jesus taught us! Love God and Love people! Let’s do as the prophets kept point people back when they slid away! Love God and Love people! Let’s make a difference in this world around us! Let’s not grow weary in doing good work! Let’s not show favoritism but love to everyone! Let’s allow others to see our faith in the way we live! Let’s allow our works to speak for our faith so that even if we don’t say anything others will see it and glorify our Father in heaven!

Honor the Poor Person

1My brothers and sisters, do not hold the faith of our glorious Lord Yeshua the Messiah while showing favoritism. 2For if a man with a gold ring and fine clothes comes into your synagogue, and a poor person in filthy clothes also comes in; 3and you pay special attention to the one wearing the fine clothing and you say, “Sit here in a good place”; and you say to the poor person, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; 4haven’t you made distinctions between yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom that He promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor person. Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7Don’t they blaspheme the good name by which you were called? 8If, however, you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well. 9But if you show favoritism, you are committing sin and are convicted by the Torah as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole Torah but stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11For the one who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the Torah. 12So speak and act as those who will be judged according to a Torah that gives freedom. 13For judgment is merciless to the one who does not show mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Show Faith with Works

14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can such faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in shalom, keep warm and well fed, ” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is that? 17So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe—and shudder! 20But do you want to know, you empty person, that faith without works is dead? 21Wasn’t Abraham our father proved righteous by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that faith worked together with his works, and by the works his faith was made complete. 23The Scripture was fulfilled that says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”—and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a man is proved righteous by works and not by faith alone. 25And likewise, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also proved righteous by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out another way? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

–from James 2

Trust God when He sends you! Live with the authority God has given you so that you can speak life into people! Live with the authority God has given you so that you can speak and watch even the demons obey you because you are speaking in Jesus’ name! Don’t go out into battle unprepared! Pray up! Fill up! Be prepared! Put on the full armor of God!

Sending Out the Twelve

1Now when Yeshua called the twelve together, He gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.
2He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey—no walking stick, no travel bag, no bread, no money, nor even to have two shirts. 4Whatever house you enter, stay there and depart from there. 5And whoever does not receive you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a witness against them.” 6So they went out and began traveling throughout the villages, proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere. 7Now Herod the tetrarch heard all that was happening. He was very confused, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8but others that Elijah had appeared, and others that some prophet from among the ancients had arisen. 9But Herod said, “I beheaded John, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him.

A Hungry Crowd in a Desolate Place

10When the emissaries returned, they described to Yeshua all they had done. Then He took them along and withdrew privately to a city named Bethsaida. 11But the crowds found out and followed Him. So Yeshua welcomed them and began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those in need of healing. 12Now the day began to wind down, and the twelve came and said to Yeshua, “Send the crowd away, so they might go into the nearby villages and countryside and find food and lodging; for we are in a desolate place here.” 13But Yeshua said to them, “You give them something to eat!” But they said, “We have no more than five loaves of bread and two fish, unless we go to buy food for all these people.” 14For there were about five thousand men. Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Have the people recline in groups of about fifty each.” 15They did so, and all reclined. 16And He took the five loaves and the two fish; and looking up to heaven, He offered the bracha and broke them. And He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17Then they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of the fragments.

Secrets Revealed to the Disciples Alone

18Once when Yeshua was praying alone and His disciples were near, He put a question to them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19They replied, “John the Immerser, but others Elijah, and others that some prophet from among the ancients has arisen.” 20Then He said to them, “But who do you that say I am?” Then Peter answered and said, “The Messiah of God.” 21But Yeshua warned them, and He ordered them not to tell this to anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23Then Yeshua was saying to everyone, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross every day, and follow Me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 27But I tell you truthfully, there are some standing here who will never taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Glorified on a Mountain

28About eight days after these teachings, Yeshua took Peter, John, and Jacob with Him and went up the mountain to pray. 29While He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothing flashed like white lightning. 30And behold, two men were talking with Him, Moses and Elijah. 31Appearing in glory, they were speaking of Yeshua’s departure, which was about to take place in Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and those with him were overcome with sleep. But when they awakened, they saw Yeshua’s glory and the two men standing with Him. 33And as they were leaving Yeshua, Peter said to Him, “Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s make three sukkot: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying. 34While he was yet saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, the One I have chosen. Listen to Him!” 36And after the voice happened, Yeshua was found alone. They kept quiet and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

