Happy New Year’s Eve


It’s the day before a year that will be filled with lots of change. It’s the day before a year when one daughter who has been raised up in the way she should go will be leaving home to pursue God’s purpose, passion, and plan for her life. It’s the day before a year when another daughter will be heading off to college and getting to play collegiate soccer after graduating her senior year. It’s the day before a year when the house will only have one child left and our son will get the experience of being a teen and only child type of experience. So needless to say there will be a lot of changes in how our house is going to be and feel. God help us enjoy every day we have with our kids. God help us to focus on what is important to you as we prepare for and go through these changes throughout the year. God help us to live our lives in ways that will point our kids towards you and will bring you the praise, the honor, and the glory. Lord, help me I pray to Be The Dad you created me to be for Your purpose, Your plan, Your honor, and Your glory. Seasons are changing and we need to be ready. Seasons are changing and we need to get prepared. Seasons are changing as we move from a home of 5 to 4 and after a few months 3 and after a few years down to 2. Seasons change! So let’s enjoy the one we are in and prepare for the one that is coming so that we can make the most of it for the glory of God!


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 31ST


SPRINGTIME FOR THE SOUL


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.’

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let’s look for additional context and details by expanding the verses and using the Amplified version:

‘“I am the rose [of the plain] of Sharon, The lily of the valleys [that grows in deep places].” “Like the lily among the thorns, So are you, my darling, among the maidens.” “Like an apple tree [rare and welcome] among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men! In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet and delicious to my palate. He has brought me to his banqueting place, And his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me]. Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am sick with love. Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.” “I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field [which run free], That you do not rouse nor awaken my love Until she pleases.” “Listen! My beloved! Behold, he comes, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping and running on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is gazing through the lattice. “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away. For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth once again; The time for singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs, And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’ ” “O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock, In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” “Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.” “My beloved is mine and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, Return quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether [which separate us].”’

Song of Solomon 2:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how our relationships go through seasons?
  • Ever noticed it in your romantic relationships?
  • Ever noticed it in your relationship with God?
  • When you think of seasons have you ever felt like your relationship is going through Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?
  • When you went through the season of winter, did you make the conscious decision to press through and keep going even though it seemed like there was very little warmth?
  • Ever considered how the season of Winter when we compare what happens in nature to the plants speaks to the state of our hearts? A season of barrenness.
  • We need to not lose hope because seasons don’t last forever!
  • We need to hold onto the reality that when this cold season passes it will be heading into Spring.
  • Are you looking for signs of spring? Are you looking for the warmth to return? Are you ready for your heart to be filled with hope?
  • Ever watched mature marriages and compared them to a relationship with God?
  • Marriages start with the heat of passion and idealism of pure love.
  • Ever noticed how when the honeymoon ended how reality hit the husband and wife hard?
  • Ever witnessed the reassessment that needed to happen and go through?
  • Ever witnessed how they took on this necessary challenge?
  • Ever seen how they had to rebuild their relationship based on reality?
  • Ever seen how they built their relationship on realistic expectations and good communication?
  • Ever seen it not work out and the marriage turn into an empty shell?
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have richer conversations appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have deeper affection appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have a marriage that flourishes like never before.
  • So don’t lose hope! Lean in and work to make things better! Be on the lookout for signs of Spring and what needs to happen to be ready.
  • Ever had a similar experience when you started your relationship with God?
  • Did you start the relationship with great joy and high hopes?
  • Did you get incredible experiences with God that built up your faith?
  • Did you eventually get to the point of needing to grow in your faith and find yourself in the point of a change of experience facing trials, troubles, and more difficult situations?
  • We you able to grow and mature through these times like James 1:2-4 speaks of and be able to consider them pure joy?
    • ‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘
      James 1:2-4
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to struggle?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to find disappointments?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to have misunderstandings?
  • Did it challenge your young faith but by pressing in and pressing on found you built a more mature and strengthen faith?
  • Did you find it helped you draw closer to God?
  • Did you find it helped you build a deeper relationship with God?
  • Are you facing a Winter season today? Don’t lose hope! Remember that Winter’s season of dormancy is required in preparation for Spring.
  • Be it in nature when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in romantic relationships when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in our walk with God when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • If we develop greater trust when it is cold and dark, we’ll get to experience more love in the warmth of Spring.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How have you observed seasons in relationships wtih people and God?
  • In both kinds of relationships, what are some things we can do in winter to prepare for spring?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

