Category Archives: Seeing

How long does it take for things to become clear?


What is the vision? We know that without vision the people perish. What do we see? What are we seeing? What are we seeking? Are you asking? Are you seeking? Are you knocking? We know that we have not because we ask not, but when we ask we need to be asking with the right heart or else we will not receive. We need to trust God both when things are clear as well in the midst of the storm. We need to consider if there is a log in our own eyes that is blinding us from seeing clearly. We need to be able to listen and hear through the Word of God so that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened. We need to trust and receive Jesus who came to make the blind eyes see. Are you walking in the dark and hence need to turn into the light in order that you can see clearly? We need to spend time in God’s Word as it gives light to our eyes to see. Reflect on the notes you take from the Word of God as it will reveal and testify to God’s goodness, bringing clarity and hope to press on.


Day 16: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 16 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 16 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Are you paying attention to what is being said around you?
  • Are you hearing the voices in order to be able understand?
  • Are you preparing? Are you making straight? Are you following?
  • Do you realize what is going on around? Are you pointing them to God?
  • Are you producing good fruit?
  • Are you sharing with others?
  • Are you being honest and doing what is right?
  • Are you being content?
  • Are you living with integrity and doing what is right and just?
  • Are pointing people to Jesus?
  • Are you calling out wrong as wrong?
  • Are you following Jesus’s example?
  • Are you living a life that God can be well pleased with?
  • Consider where you have come from so that you can have an understanding in going forward.
  • No matter how messed up the past might have been it doesn’t keep your future from being incredible.
  • Are you trying to build to glorify yourself or God?
  • Are you trying to do things to make you and your people greater rather than glorifying God?
  • Do you realize confusion came to Babel because of selfishness and not dependency upon God and trying to become like gods?
  • Do you realize the heritage that may have created some of the lack clarity?
  • Ever considered starting at the beginning rather than going backwards?
  • Ever considered what each generation has gone through and learned?
  • Ever considered that those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it?
  • Ever consider the reason of the names that get called out?
  • Ever consider if there are names that were excluded and why?
  • Is your name a name God will remember? Has it been written in the book of life?
  • Ever considered where you have come from? Ever considered what each generation has gone through that you can learn from? Ever considered that no matter what happened the future can be better? Ever considered the names written in the genealogy of the Bible? Ever considered the names that were omitted? Ever considered if your name has been written in the book of life? It requires that you receive Jesus and allow Him to forgive you and to be your Lord and Savior. Will you choose to be in that book and get to spend eternity with God rather than apart from God?

As day 16 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Were you there? Did you see it? What can be done?


If you see something then we are supposed to say something, right? What might keep you from stepping up? What might keep you from speaking up? What might keep you from saying something? What might keep you from doing something? What if you weren’t around? Is there anything that can be done? What about with all the tech out there? Who can help? What can be done?


Today’s reading starts out with Deuteronomy 21:

‘“When you are in the land the Lord your God is giving you, someone may be found murdered in a field, and you don’t know who committed the murder. In such a case, your elders and judges must measure the distance from the site of the crime to the nearby towns. When the nearest town has been determined, that town’s elders must select from the herd a heifer that has never been trained or yoked to a plow. They must lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and that has a stream running through it. There in the valley they must break the heifer’s neck. Then the Levitical priests must step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the Lord ’s name. They are to decide all legal and criminal cases. “The elders of the town must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken. Then they must say, ‘Our hands did not shed this person’s blood, nor did we see it happen. O Lord , forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed. Do not charge your people with the guilt of murdering an innocent person.’ Then they will be absolved of the guilt of this person’s blood. By following these instructions, you will do what is right in the Lord ’s sight and will cleanse the guilt of murder from your community.

“Suppose you go out to war against your enemies and the Lord your God hands them over to you, and you take some of them as captives. And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her nails, and change the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. She will stay in your home, but let her mourn for her father and mother for a full month. Then you may marry her, and you will be her husband and she will be your wife. But if you marry her and she does not please you, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her.

“Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves one and not the other, and both have given him sons. And suppose the firstborn son is the son of the wife he does not love. When the man divides his inheritance, he may not give the larger inheritance to his younger son, the son of the wife he loves, as if he were the firstborn son. He must recognize the rights of his oldest son, the son of the wife he does not love, by giving him a double portion. He is the first son of his father’s virility, and the rights of the firstborn belong to him.

“Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. The parents must say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town must stone him to death. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid.

“If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree, the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God. In this way, you will prevent the defilement of the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession.’