Coming Down from the Mountaintop

37On the next day as they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Yeshua. 38Suddenly a man from the crowd shouted out loudly, saying, “Teacher, I’m begging You to look at my son, for he’s my only child! 39You see, a spirit takes hold of him, and he immediately screams. It throws him into convulsions with frothing. It hardly ever leaves him—it’s crushing him! 40I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.” 41Then answering, Yeshua said, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42And while the boy was still approaching Yeshua, the demon knocked him down to the ground and threw him into convulsions. But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and restored him to his father. 43And all were amazed at the mighty power of God. But as everyone was marveling at all He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44“Put these words into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45But they did not understand this statement; it was yet concealed from them so they could not grasp it. And they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. 46Now a dispute began between the disciples as to who might be the greatest among them. 47But Yeshua, knowing the reasoning of their heart, took a child and set him by His side. 48He said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in My name, welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One who sent Me. The one who is the least among all of you is the one who is great.” 49John replied, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he doesn’t follow along with us.” 50Yeshua said to him, “Do not stop him, for he who is not against you is for you.”

Samaria Turns Yeshua Away

51When the days were approaching for Him to be taken up, Yeshua was determined to go up to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers before Him, and they went and entered a Samaritan village to make His arrangements. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was focused on going up to Jerusalem. 54When His disciples Jacob and John saw this, they said, “Master, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But Yeshua turned and rebuked them. 56Then they moved on to another village. 57As they were traveling on the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58But Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59He said to another, “Follow Me.” But that one said, “First let me go and bury my father.” 60But Yeshua said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Then another also said, “I will follow You, Master, but first let me say goodbye to those in my home.” 62But Yeshua said to him, “No one who has put his hand to the plow and looked back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

–from Luke 9

 

Fear Not, Just Believe!


God speaks to us times throughout the Bible how we are not to fear! Today’s reading speaks to God’s creating a covenant with Abram.

Cutting a Covenant

1After these things the word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2But Abram said, “My Lord Adonai, what will You give me, since I am living without children, and the heir of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3Then Abram said, “Look! You have given me no seed, so a house-born servant is my heir.”
4Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him saying, “This one will not be your heir, but in fact, one who will come from your own body will be your heir.
5He took him outside and said, “Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.”
6Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then He said to him, “I am Adonai who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans, in order to give you this land to inherit it.”
8So he said, “My Lord Adonai, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9Then He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old young cow, a three year old she-goat, a three year old ram, a turtle-dove and a young bird.”
10So he brought all these to Him and cut them in half, and put each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.
11Then birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was about to set and a deep sleep fell on Abram, behold, terror of great darkness was falling upon him!
13Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years.
14But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions.
15But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces.
18On that day Adonai cut a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River:
19the Kenite, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaites,
21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
–from Genesis 15

Other examples of “Fear Not” in the Bible include the angel at the tomb, in Isaiah when we are to be comforted because God is with us, in the field when the angels appeared to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, when the angel appeared to Mary, when Jesus spoke to Jairus after hearing the news about his daughter and more

So take a hold of Jesus! Walk with God! And don’t fear! Trust Him! He will never leave you and never abandon you!

Today’s reading continues showing how sometimes we may become impatient. God’s timing is perfect! We don’t need to rush it! We need to wait upon the Lord and He will renew our strength! We will be able to soar like on wings of eagles! We will be able to walk and not grow weary, run and not grow faint!

