Category Archives: Repent

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


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

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

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

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

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

–from Hosea 6:1-3

 

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

–from Joel 2:12-13

 

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

–from 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

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

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

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

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

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

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

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

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

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

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

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

–from Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018


Look Forward – Day 358: Bible In One Year 2018

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Is today your day? The choice is yours!


Will today be the day that you make that decision that will transform the rest of your life? Will today be the day that you fully buy in and start living out the purpose and the plans for which you were created? Will today be the day that you will have a breakthrough by following through? Will today be the day you slow down enough to listen before you speak, before you act, before you respond? Will today be the day you start to live in the freedom that is available to you? Will today be the day you choose to allow Jesus to be your savior and lock in your eternity? Will today be the day you choose to allow Jesus to be your Lord and start getting to live out the promises here on earth? Is today your day?

Will today be the day that love, faith, and freedom come together in your life to transform your life forever?

Will you choose to trust in God’s Word and start to spend time reading it, listening to what it says, and integrating it into how you live out your life?

Will you choose to hold onto your faith and live in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name?

Will you choose to live humbly, being a servant leader that others may come to feel and know the love of God in and through you?

Will you choose to live a life that is filled with repentance and forgiveness? Giving it and receiving it?

Will you wake up daily and choose to hold tight to your faith in Jesus? Will you choose to wake up daily preparing for the spiritual battles that will come your way and trusting and leaning into Jesus through them all? Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood! Our battles is against principalities and powers of this dark world! We need to choose to attack the problem rather than the person. We need to keep Jesus in the center! Put your trust in Him and build up your relationship with Him daily! Not just once a day but throughout your day!


The Biggest Decision of My Life

Day 289: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Trust in God’s Word … Psalm 119:41-48
  2. Hold on to your sincere faith … 1 Timothy 1:1-20
  3. Put your faith in Jesus … Jeremiah 32:26-34:22

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

Rewards of obedience…Consequences of disobedience…


Are you part of a group that is being punished for being disobedience even though you didn’t do anything? Ever been in such a situation and then what seemed like out of the blue someone comes by and calls you out because you shouldn’t be lumped in with them? Ever been in such a situation where it happened and you got a choice in how you would respond? Ever been in such a situation and wondered why this was happening or at least why would it have happened to you? Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your way straight!

In today’s reading Jeremiah was part of the group being taken away in chains. He had warned the people to change their ways and turn back to God but they wouldn’t listen. He was approached as he found favor in the commander of the guards who freed him from the chains and gave him two options – to go with them and that he would take care of him or he could go anywhere he wanted on his own.

It’s interesting how life can play out at times. Be it in the workplace or anywhere else, there may be times when we get put together with a group of people for various reasons. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to understand the time, have wisdom about our purpose, and courage and obedience to do what He calls us to do. I may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do. We know that in this world we will have troubles and we also know that Jesus overcome the world so we can take heart! We know that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, it will test our faith producing perseverance, that perseverance when it finishes its work in us will make us mature, complete, and lacking nothing! We know that when we aren’t sure what to do or where to go that we can turn to God and ask for wisdom because He will answer and provide generously without finding fault.

It may be that the deal they have for you might not really be as good as it sounds. I may by your own wisdom seem better from an advancement or positioning perspective, but it may not really be everything you thought it to be. This is why we can’t lean on our own understanding because we don’t know others true motives or intentions. Turn to God! Walk with Him! We are to pray without ceasing and this is because in doing so no matter what we face we are walking and talking with Him!

We aren’t able to do it all in our own strength! The law makes it very clear that we will have troubles measuring up. Jesus calls us to be above average for He has raised the bar. Examples are when He spoke of how to deal with those who would seem to be so against us:

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

–from Matthew 5:44

We were never made to do it alone! That is why we are to be a part of the body of Christ! We are to work together in unity! We are to love one another!

If or when we walk away from God don’t allow the lies of the devil keep you from turning back to God! Just like the story of the lost son, He is waiting for us to turn back and run back into His arms. Don’t lose hope or keep running away in fear, turn back to Him in humility and ask Him for forgiveness and allow Him to transform you life!

glad-you-are-back

As we consider where we are…as we consider where we have been…as we consider where we are headed…let’s reflect on the conclusion to our reading today…

1Follow Godʼs example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godʼs holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Godʼs wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordʼs will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

–Ephesians 5

 


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 40, 41, Psalm 38, Ephesians 5

Do you realize how much you need God?


