Second Tuesday of 2022: How are things coming together to help you THRIVE?


Are you seeing the change? Are you grabbing hold of the change? Are you preparing for the change? Are you seeing your role and responsibility in the midst of the change?

Today’s verse of the day is an interesting one as I continue to focus on the need and direction to thrive in 2022. It comes to us from Matthew 23:11 which says:

‘The greatest among you will be your servant. ‘

Matthew 23:11

So are this change is coming, are you ready to thrive by serving through it all? Who will you serve? Who needs do you need to serve? Who is in need of your service? How will that impact their lives and their ability for them to also thrive in 2022?

Let’s grab a bit more context for this verse before we move forward.

‘Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. ‘

Matthew 23:1-12

Don’t walk around, strutting like a rooster in a hen house for we read how if you exalt yourself you will be humbled. God directs us to humble ourselves and allow Him to exalt us when the timing is right! If we take a look at James 4:10 in the Amplified version, we get:

‘Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose]. ‘

James 4:10

So today in our desire to thrive in 2022, let’s humble ourselves and pray! Let’s humble ourselves and serve! Let’s lean in on God for His wisdom and discernment! Let’s seek direction and instruction from the Holy Spirit throughout our days! Let’s allow Jesus to be seen in and through the way we choose to live our lives today! Let’s trust God enough that in the midst of all the changes, as we humbly serve, He will take care of the rest! Remember what it says in Matthew 6:25-34 about not worrying?

‘ “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6:25-34

So let’s go beyond the surviving we did through 2020 and 2021 and step into thriving in 2022 by leaning in and leaning on God! Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready for the change? Let’s hold tight to God and cast our cares upon Him! Let’s trust God and lean not on our own understanding! Let’s acknowledge God so that He can make our path straight!


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 6 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to take hold of God’s plans and purposes for your life? Are you ready to be a servant leader? Are you ready to lead through change by serving others? Are you needing help? Are you needing an example? Then today invite Jesus into your life and to your very situation so that He can help transform you and empower you to be everything He created you to be. Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Who will you serve today?


Do you see the needs around you? Do you see the impact you can make on their lives? Do you see what your role in filling the needs could be? Do you see what your purpose in meeting the needs can be? Who will you serve today?

Do you see the need of orphans? Do you see the need of widows? Do you see the need of the homeless? Do you see the need of kids? Do you see the need of youth? Do you see the need of women? Do you see the need of men? Do you see the need of the incarcerated? Do you see the need of the imprisoned? Do you see the need of your neighbors? Do you see the need of your community? Do you see the need of the schools? Do you see the need of the students? Do you see the need at work? Do you see the need at home? Do you see the need on your team? Do you see some other need? Who will you serve today?

Will you see a need and fill it? Will you see someone in need and serve them? Who will you serve today?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 14th


The Least of These


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’’

Matthew 25:40

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize how important this topic is?
  • Do you realize how much this matters to God?
  • Do you realize how much you having a soft heart for the things of God is?
  • Do you realize the impact of turning your back on God?
  • Consider the content of your heart?
  • It’s not what you look like on the outside but it matters more the character of your heart, your inside!
  • From the overflow of our heart, the mouth speaks and we act!
  • How is the content being shown through your loving actions?
  • How is it reflect or shown in how you treat “the least of these”?
  • Who are “the least of these” in your life?
  • How are you treating and serving them?
  • Do you avoid them or help them?
  • Do you move away from them or live with them?
  • Do you stop to check on them or speed up and try to get by or pass them?
  • Do you see the need and fill it?
  • Do you see the need and meet it?
  • Do you serve the needy?
  • Do you serve the dirty?
  • Do you serve the outcasts?
  • Do you serve the ones who can’t repay you or give you anything in return?
  • Do you feed the hungry?
  • Do you give drinks to the thirsty?
  • Do you invite strangers to your home?
  • Do you clothe those who need clothe?
  • Do you visit the sick and imprisoned?
  • How do you handle “the least of these”?
  • Who will you serve today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are some needy people you see every day? Do you need to leave a cocoon of safety and peace to be with them?
  • What is one new habit you can develop to care for needy people?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Small things done with great love can change the world.”

— Mother Teresa

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So do you see a need to fill? Do you have a need to be filled? Could today be the day that your need could be filled by inviting Jesus into your heart and your life? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


What do you fill your tank with?


What is it that motivates you? What is it that keeps you on track? What is it that gives you direction? What is it that gives you the force to move forward or move on? What is it that is giving you momentum? What is it that keeps you aligned? What is it that keeps you focused? What is your source? What is it that keeps you loyal? What is it that keeps you going, no matter what?

Are you focused on God and His will and plans? Are you focused on the will of man and their selfish ambitions? Are you focused on God’s Word? Are you focused on the worlds instant gratification and greed? Are you focused on having your tank filled by God and then overflowing into the lives of others? Are you focused on getting as much as you can as quickly as you can? Are you more focused on the influx or the outflux in your life? Are you more interested in what you can get than what you can give?

Do you realize that what you allow into your heart makes a difference? Do you realize that how you fill up your life tank makes a difference? It can energize and motivate you or it can consume and corrode you. It is important in life to choose wisely! It is important in life to be blessed and be generous! It is more important in life to be a giver than a taker!

Do you realize how much God loves? God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life! That’s right God loves so much that He is a giver! Do you realize that God loves so much that He even allows us to test Him with giving to see who can give more? Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. That is right and God loves a hilarious giver, you may have heard cheerful but if you look into it deeper it is really that He loves a hilarious giver. So will you live to give or will you live to receive? Have you ever heard it is better to give than to receive? Did you realize that comes from the Bible? Check it out in Acts 20:35. So the cool part is that it isn’t a decision that will be forced on you but it is something you get to freely decide on your own. Will you choose to receive the gift of grace through Jesus or not? The choice is yours!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 17th


What’s in your box?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 6:24
(You Cannot Serve God and Riches)

‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What is your one thing?
  • If you were given the opportunity to have 1 thing but it can be anything, what would you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your attention, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your affection, what will you choose?
  • There are so many things competing for your heart, so what will you choose to rule over or fill your heart?
  • What are they offering you to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What are they tempting you with to try and convince you to choose them?
  • What do they have to offer that might capture your attention, if only for a moment?
  • Are they offering you pleasure?
  • Are they offering you thrills?
  • Are they offering you status?
  • Are they offering you the ability to impress?
  • Are they offering you the opportunity to escape?
  • But is what they are offering you real? Is what they are offering you going to last?
  • Where are you hearing such offers?
  • Is it in the office? Is it on TV? Is it through advertising? Is it on the billboard on that drive? Is it through friends? …
  • Are they trying to fulfill a dream that you have?
  • But who will you trust? Who will you go to? Who will you listen to? Who has what you really need?
  • Are you buying what they are selling?
  • Will they convince you to accept their offer or temptation?
  • Remember, you only can choose one thing! Like today’s verse tells us!
    • ‘“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’ — Matthew 6:24
  • Consider these verses too…
    • Romans 6:16 – ‘ Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?’
    • 2 Peter 2:19 – ‘ They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement–for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved.’
  • In the busy things of life, in the noises that come along with it, will you stop and find a quiet place where you can listen for and hear that still quiet voice that will speak truth and life in love to you from the Holy Spirit?
  • Will you set time aside to turn to and listen to the one who will will speak the truth of who Jesus is and what God is offering you?
    • John 14:6 shares: ‘ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.’
  • Will you choose God and accept His plan for you that gives you hope and a future?
  • Will you choose God and accept Jesus who came that you can have the adventure of v life and life more abundantly or to the full?
  • So what will you allow to fill your tank? your life? your box?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Identify some of the competing voices and their promises in your life.
  • TV – shows and ads
  • Radio – shows and ads
  • Internet – sites, stores, ads
  • Video games and ads
  • I have had to turn on ad blockers and even uninstall games because of the types of ads they play
  • I have had to turn to DVR shows so that I can skip ads or parts of shows
What have you had in your box in the past year or so? What are you putting in your box now?
  • God has been so critical to me over the past year to help me through some rough and tough times
  • He helped me keep from putting anger and frustration, bitterness and unforgiveness into my heart or allowing bitterness to take root

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Whatever you choose to serve becomes that which you worship.”  

IKE REIGHARD

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is it or who is it that you will serve? How will that impact your worship? How will that impact the rest of your life?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Are you living life the way you should?


How do you know how to live your life? Was it by watching people? Was it by listening to people? Was it by choosing the things you liked and discarding the ones that you don’t? Is it clear or fuzzy? Is it definite or subjective? Is it consistent or is it unstable? Are there rules? Are there guidelines? Are there directions? Are there instructions? Is there a manual? Is there a model to follow? Is there a set of guidelines?

How do you know the way you should live your life? If you know the way you should live your life then are you living it? Is it working for you?

