What do you do when it feels cold and dark?


What if it is outside? What if it is inside? What if it is in your mind? What if it is in your heart? Is your response difference? Are you sure that it is for real? Do you know how long it will last? Do you know that the sun will rise? Do you know if the clouds will clear? Do you know how to replace it in your mind?

Do you have something else to fill your mind and your thoughts with that will bring warmth and light? Do you have something that you can fill your heart with that will bring warmth and light?

Do you realize that there is something that can turn the dark and cold into hope and life? Do you realize that you were never meant to try and go through this life alone? Do you realize that a way was made even though it doesn’t feel like there is a way in the moment? Do you realize that some call it THE WAY? Do you realize there are ways to add warmth and bring light into the situation?

Do you realize there are others around you who are feeling the cold and living in the dark? Do you realize that even when you are doing OK that you may need to be speaking truth and life in love to the people around you? Do you realize that you have been put in such a time and such a place as this in order to make a difference to those around you? Do you realize they see you and wonder how you can be that way? Do you realize they are watching you and wonder how you can feel that way? Do you realize they are observing you and hoping or wondering if it is possible for them to have it too?


Jesus is the key and the answer


What do you do when it feels cold and dark?

Will you share your warmth and your light with others? Will you share that hope that is within you with others? Will you share the truth with others? Will you share love with others?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 3
  • Ezekiel 44
  • Acts 23:12-22
  • Revelation 16:17-21
  • Psalms 136

Look at the broken and help build them up. Look at the injured and help them to heal through love and forgiveness.

Don’t go it alone! Support one another. Encourage one another. Love one another. Help one another. We each have a part to do!

Let’s help others have a heart for God and allow them to invite Jesus into their hearts and be transformed. Let’s help them to receive the Holy Spirit into their lives as their comforter and their guide to help them to live.

We need to share the truth of God’s plan that we will have a hope and a future. We need to share the truth of God’s plan that we are to have life and life more abundantly. We need to share the truth of God’s plan that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. We need to share the truth of God who loves us more than we can ever understand,

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 16-19

Even when there are trials and troubles, we can take hope for Jesus has overcome the world and we can consider it pure joy because we know that when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when our endurance is fully developed, we will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If we see something wrong, we need to speak up and speak out.

If we hear something wrong, we need to speak up and speak out.

We need to ensure that we allow the truth to set us free.

Jesus is the finishing of God’s plan. First when He paid the ultimate price of dying on the cross to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way for us to be reconciled back unto God. Finally when He will return and usher us into heaven and the eternal presence of God.

So let’s allow God’s faithful love that endures forever to cause us to give thanks!


So where are you at today? Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a recommitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:


Will you allow the light to shine thru and warm up the situation?

How great is your faith?


Is it big enough that you will share it with others? Will you tell others about what you believe? Will you share the hope? Will you share the love? Will you share the truth? Will you share the reality of how a relationship with Jesus makes a huge difference in your life? Will you share the reality that it goes beyond routine, beyond rituals, beyond religion and requires a relationship? Will you offer Jesus to people? When you hear of a trouble or a trial or a challenge, will you offer, recommend, point people to Jesus? When you find people in the midst of a difficult situation will you have enough faith for them? When you find people in the midst of a difficult situation will you have enough faith to bring them to Jesus? When you find people in the midst of a difficult situation will you have enough faith to send them to Jesus? How great is your faith?

Will you go beyond being a hearer of the Word and become a doer of the Word? Will you allow your faith to be living and powerful by allowing your faith to produce works? Will you make time to engage people and have an encounter right where they are at? Will you take hold of the command to love God and love people? Will you live with your faith on your sleeves for everyone to see? Will you live your life in a way that people might consider approaching you and asking you about your faith and what you believe in? Are you preparing yourself every morning for who or what might come across your path.


Today’s reading from God’s Word starts out with a story of the faith of a young girl who points her mistress to send her husband to the man of God where his issue of leprosy could be addressed through the power of God in 2 Kings 5. Do you have enough faith to speak life into the people around you?

