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?


Moments that Matter – Part 2


The Week of the Passion – a moment that matters

Preached by Pastor Steve Jamison

Matthew 21-27 – those chapters deal with the week of Passion

John 13-17 – 1 night in the life of Jesus – in the upper room

Palm Sunday – Matthew 21:1

‘Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ‘ Zechariah 9:9

‘“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”’ — Matthew 10:40-42

John 13 – upper room

  • Washing the disciples feet
  • People walked where they traveled – and so would send a family member or slave to wash their feet
  • Jesus – servanthood and humility
  • He is preparing his disciples because in a few hours for the pressure and trials
  • He displayed humility and all He has taught to them his message and lesson
  • Follow the model of Jesus in order to be and live blessed

John 14 – starts to speak about the Holy Spirit

John 15 – need to stay connected to Jesus as the vine

  • stay connected to Jesus
  • He is the vine, we are the branch
  • We need the life flowing through Jesus into our lives and through our lives

John 16 – more tell and the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth

John 17 – prays for the believers

  • ‘ “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ‘ John 17:20-21 https://chop.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.17.20-21

Jesus humbled Him and gave His desciples an experience and a message that they would never forget

  • He served them in a spirit of humility
  • The towel is now in your hands
  • The towel is now in the hands of the church
  • Go out into a hurting world and live our lives in according to Jesus’ example
  • We don’t give to people what they deserve
  • We don’t respond to people because how they respond to us
  • We are to serve people in their moments
  • Not a cup of cold water would lose its reward when given in the name of Jesus
  • Who is struggling?
  • What do they need to see and hear about Jesus?
  • We need to hear and listen!
  • They need you and we are to use the towel into the lives of others
  • In the moments of the towel – in moments of humility – in moments of relationship
  • Only Jesus knew the cross was coming
  • Let’s come back to the upper room

Imagine being in the upper room

  • Humility
  • Surrender
  • Servanthood
  • Need the Holy Spirit
  • A new commandment – love one another – then others will know you are His disciples
    • ‘ “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ‘ John 13:34-35 https://chop.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.13.34-35
  • This is who we are and what we are about
  • John 14:6 – so true.

Moments that matter:

  • called to be a surrendered disciple of Jesus
  • pick up your cross and follow Him
  • pick up the towel and love others
  • be generous with others even as I have been to you
  • be patient with others even as I have been to you
  • be forgiving to others even as I have been to you

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?


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?

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

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

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 …

Ever heard the saying that pride comes before the fall?


Where are you putting your confidence? Are you too confident that you won’t ask God? Consider all the stories of the Bible where the leaders continually asked God what they should do even though it looked just like every other time and how God gave them different directions! Consider all the stories of the Bible where leaders chose to go about it their way and how things turned out! (poorly) Consider Saul losing the kingship. Consider the Israelites who were tricked in the promised land by people who didn’t want to be destroyed. We can’t let pride get in the way of needing God’s direction every day of the rest of our lives! Remember how we are to pray without ceasing? The is nothing too big and nothing too small for God not to care about how it will work in and through our lives, so give it all up to Him! With God all things are possible, so don’t leave Him out of your life!

If you trip up remember you can turn back to God and you should for He is gracious! Put your trust in Him when things are going well and when things are falling apart. Rather than trying to do it all on your own, put your trust in God and allow Him to lead you and guide you all the days of your life!

Leave the pains of the past where they belong, behind you, and at the same time remember the lessons they taught you so you won’t need to learn them again! How many times would you want to go thru that pain or suffering again? What was the lesson? Are you assuming you know or are you asking God for wisdom and discernment in that moment? Don’t be too proud to ask for help! Ask for help from God! Ask for help from others!

Consider the meanings of pride…on one side it has a positive meaning and the other negative…we want to avoid the negative parts. Example of the good meaning is taking pride in your work and hence working hard and doing your diligence. Example of the bad meaning is having an excessively high opinion of yourself and your value, being arrogant and overbearing in how you live your life!

The issue is when you try to put yourself above God rather than living humbly before God! The issue is when we thing we don’t need God! Be careful when the devil is tempting you with pride or to be prideful! Turn to God and away from the ways of the devil!


The Dangers of Pride

Day 188: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 16:18-27, Acts of the Apostles 25:23-27, Acts of the Apostles 26:1-23, 2 Kings 14:23-29, 2 Kings 15


  1. Cultivate humility
    • ‘Lowliness of spirit’, the opposite of pride, brings:

      Prosperity

      Humility means a willingness to learn: ‘Those who give heed to instruction prosper’ (v.20a).

      Happiness

      The humble trust in God: ‘Whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord – happy, blessed, and fortunate is he’ (v.20b, AMP).

      Healing

      As opposed to the arrogant words of the proud (‘scoundrels plot evil, and their speech is like a scorching fire’, v.27), the humble use pleasant words (‘pleasant words promote instruction’, v.21b). ‘Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones’ (v.24).

      –from Day 188: Bible In One Year 2017

  2. Serve and witness
  3. Resist pride

 

 

Justice!


Do you know what that means? Do you know what that looks like? Do you know how to get it? Do you know where to find it?

Justice isn’t revenge! Justice doesn’t come from people trying to do it on their own! The definition puts it as “the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals“. Justice brings together goodness and impartiality! Justice is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society is the standard by which penalties are assigned for breaking the obligations of the society. Justice is the standard by which the advantages of social life are handed out, including material goods, rights of participation, opportunities, and liberties. So justice is like a plumb line or measuring line that can be used for punishment and benefits!

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. 
–Isaiah 28:17

So as you look around and consider trying to take justice into your own hands, consider your intentions! consider your heart! consider your purpose! Are you looking to punish out of revenge? Are you trying to benefit someone out of favor?  Justice, consider what it really means!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah 42 in his continuation about Jesus…

First Servant Song: Justice

1Behold My servant, whom I uphold. My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Ruach on Him, He will bring justice to the nations. 2He will not cry out or raise His voice, or make His voice heard in the street. 3A bruised reed He will not break. A smoldering wick He will not snuff out. He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not be disheartened or crushed until He establishes justice on earth. The islands will wait for His Torah. 5Thus says God, Adonai, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and Ruach to those who walk in it— 6“I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, 7by opening blind eyes, bringing prisoners out of the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness out of the prison house. 8“I am Adonai—that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another, Or My praise to graven images. 9Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things. Before they spring forth I announce them to you.” 10Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all its fullness, islands and their inhabitants. 11Let the desert and its cities exult— the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the dwellers of Sela sing for joy. Let them shout for joy from the top of the mountains. 12Let them give glory to Adonai and declare His praise in the islands. 13Adonai goes out as a mighty one. He stirs up His zeal like a man of war. He will shout, yes, raise a war cry! He will prevail over His enemies. 14“I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I groan, gasping and panting at once. 15I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. 16I will bring the blind by a way they do not know. in paths they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn darkness before them to light and the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. 17They will be turned back, utterly put to shame— those trusting in idols, who say to molten images, ‘You are our gods.’ 18Hear, you deaf! Look, you blind, so you may see. 19Who is blind, but My Servant? Or deaf as My Messenger that I send? Who is so blind as the one in covenant with Me, blind as Adonai’s Servant? 20You have seen many things, but you do not pay attention. Though ears are open, no one hears.” 21Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious. 22But this is a people robbed and looted. all of them trapped in holes, hidden away in prisons. They have become a prey with no one to deliver them, and plunder, with none to say, “Give them back!” 23Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and heed hereafter? 24Who gave Jacob to the looter, Israel to the plunderers? Was it not Adonai? Have we not sinned against Him? In His ways they were unwilling to walk and His Torah they did not obey. 25So He poured out on him the fury of His anger, and the fierceness of battle. it blazed all around him, yet he did not understand it. it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.