Deuteronomy 21

and then continues into Isaiah:

‘This message came to me concerning Damascus: “Look, the city of Damascus will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins. The towns of Aroer will be deserted. Flocks will graze in the streets and lie down undisturbed, with no one to chase them away. The fortified towns of Israel will also be destroyed, and the royal power of Damascus will end. All that remains of Syria will share the fate of Israel’s departed glory,” declares the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “In that day Israel’s glory will grow dim; its robust body will waste away. The whole land will look like a grainfield after the harvesters have gathered the grain. It will be desolate, like the fields in the valley of Rephaim after the harvest. Only a few of its people will be left, like stray olives left on a tree after the harvest. Only two or three remain in the highest branches, four or five scattered here and there on the limbs,” declares the Lord , the God of Israel. Then at last the people will look to their Creator and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will no longer look to their idols for help or worship what their own hands have made. They will never again bow down to their Asherah poles or worship at the pagan shrines they have built. Their largest cities will be like a deserted forest, like the land the Hivites and Amorites abandoned when the Israelites came here so long ago. It will be utterly desolate. Why? Because you have turned from the God who can save you. You have forgotten the Rock who can hide you. So you may plant the finest grapevines and import the most expensive seedlings. They may sprout on the day you set them out; yes, they may blossom on the very morning you plant them, but you will never pick any grapes from them. Your only harvest will be a load of grief and unrelieved pain. Listen! The armies of many nations roar like the roaring of the sea. Hear the thunder of the mighty forces as they rush forward like thundering waves. But though they thunder like breakers on a beach, God will silence them, and they will run away. They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind, like a tumbleweed whirling before a storm. In the evening Israel waits in terror, but by dawn its enemies are dead. This is the just reward of those who plunder us, a fitting end for those who destroy us.’

Isaiah 17

and

‘Listen, Ethiopia —land of fluttering sails that lies at the headwaters of the Nile, that sends ambassadors in swift boats down the river. Go, swift messengers! Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction, and whose land is divided by rivers. All you people of the world, everyone who lives on the earth— when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look! When I blow the ram’s horn, listen! For the Lord has told me this: “I will watch quietly from my dwelling place— as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.” Even before you begin your attack, while your plans are ripening like grapes, the Lord will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. He will snip off and discard your spreading branches. Your mighty army will be left dead in the fields for the mountain vultures and wild animals. The vultures will tear at the corpses all summer. The wild animals will gnaw at the bones all winter. At that time the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will receive gifts from this land divided by rivers, from this tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction. They will bring the gifts to Jerusalem, where the Lord of Heaven’s Armies dwells.’

Isaiah 18

Today’s reading takes us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 19:

‘Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?” Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.’

Matthew 19:16-30

and then Ephesians 1:

‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.’

Ephesians 1:1-14

As we consider and as we meditate on God’s Word for today, let us consider how we can receive it and put it into practice. Will we choose to live out our lives following after Jesus and trusting Him for through Him all things are possible. Will we choose to live out a life of service in the Lord’s name? Will we choose to live out our lives so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name? Will we choose to give thanks to God?

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 136:

‘Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— His faithful love endures forever. the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever. and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. He brought Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. He led Israel safely through, His faithful love endures forever. but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever. He killed powerful kings— His faithful love endures forever. Sihon king of the Amorites, His faithful love endures forever. and Og king of Bashan. His faithful love endures forever. God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance— His faithful love endures forever. a special possession to his servant Israel. His faithful love endures forever. He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.’

Psalms 136

Do you need a change? Is it on the inside or the outside?


Do you know what it will take? Do you know what to do? Do you know where to turn? Do you realize the benefits it has?

Have you already made the decision and started moving forward in change? Has it been a mental change? Has it been a physical change? Has it been a heart change? Has it been a spiritual change?

As I ponder these questions, I am so glad that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior because when I made that decision, I was transformed. I know spiritually I had begun the transformation from the inside out. As I ponder these questions and with knowing through God’s Word that my body is the temple for the Holy Spirit, I am considering what can I do to help make the outside better too. I have purchased workout equipment which probably a good start. I am now considering diet, and how I eat to help as well.

I know that because of the big decision to receive Jesus, it has impacted my life for eternity. I am now considering best ways to live a longer and healthier life to be able to be around for the next generations where not only can I share the importance of living with and for God but also living and eating well. I want to see them grow up and develop into all that God has purposed and planned for each of their lives. Time goes by so fast and so I need to make time to do what is right and make sure to stay on track for all the things God has planned and purposed for my life too.

Will you allow God to radiate in your life to the point where your life will point others to God and to believe in Him? Will you allow God to work in and through your life so that when others see your good works they will praise your Father in heaven?

When someone looks into your eyes, what do they learn? When you look into the eyes of others, what do you learn? Ever heard that the eyes are the window to the soul? Ever considered that windows tell a story based on what you can see? Consider windows you can look in through and see the beauty, the love, the hope. Consider tinted windows where you can’t see anything but darkness or maybe a reflection of yourself. Consider windows that do the screening so that they tell one story without actually knowing what is on the inside, you might be able to get close enough to look through the dots and see in, but from a distance you only case see what it was designed to say. When people take a look into your eyes what do they see? When you look through your eyes how do you see? Is your vision keeping you from seeing others as God does? Are you allowing God glasses to help you see the people He has brought into your life in the way He does so that you can see, hear, understand, and respond like you should?

So what does your face and your eyes say to the world around you?

What does the Bible say about faces and eyes?


How to Have a Spiritual Facelift

Day 242: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God’s face … Psalm 104:19-30
  2. Our faces … 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
  3. God’s eyes … 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:23

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

  • Psalms 104:19-30
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
    • 7The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
      12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
      16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

  • 2 Chronicles 35:20-27
  • 2 Chronicles 36

You in a downward spiral? Know how to get out of it?


