Category Archives: Resist

Do you have the guts not to fight back? Do you have the guts to retaliate Jesus’ way? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 16]) – Did you have a Happy Jackie Robinson day on the 15th?


Ever considered what the Bible says about retaliation? Ever considered what being strong and courageous looks like? Ever considered not doing it the way of the world “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” but instead doing it God’s way “turn the other cheek”? How will you respond differently so that they know God is with you? How will you overflow hope and love in the midst of being attacked or threatened?

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 5…

The Sermon on the Mount

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of Acts of Mercy comes from Matthew 5:39 and reveals the impact of this verse on Jackie Robinson making history.

But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  –from Matthew 5:39

We see in today’s devotional how in 1947, overcoming incredible obstacles, Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player in the major leagues. Not only did he do incredible things on the field on first and then on second base, at the plate with a .311 lifetime batting average, he also was the man who broke the color barrier by appearing in the 1947 World Series.

Today’s devotional also points to the general manager Branch Rickey who was known for making decisions based on the Bible and thought that Jackie Robinson was the man to help desegregate baseball. We see how Branch approached Jackie to set expectations when he said “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.” He was looking for more than just someone who could play ball but someone with the right character and attitude. He wanted “a person with the inner-strength and self-restraint who could withstand intense hostility and aggression without being reactive. He needed an athlete who wouldn’t perceive ‘not fighting back’ as a sign of weakness or lack of courage.” We see in today’s devotional how what he was asking aligns Jesus’ Words when he quoted to him part of the sermon on the mound to show it wasn’t a sign of weakness but of strength in Matthew 5:39 KJV – “but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

We see the impact this made on all of baseball as every year on April 15th baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson day to commemorate his retirement anniversary with everyone player wearing his number 42. In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s #42 across all teams. Jackie Robinson was a hall of fame player. Jackie’s story has made into a movie back in 2013 too which shows and tells this remarkable story.

Apr 16 - Matthew 5_39 - Bibles Impact on Acts of Mercy - Jackie Robinson day on April 15th

So will you have the guts to retaliate like Jesus instructs us when you are faced with challenges and struggles today? Will you be all that Jesus wants you to be? Will you resist the attacks and lies of the devil? Will you let love overcome evil? Will you fight hate with love? How will you respond and live out your today?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and give it up into Your hands. I know the plans You have for me Lord and they are good, they are not to harm me but they are to prosper me. I know God that Your ways are not my natural ways but that Your ways are better than my ways and higher than my ways and so I ask that You would have Your Spirit lead and guide me today, encourage and correct me, help me to be the person You created me to be. Lord, this is the day that You have made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Today is a Monday and because it is Your day today is Happy Monday! I choose no matter what happens to let today be Happy Today not because of circumstances, not because of challenges or victories, not because of problems or solutions, but because this is the day that You have made and so I will rejoice and be glad in it! Today is all I have! Yesterday is gone! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed! So let’s live today out to the fullest with a Happy Today! I ask all this so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

What’s it going to take to make things great again?


Will you return to God? Will you be faithful to God? Will you turn back to God? Will you come back into God’s presence like the lost son? God is great! God is faithful to His covenant! Do you love God? Do you faithfully keep His Word? Will you confess your sins? Will you confess the sins of the nation? Will you confess the sins of the people? Will you confess the sins of previous generations that have cause so many to walk away? Because of the sins the people have been scattered rather than coming together in unity. Will you choose today to humble yourself before God? Will you choose to honor God today? Will you give your life into God’s hands and ask for favor and completing the work He has given you to do?

Will you ask? Will you tell what God has put onto your heart? Will you go and do what God has instructed you to complete? Will you go and complete the work that God has given you? Will you inspect the situation? Will you survey the situation of things as they are today? Will you rally the troops? Will you put your hope and trust in God and not be deceived? Will you put your hope and your trust in God and not be deterred? Will you be a doer of the Word rather than just a hearer? Don’t be overwhelmed by the size or scope, but divide the work and allow the people assigned to do their part of the work. Stage by stage allow the work to be completed!

