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

How will respond when you have to face the past?


Ever gone through something hard? Ever gone through some trial or troubles? Ever felt like it had a purpose and that God was able to do good work in and through it? Ever gotten to a point where you are in the here and now and the pains of the past seem to have faded away? Ever had the past then show up? How do you respond? How will you respond? How might your respond? How would you respond?

Today’s reading starts us out in just such a situation in Genesis 42 while Joseph is saving the people of Egypt after having interpreted the dream now gets faced with his brothers who had sold him into slavery.

‘When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we’ll die.” So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain. But Jacob wouldn’t let Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for fear some harm might come to him. So Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well. Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded. “From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.” Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before. He said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.” “No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy food. We are all brothers—members of the same family. We are honest men, sir! We are not spies!” “Yes, you are!” Joseph insisted. “You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.” “Sir,” they said, “there are actually twelve of us. We, your servants, are all brothers, sons of a man living in the land of Canaan. Our youngest brother is back there with our father right now, and one of our brothers is no longer with us.” But Joseph insisted, “As I said, you are spies! This is how I will test your story. I swear by the life of Pharaoh that you will never leave Egypt unless your youngest brother comes here! One of you must go and get your brother. I’ll keep the rest of you here in prison. Then we’ll find out whether or not your story is true. By the life of Pharaoh, if it turns out that you don’t have a younger brother, then I’ll know you are spies.” So Joseph put them all in prison for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “I am a God-fearing man. If you do as I say, you will live. If you really are honest men, choose one of your brothers to remain in prison. The rest of you may go home with grain for your starving families. But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. This will prove that you are telling the truth, and you will not die.” To this they agreed. Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.” “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!” Of course, they didn’t know that Joseph understood them, for he had been speaking to them through an interpreter. Now he turned away from them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to them again. Then he chose Simeon from among them and had him tied up right before their eyes. Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men’s sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each brother’s payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them supplies for their journey home. So the brothers loaded their donkeys with the grain and headed for home. But when they stopped for the night and one of them opened his sack to get grain for his donkey, he found his money in the top of his sack. “Look!” he exclaimed to his brothers. “My money has been returned; it’s here in my sack!” Then their hearts sank. Trembling, they said to each other, “What has God done to us?” When the brothers came to their father, Jacob, in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them. “The man who is governor of the land spoke very harshly to us,” they told him. “He accused us of being spies scouting the land. But we said, ‘We are honest men, not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One brother is no longer with us, and the youngest is at home with our father in the land of Canaan.’ “Then the man who is governor of the land told us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take grain for your starving families and go on home. But you must bring your youngest brother back to me. Then I will know you are honest men and not spies. Then I will give you back your brother, and you may trade freely in the land.’” As they emptied out their sacks, there in each man’s sack was the bag of money he had paid for the grain! The brothers and their father were terrified when they saw the bags of money. Jacob exclaimed, “You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!” Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him, and I promise to bring him back.” But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave. ”’

Genesis 42

Imagine such a situation. Would you have responded similarly or in a different way? Imagine having to face that person or those people who had caused use such pain and suffering. Would you respond in a way that would glorify God or would you be looking for vengeance or revenge? Would you be able to respond out of love and forgiveness or out of testing to see if they had changed? Would it be easy or hard on you to come face to face with your past?

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 12.

‘But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord , and all Israel followed him in this sin. Because they were unfaithful to the Lord , King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of King Rehoboam’s reign. He came with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horses, and a countless army of foot soldiers, including Libyans, Sukkites, and Ethiopians. Shishak conquered Judah’s fortified towns and then advanced to attack Jerusalem. The prophet Shemaiah then met with Rehoboam and Judah’s leaders, who had all fled to Jerusalem because of Shishak. Shemaiah told them, “This is what the Lord says: You have abandoned me, so I am abandoning you to Shishak.” Then the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is right in doing this to us!” When the Lord saw their change of heart, he gave this message to Shemaiah: “Since the people have humbled themselves, I will not completely destroy them and will soon give them some relief. I will not use Shishak to pour out my anger on Jerusalem. But they will become his subjects, so they will know the difference between serving me and serving earthly rulers.” So King Shishak of Egypt came up and attacked Jerusalem. He ransacked the treasuries of the Lord ’s Temple and the royal palace; he stole everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made. King Rehoboam later replaced them with bronze shields as substitutes, and he entrusted them to the care of the commanders of the guard who protected the entrance to the royal palace. Whenever the king went to the Temple of the Lord , the guards would also take the shields and then return them to the guardroom. Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord ’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah.