I remember years back when because of lies, broken promises, deception, I got bitter. Allowing yourself to get bitter is like taking poison and thinking the other person is going to somehow get impacted. Through that experience, I learned that the way to stop it and the key to turning it around is two fold. First we need to turn back to God and give it all up into His hands. Second we need to forgive them! Wit this combination the weight, the pressure, the pain, and the bitterness can all be released and free you from it all. It may sound easy, but it wasn’t easy for me. It took me about 3 months of the downward spiral before I was willing to listen to what God had to say. Every night there would be songs on the radio to forgive and I would battle God over it saying “but God you know what they’ve done to me” and wouldn’t give it up to Him and forgive them. But God’s Word tells us that the battle belongs to the Lord! God’s Word tells us that vengeance is the Lord’s! God’s Word tells us to forgive them! God’s Word tells us to bless those who persecute us, bless and do not curse! God’s Word tells us to bless our enemies – feed them if they are hungry, give them something to drink if they are thirsty! Don’t wait till you hit rock bottom before you look up to God! Remember this quote from Dr. Willie JolleyA setback is just a setup for a comeback!” By focusing on what is yet to come, we can be encouraged and trusting in what God’s Word promises! Jesus is coming back! We will be spending eternity with Him because of our decision to follow Him! And He hasn’t called us to heaven yet, so the best is yet to come!

So will you make the choice today to stop the downward spiral? Will you choose to forgive? Will you choose to let go of the bitterness? Will you choose to ask God to forgive you and to lead you and guide you forward? Will you allow that setback to be a setup for a comeback? Will you grab hold of the hope that the best is yet to come?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…We need to be light and salt and helping this world around us to turn back to God and to see who He really is. We need to help them turn back to God before they have to deal with the consequences of having walked out from out of the covering of Jesus. We need to help them to come back home where we have protection. We need to help them to turn back to God and be filled with hope before it is too late…We want them to be part of the celebration during the end times…

Curse of Empty Land

1Behold, Adonai makes the land empty and makes it waste, twists its face, and scatters its inhabitants. 2So it shall be: as with the people, so with the kohen, as with a servant, so with his master, as with a maid, so with her mistress, as with a buyer, so with the seller, as with a lender, so with the borrower, as with a creditor, so with the debtor. 3The land will be utterly emptied, and totally plundered. For Adonai has spoken this word. 4The land faints and fades away, The world wilts and fades away, The exalted people of the earth wilt. 5The land is polluted by its inhabitants, for they have transgressed Torah, violated statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse will devour the land. Those dwelling there are found guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the land will be burned up, so the people remaining are few. 7The new wine fails, the vine wilts, all the merry-hearted sigh. 8The glee of tambourines stops, the noise of revelers ends, the joy of the harp ceases. 9They no longer drink wine with song. Liquor is bitter to those drinking it. 10The shattered city is in chaos. Every house is shut up, none may enter. 11In the streets is an outcry for wine; all joy becomes dark as evening; the mirth of the land is banished. 12The city is left in ruins; the gate is battered down.

Last Days’ Judgments

13So will it be in the earth and among the nations, as when shaking an olive tree, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14They will raise their voices, They will sing for joy, of the majesty of Adonai they shout from the sea. 15‘Therefore glorify Adonai in the east, the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. 16From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” But I say, “I waste away, I waste away! Oy to me! Traitors betray! With treachery traitors betray!” 17Panic, pit and trap are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18And it shall come to pass: whoever flees from the sound of panic will fall in the pit, and whoever climbs up out of the pit will be caught in the trap. For the windows of heaven are opened and the foundations of the earth shake. 19The earth is broken apart, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken utterly. 20The earth reels to and fro like a drunk, and sways like a hut. its transgression is so heavy upon it that it will fall and never rise again. 21It will come about in that day, Adonai will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. 22They will be gathered together, like prisoners in the Pit, and will be shut up in the prison, and after many days be punished. 23Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, for Adonai-Tzva’ot will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders, gloriously.

–from Isaiah 24

We need them to realize they have a choice! We need them to realize that their choice makes a difference! We need them to know that their choices have a long lasting impact on what is yet to come! We need them to know that they should choose sooner rather than later in order to avoid even more challenging times than God desires for them to go through! We need them to know that right now, today, there is a choice to be made! We need them to know that they don’t have to wait, but they can make a decision today that will impact their lives into eternity!

Will you choose to ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior?

Last Days’ Deliverance

1Adonai, You are my God, I will exalt You, I will praise Your Name, for You have done wonderful things, plans of old with steadfast faithfulness. 2For You have made a city into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a foreigner’s palace a city no more— never to be rebuilt. 3Therefore a strong people will honor You. Cities of ruthless nations will fear You. 4For You have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a refuge from the rainstorm, a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against the wall. 5Like heat in a dry place, You subdue the roar of foreigners. Like heat in the shade of a cloud, the song of tyrants is brought low. 6On this mountain, Adonai-Tzva’ot will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples— a banquet of aged wine— of rich food, of choice marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the veil spread over all nations. 8He will swallow up death forever. my Lord Adonai will wipe away tears from every face. He will remove His people’s reproach from all the earth. For Adonai has spoken. 9It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God, We waited for Him—He will save us. This is Adonai—we waited for Him. We will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” 10For the hand of Adonai will rest on this mountain. Moab will be trampled under Him, as straw is trampled in a manure pile. 11When he spreads his hands in it as a swimmer spreads his hands to swim, his pride will be brought down low together with the trickery of his hands. 12He will level your high-fortified walls, lay them low, and cast them down to the ground, down to dust.