‘The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy. At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.” So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.” But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed! Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept any gifts.” And though Naaman urged him to take the gift, Elisha refused. Then Naaman said, “All right, but please allow me to load two of my mules with earth from this place, and I will take it back home with me. From now on I will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the Lord . However, may the Lord pardon me in this one thing: When my master the king goes into the temple of the god Rimmon to worship there and leans on my arm, may the Lord pardon me when I bow, too.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said. So Naaman started home again. But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said to himself, “My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as the Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him.” So Gehazi set off after Naaman. When Naaman saw Gehazi running after him, he climbed down from his chariot and went to meet him. “Is everything all right?” Naaman asked. “Yes,” Gehazi said, “but my master has sent me to tell you that two young prophets from the hill country of Ephraim have just arrived. He would like 75 pounds of silver and two sets of clothing to give to them.” “By all means, take twice as much silver,” Naaman insisted. He gave him two sets of clothing, tied up the money in two bags, and sent two of his servants to carry the gifts for Gehazi. But when they arrived at the citadel, Gehazi took the gifts from the servants and sent the men back. Then he went and hid the gifts inside the house. When he went in to his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” “I haven’t been anywhere,” he replied. But Elisha asked him, “Don’t you realize that I was there in spirit when Naaman stepped down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to receive money and clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, and male and female servants? Because you have done this, you and your descendants will suffer from Naaman’s leprosy forever.” When Gehazi left the room, he was covered with leprosy; his skin was white as snow.’

2 Kings 5

‘In my vision I saw what appeared to be a throne of blue lapis lazuli above the crystal surface over the heads of the cherubim. Then the Lord spoke to the man in linen clothing and said, “Go between the whirling wheels beneath the cherubim, and take a handful of burning coals and scatter them over the city.” He did this as I watched. The cherubim were standing at the south end of the Temple when the man went in, and the cloud of glory filled the inner courtyard. Then the glory of the Lord rose up from above the cherubim and went over to the entrance of the Temple. The Temple was filled with this cloud of glory, and the courtyard glowed brightly with the glory of the Lord . The moving wings of the cherubim sounded like the voice of God Almighty and could be heard even in the outer courtyard. The Lord said to the man in linen clothing, “Go between the cherubim and take some burning coals from between the wheels.” So the man went in and stood beside one of the wheels. Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand and took some live coals from the fire burning among them. He put the coals into the hands of the man in linen clothing, and the man took them and went out. (All the cherubim had what looked like human hands under their wings.) I looked, and each of the four cherubim had a wheel beside him, and the wheels sparkled like beryl. All four wheels looked alike and were made the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. The cherubim could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. They went straight in the direction they faced, never turning aside. Both the cherubim and the wheels were covered with eyes. The cherubim had eyes all over their bodies, including their hands, their backs, and their wings. I heard someone refer to the wheels as “the whirling wheels.” Each of the four cherubim had four faces: the first was the face of an ox, the second was a human face, the third was the face of a lion, and the fourth was the face of an eagle. Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the same living beings I had seen beside the Kebar River. When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved with them. When they lifted their wings to fly, the wheels stayed beside them. When the cherubim stopped, the wheels stopped. When they flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. Then the glory of the Lord moved out from the entrance of the Temple and hovered above the cherubim. And as I watched, the cherubim flew with their wheels to the east gate of the Lord ’s Temple. And the glory of the God of Israel hovered above them. These were the same living beings I had seen beneath the God of Israel when I was by the Kebar River. I knew they were cherubim, for each had four faces and four wings and what looked like human hands under their wings. And their faces were just like the faces of the beings I had seen at the Kebar, and they traveled straight ahead, just as the others had.’

Ezekiel 10

‘About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration. ) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place. At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.’

Acts 12:1-19

‘“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.’

Revelation 2:1-7

‘Praise the Lord ! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.’

Psalms 112

So are you ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you? Are you prepared to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Are you on fire to share the Good News with the world around you? Don’t be lukewarm! Don’t forget the first love when you met Jesus! Do you believe enough to follow God’s instruction even when you think it is a dream? Let’s live out our lives showing how much we love by sharing the Good News and following after God like our lives depended on it. Let’s love others like when we first fell in love. Let’s be transformed from the inside out and allow the hope that is within us burn again and be shared with the world around us.

So have you met Jesus? It would be bad for me to not share my hope and fiath found in Jesus with you. Let’s pray together and I will open up this post so that you can leave comments to let me know if you prayed and received Jesus, prayed and returned to Jesus, or if you have any questions that we can discuss.

Leave me a comment so I can celebrate with your decision.

Leave me a comment so we can discuss your questions.

If you knew that the words you were about to speak would be your last…


How would you say them? How would you capture them? How would you broadcast them? Who would you say them to? Who would you talk about? Who would you share it with? What would you say? What would be your purpose? Where would you say them? Where would you share them? When would you say them? Why would that be the statement? Why would those be the words? Why would those people need to hear it or receive it? Why haven’t you shared it before? Why would you have to wait till it was the end?