What if you had a role model and they were a powerful leader and they told you that you need to be humble to live the way you are supposed to? What if you had a role model and they told you that you need to serve others to live the way you are supposed to? What if your role model told you that you need to forgive to live the way you are supposed to? What if your role model told you that the key to living life the way you are supposed to is love? Will you love God and love people if that is what it takes to live life the way you should? What if you learned the real definition of love, that is unconditional love, and that you needed to live your life in accordance to that? Let’s take a look at a few verses and take hold of what love is:


‘Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

So what if all you needed to do was be like love? You need to live your life towards being able to taking the information above and changing the word love with your name? Would you be up for living your life the way you should? Would you be willing to live a life that isn’t lead or controlled by fear but instead choosing a life that is lead with power and of love and of a sound mind? Do you have something to turn to for instruction? Do you have someone to turn to for guidance? Do you have somewhere to go for support?

Are you living life the way you should?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 30th


Walking as Jesus walked


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: I John 2:6

‘He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you just talking the talk or are you also walking the walk?
  • Are you being authentic in every area of your life?
  • Are you being authentic in both your physical and spiritual lives?
  • Are you willing to live in obedience to God’s instruction and guidance?
  • Are you willing to live in loving God and loving others?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to the Father’s will?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to God’s calling on your life?
  • Are you ready to live your life in accordance to God’s purpose for your life?
  • Are you able to do what is right rather than what is popular?
  • Are you able to do what is good rather than what is popular?
  • Are you willing to come if God calls you?
  • Are you willing to go if God sends you?
  • Will you walk the narrow path and not be persuaded by the devil into temptations and falling away or walking away from God?
  • Will you walk in love?
  • Will you reach out to and help those others consider unlovable?
  • Will you reach out to and serve those others won’t help?
  • Will you love and serve those that people avoid or ignore?
  • Will you choose to lead with love to everybody God brings across your path?
  • Will you choose to focus on and do what God is calling you to do rather than your own selfish desires?
  • Will you choose to help those others won’t help?
  • Will you choose to care for people nobody else even notices?
  • Will you live out your today with the overflow of Jesus’ love flowing into the lives of the people around you?
  • Will you do your part?
  • Will you hear from God what your part is and do it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What do you need to do to align your life more completely with God’s purpose for you?
  • Be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit to give me eyes to see and ears to hear those I am to love and serve.
  • Stick closer to God and reduce the noise so that the still quiet voice can lead and guide me throughout each and every day.
  • Be available to those in need
  • Be present for those in need
  • Serve others with the overflowing love of Jesus

Who are some people no one else notices who need your love?
  • Homeless
  • Jobless
  • Fatherless
  • Orphans
  • Widows
  • Street kids and people
  • People around the office
  • People who used to be around the office
  • People around the neighborhood
  • People walking the streets of town

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

What would Jesus do?”

Charles Sheldon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So how will you choose to live your life? Will it be the way you should? Do you have an example to help you know how you should? Why not consider today’s quote to help you? WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


What type of learner are you?


Are you someone who learns by hearing or listening? Are you an aural or auditory learner? Do you respond well to lectures, speeches, talks, music? Do you focus on words that are spoken and look to find meaning from them and the patterns used? Do you enjoy group discussions? Do you prefer audiobooks, podcasts, radio programs to books, newspapers, and magazines?

Are you someone who learns by seeing or watching? Are you a visual or spatial learner? Do you respond well to pictures, patterns, graphs, and charts? Do you prefer watching the movie than reading the book? Do you do a lot of writing, doodling, or coloring when you are learning? Do you have a good memory for things you have seen? Are you someone who likes to visualize or make a visualization to help you understand what is being taught?

Are you someone who learns by instruction, written or spoken? Are you a verbal or linguistic learner? Do you learn new words easily? Do you speak multiple languages? Are you an avid reader and writer? Do you prefer word problems over solving mathematical equations? Do you have a good memory for quotes and proverbs? Are you good as summarizing or making something complex simple so that it can be easily understood?

Are you someone who is good with numbers? Are you a logical or mathematical learner? Do you like reason and logic to come with the information you are given? Do you like to analyze problems and solve for the best possible outcome? Do you like to come up with your own patterns and theories based on what you observe? Do you like to organize and classify? Do you like the technology or scientific space like physics, chemistry, math, and technology?

Are you someone who is learns by doing or using your body? Are you a physical or kinesthetic learner? Do you like to do hands on activities, build models, role play or game play to learn? Do you like to use your hands and touch things while you learn? Do you like to be in the field or location to get context and be able to get your hands on things? Do you like to role play and act out the situations? Do you enjoy sports?

Are you someone who learns from others? Are you a social or interpersonal learner? Do you like to hangout with people? Do you like to be part of study groups or collaborative activities? Do you prefer to work in a group and share your opinions and ideas? Are you expressive and good at understanding facial expressions and body language? Are you a good arbitrator and able to resolve issues?

Are you someone who prefers to learn alone? Are you a intrapersonal or solitary learner? Do you prefer to work alone? Do you like to be able to spend a lot of time alone studying? Are you self-motivated? Are you an independent? Do you like or prefer a quiet environment to work in? Are you self-aware? Do you journal, take notes, and capture your thoughts in order to improve?

Are you someone who learns best outdoors? Are you a naturalistic learner? Do you prefer learning as an experience? Do you like to be able to relate to things in nature? Do you like to go on field trips? Do you like to collect samples or material? Do you like to categorize and classify? Do you prefer subjects like biology, zoology, and botany? Do you like getting your hands dirty? Do you notice changes in your surroundings and environment?

What type of learner are you?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 23rd


An example to follow


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: John 13:13-15

‘You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you learn when you feel unsettled?
  • How do you respond when things get uncomfortable?
  • How do you react when things feel different?
  • How do you learn when there seems to be intense pressure?
  • Do it matter if the intensity if positive or negative?
  • What if you received a welcome so much bigger or greater than you had ever seen or experienced?
  • What if the week was filled with arguments?
  • What if the week was filled with miracles?
  • What if the week was filled with debates?
  • What if the week was filled with challenges?
  • What if the week was filled a mixture or combination of all of these?
  • How would you feel getting together as a group to have a meal together after such a week?
  • How would you respond after hearing that your leader was going to be arrested and killed?
  • How would you be not knowing the specific day or timing?
  • How would you respond if your leader decided it was time to serve you, to take the humble position of washing your feet?
  • Would you be surprised? Would you be amazed? Would you accept it? Would you resist it?
  • Imagine the humility and the purpose of such an act!
  • Imagine the lesson to be learned from such an act of servant leadership!
  • Would you accept the lesson? Would you pick up the example and follow after it?
  • No matter your title or your stature, are you ready to humble yourself and serve those who have been put into your care?
  • Will you receive the example and serve one another?
  • Who would have had to be the example for you to accept it and then live it?
  • Don’t think that you are too good to be able to serve others!
  • Don’t think that you are too powerful or too important to be able to serve others!
  • Will you both receive the forgiveness Jesus is offering as well as then give it to others?
  • Will you forgive them even if they abandon you?
  • Will you forgive them even if they set you up?
  • Will you forgive them even if they lied or deceived you?
  • Will you turn to Jesus to receive forgiveness?
  • Will you then return it and give it to others?
  • We are never too cool to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too good to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too sophisticated to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • We are never too something or too anything to serve others nor to forgive others!
  • God has brought people into and around us so that we can serve them!
  • God wants to lead by example! God wants us to be servant and serving leaders!
  • Have you been put into a position of authority? Then follow Jesus’ example and serve those under your authority!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you think the disciples felt that night when they watched Jesus wash their feet and heard His explanation?
  • Shock
  • Surprise
  • Resistant
  • Humbled
What are some ways you can serve people who report to you?
  • Listen to their needs in order to be able to know how to serve them
  • Do things to meet them in their needs
  • Forgive them
  • Offer service to them
  • Find a need and fill it

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL: I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:

the only ones among you who will be really happy

are those who will have sought and found how to serve.

Albert Schweitzer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what type of a learner are you? Are you putting yourself in the right places in order to learn from good examples? Are you going places to find examples to follow?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Are you aware of your surroundings?


Are you sure the foundation on which you stand is solid? Are you sure that the ground is level? Are you wearing the right footwear to be able to stand firm? Are you wearing the right equipment to be able to stand firm? Are you prepared physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for what is coming your way? Are you standing up for the right things? Are you standing up for anything? Are you prepared? What do you believe in? Do you believe the right thing(s)? Will you continue to do good, even when things get hard? Will you continue to do good and not grow weary? What is motivating you to do good? Is it enough to keep you going and keep you doing good? Are you ready to do good on every opportunity that comes your way?