King Rehoboam firmly established himself in Jerusalem and continued to rule. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen from among all the tribes of Israel as the place to honor his name. Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah, a woman from Ammon. But he was an evil king, for he did not seek the Lord with all his heart. The rest of the events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Record of Shemaiah the Prophet and The Record of Iddo the Seer, which are part of the genealogical record. Rehoboam and Jeroboam were continually at war with each other. When Rehoboam died, he was buried in the City of David. Then his son Abijah became the next king.’

2 Chronicles 12

When you realize you have done wrong how will you respond? Will you humble yourself and turn back to God? Will you allow God’s instruction and wisdom to lead and guide your response?

Our reading continues into 2 Chronicles 13.

‘Abijah began to rule over Judah in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah, the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah. Then war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam. Judah, led by King Abijah, fielded 400,000 select warriors, while Jeroboam mustered 800,000 select troops from Israel. When the army of Judah arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim and shouted to Jeroboam and all Israel: “Listen to me! Don’t you realize that the Lord , the God of Israel, made a lasting covenant with David, giving him and his descendants the throne of Israel forever? Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, a mere servant of David’s son Solomon, rebelled against his master. Then a whole gang of scoundrels joined him, defying Solomon’s son Rehoboam when he was young and inexperienced and could not stand up to them. “Do you really think you can stand against the kingdom of the Lord that is led by the descendants of David? You may have a vast army, and you have those gold calves that Jeroboam made as your gods. But you have chased away the priests of the Lord (the descendants of Aaron) and the Levites, and you have appointed your own priests, just like the pagan nations. You let anyone become a priest these days! Whoever comes to be dedicated with a young bull and seven rams can become a priest of these so-called gods of yours! “But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned him. Only the descendants of Aaron serve the Lord as priests, and the Levites alone may help them in their work. They present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord every morning and evening. They place the Bread of the Presence on the holy table, and they light the gold lampstand every evening. We are following the instructions of the Lord our God, but you have abandoned him. So you see, God is with us. He is our leader. His priests blow their trumpets and lead us into battle against you. O people of Israel, do not fight against the Lord , the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed!” Meanwhile, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah to ambush them. When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the Lord for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah. The Israelite army fled from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah in defeat. Abijah and his army inflicted heavy losses on them; 500,000 of Israel’s select troops were killed that day. So Judah defeated Israel on that occasion because they trusted in the Lord , the God of their ancestors. Abijah and his army pursued Jeroboam’s troops and captured some of his towns, including Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, along with their surrounding villages. So Jeroboam of Israel never regained his power during Abijah’s lifetime, and finally the Lord struck him down and he died. Meanwhile, Abijah of Judah grew more and more powerful. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. The rest of the events of Abijah’s reign, including his words and deeds, are recorded in The Commentary of Iddo the Prophet.’

2 Chronicles 13

Won’t just turn back to God and allow Him to be your answer, your salvation, your vengeance? Put your trust in Him!

Our reading now takes us into the New Testament, John 11.

‘When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.#11:25 Some manuscripts do not include and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him. Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”’

John 11:17-37

God is a compassionate God. God is compassionate for the lost and those who have lost. Let us not lose hope but rather put our hope in Jesus.

Today’s reading continues into 1 Thessalonians 3.

‘But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith. May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.’

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Let’s close today meditating on today’s psalm from Psalms 30.

‘I will exalt you, Lord , for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O Lord . You kept me from falling into the pit of death. Sing to the Lord , all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!” Your favor, O Lord , made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered. I cried out to you, O Lord . I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? Hear me, Lord , and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord .” You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!’