On day 5 of being at home sick, I pray trusting and believing that God will heal me. I know that He is the ultimate physician and between prayer and petition along with science and medicine, He will provide a way for me to be healthy again! Each day I thank God that I get this time to read thru His Word and reflect upon what He has to say. Each day I praise God because He is able to speak into the very situations and circumstances of my life, aligning His Word for the day with what has or is going to take place. I don’t know what everyone else believes, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

In the world today there are many that seem to be walking away or turning their back on God in order to go and worship someone or something else as their gods. Don’t lose hope for their are those who are still believing and holding onto the faith! God’s will is that we would walk on fire for Him! He doesn’t want us sitting on the fence or standing in the middle being lukewarm, but rather He would we be hot or cold than lukewarm. So let’s not lose hope or lose faith, but let’s keep our faith and press in and press on to all He has planned and in store for us! We know that He works all for His good! We know that He is long suffering for His desire is that nobody should perish but that all would come to repentance and be saved through His Son Jesus Christ!

As we know from history when people turn their backs on God and walk away from Him, people get left to their own ways and they walk out from under the protection and the covering of Jesus. Ezekiel’s message from today’s reading speaks of the judgment and devastation that would take place in their time. Will you choose to receive Jesus into your heart before it is too late? Will you allow God’s love to create a new heart in you and to renew your mind in His ways? Will you choose to return to God before it is too late? How will you handle what will come your way?

It rains on the good and the evil. In this world there will be troubles, but we can take hope who are in Christ Jesus because Jesus has overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we have faith in Jesus which will be built up and strengthened, persevering and pressing forward that will help us to mature and in the end be complete and lacking nothing.

If you were going to be repaid for what you have done, what would that look like? What you sow you will reap! What have you been sowing? What will that mean will sprout up and hence what will you reap?

Is there violence which grows into wickedness? What will come from what you are sowing? God’s Word tells us: “Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.” While we speak of sowing and reaping, let’s consider it as it relates to God’s Word from today’s reading…

A Singular Evil Comes

1The word of Adonai came to me saying:
2“You, son of man, thus says Adonai Elohim concerning the land of Israel: An end! The end has come on the four corners of the land.
3The end is upon you. I will send My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
4My eyes will not spare you nor will I have pity, but I will bring your ways upon you, for your abominations in your midst. Then you will know that I am Adonai.”
5Thus says Adonai Elohim: An evil, a singular evil, behold, it comes.
6An end has come, the end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it is coming!
7Doom has come upon you, inhabitant of the land! The time has come, the day is near—panic, not joyful shouting on the hills.
8Now, soon, I am about to pour out My fury on you. I will exhaust My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
9My eye will not spare you nor will I have pity—I will repay you for your ways—your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that it is I, Adonai, who strikes.
10Behold, the day! Look, it is coming! Doom has gone out. The rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed.
11Violence grows into a rod of wickedness. Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.
12The time has come—the day draws near. The buyer will not rejoice, the seller will not play the mourner, for wrath is on the entire crowd.
13For a seller will not regain what he sold, as long as they are alive. For the vision against her whole crowd will not be revoked. No one will preserve his life, because of his iniquity.
14“They have blown the horn. They have made everyone ready. Yet no one goes to the battle. Surely My wrath is on her whole crowd.
15Outside is the sword, inside plague and famine. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword. Whoever is in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.
16Those survivors who escape will head for the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity.
17All hands will be feeble. All knees will turn to water.
18They will also gird on sackcloth. Horror will cover them. Shame will be upon all faces. Baldness will be upon all their heads.
19They will throw their silver in the streets. Their gold will be as garbage. Their silver and their gold cannot deliver them in the day of Adonai’s wrath. They will not satisfy their appetite or fill their bellies, for their iniquity is a stumbling block.
20They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and made images of their abominations and their detestable idols. Therefore I made it niddah to them.
21I will give it into the hands of the strangers as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.
22I will turn My face from them, as they will profane the place I treasure. Robbers will enter it and profane it.
23“Forge the chain! For the land is full of bloodshed. The city is full of violence.
24I will bring the wicked of the nations. They will possess their houses. So I will end the pride of the strong, when their holy places are profaned.
25Shuddering comes. They will seek peace but there will be none.
26Disaster upon disaster will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will seek a vision from a prophet, but Torah will perish from the kohen and counsel from the elders.
27The king will mourn. The prince will be clothed with despair. The hands of the people of the land will tremble. By their conduct I will deal with them. By their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am Adonai.”

