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.

To be restored!


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Appeal Renewed

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

Dealing With False Teachers

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

–2 Timothy 2

and to conclude today’s post…

Doing Good for the Sake of the Gospel

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

–Titus 2

 


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


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

Know how to find hope beyond your circumstances?


There is war and treat of war! There are nations against nations and kingdom against kingdoms! There are famines and earthquakes! In the days of Jeremiah they were told that there would swords, famine, and plagues before the city would be given to Babylon! But in and thru it all there was still hope given by God!

36“You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon’; but this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
42“This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. 43Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.’ 44Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.”

–from Jeremiah 32

We need to see beyond today! We need to look beyond the here and the now! We need a vision for the future! As we read in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s plan is for us to have a hope and a future! We need to turn to Him, trust in Him, and walk aligned with Him in and thru the trials and troubles! We need to use the trials to build up our faith and persevere so that in the end we will be mature, complete and lacking nothing! God will restore! No matter what is going on! No matter what has happened! Don’t lose faith! Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Walk in His ways! Acknowledge Him so that He will make your path straight! It’s about finding unity within the body! It’s about coming together in unison rather than be remembered for our bickering and divisive ways! Let’s rejoice in the Lord! Let your gentleness be evident and obvious to everyone! Don’t be anxious about anything, instead pray and fellowship with God, petition and bring your needs before God, be thankful giving God the praise, the honor and the glory in Jesus’ name and give your requests into God’s hands! Now peace…allow God’s peace that goes beyond all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus! So if you are wondering what to do and how to live, consider what Paul says next…

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

–from Philippians 4

Jeremiah gets a second reminder for hope in the future! A promise for restoration! God speaks to Him this way…

Promise of Restoration

1While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: 2“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: 3‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ 4For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword 5in the fight with the Babylonians: ‘They will be filled with the dead bodies of the people I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.
6“ ‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
10“This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
for the Lord is good;
his love endures forever.”

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.
12“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate and without people or animals—in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks. 13In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the Lord.
14“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
15“ ‘In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from Davidʼs line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.
16In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’
17For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’ ”
19The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20“This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’ ”
23The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24“Have you not noticed that these people are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two kingdoms he chose’? So they despise my people and no longer regard them as a nation. 25This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 33

Will you cry out to God for wisdom? Will you cry out to God for help? Will you turn to Him when you face trials and troubles? Will you put all your hope and trust in God?

Will you allow God to bring health and healing back into the country after such a divisive and tenuous event? Will you ask Him to come and heal your land? Will you humble yourself and pray? Will ask Him for forgiveness? Will you grab hold of the promise that if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, turning back to Him, seeking His face, turning away from their wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land!

Will you see as God sees it? Will you see it as it will be rather than where it is today? Will you allow Him to give you eyes to see beyond today? Will you allow Him to give you hope beyond your circumstances?

So let’s grab hold of the truths of God! Let’s take hold of His promises! Let’s turn to Jesus and ask Him into our very situation so that He can intervene and intercede on our behalf!

Once we asked Jesus into our hearts, we were born again! We are new creation where the old is gone and the new has come! The great news is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! So if you are feeling a spirit of condemnation rather than correction, it is not from God! Jesus paid it all! Jesus did what we couldn’t do for ourselves! We just have to receive it, the gift of life and of hope! We just need to believe it and live it! We just have to live with a different mindset! Yes we may have suffering in the present, but it will lead to future glory thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus! Because we are more than conquerors thru Jesus!

Let’s reflect on this as we read the final chapter of today’s reading from Romans…

Life Through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to Godʼs law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are Godʼs children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for Godʼs people in accordance with the will of God.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 8


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3233, Romans 8

Do you realize the impact one person who chooses to do right can have?


With all the crazy things going on around us, imagine a leader who would turn back to what is right. Imagine a leader who will align to the truth. Imagine a leader who will not only know what is right, but do it. Imagine a leader who undoes the wrongs and replaces them with right. Imagine a leader who turns back to God and walks in alignment to His will. Imagine a leader who clings unto God for all his direction and instruction. Imagine a leader who turns things around to the point where prosperity starts to show up.

What will it take for that to not be imaginary? What will that take to become a reality?

How long will it take before people turn back to God? How long will it take before people decide it’s time to change?

Who will take a stand? Who will turn to God? Who will ask Him into their heart and mind? Who will decide that enough is enough? Who will ask God for help and wisdom?

Where will it begin? Where will it start? Where will they come from?

When will it happen? When will it begin? When will the people say that enough is enough? When will people choose to follow after God’s way?

Do you realize the impact one person
who chooses to do right can have?


This morning’s reading begins in 2 Kings…

Righteous King Hezekiah

1Now it was in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel that Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in Adonai’s eyes, according to all his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made—for up to those days Bnei-Yisrael were still burning incense to it—it was called Nehushtan . 5He trusted in Adonai, the God of Israel. Indeed, none of all the kings of Judah after him was like him—and none before him. 6For he clung to Adonai. He did not turn away from following Him, but kept His mitzvot, which Adonai had commanded Moses. 7So Adonai was with him. Wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territories, from watchtower to fortified city. 9Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, that King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it, 10and at the end of three years they captured it. So Samaria was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and placed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes. 12For they had not listened to the voice of Adonai their God, but transgressed His covenant—all that Moses the servant of Adonai had commanded—they neither listened nor did it.

