Are you tired?


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

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

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


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

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

Matthew 11:28

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

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

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

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

Psalm 62:5-8

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

Psalm 116:7-9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Let’s pray:

Do you take time to stop?


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


Today’s reading gets us started in Exodus 35.

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

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

Exodus 35:1-29

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

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

Job 29

Today’s reading continues into Job 30.

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

Job 30

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

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

Mark 5:21-43

Today’s reading continues into 1 Corinthians 11.

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

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

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

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

Psalms 65

Finding the balance between work and rest as it was designed.


If we go back to the beginning we see how in Genesis 1 that God worked 6 days and at the end of each day what he accomplished was good. Today’s reading from Genesis 2 gets us started with day 7 which says:

‘So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, ‘

Genesis 2:1-4

So how will you allow each day to finish? Will you get to the end of your day and think that what got accomplished was good? Will you take the time to stop and rest one day? If not, whose example are you wanting or going to follow? Why not set a goal for the year and make it S.M.A.R.T. on how you will live out your weeks. Why not consider a goal like:


I will choose to live each day in a way where when it ends I can look back on it and say that it was good. I will ensure to have completed the top task for that day putting first things first and defining in the morning what the top thing to accomplish is and adjusting my calendar accordingly. I will make time for what is important and needs to get done rather than always living in the urgent and important so that I can help others to accomplish their goals and their purposes. I will ensure to take time to set apart and to rest and reflect on the week each Sunday capturing the good things that took place during the week and praising God and living out my life in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Another key element to remember and consider as I prepare for this coming year is my priorities and to ensure I bring my best and give my best to the top priorities rather than the leftovers. As I rank them I would put God first and then my wife and then my children. Putting God first, I will start each morning in prayer and in God’s Word, blogging my findings and wisdom that God speaks into and over my life. Putting my wife first, I will start each morning praying over her and making sure that anything I can do to get her day setup for success is done before I leave home. I will end each day spending time with my family and ensuring that I am not giving them the leftovers from my day but instead am bringing home my best. Putting my children first, I will make time to touch base with them everyday to understand how their days are going and pouring love and hope and truth into their lives. I will be their biggest supporter and cheerleader. I will make time to pray with them.


Ever considered your lineage? Ever wish that yours was defined from the start to you already instead of needing to try and figure out and find your family tree from the leaf back to the branches and to the tree? Imagine if we could find or make something like what we hear through God’s Word like what we have in today’s reading that continues the family tree in 1 Chronicles 2. This year for Christmas I received one of those test kits and so I think that for this year another goal to work on my family tree and try to find a few more generations.


Research my family tree in order to learn about 1-2 more generations of my family and lineage and store it somewhere that can be viewed today and into the future by the end of the year.


Each day I will meditate on the Word of God and take hold of the instruction and wisdom provided to me through God’s Word. Each day I will look to see God’s hand in my life and in the lives of the people around in order that in and through it all my life will glorify Him. Help me Lord to hear and see as John did. Help me Lord to walk in the truth and the hope and the power made available to me through Jesus. As today’s reading continued into John 1:19-34, please help me Lord to know who I am and who You say I am without allowing the world to label me or to take on who the world labels me to be.

‘This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord ’s coming!’” Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God. ”’

John 1:19-34

I know it won’t be easy but I know that I am starting the year where God wants me to be. I know that God has set me as a shepherd who will not abandon his flock and so need to avoid the testing and temptations that would try to rob me from accomplishing all that God has planned and purposed for my life this year and so will need to resist the temptations and take hold of all that is good and perfect. Today’s reading proceeds into James 1:12-18.

‘God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.’

James 1:12-18

So as we close and prepare for today, let’s take hold of the wisdom from Psalm 2. Let’s reflect on all that God puts into our hands for He loves us. Let’s celebrate for every good and perfect gift that comes from God. Let’s live out today to glorify God in the name of Jesus. Let’s close reading Psalm 2.

‘Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” The king proclaims the Lord ’s decree: “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’” Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!’

Psalm 2

THE SABBATH…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 26])


Do you realize the importance of rest? Do you realize the importance of taking time to stop and rest? Do you realize that we can wear ourselves out if we don’t make time to rest? Do you realize how hard it is to catch up on rest once you fall behind? Do you realize the impact it has on your health? your focus? your relationships? your work? your self-talk? your thoughts? Do you make time to rest? Do you take time to rest?

Is there ever a reason to not do good? Is there ever a reason to not help? Is there ever a reason why you can’t make a difference? Is there ever a reason to not love?

Do you realize that when you lose that reason and purpose and that mission then what is the point? If we are to be salt and light but we aren’t being salt and being seasoning, being a preservative, being a disinfectant then what good are we? If we are supposed to be reflecting the light of Jesus and shine into this dark world and we don’t, then what good are we? You remember what happens to salt once it has lost its taste right?

Today’s reading comes to us from Luke 14

Healing of a Man on the Sabbath

1One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out? 6And they could not reply to these things.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

7Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8″When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

The Parable of the Great Banquet

12He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
15When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’

The Cost of Discipleship

25Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26″If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless

34″Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

from Luke 14

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of the impact of the Bible on Trade and Taxes speaks to us on the topic of The Sabbath and points us to Luke 14:1-5 which says…

‘One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” ‘

from Luke 14:1-5

It teaches of how this was part of the Ten Commandments. It teaches us we are to set aside a day of rest. It also teaches us it is a matter of the heart and not just rules and routines. We see how in today’s reading from Luke people were more interested in the rules and rigger than the heart. We see how Jesus spotted that and confronted them on it. Will you do good or will you do evil? Will you live out grace or will you judge? judgement is the Lords! He is just! He is good! And without Jesus there is no reconciliation whereas with Jesus there is forgiveness of sin. So we need to be living out our lives knowing Jesus and being in relationship with Him. We also need to be making Him known in the world around us.

Today’s devotional also goes into the difference between which day of the week is considered the Sabbath for Christians and Jews. We learn about in AD 321, Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity proclaimed Sunday a legal day of rest instead of the longstanding Jewish Sabbath day on Saturday. He ordered all judges, city workers, and craftsmen to rest on that day. Around AD 363, another impact on trade and taxes took place when the Council of Laodicea declared that Christians must work on Saturday and honor Sunday as the Lord’s day.

We see the impact of this even today as many people set aside one day a week to rest from work.

How about you? Where does it stand when it comes to you getting rest? Where does it come when you consider being forgiven when you miss the mark or sin?