Don’t lose hope if or when people resist doing their part. Someone will step up to complete that work. Trust it all to God!

Are you ready to make it great again? Are you ready to be an instrument of God into the world around you? Are you ready to receive God’s vision and wisdom? How will you respond? Fear Not, just believe! If God calls you to it, He will bring you thru it!

Don’t lose hope … ask God for help! Don’t worry … ask God for help! Fear Not … ask God for help! Worry changes nothing … prayer changes everything!

So let’s meditate on God’s Word as this reading series draws to an end. With just over a week left before a new series, a new journey will begin, let’s reflect together on today’s reading from the New Testament and hear what God has to say to us.

Friendship with the World

1Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. 2You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. 4Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. 5Don’t think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” 6 But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! 9Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Warning against Judging One Another

11Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else?

Warning against Boasting

13 Now listen to me, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.” 14You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. 15What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud, and you boast; all such boasting is wrong.
17So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin.

–James 4

We need to walk in humility! We need to resist the devil! We need put our hope and trust in God! So how will you walk out today? Don’t boast! Trust in God! Let’s complete the good work God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s not be tricked or deceived! Let’s walk in love! Let’s live out love! Let’s allow God’s hand to complete the work it has begun in us so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not grow weary in doing good!

False Teachers

1False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. 2Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. 3In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
4God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 5 God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people. 6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. 7 He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people. 8That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. 9And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.
These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse! 15 They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22 What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–2 Peter 2

 


Today's Reading: Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah 3, Psalm 120, James 4, 2 Peter 2

How do you respond to corrections? How do you respond to being reprimanded?


Will you receive it? Will you learn from it? Will you love them? Will you refuse it? Will you reject it? Will you get upset or angry from it? Will you become abusive? Will you be responsive to it? Will you hate them? Will you love them?

Let’s turn to God! Let’s ask Him for wisdom! Let’s ask Him for insight! Let’s ask Him if it is true! Let’s ask Him how to respond! Let’s be obedient to Him!

Today’s reading continues in Proverbs…

Wisdom and Folly Invite

1Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars. 2She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the city’s heights: 4“Whoever is naïve, turn in here!” To those who lack understanding, she says: 5“Come, eat my bread and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Abandon your foolish ways and live! Walk in the way of understanding.” 7Whoever corrects a scoffer is asking for insult. Whoever reproves a wicked man gets abuse. 8Do not correct a scoffer or he will hate you. Rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still. Teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through me your days will be many and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage, but if you scoff, you bear it alone. 13The foolish woman is rowdy. She is naïve and knows nothing. 14So she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the heights of the city, 15calling to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: 16“Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here.” To those who lack understanding, she says: 17“Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is delicious!” 18But he does not know that the dead are there— her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

–from Proverbs 9

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Trust in God! Be diligent for you will find God when you diligently seek Him! As we are learning this year at camp, it is important to walk with integrity!

Diligence and Laziness

1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son gives joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. 2Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. 3Adonai will not let a righteous soul go hungry, but thwarts the cravings of the wicked. 4Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Sayings of the Mouth Matter

6Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 7The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8The wise in heart accept commands, but a babbling fool comes to ruin. 9One who walks in integrity, walks securely, but one who takes crooked paths will be discovered. 10One who winks an eye maliciously causes grief, while a babbling fool comes to ruin. 11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12Hatred stirs up strife but love covers up all transgressions. 13Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one lacking sense. 14Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool is near ruin. 15The wealth of a rich man is a strong city. Poverty is the ruin of the poor. 16The wages of the righteous are life. The income of the wicked is sin. 17One who heeds discipline is on the path of life, but whoever ignores correction goes astray. 18One who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19When words abound, transgression is unavoidable. but whoever restrains his lips is wise. 20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver. The heart of the wicked is of little value. 21The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding.