Proud Sennacherib Challenges Hezekiah

13Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them. 14So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, whatever you impose on me, I will bear.” So the king of Assyria imposed on King Hezekiah of Judah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. 15Then Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of Adonai as well as in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16At that time Hezekiah stripped off the gold from the doors of the Temple of Adonai and from the doorposts that King Hezekiah of Judah had overlaid, and gave them to the king of Assyria. 17Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. So they went up and arrived at Jerusalem. Now when they arrived, they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field. 18When they had called to the king, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the royal palace, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them. 19So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 20You say you have a plan and military force for the battle—they are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 21Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22“But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses—if you could put riders of your own on them! 24So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 25“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 26Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 27But the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own wastes and drink their own urine with you?” 28Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29‘Thus says the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand! 30Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying: “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.””’ 31“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come, and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and honey, that you may live and not die.’ “So don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying: ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ 33Have any of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 36But the people were silent and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.

–from 2 Kings 18

Who will restore? How will they go about the restoration? What will they do? Where will they start? Why? When will it begin?

Hezekiah Restores the Temple

1Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did right in the eyes of Adonai, just as his father David had done. 3In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the House of Adonai and repaired them. 4He brought in the kohanim and the Levites and assembled them into the eastern square. 5Then he said to them: “Listen to me, Levites! Sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the House of Adonai, the God of your fathers, and remove the defilement out of the holy place. 6Our fathers acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Adonai Eloheinu and have forsaken Him. They turned their faces away from Adonai’s dwelling place and turned their backs on Him. 7They also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or offering any burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore, the wrath of Adonai was upon Judah and Jerusalem. He has made them an object of horror, dread and scorn, as you are seeing with your own eyes. 9Behold, for this our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, daughters and wives are in captivity. 10“Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Adonai, the God of Israel, so that His fierce anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, now do not be negligent, for Adonai has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and to burn incense to Him.” 12Then these Levites arose: from the sons of Kohath, Mahath son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah; from the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the sons of Gershon, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah; 13from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15When they had gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, they went in, as the king ordered according to the words of Adonai, to cleanse the House of Adonai. 16So the kohanim went into the inner part of the House of Adonai to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the House of Adonai every impure thing that they found in the temple of Adonai. Then the Levites received it and carried it out to Kidron Valley. 17They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Adonai. For eight days they consecrated the House of Adonai and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have purified the entire House of Adonai—the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, the table of the rows of bread with all the vessels. 19We have also prepared and concecrated all the articles that King Ahaz discarded in his unfaithfulness, while he was king. Behold, they are now before the altar of Adonai.” 20Then King Hezekiah arose early gathered the leaders of the city and went up to the House of Adonai. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven he-goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary and Judah, and he commanded the kohanim—the sons of Aaron—to offer them on the altar of Adonai. 22So they slaughtered the bulls and the kohanim took the blood and sprinkled it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood against the altar. 23The he-goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the congregation, and they laid their hands on them. 24The kohanim then slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to make atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25He stationed the Levites in the House of Adonai with cymbals, harps and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer and of Nathan the prophet. For the command was by the authority of Adonai through His prophets. 26So the Levites stood with David’s instruments and the kohanim with the trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Adonai also began with the trumpets, together with the instruments of King David of Israel. 28The entire congregation prostrated themselves, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29Now at the completion of the burnt offering, the king and all who were present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to Adonai with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped. 31Then Hezekiah responded and said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to Adonai. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the House of Adonai.” The congregation brought in sacrifices and thankofferings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs—all of these as a burnt offering to Adonai. 33The animals consecrated as sacrifices were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34The kohanim, however, were too few to flay all the burnt offerings, so their kinsmen, the Levites, helped them until the work was completed, and until other kohanim had consecrated themselves. For the Levites had been more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the kohanim. 35There were also a great many burnt offerings, along with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offering at every burnt offering. Thus the avodah of the House of Adonai was reestablished. 36Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had enabled the people to accomplish, because it happened so suddenly.

–from 2 Chronicles 29

Consider how Jesus came to free us! Consider how Jesus came to give us salvation! Consider how Jesus came to teach us so that we wouldn’t stumble! Consider how Jesus told us it wasn’t going to be easy, but that it would be worth it! Consider how if we all aligned to Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! Consider how if we followed Jesus’ teaching how things would be different! So why not start now and see the impact your choice can make on a generation? We each have a calling and a purpose! God created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So don’t give up! Give it up to God! Invite the Holy Spirit to walk with you and help you with every step of every day! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your every word and action! Let’s grab hold of the truth, for the truth will set us free!

Let’s ask for what we have need us! Let’s walk out our lives with Jesus as our Lord and Savior! Let’s ask in the name of Jesus, the name above all names!