Hagar and Ishmael

1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not borne him children. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl—her name was Hagar.
2So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, Adonai has prevented me from having children. Go, please, to my slave-girl. Perhaps I’ll get a son by her.” Abram listened to Sarai’s voice.
3So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her slave-girl Hagar the Egyptian—after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan—and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
4Then he went to Hagar and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, in her eyes her mistress was belittled.
5So Sarai said to Abram, “The wrong done to me is because of you! I myself placed my slave-girl in your embrace. Now that she saw that she became pregnant, so in her eyes I am belittled. May Adonai judge between you and me!”
6Abram said to Sarai, “Look! Your slave-girl is in your hand. Do to her what is good in your eyes.” So Sarai afflicted her, and she fled from her presence.
7Then the angel of Adonai found her by the spring of water in the wilderness, next to the spring on the way to Shur.
8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s slave-girl, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9The angel of Adonai said, “Return to your mistress and humble yourself under her hand.”
10Then the angel of Adonai said to her, “I will bountifully multiply your seed, and they will be too many to count.”
11Then the angel of Adonai said to her, Behold, you are pregnant and about to bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael— for Adonai has heard your affliction.
12He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him, and away from all his brothers will he dwell.
13So she called Adonai who was speaking to her, “You are the God who sees me.” For she said, “Would I have gone here indeed looking for Him who looks after me?”
14That is why the well is named, the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me. (Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.)
15Then Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael for Abram.
–from Genesis 16

What will it take for you to change? Would it be a sacrifice? Would it be a deal? Would it be a name change? Would it be purpose? Would it be a vision? What will it take? What would it take? What did it take? Today’s reading shows an incredible transformation as we continue in Genesis…

Covenant of Circumcision
1When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.
2My heart’s desire is to make My covenant between Me and you, and then I will multiply you exceedingly much.”
3Abram fell on his face, and God spoke with him, saying,
4“For My part, because My covenant is with you, you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5No longer will your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, because I make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6Yes, I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings will come forth from you.
7Yes, I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, in order to be your God and your seed’s God after you.
8I will give to you and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider —the whole land of Canaan—as an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, My covenant you must keep, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
10This is My covenant that you must keep between Me and you and your seed after you: all your males must be circumcised.
11You must be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and this will become a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12Also your eight-day-olds must be circumcised, every male, throughout your generations, including a house-born slave or a slave bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
13Your house-born slave and your purchased slave must surely be circumcised. So My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14But the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin—that person will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her by the name Sarai. Rather, Sarah is her name.
16And I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son from her. I will bless her and she will give rise to nations. Kings of the peoples will come from her.”
17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to his heart, “Will a son be born to a 100-year-old man? Or will Sarah—who is 90 years old—give birth?”
18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live before you!”
19But God said, “On the contrary, Sarah your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac. So I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.
20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. See, I have blessed him and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him very very much. He will father twelve princes and I will make him a great nation.
21But My covenant will I establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
22When He finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all of his house-born slaves and all his purchased slaves—every male among the men of Abraham’s house—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on this very same day, just as God had spoken with him.
24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin,
25and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26On this very same day Abraham and Ishmael his son were circumcised.
27Also all the men of his house, house-born slaves and slaves purchased from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
–from Genesis 17

This reading brings me back to a time when I was questioning God what will the future look like? I felt connected to Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters and so I asked God will I have 4 daughters or will I have a son? I told Him I was ok either way, but wanted to know. That morning my daily reading brought me to Genesis 17:19. Because we never found out before the birth of our children if they would be a boy or girl, we had to be prepared with a boy name and a girl name. Before that morning and that reading, the plan or the name for a boy was Benjamin, however, after that morning, I let my wife know that when we had a boy (not if, but when for I had received a promise from God – your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac.) we would name him, Isaac! God is amazing! If we will make time to spend with Him! If we will make time throughout the day to stay in touch like a best friend! If we will build our relationship with Him, it is amazing what God will do in and through our lives!

So no matter where you are at nor what you are going through, lean on God! Don’t lean on your own understanding! Trust in God! Wait upon the Lord! God knows the beginning from the end! God knows your thoughts, your dreams, what you are doing and what you have been through. Nothing is hidden from Him! So you don’t need to lie or hide it, be honest about the truth! For the truth will set you free! Lies and hiding just setup footholds and snares that devil can then try to hold against you later.

Today’s reading continues and goes into Acts 5.

Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Ruach

1On the other hand, a man named Ananias together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a property.
2He kept back some of the proceeds, with his wife’s full knowledge, and brought part of it and set it at the feet of the emissaries.
3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and keep back part of the proceeds of the land?
4While it remained unsold, it was your own, wasn’t it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? How did this deed get into your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God.”
5As soon as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came upon all who heard about it.
6The young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud, then carried him out and buried him.
7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8Peter responded to her, “Tell me if you sold the land for this much.” She said, “Yes, for that much.”
9Then Peter said to her, “How did you agree to test the Ruach Adonai? Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door—they will carry you out, too!”
10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came back in, they found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11And great fear came over the whole community and all who heard these things.
–from Acts 5

But when you get into trouble, call upon God! Ask your friends to pray for you! Allow Him to be a part of the process! Allow Him to be your source! Keep Him where He belongs in the center of your life!