–from Isaiah 42

Take a look at where you are at! Look at it through the prism of love! How does that impact your perspective? How does that change your point of view? How does that impact your responses? Consider how God is love! Consider what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love! Try replacing the word love with God or with Jesus, not imagine being able to live your life out in love and what would be like!

Love for Israel

1But now, thus says Adonai— the One who created you, O Jacob, the One who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you. 3For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4Since you are precious in My eyes, honored, because I love you, I will give a man in exchange for you, and other peoples for your life. 5Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. 6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth. 7Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory. I formed him—yes, I made him!”

You Are My Witnesses

8Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears. 9All the nations are gathered together, and the peoples are assembled. Who among them can declare this, and proclaim to us former things? Let them present their witnesses so they may be justified, or let them hear and say, “It’s true.” 10“You are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and My Servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, and there will none after Me. 11“I, I am Adonai— and there is no savior beside Me. 12I alone declared, saved and proclaimed, and not some foreign god among you. So you are My witnesses” —it is a declaration of Adonai— “and I am God. 13From eternity, I am He. None can deliver from My hand. I act, and who can reverse it?” 14Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down the fleeing Chaldeans, all of them, in the ships in which they exult. 15I am Adonai, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” 16Thus says Adonai, who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters. 17who drew out chariots and horses, the army and the warrior (they will lie down together, and not rise again; they are extinguished— quenched like a wick): 18“Do not remember former things, nor consider things of the past. 19Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up— do you not know about it? I will surely make a way in the desert, rivers in the wasteland. 20The field animals honor Me —the jackals and the ostriches— because I give waters in the desert, rivers in the wilderness, to give drink to My chosen people, 21the people I formed for Myself, so they might declare My praise. 22Yet you have not called on Me, Jacob, for you have been weary of Me, Israel. 23You have not brought Me sheep for your burnt offerings; nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I did not compel you to serve offerings nor wearied you with incense. 24You have not spent money buying Me aromatic cane, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices. Rather you burdened Me with your sins, wearied Me with your iniquities. 25I, I am the One who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember your sins. 26Remind me, when we argue our case together—state your case, so you may be proved right. 27Your first father sinned, and your mediators rebelled against Me. 28So I profaned the Sanctuary officials, and gave Jacob over to destruction, and Israel to scorn.

–from Isaiah 43

What is your role? Are you being just in your position of authority? Are you in a place to be able to serve justice? Are you in a position to give out justice? What is your plumbline? What is your measuring line? How do you know what is right or wrong? How do you know if you are to bless or punish? Where do you turn for wisdom? Where do you turn for discernment? What if you were put in the situation of the ladies and the baby? Could you provide justice in that situation? Could you handle that difficult decision?

A Rebuke for Unjust Judges

1A psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in the assembly of God. He judges among the ‘gods’: 2“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3Give justice to the poor and fatherless. Be just to the afflicted and destitute. 4Rescue the weak and needy. Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 5They know nothing; they understand nothing— they walk about in darkness. All of earth’s foundations are shaken. 6I said: ‘You are ‘gods’, and you are all sons of Elyon, 7yet you will die like men, and will fall like any of the princes.’” 8Arise, O God, judge the earth! For You possess all the nations.

–from Psalms 82

Justice will be served! Jesus will be sitting on the judgment seat! God’s desire is that none would perish but that everyone would choose everlasting life with Him! Remember above when we spoke to God is love? Did you click the link and reach it? Did you reach 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is? God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved! But justice will be served! So how long will you wait before asking Jesus into your life? Remember we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! Remember that the penalty of sin is death! And remember that Jesus came and died on the cross to pay the penalty so that we could be reconciled to God! Do you want to pay it for yourself? Will you ask God for forgiveness? Will ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior? Choices…it’s up to you to choose! Let’s choose and live out the books of Acts for our day! And be ready for when Jesus returns!

When Will Yeshua Restore the Kingdom?

1I wrote the first volume, Theophilus, about all that Yeshua began to do and teach— 2up to the day He was taken up, after He had given orders by the Ruach ha-Kodesh to the emissaries He had chosen. 3To them He showed Himself to be alive after His suffering through many convincing proofs, appearing to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4Now while staying with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised—which, He said, “you heard from Me. 5For John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh not many days from now.” 6So when they gathered together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7He said to them, “It is not your place to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own control. 8But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9After saying all this—while they were watching—He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10While they were staring into heaven as He went up, suddenly two men stood with them in white clothing. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you keep standing here staring into heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Appointing a New Emissary

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Shabbat day’s journey). 13When they had entered, they went up to the upper room where they were staying—Peter and John and Jacob and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; Jacob son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judah son of Jacob. 14All these with one mind were continuing together in prayer—along with the women and Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, and His brothers. 15In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (the number of names all together was about a hundred and twenty) and said, 16“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Ruach ha-Kodesh foretold by the mouth of David, concerning Judah—who became a guide to those who seized Yeshua. 17For he was counted among us and received his share of this office.” 18(Now this man Judah bought a field with the reward of his wickedness. Falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle and his intestines splattered out. 19And it became known to all those living in Jerusalem, so in their own language that field was called Akeldama—that is, ‘Field of Blood.’) 20For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his dwelling place become desolate, and let there be no one living in it’ and ‘Let another take his position.’ 21“Therefore one of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Yeshua went in and out among us— 22beginning with His immersion by John until the day He was taken up from us—must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23So they nominated two—Joseph, called Barsabbas (also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show us which of these two You have chosen 25to take the position in this office as emissary, from which Judah turned aside to go to his own place.” 26Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was added to the eleven emissaries.

–from Acts 1

So let’s receive the Spirit of God! Let’s receive the gifts of the Spirit, God has prepared for each of us! God created us on for purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose and so He will also prepare the gifts and talents necessary to complete the work! Let’s be the body of Christ to the world around us today!