1“I have spoken these things to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. Yes, an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3They will do these things because they have never known the Father or Me. 4But I have spoken these things to you so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Ruach Reveals Truth

5“But now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you is asking Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have spoken these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away! For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12“I still have much more to tell you, but you cannot handle it just now. 13But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Death and Resurrection Foretold

16“A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me.” 17Then some of His disciples said to one another, “What does He mean by telling us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? And, ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept on saying, “What’s this He’s saying, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what He’s talking about!” 19Yeshua knew that they wanted to question Him, so He said to them, “Are you asking each other about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again in a little while, you will see Me’? 20Amen, amen I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will celebrate. You will be filled with sorrow, but your sorrow will turn to joy! 21“When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22So also you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you! 23“In that day, you will ask Me nothing. Amen, amen I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24Up to now, you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25“These things I have spoken to you in metaphors. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in metaphors, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day, you will ask in My name—and I’m not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God. 28I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples say, “See, now You’re speaking plainly and not in metaphors. 30Now we know that You know everything and have no need to be asked anything. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31Yeshua answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Look, the hour is coming—indeed has come—when you will be scattered, each to his own, and you will abandon Me. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”

–from John 16

Are you seeing straight?


Are you getting the message? Are you able to be aligned? Are you on the level? If there were a plumb line attached to your life how would it line up?

How will you allow God to use your life? How will you answer the call? How will you respond to the higher calling? Will you answer it? Will you be obedient to it?

How will you use the gifts He has given you? How will you use the talents He has given you?

Will you walk with open hands that can be used by God? Will you walk with closed fist worrying about what you could lose and miss out on what could have gone through your hands?

Are you seeing straight?

plumb-line-amos-7-8

 


Today’s reading continues in Amos…

Locusts and the Trial by Fire

1This is what my Lord Adonai has shown me: Behold, He was forming locusts at the beginning of the spring crop—after the cutting of the king’s hay. 2When the locust-swarm had finished devouring the vegetation of the land, I said: “Adonai Elohim, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?” 3Adonai relented concerning this. “It shall not be,” Adonai said. 4This is what my Lord Adonai has shown me: Behold, Adonai Elohim was calling for the trial by fire, and it would have devoured the great deep, and it would have devoured the territory. 5But I said: “My Lord Adonai, stop, please! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?” 6Adonai relented concerning this. “This also shall not happen,” says my Lord Adonai.

Plumb Line on a Wall

7This is what He has revealed to me: Behold, my Lord was standing by a vertical wall, and in His hand was a plumb line. 8Then Adonai said to me: “What do you see, Amos?” I said: “A plumb line.” Then my Lord said: “Behold, I am setting a plumb line among My people Israel— I will no longer pass over them. 9So the high places of Isaac will become desolate, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste, and I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.” 10Then Amaziah, the priest of Beth-el, sent word to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying: “Amos has been conspiring against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land cannot endure all his words. 11For this is what Amos has said: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go captive from his land.’” 12Then Amaziah said to Amos: “Seer, go away! Flee back to the land of Judah. Eat bread there, and prophesy there. 13But at Bethel you are not to prophesy any more—for it is a royal sanctuary and a house of the kingdom.” 14So Amos responded and said to Amaziah: “I am no prophet, nor am I a son of a prophet. Rather, I am a shepherd tending fig trees. 15But Adonai took me from following the flock and Adonai said to me: ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’ 16So now, hear the word of Adonai: You are saying, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’ 17Therefore, this is what Adonai says: ‘Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, and your land divided up by a measuring line. Now, as for you— you will die in an unclean land, and Israel will surely be led away captive out of its land.’”

–from Amos 7

How are you treating the poor? How are you looking at the afflicted? Are you living ethically? Are you living justly? Don’t cheat others! Don’t mistreat others!

We all have a part to play! Let’s be turning back to God before it is too late and things fall apart! Let’s become people of forgiveness! Let’s forgive others! Let’s ask God and others to forgive us! Let’s not walk in wicked ways, but turn back to God! Let’s humble ourselves and letting go of our pride give our lives to God! Let’s seek God and His will and His way! God’s Word is true! God’s promises are true! And if we will do this, we know…

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. from 2 Chronicles 7:14

Do you see what is going on around you? Do you see people who are trying to get away with lies? Do you see people who are trying to get away with mistreating others? Do you see people who are destroying the afflicted? Will you just stand by idly doing nothing?

A Basket of Summer Fruit

1This is what my Lord Adonai has shown me: See, there was a basket of summer fruit. 2He said: “Amos, what do you see?” “A basket of summer fruit,” I said. Then Adonai said to me: “The end has come to My people Israel. I will not again pass over them. 3The songs of the palace will become howls in that day.” It is a declaration of my Lord Adonai. “So many corpses flung everywhere! Hush! 4Hear this, you who trample the poor, destroying the afflicted of the land 5saying: ‘When will the New Moon be over, so we may sell grain? Or Shabbat, so we may open the wheat market? —Let’s reduce the ephah measure and increase the shekel, cheat with deceitful balances, 6buy the poor for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals! We’ll even sell the refuse of the grain!’” 7Adonai swore by the Pride of Jacob: “Never will I forget all their deeds! 8Will not the land tremble over this? Will not all who dwell in it mourn? Yes, it will rise up like all the Nile —it will surge and sink again like the Nile of Egypt.” 9“It will be in that day” —declares my Lord Adonai— “I will make the sun go down at noon, yes, I will darken the earth in daylight. 10I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your songs into a dirge. I will pull up sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head. I will make it like the mourning for an only son— its end a bitter day.” 11“Behold, days are coming” —declares my Lord Adonai— “when I will send a famine on the land —not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Adonai. 12So people will wander from sea to sea and roam from north to east, searching for the word of Adonai, but they will not find it. 13In that day, the fair virgins and the virile young men will faint from thirst. 14Those swearing by Samaria’s guilt will say, ‘As your gods live, Dan!’ or ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’ But they will fall, never to rise again.”