Let’s Pray…

Salvation Prayer Example

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that with You all things are possible. I thank You that You sent Jesus to make up for the misses in my life and the lives of everyone. I thank You Lord for the gift to receive salvation and be transformed from the inside out. Help me Lord to be salt and light today. Help me to be like the moon that reflects the sun by reflecting the light of Your Son into the lives of all those around me that You bring into my life today. Help me Lord to have wisdom to reach out. Help me Lord to have wisdom to seek out. Help me Lord to see beyond myself and become more like Jesus today. Help me Lord to be love extended to the world around me. Help me Lord through every thought, word, and deed to bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you see what’s going on all around us?


Do you see the bickering? Do you see the bantering? Do you see the taunting? Do you see the lying? Do you see the deception? Do you see the plotting? Do you see the evil? Do you see the blame game? Do you see the violence? Do you see those trying to create division? Do you see miscarriage of justice? Do you see double standards? Do you see destruction? Do you see arguments? Do you see fighting? Do you see the law being paralyzed? Do you see wickedness?

Do you see the hope? Do you see the love? Do you see the good? Do you see the helping hands? Do you see the healing hands? Do you see the truth? Do you see the unity? Do you see the rest? Do you see a future?

So what are you doing about it? Where are you turning? How are you sharing? How are you caring? How are you daring? Are you calling? Are you listening?


This isn’t new, but there is an answer. Depending on how people choose to respond will impact which answer is required. Let’s go back and take a look at Habakkuk…

1This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

2How long, O lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 3Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.

The Lord’s Reply

5The lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. 6I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. 7They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like. 8Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey. 9“On they come, all bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand. 10They scoff at kings and princes and scorn all their fortresses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them! 11They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12O lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal— surely you do not plan to wipe us out? O lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us, to punish us for our many sins. 13But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they? 14Are we only fish to be caught and killed? Are we only sea creatures that have no leader? 15Must we be strung up on their hooks and caught in their nets while they rejoice and celebrate? 16Then they will worship their nets and burn incense in front of them. “These nets are the gods who have made us rich!” they will claim. 17Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?

–from Habakkuk 1

There will be correction till the end times when the final judgment will take place. Take a look around and consider the correction that is necessary based on what you are seeing. We need to be pointing people back to God! We need to be introducing them to Jesus! For there is only way and it is with and thru Jesus! We need to turn this place back to God! We need to get people to see through the charades and the lies and the tricks. We need to get people to truly desire real change not the false promises. We need to put the right people in place for the benefit of the people in alignment with the will of God so that there is a push for unity rather than division, love rather than hate, truth rather than lies, and hope rather than despair. God is patient with us! His hope is that nobody would perish but turn back and receive eternal life! God is just! The battle belongs to the Lord! So don’t worry or be anxious, put your trust in Him – lift your care up to Him! Do what He is telling you! Walk in alignment to His commands! Hear His voice and obey His direction and instructions! And watch Him take care of it!

1I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the lord says and how he will answer my complaint.

The Lord’s Second Reply

2Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. 3This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. 4“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. 5Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. 6“But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve! You’ve become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on?’ 7Suddenly, your debtors will take action. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless. 8Because you have plundered many nations, now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 9“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses with money gained dishonestly! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger. 10But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12“What sorrow awaits you who build cities with money gained through murder and corruption! 13Has not the Lord of Heaven’s Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. 15“What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness. 16But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the Lord’s judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame. 17You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down. You destroyed the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 18“What good is an idol carved by man, or a cast image that deceives you? How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk! 19What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, ‘Wake up and save us!’ To speechless stone images you say, ‘Rise up and teach us!’ Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside. 20But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.”

–from Habakkuk 2

So let’s praise God! Let’s glorify God! Let’s worship God! He knows what He is doing! He knows what is taking place and justice will be served! His timing is perfect! His ways are higher and better than our ways! So let’s just do what He is calling us to do and trust Him with the rest!

Habakkuk’s Prayer

1This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: 2I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. 3I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. 4His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. 5Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One! 7I see the people of Cushan in distress, and the nation of Midian trembling in terror. 8Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation! 9You brandished your bow and your quiver of arrows. You split open the earth with flowing rivers. 10The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging waters. The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands in submission. 11The sun and moon stood still in the sky as your brilliant arrows flew and your glittering spear flashed. 12You marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations in your fury. 13You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and stripped their bones from head to toe. 14With his own weapons, you destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. 15You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters piled high. 16I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. 17Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
(For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)

–from Habakkuk 3

Are you going around as an encouragement to the world around you? Are you sharing the fact there is hope still with them? Are you sharing the fact there is love still with them? Are you sharing there is still joy with them? Are you sharing the good news? aka Good News! Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you go where He calls you? Will you obey His instructions? Will you align to the calling? It’s not always easy, but we have hope! Jesus told us that in this world we would have troubles but that we can take heart because He has overcome the world! Jesus told us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because they do a work in us – building up our faith, building up our endurance, working in us that in the end we will complete and lacking nothing! We have rights! So we are good to receive them and exercise them!

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

1Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. 2Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, 3so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. 4Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 5So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

A Call from Macedonia

6Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
9That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Lydia of Philippi Believes in Jesus
11We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.
13On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
19Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20“The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21“They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”
22A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
25Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
35The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
37But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
38When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.

–from Acts 16

 

Not sure what to do? Turn to God!


In a tough situation? In a challenging time? Looking for answers? Looking for direction? Wondering where to go? Wondering what to say? Wondering what to do?

Turn to God! Allow Him to grant you wisdom and for Him to get all the praise, honor, and glory!

Eating Consecrated Bread

1Then David got up and left, while Jonathan returned to the town. 2David went to Nob to Ahimelech the kohen. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” 3David said to Ahimelech the kohen, “The king has commissioned me with a matter, and told me: ‘Let no one know anything about the mission on which I am sending you, or with what I have commissioned you.’ So, I have directed the young men to such and such a place. 4So now, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found.” 5The kohen answered David saying, “There is no common bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread—so long as the young men have kept themselves from women.” 6“Of course women have been kept from us, as on previous campaigns,” David answered the kohen. “So the young men’s vessels were holy, though it was an ordinary mission—how much more so will their vessels be holy today!” 7So the kohen gave him consecrated bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which was taken out from the presence of Adonai in order to replace it with hot bread on the day it was taken away. 8Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before Adonai. His name was Doeg the Edomite, chief of Saul’s shepherds. 9Then David said to Ahimelech, “Isn’t there a spear or sword on hand? For I did not take my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s mission was urgent.” 10The kohen said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the valley of Elah—it’s here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, take it. For there’s nothing else here.” “There’s nothing like it!” David said. “Give it to me.”