Today’s reading starts with the last words of David in 2 Samuel 23…

‘These are the last words of David: “David, the son of Jesse, speaks— David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. “The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: ‘The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain.’ “Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. One must use iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.”

These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three —the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle. Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder! Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord . “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it.

These are examples of the exploits of the Three. Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three. There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. Other members of the Thirty included: Asahel, Joab’s brother; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem; Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod; Helez from Pelon ; Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai from Hushah; Zalmon from Ahoah; Maharai from Netophah; Heled son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin); Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai from Nahale-gaash ; Abi-albon from Arabah; Azmaveth from Bahurim; Eliahba from Shaalbon; the sons of Jashen; Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar; Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar; Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah; Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh; Hezro from Carmel; Paarai from Arba; Igal son of Nathan from Zobah; Bani from Gad; Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah; Ira from Jattir; Gareb from Jattir; Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.’

2 Samuel 23

‘Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. These things happened because of the Lord ’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. So on January 15, during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign. By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the famine in the city had become very severe, and the last of the food was entirely gone. Then a section of the city wall was broken down, and all the soldiers fled. Since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, they waited for nightfall. Then they slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden and headed toward the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian troops chased King Zedekiah and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered. They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons. He also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains, and the king of Babylon led him away to Babylon. Zedekiah remained there in prison until the day of his death.

On August 17 of that year, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard and an official of the Babylonian king, arrived in Jerusalem. He burned down the Temple of the Lord , the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings in the city. Then he supervised the entire Babylonian army as they tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. But Nebuzaradan allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind to care for the vineyards and fields. The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the Lord ’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, basins, dishes, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple. The captain of the guard also took the small bowls, incense burners, basins, pots, lampstands, ladles, bowls used for liquid offerings, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver. The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea with the twelve bronze oxen beneath it, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the Lord ’s Temple in the days of King Solomon. Each of the pillars was 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. They were hollow, with walls 3 inches thick. The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 7 1 / 2 feet high and was decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates all the way around. There were 96 pomegranates on the sides, and a total of 100 pomegranates on the network around the top. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers. And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; seven of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land. The number of captives taken to Babylon in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 3,023. Then in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year he took 832 more. In Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year he sent Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took 745 more—a total of 4,600 captives in all.

In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year. He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. So the Babylonian king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived. This continued until the day of his death.’

Jeremiah 52

‘And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched. Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.’

Luke 24:36-53

‘I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.’

2 Timothy 4:1-8

‘How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord . With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Interlude What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord , who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield! Show favor to the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.’

Psalms 84

Thank you for being such an incredible wife is what I would share with my wife. Thank you for being such incredible children with specific details is what I would share with my kids for I am so proud of the incredible people they are and will be. Thank you for being such incredible parents is what I would share with my parents. Thank you for being an incredible sister is what I would share with my sister. Thank you for being such incredible pastors who helped me realize the importance of Jesus and a relationship with Him. Thank you for being a friend. I would look to give specifics for each person. I would ask them not to live out the rest of their lives in fear but with love and hope through Jesus. We need to be prepared at all times to share the Good News of Jesus and encourage others to fight the good fight and finish strong.

I would also share how no matter what things I can give or leave behind the one thing that I would want to make sure everyone received was the greatest gift of all which is Jesus. Jesus is such an incredible part of my life and I would want all the people in my life to be able to have that same blessing and receive Him into their lives. How I hope that they will all invite Jesus into their hearts so that we will get to spend eternity with one another in Heaven. How they are that important that even thought I tried to share Him through my life, I wouldn’t want to get the opportunity to share my last words with them without sharing Jesus with them. I would let them know that I love them because God taught me how important they are and that God loves them even more.

I would want to share how we have all missed the mark and it is only by Jesus that we are reconciled back unto God. I would want to share some key verses with them like:

8Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 3:8-16

8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same LORD is LORD of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:8-15

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD.

Romans 6:23

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

I would also share with them a link to my blog that shares my daily posts from that calling God put on my life to start a blog and to make it public and to share His Word and how it speaks to me daily.

  • Faith, Hope, Love – the greatest of these is love.
  • Forgive
  • Nothing is impossible with God
  • If God calls you to it, He will get you through it
  • God’s timing is perfect
  • Don’t give up
  • Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will complete its work in you so that you will be lacking nothing
  • Take heart when you face trials and troubles of this world for Jesus has overcome this world.

Will you learn from your mistakes?