What if you are wrong? What if you were to be confronted with the truth? What if you were confronted by the truth? Would you be ready to be transformed? Would you be willing to take everything you know and use it for good? Would you be able to take everything you know and point people to the real truth? Would you be able to ask for forgiveness? Would you be able to humbly submit yourself to the reality? What would it take for you to get there? Would it be something drastic? Would it be something that impacts your mind? Would it be something that impacts your body? Would it need to be enough to knock you over? Would it need to be enough to knock you down?

How would you take it if the one you were standing up against was the devil using the truth? Would you keep standing?

How would you take it if the one you were standing up against was God and learned you were missing details? Would you be willing to turn back to God?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 21st


When God knocks you down


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Acts 9:3-8

‘As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Don’t allow your position cause you to think you are better than that or higher than that.
  • Don’t allow your education cause you to think you are better than that or higher than that.
  • Don’t allow pride to rob you of living a life that is to serve others out of love and humility.
  • Don’t allow passion to cause you to step over the line or do the wrong thing.
  • Don’t be one of those people who think they are always right.
  • Have you met God?
  • Was it an eye opening experience?
  • Was it a surprise?
  • Did it change your view of things?
  • Did it transform the way you think and feel and act?
  • Did it transform your heart?
  • Did it transform your mind?
  • Did it transform the way you live your life?
  • Did it reveal the truth and did the truth set you free?
  • Did it show you your wrongs or wrong ideas?
  • Did it show you the right things and the things to grasp?
  • Was that moment a pivotal point in your life?
  • Was that moment a pivotal time and changed you and the way you live the rest of your life?
  • Did it surprise you? Did it shock you? Did it devastate you?
  • Did it break your pride?
  • Did it shake your confidence?
  • Was it a time of new beginnings where you were able to humble yourself and receive what God had to offer?
  • Is now your time for a new beginning where you can humble yourself and receive what God has to offer?
  • Are you ready and willing to submit yourself and your life to Jesus?
  • Are you ready to take hold of and meditate on the gospel? The Good News?
  • Are you ready to become a new creation and allow God to rebuild you stronger and better than ever?
  • Don’t allow pride to rob you of being a great leader!
  • Just because you are a great leader doesn’t mean you have to live pridefully!
  • Be a servant leader! Be a leader that God can bless! Be a leader that models the example of Jesus!
  • Do you really want to alternative of being a prideful leader? To have your pride crushed?
  • Either way, God will be able to take the humble, broken pieces to create a new person.
  • Will you be a humble, servant leader who is lead by the Holy Spirit instead of selfish ambition?
  • If or when God needs to knock you down, how will you respond?
  • Will you allow God to reform your passions and redirect your path?
  • Will you allow God to reform your passion in order for you to be able to use all your God given abilities for Him?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How can you tell if it’s God who’s knocking you down?
  • Knocked down by God usually is due to us falling out of line.
  • Knocked down by God usually is caused by pride
  • Knocked down by God usually is caused by selfishness
Does it encourage you or depress you that God is willing to crush your pride to reform you? Explain your answer.
  • Yes
  • It encourages me that God loves me so much that He is willing to encounter me right where I am at and help course correct and direct me.
  • It depresses me that I wouldn’t listen to the still quiet voice and humbly obey God’s wisdom and direction to the point that my pride require Him to step out and knock me over and crush my pride.
  • When God steps in and loves on me like this, He then picks up the pieces and helps me become a new and improved person.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honor. But all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God.”

— H. G. Wells

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Humility or Pride? Humble or Proud? Serving or Served? Ready or Unprepared? Persevere or give up?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Leadership: Are you doing it for power or to serve? Do you want it for power or to serve?


It is an interesting question and depending on the person you ask you will get different answers. Some run for leadership positions out of pride with a desire for power. Some take on leadership positions out of humility with a desire to serve. Some find themselves in positions of leadership because of their servants hearts and humble living. How about you? Do you do what you do in order to serve others? Do you do what you do in order to gain power over others?

An interesting question or quote some may have heard that it is lonely at the top. If that is the case then have they climbed the mountain alone? If that is the case then were they just walking and not leading? As I was looking for the quote “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”, I found this interesting article by John C. Maxwell titled “Are you really leading, or are you just taking a walk?

The ways of the world and the ways of God seem to run into conflicts because of these differing views. So are you leading with a vision of where you are going that will cause others to want to follow you? Are you leading with a vision to serve those who are following you or trying use your position to control them? Where is your heart at? What is your motivation? What is it that you really want? Have you been called to lead? If so then will you accept the calling and do it God’s way?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 8th


The Paradox of Leadership


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 20:26

‘Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Consider reading the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins
  • How do you hire a CEO?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a charismatic leader?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a genius who brings their helpers?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who demands to be the center of attention?
    • Are you looking for someone who is looking to receive the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who looks down at the other employees? Looks to them like helpers who deserve no recognition?
    • Are you looking for someone who is a humble visionary?
    • Are you looking for someone who can lead with passion?
    • Are you looking for someone who will share the recognition and the praise?
    • Are you looking for someone who will give credit to everyone and anyone?
  • Are they looking for someone from a world or a Jesus leadership strategy?
  • As you see in today’s verse of the day, Jesus’ leadership strategy goes against the natural and normal tendency of man and tells those who want to lead that they need to serve!
  • Jesus went beyond just telling them but rather He was a living example to those who were with Him. Remember how He took a towel and started going around the table to wash the feet of the people at the table?
  • Let’s read the full paragraph:
    • ‘And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”’
      — Matthew 20:24-28
  • If we want to lead then we need to be willing to serve and do the lowest of jobs in order to serve others. Jesus’ washing of the feet of the men at the table would have taken Jesus who was the top and had him doing the job of the lowest servant in a home.
  • So are you willing to serve your family in order to lead them well?
  • Are you willing to serve your employees in order to lead them well?
  • Will you take time to do the most humble tasks?
  • Will you make time to engage the people and care enough to ask about them and their families?
  • Will you make time to go out and be with the people where they are at and help rather than pile on?
  • Don’t be too busy to be able to serve and connect with people or you will find yourself going for a walk by yourself and when you get to the top you will find it quite lonely because you forgot to bring others with you.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What impact do “geniuses with a thousand helpers” have on those under them?
  • Feel undervalue
  • Feel disconnected
  • Feel temporary
What impact do “humble visionaries” have on people? What are two things you can do today to be a servant to those around you?
  • Feel connected
  • Feel valued
  • Will follow and all get to have the mountain top experiences together!
  • Reach out and connect with them – speaking the truth in love and chipping in to help them right where they are at.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.

Woodrow Wilson

“Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Favor or Favour – however you spell it, it means a lot.


FAVOR or FAVOUR: The word has the following definition

The reason for that comes from a conversation I had fairly recently with someone when we were sharing how crazy 2020 has been and I opened up to share how I had felt like I was walking on egg shells because of everything that took place. To receive a response that said they wished they had someone who had their back like I did, I was surprised, shocked, and curious about the statement. My first thought that came to mind was thank you God for your favor on me and over my life. In the midst of the trials and the troubles God was with me and beyond my knowledge He was working on my behalf, interceding with me beyond what is due or usual. I later had a follow up conversation with someone else and their response was that it could have been worse. Wow, that was a surprise and caused me to ponder even more. I thank God that the heart of the kind is in His hands. I thank God that He has opened doors that have allowed me to go before very senior leaders over the years and blessed me with the opportunity to talk with them, some to greater depth than others and yet at least to get to meet and talk to them. As I look back and consider my time at Microsoft and that I got to meet Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Satya Nadella, it was God’s hand at work. As I look back and consider my time at GoDaddy and that I got to meet Bob Parsons, Blake Irving, Scott Wagner, and Aman Bhutani. The situations and the circumstances varied. The depth of connection varied. Some were more in passing while others I was able to build relationships with. In each case though God had given me favor. An example was before a Christmas party telling my wife how I had never met Bob and she logically commented on how short a period I had been at the company and to my surprise God heard the desire of my heart and while I was speaking with my friend Mike who walks up to talk with Mike but Bob and I got to meet him. God’s so incredible! We have not because we ask not or we ask with the wrong heart. So we need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then He will give us the desires of our hearts. It is important to be walking with God so that You can be walking knowing that He has your back! You will know that He will never leave you and never abandon you. You will know that He will take what the enemy means for evil and turn it around and use it for good. You will be able to trust Him in the good and the bad times rather than trying to lean on your own understanding so that You can acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!

Twenty years ago this Christmas season we received an invitation in the mail to attend a Christmas production at a local church. We were still relatively new to the area and so we decide to go. It was the beginning of our journey of faith, our beginning of the reality of having a living relationship with God, our beginning of our journey of Jesus being our Lord and Savior, our beginning of our journey into all that God had prepared in advance for us and has since called us to be and do. It was the beginning and God had a plan to accelerate things with our late start with activities with things like that first Christmas, spiritual emphasis week, prayer and fasting week, men’s and women’s retreats, Easter and Christmas productions, Cleansing Stream, Wednesday night Bible studies and so much more. It was the beginning of an incredible relationship with our Heavenly Father. It was the beginning of an intimate relationship with Jesus. It was the beginning of our ability to be lead and guided, to find comfort and peace in the midst of the storms thanks to the comforter, the Holy Spirit.