Signs and Wonders, Angelic Jailbreak, and Bold Witness

12Meanwhile, through the hands of the emissaries many signs and wonders were happening among the people. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.
13But no one else dared to join them, though the people continued to think highly of them.
14Yet more than ever those trusting in the Lord were added—large numbers of men and women.
15They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on stretchers and cots, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.
16Crowds were also gathering from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.
17But the kohen gadol rose up, and all those with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
18They grabbed the emissaries and put them in a public jail.
19But during the night an angel of Adonai opened the prison doors, and leading them out he said,
20“Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people the whole message about this Life.”
21Now when they heard that, they entered the Temple at daybreak and began teaching. When the kohen gadol and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, even the council of elders of Bnei-Yisrael, and sent to the prison to have the prisoners brought in.
22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported,
23saying, “We found the prison locked with maximum security and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened up, we found no one inside.”
24When the captain of the Temple and the ruling kohanim heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering where this would lead.
25But someone came and reported to them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people!”
26Then the captain went off with the officers and brought the emissaries—but not with force, because they feared they might be stoned by the people.
27When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. Thekohen gadol questioned them,
28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!”
29Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whom you seized and had crucified.
31This One God exalted at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and removal of sins.
32And we are witnesses of these events—as is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
33Now when they heard this, they became enraged and wanted to kill them.
34But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.
35Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful what you are about to do with these men.
36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, joined up with him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing.
37After this fellow, Judah the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and got people to follow him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.
38So now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will come to an end;
39but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” They took his advice,
40called in the emissaries, flogged them, ordered them not to continue speaking in the name of Yeshua, and let them go.
41So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were considered worthy to be dishonored on account of His name.
42And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.
–from Acts 5

When God touches your life, you are changed forever! When God does the miraculous, you are never the same! But some may forget! some may wander! So we need to share the experience with others so they may not forget! We need to put down memories so that when the devil comes a prowling or the trials of life appear or the challenges of life come up and they try to fill us with fear, we have something to pull out and hold up as we call upon God to be our hope and our strength and our courage! We can boldly call upon Him because we know He did, He can, and He will!

Today’s reading concludes in the book of Revelation. We need to remember that Jesus wins! Jesus is the answer! So where do you turn? Turn to Jesus! Where do you go? Go to Jesus! He is the way, the truth, and the life, nobody gets to the Father except through Him! So if you want to finish on the winning side, choose Jesus before it is too late!

1Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life—bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2down the middle of the city’s street. On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him.
4They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!

Yeshua Is Coming

6He said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true! Adonai, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon.
7Behold, I am coming soon! How fortunate is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8I, John, am the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing me these things.
9But he tells me, “See that you do not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets and those keeping the words of this book. Worship God!”
10Then he tells me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.
11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do righteousness, and the holy still be holy.
12Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to pay back each one according to his deeds.
13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city.
15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify these things to you for My communities. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
17The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life!
18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his share in the Tree of Life and the Holy City, which are written in this book.
20The One giving testimony to these things says, “Yes! I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!
21May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!
–from Revelation 22

He’s coming! Will you choose before it is too late to be with Him?

The rest of the story!


Is your story looking tough? Is your story looking troubled? Are you going through some tough times? Are you being challenged? Are you facing trials of many kinds? Are there walls or mountains? Are there valleys or pits? Are you feeling beat up? Are you feeling attacked? Are you losing hope? Are you feeling down? Are you feeling bad? Have you been devastated? Are you wondering what is going on?

Don’t lose hope and don’t give up! It’s not the end of your story!

I remember a time in my life that whenever I got to the books of Job or Revelation, I would wonder what was going to happen to me as God’s reading tends to speak right into where I am at to help me get through it. Ever since 2013, I have had a different view of what will happen when I get to Job. I am no longer looking at the trials as a negative but I am looking at the full story including the ending then wondering what miracle and blessings God will produce in and through this time. Revelation is always an interesting one for me too as it was the first book I was reading when I started to blog back in 2005. Every year I read it, it feels like the time is getting closer and closer based on what is taking place around the world. It also comes with the hope that comforts me that God will rescue me from what will be because He has already saved me through my faith and hope in Jesus!