Ever went to do something with good intentions and then it didn’t turn out like you had hoped? Ever went to do something with good intentions and then watched go bad real quick? Ever had to learn from those mistakes? Ever tried again putting fear and doubt behind you? Ever tried again with all the learnings from the previous attempt(s)? Ever succeeded in a future attempt thanks to what you had learned? Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Consider every attempt either a victory or an opportunity to learn! Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to knock you down or beat you up so that you want to stop or give up! Turn to God! Seek wisdom! Persevere! In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So continue with patient perseverance!

Will you learn from your mistakes? What have you learned from your mistakes? Will you share it with others so that they don’t have to go thru it themselves to learn? We all get to choose… We can learn from others mistakes or we can learn from our own. Will you look for a mentor or mentors so that you can learn from them instead of needing to learn it all in your own experiences? You will make mistakes! The question is, will you learn from them or those of others?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started with 2 Samuel 6…

‘Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart that carried the Ark of God. Ahio walked in front of the Ark. David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord , singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord ’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God. David was angry because the Lord ’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today. David was now afraid of the Lord , and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” So David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household. Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s household and everything he has because of the Ark of God.” So David went there and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the City of David with a great celebration. After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.

But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord , she was filled with contempt for him. They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord . When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes. When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!” David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord , who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord , so I celebrate before the Lord . Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.’

2 Samuel 6

‘This is the message the Lord gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the Lord ’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.” So I went to see Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah and all his brothers and sons—representing all the Recabite families. I took them to the Temple, and we went into the room assigned to the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was located next to the one used by the Temple officials, directly above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the Temple gatekeeper. I set cups and jugs of wine before them and invited them to have a drink, but they refused. “No,” they said, “we don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. And do not build houses or plant crops or vineyards, but always live in tents. If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.’ So we have obeyed him in all these things. We have never had a drink of wine to this day, nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters. We haven’t built houses or owned vineyards or farms or planted crops. We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed all the commands of Jehonadab, our ancestor. But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked this country, we were afraid of the Babylonian and Syrian armies. So we decided to move to Jerusalem. That is why we are here.” Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. The descendants of Jehonadab son of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’ “Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.’” Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions.’ Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me.’”’

Jeremiah 35

‘After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord ! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”’

Luke 19:28-40

‘Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.’

Hebrews 10:26-39

‘Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord — rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people. The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the Lord himself will live forever? Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!” Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines. Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the Lord , the source of Israel’s life. Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali. Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!’

Psalms 68

Have you completed your commitment? Are you able to go home?


Have you committed to something? Have you completed the commitment? Are you able to return home after your journey? Are you able to return home to celebrate all that God has been able to do in and through you? Are you able to return home and testify about all that you have seen and done? Are you ready to go back and make a difference in your own place? Are you ready to go back and create a culture and an impact on the lives of the people you have left behind? What are you going to do now that you have met your commitment?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:


Will you be just and fair? Will you do what is right and good? Will you speak out when something is going wrong? Will you speak with love and truth? Will you speak life and truth out of love? Will you speak in a way to praise God? Will you be a living sacrifice for God’s glory? Will you live and love in alignment with God’s will? Will you be just and fair? Will you keep your promises? Will you live a blameless life and do what is right?

Don’t forget!


Do you remember what you have gone through? Do you remember how it has shaped you? Do you remember what you have learned? Do you remember the power of forgiveness? Do you remember the power of love? Do you remember the promises of God? Do you remember the provision of God? Do you remember the wisdom of God? Do you remember the benefits of being a willing vessel? Do you remember the benefits of obedience? Do you remember the importance of presence? Do you remember the blessings so great that you can’t contain them? Do you remember the moments? Do you remember the journey? Do you remember the difference it made in helping you become who you are today? Have you shared it? Have you told your story so that others can learn from it? Don’t forget!


Today’s reading gets us started in Deuteronomy.

‘“Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord . For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good. “So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. “But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the Lord your God.’

Deuteronomy 8

Today’s reading then continues into Isaiah.

‘The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water, all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders, army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers. I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers. People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable. In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!” But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!” For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the Lord and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face. The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves. Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned! But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve. Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road. The Lord takes his place in court and presents his case against his people. The Lord comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor. How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

The Lord says, “Beautiful Zion is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets. So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the Lord will make beautiful Zion bald.” On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and veils; scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms; rings, jewels, mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls. Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty. The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle. The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.’

Isaiah 3

and

‘In that day so few men will be left that seven women will fight for each man, saying, “Let us all marry you! We will provide our own food and clothing. Only let us take your name so we won’t be mocked as old maids.”

But in that day, the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel. All who remain in Zion will be a holy people— those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living. The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains with the hot breath of fiery judgment. Then the Lord will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land. It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.’