God had a plan that was so much bigger than anything we could have asked or imagined. God saw how we honored our parents in even making the big decision to pick up and move far away after having given both sets the options of leaving Microsoft or leaving the country. God had a plan that required putting us in a place where the excuse of “we’re too busy” would be thrown out the window. We didn’t know anybody. We didn’t have much to do yet. We had no excuses 20 years ago when we made the big move. As I reflect on the decision to ask the two sets of parents, I remember the morning when God revealed to me how that was a step and a key to moving forward as it aligns to His will where we read Ephesians 6 where it says:

‘ Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–[Exod. 20:12.] That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’

Ephesians 6:2-3

‘ Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.’

— Exodus 20:12

Does that mean you won’t have trials? Nope. Does that mean you won’t have troubles? Nope. Does it mean you will have God with you in and through each of those storms of life? Yes!

‘ Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’

— James 1:2-4

‘ I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]’

— John 16:33

So are you needing someone to have your back? Why not turn to God and invite Jesus into your heart? God will go before you, preparing in advance the good works He has for you to accomplish and making a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way. God will have your back, never leaving you nor abandoning you. If it interests you, feel free to jump to the prayer at the end of the post and pray it with me. If not yet, hope you will continue reading today’s message of hope and love.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].’

— Luke 2:14

✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

Truth, even the mere notion thereof, is constantly under attack in today’s world. Yet Christ claims to be ‘the truth , the way, and the life’, an exclusive statement that asserts that Christ alone is the way for humanity to be reconciled to God. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to be people of truth—both in word and deed—bearing witness to our glorious Saviour. 

— Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word (Day 2):

  • Read:
  • Truth and the Workplace
  • Our work is significant and belongs under the Lordship of Christ
  • Reject the idea of a secular divide and instead let’s allow our work to be our ministry, our ministry field, where we are the missionaries sent into the workplace to make God known
  • Don’t downplay but instead accept and affirm your ministry in the workplace as God’s calling on your life
  • Work with your pastors and churches to help equip the saints for works of service in every part of our lives

My Notes:

  • ‘ Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,’ — Colossians 3:23
  • ‘ So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Col. 3:9, 10; James 3:8, 9.] And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ — Genesis 1:27-28
  • Work is a part of God’s purpose and is evident in creation
  • Our work is within the sphere of ministry as we serve others
  • Do fall for the lies and deception that there is a divide
  • We are do live out our lives as living sacrifices – and work as unto the Lord!
  • We are to work with all of our hearts in whatever we do as unto the Lord for it is our worship to Him!
  • So be equipped, get equipped, develop yourself so that as you go out into the world that You can be salt and light and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you, sharking hope, light, and love with everyone.
  • Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling
  • Paul ministered in the workplace as a tentmaker and so can we.

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


Are you living with a posture that can be blessed?


Are you living humbly? Are you living with a service attitude? Are you living in alignment with Jesus so that you are under His righteousness?

You matter to God! He can’t bless us when we are being disobedient. He can’t bless us when we are living life pridefully. He can’t bless us when we block or live a life that would block the blessing from flowing through us. So we need to turn to God humbly and be in relationship with Him and hence be in prayer and conversation with Him. When we turn to God and from our own selfishness it opened up the door for God to hear our prayers and heal our land.

Let’s consider the words from 1 Peter 3:12 which say “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them]. [Ps. 34:12-16.]”

God is watching us all because He care for us all. God loves us so much that He gave, He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would have everlasting life and not perish. He sees both the good and the evil. He is searching for those He can bless. We see that God’s ears are attentive to the prayers of the righteous.

God is not absent! He sees everything and we will have to give an account to Him for the things we have done. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice was something Matin Luther King said. Written into the world is righteousness. So let’s choose to live our lives in relationship with God. Let’s receive the gift of Jesus Christ so that we have His intercession before the Father. Let’s live humbly in this life, looking for ways to serve and bless others. Let’s pray which means to speak with God so that He can help us stay on the straight and narrow, pursuing what is right and staying close to Him.

Let’s choose the gift of grace through accepting Jesus into our hearts and our lives so that we can start living as God’s new creations pursuing His will and His way! Interested? Jump to the end of this article and pray with me. You can always come back to this part and continue today’s reading.


Hindsight is 2020. See how much clearer things look in the rear view mirror? What can we learn from it and through it? What can we improve and change because of it. How can we make things better as we move forward? How will these choices and decisions help make the future more clear?

The 49 week challenge – Day 226

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 226 link to join me and sign up.

With July in the rear view mirror, 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:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started with Romans 11:1-27:
    • ‘I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me” ? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.” Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” ‘
      Romans 11:1-27
  • Today’s reading then brings us related scripture from the Old Testament beginning with Deuteronomy 29:
    • ‘These are the terms of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb. Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today. You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?” And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord , the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. Therefore the Lord ’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.” The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.’
      Deuteronomy 29:1-29
  • Today’s reading then continues with 1 Kings 19:
    • ‘Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord ,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord , for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord , but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.’
      1 Kings 19:1-21
  • Today’s reading continues into Job 11:
    • ‘Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin. “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. “If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him? Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human. “Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”’
      Job 11:1-20
  • Today’s reading closed with Jeremiah 11:
    • ‘This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord : “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.” I answered, “Amen, Lord .” The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’ ” Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’ “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress. “What is my beloved doing in my temple as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice. ” The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken. The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal. Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause. Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”’
      Jeremiah 11:1-23

As day 226 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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?

Don’t allow jealousy to rob you of the truth and of your joy!


Remember what it takes to create jealousy. Looking up what the root cause for jealousy is, I found it to be the “inability to achieve something that the other person has achieved“. I looked a bit deeper and found that the causes of jealousy tend to fall into 4 categories:

  1. Lack of self confidence: The main cause for feelings of jealousy are your doubts about your abilities or skills. If you were one hundred percent sure of yourself you would have never suffered from any jealousy feelings
  2. Poor self image : Having a poor self image is another cause of jealousy. If you believe that you look ugly or that you are not that handsome then chances are you’ll be experiencing feelings of jealousy whenever you meet someone who looks better than you
  3. Fear : One of the root causes behind jealousy is being afraid. This fear can be a fear of ending up alone, a fear of being rejected or a fear of losing the love of your partner.
  4. Insecurity: Feelings of insecurity are the result of the two previously mentioned causes. A poor self image and lack of self confidence can result in making you Feel insecure about a relationship and this can be a strong reason that can make you jealous.

To me that sounds like someone who is comparing themselves against someone else instead of comparing themselves against God’s Word and God’s plan for them. We know from the ten commandments that we aren’t to covet. We know as Jesus taught us, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves! If we can take hold of Jesus’s direction, then we lead with love and focus on living our lives in relationship with Him which is exemplifying our love of God! We need to draw closer to God and build up our relationship with Him! We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness after all! It’s not about rituals or routines, it is actually about having a real relationship with God! Jesus opened the door for us to be able to do just that! Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me. He didn’t leave us to figure it out on our own or even walk it out alone, He sent the Holy Spirit so that we can walk in the confidence and the wisdom of God! We need to first invite Jesus into our lives and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior! Then we need to stop trying to do everything in our own strength and instead lean in on God in trust rather than trying to lean in on our own understanding! When we can walk out our today in confidence of our salvation through Jesus Christ, then our self-confidence or our self-image or fear or insecurity will flee because we are standing on the truth and the truth is setting us free! As we walk in that freedom, we aren’t comparing ourselves to other but instead we are looking to serve one another which allows us to avoid jealousy and live out our lives leading with love! We continue to work to improve and become more like Jesus rather than someone else! We live out our lives transformed by the power of Jesus and the love of God, as new creations where the old is gone and the new has come!

Take hold of the victory that is already won because the battle belongs to the Lord!

So where are you at today? What is driving you? What is motivating you? What is controlling you? Will you be lead by love? Will you live by love? Will you be a transformation agent from a world where people compare themselves against one another into a world where people serve one another out of love that is overflowing from the love being poured into them from God? Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s allow God to fill us up to overflowing so that what overflows from our heart is love and hope and faith, the fruits of the Spirit that will last forever!

Take hold of God’s hand today and start the journey of love following Jesus’s example, serving others through love that comes from God! God is love! Remember what love is!

Let’s take a moment to meditate on this before we jump into today’s Word! Let’s take a pause to be filled up with some encouraging music:


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 165)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 165 link to join me and sign up.