Spiritual Gifts for the Body

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed by idols that cannot speak, and you got led astray. 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Ruach Elohim says, “Yeshua be cursed,” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 4Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Ruach. 5There are various kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are various kinds of working, but the same God who works all things in all people. 7But to each person is given the manifestation of the Ruach for the benefit of all. 8For to one is given through the Ruach a word of wisdom, to another a word of knowledge according to the same Ruach, 9to another faith by the same Ruach, to another gifts of healings by the one Ruach, 10to another workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Ruach activates all these things, distributing to each person individually as He wills. 12For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of the body—though many—are one body, so also is Messiah. 13For in one Ruach we were all immersed into one body—whether Jewish or Greek, slave or free—and all were made to drink of one Ruach. 14For the body is not one part, but many. 15If the foot says, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not part of the body,” is it therefore not part of the body? 16And if the ear says, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not part of the body,” is it for this reason any less part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the parts—each one of them—in the body just as He desired. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20But now there are many parts, yet one body. 21The eye cannot tell the hand, “I don’t need you!” or in turn the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be less important are indispensable. 23Those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe with greater honor; and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty; 24but our presentable parts have no such need. Rather God assembled the body, giving more honor to those who are lacking, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but so that the parts may have the same care for one another. 26If one part suffers, all the parts suffer together. If one part is honored, all the parts rejoice together. 27Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually. 28God has put into His community first emissaries, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then healings, helps, leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not emissaries, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All do not work miracles, do they? 30All do not have gifts of healing, do they? All do not speak in tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And still I show you a far better way:

–from 1 Corinthians 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you trust what you are standing on?


What do you believe? What is your foundation? What is the basis for your belief? Is it solid? Is it dependable? Is it reliable? Can you trust it? Can it hold you up? Can you align to it? Are you able to walk out life because of it? Are you able to know how to live because of it? Are you able to get answers? Are you able to find hope? Are you expectant of what is yet to come? Does it set a standard that is high? Does it raise the bar? Are you able to call out? Are you able to know that the best is yet to come for you?

Is your foundation Jesus Christ? Is your cornerstone Jesus Christ?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Trust the Rock of Ages

1In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city. He appoints salvation as its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter— one that keeps faith. 3You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in Adonai forever, for the Lord Adonai is a Rock of ages. 5For He humbles those dwelling on high, leveling the lofty city, leveling it to the ground, bringing it down to the dust. 6Feet will trample it down, feet of the afflicted, the footsteps of the poor. 7The way of the righteous is straight. Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous. 8Yes, in the way of Your judgments, Adonai, we have waited for You. Your Name and Your remembrance is the desire of our soul. 9My soul longs for You at night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness. Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly, not perceiving the majesty of Adonai. 11Adonai, Your hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it; They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame. Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.

Your Dead Will Live!

12Adonai, You will establish shalom for us, for all our works You have done for us. 13Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us, but we remember Your Name alone. 14The dead do not live— dead souls do not rise. Thus You punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them. 15You have increased the nation, Adonai, You have increased the nation. You are glorified as You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16Adonai, they sought You in distress, they poured out a whispered prayer when Your discipline was upon them. 17As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were before You, Adonai. 18We have been with child, we have been in pain, yet we gave birth to wind. We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth, nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life. 19Yet it will be: “Your dead will live! My corpses will rise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust! Your dew is like the dew of the dawn. The land of dead souls will come to life! 20Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until the wrath is past. 21For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed, no longer covering up her slain.

–from Isaiah 26

Who do you depend on? Who do you rely on? Who are you leaning on? Are you leaning on God rather than your own understanding? Is your hope and trust in God? Is God your strength? Do you realize that in your weakness God will be your strength? Jesus is coming back! God’s plan is one of redemption for those who choose to follow Him! God’s plan is one of forgiveness for those who choose to follow Him! Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you invite Him into your heart?

Leviathan the Dragon

1In that day Adonai will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent with His fierce, great, strong sword, Leviathan the twisted serpent! He will slay the dragon in the sea.

Second Song of the Vineyard

2“In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of delight!’ 3I, Adonai, watch over it, I water it every moment. I guard it day and night, so that no one may harm it. 4It is not that I have wrath. Who would give me thorns and thistles? Into battle I would march against them! I would burn them up altogether! 5Rather let them rely on My strength. Let them make peace with Me— make peace with Me.”

Israel Will Blossom Again

6In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7Did He strike Israel as He struck those who struck them? Or were they slain as their slayers were slain? 8You contended with her by banishing her, by driving her away. With His fierce wind He expelled them on the day of the east wind. 9So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned and this the full price to remove his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like shattered chalk stones, so that the Asherah poles and incense rise no more. 10The fortified city is a lonely habitation, forlorn and forsaken like the desert. There the calf will graze, there lie down and consume its branches. 11When the boughs are withered, they will be broken off. Women come and set them on fire, for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—He who formed them will give them no grace. 12It will come about in that day, Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael. 13It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 27

Do you realize the importance of the cornerstone in building up? It ensures that everything is aligned! It ensures everything is in its right place! It ensure that you can build up in strength on that solid foundation! Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb! He came as the sacrificial lamb to give His all that we might be saved! He came as the lamb who showed us how to live a servant’s life! He came to be an example for us to follow! He is coming back as the Lion to finish things off! He will come back to complete the work! He has already won the battle against death! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation so that the new heaven and the new earth will come! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation and we will all live together in harmony with Him!

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God?

Will you choose to align with Jesus? Will you let Jesus be your solid foundation? Will you listen to His instruction? Will you align to His way? Will you live a transformed life?

A Cornerstone of Zion

1Oy , the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks! Its glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is at the head of the fertile valleys of those overcome with wine! 2Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty, like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a downpour of overflowing water, He hurls it down to earth with His hand. 3The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks will be trampled underfoot. 4The glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the fertile valley, like a first-ripe fig before summer— whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm. 5In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot will be a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, 6a spirit of judgment for him who sits on the judgment seat, and strength for those turning back the battle at the gate. 7But these also reel from wine and stagger from strong drink —the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink— are confused because of wine, they stagger because of strong drink, they are muddled in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit, no place is left. 9To whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? 10For it must be ‘precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ 11For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary, here is repose”— but they would not listen. 13So the word of Adonai is to them ‘precept on precept, precept on precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ So they walk, and fall backward, and are broken, trapped, and captured. 14Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem: 15“Because you have said, ‘We cut a covenant with death, we made a pact with Sheol, so when the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come for us, for we have made lies our refuge, and hid ourselves in falsehood’— 16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation— whoever trusts will not flee in haste. 17But I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death is annulled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand. An overflowing scourge will pass through and you will be its trampling place. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—morning by morning, by day and by night passing through. It will be sheer terror to understand the message.’” 20For too short is the bed to stretch on, too narrow the blanket to wrap up in. 21For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His deed, His strange deed, and to work His work, His extraordinary work. 22So now, stop your scoffing, lest your shackles be strengthened! For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot of destruction determined upon the whole land. 23Give ear and hear my voice! Pay attention and hear my words. 24Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed? Does he continually break open and harrow his ground? 25No! When he has leveled its surface, he scatters dill and sows cumin, plants wheat in rows, places barley, and rye on its border. 26For his God teaches him judgment, instructing him. 27For dill is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. 28Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly. Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it would only crush it to powder. 29This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot: Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.