Psalms 30

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

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


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

Today’s reading comes to us from Jeremiah 31

The Lord Will Turn Mourning to Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Covenant

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

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

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

from Jeremiah 31

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

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

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

from Jeremiah 31:4

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

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

from Ezekiel 3:15

which speaks to the exiles.


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

 

 

 

 

 

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

A time for restoration!


Take a look around at all that has been torn up, broken down, neglected, abolished and destroyed! You know what we need? We need a time to restore! Restore relationships! Restore community! Restore hope! Restore marriages! Restore families! Restore health! Restore behaviors that produce good! Restore values! Restore truth! Restore order! Restore the land! Restore equality! Restore justice! Restore righteousness! Restore peace! Restore security! Restore safety! Restore the knowledge of right and wrong! Restore discipline! Restore the fortunes to be able to remove the debt! Restore the cities! Restore the rejoicing! Restore the increase! Restore the joy! Restore the trust! Restore good and faithful leaders! Restore us so that we will be God’s people and He will be our God! Restore the love! Restore the kindness! Restore how people are valued by their character, the content of their character! Restore unity! Restore alignment to God’s ways! Restore the land! Restore the singing! Restore the direction and instruction! Restore the value and values! Restore the goodness and greatness! Restore the jobs so that people will be able to get back to working and producing! Restore justice so that the rule of law will be followed and applied equally! Restore hope that will last, hope that goes beyond one generation! Restore accountability for what we say and do! Restore the production of the fruit of the Spirit: Restore love! Restore joy! Restore peace! Restore forbearance! Restore patience! Restore kindness! Restore goodness! Restore faithfulness! Restore self-control!

Restore forgiveness! Restore truth! Restore hope! Restore justice! Restore The Way!

We need a revival! With people turning back to God and allowing Him to lead us and guide us in all of His ways! With people following after Jesus and making a difference by sharing the fruit of the Spirit! With people demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. So let’s repent and turn back to God! Let’s allow the fruits of the Spiritlove, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to flow thru us and out of us! Let’s get a revival moving forward for the glory of God! Let’s revive this country and this world! Let’s restore this country and this world! Let’s allow the Word of God and the promises of God to be poured out over this world! 

Let’s put up guideposts to help people find their way! Let’s provide road signs to point them in the right direction! Help them to find the road they should take! Give them eyes to see and ears to hear so that they will stop wandering! Let’s greet others with words like: The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain. Let’s come together and live together again in unity! Let’s come together and live together again in alignment to God’s Word and God’s will! Let’s be accountable for the way we live! Not how our parents lived or how our kids live, but be accountable for the way we live! Let’s allow God’s Word to be in our minds and guide and direct our steps! Let’s allow God’s Word to be etched into our hearts so that we know the difference between right and wrong and live it out! 

Let’s choose to live life above average! The law is set to be average, but Jesus calls us to be above average! If we just live at the status quo, then the average will keep going down! If we choose to live lives above average, then we will keep raising the average and help restore this land! Be it the law of the land or God’s law from the 10 commandments, we need to step up and stand up for what is right! We need to raie the average so that people can live out each day in confidence and trusting in God! Today’s reading in Romans speaks to us of being freed from sin and bound to Jesus!

On the mound, Jesus teach us the way! His Way! Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it!

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is Godʼs throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3031, Romans 7

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

We were never meant to do it alone!


So will you share the burden? Will you share the load? Will you reach out to help? Will you ask for help? Will you be humble enough to serve someone else? Will you be humble enough to ask for help and let others know there is a need? You were never meant to do it alone! Everyone has been given gifts and talents that are available to help others too! Everyone has been created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! We are commanded to be selfless rather than selfish! We are command to put away self-centeredness so that we can have relationships that won’t fall apart!

In the beginning we hear about it this way…

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” –from Genesis 2:18

We read in John…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. –from John 13:34

We read in Galatians…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
–from Galatians 6:2

We read in 1 John…

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

So let’s consider others as we start this day! Let’s consider what they are going through! Let’s be less focused on self and more focused on how we can share the burden, how we can love one another, and how we can go thru this without trying to do it alone!