–from Isaiah 25

Everyone has that spot that they try or have tried to fill with stuff. Everyone has that spot that feels or has felt empty. Everyone has a choice on temporarily filling the spot or permanently inviting Jesus into it and allow His Spirit to move in. Are you just living in the moment or living for eternity? Are you living for a temporary high or living with the hope that the best is yet to come? Are you living on the rollercoaster of emotions? Where does your hope and trust come from? Who can you trust? Turn back to God! He is waiting for you! He is waiting and ready and willing to help you get back in place and back on track! He will rejoice and celebrate upon your return! Just like in the story of the Lost Son or the Prodigal Son, God is ready to receive you and lift you back up! Don’t be downcast! Allow the fountain of living water to come into your life!

My Soul Thirsts for God

1For the music director, a contemplative song of the sons of Korah. 2As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. 3My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God? 4My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day: “Where is your God?” 5These things I remember as I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng, walking with them to the House of God, with a voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a festival. 6Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, for the salvation of His presence. 7My God, my soul is downcast within me! Therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and from the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mitzar. 8Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and breakers have swept over me. 9By day Adonai commands His love, and at night His song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 10I will say to God my Rock: “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning, under the oppression of the enemy?” 11As with a crushing in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, by saying to me all day, “Where is your God?” 12Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you murmuring within me? Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.

–from Psalms 42

Let’s open our eyes to see! Let’s be light that other people’s eyes will be opened to see too! Let’s be salt and light into this dark world! Let’s be people pointing to the truth! For the truth will set you free! If Jesus asks you to do something hard to be saved would you do it? If Jesus asked you to do something simple to be saved would you do it? What’s it going to take for you to believe?

Bringing Light to the Blind

1As Yeshua was passing by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” 3Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him. 4We must do the work of the One who sent Me, so long as it is day! Night is coming when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6Having said these things, He spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes. 7He told him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which is translated Sent). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 8Therefore his neighbors and those who had seen him as a beggar kept saying, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9“This is the one!” some said. “No, but it looks like him,” said others. But the man himself kept saying, “I am!” 10So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The Man who is called Yeshua made mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and then I received my sight!” 12“Where is He?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13They bring to the Pharisees the man who once was blind. 14Now the day was Shabbat when Yeshua made the mud and opened the man’s eyes. 15So again the Pharisees were asking him how he received his sight. He responded, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see!” 16So some of the Pharisees began saying, “This man isn’t from God, because He doesn’t keep Shabbat!” But others were saying, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So there was a split among them. 17Again they say to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He’s a prophet.” 18So the Judean leaders didn’t believe that he had been blind and received his sight until they called his parents. 19They questioned them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? Then how does he see now?” 20Then his parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21We don’t know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him—he’s old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Judean leaders. For the Judean leaders had already agreed that anyone who professed Yeshua to be Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough—ask him.” 24So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner!” 25The man replied, “I don’t know whether He’s a sinner. One thing I do know is that I was blind, but now I see!” 26So they asked him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27“I told you already and you didn’t listen!” the man responded. “What, do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28They railed at him and said, “You’re a disciple of that One, but we’re disciples of Moses! 29We know that God has spoken to Moses; but as for this fellow, we don’t know where He is from.” 30The man replied to them, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! 31We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners; but if anyone fears Him and does His will, He hears this one. 32Since the beginning of the world, no one has ever heard that anyone has opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, He couldn’t do anything.” 34They replied to him, “You were born completely in sin, and you’re teaching us?” And they threw him out.

Is Seeing Believing?

35Yeshua heard that they had thrown him out. Finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36The man answered, “Who is He, Sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in Him!” 37Yeshua said, “You have seen Him—He is the One speaking with you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. 39Yeshua said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who don’t see may see, and the ones who do see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard Him say this and asked, “We’re not blind too, are we?” 41Yeshua said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ So your sin remains.”

–from John 9

So let’s start living today like Jesus! Let’s imitate Him as we humbly serve others! Let’s imitate Him as we love and share with others! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the people we will engage with today to ensure that He is exalted and lift up while the door is being opened to welcome others into the Kingdom of God! Let’s point people to the Son whose light we are reflecting in this world!

Learning to Imitate Messiah’s Emissary

1So let each one think of us in this way—as Messiah’s helpers and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy. 3But to me it matters very little to be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not judge anything before the time—wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and also make clear the motives of the hearts. Then the praise for each one will come from God. 6Now I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so you might learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against the other. 7For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8Already you are full! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish you were kings, so we also might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us, the emissaries, on display last of all—like men sentenced to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we are both hungry and thirsty, dressed in rags and mistreated and homeless. 12We toil, working with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure. 13When we are slandered, we speak kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the dregs of all things—even to this moment. 14I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to warn you as my dearly loved children. 15For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Messiah, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Messiah Yeshua, I became your father through the Good News. 16I urge you therefore—be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent you Timothy, my dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Messiah, just as I teach everywhere in every community. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing; and I will find out not the talk of those who are puffed up, but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

–from 1 Corinthians 4

 

What does it take to get your attention?