― William Jennings Bryan

So are you ready to live your life on purpose? Are you ready to live your life with purpose? Are you ready to live your life for a purpose? God created each of us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. So we need to choose to receive it and then start to live it in order to achieve it. Let’s invite God into our lives and ask Him to help lead and guide our thoughts, words, and actions so that we can live out our lives for His glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


As I was considering these a song came to mind and so sharing it here to close today’s post: https://youtu.be/QvHE65nImmM

Do you realize that everything needed is taken care of? Do you realize you just have to make the decision to say “I’m yours”?


This morning I found it interesting that the song that started playing in my head was from Stevie Wonder titled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and how it pointed me back to how awesome God is. After realizing that God wants a relationship with me and that it isn’t about rituals and routines, it changed the meaning of songs as I hear the lyrics and realize and consider pointing the love from those songs up to and at God. If you check out the lyrics from the song there are so many aspects that point to stories from God’s Word like the prodigal or lost son as well as the Psalms when they questioned if God could ever take them back. The reality is God has an incredible redemptive plan which Jesus has already fulfilled. Jesus paid it all! He died on the cross once for all of us! Thanks to Jesus the offer of grace has been signed, sealed, and delivered! Now the piece that we see even in the title of the song is that we have to make the choice out of our own freewill to receive this gift of grace through Jesus and tell God “I’m Yours”! Have you done that? Are you ready for that? What would it take for you to make that decision?

Let’s consider of the lyrics from the Stevie Wonder song:

So it has been taken care of! You have to make the choice, the decision, will you accept it, receive it, and say “I’m Yours”?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 28th


Signed, Sealed, and Delivered


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’

II Corinthians 1:21-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Before you read this passage, how sure were you that you were heaven bound?
  • And now? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You don’t have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Could today be the day you decide to turn your life over to God? Could today be the day you decided to invite Jesus into your heart? Could today be the beginning of God’s way for your life? Could today be the day you start living by and in accordance with God’s Spirit rather than trying to do it all in your own might and your own power? Are you ready to give your life into God’s hand and stop worrying about tomorrow? Are you ready for the certainty that Jesus has you covered and has taken care of everything for you? Let’s pray:

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?


Would a meteor shower do the trick? What about an alignment in the sky to create a Christmas star? What if you could have the sky light up and show you both of them? What if there was a lunar eclipse? What if there was a solar eclipse? What if there were both within a month? What if the sky then went dark like the end of a movie? What if it were something everyone could see? What if it were something everyone could see at the exact same time? Would it have to happen during the day time or night time? Would timing be a factor in getting your attention through a sign? How big would it have to be? Would it need to take over every media station to get your attention? Would it require some type of an alarm to go off to get your attention? How large of a sign would it take to get your attention?

What if it was on a day when A Comet, A Meteor Shower And A Total Eclipse Of The Sun?

What would be your response to seeing the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth and the sky receded like a scroll being rolled up? Would that be enough to get your attention?


When Jesus first came as a baby, it was a significant enough sign that wise men travelled from far off to come and find him. When Jesus first came as a baby, it was significant enough that the shepherds were not only informed by angels but also went to find him. Are you ready for when Jesus comes back?


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].’

Matthew 1:21

Do you realize why you need Jesus? Do you realize what you need to be saved from? Do you realize how you have missed the mark and how Jesus can restore and reconcile you back? Do you realize the plan God has for you? Are you willing to give up your selfish desires in order to pursue His plan and purpose for your life in order to achieve and arrive at the true end and scope of life? Do you want to spend eternity with God or apart from God? Do you want to spend eternity where there is no more sorrow and no more pain or would you rather spend eternity where there will be gnashing of teeth?

Jesus came with the gift of love. Jesus came with the gift of grace. It is up to us if we will choose to accept it and receive it for ourselves.