David Pretends Insanity

11Then David got up and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish, king of Gath. 12But Achish’s courtiers said to him, “Isn’t this David king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?’” 13David took these words to heart, and he became so afraid of King Achish of Gath 14that he changed his demeanor before them and acted like a mad man while in their hands—scribbling on the doors of the gate and letting his saliva run down his beard. 15Then Achish said to his courtiers, “Look, you can see the man is insane. Why did you bring him to me? 16Do I have a shortage of crazy people that you’ve brought this fellow to go crazy on me? Is this one going to come into my house?”

–from 1 Samuel 21

God can make a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Taste and See

1Of David, when he feigned insanity before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left. 2I will bless Adonai at all times. His praise is continually in my mouth. 3 My soul boasts in Adonai. The humble ones hear of it and rejoice. 4Magnify Adonai with me and let us exalt His Name together. 5I sought Adonai, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 6They who looked to Him were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. 7This poor man cried, and Adonai heard, and saved him out of all his troubles. 8The angel of Adonai encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them. 9Taste and see how good Adonai is. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. 10Fear Adonai, His kedoshim, For those who fear Him lack nothing. 11Young lions may lack, and go hungry, but those who seek Adonai want for no good thing. 12Come, children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of Adonai. 13Who is the one who delights in life, and loves to see good days? 14Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking treachery. 15Depart from evil and do good. Seek shalom and pursue it. 16The eyes of Adonai are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their cry. 17The face of Adonai is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 18The righteous cry out and Adonai hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. 19Adonai is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those crushed in spirit. 20Many are the distresses of the righteous, but Adonai delivers him out of them all. 21He keeps all his bones— not one of them is broken. 22Evil kills the wicked— those who hate the righteous will be held guilty. 23Adonai redeems the soul of His servants —no one who takes refuge in Him will be held guilty.

–from Psalms 34

Trust God! Believe God! Obey God! “In God we trust” wasn’t something new or something original to us. Just make sure we don’t forget and we continue to put our trust in Him!

In God I Trust

1For the music director: “A Silent Dove Far Away,” a Michtam of David, when the Philistines had seized him in Gath. 2Be gracious to me, O God! For man has crushed me, fighting all day he oppresses me. 3My foes trample me all day. For many are fighting me arrogantly. 4In a day when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. 5In God—I keep praising His word— in God I trust, I will not fear. What can mere flesh do to me? 6All day they twist my words. All their thoughts are against me for evil. 7They stir up strife; they lie hidden. They mark my steps, eager to take my soul. 8In spite of such sin, will they escape? In fierce anger, O God, cast down such people! 9You have recorded my wanderings. You put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? 10Then my enemies will turn back in the day I call. This I know—that God is for me. 11In God—I keep praising His word— in Adonai—I keep praising His word— 12in God I trust, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 13I am under vows to You, O God. I will present thank offerings to You. 14For You have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

–from Psalms 56

He is Lord of all! Let us not forget to find rest in Him! Let us not forget the importance of rest! On the seventh day of creation, remember what happened? Rest is good!

The Lord of Shabbat

1At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on Shabbat. His disciples became hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and eat them.
2But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not permitted on Shabbat.”
3But He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he became hungry, and those with him?
4How he entered into the house of God, and they ate the showbread, which was not permitted for him to eat, nor for those with him, but only for the kohanim?
5Or haven’t you read in the Torah that on Shabbat the kohanim in the Temple break Shabbat and yet are innocent?
6But I tell you that something greater than the Temple is here.
7If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent.
8For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat.”
9Leaving from there, He went into their synagogue.
10A man with a withered hand was there. And so that they might accuse Him, they questioned Yeshua, saying, “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat?”
11He said to them, “What man among you will not grab his sheep and lift it out, if it falls into a pit on Shabbat?
12How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is permitted to do good on Shabbat.”
13Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out and it was restored, as healthy as the other.
14But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

God’s Chosen Servant Brings Hope

15Knowing this, Yeshua went away from there. And large crowds followed Him, and He healed them all.
16And He sternly warned them not to make Him known.
17This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
18“Here is My servant whom I chose, the One I love, in whom My soul takes delight. I will put My Ruach upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the nations.
19He will not quarrel or cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20A crushed reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, until He brings forth justice to victory.
21And in His name the nations shall hope.”

Whose Power Will Rule?

22Then a demon-plagued man, who was blind and mute, was brought to Yeshua; and He healed him, so that he spoke and saw.
23All the crowds were astounded and saying, “This can’t be Ben-David, can it?”
24But hearing this, the Pharisees said, “This fellow drives out demons only by beelzebul, the ruler of demons.”
25Knowing their thoughts, Yeshua said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26If satan drives out satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
27And if I drive out demons by beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
28But if I drive out demons by the Ruach Elohim, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he will thoroughly plunder his house.
30He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
31“For this reason I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Ruach will not be forgiven.
32Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven, neither in this age nor in the one to come.”
33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for the tree is known by its fruit.
34You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
35The good man from his good treasury brings forth good, and the evil man from his evil treasury brings forth evil.
36But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment, men will give account for every careless word they speak.
37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

A Sign Greater than Jonah

38Then some of the Torah scholars and Pharisees answered Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39But Yeshua replied to them, “An evil and adulterous generation clamors for a sign, yet no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
40For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
41The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42The Queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
43“Now when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest and doesn’t find it.
44Then it says, ‘I’ll go back home where I came from.’ And when it comes, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order.
45Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first. So also will it be for this evil generation.”

Embrace and Refrain

46While Yeshua was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and brothers were standing outside, trying to speak to Him.
47Someone said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, trying to speak to You.”
48But to the one telling Him this, Yeshua responded, “Who is My mother? And who are My brothers?”
49Stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers.
50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

–from Matthew 12

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for what is yet to come?


After setting things up do you take time to rest? After completing the good work, do you make time to rest? There is a good example of this as today’s reading begins. Do you set apart time that is to refresh, renew, revive and restore?

As this new year begins, are you ready to do the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Will you take hold of the task and become a good steward of what He has created and set in place for you to take hold of? Are you aware of the wisdom and knowledge that are at your finger tips? Will you allow God to be your source and not worry or be concerned about everything else? Will you allow all of your hope and trust to be in God? Don’t allow yourself to be fooled, distracted, pumped up by the lies of the devil and end up kicking yourself over it. Don’t allow his lies to rob you of the joy, the peace, the hope, and the love that are real and everlasting. Take hold of what God has created for you and prepared in advance so that you can do the good work that He is calling you to do. Today’s reading continues and shows how even good plans can get tripped up when the devil’s lies get grip. It can rob us of what God had planned (because He doesn’t tempt us) because we fall for the temptations that are common to others. But we don’t have to trip or fall for them, we have Jesus who is our High Priest and can grant us wisdom and help us from falling over like He did.