Dread or Hope

22The blessing of Adonai brings wealth and He adds no trouble with it. 23As doing wickedness is delight to a fool, so is wisdom to a man of discernment. 24What the wicked dread will fall on them. The desire of the righteous will be given. 25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more, but the foundation of the righteous is everlasting. 26Like vinegar to the teeth or smoke to the eyes, so is a slacker to those who send him. 27The fear of Adonai prolongs life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hope of the wicked perishes. 29The way of Adonai is a stronghold to the upright, but it is a ruin to those who do evil. 30The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not dwell in the land. 31The mouth of the righteous bears the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32The lips of the righteous know what is pleasing, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.

–from Proverbs 10

Will you live honestly? Will you live with integrity? Will you live with humility and avoid the pitfalls of pride? Will you put your hope and trust in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness? Will you live in righteousness so that those around you will be blessed?

Integrity of Scales and Soul

1Dishonest scales are an abomination to Adonai, but an accurate weight is His delight. 2When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. 3The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. 4Riches make no profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the blameless man makes his way straight, but the wicked man is brought down by his wickedness. 6The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are trapped by their desire.

Righteousness Builds Up a City

7When the wicked dies, his hope perishes, and the hope of the strong vanishes. 8The righteous is rescued from trouble. Instead it comes on the wicked. 9With his mouth the ungodly destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. 10When the righteous do well, a city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. 11Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed. 12One who despises his neighbor lacks sense, but one with discernment remains silent. 13A gossip reveals secrets, but one who is trustworthy conceals a matter. 14Without guidance people fall, with many counselors there is deliverance. 15Whoever puts up security for a stranger will have trouble, but whoever avoids shaking hands on such a deal is secure.

Rewards for Righteous or Ruthless

16A gracious woman gains honor, but ruthless men seize riches. 17A kind man does his own soul good, but a cruel man harms his own flesh. 18The wicked earn deceptive wages, but a sower of righteousness reaps a true reward. 19Steadfast righteousness leads to life, but pursuing evil ends in death. 20Perverse hearts are an abomination to Adonai. His favor is on those blameless in their ways. 21Be sure, the evil will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. 22Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. 23The desire of the righteous is only good, but the hope of the wicked only wrath. 24One gives freely, yet gains even more. Another withholds unjustly, and comes to poverty. 25A soul who blesses will prosper, and one who gives water will himself be satisfied. 26People curse anyone withholding grain, but blessing is on the head of one who dispenses it. 27A person who diligently seeks good finds favor, but to one who searches for evil, evil comes to him! 28Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. 29Whoever troubles his own household will inherit wind, and the fool will be a servant to the wise-hearted. 30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever wins souls is wise. 31If the righteous is rewarded on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!

–from Proverbs 11

So as we begin this day, let’s resist pride and evil ways! Let’s raise the bar and the standard so that the average goes up!

Resist Pride and Evil

1Where do quarrels and conflicts among you come from? Don’t they come from this, namely your passions that battle within your body parts? 2You crave and have not. You murder and you envy, yet you cannot get it. You fight and you wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives so you may spend it on your passions. 4You adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that in vain the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which He made to dwell in us”? 6But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai, and He shall lift you up. 11Do not speak evil against one another, brethren. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the Torah and judges the Torah. But if you judge the Torah, you are not a doer of the Torah, but a judge. 12There is only one lawgiver and judge—the One who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you who judges your neighbor?

If the Lord Wills, We Will

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17Therefore whoever knows the right thing to do and does not do it—for him it is sin.

–from James 4

 

 

 

Will you share the reflection…


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

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

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

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

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

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

David’s Mighty Men

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

–from 2 Samuel 23

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

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

David’s Unauthorized Census

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

–from 2 Samuel 24

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

Census and Plague

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

–1 Chronicles 21

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

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

Greetings to a House Group

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

Thanks for Love and Comfort

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

Request for Philemon’s Runaway

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

Added Request and Farewell

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

–from Philemon 1

 

 

It’s important to know your purpose!