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

— The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 4):

My Notes:

  • ‘ Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].’
    — Luke 2:13-14
  • Ever considered or reflected on the reality of angels? I know I have, ever since that first Easter play when I got to be the angel at the tomb. I receive the revelation of how frightening the angels would and could be to someone. I also looked at various angelic encounters in the Bible and how many of them started with “don’t be afraid” right before the person screamed. There are angelic visitations in both the old and new testaments. There are angelic visitations like the one where they were recognizable to Lot and Abraham encountered. There are angelic visitations in dreams like Joseph’s encounter and revelation of Jesus as well as when he was to escape to Egypt. There are angelic visitations in visions like we see with Ezekiel and and John. There were the encounters where Balaam’s donkey could see the angel but he couldn’t till the third time. There are the angelic visitations like the ones the shepherds had when they learned about the birth of Jesus.
  • Angels can be frightening and we read in God’s Word how they tell the people to not be afraid:
    • Daniel 10:8-1912 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
    • Genesis 21:1-2111 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
    • Luke 2:1-12And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
    • Matthew 28:1-10The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
    • Acts 27:1-2621 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


A sign. Don’t give up! Understand what you are waiting and looking for!


Eleven and a half months, a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges, a lot of drops and a lot of twists and turns, but when would it end and what would be the outcome. Would it take the right person? Who would that person be? Would it take the right role? What role would that be? Would demonstrate value? What value could it bring? Would it provide enough encouragement to not grow weary while you are doing good works? Ever considered that doing good can make you weary? Ever considered that loving people can make you weary? Ever considered that being isolated from others and not being able to have those interactions can cause you to grow weary? But we don’t have to go it alone or do it alone! We have been given the choice and the opportunity to walk it all out with God. Not some god out there somewhere but God, Immanuel, God with us. Jesus can help us find peace! Jesus can help us find peace with God! Jesus can help us find peace of God! Jesus can help us find peace with others! Let’s take hold of what we can learn and receive and accept through the troubles because we know that we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s take hold of what we can learn and receive and accept through the trials because we know that it will build our faith and so we can consider it pure joy and that as we persevere and we allow perseverance to finish its work we will be complete and lacking nothing! So how will we know when it is time? A sign! But will we recognize the sign? When will we know that it is time and not a temptation or distraction? We need to bring it to God and His Word. How will we know if it is for real? We need to make a plan and then lean into God to direct our path.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on today’s Verse of the Day:

Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]. [Isa. 9:6; Jer. 31:22; Mic. 5:3-5; Matt. 1:22, 23.]

— Isaiah 7:14 AMPC

Imagine wandering for thousands of years with the promise of a savior, the promise of an intimate and personal relationship with God. Imagine the day when it happened and how it would make you feel. Imagine thousands of years later getting to hear all about it, the old stories before the time and the new stories after the time. Imagine the day when you get to decide if you will receive the gift or reject it. Imagine the day when you get to decide to believe and be transformed, forgiven, and saved. Imagine getting to be a part of a season when the world reflects on the story of the birth of Jesus. Imagine the significance of the birth of Jesus and the story’s implications: the revelation of the coming of God, the divine appointment and where he would be born and how he would be born, and it might take discomfort to move you into position for what God has planned. We get the choice to serve a God with purpose and plans, who understands what He wants to see happen, He is a God who is patient, He has a design, and He won’t be rattled by other circumstances.

Where are you at today?


✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

The Advent season typically brings joy and Christmas carols, but maybe this year has been hard for you. In this 5-day plan, you’ll discover how those present at the nativity scene responded to God in the midst of their circumstances, and how their stories can give you hope.