With May in the rear view mirror, 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:


My Notes:

  • Will you speak the truth?
  • Will you serve others?
  • Will you love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Will you work for peace or stir up turmoil?
  • What will be your focus? What will be your motivation?
  • Will you be an agitator to stir up trouble?
  • Will you press on doing good?
  • Will you share the Good News of Jesus with others?
  • Will you be observant to your surroundings to be able to speak truth in life and love to the people who come into your life?
  • Can you speak the truth in love to others because you care and share Jesus with them?
  • Will you help them to turn from their own ways and turn back to God?
  • Will you be perseverant and not give up?
  • Will you take hold of the command to not grow weary in doing good works?
  • Will you look to live out your life in ways that are pleasing to God?
  • Will you do what is good in the eyes of God?
  • Will you turn back to God?
  • Will you walk in the path of the Lord?
  • Are you ready today to have an encounter with God?
  • Are you ready today to meet your maker?
  • Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth with instruction, direction, and correction
  • Let’s trust God and not forget Him, let’s do what He asks of us!
  • Let’s praise God!
  • Let’s allow our lives as living sacrifices speak praise and glory and honor of God!
  • Are you seeing the writing on the wall?
  • What would it take to get your attention? Would you have to see the writing on the wall?
  • Are you facing something you can’t understand? Why turn to God?
  • Be prepared that when you are called before those in authority to glorify with God!
  • Will you live your life for God or against God?
  • We all have freewill to choose! Choose wisely!
  • Will you help bring unity or will you be part of the division?

As day 165 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?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?

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 that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Family Day!


Even though with the stay home order and everyone is home, there are still many agendas taking place between online school. working from home, homeschool, walks, runs, workouts, training, video games, and other chores where the main family time becomes dinner with other interactions through the day (almost like passing in the hallways). It’s the weekend and there is no school and no work and yet not really anywhere to go. So what will family day look like? Could it be divide and conquer to get all the house cleaned up? Could it be more times together as a family playing games? Could it be road trip to pick up food for the family or maybe just the animals?

How will your day be? How can you use it to help build up and strengthen the family? How can you reach out and connect even if you can’t physically be present?

Will you choose to make today count? Will you use today to build things up and strengthen and encourage one another? What about your neighbors, could you call and check in on them? What about single people who are home alone, could you call and check in on them? What about elderly people who may not be able to get out and about, could you call and check in on them? What will today’s emphasis be?

Let’s see if we can learn something through today’s reading from God’s Word…


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 109)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 109 link to join me and sign up.


With March in the rear view mirror, 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:


My Notes:

  • Will you choose to live out your today in order to glorify God?
  • Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will lift up Jesus and point people back to God?
  • Will you choose to make today count for the glory of God and the salvation of people?
  • Will you choose to make your family count so others know how important God’s Word and Jesus’s example is to you?
  • Will you choose to follow the instructions of Ephesians 5:25 and be the husband you are supposed to be? or extend it to be the spouse and for a Christian household in the rest of Ephesians 5 and then as a parent and child you are supposed to be as we read in Ephesians 6.
  • Will you choose to follow the instructions of 1 Timothy 5:8 and be the parent you are supposed to be?
  • Will you choose to follow the instructions of Ephesians 6:2-3 and be the children you are supposed to be?
  • Will you choose to follow the instructions of Matthew 22:39 and be the neighbor you are supposed to be?
  • Will choose to make time to reach out and pray with and for people?
  • Will you choose to speak life and hope in love to those God puts on your heart?
  • Will you choose to walk out in unity as God’s example of Jesus and the Father were unified through today’s reading speaks to us?
  • Will you choose to stand in the gap for someone else today and lift them up to God and pray with them and for them and their needs?
  • Will you choose to be in the world and not of the world so that in all things God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory as you walk out life in love being salt and light?
  • Will you be an instrument of God to point people back to God through Jesus?
  • Will you be a catalyst for revival by sharing the love, the hope, and the Word of God?
  • Remember how important it is for us to live in unity!
  • There is a time for everything!
  • There is a season for everything!
  • So let’s realize what time we are in!
  • So let’s respond in the right way to the time we are in!
  • He makes it so that we can be happy and do good!
  • We have a limited time here on earth and so we need to make the most of it!
  • Everything God does lasts forever! Nothing can be added or subtracted!
  • Will we learn from the past or be doomed to repeat it?
  • Will we receive the wisdom of God through His Word or walk away forgetting what we just learned?
  • In this world we have a limited time and we have been given freewill. So we need to choose where we will spend eternity! Will you choose to spend eternity with God or apart from God?
  • Do you realize how important it is to enjoy your work?

As day 109 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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 The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Does it have to get worse before it gets better? (Day 100 of 2020)


As we reflect on the Thursday of Passion Week, we see some key activities including: Peter and John finding the upper room and making preparations for the Passover, Jesus showing his servant heart by washing the disciples feet and how as leaders we need to serve, the Last Supper where the disciples participate in the first communion, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed in agony to the point where He was sweating blood, Jesus is betrayed by Judas, and Peter denies Jesus 3 times.

Today with a cough, sinus pressure, upset stomach and message from a nurse practitioner that it sounds like an upper respiratory infection, I am staying away and resting. Even so I find it important to be filled with God’s wisdom and Word to get my day started. My day gets a later start because I managed to sleep in and the cough medicine seems to help but it is the kind that can only be taken twice a day and so only got 1/2 a dose yesterday. Took an early dose so I can get one more tonight before bed. Hoping this will get better soon so I can get back to the new normal (was going to say normal, but that went away with all the working from home and stay home orders).

Can you believe that today is day 100? Not only day 100 of our reading from God’s Word but also our 100th day of 2020.


 2020 HINDSIGHT — 
The 49-Week Challenge
  Day 100 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 100 link to join me and sign up.

With March in the rear view mirror, 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 seeing the writing on the wall? Ever realized that the saying comes from the book of Daniel in the Bible and it’s meaning?
  • Are you aware of what is about to happen through what the Holy Spirit is saying to you?
  • Do you realize that God isn’t and won’t be surprised?
  • Do you realize that God can take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good?
  • Do you realize that God will have the victory? Are you ready to see the victory?
  • Do you realize God is preparing things in the right order to be able to accomplish His will and His purposes?
  • Do you realize your role and purpose in God’s plan?
  • Do you realize the impact your life is having and will have as it unfolds?
  • Ever heard the message to do both? Don’t stop doing the good stuff you are already doing and add on these additional things you should have also been doing?
  • Is there anything you could be tempted with that would cause you to turn on others?
  • Is there a number or amount that would cause you to turn on your people?
  • Do you think it will benefit you if you get paid off?
  • Do you realize the impact on your life for accepting the price and going through with it?
  • Do you realize the guilt and the emotions that will overcome you for having done it?
  • Will you go and get prepared for what Jesus is going to do in, for, and through your life?
  • Will you be aware of what is going on around you?
  • Will you be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to know what is really going on around you?
  • Will you know even when others are in denial? Imagine if your best friend would deny knowing you, imagine if they did it 3 times.
  • Do you realize that they will admit to it? Do you realize that they know what is going on?
  • Forgiveness is the key! Jesus made a way and gave us a way to remember what He did.
  • At the Passover, Jesus as part of the last supper, performs the first, what we call today communion.
  • Jesus shows us how He is about to give up His body for us.
  • Jesus shows us how He is about to have His blood spilled for us.
  • Jesus tells of how He is going to be the last sacrifice needed, once and for all, to deal with sin and eternal death.
  • We just need to receive it! We need to accept it! We need to choose to allow Jesus into our hearts! We need to choose to allow Jesus to be our Lord and Savior!
  • Imagine the fear that would come when the soldiers showed up in the garden.
  • Imagine the responses that would happen out of the emotions.
  • Imagine the scattering that would take place as they took Jesus away.
  • Do you think you can do it in your own strength? Do you think you can overcome it on your own? Do you think you would be able to admit, knowing what would or could happen to you, admit that you know Jesus? Imagine Peter and how he responded and yet Jesus forgave Him and built His church on him. He knew what was going to happen. He knew what had to happen. He knew the faith that would be required for the Good News to be spread. He knew what the message of resurrection Sunday would bring. We need to prevent ourselves from allowing pride to make us think we are so much better than that. Pride comes before the fall after all. No matter who you are.
  • With everything going on, such a busy day, could you sustain it and stay awake?
  • With all the pressure being put on Jesus, we see how it impacted Him as a human to the point of sweating blood in the garden.
  • Yes, it is going to be hard. Yes, it is going to be tough. Are you willing to do it God’s way? Are you willing to do it for God’s glory? Are you willing to endure the suffering and pain with joy in order to give God the praise, the honor, and the glory?
  • Many probably think that the cross is foolishness but to those of us who are saved it is the power of God!
  • We need to step up and step through it for the glory of God!
  • We need to step up and step through it out of obedience to God!
  • Are you ready for what is about to happen? Are you ready to speak it to be?
  • Are you ready to do it for the benefit of those you have been serving?
  • Are you ready to do it for the glory and praise of God?
  • Are you ready to heal those who are attacking you in order to save your people?
  • Are you ready to go through it alone because they flee out of fear?
  • Will you deny the truth out of fear? or worry?
  • Jesus knew his rightful place and that by completing the good works that the Father had prepared in advance, He would be seated at the right hand of the Father and one day would be coming back on the clouds.
  • Would you be so afraid that you would deny the truth to a servant girl?
  • Would you be so afraid that you would deny the truth to a group of people questioning you?
  • Are you aware of what is wrong? Are you willing to confess it, give it up to Jesus and ask for forgiveness?
  • Do you realize that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?
  • Do you realize that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us?
  • Do you realize that our part is to declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.“?
  • Do you realize that by making this choice where you stand? “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
  • Will you choose to be freed from condemnation?
  • Will you put all your hope and trust in God?
  • Will you allow the light of Lord shine in and through the darkness?
  • Will you allow the Lord to be your salvation?
  • Will you be able to rebuke the fear because of and out of your faith in God?
  • Will you trust in God and allow the battle to be His rather than trying to do it all in your own strength?
  • Will you look to spend eternity with God?
  • Will you seek God’s face and will in all the things you are to do?