–from Amos 8

We need to stand up before it is too late! We need to stand out before it’s too late! We need to speak out before it is too late! Fear Not, just Believe!

God sees all! God knows all! Nothing is hidden from God! God knows your thoughts! God knows your heart! God knows even the things you haven’t said or done but just have thought them! He knows where you stand! He knows what you do and don’t stand for! He knows what you will and won’t stand for! He knows you better than you know yourself! We can’t run from Him because He is everywhere! He knows our names! He knows our every thought! He sees each tear that falls! He hears us when we call!

So what are you going to do? Today you have a choice! Choose wisely!

No Escaping His Eyes

1I saw my Lord standing by the altar, and He said: “Strike the tops of the pillars, so the porches shake! Break all of them off at the head! Then the last of them I will slay with the sword— none of them fleeing will escape and no fugitive will slip away. 2If they should dig down to Sheol, from there My hand will take them. If they should go up to heaven, from there will I bring them down. 3If they should hide themselves at the top of Carmel, I will search them out and take them from there. If they hide themselves from My eyes at the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the sea serpent to bite them. 4If they should go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword to slay them. I will set My eyes upon them for calamity and not for prosperity.” 5My Lord is Adonai-Tzva’ot. It is He who touches the land so it melts, and all its inhabitants will mourn. Then it will surge like all the Nile, and sink again like the Nile of Egypt. 6He who builds His upper stories in heaven fitted its vault over the earth. He who summons the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth —Adonai is His Name. 7“Are you not like the children of the Cushites to Me, Bnei-Yisrael?” It is the declaration of Adonai. “Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor, and Aram from Kir?” 8Behold, the eyes of my Lord Adonai are on the sinful kingdom. So I will utterly destroy it from the face of the earth. Nevertheless, I will not annihilate the house of Jacob.” It is a declaration of Adonai. 9“For behold, I have commanded, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations, like grain being tossed in a sieve, without a pebble falling to the ground. 10By the sword shall all the sinners of My people die, those who say: ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’

David’s Sukkah Restored

11“In that day I will raise up David’s fallen sukkah. I will restore its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in days of old 12—so they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations called by My Name.” It is a declaration of Adonai, the One who will do this. 13“Behold, days are soon coming” —it is a declaration of Adonai — “when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one treading grapes, the one sowing seed. The mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills will melt over. 14Yes, I will restore the captivity of My people Israel. They will rebuild desolated cities and dwell in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine. They will also make gardens and eat their fruit. 15Yes, I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be plucked up out of their land that I have given to them.” Adonai, your God, has said it.

–from Amos 9

Jesus has made a way that didn’t exist before Him! Jesus opened a path that leads us back home that didn’t exist before Him! Jesus closed the gap that was created by the original sin that wasn’t possible before Him!

So choose Jesus today! Ask Him into your heart! Ask Him  what He would have you do! Ask Him what He would have you say! Ask Him what He would have you stop doing! Ask Him to make His will for your life known to you!

Don’t allow doubt – your’s or anyone else’s – rob you from the miracles God wants to do in and through your life!

Consider what God will be able to do in and through your life if you allow Him into your heart! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him to create a new heart in you! Ask Him for wisdom in every situation! Be transformed and transform the world around you! Allow Him to take you right where you are today and to speak into your life! I remember getting the message about getting out of the boat just over 3 years ago! I remember getting the message that the 2nd half of my life will be twice as good as the first half on my last day on the job of my previous employer. God’s Word is alive and knows right where we are at! He loves us too much to leave us there! So what will you choose today?