God provides healthy boundaries for us. He knows the benefit of such things. The question is, can we and will we live within them.

God’s plan is that we have life and life to the full. He warns us about the things we shouldn’t do. He provides us healthy alternatives. And give us freewill to choose. Today’s reading speaks of the original plan too and the original boundaries setup and the temptation the snake brought into their lives. Don’t allow the lies of the snake to rob you today or this year.

God knows our needs! He knows we need help! He sees that it isn’t good for us to go it alone! He knows that we need one another! Today’s reading shows the exercise of finding the original helper and how much we need to be invested in it.

We need to build up our unity. We need to guard our hearts and minds. We need to come together with God in the center. We need to resist the devil and then he will flee. If we don’t he will trip us up and rob us of the peace, the joy, the hope and fill our hearts and minds with fear, doubt, and trembling. We need to be protective against lust and pride for they are just setting things up to trip us up, they are not from God. Today’s reading speaks to this as we hear about that original tempting and temptation and how lust played a part in it. Don’t allow questioning the truth to deceive you or trick you into stepping out the healthy boundaries, but rather allow the truth to keep you in that safe and healthy place.

God’s plan is one of peace. The devil’s plan is one of fear. In today’s reading, we see how the snake robbed them of their peace in the garden by tricking them into eating the fruit. Then they became afraid and self-conscious. So live well today. Realize the truth and the healthy boundaries. Realize God’s plan for you is good! Realize that God is calling you up to a higher standard our of love, not out of trying to keep you from doing things. By us receiving the call and helping others see and live above average lives, we can help the average to go up. When we live an average life, the average will go down.

God’s plan is good. As we learn, when we yoke ourselves with Jesus, the yoke is easy and burden is light – put another way – when we have Jesus’ approach to life, Jesus will share the weight making the work easy and the burdens that come won’t be heavy, but rather will be light.

We can trust God’s Word. It never changes and has proven true  over the centuries. It may have been written long ago, but it is still alive and speaking into lives daily. Consider the prophecies of the old testament that was fulfilled through Jesus. Consider the prophecies that was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus that is described in today’s reading. It was an amazing time. Imagine being the shepherds and the experience with the angels. Imagine the wise men and the experience of following the star and finding Jesus. Imagine being Joseph and Mary having to travel so far and then having to have the baby in a manger after all the visitations of the angel and the promises of God to then have the visitations of the wise men with their gifts and the shepherds who came.

What are they saying about you? What has God set into motion that is having others speak so positively about you? Consider the joy and the surprise of the parents when they were seeing and hearing all that was being said of their child. Today’s reading shares the amazing experience.

So are you reading? Are you prepared? Are you watching for the signs? Are you seeing the signs? Are you taking time to hear and to listen? Have you chosen your destiny? Have you chosen whom you will follow? Have you decide who you will spend eternity with? or apart from? As I conclude today’s reading and see it being Revelation 1, I remember the beginning of my blog back in 2005. It was starting in Revelation and it is how the blog name of from2005toeternity came to be. The evidence is building up. The signs are lining up. God tells us that we don’t know the day or the time, but that we need to be ready. God also tells us that we should be able to see the signs and know it is coming, just like we can do with the weather based on the sky. Will you grab a hold of God’s Word and not let go? Will you grab a hold of the truth, the truth that will set you free, and live it?  Will you read of the boundaries and live within them?  Will you choose to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God?

Jesus is the answer! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! His words are like a two-edged sword! He is light and there is no darkness in Him! His plan is for us to not be afraid! Eternity is in His hand! Let’s choose life! Let’s choose to start and live out our lives in relationship with Jesus!

 

Do you realize the importance of rest


in fulfillment at work? Are you trying to get it all done in your own strength?

Ever realized that without taking time to rest you end up putting yourself in an unhealthy position? Ever realized that without taking time to rest you can burn out or become impatient or allow frustration to take hold because your fuse is being shortened?

Today’s reading starts in Exodus on this subject…

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.

–from Exodus 20

How are you doing in this area? I know personally it is probably one of my biggest struggles because work is so busy, family is so busy, church is so busy, … but God says it is important so we need to take this seriously! Not only for you but for everyone else around you too.

Not sure where to go or where to turn in order to find rest? Jesus is the answer! He speaks to us today in today’s reading this way…

28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

–from Matthew 11

When about it His way and partner with Him, He helps to make it easier! When each day we partner with Jesus in our everyday and busy life, He provides us rest in and through it all! When we partner with Jesus (yoke together) we are able to find rest in our soul! When we partner with Jesus we will find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light! So don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to make it through life with the yoke of the world on your shoulders! Trade it up to put on the one God gives you!

So let’s purpose to take time to rest! Today’s reading continues into Hebrews where it says…

11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

–from Hebrews 4

By aligning to God’s Word which is alive and active so that we can receive wisdom and direction and correction! God’s Word is “sharper than a two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Nothing is hidden from God’s eyes! He sees where we are at and loves us too much to leave us there! He sees what we are going through and wants us to turn to Him and receive His love, His mercy, and His grace.

So will you take time this week to rest? Will you take time after your busy week to rest? Will you permit yourself to rest? Will you allow others to rest as well? Let’s consider the last part of today’s reading where we read…

2And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

–from Genesis 2

We have all been given free will! Will we choose to try and go it alone and work ourselves to death? Will we choose to connect with Jesus and allow His yoke to be put on us? The choice is yours so choose wisely! Faith without works is dead! But work isn’t to be the driving force!


Today’s devotional concludes this 6 day devotional titled Finding Fulfillment in Work. It speaks into today’s readings this way…

Finding Rest

Man was created by God for work. For the Christian, life without work is meaningless; but work must never become the meaning of one’s life.

Finding fulfillment in the work God created us to do requires that we take a break.

Work is one of the primary means by which we fulfill our true purpose: to glorify God, serve the common good, and further God’s kingdom. God reminds us of this on the seventh day of creation.

God worked for six days, and then he rested – not because he was tired but because he had “completed his work.” God teaches us that work is not an end in and of itself. This is why he instituted the Sabbath. In Deuteronomy 20:8-11, God repeats this idea again in the Ten Commandments when he says to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

Today culture views work as an end. Work supplies our identity and gives meaning to our lives by maximizing success and money through our labor. Our work is never finished, and the constant drive to prove ourselves destroys our ability to find rest. We can’t sit still and unplug. This drive also inhibits our ability to find fulfillment in our work.

This distortion of work’s purpose cripples our chances of finding true joy and fulfillment in our work. It also hinders and distracts us from worshipping God. When divorced from God, all work degenerates into pure self-centered ambition.