Ever notice how different people may be oblivious to what is taking place around them? For some they are immediately aware. For some they take a little prodding or poking before they realize there is something going on. For some it takes a monstrous event to get their attention.

Ever noticed how even when some people’s attention has been gotten, it still takes more for them to get or become engaged into the situation? Ever noticed that sometimes people can compartmentalize their life so much that they can ignore certain pieces? Ever found that some may realize but are just looking to escape the situation rather than address it?

What about you? Are you aware of what is going on around you? How crazy do things need to get before you will do something or get involved? Or will you? If you learned today that things were going off the rails, would you do something? How would you respond? What choice would you make? Would you do something before it was too late?

What does it take to get your attention?


Today’s reading continues in Isaiah…

Downfall of Jerusalem and Judah

1For behold! The Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot, takes from Jerusalem and from Judah supply and support, every supply of bread and every supply of water, 2mighty man and man of war, judge, and prophet, fortune-teller and elder, 3captain of 50 and man of rank, counselor, crafty magician and cunning charmer. 4I will set children as their rulers. Capricious ones will govern them. 5The people will oppress one another— each one by his fellow, each one by his neighbor. The child will be insolent to the aged, and dishonorable to the honorable. 6When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a cloak, you be our ruler! This ruin is under your charge.” 7In that day he will protest, saying: “I’m no healer! In my house is no bread or cloak. Don’t make me a ruler of people!” 8For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah is fallen. For their tongue and their actions are against Adonai, defying the eyes of His glory. 9The expression of their faces bears witness against them. They display their sin like Sodom— they do not hide it. Oy , their souls! For they brought evil on themselves.

The Judge Arises

10Say to the righteous, he will be well, eating the fruit of their deeds. 11Oy , the wicked! It will be bad for him, for the dealing of his hands will be done to him. 12My people! Children are their oppressors and women rule over them. My people! Your guides mislead you and destroy the way of your paths. 13Adonai arises to contend a case, and stands to judge the people. 14Adonai will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and with the princes: “You have devoured the vineyard. The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the face of the poor?” says Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot. 16Moreover Adonai says: “Since the Daughters of Zion are proud, and walk with outstretched necks and seductive eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, 17therefore Adonai will smite with a scab the forehead of the Daughters of Zion. Adonai will expose their secret parts. 18In that day Adonai will strip the finery of anklets, headbands, crescents, 19pendants and bracelets, veils, 20headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume vials, amulets, 21rings and nose-jewels, 22festal robes, capes, cloaks, purses, 23lace scarves, fine linen, turbans and veils. 24Now it will come to pass: Instead of sweet spices there will be rottenness; instead of a sash, rags; instead of curled hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. 25Your men will fall by the sword, and your warriors in battle. 26Her gates will lament and mourn. Desolate, she will sit on the ground.

–from Isaiah 3

Do things have to get really bad? Do things have to get really good? Can things stay the same? We don’t have forever to make a choice! We don’t have forever to decide! Are you in or are you out? What if today is the last day, will you have chosen and know where you are going or will you have put it off and now will miss out?

1Seven women will grab hold of one man in that day, saying: “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel. Only let us be called by your name— take away our reproach!”

Zion’s End-Time Glory

2In that day the Branch of Adonai will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land excellent and appealing for Israel’s survivors. 3So it will come to pass that whoever is left in Zion and whoever remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4After Adonai has washed away the filth of the Daughters of Zion and has purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5then Adonai will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her convocations, a cloud by day, and smoke and shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all, glory will be a canopy. 6Then there will be a sukkah for shade by day from the heat, and for refuge and for shelter from storm and from rain.

–from Isaiah 4

Will you live a life that will be a good return on investment? Will you be taking the gifts and talents you have been given and multiply them? Will you just dig a hole and put them there? We are supposed to take what we have been given and multiply it like a good steward! For the earth is the Lord’s and everything it, so we just need to be good stewards with what we have been given!

Song of the Vineyard

1Let me sing of my beloved, a song of my beloved, about His vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard in a very fertile hill. 2He dug it out and cleared its stones, planted it with a choice vine, built a tower in the midst of it, and even cut out a winepress. He expected it to yield good grapes, but it yielded worthless grapes. 3So now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, please judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done? Why then, when I expected it to yield good grapes, did it yield worthless grapes? 5So now, I will make known to you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge, and it will be eaten up. I will break down the fence, and it will be trodden down. 6I will lay it waste: it will not be pruned or hoed, but briers and thorns will come up. I will also command the clouds not to rain on it. 7For the vineyard of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah the planting of His delight. He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed, for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