–from Isaiah 28

So will you stop to listen? Will you actively listen to what God is saying to you? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you set it as your foundation? Will you align to the cornerstone? Will you build your life up upon it? Will you be different? Will you live different from the ways of the world? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

Will you follow after Jesus? Will you obey His command? Will you live the life of a servant? When you lead will you lead as a servant? When you work will you work as a servant? When you go, will you go as a servant? Will you stand firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ? Will you choose to believe? Will you choose to obey? Will you choose to serve and be Jesus’ hands extended to the world around you?

Will you walk in the light? Will you be like the moon who we see because it reflects the light of the sun? Will you reflect the light of the Son to the world around you?

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.

–from John 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to get ready!


Are you ready? Are you living life to your fullest potential? Are you prepared? Are you loving? Are you caring? Are you sharing? Are you making a difference? Are you ready in your heart? Is it settled in your heart and your mind? Do you know?

It’s time to get ready!


Do you have your eyes on the right prize? Do you have your mind on the right goal? Do you have your heart set on the right purpose? If you don’t, you could be setting yourself up for a heap of trouble.

Prophet Against Bethel

1Unexpectedly, a man of God came from Judah to Bethel with the word of Adonai while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2He cried out against the altar with the word of Adonai and said: “O altar, altar, thus says Adonai, behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you will he sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones will be burned upon you.’” 3The same day he gave a sign, saying, “This is the sign that Adonai has spoken, the altar is about to be split apart and the fat ashes on it will be poured out.” 4Now when the king heard the word of the man of God, which he proclaimed against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar saying: “Seize him!” But the hand which he stretched out against him withered—he could not even draw it back to himself. 5The altar also was split apart and the fat ashes poured out from the altar, just as was the sign that the man of God gave with the word of Adonai. 6So the king responded by saying to the man of God: “Please seek the face of Adonai your God, and pray for me, so my hand may be restored to me!” So the man of God sought the face of Adonai and the king’s hand was restored to him, becoming as it was before. 7Then the king said to the man of God: “Come home with me and have something to eat, and then, I will give you a reward.” 8But the man of God said to the king: “Even if you give me half your house, I will not go with you nor will I eat bread or drink water in this place. 9For so I was charged by the word of Adonai, saying, ‘You are to eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way by which you came.’” 10So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel. 11Now one old prophet was living in Bethel. His son came and told him all the deeds that the man of God had done that day in Bethel and all the words that he had spoken to the king they related to their father. 12Then their father asked them: “Which way did he go?” For his sons had seen which way the man of God that came from Judah went. 13Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me!” So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode away on it. 14Then he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. He said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” “I am,” he said. 15“Come home with me,” he said to him, “and eat bread!” 16But he said: “I cannot return with you nor go with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17For it was said to me by the word of Adonai: You shall eat no bread nor drink water there, nor should you return back by the way by which you came.” 18So he said to him: “I also am a prophet like you. An angel spoke to me with the word of Adonai saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He lied to him.) 19So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water. 20Now while they were sitting at the table, the word of Adonai came to the prophet who had brought him back, 21and he cried to the man of God that came from Judah saying, “Thus says Adonai: Because you rebelled against the word of Adonai, and did not keep the commandment which Adonai your God commanded you, 22but turned back, ate bread and drank water in the place of which He said to you, ‘Eat no bread and drink no water,’ your carcass will not enter the tomb of your fathers.” 23So after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet he had brought back. 24But when he was gone, a lion met him along the way and killed him. So his carcass was thrown on the road with both the donkey and the lion standing beside the carcass. 25Then, men passed by and saw the carcass thrown on the road with the lion standing by the carcass. So they came and told it in the town where the old prophet lived. 26Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the road heard it, he said: “It is the man of God who defied the word of Adonai; therefore Adonai gave him to the lion which mauled him and killed him, according to the word Adonai spoke to him.” 27Then he spoke to his sons saying: “Saddle the donkey for me!” So they saddled it. 28Then he went and found his carcass lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing by the carcass. The lion had not eaten the carcass nor mauled the donkey. 29Then the prophet picked up the carcass of the man of God, he laid it on the donkey and brought it back to the town of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30He laid his carcass in his own tomb and they mourned over him saying, “Oy , my brother!” 31After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32For the message he declared by the word of Adonai against the altar in Bethel, and against all the shrines of the high places which are in the towns of Samaria, will surely come to pass.” 33Even after this, Jeroboam did not turn back from his evil way, but once again, he appointed priests for the high places from among all ranks of the people. Whoever wanted to be a priest, he consecrated him for the high places. 34So this matter became sin against the house of Jeroboam, in the end, wiping it out and destroying it from the face of the earth.

–from 1 Kings 13

We need to be obedient to the Word of God! We need to take hold of His wisdom! Partial obedience is disobedience!

1Now when Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he assembled the House of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against Israel in order to restore the kingdom back to Rehoboam. 2But the word of Adonai came to Shemaiah the man of God saying: 3“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin saying, 4‘Thus says Adonai, You shall not go up nor fight against your kinsmen. Let everyone return to his house for this matter is of Me.’ ” So they listened to the words of Adonai and returned from marching against Jeroboam.

Reign of Rehoboam

5Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified cities for defense in Judah. 6He built up Beth-lehem, Etam, Tekoa, 7Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, 8Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, 9Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10Zorah, Aijalon and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. 11He also strengthened the fortified towns and put commanders in them, along with stores of food, oil and wine. 12He also put shields and spears in every town, and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin. 13Moreover, the kohanim and the Levites from all their territories throughout Israel presented themselves to him. 14The Levites even abandoned their pastures and their possessions and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as kohanim to Adonai, 15and had appointed his own priests for the high places, for the he-goats and for the calves that he had made. 16Those from all the tribes of Israel, who had set their hearts to seek Adonai, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Adonai, the God of their fathers. 17So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years. 18Rehoboam married Mahalat the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. 19She bore him sons: Jeush and Shemariah and Zaham. 20After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. 21Now Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his wives and concubines—for he took 18 wives and 60 concubines and fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as chief and commander among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23He also wisely dispersed some of his sons throughout the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities and he gave them plenty of food and sought many wives for them.

–from 2 Chronicles 11

Forgiveness is the key to true freedom! Forgiveness is the key to redemption! Without forgiveness, we allow anger, bitterness, and frustration to take root and eat us up from the inside out. Jesus is the redeemer!