The only thing that will silence the condemning voices driving so many of us to the brink of exhaustion is the biblical discipline of Sabbath rest.

Correctly practicing the Sabbath brings about a new spiritual understanding of both work and the whole of our lives. The purpose of the Sabbath is not rejuvenation in order to be more productive. Nor is it only the pursuit of pleasure.

Instead, the purpose of Sabbath is to enjoy:

  • God
  • Joyful worship with God’s people
  • God’s glorious creation
  • Time with family
  • Life in general
  • Your accomplishments, achieved through God’s help
  • The freedom found in the gospel, freedom from slavery to any material object or human expectation

The Sabbath is a time to unplug from our vocational work. The author of Hebrews writes that we have to labor diligently to enter God’s rest. We have to work hard at disconnecting from what we do the other six days and really enjoy the release and peace that God has designed for us on this holy day. Sabbath keeping has to be intentional.

Setting aside one day in seven to observe the Sabbath will begin to change the way we see our work and what it can and cannot accomplish.

We should love the vocational work God has given us so much that he makes us take off a day every week. Let Sabbath rest rejuvenate you and your work.

–from Finding Fulfillment in Work (Day 6)

 

Want you work to be of worth?


Want your work to not be in vain? Want your work to be fulfilling? Want your work to have purpose? Then be steadfast, be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! When we are working in the Lord, our labor is not in vain!

Yes, there will be struggles! Yes, there will be obstacles! But in them we will see glimpses of success! Yes, there will be brokenness! Yes, there will be pain! But in them there is still hope!

Today’s Reading dives into this subject as follows…

The Resurrection of Christ

 1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

 12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 29Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30Why are we in danger every hour? 31I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

 35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

 50I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

–from 1 Corinthians 15

When we turn our lives over to God, when we turn back to Him as our source, when we ask Jesus into our hearts and start to live in relationship with Him, life changes! We are new creations! The old is gone and the new has come! We bury the dead and are reborn a new! We are redeemed!

Now imagine that power and purpose in your work and efforts! Redeem your work too!

I have had people speak to me about work, about their worries and concerns! I express how for me I do my best and then I let God take care of the rest! When you live and work with the mindset that you are working for God, it transforms it all!

Be it the verse:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

–from Colossians 3:23

or

rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

–from Ephesians 6:7

or

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

–from Proverbs 16:3

It all points to the same thing! It all points to the truth that if we want our work to be fulfilling, we need to be working as unto God not unto man! And when we put His purpose and plans first, then He will take care of the rest!

Yes, there was the fall in the garden that we have to deal with in this fallen world, but that isn’t where we should stay or end or live! Jesus came that we would have life and life to the full! Jesus came to redeem our lives from where it was to where it should be! We are saved by grace through faith as a gift so that nobody can boast! We didn’t do anything other than receive it! And if you haven’t accepted it or received it and are living in the old life and the old way, maybe today is the day you will take a moment and ask Jesus into your heart and start the journey!

Want to talk about it? Leave me a comment as I am happy to talk with you, pray with you, and share God’s love with you in and through it all.

Today’s devotional (Finding Fulfillment At Work-day 3) is on this subject and here is an excerpt to hear it from another person’s perspective!

Work is Redeemed.

After months of hard work, the deal goes through. Sales skyrocket after a new product launches successfully. A new member to a team adds value and energy. Projects are completed on time.

In the midst of struggle and obstacles, we see glimpses of success. In the brokenness of work, we have hope. Thanks to God’s grace, we aren’t stuck in the Fall forever.

In Genesis and the creation story, we learn the origin of our work. In the Fall, we know the difficult realities of work. Christ lived an earthly life and died a horrific death to pay the wages for our sin. This sacrificial act redeems and frees us from a life enslaved to sin. We can begin to see the untangling of the sinful consequences of the Fall. We get a foretaste of the world to come, of how things could be. However, we still face the obstacles of sin in our daily work. We await the final restoration when Christ returns to make all things new.

A Christ-centered Perspective

A redemptive, Christ-centered perspective helps us see the significance and hope in our mundane jobs.

Jesus’ days on earth ultimately make our most ordinary days significant. He died to redeem our sin and all of creation, including work. Without Christ’s redemption, our work would be plagued by our sin. Now, the work of our hands matters. We can help bring redemption to every facet of work, furthering God’s kingdom.

We are called to serve faithfully in our vocation in light of the gospel. Our vocation may not be to take the gospel to new places and preach it to people who have never heard it, but it is still important to be faithful in the mundane.

As we do our daily work, we should do it with the hope of the resurrection when everything will be set right and sin will be no more. We should strive to bring order to disorder, treat others with love, and demonstrate integrity in all that we do.

Our work, if it is done for God’s glory through his grace, demonstrates the nature of God’s kingdom.

Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the grips of sin today, not just eternally. Because of Christ’s redemption, our work holds significance, and when done to God’s glory, our work is good.

The garbage man works every day to keep God’s creation clean. The accountant brings order to chaotic finances and spreadsheets. The doctor redeems sickness and heals pain. The teacher shares knowledge and skills with children and adults. The artist and musician capture, interpret, and portray truth in many forms. Every good and moral job can bring redemption to God’s creation.

How do you see the effects of redemption in your work?

–from Finding Fulfillment At Work-day 3

So will you put Jesus in the center of your life? Will you allow Him to be the north star for your life? Will you allow Him into your heart and clean out the junk of the past and redeem not only you and your life, but also your work, your relationships, and more? Will you do what is best and what is right and allow God to take care of the rest?

Ask Jesus into your heart! It’s not just about rituals and routines, it is about a true living relationship with Him! He will be with you, never leaving you nor abandoning you! His Spirit will give you wisdom and direction, discernment and correction when you open yourself up to His purpose, His plans, His will!

We may make a plan for today, but it is God that directs our steps.

I look at my calendar and ask God to use it for His will and His purpose!

Throughout the day I will watch some meetings disappear and others stick around! His way is incredible!

So what will you do? Do you want your life to be fulfilling?

Need a break?


When was the last time you took a break? When was the last time you purposely took time to rest? Do you do it weekly? If you don’t, why not? What is holding you back? What is keeping you from it?

This morning’s reading starts on a conversation about the Sabbath and so I figured I would pull up some definitions and then follow-up looking to see what Jesus says about it.

Definitions:

This morning’s reading begins with Jesus speaking about the Sabbath. We need the realize and remember why God created the Sabbath, it wasn’t for us to put up a bunch of our rules about how it should be, but it was a day set apart by God for His purpose. Let’s take a look:

1 Not long afterward Jesus was walking through some wheat fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began to pick heads of wheat and eat the grain. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to Jesus, “Look, it is against our Law for your disciples to do this on the Sabbath!”