Responding to Rejection

1Now Yeshua went out from there, and He comes to His hometown, and His disciples follow Him. 2When Shabbat came, He began to teach in the synagogue. Many listeners were amazed, saying, “Where did this fellow get these things? What’s this wisdom given to Him? Such miracles are done by His hands! 3Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Miriam, and the brother of Jacob and Joseph and Judah and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4Then Yeshua began saying to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” 5He was not able to do any miracle, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6And He was astonished because of their unbelief. And He was going around among the villages teaching. 7Yeshua summoned the Twelve, and He began to send them out two by two. And He gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He directed them to take nothing for the journey except a walking stick—no bread, no bag, no copper coin in their belt— 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two shirts. 10He was also telling them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11And whatever place will not receive you or listen to you, as you leave from there, shake the dust off the bottom of your feet as a witness against them.” 12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent, 13and they were driving out many demons and anointing with oil many who were sick and healing them. 14King Herod heard, for Yeshua’s name had become known. Some were saying, “John the Immerser has risen from the dead! Because of this, these powers are at work in Him!” 15But others were saying, “It’s Elijah!” Still others were saying, “It’s a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16But when Herod heard, he said, “John, the one I beheaded, has been raised!” 17For Herod himself sent and arrested John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because Herod had married her. 18For John had been telling Herod, “It is not permitted for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19Now Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she wasn’t able. 20For Herod was in awe of John and kept him safe, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When he listened to John he was confused, but he still listened gladly. 21An opportunity came—when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his high officials, military brass, and the leaders of the Galilee. 22When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those reclining with him. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want, and I’ll give it to you!” 23He vowed to her, “Whatever you ask of me I’ll give you, up to half of my kingdom!” 24She left the room and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother said, “The head of John the Immerser!” 25Immediately she rushed to the king and requested, “I want you to give me, right now, the head of John the Immerser on a platter!” 26The king became very sorrowful; but because of his oaths and those reclining with him, he didn’t want to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent an executioner and gave orders to bring John’s head. And the executioner went out and beheaded John in the prison, 28brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When John’s disciples heard, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Feeding 5000 Families

30The twelve emissaries gathered together with Yeshua, and they reported to Him all they had done and taught. 31There were many coming and going, and they had no time even to eat. So He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to an isolated place and rest awhile.” 32So they left privately by boat to an isolated place. 33However, the people saw them leaving, and many recognized them. They ran on foot from all the towns to get there ahead of them. 34As Yeshua came ashore, He saw a large crowd and felt compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He taught them many things. 35When it was already late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is isolated, and the hour is already late. 36Send these people away so they can go into the nearby countryside and the villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Should we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread to give them something to eat?” 38Then He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then Yeshua made them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they reclined in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41And He took the five loaves and the two fish; and looking up to heaven, He offered the bracha. He broke the loaves and kept giving them to the disciples to serve to the people; and He divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and fish. 44Now there were five thousand men who ate the loaves.

Walking on Water

45Right away, Yeshua made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away. 46After leaving them, He went up on the hillside to pray. 47And when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea and He was alone on the land. 48He saw the disciples struggling to row, for the wind was against them. Around the fourth watch in the night, Yeshua comes to them, walking on the sea; and He wanted to pass by them. 49But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought He was a ghost and cried out— 50for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately, He spoke to them. He said, “Take courage! I am. Do not be afraid.” 51Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped. They were utterly dumbfounded, 52for they still hadn’t understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened.

Miracles Multiply

53After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and set anchor there. 54As they got out of the boat, immediately people recognized Yeshua. 55They ran about the region and began to carry around on their mats all those who were in bad shape, to wherever they heard He was. 56And wherever He entered villages, towns, or countryside, people were placing the sick in the marketplaces and begging Him to let them touch even the tzitzit of His garment—and all who touched it were being healed.

–from Mark 6

 

Deception and Danger – what will you do about it?


Ever setup good boundaries? Ever setup good rules? Ever setup good environments?

Ever had someone violate them? Ever had someone break them? Ever wondered what you could have done differently?

How did you respond? How did you react? What did you do about it?

How did you feel? Anger? Frustration? Regret?

Seek God! Set standards! Be aware and not deceived at what is going on!

Today’s reading kicks off on such a subject, let’s check out David’s family…

Amnon Attacks Tamar and Absalom’s Wrath

1It came to pass after this that Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar, so Amnon, son of David, fell in love with her. 2But Amnon was so frustrated that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible in Amnon to do anything to her. 3However, Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4So he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, so miserable morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon told him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend you are sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some bread to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may see it and eat from her hand.’” 6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick, and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in front of me so I may eat from her hand.” 7Then David sent someone to the house for Tamar saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare bread for him.” 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house while he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in front of him and baked the cakes. 9Then she took the pan and poured them out in front of him but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Everyone, leave me!” So everyone left him. 10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the bread into the bedroom that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11But when she brought them close to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come lie with me, my sister.” 12“No!” she said to him. “Don’t, my brother! Don’t rape me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Don’t do this disgraceful deed! 13I—where could I go with my shame? You—you will be as one of the disgraceful fools in Israel. Now, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14But he was unwilling to listen to her voice, so he overpowered her, forced her and lay with her. 15Then Amnon loathed her with very intense revulsion—indeed, the hatred that he hated her with was greater than the love in which he had loved her. So Amnon said to her, “Get up, get out!” 16But she said to him, “No! Sending me away is even a greater evil than the one you have already done to me!” But again he would not listen to her. 17Then he called his servant that attended him and said, “Get this woman away from me now and bolt the door after her.” 18Now she had on her a long-sleeved garment for with such robes the king’s virgin daughters used to be dressed. When his attendant took her outside and bolted the door after her, 19Tamar put ashes on her head and rent her long-sleeved garment that was on her. She laid her hand on her head and was crying aloud as she went away. 20Then her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? So now, my sister, keep quiet. He is your brother—don’t take this thing to heart.” But Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21When King David heard about all these things, he was very angry. 22Absalom did not say a word to Amnon, either good or bad, for Absalom hated Amnon because he had raped his sister Tamar. 23It came about, after two full years, that Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24Then Absalom came to the king and said, “See now, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants come with your servant.” 25But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. Let’s not all go—we don’t want to be burdensome to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go, though he blessed him. 26Then Absalom said, “If not, then please let my brother Amnon go with us.” “Why should he go with you?” the king said to him. 27But when Absalom pressed him, he let Amnon go with him, along with all the king’s sons. 28Then Absalom commanded his young men saying, “Now watch Amnon until his heart is merry with wine. When I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then put him to death! Have no fear! Isn’t it I who commanded you? Be strong! Be sons of valor!” 29So Absalom’s young men did to Amnon as Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, each mounted his mule and fled. 30While they were on the way, a report came to David saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons and not one of them is left!” 31Then the king stood up, rent his clothes and lay on the ground, and all his courtiers were standing by with their clothes rent. 32But Jonadab son of David’s brother Shimeah said in response, “My lord must not think that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons! For only Amnon has died. For from Absalom’s mouth this has been determined since the day he raped his sister Tamar. 33Now therefore, my lord the king must not take the report to his heart thinking that all the king’s sons are dead—for only Amnon is dead.” 34Meanwhile Absalom had fled. When the young watchman lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, there were many people coming down the road behind him on the hillside. 35Then Jonadab said to the king, “The king’s sons have just arrived! It’s just as your servant has said.” 36As soon as he finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons arrived. They lifted up their voices and wept, and also the king and all his courtiers wept very bitterly. 37But Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38So Absalom fled, went to Geshur and remained there three years. 39Then King David’s soul longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.