–Ezekiel 7

What is your god? What are you bowing down to? What you allowing to drive you? Will you turn to Jesus and allow Him to be your Lord and Savior? Don’t walk too far away! Don’t turn your back on God! Come back under the covering of the Lord! Allow Him to keep the fiery darts from hitting you! Allow the blood of Jesus to be the prism through which God sees you! Before it is too late!

Let’s praise God! Let’s grab hold of Psalms 117 today…

Praise Him, All You Nations

1Praise Adonai, all you nations! Glorify Him, all you peoples.
2For great is His lovingkindness toward us, and Adonai’s truth endures forever. Halleluyah!

–Psalms 117

Believers, we need to come together in unity! We are the body! We are the church! Let’s live lives that allow others to praise our Father in heaven! Let’s live lives that produce fruit that causes people to praise our Father in heaven! So lets live our lives to the Lord! We know that in the end every tongue will confess and every knee will bow because Jesus Christ is Lord! Let’s live in love and not live lives that will cause others to slip or swayed from the ways of the Lord! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of love! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s live our faith!

So let’s do what is right and what is fair! Let’s pray and give thanksgiving! Let’s share the hope that is within us to those around us who are in need of that hope! Let’s share the mysteries God reveals to us so that we can plan seeds of hope, water seeds of hope so that God can make that seed take root and help it to grow! Show them to power of God working in and thru you in the good times and the challenging times! Let’s share how Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, the believers! Let’s finish the work God has given us to do so that we can receive the reward and message that we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.

 



Today’s reading: Ezekiel 6,7, 8, Psalms 117, Romans 14, Colossians 4

Take a look at your country…do you see what’s going on?


Take a look at what’s going on at the top! Take a look at what character attributes are on display! Do you realize what people are getting away with? Do you realize what people are trying to get away with? Is there a rule of law? Is there a standard that applies for everyone? Is there any reason why some people seem to get away with things that anyone else would have gotten punished for? Is there any way that such a double standard should be in place? Do you realize the impact it has in the trickle down effect?

Will you just sit around and do nothing? Will you sit quietly and have your own little pity party? Will you step up and stand up for what is right? Will you speak out for what is true, what is right, and what is just? Will you do something about it? Will you write? Will you call? Will you go? Will you ? How far down will it have to go? Do we want to accelerate to the end or do we want to try and provide a voice to those who need a voice and try to share good news with those who have yet to hear it?

We all have a choice! We are all facing decisions! And how we respond will make a difference, not only for today but for how the rest of eternity will play out not only for us but for others! Choose wisely! Decide justly! Respond in truth and love!

Let’s turn back to God before it is too late!

Take a look at your country…
do you see what’s going on?


Today’s reading starts with Isaiah…As much as the world changes, things stay the same…and people need to hear the Word and turn back to God! Obedience is better than offerings! Without obedience, it is just going through the motions…This world needs Jesus who can clean things up…Will you be Jesus with skin on? Will you bring the hope that is within you to the world that is around you? There is right and wrong! There is truth and false! Which side will you choose to live on? Let’s make a difference today!

1The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah:

A Nation Sick With Sin

2Listen! Heavens, and hear, earth, for Adonai has spoken: “Sons I have raised and brought up, but they have rebelled against Me. 3The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” 4Oy , a sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons dealing corruptly! They have abandoned Adonai. They have despised Israel’s Holy One. They have turned backwards. 5Where will you be struck again, as you stray away more and more? The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint. 6From the foot to the head there is no soundness. Wounds, bruises and raw sores: not pressed, nor bandaged, nor softened with oil. 7Your land is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your fields, strangers devour it in your presence—a desolation, overthrown by strangers. 8So the Daughter of Zion is left as a sukkah in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9Unless Adonai-Tzva’ot had left us a small remnant, we would have been as Sodom, we would have been as Gomorrah. 10Hear the word of Adonai, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the Torah of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

Worthless Offerings

11“For what is it to Me— the multitude of your sacrifices?” says Adonai. “I am full of burnt offerings of rams and fat of fed animals. I have no delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or he-goats. 12When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand— trampling My courts? 13Bring no more worthless offerings! Incense is an abomination to Me. New Moon and Shabbat, the calling of convocations —I cannot endure it— iniquity with solemn assembly. 14Your New Moons and your Festivals My soul hates! They are a burden to Me. I am weary to bear them. 15When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you. When you multiply prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood!”

Scarlet Sins as Snow

16“Wash and make yourselves clean. Put away the evil of your deeds from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. 17Learn to do good, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” 18“Come now, let us reason together,” says Adonai. “Though your sins be like scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they will become like wool. 19If you are willing and obey, you will eat the good of the land. 20But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured with the sword.” For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.