3  Jesus answered, “Have you never read what David did that time when he and his men were hungry? 4 He went into the house of God, and he and his men ate the bread offered to God, even though it was against the Law for them to eat it—only the priests were allowed to eat that bread. 5 Or have you not read in the Law of Moses that every Sabbath the priests in the Temple actually break the Sabbath law, yet they are not guilty? 6I tell you that there is something here greater than the Temple. 7 The scripture says, ‘It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.’ If you really knew what this means, you would not condemn people who are not guilty; 8for the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
— from Matthew 12 (GNT)

Is it better to help someone on the Sabbath or to let them die or suffer? Yes we need our rest, but it should stop us from being good people and helping out those in need. Today’s Word continues with:

9Jesus left that place and went to a synagogue, 10where there was a man who had a paralyzed hand. Some people were there who wanted to accuse Jesus of doing wrong, so they asked him, “Is it against our Law to heal on the Sabbath?”

11  Jesus answered, “What if one of you has a sheep and it falls into a deep hole on the Sabbath? Will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12And a human being is worth much more than a sheep! So then, our Law does allow us to help someone on the Sabbath.” 13Then he said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out, and it became well again, just like the other one. 14Then the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus.
— from Matthew 12 (GNT)

Don’t be so crazy that you miss out being a blessing to others. Don’t add to what God’s Word requires or asks. Don’t make assumptions that can derail or complicate things.

So let’s just put our hope and trust in Jesus and do what He says and does and allow God to be exalted and praised in and through that:

15When Jesus heard about the plot against him, he went away from that place; and large crowds followed him. He healed all the sick 16and gave them orders not to tell others about him. 17He did this so as to make come true what God had said through the prophet Isaiah:

18  “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
the one I love, and with whom I am pleased.
I will send my Spirit upon him,
and he will announce my judgment to the nations.
19He will not argue or shout,
or make loud speeches in the streets.
20He will not break off a bent reed,
nor put out a flickering lamp.
He will persist until he causes justice to triumph,
21and on him all peoples will put their hope.”
— Matthew 12 (GNT)

Today’s reading keeps in this theme as we read from the book of Acts what Paul does on the Sabbath…

1Paul and Silas traveled on through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue. 2According to his usual habit Paul went to the synagogue. There during three Sabbaths he held discussions with the people, quoting 3and explaining the Scriptures, and proving from them that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from death. “This Jesus whom I announce to you,” Paul said, “is the Messiah.” 4Some of them were convinced and joined Paul and Silas; so did many of the leading women and a large group of Greeks who worshiped God.

5But some Jews were jealous and gathered worthless loafers from the streets and formed a mob. They set the whole city in an uproar and attacked the home of a man named Jason, in an attempt to find Paul and Silas and bring them out to the people. 6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city authorities and shouted, “These men have caused trouble everywhere! Now they have come to our city, 7and Jason has kept them in his house. They are all breaking the laws of the Emperor, saying that there is another king, whose name is Jesus.” 8With these words they threw the crowd and the city authorities in an uproar. 9The authorities made Jason and the others pay the required amount of money to be released, and then let them go.
— from Acts 17 (GNT)

It’s interesting people’s perspective may change, but God’s view never does. Paul continues to share the truth but he continues to be pursued…

10As soon as night came, the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived, they went to the synagogue. 11The people there were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was really true. 12Many of them believed; and many Greek women of high social standing and many Greek men also believed. 13But when the Jews in Thessalonica heard that Paul had preached the word of God in Berea also, they came there and started exciting and stirring up the mobs. 14At once the believers sent Paul away to the coast; but both Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15The men who were taking Paul went with him as far as Athens and then returned to Berea with instructions from Paul that Silas and Timothy should join him as soon as possible.

— from Acts 17 (GNT)

So today as we consider God’s plan and purpose for this day, let’s turn to God giving Him all the praise. Let’s not be self-centered, but rather let’s be Christ-centered. Keep Him in the middle of our relationships, our activities, our plans, our focus so that in all we do we glorify God today!

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The Lord protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid.

2When evil people attack me and try to kill me, they stumble and fall.
3Even if a whole army surrounds me, I will not be afraid; even if enemies attack me, I will still trust God
4I have asked the Lord for one thing; one thing only do I want: to live in the Lord‘s house all my life, to marvel there at his goodness, and to ask for his guidance.
5In times of trouble he will shelter me; he will keep me safe in his Temple and make me secure on a high rock.
6So I will triumph over my enemies around me. With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple; I will sing, I will praise the Lord.
7Hear me, Lord, when I call to you! Be merciful and answer me!
8When you said, “Come worship me,” I answered, “I will come, Lord.”
9Don’t hide yourself from me! Don’t be angry with me; don’t turn your servant away. You have been my help; don’t leave me, don’t abandon me, O God, my savior.
10My father and mother may abandon me, but the Lord will take care of me.
11Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and lead me along a safe path, because I have many enemies.
12Don’t abandon me to my enemies, who attack me with lies and threats.
13I know that I will live to see the Lord‘s goodness in this present life.
14Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord.
— from Psalm 27 (GNT)

Put your hope and trust in God! When He brings you to it, He will bring you through it! As the story of Exodus continues, we see God’s power of persuasion and how for His purpose and glorification, miracles happen.

Locusts

1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go and see the king. I have made him and his officials stubborn, in order that I may perform these miracles among them 2and in order that you may be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I made fools of the Egyptians when I performed the miracles. All of you will know that I am the Lord.”
3So Moses and Aaron went to the king and said to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How much longer will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 4If you keep on refusing, then I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. 5There will be so many that they will completely cover the ground. They will eat everything that the hail did not destroy, even the trees that are left. 6They will fill your palaces and the houses of all your officials and all your people. They will be worse than anything your ancestors ever saw.’” Then Moses turned and left.
7The king’s officials said to him, “How long is this man going to give us trouble? Let the Israelite men go, so that they can worship the Lord their God. Don’t you realize that Egypt is ruined?”
8So Moses and Aaron were brought back to the king, and he said to them, “You may go and worship the Lord your God. But exactly who will go?”
9Moses answered, “We will all go, including our children and our old people. We will take our sons and daughters, our sheep and goats, and our cattle, because we must hold a festival to honor the Lord.”
10The king said, “I swear by the Lord that I will never let you take your women and children! It is clear that you are plotting to revolt. 11No! Only the men may go and worship the Lord if that is what you want.” With that, Moses and Aaron were driven out of the king’s presence.
12Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts. They will come and eat everything that grows, everything that has survived the hail.” 13So Moses raised his stick, and the Lord caused a wind from the east to blow on the land all that day and all that night. By morning it had brought the locusts. 14 They came in swarms and settled over the whole country. It was the largest swarm of locusts that had ever been seen or that ever would be seen again. 15They covered the ground until it was black with them; they ate everything that the hail had left, including all the fruit on the trees. Not a green thing was left on any tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16Then the king hurriedly called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17Now forgive my sin this one time and pray to the Lord your God to take away this fatal punishment from me.” 18Moses left the king and prayed to the Lord. 19And the Lord changed the east wind into a very strong west wind, which picked up the locusts and blew them into the Gulf of Suez. Not one locust was left in all of Egypt. 20But the Lord made the king stubborn, and he did not let the Israelites go.