Isaiah 4

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting in Matthew

‘Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.” The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?” Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.” So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.’

Matthew 15:21-39

and then into Romans

‘Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.’

Romans 13:8-14

As we remember and reflect, let’s take hold of what God has done in and through us. Let’s remember the power of faith and obedience to our journey and how we got to this point. Let’s remember to share these stories with our family and friends as they testify to the greatness of God and His love through Jesus Christ into our lives.

Today’s reading concludes with a psalm.

‘Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.’

Psalms 127

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


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

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

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

Ephesians 3:1-13

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


Today’s reading gets us started with Numbers 36.

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

Numbers 36

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

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

Jonah 3

and Jonah 4.

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

Jonah 4

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

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

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

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

Matthew 12:33-50

Romans 9,

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

Romans 9:30-33

and Romans 10.

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

Romans 10:1-4

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

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

Psalms 119:145-176

Do you remember how you got to this point?


Did you leave markers to help you remember what happened and when? Did you share the moments so that others know about your journey? Did you capture the key ones somewhere so that you can reflect on them? For me many have been captured in my blog posts over the years. Some were earlier like when I got married and when I had children. Some are from morning readings like the promise of a sun and the get out of the boat that triggered a big career shift. Others were callings like being on the board of a homeowners association of more than 10,000 people and God calling me to step up to be president, and another was becoming director of a camp for teenage foster kids as well as a deacon on the church board. It has been an incredible journey and I can reflect on things like when God told me to forgive the people at work and I resisted till the moment I was faced with another stressor at which point I took God at His Word and forgave and found a new freedom.

How about you? How do you keep track or remember your journey? The Bible is an incredible book that shares the journey of the Israelites as well as the New Testament journeys of Jesus and the disciples.


Today’s reading gets us started on the journey with Numbers 33.

‘This is the route the Israelites followed as they marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord ’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places where they stopped along the way. They set out from the city of Rameses in early spring—on the fifteenth day of the first month —on the morning after the first Passover celebration. The people of Israel left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians. Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn sons, whom the Lord had killed the night before. The Lord had defeated the gods of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment! After leaving Rameses, the Israelites set up camp at Succoth. Then they left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. They left Etham and turned back toward Pi-hahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon, and camped near Migdol. They left Pi-hahiroth and crossed the Red Sea into the wilderness beyond. Then they traveled for three days into the Etham wilderness and camped at Marah. They left Marah and camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They left Elim and camped beside the Red Sea. They left the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. They left the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. They left Dophkah and camped at Alush. They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. They left Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai. They left the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. They left Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. They left Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. They left Libnah and camped at Rissah. They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah. They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth. They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath. They left Tahath and camped at Terah. They left Terah and camped at Mithcah. They left Mithcah and camped at Hashmonah. They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. They left Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. They left Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. They left Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. They left Ezion-geber and camped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the border of Edom. While they were at the foot of Mount Hor, Aaron the priest was directed by the Lord to go up the mountain, and there he died. This happened in midsummer, on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after Israel’s departure from Egypt. Aaron was 123 years old when he died there on Mount Hor. At that time the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev in the land of Canaan, heard that the people of Israel were approaching his land. Meanwhile, the Israelites left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. Then they left Zalmonah and camped at Punon. They left Punon and camped at Oboth. They left Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim on the border of Moab. They left Iye-abarim and camped at Dibon-gad. They left Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. They left Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains east of the river, near Mount Nebo. They left the mountains east of the river and camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Along the Jordan River they camped from Beth-jeshimoth as far as the meadows of Acacia on the plains of Moab. While they were camped near the Jordan River on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: When you cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the people living there. You must destroy all their carved and molten images and demolish all their pagan shrines. Take possession of the land and settle in it, because I have given it to you to occupy. You must distribute the land among the clans by sacred lot and in proportion to their size. A larger portion of land will be allotted to each of the larger clans, and a smaller portion will be allotted to each of the smaller clans. The decision of the sacred lot is final. In this way, the portions of land will be divided among your ancestral tribes. But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live. And I will do to you what I had planned to do to them.”’

Numbers 33

Today’s reading then shares part of the journey through Hosea 12

‘Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways, and pay him back for all he has done. Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him — the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the Lord is his name! So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” “But I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters. I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.” But the people of Gilead are worthless because of their idol worship. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field. Jacob fled to the land of Aram, and there he earned a wife by tending sheep. Then by a prophet the Lord brought Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; and by that prophet they were protected. But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the Lord , so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.’

Hosea 12:2-14

and Hosea 13.