Forgiveness and Full Redemption

1A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I cry to You, Adonai! 2Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the sound of my supplications. 3If You, Adonai, kept a record of iniquities— my Lord, who could stand? 4For with You there is forgiveness, so You may be revered. 5I wait for Adonai, my soul waits, and in His word I hope. 6My soul waits for my Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, watchmen for the morning. 7O Israel, wait for Adonai. For with Adonai there is lovingkindness, and with Him is full redemption, 8and He will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

–from Psalms 130

We need to be ready! We need to be prepared! We need to have things aligned! We can’t put it off! We need Jesus! We need to be living for Jesus! We need to be making a difference daily! It’s based on our calling! It’s based on God’s plan and purpose for us and our lives! We can’t give up! We can’t give in! We must persevere! We must allow patience to work in and through us! We need to be all in! We can’t be in the middle or sitting on the fence! We need to be all in so that we are prepared and ready for what is yet to come!

Sardis: Coming Like a Thief

1To the angel of Messiah’s community in Sardis write: “Thus says the One having the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your deeds—you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up, and strengthen what remains that was about to die. For I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of My God. 3So remember what you have received and heard—keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. 4“But still, you have a few people in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. They will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.

Philadelphia: I Have Loved You

7To the angel of Messiah’s community in Philadelphia write: “Thus says the Holy One, the True One, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens: 8I know your deeds. Behold, I have set before you an open door that no one is able to shut—because you have little power, but you have kept My word and have not denied My name. 9Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of satan—who say they are Jewish and are not, but lie—behold, I will cause them to come and bow down before your feet, so that they acknowledge that I have loved you! 10“Because you have kept My word about patient endurance, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. 11I am coming soon—hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will never leave it. And on him I will write the name of My God and the name of the city of My God—the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God—and My own new Name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”

Laodicea: Standing at the Door

14To the angel of Messiah’s community in Laodicea write: “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Originator of God’s creation: 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were either cold or hot! 16So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. 17For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. 18I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21To the one who overcomes I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I myself overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach is saying to Messiah’s communities.”

–from The Revelation 3

Do you know who you are serving? Do you know who is leading your steps? Do you know why you do what you do? Don’t be fooled! Don’t get tricked! Don’t be mislead! Hold onto the truth for the truth will set you free!

1On one of the days while Yeshua was teaching the people in the Temple and proclaiming the Good News, the ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars, together with the elders, confronted Him. 2And they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3But answering, Yeshua said to them, “I also will ask you a question, and you tell Me: 4the immersion of John—was it from heaven or from men?” 5They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘From men,’ then all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John is a prophet.” 7So they answered that they didn’t know where it came from. 8And Yeshua said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 9Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10And at the season, he sent a servant to the tenants so that they would give him part of the vineyard’s fruit. But the tenants beat him up and sent him away empty-handed. 11So he proceeded to send another servant. They beat him too and treated him shamefully, and they sent him away empty-handed. 12And he proceeded to send a third one. They wounded this one too, and they threw him out. 13“Now the master of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love. Probably they will show him respect.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they discussed the matter among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the master of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” But when they heard this, they said, “May it never happen!” 17Then Yeshua looked right at them and said, “Then what is this that has been written, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone’? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be shattered; but the one upon whom it falls, it will crush him.” 19The Torah scholars and the ruling kohanim tried to grab Him that very hour, because they realized that He spoke this parable against them—but they feared the people.

Silencing the Opposition

20Now they watched Him and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order to trap Him in His words so they could hand Him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21And they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You tell it straight and You teach it straight. You show no partiality, but teach the way of God according to the truth. 22Is it permitted for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 23But carefully considering their treachery, Yeshua said to them, 24“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?” And they said, “Caesar’s.” 25Then He said to them, “Well then, give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26And they could not trap Him in His words in the presence of the people. Astonished by His answer, they kept silent. 27Then some of the Sadducees (who deny there is a resurrection) came and questioned Yeshua. 28“Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies’ having a wife ‘but no children, then his brother should take the widow and father children for his brother.’ 29Now there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife and died childless; 30and the second 31and the third took her, but in this same way, each of the seven brothers died and left no children. 32Finally the woman died too. 33So in the resurrection, whose wife is she? For all seven had married her.” 34Yeshua said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those considered worthy to reach the olam ha-ba and the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37But at the burning bush even Moses revealed that the dead are raised, when he calls Adonai ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38Now He is God not of the dead but of the living, for to Him they all are living.” 39Some of the Torah scholars replied, “Teacher, You have said it well.” 40For they no longer dared to question Him about anything. 41Then Yeshua said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is Ben-David? 42For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 43until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 44David then calls Him ‘Lord’; so how is He his son?” 45Then with all the people listening, Yeshua said to the disciples, 46“Beware of the Torah scholars, who like to walk around in long robes. They love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at feasts. 47They devour widows’ houses and make long prayers as a show. These men will receive greater condemnation!”

–from Luke 20

 

You can have anything. What would you ask for?


How would you answer? What would you say? Are you ready?

Would you ask for material things? House? Car? Clothe?

Would you ask for wealth? Money? Stocks? Gold and precious metals?

Would you ask for favor? Lots of friends? Lots of people you know?

Would you ask for power? Control?

Would you ask for peace? No more violence? No more war? No more death?

Would you ask for things for yourself? for others?

Would you ask for something that only benefits you? would benefit a multitude of people?

Would you ask for revenge? Would you ask for justice? Would you ask for mercy? Would you ask for grace? Would you ask for love?

Would you ask for wisdom? Understanding? Insight? Direction?

Where is your heart at today? Are you in a good state of mind to be able to answer such a question? Today’s reading starts on just this subject when God asks Solomon what he wants…

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1Then Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marriage, taking Pharaoh’s daughter, and bringing her to the city of David, until he finished building his own house, the House of Adonai, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2The people, however, were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no House built for the Name of Adonai until those days. 3Now Solomon loved Adonai, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he kept sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. 4So the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Upon this very altar Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings. 5At Gibeon Adonai appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said: “Ask for what should I give you?” 6Solomon said: “You have shown my father Your servant David great lovingkindness, as he walked before You in truth, righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You. Indeed, You have kept this great lovingkindness for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. 7So now, Adonai my God, You have made Your servant king in my father David’s place. I am but a youth. I don’t know how to go out or come in. 8Your servant is amid Your people, whom You have chosen—a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9So give Your servant a mind of understanding to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil—for who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 10Now it was pleasing in the eyes of Adonai that Solomon requested this thing. 11So God said to him: “Because you asked for this thing—and have not asked for yourself long life, nor asked for yourself riches, nor asked for the life of your enemies, but asked for yourself understanding to discern justice— 12behold, I have done according to your words. I have given you a wise and discerning mind, so that there has been none like you before you, nor shall anyone like you arise after you. 13Moreover I have also given you what you did not request—both riches and honor—so that no one among the kings will be like you all your days. 14Furthermore, if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 15Then Solomon awoke and took note of the dream. So he went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he made a feast for all his courtiers.