–from 2 Samuel 13

God’s plan is one of forgiveness and reconciliation! He is wanting us to turn back to Him! He is wanting us to be restored! He proved this ultimately by sending Jesus who not only spoke life and the truth of God’s kingdom, but also gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice in order to bridge the great divide created when sin entered into the world! God made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God is calling you today, will you answer the call? Will you start, fuel, and build up your relationship with God? Is today your day to start? Is today another day of you walking with Him? Let’s live out grace, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation!

Joab Brings Absalom to Jerusalem

1Now Joab son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was on Absalom. 2So Joab sent word to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there. He said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning clothes. Do not anoint yourself with oil but be like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. 3Then go to the king and speak to him these words.” Then Joab put the words in her mouth. 4When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, bowed down and said, “Help, O king!” 5“What’s the matter with you?” the king said to her. “Truly, I am a widow, my husband is dead,” she said. 6“Your handmaid had two sons, but the two of them fought with each other in the field, where there was no one to separate them. So one struck the other and killed him. 7Now behold, the whole clan has risen against your handmaid and said, ‘Hand over the one who struck down his brother so we may put him to death, for the life of his brother whom he slew.’ So they will also destroy the heir and extinguish my one remaining ember, leaving to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth!” 8Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your home. I will issue an order concerning you.” 9The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord the king, let the iniquity be on me and on my father’s house but may the king and his throne be innocent.” 10“Whoever speaks to you,” the king said, “bring him to me and he shall not touch you anymore.” 11“Please, let the king remember Adonai your God,” she said, “so that the avenger of blood does not destroy any more, so they won’t destroy my son.” “As Adonai lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son will fall to the ground.” 12Then the woman said, “Please, let your handmaid speak a word to my lord the king.” “Say on,” he said. 13The woman said, “Why have you devised a situation just like this against God’s people? For by speaking this word, the king is like the guilty one—by not bringing back the one he banished. 14For we will all surely die and be like water spilt on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life but rather, He devises plans so that a banished person may not remain an outcast from Him. 15Now the reason I came to speak this word to my lord the king is because the people have made me afraid. So your handmaid thought, ‘I must speak to the king—perhaps the king will fulfill the request of his maidservant. 16Surely the king will hear, to deliver his maidservant from the hand of the one who would eliminate both me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.’ 17Then your handmaid also thought, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king bring relief. For like an angel of God so is my lord the king to discern good and evil.’ So may Adonai your God be with you.” 18Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me concerning what I am about to ask you.” “Please let my lord the king speak,” the woman said. 19Then the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” “As your soul lives, my lord the king,” the woman answered, “no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Yes, your servant Joab was the one who commanded me and put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid. 20Your servant Joab did this thing in order to bring about a change in the situation. But my lord is wise—like the wisdom of an angel of God—to know all that goes on in the land.” 21Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I will do this thing. So go, bring the young man Absalom back.” 22Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king. Then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, since the king has done the word of your servant.” 23So Joab got up, went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24However, the king said, “He may go directly to his own house, but he may not see my face.” So Absalom went directly to his own house and did not see the king’s face. 25Now in all Israel there was none as handsome as Absalom—so highly praised. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26When he cut the hair of his head—at the end of every year he would cut it because the hair got so heavy on him that he had to cut it. The weight of the hair from his head was 200 shekels by the royal weight. 27To Absalom were born three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar—she was a beautiful woman. 28Now Absalom had lived two full years in Jerusalem but he never saw the king’s face. 29Then Absalom sent for Joab, in order to send him to the king, but he was unwilling to come to him. So he sent word again a second time, but he still would not come. 30So he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine and he has barley there—go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32“Look, I sent word to you,” Absalom said to Joab, “saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there.’” So now, let me see the king’s face and if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death.” 33So Joab went to the king and told him. When he summoned Absalom, he came to the king and bowed down on his face to the ground before the king, and then, the king kissed Absalom.