Today’s readings are incredible to me because it brings the conclusion to both books to me in one day! (I still have a couple more chapters in Revelation after today, but final 2 chapters of Job)

Reflecting on Job where he began and then where a new beginning starts. Reflecting on Job where he had to go in order to learn and hear God’s love. Reflecting on Job and how I don’t know everything about what is going on right now, and that God is working in and through it for my good. Reflecting on the promise I received in 2013 as I was in transition between jobs and got the message of Job 42:12 speaking of how the second half of Job’s life was twice as good as the first half and his family was renewed.

First half (where Job began said…)

2He had seven sons and three daughters
3and his possessions were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys, and a very large household. That man was the greatest of all the people of the East.
–from Job 1

Second half (where Job’s book end says…)

12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.

So let’s no grow weary in doing what is good, what is right, what is just, and what is needed! Let’s walk with God in and through it all so that in the end not only will we have a testimony of His great love, we will be able to hear the amazing words “well done, my good and faithful servant”.

So no matter what you are going through right now, realize it’s not the end and that God’s not done with you yet! Stick close to Him and He will stick close to you! Seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Your day is coming where you will meet with God and be renewed, redeemed, and restored!


Let’s jump into today’s reading … Job 41 continues from Job 40 speaking of the Leviathan. Today’s reading puts it like this…

1“See, his hope is wrong, he is laid low, even the sight of him.
2Is he not fierce when he is roused? Who then is able to stand before Me?
3Who has confronted Me that I should repay? Everything under heaven belongs to Me.
4“I will not keep silent about his limbs, or his might or the grace of his arrangement.
5Who can strip off his outer garment? Who can penetrate his double armor?
6Who can open the doors of his face, ringed with fearsome teeth?
7His rows of shields are his pride, shut up closely as with tight seal;
8each so close to the next, that no air can pass between.
9They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
10“He sneezes out flashes of light; his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn.
11Out of his mouth go flames, sparks of fire shoot out.
12Smoke pours from his nostrils, as a boiling pot over burning reeds.
13His breath sets coals ablaze and flames dart from his mouth.
14“Strength resides in his neck; dismay runs before him.
15The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm on him, immovable.
16His heart is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
17“When he rises up, the mighty are afraid; at his crashing they retreat.
18A sword that reaches him has no effect— nor with a spear, dart, or javelin.
19He regards iron as straw, bronze as rotten wood.
20Arrows do not make him flee; sling stones become like chaff to him.
21A club is regarded as stubble; he laughs at the rattling 0f a lance.
22“His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail like a threshing sledge in mud.
23He makes the deep boil like a cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
24He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.
25Nothing on dry land is his equal— a creature without fear.
26He sees every haughty thing; he is king over all who are proud.”
–from Job 41

and Matthew Henry’s commentary captures and summarizes it like this (if you click the link he digs deeper into it)…

The description here given of the leviathan, a very large, strong, formidable fish, or water-animal, is designed yet further to convince Job of his own impotency, and of God’s omnipotence, that he might be humbled for his folly in making so bold with him as he had done. I. To convince Job of his own weakness he is here challenged to subdue and tame this leviathan if he can, and make himself master of him (v. 1-9), and, since he cannot do this, he must own himself utterly unable to stand before the great God (v. 10). II. To convince Job of God’s power and terrible majesty several particular instances are here given of the strength and terror of the leviathan, which is no more than what God has given him, nor more than he has under his check, (v. 11, v. 12). The face of the leviathan is here described to be terrible (v. 12, v. 14), his scales close (v. 15-17), his breath and neesings sparkling (v. 18-21), his flesh firm (v. 22-24), his strength and spirit, when he is attacked, insuperable (v. 25-30), his motions turbulent, and disturbing to the waters (v. 31, v. 32), so that, upon the whole, he is a very terrible creature, and man is no match for him (v. 33, v. 34).