Judging Between Two Women

16Later two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One woman said: “My lord, please! This woman and I live in the same house, and I delivered a child while she was in the house. 18On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth to a child. While we were together with no one else with us in the house, just the two of us in the house, 19this woman’s child died during the night, because she lay on top of him. 20Then she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your handmaid was asleep. She laid him at her breast and laid her dead child at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, he had just died! But when I looked at him closely in the morning, I realized that he was not the son I had borne!” 22But the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son!” But the first woman said, “No! The dead one is your son and the living one is my son!” Thus they spoke before the king. 23Then said the king: “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, but your son is the dead one and my son is the living one.’” 24Then the king said: “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25Then the king said: “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26Then the woman whose son was the living one spoke up to the king—for her heart grew tender for her son—and said, “My lord, please! Give her the living child! Only don’t kill him!” But the other said, “It will be neither mine nor yours! Cut it in two!” 27Then the king responded by saying, “Give her the living child and certainly don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 28When all Israel heard of the verdict that the king had given, they were in awe of the king. For they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

–from 1 Kings 3

Will you be selfless or selfish? Will you be asking our of love and purpose? Will you be asking in humility and grace? Will you ask for the intangible thing of wisdom and knowledge in order to be able to better do what God is calling you to do?

Solomon Asks for Wisdom at Gibeon

1Now Solomon the son of David firmly established himself over his kingdom. For Adonai his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. 2Solomon spoke to all Israel—to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the leading patriarchs— 3and Solomon and the whole assembly with him went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the Tent of Meeting of God was there, which Moses the servant of Adonai had made in the wilderness. 4Now David had brought up the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur had made was there in front of the Tabernacle of Adonai, and Solomon and the assembly inquired of Him there. 6So Solomon went up before Adonai to the bronze altar that was at the Tent of Meeting and offered 1,000 burnt offerings on it. 7That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask! What should I give you?” 8Solomon answered God, “You have shown great lovingkindness to my father David and now You have made me king in his place. 9Now, Adonai Elohim, let Your word to my father David be fulfilled for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Now give me wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people. For who can govern this great people of Yours?” 11Then God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart and you have not asked for riches, possessions or honor, nor for the life of those who hate you and have not even asked for long life but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself—so you can govern My people over whom I have made you king— 12wisdom and knowledge will be given to you. Moreover, I will give you riches, possessions and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you ever had and none after you will have.” 13Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from in front of the Tent of Meeting. So he reigned over Israel.

Horses and Chariots from Egypt

14Solomon accumulated chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the foothills. 16Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Keve—the king’s merchants purchased them from Keve at a price. 17They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 talents of silver and a horse for 150. So by the same means they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

Solomon Prepares to Build

18Then Solomon vowed to build a House for the Name of Adonai, as well as a royal palace for himself.

–from 2 Chronicles 1

Would you ask for wisdom and knowledge? Would you ask to be righteous and just? Would you ask to be able to be just to everyone – from the richest to the poorest so that they all receive justice? Would you ask to get to be a servant? a helper?

A Powerful King for the Poor

1Of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s son. 2May he judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor ones with justice. 3Let the mountains bring shalom to the people, and the hills righteousness. 4May he vindicate the poor of the people, save the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor. 5Let them fear You while the sun endures, and while the moon lasts, throughout all generations. 6May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the ground. 7Let the righteous flourish in his days. Let shalom abound till the moon is no more. 8May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9Let desert dwellers bow before him, and his enemies lick the dust. 10May kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11So let all kings bow down before him, and all nations serve him. 12For he rescues the needy crying for help, also the poor and the one with no helper. 13He will take pity on the poor and needy, and the souls of the needy he will save. 14From oppression and violence he redeems their soul, for precious is their blood in his sight. 15Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given to him. May he pray for him continually, and bless him all day. 16Let there be abundance of grain in the land. Let it sway on the top of the hills, let its fruit be like Lebanon, and let people of the city flourish like grass of the field. 17May his name endure forever. May his name increase before the sun, and may all nations be blessed by him and call him blessed. 18Blessed be Adonai Elohim, God of Israel, who alone does wonders. 19Blessed be His glorious Name forever. May all the earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen! 20The prayers of David son of Jesse are complete.

–from Psalms 72

If Jesus was willing to humble himself, why shouldn’t we? If Jesus was willing to lower himself to our level, why should we think we should be raised up?

Let’s be humble! Let’s serve! Let’s allow Jesus to be seen in and through us to the world around us! Let’s just trust God and His plan and His purpose! We knows it’s good, so let’s trust Him!

Let’s mature and move forward! Let’s not get stuck and remain as children without wisdom! Let’s receive God’s Word and let’s move forward believing and trusting in it! Let’s be living to do good! Let’s be living to overcome and overwhelm evil!

1For every kohen gadol taken from among men is appointed to act on behalf of people in matters relating to God, so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to empathize with the ignorant and deluded, since he himself also is subject to weakness. 3For this reason he has to make offerings for sins—just as for the people, so also for himself. 4And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when he is called by God, as Aaron was. 5So also Messiah did not glorify Himself to be made Kohen Gadol; rather, it was God who said to Him, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.” 6And He says in a different passage, “You are a kohen forever, according to the order of Melechizedek .” 7In the days of His life on earth, Yeshua offered up both prayers and pleas, with loud crying and tears, to the One able to save Him from death; and He was heard because of His reverence. 8Though He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. 9And once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him— 10called by God Kohen Gadol “according to the order of Melechizedek .”

Moving on to Maturity

11About this subject there is much for us to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become sluggish in hearing. 12For although you ought to be teachers by this time, again you need someone to teach you the basics of God’s sayings. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13For anyone living on milk is inexperienced with the teaching about righteousness—he is an infant. 14But solid food is for the mature, who through practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil.

–from Hebrews 5

In this world we will have challenges! we will have troubles! But don’t fear! don’t lose hope! for Jesus has overcome the world! Stick with Him and follow after Him and His ways!

Temptation in the Wilderness

1Yeshua, now filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, returned from the Jordan. He was led by the Ruach in the wilderness
2for forty days, being tested by the devil. Now He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry.
3The devil said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell this stone to become bread.”
4Yeshua answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
5And leading Him up, the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant.
6And the devil said to Him, “I’ll give to You all this authority along with its glory, because it has been handed over to me and I can give it to anyone I wish.
7Therefore, if you will worship before me, all this shall be Yours.”
8But answering, Yeshua told him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
9Then he brought Yeshua to Jerusalem and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple. He said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, throw Yourself down from here.
10For it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you,’
11and ‘upon their hands they will lift you up, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12But answering, Yeshua said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”
13And when the devil had completed every test, he departed from Him until another occasion.