–from 2 Samuel 14

Life isn’t easy! Take a look around and see how the world is treating people! Things have been throw up in the air and flipped around! But when we walk out our faith in Jesus we know that in the end we will receive the prize and win the race because God’s Word is true and He is faithful and just!

As we consider today’s reading and the description that it gives, doesn’t it seem like we are getting closer to the end days? None of know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, but we do know that He will return and that God’s Word speaks instruction, wisdom, direction as to what we are to do and how we are to live, so let’s not grow weary in doing what is good, but rather let’s finish the race strong, winning the prize of having Jesus say “well done my good and faithful servant”. Study God’s word so that you can be equipped for what is happening and what is going to happen!

Opposition in the Last Days

1But understand this, that in the last days hard times will come— 2for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3hardhearted, unforgiving, backbiting, without self-control, brutal, hating what is good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to an outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! 6For among these are those who slip into households and deceive weak women weighed down with sins, led away by various desires, 7always learning yet never able to come to the knowledge of truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these people oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and worthless concerning the faith. 9But these people will not make any more progress—for their folly, like that of Jannes and Jambres, will be obvious to everyone. 10You, however, closely followed my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faithfulness, patience, love, perseverance— 11as well as persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! And the Lord rescued me from them all! 12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted. 13But evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

All Scripture Equips God’s People

14You, however, continue in what you have learned and what you have become convinced of. For you know from whom you have learned, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to make you wise, leading to salvation through trusting in Messiah Yeshua. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed.

–from 2 Timothy 3

All scripture is God breathedLet’s take hold of this truth! Let’s take hold of God’s Word so that we can learn from it’s teaching, we can be corrected by it’s reproof, we can be restored and foster restoration, we can live life like it is supposed to be in righteousness! Let’s equip ourselves through the Word of God!

Let’s live in humility! Let’s be servants that others may come to realize how much we love and care for them! When we lead, let’s lead as servant leaders leading not by command or authority, but by loving and serving and caring for others!

Yeshua’s Birth in Bethlehem

1Now it happened in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the world’s inhabitants. 2This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3Everyone was traveling to be registered in his own city. 4Now Joseph also went up from the Galilee, out of the town of Natzeret to Judah, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family of David. 5He went to register with Miriam, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6But while they were there, the time came for her to give birth— 7and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped Him in strips of cloth and set Him down in a manger, since there was no room for them in the inn.

Shepherds Witness Angelic Praises

8Now there were shepherds in the same region, living out in the fields and guarding their flock at night. 9Suddenly an angel of Adonai stood before them, and the glory of Adonai shone all around them; and they were absolutely terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I proclaim Good News to you, which will be great joy to all the people. 11A Savior is born to you today in the city of David, who is Messiah the Lord. 12And the sign to you is this: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly a multitude of heavenly armies appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” 15And when the angels departed from them into the heavens, the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which Adonai has made known to us!” 16So they hurried off and found Miriam and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. 17When they had seen this, they made known the word that had been spoken to them concerning this Child. 18And all those who heard were amazed at the things the shepherds told them. 19But Miriam treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.

Temple Prophets Rejoice

21When eight days had passed for His brit-milah, He was named Yeshua, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22And when the days of their purification were fulfilled, according to the Torah of Moses, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present to Adonai. 23As it is written in the Torah of Adonai, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to Adonai.” 24So they offered a sacrifice according to what was said in the Torah of Adonai: “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and pious, waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Ruach ha-Kodesh was on him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Ruach ha-Kodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Anointed One of Adonai. 27So in the Ruach, Simeon came into the Temple; and when the parents brought the Child Yeshua to do for Him according to the custom of the Torah, 28Simeon received Him into his arms and offered a bracha to God, saying, 29“Now may You let Your servant go in peace, O Sovereign Master, according to Your word. 30For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples: 32‘A light for revelation to the nations’ and the glory of Your people Israel.” 33And His father and mother were marveling at the things that were said about Him. 34And Simeon offered a bracha over them and said to Miriam His mother, “Behold, this One is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that is opposed, 35so the thoughts of many hearts may be uncovered. (And even for you, a sword will pierce through your soul.)” 36Now Anna, a daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher, was a prophetess. She was well advanced in age, having lived with a husband only seven years 37and then as a widow until age eighty-four. She never left the Temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers. 38And coming up at that very instant, she began praising God and speaking about the Child to all those waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When Joseph and Miriam had completed everything according to the Torah of Adonai, they returned to the Galilee, to their own city of Natzeret. 40The Child kept growing and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

The Boy Astonishes Jerusalem Scholars

41Now His parents were going every year to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. 42When He became twelve years old, they were going up according to festival custom. 43As they headed home after completing the days, the boy Yeshua remained in Jerusalem, but His parents didn’t know. 44Supposing He was in the caravan, they went a day’s journey, then began looking for Him among relatives and friends. 45When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the center of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all those hearing Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers. 48When His parents saw Yeshua, they were overwhelmed. And His mother said to Him, “Child, why did you do this to us? Look! Your father and I were searching for You frantically!” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be about the things of My Father?” 50But they did not grasp the message He was telling them. 51Then He went down with them to Natzeret and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these words in her heart. 52And Yeshua kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

–from Luke 2

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

 

 

 

 

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?