‘When the tribe of Ephraim spoke, the people shook with fear, for that tribe was important in Israel. But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal and thus sealed their destruction. Now they continue to sin by making silver idols, images shaped skillfully with human hands. “Sacrifice to these,” they cry, “and kiss the calf idols!” Therefore, they will disappear like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun, like chaff blown by the wind, like smoke from a chimney. “I have been the Lord your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road. Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal. “You are about to be destroyed, O Israel— yes, by me, your only helper. Now where is your king? Let him save you! Where are all the leaders of the land, the king and the officials you demanded of me? In my anger I gave you kings, and in my fury I took them away. “Ephraim’s guilt has been collected, and his sin has been stored up for punishment. Pain has come to the people like the pain of childbirth, but they are like a child who resists being born. The moment of birth has arrived, but they stay in the womb! “Should I ransom them from the grave ? Should I redeem them from death? O death, bring on your terrors! O grave, bring on your plagues! For I will not take pity on them. Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers, but the east wind—a blast from the Lord — will arise in the desert. All their flowing springs will run dry, and all their wells will disappear. Every precious thing they own will be plundered and carried away. The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”’

Hosea 13

Today’s reading then brings us into the journeys of the New Testament starting with Matthew 11

‘Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”’

Matthew 11:20-30

and then into Romans 8.

‘What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:31-39

So how will you remember your journey? Will you keep it to yourself or will you share it with others? Will you help them learn through your experience rather than having to walk through them all on their own? Some will receive it and learn from you. Some will ignore it and choose to learn it the hard way in their own lives.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

‘You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, O Lord , that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments. Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. May I be blameless in keeping your decrees; then I will never be ashamed. I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees. How long must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me? These arrogant people who hate your instructions have dug deep pits to trap me. All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause. They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments. In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws. Your eternal word, O Lord , stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.’

Psalms 119:73-96

Do you have a dream?


How do you respond when you have a dream? Are you tactful in the way you share it? Are you selective in whom you will share it with? Ever shared it and the other person didn’t receive it well? Ever shared it and the other person responded negatively? How would those in your life respond if you said to them “I have a dream” and then went on to share it with them? Do you realize that not everyone is ready to hear about it? Do you realize that some people may get defensive or even violent about it? If God gives it to you are willing to take hold of it?

Today’s reading starts us into Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37.

‘So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner. This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.” “I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied. “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron. When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked. “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?” “Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.

When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father. So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt. Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?” Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?” Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep. Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.’

Genesis 37

When I think of people who had a dream and whose dream didn’t get received well and faced the risk of death Joseph and Martin Luther King Jr are two people that come to mind.

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 6.

‘Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord , you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!” Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: “Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, ‘From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. Nor have I chosen a king to lead my people Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place for my name to be honored, and I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’” Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord , the God of Israel. But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’ “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord , the God of Israel. There I have placed the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel.”

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer. Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 7 1 / 2 feet long, 7 1 / 2 feet wide, and 4 1 / 2 feet high and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven. He prayed, “O Lord , God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today. “And now, O Lord , God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow my Law as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ Now, O Lord , God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David. “But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you. May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive. “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar at this Temple, then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence. “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn back and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave to them and to their ancestors. “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession. “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— and if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors. “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name. “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to you by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause. “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near. But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their captivity and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— then hear their prayers and their petitions from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. “O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place. “And now arise, O Lord God, and enter your resting place, along with the Ark, the symbol of your power. May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation; may your loyal servants rejoice in your goodness. O Lord God, do not reject the king you have anointed. Remember your unfailing love for your servant David.”’

2 Chronicles 6

Let’s celebrate what God has done in and through our lives. Let’s pray to God and praise Him for what He is doing and has done in and through your life. As a leader, let us be good stewards and stand in the gap for the people God has put into our responsibility as a shepherd. Let’s be good shepherds being good and faithful servants to God in and through our works. Let us give it all up into God’s hands.

Today’s reading goes into the New Testament in John 9.

‘So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.” “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man.” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.’

John 9:24-41

What do you believe? What have you seen? Can you now see the truth even though before you were blind to it? Will you receive Jesus into your heart and your life?

Today’s reading continues into 1 Thessalonians 1.

‘This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace.

We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.’

1 Thessalonians 1

Let’s close out our reading today meditating on psalms – Psalms 26.

‘Declare me innocent, O Lord , for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord , and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord , singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, Lord , the place where your glorious presence dwells. Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers. Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes. But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord .’