Judgment for Injustice

8Woe to those who join house to house and merge field to field, until there is no room, and you will live alone in the midst of the land! 9In my ears, Adonai-Tzva’ot has said: “Surely many houses will be desolate— even grand and fine ones— with no occupants.” 10Ten acres of vineyard will yield six gallons, and an omer of seed will yield one ephah. 11Woe to those who rise up early in the morning— so they may pursue liquor, who stay up late at night, until wine inflames them! 12Harp and lyre, tambourine and flute, and wine are at their banquets. They do not notice Adonai’s activity nor see the works of His hands. 13“Therefore My people are in captivity for lack of knowledge. Their honorable men are famished and their multitudes parched with thirst. 14Therefore Sheol has enlarged its gullet and opened its measureless mouth— down goes her glory, her tumult, her uproar, and the revelry in her. 15So humanity will be bowed down mankind will be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty humbled.” 16But Adonai-Tzva’ot will be exalted through justice, and the Holy God consecrated through righteousness. 17Then lambs will graze as if in their own pasture, and nomads will eat in the ruins of the wealthy. 18Oy to those that drag iniquity along with cords of deceit, and sin as if with a cart rope! 19They say: “Let Him hurry up and hasten His work, so we may see it! Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so we may know it!” 20Oy to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter! 21Oy to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! 22Oy to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant at mixing drinks, 23who justify the wicked for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of justice! 24Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw, and as chaff collapses into the flame, so their root will be like rot, and their blossom will go up like dust. For they have rejected the Torah of Adonai–Tzva’ot, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25Therefore Adonai’s anger is kindled against His people. When He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them, the hills trembled, and their carcasses were like refuse in the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 26He will lift up a banner to nations far off, and will whistle for them from the ends of the earth. Look! Swiftly, speedily they come! 27None will be weary and none stumble among them; none will slumber or sleep; no belt will be loose at the waist; no strap of sandals be broken. 28Their arrows are sharp and all their bows bent; their horse hooves will be like flint and their wheels like a whirlwind. 29Their roaring will be like a lion. They will growl like young lions— yes, they will roar, seize their prey and carry it away safely— and there will be none to rescue. 30They will roar against them like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress! The light is darkened by the clouds.

–from Isaiah 5

Consider the little you have to offer! You may think you have nothing, but what do you really have? Even the little you have when you give it up to God can be used and multiplied for the glory of God! Will you help others out of your abundance? Will you help others out of your lack? Will you take the little you have and give it up to God? Be it a little oil? Be it a your lunch? Be it a two fish and a few loaves? Do you realize what God can do with it? Will you trust Him if He or when He asks? There is a purpose! There is a plan! Don’t miss out!

Do You Still Not Understand?

1In those days, there was another large crowd with nothing to eat, and Yeshua called the disciples. He said to them, 2“I have compassion for the crowd, because they’ve stayed with Me for three days now and have nothing to eat. 3If I send them home hungry they’ll pass out on the way, for some of them have come from very far away.” 4His disciples answered Him, “How can anyone satisfy these people with bread here in a wasteland?” 5“How many loaves do you have?” Yeshua was asking them. “Seven,” they said. 6He directed the crowd to recline on the ground. After taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, He broke them and began giving them to His disciples to serve; and they served them to the crowd. 7They also had a few small fish and, after offering a bracha for them, He commanded these to be served as well. 8They ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over—seven baskets. 9About four thousand were there, and Yeshua sent them away. 10Right away, He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the area of Dalmanutha. 11The Pharisees came and began to argue with Him, demanding a sign from heaven, to test Him. 12Sighing deeply in His spirit, Yeshua said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Amen, I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13Leaving them, He got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

The Un-Seeing Disciples

14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they had only one loaf in the boat. 15Yeshua was warning them, “Watch out! Beware of the hametz of the Pharisees and the hametz of Herod.” 16They began to discuss with each other that they had no bread. 17And Yeshua, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss that you have no bread? You still don’t get it? Don’t you understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Having eyes, don’t you see? And having ears, don’t you hear? And don’t you remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they say to Him. 20“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Seven,” they say to Him. 21He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Eyes that Need Opening

22They come to Bethsaida. Some people bring a blind man to Yeshua and beg Him to touch the man. 23Taking the blind man by the hand, Yeshua brought him outside the village. After spitting on the man’s eyes and laying His hands on him, Yeshua asked the man, “Do you see anything?” 24The man looked up and said, “I see men! They look like trees walking about.” 25Then Yeshua put His hands on the man’s eyes again. The man looked intently, his sight was restored, and he began to see everything clearly. 26Yeshua sent him straight home, saying, “Don’t even enter the village!” 27Now Yeshua and His disciples went out to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They told Him, “John the Immerser; and others Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29Then He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered Him, “You are the Messiah!” 30And He warned them not to tell anyone about Him.

Revealing the Mission

31Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and ruling kohanim and Torah scholars, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He was speaking openly about this. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter. He said, “Get behind Me, satan! You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of men.” 34Then He called the crowd, along with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and keep following Me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. 36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37For what could a man give in exchange for his soul? 38For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels!”

–from Mark 8

 

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

 

Nobody knows the day or the time

Do you see what is happening?


Do you see what is taking place around you? Will you remain silent? Will you do nothing? Will you remember? Will you be a reminder? Do others see what has happened? Do you see what has happened? Do you see what could happen? Do you see what is potentially ahead?

Ever heard the quote that all it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing?

So… are you going to do something? are you going to say something? are you going to be someone who does something rather than letting things fall apart?

Need a refresher of other times in history when the pendulum swung?

Do you see what is happening?