–from Our Library /Commentaries /Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) /Job /Job 41

Our reading continues into Job 42 which is the part I remember when trials come my way. I humble myself to God and trust in Him! Put another way, I do what I can do (I do my best) and I trust Him for the rest! Instead of what will I or did I lose, I loose to what God is going to do with what has been taken away and turn it around and bless me with next. It goes like this…

Job Retracts

1Job answered Adonai and said:
2“I know You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3You ask, ‘Who is this, who darkens counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke without understanding, things too wonderful for me which I did not know.
4You said, ‘Hear now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will inform Me.’
5I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen You.
6Therefore I despise myself, and repent on dust and ashes.”

Job Restored

7After Adonai had spoken these words to Job, Adonai said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken about Me what is right, like My servant Job has.
8So now, take for yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, for I will accept Job’s prayer and not deal with you according to your folly because you have not spoken correctly about Me, like My servant Job.”
9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what Adonai told them; and Adonai accepted Job’s prayer.
10So Adonai restored what Job had lost, after he prayed for his friends and Adonai doubled everything that Job had before.
11Then all his brothers, all his sisters and everyone who had known him before, came to him and ate bread with him in his house. They consoled him and comforted him for all the calamity that Adonai had brought upon him. Each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.
12So Adonai blessed Job’s latter days more than at his beginning. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.
13He also had seven sons and three daughters.
14He called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch.
15Nowhere in the land were there found women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16After this, Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children for four generations.
17And so Job died, old and full of days.
–from Job 42

As God’s Word tells us that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength!

God’s Word today continues into Genesis 11. Pride can cause problems. If our focus isn’t on the right things, we can go in the wrong direction. Let’s read about Babel…

Tower of Babel

1Now the entire earth had the same language with the same vocabulary.
2When they traveled eastward, they found a valley-plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3They said to one another, “Come! Let’s make bricks and bake them until they’re hard.” So they used bricks for stone, and tar for mortar.
4Then they said, “Come! Let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower whose top reaches into heaven. So let’s make a name for ourselves, or else we will be scattered over the face of the whole land.”
5Then Adonai came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built.
6Adonai said, “Look, the people are one and all of them have the same language. So this is what they have begun to do. Now, nothing they plan to do will be impossible.
7Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand each other’s language.”
8So Adonai scattered them from there over the face of the entire land, and they stopped building the city.
9This is why it is named Babel, because Adonai confused the languages of the entire world there, and from there Adonai scattered them over the face of the entire world.
–from Genesis 11

Genesis 11 continues with the genealogy from Shem to Abram…

From Shem to Abram

10These are the genealogical records of Shem: Shem was 100 years old when he fathered Arpachshad—two years after the flood.
11Shem lived 500 years after he fathered Arpachshad, and he fathered sons and daughters.
12Arpachshad lived 35 years when he fathered Shelah.
13Arpachshad lived 403 years after he fathered Shelah, and fathered sons and daughters.
14Shelah lived 30 years and he fathered Eber.
15Shelah lived 403 years after he fathered Eber, and fathered sons and daughters.
16Eber lived 34 years and he fathered Peleg.
17Eber lived 430 years after he fathered Peleg, and he fathered sons and daughters.
18Peleg lived 30 years and he fathered Reu.
19Peleg lived 209 years after he fathered Reu, and he fathered sons and daughters.
20Reu lived 32 years and he fathered Serug.
21Reu lived 207 years after he fathered Serug, and he fathered sons and daughters.
22Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor.
23Serug lived 200 years after he fathered Nahor, and he fathered sons and daughters.
24Nahor lived 27 years and he fathered Terah.
25Nahor lived 119 years after he fathered Terah, and he fathered sons and daughters.
26Terah lived 70 years when he fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran.
27These are Terah’s genealogies: Terah fathered Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran fathered Lot.
28Haran died before Terah his father, in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
29Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah—the daughter of Haran, father of Milcah and Iscah.
30Sarai was barren; she did not have a child.
31Terah took Abram his son and Lot, Haran’s son, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and he took them out of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32Terah’s days were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
–from Genesis 11

Today’s reading continues into the book of Acts after the power of the Holy Spirit had come over the disciples. Let’s take a look at how God is using His chosen ones today…