— The Weary World Rejoices: A 2020 Advent Devotional

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word are (Day 4):

  • Read Luke 2:15-20
  • Ever considered how dark it needs to be or get before you can see the light?
  • Ever considered how dark it needed to get for you to be able to see clearly?
  • Imagine being one of the shepherds out in their fields at night, on guard and ready, able to watch for dangers and predators for their flocks at night, and then the angel appeared…
  • How do you respond or would you respond to shock, awe, amazement? Would it cause fear or worry?
  • Do you realize how important you are to God? You are so important that He came out of heaven in order to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much that Jesus not only came to the earth as a child but He also went to the cross in order to pay the ultimate price in order to provide a way to be reconciled back onto God!
    • Consider how much God loves you based on His Word in 1 John 4 which says:
      • ‘ In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.’ — 1 John 4:9-10
    • Consider how much God loves you based on His Word in Ephesians 2 which says:
      • ‘ Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus. For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].’ — Ephesians 2:3-10
  • God can use us all for His purpose! We can be used to share the Good News of Jesus so that people are able to rejoice going into the Christmas season.
  • Will you allow God to use you to declare the Savior this Christmas season?
  • Wil you allow God to use you to bring light into a dark world this season?
  • Will you allow God to use you to help the weary world to rejoice?
  • Will you go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born?
  • Today’s devotional gives us 3 questions to reflect on: (feel free to read the scripture below and come back to reflect on these questions)

My Notes:

‘ When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing (saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. So they went with haste and [by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them. But Mary was keeping within herself all these things (sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.’ — Luke 2:15-20


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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?



We can control our response!


There is a reason there are words like responsibility and accountability. It is because we are able to be responsible for how we will respond to what happens to us. It is because we are accountable for how we live out our lives be it our actions or reactions. So image today is a special day and that it will have implications for say the next few years. What will your actions that you are accountable say about you? You are accountable for doing your part. Once you finish then it is out of your hands. Now it becomes a matter of how you will respond to the outcome. Will your response be in alignment with your character? Will your response be in alignment with your faith? Will your response be helpful? Will your response be beneficial? Will your response be truthful? Will your response build up? Will your response show what you believe? Will your response demonstrate who your hope and trust are in? Will your response be good for all?

Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Ephesians 4:32 and says: “And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.” — Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

Another translation puts it this way: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So what if we take hold of God’s Word to help us decide how to respond? What if our motivation for action was God’s Word of the day? We do our part and then let God take care of the rest. Imagine a world where people lived that way. Imagine a world where our accountability is to do what God has called us to do. Imagine then that our response and responsibility is to trust God for the outcome He has planned for the glory of His kingdom. Imagine our response demonstrating to the world around us that we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Imagine our response demonstrating to the world around us that we believe God is in control. Imagine our response demonstrating to the world around us that we believe that we are to be salt and light. Imagine our response demonstrating to the world around us that we believe that the words we use are for building up, correcting, and instructing. Imagine our response demonstrating to the world around us that we believe that our actions are to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory by pointing people to Him.

Today’s Word speaks to being helpful, useful, and kind. Today’s Word speaks to being tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted). Today’s Word speaks to being readily and freely forgiving of one another. How does that look? How should our response look based on this? How will our response demonstrate and represent Jesus to the non-believers around us? How will our response demonstrate and represent Jesus to the new people to the faith? How will our response demonstrate and represent Jesus to the seekers who are looking for God? Will you be a part of the solution? Will you be part of the hope? Will you be part of the reason people turn to Jesus rather than away?

Don’t lose hope! Don’t worry! In this world there will be troubles but we can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world. Let’s remember that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood but rather against the principalities and powers of this dark world. There are many who are aligned there and their response is most likely what will be put on the TV. How often is good news put out on the news reports? How often are the reports to stir up good? How often do you hear or see a report calling for good responses?

So will you choose to respond to others with the love of Christ? Will you respond with the truth in love? We need to be forgiving in order to be able to be kind and compassionate. Without forgiveness we give power to the bitter root that has taken hold and robs us of the good and the love and the hope and as such prevents and keeps us from being loving and compassionate. To be the salt and light God calls us to be we cannot be filled with bitterness and unforgiveness. We need to be filled with love so that from the overflow of the heart the words we speak will speak life and love and hope and compassion. We show others we are Jesus’s disciples by showing love and compassion for one another.



October is behind us and we get to choose how we will move forward. Will you take the lessons from the past in order to walk out your future with hope and love and compassion? They say that hindsight is 2020 but wouldn’t you rather learn from those lessons in order to have a better future?

The 49 week challenge – Day 308

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 308 link to join me and sign up.

With October in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!

In a time of change, will you share what God is doing and saying in and through your life with others?