Psalms 26

Going beyond knowing to showing…(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 20])


Is knowing something good enough for you? Are you someone who goes beyond knowing to showing someone? Are you someone who goes beyond knowing to telling someone? Are you someone who will stop once they know? Are you someone who is satisfied with knowing the truth? Will you share it? Will you make it real to others? Will you demonstrate to others? Will you go from being a hearer to being a doer? Will you live it out as a way of life?

Will knowing about Jesus be the end of things? Will you build the relationship so that you know Jesus? Will you go the extra step and make Him know in the world around you? Our mission is to go beyond knowing about Jesus and beyond knowing Jesus to making Him known.

Don’t worry about the how, just be prepared to say the “Yes” and “Amen” to the prompting of God’s Spirit. We read in Luke 21:14-15

14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

–from Luke 21:14-15

When we have the Good News we shouldn’t be afraid to share it. It’s simple! It’s beautiful! It’s powerful! It’s too important to bottle up or keep to ourselves! We need to be salt and light so that those around us can enjoy the benefits of the Good News! We read in 1 Peter 3:15

But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

–from 1 Peter 3:15

We can have peace about it! We can share it with love and respect! Do you have an answer for the hope that is within you? It is quite interesting to me that this came up today as someone asked me yesterday morning what it is that allows me to be so joyful throughout my day. And I told them God. I get filled up in the morning spending time in God’s Word, praying, and then walking out my day in relationship with Him. It was a much longer conversation but that is the summary. Jesus made a way when there wasn’t a way. And when we are living it then people are going to ask. In this world we will face trials and troubles. Believers and non-believers alike. As believers when people see the trials and the troubles we face and walk through with the joy of the Lord as our strength, they are going to ask, they are going to wonder, they are even going to want some of whatever it is you have.

So be prepared to share that hope that is within you! Don’t be afraid to speak the truth in love and respect to what it is that provides you with such hope and such joy! Yesterday I even spoke to how I allow God to fill me up so that it overflows which allows me to pour into the lives of the people around me. When we have the hope of Jesus we can overflow that truth, that love, and that hope into the world around us. Will you trust God enough to walk it out?

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 28 and says…

The Resurrection

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.

The Report of the Guard

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

The Great Commission

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

from Matthew 28:1-20

I got to play the part of the angel in a play and the truth and power of saying this was incredible. Will you receive the great commission that wasn’t just for the disciples of the past but for us living today? So will you “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”? Will you take hold of the truth that Jesus will never leave you nor abandon you? Will you take hold of the Spirit that is sent to be our comforter and our guide through this life we are to live? Will you wait upon the Lord and renew your strength? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Do you know Jesus? Are you making Him known? Why not start today?

If you don’t know Jesus and would like to learn more, checkout the Bible and take a read through John or Matthew or Mark or Luke to get started. If you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart yet, why not make today your day? Let’s pray this together…

Sample Sinners Prayer

 

If you prayed this congratulations! If you would like to discuss it please feel free to leave me a comment. If you don’t want the discussion to be in the comment area, please leave me your email or preferred contact info.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of Acts of Mercy speaks to Hudson Taylor and the impact of Matthew 28:19-20, the great commission on him and his life. We learn that it inspired him to go and teach the Bible in China in the 1800s. He founded the China Inland Mission that provided hundreds of schools and sent many Christian workers to every province of China. They went without guarantee of any salary and were not allowed to solicit funds. They had to integrate into society including adopting Chinese dress. In 1949 when the Communists took over China, missionary activities essentially ended and the name changed to Overseas Missionary Fellowship.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that is within it. I thank You Lord that You know the beginning and the end. I thank You for the Job promise that the second half of my life will be twice as good as the first half. So my hope and trust are in You and so I give the plans and the promises up into Your hands believing that You will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way and that Your plans or better than my plans and that when I give my plans up to You in hopes they align with Your will that You will make my path straight. Not my will but Your will. Not my way but Your way. So Lord, let Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Grant me the wisdom and discernment I need for this day. Help me Lord to not take up offence but to forgive others as You have forgiven me and to love unconditionally as You love me. Guide my words, my eyes, my thoughts, and my actions so that in and through them all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will you bless today?


Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Now that we are filled up, how can we pour out into the world around us and be a blessing? Who can we bless? What will it take to make it a personal blessing to each person we bless? What will it take? What will we need to do? Who will we bless? How many can we bless before the day is done? How generous can we be?

What a difference you can make if you prepare and plan to do so! What an impact you can have on the world around when you prepare and plan to do so! What a transformation you can make by just being you and reaching out to be God’s hands and God’s arms extended!