A Lame Beggar Walks

1Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the time of prayer.
2A man lame from birth was being carried—every day they used to put him at the Temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg for tzadakah from those entering the Temple.
3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he began asking to receive tzadakah.
4But Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!”
5So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
6But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!”
7Then grabbing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were made strong.
8Jumping up, he stood and began walking; and he went with them into the Temple, walking and leaping and praising God!
9Now all the people saw him walking and praising God.
10They began to realize he was the one who used to sit begging for tzadakah at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were filled with wonder and astonishment over what had happened to him.
–from Acts 3

So what has God given you today? You may not have what they want, but you do have what they need! Never forget that! Never downplay that! Never think you don’t have what they need! Jesus is the answer! It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is Jesus! So what will you face today? How will Jesus be the answer to help someone else out? Will you step up, will you stand up, will you stand out, and call down the power of Jesus into the situation? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not right there, when where? If not that, then what? Why not make today a great day to glorify god?

Acts 3 continues…will you allow the continuing book of Acts that we are living out today to speak and point people to Jesus?

Peter Speaks at the Temple

11While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people together came running toward them in the place called Solomon’s Portico.
12But when Peter saw, he responded to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us—as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Yeshua—the One you handed over and disowned before Pilate, though he had decided to release Him.
14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.
15You killed the Author of life—the One God raised from the dead! We are witnesses of it.
16Now through faith in the name of Yeshua, His name has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Indeed, the faith through Yeshua has given this man perfect health in front of you all.
17“Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders did.
18But what God foretold through the mouth of all His prophets—that His Messiah was to suffer—so He has fulfilled.
19Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out,
20so times of relief might come from the presence ofAdonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you.
21Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets.
22Moses said, ‘Adonai your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. Hear and obey Him in all that He shall say to you.
23And it shall be that every soul that will not listen to that Prophet shall be completely cut off from the people.’
24Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel on have announced these days.
25You are the sons of the prophets and also of the covenant that God cut with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
26God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you, to bless you all by turning each of you from your wicked ways.
–from Acts 3

Wow! To point others to Jesus! To tell them that your power comes from Jesus! If people really ask will you tell them? Will you let them know that your joy comes from the Lord? Will you tell them that your peace that goes beyond all understanding comes from God? Will you tell them the power of forgiveness you learned through a relationship with Jesus? Will you tell them that all things are possible for those who believe? Will you tell them of how it is better to be small in God’s world than anything else outside of it? Where will you point them? They are searching! They are seeking! They are wondering! They are watching you, whether you know it or not! People are watching to see what makes you tick! So when that time comes up and they ask…”What makes you like that?” Will you be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Be prepared! It will happen! I know because from time to time, it happens to me! God will bring you before kings, in my case executives who ask me. It happens with people from every aspect of life! It doesn’t matter how high a position or low a position they have, they all are looking for hope! Will you point them in the right direction? Will you point them to God! Will you speak to the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus! Will you be the one who plants the seed? Will you be the one who waters? So that God can make it grow! So they may choose to have their name in the book of life!

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 20…Don’t be afraid to do what is right and speak the truth in love!

The First Resurrection

1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a great chain.
2He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan—and bound him for a thousand years.
3He also threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short while.
4Then I saw thrones, and people sat upon them—those to whom authority to judge was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yeshua and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, nor had they received his mark on their forehead or on their hand. And they came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years.
5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
6How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

Judgment After 1000 Years

7When the thousand years has ended, satan shall be released from his prison,
8and he shall come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea.
9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the kedoshim and the beloved city—but fire fell from heaven and consumed them.
10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they shall be tortured day and night forever and ever.
11Then I saw a great white throne, and the One seated on it. The earth and heaven fled from His presence, but no place was found for them.
12And I saw the dead—the great and the small—standing before the throne. The books were opened, and another book was opened—the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what was written in the books, according to their deeds.
13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Sheol gave up the dead in them. Then they were each judged, each one of them, according to their deeds.
14Then death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire.
15And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
–from Revelation 20

So if you are reading this, it’s not too late to decide yet. Leave me a comment if you would like to chat. Ask Jesus into your heart if you are ready! Ask Him to forgive you! Ask Him to help you through the rest of your days! Ask Him where to get plugged in – finding a Bible believing, Bible preaching church where you can be supported.