Today’s reading brings us into the book of Joel…

1The word of Adonai that came to Joel the son of Pethuel:

Mourn the Land’s Destruction

2Hear this, elders! Give ear, all inhabitants of the land. Has this ever happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 3Tell your children about it— your children to their children, their children to another generation. 4What the locust left, the swarming locust has eaten, and what the swarming locust left, the canker-worm has eaten, and what the canker-worm left, the caterpillar has eaten. 5Awake, drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine— on account of sweet wine, for it is denied to your mouth! 6For a nation has invaded my land. Vast—yes, without number! Its teeth are lion’s teeth, with jaw-teeth of a lioness. 7He has turned my vine to waste and my fig tree to splinters. He has stripped off all the bark and flung it down— its branches are left white. 8Wail like a virgin dressed in sackcloth for the husband of her youth! 9Grain offering and drink offering are cut off from the House of Adonai. Kohanim—ministers of Adonai—mourn. 10The field is ruined, the land grieves, for the grain has been devastated, new wine is dried up, oil languishes. 11Be ashamed, O ploughmen; wail, O vinedressers, over wheat and over barley, for the harvest of the field is lost. 12The vine withered, the fig tree wilted. Pomegranate, palm and apple tree —all trees of the field— are withered, for joy has withered away from the children of men. 13Gird yourselves and weep, kohanim! Howl, ministers of the altar! Come, lie in sackcloth all night, ministers of my God. For grain and drink offering are withheld from the House of your God.

The Day is Near!

14Consecrate a fast. Proclaim a solemn assembly. Gather elders and all living in the land to the House of Adonai your God, and cry to Adonai. 15Ah, the day! The day of Adonai is near! As havoc from Shaddai it will come. 16Is food not cut off before our eyes— joy and gladness from God’s House? 17Seed has shriveled under the dirt clod. Storehouses are desolate, granaries are torn down, for the grain has withered. 18How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep also suffer. 19To You, Adonai, I cry! For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has set ablaze all the trees of the field. 20Also beasts of the field pant toward You. For the water of wadis are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

–from Joel 1

Will you sound the alarm? Will you let others know? Will you show others what you see? Will you tell them what you are hearing? Will you warn them before it is too late? Will you point them to God as the answer to their problems? Will you point them to God as their savior?

1Blow the shofar in Zion! Sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all living in the land tremble— for the day of Adonai is coming— surely it is near! 2A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as blackness spreads over the mountains. A great and mighty people— from antiquity there was never anything like it, nor after it ever again from generation to generation. 3A fire devours before them and behind them flame blazes up. Like the Garden of Eden is the land before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness. Nothing at all ever escapes them. 4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses— they gallop like war horses. 5Like the clatter of chariots, they leap on the tops of mountains, like crackling flame of fire devouring stubble, like a mighty horde in battle array. 6Before them peoples are in anguish. All faces become ashen gray. 7They run like mighty men. They climb a wall like men of war. They each march in line, never deviating from their ways. 8One does not crowd another. Each one marches on his own highway. They plunge through the weapons, never breaking off. 9They rush on the city, they run on the wall, they climb up into the houses, coming through the windows like a thief. 10Before them land quakes, heaven trembles, sun and moon become dark, stars withdraw their brightness. 11Adonai utters His voice before His army. For His camp is very vast—for mighty is it that carries out His word. For great is the day of Adonai— very terrifying! Who can endure it?

Call for Teshuvah

12“Yet even now” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and lamenting.” 13Rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to Adonai, your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in mercy, and relenting about the calamity due. 14Who knows? He may turn and relent, and may leave a blessing behind Him —so there may be a grain offering and a drink offering for Adonai, your God.

Blow the Shofar

15Blow the shofar in Zion! Sanctify a fast; proclaim an assembly. 16Gather the people; sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even those nursing at breasts. Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom and the bride from her chamber. 17Between the porch and the altar let the kohanim, ministers of Adonai, weep, and let them say: “Have pity, Adonai, on Your people. Don’t make Your heritage a scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’” 18Adonai will be zealous for His land, and have compassion on His people. 19Adonai will answer and say to His people: “Behold, I will send you the grain, the new wine, and the fresh oil, and you will be satisfied with it. I will no longer make you a mockery among the nations. 20“But I will remove the northern invader far from you—yes, I will banish him to a dry and desolate land— his vanguard into the Eastern Sea and his rearguard into the Western Sea. His odor will go up— Yes, his stench will rise.” For He has done great things!

Rain and Restoration

21Do not fear, O land. Be glad! Rejoice! For Adonai has done great things. 22Do not be afraid, beasts of the field, for the desert pastures have sprouted, for the tree bears its fruit. Fig tree and vine yield their strength. 23So be glad, children of Zion, and rejoice in Adonai, your God. For He gives you the early rain for prosperity, Yes, He will bring down rain for you, the early and latter rain as before. 24The threshing floors will be full of grain and the vats will overflow with new wine and fresh oil. 25“I shall restore to you the years that the locust, the swarming locust, the canker-worm and the caterpillar have eaten— My great army that I sent among you.” 26“You will surely eat and be satisfied, and praise the Name of Adonai your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. Never again will My people be shamed 27You will know that I am within Israel. Yes, I am Adonai your God —there is no other— Never again will My people be shamed.”