Darkness

21 The Lord then said to Moses, “Raise your hand toward the sky, and a darkness thick enough to be felt will cover the land of Egypt.” 22 Moses raised his hand toward the sky, and there was total darkness throughout Egypt for three days. 23The Egyptians could not see each other, and no one left his house during that time. But the Israelites had light where they were living.
24The king called Moses and said, “You may go and worship the Lord; even your women and children may go with you. But your sheep, goats, and cattle must stay here.”
25Moses answered, “Then you would have to provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to offer to the Lord our God. 26No, we will take our animals with us; not one will be left behind. We ourselves must select the animals with which to worship the Lord our God. And until we get there, we will not know what animals to sacrifice to him.”
27The Lord made the king stubborn, and he would not let them go. 28He said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Don’t let me ever see you again! On the day I do, you will die!”
29“You are right,” Moses answered. “You will never see me again.”
— from Exodus 10 (GNT)

Moses Announces the Death of the First-Born

1Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will send only one more punishment on the king of Egypt and his people. After that he will let you leave. In fact, he will drive all of you out of here. 2Now speak to the people of Israel and tell all of them to ask their neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.” 3The Lord made the Egyptians respect the Israelites. Indeed, the officials and all the people considered Moses to be a very great man.
4Moses then said to the king, “The Lord says, ‘At about midnight I will go through Egypt, 5and every first-born son in Egypt will die, from the king’s son, who is heir to the throne, to the son of the slave woman who grinds grain. The first-born of all the cattle will die also. 6There will be loud crying all over Egypt, such as there has never been before or ever will be again. 7But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals. Then you will know that I, the Lord, make a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.’” 8Moses concluded by saying, “All your officials will come to me and bow down before me, and they will beg me to take all my people and go away. After that, I will leave.” Then in great anger Moses left the king.
9The Lord had said to Moses, “The king will continue to refuse to listen to you, in order that I may do more of my miracles in Egypt.” 10Moses and Aaron performed all these miracles before the king, but the Lord made him stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites leave his country.
— from Exodus 11 (GNT)

The Passover

1  The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt: 2“This month is to be the first month of the year for you. 3Give these instructions to the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month each man must choose either a lamb or a young goat for his household. 4If his family is too small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbor may share an animal, in proportion to the number of people and the amount that each person can eat. 5You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects. 6Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals. 7The people are to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses in which the animals are to be eaten. 8That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs. 10You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burned. 11You are to eat it quickly, for you are to be dressed for travel, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. It is the Passover Festival to honor me, the Lord.
12“On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians. 14 You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the Lord, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come.”
The Festival of Unleavened Bread
15The Lord said, “For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast—eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people. 16On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food. 17Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival. 18From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the twenty-first day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast. 19-20For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.”

The First Passover

21Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, “Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover. 22Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing the animal’s blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you. 24You and your children must obey these rules forever. 25When you enter the land that the Lord has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual. 26When your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’ 27you will answer, ‘It is the sacrifice of Passover to honor the Lord, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.’”
The Israelites knelt down and worshiped. 28Then they went and did what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

The Death of the First-Born

29  At midnight the Lord killed all the first-born sons in Egypt, from the king’s son, who was heir to the throne, to the son of the prisoner in the dungeon; all the first-born of the animals were also killed. 30That night, the king, his officials, and all the other Egyptians were awakened. There was loud crying throughout Egypt, because there was not one home in which there was not a dead son. 31That same night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “Get out, you and your Israelites! Leave my country; go and worship the Lord, as you asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and leave. Also pray for a blessing on me.”
33The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country; they said, “We will all be dead if you don’t leave.” 34So the people filled their baking pans with unleavened dough, wrapped them in clothing, and carried them on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites had done as Moses had said, and had asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewelry and for clothes. 36The Lord made the Egyptians respect the people and give them what they asked for. In this way the Israelites carried away the wealth of the Egyptians.

The Israelites Leave Egypt

37The Israelites set out on foot from Rameses for Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men, not counting women and children. 38A large number of other people and many sheep, goats, and cattle also went with them. 39They baked unleavened bread from the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for they had been driven out of Egypt so suddenly that they did not have time to get their food ready or to prepare leavened dough.
40  The Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41On the day the 430 years ended, all the tribes of the Lord‘s people left Egypt. 42It was a night when the Lord kept watch to bring them out of Egypt; this same night is dedicated to the Lord for all time to come as a night when the Israelites must keep watch.

Regulations about Passover

43The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the Passover regulations: No foreigner shall eat the Passover meal, 44but any slave that you have bought may eat it if you circumcise him first. 45No temporary resident or hired worker may eat it. 46 The whole meal must be eaten in the house in which it was prepared; it must not be taken outside. And do not break any of the animal’s bones. 47The whole community of Israel must celebrate this festival, 48but no uncircumcised man may eat it. If a foreigner has settled among you and wants to celebrate Passover to honor the Lord, you must first circumcise all the males of his household. He is then to be treated like a native-born Israelite and may join in the festival. 49The same regulations apply to native-born Israelites and to foreigners who settle among you.” 50All the Israelites obeyed and did what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51On that day the Lord brought the Israelite tribes out of Egypt.
— from Exodus 12 (GNT)

What will it take for God to get your attention? What would it take for Him to get you to do what He is asking? Today is a new day and a day where you can choose to follow after Him and His ways. Choose wisely!

Do you need help with directions?


Wondering where your next step should be? Wondering which direction to head? Wondering which way to turn? Wondering what way to go? Need help? What’s the plan? What’s the message? What’s the purpose? Turn to God and ask Him for wisdom, help, direction, discernment, a plan. We may come up with a plan but God will direct our path! God’s ways may not be our ways, however, His ways are better than our ways! Listen attentively to His direction! Be obedient to His calling on your life! See His hand do incredible things in and through your life!