Isaiah’s Prophecy Fulfilled in Natzeret

14Yeshua returned in the power of the Ruach to the Galilee, and news about Him went out through all the surrounding region.
15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone was praising Him.
16And He came to Natzeret, where He had been raised. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and He got up to read.
17When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18“The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,
19and to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.”
20He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him.
21Then He began to tell them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”
22All were speaking well of Him and marveling at the gracious words coming out of His mouth. And they were saying, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
23But He said to them, “Doubtless you will say to Me this proverb, ‘Doctor, heal yourself!’ and ‘What we have heard was done at Capernaum, do as much here also in your hometown.’”
24But He said, “Truly, I tell you, ‘No prophet is accepted in his own hometown.’
25But with all truthfulness I say to you, that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when heaven was closed for three and a half years and there came a great famine over all the land.
26Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a widowed woman.
27There were many with tza’arat in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them were purified apart from Naaman the Syrian.”
28Now all in the synagogue were filled with rage upon hearing these things.
29Rising up, they drove Him out of the town and brought Him as far as the edge of the mountain on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him off the cliff.
30But passing through the middle of them, He went on His way.

Healing and Deliverance in Capernaum and Beyond

31Yeshua came down to Capernaum, a town in the Galilee. He was teaching them on Shabbat,
32and they were astounded at His teaching because His message had authority.
33In the synagogue was a man who had an unclean demonic spirit, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34“Ah! What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You are the Holy One of God!”
35Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” And when the demon threw him down in their midst, it came out without hurting him.
36They were all amazed, and they spoke to one another, saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
37So His reputation grew, spreading to every place in that region.
38After He left the synagogue, Yeshua entered Simon’s home. Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they petitioned Him concerning her.
39Then standing over her, He rebuked the fever and it left her. Immediately she arose to wait on them.
40When the sun was setting, they brought to Yeshua all who were sick with various diseases. And He was laying hands on each one and healing them.
41Even demons were coming out from many, shouting out and saying, “You are Ben-Elohim!” But He was rebuking them and not permitting them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Messiah.
42Now when it was day, He left and went to a desert place. The crowds were searching for Him, and they came to Him and were trying to keep Him from leaving them.
43But He said to them, “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns also. It was for this purpose I was sent.”
44So He kept preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

–from Luke 4

 

 

Are you ready?


What if today is the day, are you ready? What if this is the hour, are you ready? What if this is the time, are you ready? Are you prepared for what is to come? Is there something you need to do to get ready? Is there something you need to do to get prepared? Have you started? What are you waiting for?

Do you want to be surprised? Do you want to miss out? Will you be prepared? Are you ready?

Are you focus on doing what you’ve been called to do? Are you more concerned about how others are being treated? Are you OK to do what you agreed to? Will you be OK with the deal you made?

Are you OK to be first? Are you OK to be last? Is it most important to just be in?

Don’t grumble! Be happy with what you have received!

Why not just be happy that everyone got in rather than who is first and who is last or who serves and who is served? We’ve been called to lead by serving! Want to be greatest then become the least and serve others! Will you have faith enough to believe? Will you have faith enough to obey? Will you have faith enough to be prepared?

Today’s reading comes from 1 Chronicles and Matthew…

1The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath and Merari.
2These are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei.
3The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel.
4The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their clans.
5Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
6 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son and Jeatherai his son.
7The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
8Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son,
9Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son and Shaul his son.
10The sons of Elkanah: Amasai and Ahimoth,
11his son Elkanah, Zophai his son, Nahath his son,
12 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
13The sons of Samuel: his first-born Vashni, then Abiah.
14The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son,
15Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
16Now these are the men David appointed to be in charge of the singing in the House of Adonai, after the Ark came to rest.
17They ministered with song in front of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the House of Adonai in Jerusalem. They carried out their avodah according to their regulations.
18These are the ones who took their station, with their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer, son of Joel, son of Samuel,
19son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah,
20son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai,
21son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah,
22son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah,
23son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel.
24His kinsman Asaph stood on his right—Asaph son of Berechiah, son of Shimea,
25son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah,
26son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah,
27son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei,
28son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi.
29On the left hand their kinsmen the sons of Merari: Ethan son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch,
30son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah,
31son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer,
32son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi.
33Their fellow Levites were appointed for all the avodah of the tabernacle of the House of God.
34But Aaron and his sons were the ones presenting offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense, for all the service of the Holy of Holies and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
35Now these are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phineas his son, Abishua his son,
36Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
37Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
38Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

Towns and Lands for Levites

39Now these are their dwelling places according to their encampments in their territories. To Aaron’s sons of the Kohathite families (for theirs was the first lot),
40to them they assigned Hebron in the land of Judah, and the open land around it;
41but the fields of the city and the villages, they gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh.
42To sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, also Libnah with its open land, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its open land,
43Hilen with its open land, Debir with its open land,
44Ashan with its open land, and Beth-shemesh with its open land.
45From the tribe of Benjamin: Geba with its open land, and Alemeth with its open land, and Anathoth with its open land. They had 13 cities in all among their families.
46To the rest of the sons of Kohath ten cities were assigned by lot from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh.
47To the sons of Gershom, according to their families, 13 cities were assigned from the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from tribe of Naphtali and from the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
48To the sons of Merari 12 cities were assigned by lot, according to their families, from the tribe of Reuben, from the tribe of Gad and from the tribe of Zebulun.
49So Bnei-Yisrael gave to the Levites the cities with their open land.
50They also assigned by lot from the tribe of the children of Judah, from the tribe of the children of Simeon, and from the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities that were mentioned by name.
51Some of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory from the tribe of Ephraim.
52They assigned to them as cities of refuge: Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim with its open land, Gezer also with its open land,
53Jokmeam with its open land, Beth-horon with its open land
54Aijalon with its open land, and Gath-rimmon with its open land.
55Also from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Aner with its open land and Bileam with its open land, for the rest of the family of the sons of Kohath.
56To the sons of Gershom were assigned, from the family of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its open land and Ashtaroth with its open land,
57and from the tribe of Issachar, Kedesh with its open land, Dobrath with its open land,
58Ramoth with its open land, and Anem with its open land,
59and from the tribe of Asher, Mashal with its open land, Abdon with its open land,
60Hukok with its open land, Rehob with its open land,
61and from the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its open land, Hammon with its open land and Kiriathaim with its open land.
62To the rest—the sons of Merari—were assigned, from the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmono with its open land, Tabor with its open land,
63and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with its open land, Jahaz with its open land,
64Kedemoth with its open land, and Mephaath with its open land
65and from the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its open land, Mahanaim with its open land,
66Heshbon with its open land, and Jazer with its open land.

–from 1 Chronicles 6

God’s got a plan! Will you be ready to answer the call? Will you be ready to complete the work? Will you be ready to finish strong? Don’t lose hope and don’t give up!