Remember what God said to us:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –from Deuteronomy 31:6


Today’s reading starts with delegating work because we aren’t supposed to do it all on our own! We each have our part to play in the larger plan! Will you answer the call? Will you be obedient to the call? Will you choose to live selfless rather than looking for what’s in it for you? I remember at one of the companies I have worked at being in a workshop and it talked about motivators for people and they had an acronym WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). As I look back now and reflect, it seems like the wrong way to think, however, it does let you know that in many cases people are thinking that when being asked to do something. Do you realize when you give there is something for you? Do you realize when you serve there is something for you? Do you realize when you help there is something for you? Do you realize when you ask there is something in it for them? It’s not all about you!

Preparing the Sanctuary to Move

1Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 2“Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families and by their ancestral households, 3everyone from 30 years of age to 50, all who come to serve doing the work in the Tent of Meeting. 4“This is the task of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting—the most holy things. 5Whenever the camp is about to move out, Aaron and his sons are to take down the shielding curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it. 6Then they are to cover this with porpoise hide, then spread over it a cloth of solid blue. Then they are to put its poles in place. 7“Then over the table of the Presence they are to spread a solid blue cloth, then lay on it the plates, ladles, bowls, and jars for the drink offering. The bread that is continually there is to remain there. 8Over them they are to spread a solid scarlet cloth, cover it with a covering of porpoise hide, then install its poles. 9“Then they are to take a blue cloth and cover the menorah for light, along with its lamps, tongs, snuffers and oil jars that they use to tend to it. 10They then are to wrap it and all its accessories in a cover of porpoise hide and place it all on a carrying frame. 11“Over the golden altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with a covering of porpoise hide, then put its poles in place. 12“They are to take all the utensils used for the service of the ministry of the Sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover them with porpoise hide, and place them on a carrying frame. 13“They are to remove the ashes from the altar, then spread over it a purple cloth. 14They are to put onto it all the utensils with which they tend to the altar, among them the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. They are to spread over it a covering of porpoise hide and install its poles. 15“When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the Sanctuary and all its holy implements, and when the camp is ready to move out, after this the sons of Kohath may come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy items or they will die. These are the task of the sons of Kohath with regard to the Tent of Meeting. 16“Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen will have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to have charge of the Tabernacle and all that is in it, including its holy items and all its implements.” 17Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 18“You are not to let the families of the tribe of the Kohathites be cut off from among the Levites. 19Do this for them so that they may live and not die whenever they approach the most holy items–-Aaron and his sons are to go into the Sanctuary and assign each man his job and his responsibility. 20But the Kohathites are not to go in to look at what is holy, not even momentarily, or they will die.”

Naso

21Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 22“Take a census also of the sons of Gershon, by their ancestral households and by their families. 23Count all the males from 30 to 50 years of age, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 24This is the task of the Gershonite families in working and carrying burdens. 25They are to carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, its covering, the outer covering of porpoise hide, the curtains for the entrance for the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains surrounding the courtyard and the altar, the curtain for the entrance, the ropes and all the equipment used in its operations. They are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27The sons of the Gershonites are to do all their tasks, whether carrying or doing other work, according to the word of Aaron and his sons. You are to assign to them all that is their responsibility to carry. 28This is the duty of the families of the sons of the Gershonites regarding the Tent of Meeting. Their duty will be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen. 29Next, count the sons of Merari, according to their families and their ancestral houses, 30sons 30 years old and upward to 50, everyone coming to work in the service of the Tent of Meeting. 31This is their task in the service of the Tent of Meeting: the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, 32as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard, plus their bases, tent pegs, ropes, and all their paraphernalia with everything related to their operation. Assign to them by name their duties and tasks. 33This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari as they work under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the kohen.” 34So Moses, Aaron and the princes of the community counted the sons of the Kohathites according to their families and their ancestral households. 35All the men who came to do the service of the Tent of Meeting, from 30 to 50 years of age, 36were counted by families—2,750. 37This was the total of those in the families of the Kohathites, every one serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted them according to the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 38The sons of Gershon were counted according to their families and their ancestral households. 39Males from 30 years old and upward to 50, all those coming into the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting, 40numbered according to their families and ancestral households 2,630. 41These were those counted from the families of the sons of Gershon, each serving in the Tent of Meeting—Moses and Aaron counted according to the mouth of Adonai. 42Those were counted from the families and ancestral households of the sons of Merari, 43from 30 years of age upward to 50, who came to the work of the service of the Tent of Meeting. 44Numbered by their families, they were 3,200. 45These were those numbered from the families of the sons of Merari by Moses and Aaron in accordance with the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand. 46Thus Moses, Aaron and the princes of Israel counted all the Levites by their families and by their ancestral houses. 47All the men from 30 to 50 years old who came to do the work of the service and of carrying the Tent of Meeting 48numbered 8,580. 49From the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand, each man was assigned his work and his burden to carry. So they were counted, as Adonai commanded Moses.
–from Numbers 4