1-3Paul came first to Derbe, then Lystra. He found a disciple there by the name of Timothy, son of a devout Jewish mother and Greek father. Friends in Lystra and Iconium all said what a fine young man he was. Paul wanted to recruit him for their mission, but first took him aside and circumcised him so he wouldn’t offend the Jews who lived in those parts. They all knew that his father was Greek.
4-5As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful. Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.
6-8They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas.
9-10That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.
11-12Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We lingered there several days.
13-14On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed!
15After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.” We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
— Acts 16

 

Just because you do something that takes a burden off someone’s shoulder doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about it! Know who you are! Remember who sent you! Worship God in the sun and in the storm! Let the joy of the Lord flow out of you that others may come to know the hope that is within you. Let the worship of the Lord open eyes and hearts to receive the message of Jesus Christ. Stay where God wants you to be, He will get you through it. Be the instrument God wants to use to forward His plan and purpose. Let your light shine! Like a city on a Hill! Like a lighthouse that warns about the traps that are around you. Focus on God’s will and plan for you! You may be the one that saves the life of one or the lives of many. Don’t allow the devil to rob you of your joy and hope that is inside of you. Make sure you know who you are dealing with before you get yourself into hot water!

16-18One day, on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl ran into us. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to us by yelling out, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up with her, turned and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “Out! In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And it was gone, just like that.
19-22When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.
22-24The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.
25-26Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.
27-28Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”
29-31The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”
32-34They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.
35-36At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”
37But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”
38-40When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.
— Acts 16

 

God will give you a stage! God will give you a platform! Will you step up? Will you step in? Will you speak what He has for you to say? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Thessalonica
1-3They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. He opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that “this Jesus I’m introducing you to is that Messiah.”
4-5Some of them were won over and joined ranks with Paul and Silas, among them a great many God-fearing Greeks and a considerable number of women from the aristocracy. But the hard-line Jews became furious over the conversions. Mad with jealousy, they rounded up a bunch of brawlers off the streets and soon had an ugly mob terrorizing the city as they hunted down Paul and Silas.
5-7They broke into Jason’s house, thinking that Paul and Silas were there. When they couldn’t find them, they collared Jason and his friends instead and dragged them before the city fathers, yelling hysterically, “These people are out to destroy the world, and now they’ve shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear! And Jason is hiding them, these traitors and turncoats who say Jesus is king and Caesar is nothing!”
8-9The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges.
Berea
10-12That night, under cover of darkness, their friends got Paul and Silas out of town as fast as they could. They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul’s message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence.
13-15But it wasn’t long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard-line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too. With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip—caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: “Come as quickly as you can!”
Athens
16The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.
17-18He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What an airhead!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
19-21These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, “This is a new one on us. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? Explain it so we can understand.” Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.
22-23So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31“God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32-34At the phrase “raising him from the dead,” the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, “Let’s do this again. We want to hear more.” But that was it for the day, and Paul left. There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul—among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris.
— Acts 17

GOD’S LOVE NEVER QUITS!!

1-3Thank God! He deserves your thanks.
His love never quits.
Thank the God of all gods,
His love never quits.
Thank the Lord of all lords.
His love never quits.
4-22Thank the miracle-working God,
His love never quits.
The God whose skill formed the cosmos,
His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations,
His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light,
His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day,
His love never quits.
Moon and stars as guardians of the night,
His love never quits.
The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn,
His love never quits.
And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression,
His love never quits.
Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand,
His love never quits.
Split the Red Sea right in half,
His love never quits.
Led Israel right through the middle,
His love never quits.
Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea,
His love never quits.
The God who marched his people through the desert,
His love never quits.
Smashed huge kingdoms right and left,
His love never quits.
Struck down the famous kings,
His love never quits.
Struck Sihon the Amorite king,
His love never quits.
Struck Og the Bashanite king,
His love never quits.
Then distributed their land as booty,
His love never quits.
Handed the land over to Israel.
His love never quits.
23-26God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!
— Psalm 136

Do you take time to rest?


Life can be so busy. Work. School. After work activities. After school activities. Volunteering. Playing sports. Watching sports. Yard work. House work. etc. With life’s activities, do you take time to rest? Do you make time to rest?

Sabbath:

1> Sunday as day of religious worship: Sunday, observed by most Christians as the day of worship and rest from work

2> Saturday as day of religious worship: Saturday, observed as a day of religious worship and rest from work in Judaism and some Christian denominations

Sabbatical

> leave from work: a period of leave from work for research, study, or travel, often with pay and usually granted to college professors every seven years

God’s Word speaks to us:

9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. – Hebrews 4:9-10

If you aren’t taking time to rest or making time to rest, why? Is it out of fear? Fear isn’t how we are to operate. When we are going through life, if a storm comes up that bring fear into our lives, we need to call on Jesus who will not only be able to bring peace into the situation, but will also be able to provide reassurance and safety through it. In today’s 365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day, we read:

Meanwhile, the sea was getting rough and rising high because of a great and violent wind that was blowing. [However] when they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the boat. And they were afraid (terrified). But Jesus said to them, It is I; be not afraid! [I AM; stop being frightened!] Then they were quite willing and glad for Him to come into the boat. And now the boat went at once to the land they had steered toward. [And immediately they reached the shore toward which they had been slowly making their way.] – John 6:18-21

So as we consider this day as tomorrow will have enough to think about, consider if you were in heaven how would you live differently? In heaven we would be wanting to serve God and worship him. Are you tired? Is it because you are tired of the labor or tired in it? Here we are able to get a partial rest, in heaven we will find perfect rest. Let’s try not to be unsettled because we are trying to attain something. Let’s focus on God and consider how when we are in heaven we will have attained the prize, we will have finished the race, and there won’t be a higher goal to attain. We will go to a place where things won’t rust, nobody will rob or steal, we won’t be tired for we will have the rest we need.

So where are you focused today? Are you making time to rest? Are you taking time to rest? If we lack rest, it will impact our state of mind and how we respond. We can become irritable or cranky. It can impact our ability to be patient. So take time to rest. Take time to be filled by God so that you aren’t trying to go all day with an empty tank. Watch God’s hand come in and help you in and through life. Call on Him who wants to help you and glorify Him with your faith, your hope, your trust, in Him.

 

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything in it. I praise You Lord for a Word that never returns void. Thank You for my family and friends, and I lift them up to You for I know that life can be busy but I know that Your ways are not our ways, Your ways are higher than our ways and so I pray for wisdom and discernment not only for me but for others so that our lives can be in balance with what Your plans are so that with every thought, every word, and every action, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.