–from Joel 2

Will you receive the Holy Spirit? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Will you choose to follow God? Will you decide before it is too late?

Promise of the RuachAdonai

1“So it will be afterward, I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh: your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 2“Also on the male and the female servants will I pour out My spirit in those days. 3I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth— blood, fire and pillars of smoke. 4The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of Adonai comes. 5Then all who call on Adonai’s Name will escape, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be rescue, as Adonai has said, among the survivors whom Adonai is calling.”

–from Joel 3

Will you ask Jesus into your heart before it’s judgment day? Will you ask Jesus into your heart to help you through every day? Will you trust Him and believe Him and follow Him the rest of your life? Will you be an ambassador of peace and healing? Will you be an ambassador of hope and love? Will you be an ambassador of joy and truth? Will you be salt and light into this world? Don’t hide your light under a basket or your bed, shine it bright that others may see it and turn back to God and glorify your Heavenly Father!

1Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life—bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the city’s street. On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him. 4They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!

Yeshua Is Coming

6He said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true! Adonai, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon. 7Behold, I am coming soon! How fortunate is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8I, John, am the one hearing and seeing these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing me these things. 9But he tells me, “See that you do not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets and those keeping the words of this book. Worship God!” 10Then he tells me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do righteousness, and the holy still be holy. 12Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to pay back each one according to his deeds. 13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify these things to you for My communities. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17The Ruach and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come—let the one who wishes freely take the water of life! 18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his share in the Tree of Life and the Holy City, which are written in this book. 20The One giving testimony to these things says, “Yes! I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua! 21May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!

–from The Revelation 22

Don’t wait! You won’t want to be late!

 

 

 

 

 

They are watching you

People are watching you! What are they seeing?


Whether you realize or not people are watching you. They want to know who you really are. They want to know what you believe. They want to know why you do what you do. They want to understand what is driving you and your actions. They want to see if you do what you say. They want to hear if you speech aligns with your actions. They want to see if you live out what you say you believe. Are you a living testimony of what you say you believe? Are you a living sacrifice to God? What is your motivation? Why do you do what you do? Are your words aligning to what your actions are saying? Are you actions aligning to what you say you believe?

People are checking you out so that they can try to figure you out in order to know if
they can trust you!


This morning’s reading has an interesting start with the statement “Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it.” It speaks to the fact that how we live can be the source of how people come to know God. We need to be living testimonies! As some put it, we need to be Jesus with skin on to our communities! So let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that align with what we believe! Let’s be the people God created us to be with purpose on purpose for a purpose! Our actions will speak louder than any words we speak. Know how it is said that a picture is worth a 1000 words? Our actions are like a video which is made up of thousands of pictures, so consider the impact!

Instructions and Warnings

12Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees! 13Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed. 14Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. 15Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison. 16Let no one become immoral or unspiritual like Esau, who for a single meal sold his rights as the older son. 17Afterward, you know, he wanted to receive his father’s blessing; but he was turned back, because he could not find any way to change what he had done, even though in tears he looked for it. 18You have not come, as the people of Israel came, to what you can feel, to Mount Sinai with its blazing fire, the darkness and the gloom, the storm, 19the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of a voice. When the people heard the voice, they begged not to hear another word, 20because they could not bear the order which said, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling and afraid!” 22Instead, you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, with its thousands of angels. 23You have come to the joyful gathering of God’s first-born, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, who is the judge of all people, and to the spirits of good people made perfect. 24You have come to Jesus, who arranged the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that promises much better things than does the blood of Abel. 25Be careful, then, and do not refuse to hear him who speaks. Those who refused to hear the one who gave the divine message on earth did not escape. How much less shall we escape, then, if we turn away from the one who speaks from heaven! 26His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven as well.” 27The words “once more” plainly show that the created things will be shaken and removed, so that the things that cannot be shaken will remain. 28Let us be thankful, then, because we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him, with reverence and awe; 29because our God is indeed a destroying fire. –from Hebrews 12

It’s important how we live! It’s important how we speak! He is coming back, so let’s be living testimonies for the glory of His kingdom!

Not sure what to do? Turn to God! Not sure how to respond? Turn to God’s Word! Think you are going through something and not sure what to do? Turn to God for wisdom! Make sure you don’t try to go it alone! Stay connected to the source and the vine.

Today’s reading continues to speak wisdom through the book of Proverbs…

15Correction and discipline are good for children. If they have their own way, they will make their mothers ashamed of them. 16When evil people are in power, crime increases. But the righteous will live to see the downfall of such people. 17Discipline your children and you can always be proud of them. They will never give you reason to be ashamed. 18A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God’s law! 19You cannot correct servants just by talking to them. They may understand you, but they will pay no attention. 20There is more hope for a stupid fool than for someone who speaks without thinking. 21If you give your servants everything they want from childhood on, some day they will take over everything you own. 22People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarreling and trouble. 23Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected. 24A thief’s partner is his own worst enemy. He will be punished if he tells the truth in court, and God will curse him if he doesn’t. 25It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe. 26Everybody wants the good will of the ruler, but only from the Lord can you get justice. 27The righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous. –from Proverbs 29