As day 100 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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 The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Can you start your week hopeful?


Where does your hope come from? Is it strong enough for it to make your Monday hopeful?

What will this passion week hold for you? Will you take hold of everything Jesus went thru for you?

Where does your strength come from? Is it strong enough for it to make your Monday joyful?

My hope comes from the Lord! As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! The joy of the Lord is my strength!

So let’s make a decision today so that we can start out this week hopeful and strong! Let’s choose for today to be Happy Monday! Let’s choose for today to be the day of the Lord! Let’s choose to live out our lives today as living sacrifices unto the Lord! Let’s choose to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior because this week is in remembrance of Him and everything He has already done for us! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Jesus didn’t come to the world to condemn it but rather He came to the world that we could be saved!

I know for me there is a lot of pressure on this week. I know for my team there is a lot of pressure on this week. It is going to take a group of people to come together and with a single focus in order to make this happen. My God is faithful and my trust is in Him to help us through it all! Giving us wisdom and direction through it all so that we can achieve success and complete the good work He has prepared in advance for us to accomplish.



DAY 97: 2020 HINDSIGHT
— The 49-Week Challenge  Day 97 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 97 link to join me and sign up.

With March in the rear view mirror, 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:

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:30-31

As day 97 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?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Sinner’s 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 The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Let’s recruit! Let’s bring the team back together! Let’s pull together an incredible team!


Has God given you a call? Has God called you to serve at risk youth? Has God called you to build a team to serve at risk youth? Has God called you to put together an incredible team of men and women with hearts to serve? Has God called men and women who have hearts to serve at risk youths to you? Has God called you to pray? Has God called you to give? Have God called you to go? There are so many ways to help! There are so many in need of help! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s make today count! Let’s do our part!


Day 54: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 54 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 54 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

With January in the rear view mirror, 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:

‘“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” ‘

Matthew 15:17-20
  • Do you believe enough that even if God would give you a little you know it would be enough?
  • Do you believe enough that even with faith the size of a mustard seed you are able to speak to the problem and know it will be cast away?
  • Do you realize that even with the little you have, if you are willing to give it up to God, He is able to multiply it and meet the needs even beyond your own needs?
  • God’s law isn’t to hold you back from accomplishing great things but to provide you the power needed to have freedom!
  • Do you realize that God’s plan is one of redemption? Jesus came to redeem us all! Will you accept it and be redeemed?
  • You realize there is evil right? You realize there are accidents right?
  • God knows the heart!
  • You realize the truth will set you free right?
  • What will it take for you to turn back to God?
  • What will it take for you be ready to hear from God?
  • Would it take something good? Would it take something bad? Would it take something easy? Would it take something difficult?
  • How far from God’s blessings and protections would you need to go before you will turn back and ask God to forgive and redeem you?
  • Are there things that need to get torn down?
  • Are there things that need to get built up?
  • Will your eyes turn to God at the end of the project so that you won’t end up back where you started in the future?
  • Would you turn back to God if you knew that what you are doing now was about to create great troubles and problems?
  • Is what you value going to last?
  • Is what you treasure going to last?
  • Are you investing in things that will last?
  • Are you investing your time and energy into something temporary or eternal?
  • Are you spending your time and money on things that will rust, fade, or get stolen or things that will last forever?
  • Are you serving others for the glory of God or living for your own purpose heartlessly?
  • When called before the throne of justice, will you hear well done good and faithful servant?
  • When called before the throne of justice, will you be thrown into the eternal fire? the second death.
  • Will you turn back to God? Will you turn to Him humbly? Will you listen to Him to not only hear but also to gain knowledge?
  • Will you turn back to God in order that He will turn back to you?
  • Will you step towards God in order that He will step towards you?
  • He is like the father who was waiting and watching for his wayward son hoping you will turn back and come home!
  • How bad would it have to get before you realize the mistakes of your own ways?
  • How crazy would things need to seem before you would turn to God for help and wisdom?
  • Will you take hold of the promises of God?
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God through Jesus Christ?

As day 54 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?

Prayer of Salvation
Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansend and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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

How best to serve today?


What is there to do today? What can you do for your wife? What can you do for your kids? What can you do for your extended family? What can you do for your neighbors? What can you do for your community? Are you ready to serve? Do you know of things that you could do to serve others? Do you know of things you could do to prepare and protect them? Do you know of things that you could spend time doing to ensure they are covered?

Can you believe that January is in the rear view mirror? One twelfth of the year is gone! Did you discover something? Did you learn something? Are you better prepared for February?

I know I did! I know I have been able to get rid of a weight I shouldn’t have been carrying and have been able to return to being Happy me. I have been able to give that weight over to Jesus that I didn’t even realize I had been carrying. I have been able to identify and forgive what was done. I have been able to discover the importance of keeping the vision fresh so that critics and naysayers lose their ability to take up mental real estate. Refilling the vision bucket every 26 days will help with focus and energy to press in and press on to accomplish your purpose and your plan to finish the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish.


Day 32: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 32 —


Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 32 link 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:

  • Do you see the need?
  • Do you realize the need?
  • Do you understand the need?
  • Do you serve the need without needing recognition?
  • Do you serve the need in order to help not to be credited?
  • Do you serve quietly and without making a big deal about it?
  • Do you serve in a way to provide the others with dignity?
  • Do you serve in a way that is more secretive?
  • Do you pray?
  • Do you know how to pray?
  • Do you have a place to pray privately?
  • Do you realize that God knows what you have need of before you ask and so you don’t need to go on and on and on and …?
  • Do you realize Jesus provides us guidance into how to pray?

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’

— Matthew 6:9-13

Saying 7
1When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what23:1 Or who is before you,
2and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
Saying 8
4Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Saying 9
6Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
do not crave his delicacies;
7for he is the kind of person
who is always thinking about the cost.23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself, / so he is; or for as he puts on a feast, / so he is
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.
Saying 10
9Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.
Saying 11
10Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
Saying 12
12Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
Saying 13
13Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.
Saying 14
15My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
Saying 15
17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Saying 16
19Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Saying 17
22Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Saying 18
26My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
Saying 19
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35“They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”

— Proverbs 23

As day 32 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

How much do you believe in God?


Will you go where He sends you? Will you answer when He calls you? Will you do what He asks you? Will you listen when He speaks to you? Will you talk with Him as you walk through this life? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit? Will you not worry and instead give all your cares up to God who cares for you? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you serve others because Jesus came to serve? Will you love others because God so loved you that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life? Will you forgive others as God has forgiven you? How much do you believe in God? Will you persevere and not stop pressing into what God has for you, even if it takes more than one try, even it takes 7 tries? Will you not fear but allow your faith and belief in God overwhelm fear? Will you call on God no matter the need, larger or small? Will you believe that if it is important to you it is important to God? Is your heart right in order to show how much you believe God? Do you believe God enough to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus?