Parable of the Day Laborers

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
2Now when he had agreed with the workers for a denarius per day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace, idle.
4And to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’
5So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour and did the same.
6And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing around. And he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?’
7“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. “He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too.’
8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’
9And those who had come about the eleventh hour each received a denarius.
10And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they too received a denarius.
11“But when they received it, they began to grumble against the master of the house,
12saying, ‘These last guys did one hour, and you’ve made them equal to us, who bore the burden and scorching heat of the day!’
13“But answering, he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius?
14Take what is yours and go. But I want to give this last guy the same as you.
15Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
16“So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction: Death and Resurrection

17Now as Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside privately; and on the way he told them,
18“Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death
19and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.”

Leading by Serving

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her sons to Yeshua, and she was kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21“What do you want?” He said to her. She said to Him, “Declare that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.”
22But Yeshua replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” “We are able,” they say to Him.
23He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup. But to sit on My right and left, this isn’t Mine to grant. Rather, it’s for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24Now when the ten heard, they became indignant with the two brothers.
25But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them.
26It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant,
27and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave—
28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

29Now as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.
30And here two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
31The crowd warned them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!”
32Yeshua stopped and called out to them. “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said.
33They said to Him, “Master, let our eyes be opened!”
34Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched their eyes. Instantly they regained their sight and followed Him.

–from Matthew 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standards – Higher calling…


As we start this Monday after Easter and consider all that was done for us and how the promises of God are true, let’s consider how we live! Do we have a standard we live up to? Do we rise up to the higher calling? Are we living lives that lift up others through servanthood? Do we model our lives after a good example? Do we do things that are good for us, good for others, and healthy? Is there anything that we could remove to help in this? Is there anything that we should remove to allow ourselves to live up to the higher calling on us? Is there anything getting in the way? Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? Are we setting our priorities right? Are we modeling what we say we believe?

Today’s reading comes from Leviticus 20-21 and John 13. Leviticus 20 speaks to the people and Leviticus 21 speaks to the priests. John 13 starts just before the Passover,  and from the last week about Passion, it is interesting how things can align. It speaks to the standards and higher calling of servant leadership and leaving a legacy of love! Many are called, but few are chosen. Let’s live our lives to the higher calling of Jesus so that others may know of Him by seeing our lives lived out before them. Will you be a servant leader?

Modeling Servanthood

1Now it was just before the feast of Passover. Yeshua knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end. 2While the seder meal was happening, the devil had already put in the heart of Judah from Kriot that he should hand over Yeshua. 3Yeshua knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God. 4So He gets up from the meal and lays aside His outer garment; and taking a towel, He wrapped it around His waist. 5Then He pours water into a basin. He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel wrapped around Him. 6Then He comes to Simon Peter, who says to Him, “Master, are You going to wash my feet?” 7Yeshua responded, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” 8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9Simon Peter said to Him, “Master, then not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10Yeshua said to him, “He who has bathed has no need to wash, except the feet; he is completely clean. And you all are clean, though not every one.” 11He knew who was betraying Him; for this reason, He said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12So after He had washed their feet and put His robe back on and reclined again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master’—and rightly you say, for I am. 14So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example—you should do for each other what I have done for you. 16“Amen, amen I tell you, a servant isn’t greater than his master, and the one who is sent isn’t greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!”

Yeshua Reveals His Betrayer

18“I am not speaking to all of you—I know whom I have chosen. But so the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19From now on I am telling you, before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I am. 20Amen, amen I tell you, he who receives the one I send, receives Me; and he who receives Me, receives the One who sent Me.” 21After He said these things, Yeshua was agitated in spirit and testified, “Amen, amen I tell you, one of you will betray Me!” 22The disciples began looking at each other, perplexed—who was He talking about? 23One of His disciples, whom Yeshua loved, was reclining at His side. 24Simon Peter nods to him and says, “Ask Him—who is He talking about?” 25Then he who leaned on Yeshua’s chest says to Him, “Master, who is it?” 26Yeshua answers, “It’s the one I will give this bit of matzah to, after I dip it.” After dipping the matzah , He takes it and gives it to Judah from Kriot, the son of Simon. 27And with that bit, satan entered into him. Then Yeshua tells him, “What you’re about to do, do quickly!” 28But no one reclining at the table knew why Yeshua said this to him. 29Since Judah had the moneybox, some thought Yeshua was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30So after Judah received the bit of matzah , he left immediately. Now it was night.

Leaving a Legacy of Love

31Then when Judah had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him! 32If God is glorified in Him, God will glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will search for Me; and just as I told the Judean leaders, so I say to you now, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36“Master, where are You going?” Simon Peter said to Him. Yeshua answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow Me later.” 37Peter said to Him, “Master, why can’t I follow You now? I’ll lay down my life for You!” 38Yeshua answers, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Amen, amen I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times!”
–from John 13
God’s timing is perfect!

Are you leading with compassion?


What is driving your leadership? How are you treating those who are following you? Are you showing concern for them and their lives? Are you more concerned with what they get done than who they are and what they are going through? Do you have the priorities set right? Are you leading with love? Are you leading with compassion? Are you being a servant leader?

Do others know that you care? Do others know that you share? Do others feel that you value your relationship with them? Do you live it? What do your words say about it? What do your actions say about it?

It needs to be more than random acts of kindness, it needs to be purposeful acts of compassion!

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 9:36…

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

–from Matthew 9

Jesus shows us the importance of compassion. Do you realize everything that is going on in the lives of those around you? Do you take the time to care? Do you take the time to share? Do you take the time to listen? Do you take the time to hear?  Do you take the time to speak life and hope? Do you take time to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to engage you in the lives of others?

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 6 of 7) speaks into this as follows…

“Compelled by Compassion”

I am convinced that nothing will set a leader apart more than being compelled by compassion. The greatest leader in the history of the world was also the most compassionate. His name is Jesus Christ. His life, words, style, and even tone all captivated masses of people.

We know that many times Jesus was moved with great emotion for the people, no just because they were ill physically, but because He saw their desperate spiritual condition. His compassionate heart drove Him to love people unconditionally and sacrificially.

Compassion is seeing what others see, hearing what others hear, and feeling what others feel. When we are willing to enter into another person’s life and into their pain, we are able to be moved with compassion.

Compassion does not eliminate the importance of other great traits of leadership. But we should strive to influence all elements of our leadership with compassion:

  • Confidence with compassion
  • Competence with compassion
  • Authority with compassion
  • Intensity with compassion
  • Follow-through with compassion
  • Due diligence with compassion
  • Leading with compassion

Forward leadership is not calling for us to dumb down major leadership needs. Forward leadership is calling for a new kind of leader that does each of these and more with great compassion.

Today, ask the Lord to see, hear, and speak with compassion. “Lord, through your Holy Spirit grow me and develop me to have compassion toward everyone I encounter. Lord, use me for your glory, help me hold compassion deep within me and may compassion influence all aspects of my leadership.”

Is compassion a part of who you are and how you live?

Not sure, then why not get started today!

Ask God for wisdom and help to start today!