What does it mean?


What does it imply? What are the implications? You are being called! What does it mean? What are the implications if you answer the call? How does your work play into this? How is your work an integral part of it? Do you realize how important our work is a key part of the restoration plan? Do you have the right perspective? Has it helped or hindered your sense of calling?

Today’s reading starts with the topic of living as we are called…

17Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

–from 1 Corinthians 7

The key is to keep the commandments of God! It’s not about our appearance! It’s not about our social status! Jesus paid the price so that now we can live according to His plans and purposes! so let’s not be concerned about where we were, but not let’s focus on how we can be all that God is calling us to be!

Today’s reading continues with our calling and our gifts…

8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

–from 1 Corinthians 12

So let’s take a hold of the gifts and talents God has given us! We don’t need to worry or be concerned about what others have, just that we take what we have been given and be good stewards of it by using them to glorify God!

Today’s reading goes on to speak about how we each have a calling, we have each been given gifts for the purpose that God has created us to accomplish…

 6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

–from Romans 12

We can’t all be the same. We are the body and so we each have a part in the overall health and well being of the body! We can’t complain or shouldn’t complain which part we have to play because each part is important and has a purpose! Some parts may be more visible in what they do and others may be more behind the scenes. Just like the various parts of our human body! And just because you aren’t being used in a way that isn’t as visible, it doesn’t mean your work isn’t any less important! Consider the heart…nobody sees it, but without it the body is dead! Consider the brain…nobody sees it, but without it the connections and collaboration couldn’t take place! We each have a part to play! And they are all important to the overall goal and health! So let’s be cheerful and share the joy of the Lord with those around us! Let’s contribute to the greater good! Let’s be generous in the way we live our lives! Even with the little we have God can take it, multiply it, and provide more than we could ever ask or imagine! Consider the boy who shared his lunch (Matthew 15:32-39/Mark 8:1-13)… Consider the widow and her son who only had a little oil (1 Kings 17:8-16)… What little do you have that God can use for the greater good?

Today’s reading concludes speaking to the importance of unity…

11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

–from Ephesians 4

We each have a calling that God needs and wants for us to answer! We each have a calling and a purpose that goes beyond just ourselves! We need to work together to bring unity through Jesus so that we can become mature and complete, lacking nothing! It’s not easy! We will face trials of many kinds. We are to consider them pure for joy for in the end, the process will help us to be complete and lacking nothing! Don’t be tossed around or confused! Allow the truth to keep you on track and set you free! Don’t allow the cunning and deceitful schemes of man to rob you of the joy that God put in place for you to receive! So let’s speak truth in love! Let’s grow up in every way Jesus calls us so that as a body, we will be held together strong and be ready and equipped to complete the work as function properly and in unity together sharing the love of God with the world around us, in Jesus’ name!

Not sure where to turn? Not sure what to ask? Turn to God! Turn to His Word that will never return void!


Today’s devotional (day 4) adds some additional insight this way…

Implications of Calling

A biblical view of work runs throughout all of Scripture. Our work plays a part in God’s plan for the restoration of his kingdom. We have lost sight of this perspective and consequently lost our sense of calling.

So, what is calling, and what does it mean for our lives?

There are two types of calling:

  • General calling: The primary meaning of calling in Scripture is general – God calls us out of an old, sinful way of life into a new, redeemed, and faithful way of life.
  • Particular calling: This type of calling, used in I Corinthians 7:17-24, refers to our state or condition of life.

The implication of the general call is to be faithful to the Lord in all areas of our lives – including our families, our church, our nation, and our work. We are called to a new way of life and faithfulness to our Lord. When we are faithful to the callings God has placed upon our lives, we will experience meaning, significance, and wholeness. If our priorities are askew, we will not.

Calling impacts and orients our lives in a variety of ways:

  • A sense of calling gives us perspective on what we do. Whether we succeed or fail, we can sustain motivation to our calling if we remain faithful.
  • Calling can keep us from compromising. Sometimes in our work we face the temptation to compromise our values. We may be challenged to act unethically in order to advance in our careers.
  • We are called to be good stewards of our gifts. I Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11-13, list various gifts in the body of Christ. We are called to know our gifts and to use them vigorously for his kingdom. Our “natural” gifts are our “created” gifts – given to us by God. The Fall has withered, misdirected, or twisted our natural gifts. However, the Holy Spirit can redirect these gifts to benefit both the church and the world.
  • Don’t expect a “perfect” use of your gifts. We live in a world that is far from perfect. It is often difficult to find a job that fully fits your gifts. Even if you could land the perfect job, you would find that it wasn’t perfect because you and the people around you are fallen. Although you shouldn’t expect perfection, you should strive to be a good steward of the gifts you were given.

What do you think? How can calling impact and orient your life and work?

–from How Do I Find My Calling? (day 4 of 5)