Today’s reading comes to us from God’s Word starting in 1 Kings 18 where we see how much Elijah believed in God and challenged fake gods and their followers…

‘Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!” So Elijah went to appear before Ahab. Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria. So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devoted follower of the Lord . Once when Jezebel had tried to kill all the Lord ’s prophets, Obadiah had hidden 100 of them in two caves. He put fifty prophets in each cave and supplied them with food and water.) Ahab said to Obadiah, “We must check every spring and valley in the land to see if we can find enough grass to save at least some of my horses and mules.” So they divided the land between them. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. As Obadiah was walking along, he suddenly saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah recognized him at once and bowed low to the ground before him. “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” he asked. “Yes, it is,” Elijah replied. “Now go and tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’” “Oh, sir,” Obadiah protested, “what harm have I done to you that you are sending me to my death at the hands of Ahab? For I swear by the Lord your God that the king has searched every nation and kingdom on earth from end to end to find you. And each time he was told, ‘Elijah isn’t here,’ King Ahab forced the king of that nation to swear to the truth of his claim. And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away to who knows where. When Ahab comes and cannot find you, he will kill me. Yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all my life. Has no one told you, my lord, about the time when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord ’s prophets? I hid 100 of them in two caves and supplied them with food and water. And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ Sir, if I do that, Ahab will certainly kill me.” But Elijah said, “I swear by the Lord Almighty, in whose presence I stand, that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.” So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?” “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel. ” So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord . The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.” So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made. About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response. Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord . Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench. At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord , God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord , answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord , are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord —he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!” Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there. Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!” So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.’

Isaiah 18

‘In the third year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. On April 23, as I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people. Only I, Daniel, saw this vision. The men with me saw nothing, but they were suddenly terrified and ran away to hide. So I was left there all alone to see this amazing vision. My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak. Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word. Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, “I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.” Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. “Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.” He replied, “Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and after that the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece will come. Meanwhile, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one helps me against these spirit princes except Michael, your spirit prince. I have been standing beside Michael to support and strengthen him since the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede.)’

Daniel 10

‘A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great. Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.” They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic. But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!” After testifying and preaching the word of the Lord in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And they stopped in many Samaritan villages along the way to preach the Good News.’

Acts 8:9-25

‘Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.’

1 John 4:1-6

‘Let all that I am praise the Lord ; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord ; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments! The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. Praise the Lord , you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the Lord , you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! Praise the Lord , everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the Lord .’

Psalms 103

Will you believe enough to ask Jesus into your life today? Will you take that small about of belief to open the door to your heart so that Jesus can enter in? Will you take your broken heart and give it up to God who can heal and restore your heart? Let’s pray together inviting Jesus into our heart

How are you living to show God’s love for everyone?


God is love! God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son! Are you spreading the joy of the Lord that is your strength? Are you serving others in a way that just says God loves you? Are you living out your life in a way that says you are important to God and so you are also important to me? Are you living out your life in a way that says God loves you so I love you too? Are you speaking truth in love? Are you speaking hope and grace? Are you living in humility? Are you sharing forgiveness?

Let’s consider what Paul has to tell us in Ephesians 3:

‘When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles . . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets. And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.’

Ephesians 3:1-13

So let’s humbly share God’s grace with this world around us. Each day God brings specific people across our paths for a specific reason and if we are willing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He can speak to us our purpose to accomplish His plans to let the world know His love for them. God’s given you the want to and the ability to answer His calling through His grace!


Today’s reading gets us started with Numbers 36.

‘Then the heads of the clans of Gilead—descendants of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph—came to Moses and the family leaders of Israel with a petition. They said, “Sir, the Lord instructed you to divide the land by sacred lot among the people of Israel. You were told by the Lord to give the grant of land owned by our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. But if they marry men from another tribe, their grants of land will go with them to the tribe into which they marry. In this way, the total area of our tribal land will be reduced. Then when the Year of Jubilee comes, their portion of land will be added to that of the new tribe, causing it to be lost forever to our ancestral tribe.” So Moses gave the Israelites this command from the Lord : “The claim of the men of the tribe of Joseph is legitimate. This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: Let them marry anyone they like, as long as it is within their own ancestral tribe. None of the territorial land may pass from tribe to tribe, for all the land given to each tribe must remain within the tribe to which it was first allotted. The daughters throughout the tribes of Israel who are in line to inherit property must marry within their tribe, so that all the Israelites will keep their ancestral property. No grant of land may pass from one tribe to another; each tribe of Israel must keep its allotted portion of land.” The daughters of Zelophehad did as the Lord commanded Moses. Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah all married cousins on their father’s side. They married into the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. Thus, their inheritance of land remained within their ancestral tribe. These are the commands and regulations that the Lord gave to the people of Israel through Moses while they were camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.’

Numbers 36

Today’s reading brings us back into the story of Jonah with Jonah 3

‘Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the Lord ’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.” When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.’

Jonah 3

and Jonah 4.

‘This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord ? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord ! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.” The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed. Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?” “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!” Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”’

Jonah 4

Today’s reading next brings us back into the New Testament with Matthew 12,

‘“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent. The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen. “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”’

Matthew 12:33-50

Romans 9,

‘What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”’

Romans 9:30-33

and Romans 10.

‘Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.’

Romans 10:1-4

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

‘I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord ! I will obey your decrees. I cry out to you; rescue me, that I may obey your laws. I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise. In your faithful love, O Lord , hear my cry; let me be revived by following your regulations. Lawless people are coming to attack me; they live far from your instructions. But you are near, O Lord , and all your commands are true. I have known from my earliest days that your laws will last forever. Look upon my suffering and rescue me, for I have not forgotten your instructions. Argue my case; take my side! Protect my life as you promised. The wicked are far from rescue, for they do not bother with your decrees. Lord , how great is your mercy; let me be revived by following your regulations. Many persecute and trouble me, yet I have not swerved from your laws. Seeing these traitors makes me sick at heart, because they care nothing for your word. See how I love your commandments, Lord . Give back my life because of your unfailing love. The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever. Powerful people harass me without cause, but my heart trembles only at your word. I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure. I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your instructions. I will praise you seven times a day because all your regulations are just. Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. I long for your rescue, Lord , so I have obeyed your commands. I have obeyed your laws, for I love them very much. Yes, I obey your commandments and laws because you know everything I do. O Lord , listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. Listen to my prayer; rescue me as you promised. Let praise flow from my lips, for you have taught me your decrees. Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right. Give me a helping hand, for I have chosen to follow your commandments. O Lord , I have longed for your rescue, and your instructions are my delight. Let me live so I can praise you, and may your regulations help me. I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.’

Psalms 119:145-176

How have you been called to serve? Did you accept or decline?


How many times have you been called to serve? How have you been called to serve? Where have you been called to serve? When were you called to serve? What have you been called to serve? Who has called you to serve?

Was it to serve your family? Was it to serve your community? Was it to serve your church? Was it to serve your employer? Was it to serve your employees? Was it to serve your customers? Was it to serve students? Was it to serve a school? Was it to serve the widows and the orphans? Was it to serve the poor and the at risk?

Was it for pay? Was it as a volunteer? Did it matter? Did you answer the call? Are you serving no matter if you are leading or following?

How have you been called to serve?


Today’s reading starts out in Numbers 3.

‘This is the family line of Aaron and Moses as it was recorded when the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: The names of Aaron’s sons were Nadab (the oldest), Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. These sons of Aaron were anointed and ordained to minister as priests. But Nadab and Abihu died in the Lord ’s presence in the wilderness of Sinai when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. Since they had no sons, this left only Eleazar and Ithamar to serve as priests with their father, Aaron. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants. They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle. They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent, serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites. Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants. Appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood. But any unauthorized person who goes too near the sanctuary must be put to death.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord .”

The Lord spoke again to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. He said, “Record the names of the members of the tribe of Levi by their families and clans. List every male who is one month old or older.” So Moses listed them, just as the Lord had commanded. Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The clans descended from Gershon were named after two of his descendants, Libni and Shimei. The clans descended from Kohath were named after four of his descendants, Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The clans descended from Merari were named after two of his descendants, Mahli and Mushi. These were the Levite clans, listed according to their family groups. The descendants of Gershon were composed of the clans descended from Libni and Shimei. There were 7,500 males one month old or older among these Gershonite clans. They were assigned the area to the west of the Tabernacle for their camp. The leader of the Gershonite clans was Eliasaph son of Lael. These two clans were responsible to care for the Tabernacle, including the sacred tent with its layers of coverings, the curtain at its entrance, the curtains of the courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain at the courtyard entrance, the ropes, and all the equipment related to their use. The descendants of Kohath were composed of the clans descended from Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. There were 8,600 males one month old or older among these Kohathite clans. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary, and they were assigned the area south of the Tabernacle for their camp. The leader of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. These four clans were responsible for the care of the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the various articles used in the sanctuary, the inner curtain, and all the equipment related to their use. Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, was the chief administrator over all the Levites, with special responsibility for the oversight of the sanctuary. The descendants of Merari were composed of the clans descended from Mahli and Mushi. There were 6,200 males one month old or older among these Merarite clans. They were assigned the area north of the Tabernacle for their camp. The leader of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail. These two clans were responsible for the care of the frames supporting the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the pillars, the bases, and all the equipment related to their use. They were also responsible for the posts of the courtyard and all their bases, pegs, and ropes. The area in front of the Tabernacle, in the east toward the sunrise, was reserved for the tents of Moses and of Aaron and his sons, who had the final responsibility for the sanctuary on behalf of the people of Israel. Anyone other than a priest or Levite who went too near the sanctuary was to be put to death. When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord ’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now count all the firstborn sons in Israel who are one month old or older, and make a list of their names. The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the Lord . And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.” So Moses counted the firstborn sons of the people of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded. The number of firstborn sons who were one month old or older was 22,273.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord . There are 273 more firstborn sons of Israel than there are Levites. To redeem these extra firstborn sons, collect five pieces of silver for each of them (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs). Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra firstborn sons.” So Moses collected the silver for redeeming the firstborn sons of Israel who exceeded the number of Levites. He collected 1,365 pieces of silver on behalf of these firstborn sons of Israel (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel). And Moses gave the silver for the redemption to Aaron and his sons, just as the Lord had commanded.’