It’s important that when you are playing out your role and purpose you don’t allow what others do or say keep you from completing and accomplishing it! It’s important to not get dragged down into name calling or war of words over something you have been called to do! It’s important to live to your full potential so that in and through you others will see the revelation of God! It may not be easy! It may not be fun! But in the end it will be totally worth it!

It’s important to know your purpose!


Today’s Word speaks to Jesus’ crucifixion this way…

32Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders made fun of him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!” 36The soldiers also made fun of him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine, 37and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”

–from Luke 23

Jesus knew His purpose and at this time it was to bridge the gap between God and us. Jesus knew His purpose and was not going to leave bitterness on the cross but rather share forgiveness. Jesus knew His purpose and it wasn’t to do tricks to amuse others but to satisfy the calling and the cost required to complete the purpose God the Father had given Him to do.

Jesus unlike the old days when there was continual sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin was a single sacrifice one for all. With Jesus’ sacrifice we are freed from the penalty of sin which is death because we have received Him as our Lord and Savior and we bring our sins to Him and ask for forgiveness. God tells us that as we forgive others He will forgive us! So give it up to God! Give forgiveness! Ask God for forgiveness, Jesus has already paid the price!

1The Jewish Law is not a full and faithful model of the real things; it is only a faint outline of the good things to come. The same sacrifices are offered forever, year after year. How can the Law, then, by means of these sacrifices make perfect the people who come to God? 2If the people worshiping God had really been purified from their sins, they would not feel guilty of sin any more, and all sacrifices would stop. 3As it is, however, the sacrifices serve year after year to remind people of their sins. 4For the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins. 5For this reason, when Christ was about to come into the world, he said to God: “You do not want sacrifices and offerings, but you have prepared a body for me. 6You are not pleased with animals burned whole on the altar or with sacrifices to take away sins. 7Then I said, ‘Here I am, to do your will, O God, just as it is written of me in the book of the Law.’” 8First he said, “You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burned on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins.” He said this even though all these sacrifices are offered according to the Law. 9Then he said, “Here I am, O God, to do your will.” So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place. 10Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all. 11Every Jewish priest performs his services every day and offers the same sacrifices many times; but these sacrifices can never take away sins. 12Christ, however, offered one sacrifice for sins, an offering that is effective forever, and then he sat down at the right side of God. 13There he now waits until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet. 14With one sacrifice, then, he has made perfect forever those who are purified from sin. 15And the Holy Spirit also gives us his witness. First he says, 16“This is the covenant that I will make with them in the days to come, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds.” 17And then he says, “I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer.” 18So when these have been forgiven, an offering to take away sins is no longer needed. –from Hebrews 10

What a weight off our shoulders. What a burden we no longer have to carry. How the devil will try to get us to pick it back up. How the devil will try to make us hold onto it rather than give it all over to God. But we know better so don’t do it. We know better so let’s give it all over to God to take care of!

17Getting involved in an argument that is none of your business is like going down the street and grabbing a dog by the ears. 18-19Someone who tricks someone else and then claims that he was only joking is like a crazy person playing with a deadly weapon. 20Without wood, a fire goes out; without gossip, quarreling stops. 21Charcoal keeps the embers glowing, wood keeps the fire burning, and troublemakers keep arguments alive. 22Gossip is so tasty! How we love to swallow it! 23Insincere talk that hides what you are really thinking is like a fine glaze on a cheap clay pot. 24A hypocrite hides hate behind flattering words. 25They may sound fine, but don’t believe him, because his heart is filled to the brim with hate. 26He may disguise his hatred, but everyone will see the evil things he does. 27People who set traps for others get caught themselves. People who start landslides get crushed. 28You have to hate someone to want to hurt him with lies. Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin. –from Proverbs 26

God’s Word will never return void! You will always get some wisdom by spending time in the word of God! So let’s listen to what He has to say! Let’s do what is right! Let’s live lives with the purpose of God as our focus! Let’s glorify Him in the way we live our lives! And let’s do it all in Jesus’ name so that God get’s the praise, the honor, and the glory! AMEN!