Will you consider doing something that not only will bless one person but fill them up to overflowing too that they could be a blessing to someone else? Will you do something unpredictable? Will you do something extraordinary? Will you do something that is so self-less that others will need to stop and thank God?

Be ready! Be prepared! Keep your eyes open for opportunities! Keep your ears open to hear what is going on around you! And let’s see how many blessings can happen today!

You will find out the real blessing from being so generous and a blessing to others (it’s not all about money) is how blessed you will be thru it and because of it!

How God will touch your heart! How God will transform your mind! How thankful you will become!

If God can get it through you, He will get it to you!

Where are you planning to go today? What are you planning to do today?

Listen to the tone in those people’s voices! Be inquisitive! Care! Share! Love! Bless!

Why don’t you take the challenge and find out how true Jesus’ words are:

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the LORD Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

–from Acts 20:35

Now let’s go out into the world, each to where God has called each of us, and let’s be the engine of blessing God set us out and called us into being!

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Every good and perfect gift comes God!

So let’s be good stewards and be blessings engines for the Lord! Be sensitive to the Spirit and allow God to direct your steps, your words, and your actions today that the world around may be blessed!

Take the time to be present and listen showing a genuine interest in others! Stand in the gap and show courage on behalf of others!

Jump into God’s Word for today and get filled up:


How to Be a Blessing Machine

Day 274: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God is the ultimate blessing machine … Psalm 115:12-18
  2. Be a blessing machine to others … Philippians 2:12-30
  3. Don’t turn away from God’s blessing … Jeremiah 2:31-4:9

 

 

Are you sharing the generosity?


Are living with a spirit of generosity? Are you looking for ways to bless others? Are you looking to share the love? Are you looking to share your time? Are you looking to share your wealth? Are you looking to share the truth in love? Are you looking to share the good news? How is God’s generosity materializing in the way you are living out your life? Are you reflecting His generosity in your life to the people who are in your life?

Are you caring for the orphans? Are you caring for the widows? Are you caring by sharing? Are you caring through justice?

Do you see a need and look to fill it? Do you realize what tank is empty and is in need of filling? Is it emotional? Is it physical? Is it spiritual? Is it financial? Is it relational and requiring forgiveness? Do you try to fill the empty tank rather than just do something that will leave them as empty as when you arrived? Will you pay attention to be able to tell? Will you listen to what is being said? Will you listen to how it is being said? Will you watch the body language? Will you observe what the real need is? Will you offer help? Will you ask how you can bless them?

So will you help the needy and give to those in need? Will you help the homeless? Will you help the orphans? Will you help the widows? Will you help your neighbors? Will you help your coworkers? Will you help the people who are serving you throughout the day?

Consider what 2 Corinthians 8:14 says…

 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. –2 Corinthians 8:14

Will you be generous whenever you get the chance?

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.

–2 Corinthians 9:11

Are you paying attention in order to see the need? Are you paying attention so that you can see the generosity of God and give Him all the thanks? Are you being a conduit that God can use to bless and be a blessing?

Are you living out the world’s view of money, wealth, and riches? Are you living out the Bible’s view of money, wealth, and riches? Money isn’t evil but the love of money is the root of all evil! It’s not bad to have stuff but it is bad to make it all about the stuff! Seek first the kingdom of God! Ever heard that? Do you realize what is being said around that? The fact that we don’t need to worry about the material stuff but rather we need to be focusing on the important stuff of God! Check it out

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

–from Matthew 6

So riches go beyond money! Being rich is something related to having a relationship with Jesus!

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

–from 2 Corinthians 8:9

Are you sharing the generosity? Are you sharing the riches of Jesus with the people around you? Will you allow the joy of the Lord be your strength? Will you allow your joy to overflow and fill up those God brings into your life today? No matter what happens? No matter what it costs? So that God get the glory in and through it all?

Will you finish what you have started? Will you allow your eagerness from the beginning to continue while you are finishing it?

Let’s take hold of what we read in 2 Corinthians 8:15…

As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

–2 Corinthians 8:15

Let’s be different! Let’s not think like everyone does! Let’s make God Holy in our life as He will keep us safe! Put your hope in Jesus! He is our prize! He is our riches!

Hope in the Messiah

1Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

2The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
3You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.

6For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

–from Isaiah 9


God’s Promise to the Generous

Day 248: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Fasten on your reputation far more than riches … Proverbs 21:27-22:6
  2. Follow the example of the one who went from riches to rags … 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
  3. Focus on the reign of Jesus rather than on riches … Isaiah 8:11-10:19

Today’s Reading from God’s Word…