Numbers 3

Today’s reading continues into Proverbs 30.

‘The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One. Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know! Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar. O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord ?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity. The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!” There are three things that are never satisfied— no, four that never say, “Enough!”: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire. The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures. There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman. An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?” There are three things that make the earth tremble— no, four it cannot endure: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers, a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress. There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes —they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts—they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces. There are three things that walk with stately stride— no, four that strut about: the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything, the strutting rooster, the male goat, a king as he leads his army. If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame. As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.’

Proverbs 30

Today’s reading then brings us into Mark 15.

‘The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.’

Mark 15:16-32

Today’s reading then brings us to 2 Corinthians 9.

‘Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!’

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 96.

‘Sing a new song to the Lord ! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord ! Sing to the Lord ; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord ! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord ; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly. Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord , for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.’

Psalms 96

What would it take to get your attention and focus?


Do you notice the small things? Does it have to be huge to get your attention? If you saw it would you stop to get a better look? If you saw it would you shrug it off and keep on your way? Is your plan better than what might be? Is your plan so important that nothing could your attention? Is your focus so intense that you might miss out on a miracle or even better? With where you are at today, with so many “reality shows” that aren’t so real, with so many “amazing” things on tv and the news, what would it take to get your attention? What would it take for something to change your focus? Don’t you want to be drawn to the amazing plans and purposes and miracles of God? Consider this as you walk out your today! Will you allow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, direct and instruct you? Will you answer the call?

Today’s reading starts us in Exodus 3.

‘One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I Am Who I Am . Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord , our God.’ “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”’

Exodus 3

What would it take for you to believe? What would it take for you to receive? What would it take for you to obey? How much resistance will you have? Will you answer God’s call or will you look for a way out?

Today’s reading continues into Exodus 4.

‘But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord , the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with a severe skin disease. “Now put your hand back into your cloak,” the Lord said. So Moses put his hand back in, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body. The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign. And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.” But Moses pleaded with the Lord , “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord ? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. And take your shepherd’s staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.”

So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.” “Go in peace,” Jethro replied. Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.” So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God. And the Lord told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go. Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’” On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him. But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feet with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lord left him alone. Now the Lord had said to Aaron, “Go out into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So Aaron went and met Moses at the mountain of God, and he embraced him. Moses then told Aaron everything the Lord had commanded him to say. And he told him about the miraculous signs the Lord had commanded him to perform. Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.’

Exodus 4

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 28.

‘Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord , as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal. He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree. Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord , the God of their ancestors. Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord , the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord ’s fierce anger has been turned against you!” Then some of the leaders of Israel —Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—agreed with this and confronted the men returning from battle. “You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared. “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord ’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.” So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people. Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.

At that time King Ahaz of Judah asked the king of Assyria for help. The armies of Edom had again invaded Judah and taken captives. And the Philistines had raided towns located in the foothills of Judah and in the Negev of Judah. They had already captured and occupied Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. The Lord was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah, for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord . So when King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria arrived, he attacked Ahaz instead of helping him. Ahaz took valuable items from the Lord ’s Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials and gave them to the king of Assyria as tribute. But this did not help him. Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord . He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. The king took the various articles from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord ’s Temple so that no one could worship there, and he set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem. He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the Lord , the God of his ancestors. The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign and everything he did, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. When Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery of the kings of Judah. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.’

2 Chronicles 28

Have you walked away from God? Will you turn back to God? Will you allow God to be your Lord and Savior? Will you do what is right and what is just in God’s sight? Will you live a life that is pleasing God instead of trying to please men? Do you really know what will satisfy people? Why not do what is pleasing to God instead?

Today’s reading continues into the New Testament in John 15.

‘“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’ “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.’

John 15:18-27

Today’s reading continues into 2 Thessalonians 3.

‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul. I do this in all my letters to prove they are from me. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.’

2 Thessalonians 3:6-18

So will you listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to prompt you so that you will continue the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Will you live with God’s plan and purpose for your life in your heart?

Today’s reading closes with a psalm. Let’s meditate on today’s psalm – Psalms 40.

‘I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord . Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord , who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols. O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand — you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord , well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. Lord , don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. Please, Lord , rescue me! Come quickly, Lord , and help me. May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay.’

Psalms 40

Do you realize the impact you can have? Are you willing to work beyond the differences to find success?


Yesterday on my way to work a new way of thinking about how to make things better came up. I am sure many of us had already heard from Good to Great but this morning on the radio I heard them speak of from Good to Gold and the good to great came to mind as an inferior way to get better. Imagine taking hold of the reality that God has given you everything you need to accomplish His will and succeed. Now knowing that He has given us everything we need will we exercise it so that we can go from good to gold? It’s kind of like when we get a gym membership which has all the things we need to get fit and then after the first month or two we stop. It isn’t because we don’t have what we need but that we need to exercise our will power to use it. So what will we do with this reality? You’ve been given potential so how will you choose to use it? Will you put it into action? If we consider potential as your faith will you put it into action and do good works? Let’s get started reading from Genesis 11 which starts with the Tower of Babel.

‘At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.” In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.’

Genesis 11

It continues speaking of the people of the time. Now as we are scattered across the world and are speaking different languages, how is it possible to find success beyond the language barrier? We know God has given us everything we need so we can’t give up but we need to work towards the common goal and direction. We need to stop trying to do it all in our own way and our own strength but rather we need to invite God into our lives and our situations to help us to accomplish His will. We need to stop being about making ourselves greater and rather we need to humbly serve and accomplish God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Instead of taking the view of “let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” From their words you can tell they knew the consequences of their actions ahead of time but wanted to go and do it anyways out of their selfish and prideful ways. Imagine if the people of the world would put God in the center how much less division there would be. Imagine if the people of the world put God in the center how it would draw everyone closer to each other as they drew closer to God. Let’s come together putting Jesus in the center for as God’s Word tells us a chord of three strands is not easily broken and as such will strengthen the unity among us. Today’s reading in Genesis 11 concludes going through some genealogy that included Abram and Sarai and then we continue into 1 Chronicles 8 to learn even more from Benjamin and Saul.


How would you respond to learning the reality of who Jesus was? What does it take for you to do what you need? Will you take hold of what Jesus tells His disciples from today’s reading in John 4?

‘Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”’

John 4:31-38

Will you allow the desire to serve God and serve others to motivate you and satisfy your desire for success? Will you allow the law being summarized into Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself? In today’s reading from John 4 we see how the woman at the well comes to the reality of who Jesus is and so brings others who come to see and not just because of her words but their own personal experience with Jesus they also believed. Will you be willing to have a personal experience with Jesus? Will you invite Him into the situations you face even if they are messy instead of trying to go it alone? Will you invite Him in to help take that potential and put it into action to help get things cleaned up?


Today’s reading continues into James 4 talking about what is motivating or causing quarrel and fight? Do you realize what you need to do so that you can find peace and joy and hope? Would you turn back to Jesus and invite Him into your situation? Let’s check out today’s reading for specifics:

‘What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?’

James 4:1-12

So let’s not judge our neighbors. Let’s not walk around proud and boastful. Let’s not allow the temptation of the devil or our own selfish desires cause us to divide instead of finding unity. Let’s not be jealous of what others have. Let’s reset and check out motives at the door to make sure they are good and pure. Let’s invite Jesus into our lives to be the center and the foundation on which we build our lives. Let’s draw closer to God making time to meet with Him and hear His Word and allow Him into every situation. Let’s walk out our lives in humility, serving others in ways that will glorify God. If the devil tries to get you off track, resist him so that he will flee. Let’s take hold of our reading from James 4:1-12 today.


Today’s devotional concludes in Psalms 8, so let’s take a moment to meditate on it together:

‘O Lord , our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O Lord , our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!’

Psalms 8

Take a moment after reading through Psalms to just hear it sung out …