Restore the Faithful City

21How the Faithful City became a harlot! She once was full of justice, righteousness lodged in her— but now murderers! 22Your silver has become dross, your wine diluted by water. 23Your princes are rebellious and friends with thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does a widow’s case come to them. 24Therefore says the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot, the Mighty One of Israel: “Oy ! I will get relief from My foes and avenge Myself on My enemies. 25Then I will turn My hand on you, purge away your dross, and remove all your alloy. 26I will restore your judges as at first, your counselors as at the start. Afterward you will be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City. 27Zion will be redeemed with justice, her repentant with righteousness.” 28But there will be a crushing of transgressors and sinners together. Forsaking Adonai, they will be consumed. 29For they will be ashamed of the sacred oaks that you desired, and embarrassed because of the gardens that you have chosen. 30For you will be like an oak of withering leaf, like a garden that has no water. 31So the strong will become tinder and his work like a spark— both will burn together, and no one will quench them.

–from Isaiah 1

Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you? Will you call on the Father for help? Will you turn back to God? Will you give your life up to Him? Will you try it His way now? or…will the downward spiral continue? will you wait till you hit rock bottom before you start to look up? We all have to make the choice for ourselves! We all need to make a choice in how we will live! We all need to make a choice in what we will live for! We all need to make a choice what does our priority list look like and will we live it out!  Don’t allow pride to keep you from doing what is right! Where does your hope and help come from? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord who provides our hope and our help!

1The word which Isaiah, son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

Torah From Jerusalem

2It will come to pass in the last days that the mountain of Adonai’s House will stand firm as head of the mountains and will be exalted above the hills. So all nations will flow to it. 3Then many peoples will go and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the House of the God of Jacob! Then He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For Torah will go forth from Zion and the word of Adonai from Jerusalem. 4He will judge between the nations and decide for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war any more. 5Come house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of Adonai. 6For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob. For they are filled with soothsayers from the east, and they have clapped hands with the children of foreigners. 7Their land also is full of silver and gold, nor is there any limit to their treasures. Their land also is full of horses, nor is there any limit to their chariots. 8Their land also is full of idols. They worship the work of their hands, what their own fingers have made. 9So humanity bows down as each one lowers himself. Pardon them not! 10Enter into the rock and hide in the dust, for fear of Adonai, and the glory of His majesty.

Lofty Ones Brought Low

11The man of haughty eyes is humbled, the lofty ones brought low, for Adonai alone will be exalted in that day. 12For the day of Adonai-Tzva’ot will be against anyone proud and haughty, against anyone lifted up—he will be humbled, 13against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, against all the oaks of Bashan, 14against all the high mountains, against all the exalted hills, 15against every high tower, against every fortified wall, 16against all the Tarshish ships, and against all the luxury boats. 17The pride of man will be humbled, the arrogance of men abased, for Adonai alone will be exalted in that day. 18The idols will completely pass away. 19People will go into the caves of the rocks and into the holes of the earth, because of the fear of Adonai and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth. 20In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made to worship, to the moles and to the bats! 21They go into the clefts of the rocks and the crevices of the crags, because of fear of Adonai and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth. 22Stop trusting in mankind —whose breath is in his nose— for what is he really worth?

–from Isaiah 2

Is your heart too hard and needs to be softened? Is your heart so hard that nothing can get in? good or bad? Is your heart so hard to protect you from what has happened that it is preventing you from receiving the good things too? Call on Jesus! Invite Him into your heart! Allow Him to start a work in there to bring freedom! to bring peace! to bring hope! to bring love! to bring forgiveness! to bring reconciliation! to clean out the pains and the hurt! to clean out the anger and the frustration! to give you a new heart!

Let’s make it more than just routine or lip service! Let’s make it truth and a matter of the heart!

Ever noticed how people try to come up with ways to justify behavior? Ever noticed how people try to validate that what they did is somehow ok? Ever come across people who seem to be oblivious to the wrongs that have been committed? Has it ever been you? Have you apologized? Have you asked for forgiveness? Have you asked God for forgiveness? Have you allowed the door of reconciliation to be opened up? Have you stood up for what is right? Have you been willing to deal with the consequences of your decisions rather than just shaking them off? or hiding them? or ignoring them?

What’s coming out of you? What are you saying? What are you doing? Is it good? Is it true? Is it loving? Is is encouraging? Are you making a difference in the lives of the people around you?

Hearts Harden

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

Miracles Touch Gentile Lives

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

–from Mark 7

God loves you!

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