Will you do your part?  Will you answer the call? Will you do your part? Will you be a good steward of what God has given you?

Today’s reading continues into Psalms with  …

The Victorious King

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2Adonai, the king rejoices in Your strength! How greatly he delights in Your salvation. 3You granted him his heart’s desire, and You did not withhold the request of his lips. Selah 4For You met him with the best blessings. You set on his head a crown of pure gold. 5He asked You for life, You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. 6His glory is great through Your salvation. Honor and majesty You bestow on him. 7For You bestow on him eternal blessings, gladden him with joy in Your presence. 8For the king trusts in Adonai, and in the lovingkindness of Elyon he will not be shaken. 9Your hand will find all your enemies. Your right hand will overtake those who hate You. 10You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your appearing. In His wrath Adonai will swallow them up and fire will consume them. 11You destroy their offspring from earth, their seed from the children of men. 12Though they intended evil against You and devised a plot, they cannot succeed. 13For You make them turn their backs. You aim Your bowstrings at their faces. 14Be exalted, Adonai, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your might.
–from Psalms 21

Will you live to glorify God? Will you live to be a blessing? Will you live trusting Him? Will you do it His way?

Today’s reading concludes with John…

Fish for Breakfast with the Risen One

1After these things, Yeshua revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Now here is how He appeared.
2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in the Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two of the other disciples were together.
3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” “We’re coming with you too,” they said. They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
4At dawn, Yeshua stood on the beach; but the disciples didn’t know that it was Yeshua.
5So Yeshua said to them, “Boys, you don’t happen to have any fish, do you?” “No,” they answered Him.
6He said to them, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat, and you’ll find some.” So they threw the net, and they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
7Therefore the disciple whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around himself—for he was stripped down for work—and threw himself into the sea.
8But the other disciples came in the boat from about two hundred cubits offshore, dragging the net full of fish.
9So when they got out onto the land, they saw a charcoal fire with fish placed on it, and bread.
10Yeshua said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.”
11Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to shore. There were 153 fish, many of them big; but the net was not broken.
12Yeshua said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing it was the Lord.
13Yeshua comes and takes the bread and gives it to them, and likewise the fish.
14This was now the third time that Yeshua was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.

Love Restores Peter

15When they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs!”
16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Take care of My sheep!”
17He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him for a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed My sheep!”
18“Amen, amen I tell you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
19Now this He said to indicate by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God. And after this, Yeshua said to him, “Follow Me!”
20Peter, turning around, sees the disciple following. This was the one whom Yeshua loved, who also had reclined against Yeshua’s chest at the seder meal and said, “Master, who is the one who is betraying You?”
21Seeing him, Peter said to Yeshua, “Lord, what about him?”
22Yeshua said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
23Therefore this saying went out among the brothers and sisters, that this disciple would not die. Yet Yeshua did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

John’s Witness

24This is the disciple who is an eyewitness of these things and wrote these things. We know that his testimony is true.
25There are also many other things that Yeshua did. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself will have room for the books being written!
–from John 21

Will you be a peacemaker? Will you be someone who helps setup reconciliation? Will you let love be your language? Will you allow love to restore others? Will you allow God to testify through your words, your actions, and your thoughts? Do you love Him?

Did you realize that selfishness is the top reason for relationships falling apart? Do you realize that until you take care of it, no matter where you turn, you are bringing that baggage with you and setting yourself up to repeat it? So what will you do about it?