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

Today’s reading from GOD’S WORD
– THE BIBLE comes to us from:

‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. ‘ — 2 Peter 3:8-9

My Notes:

  • Consider the state of the world and the opportunity we have to demonstrate the love of God to the people around us.
  • Consider the state of the world and the signs of the times and how important it is for us to be living out our faith.
  • Consider the state of the world and the role we have in making a difference and pointing people to Jesus.

John Gill Exposition for today’s reading shares:

Verse 8

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,…. Here the apostle addresses the saints he writes unto, and for whom he had a tender affection and regard, and for whose welfare he was concerned, lest they should be stumbled at the length of time since the promise of the coming of Christ was given, and which these scoffers object; and therefore he would have them know, observe, and consider this one thing, which might be of great use to them to make their minds easy, and keep up their faith and expectation of the coming of Christ:

that one day is, with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; referring either to Psalm 90:4; or to a common saying among the Jews, founded on the same passage, הק בה אלף שנים יומו של, “the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years”F26; suggesting, that though between thirty and forty years had elapsed since the promise was given out that Christ would come again, and should even a thousand, or two thousand years more, run off, before the coming of Christ, yet this should be no objection to the accomplishment of the promise; for though such a number of years is very considerable among men, ye not “with God”, as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, with whom a thousand years, and even eternity itself, is but as a day, Isaiah 43:13. Unless this phrase should be thought to refer, as it is by some, to the day of judgment, and be expressive of the duration of that: it is certain that the Jews interpreted days of millenniums, and reckoned millenniums by days, and used this phrase in confirmation of it. Thus they sayF1,

“in the time to come, which is in the last days, on the sixth day, which is the sixth millennium, when the Messiah comes, for the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years.’

And a little after,

“”the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man”. This is in the time of the Messiah which is in the sixth day.’

And elsewhereF2,

“the sixth degree is called the sixth day, the day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years. And in that day the King Messiah shall come, and it shall be called the feast of gathering, for the holy blessed God will gather in it the captivity of his people.’

So they call the sabbath, or seventh day, the seventh millennium, and interpretF3.

“”the song for the sabbath day”, Psalm 92:1 title, for the seventh millennium, for one day of the holy blessed God is a thousand years.’

To which agrees the tradition of Elias, which runs thusF4;

“it is the tradition of the house of Elias, that the world shall be six thousand years, two thousand years void (of the law), two thousand years the law, and two thousand years the days of the Messiah;’

for they suppose that the six days of the creation were expressive of the six thousand years in which the world will stand; and that the seventh day prefigures the last millennium, in which will be the day of judgment, and the world to come; for

“the six days of the creation (they sayF5) is a sign or intimation of these things: on the sixth day man was created; and on the seventh his work was finished; so the kings of the nations of the world (continue) five millenniums, answering to the five days, in which were created the fowls, and the creeping things of the waters, and other things; and the enjoyment of their kingdom is a little in the sixth, answerable to the creation of the beasts, and living creatures created at this time in the beginning of it; and the kingdom of the house of David is in the sixth millennium, answerable to the creation of man, who knew his Creator, and ruled over them all; and in the end of that millennium will be the day of judgment, answerable to man, who was judged in the end of it; and the seventh is the sabbath, and it is the beginning of the world to come.’

Verse 9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,…. The Syriac version reads in the plural, “his promises”, any of his promises; though the words seem rather to regard the particular promise of Christ’s coming, either to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, of which coming there was a promise made, and is often referred to by Christ, and his apostles; see Mark 9:1 Hebrews 10:37; and it now being upwards of thirty years since it was given out, some men began to charge God with slackness and dilatoriness; whereas the true reason of the delay of it was, that there might be time for the gathering in of his elect among them by his angels, or apostles and ministers, sent into the several parts of Judea, that so none of them might perish, but be brought to faith and repentance; and thus as the time of Christ’s coming was prolonged more than was thought it would, so when the days of afflictions were come, they were shortened also for these elect’s sake: or this promise regards the second coming of Christ, to judge the quick and dead at the last day, of which the former was a prelude, presage, and pledge; that Christ would come again, and appear a second time in person, was promised by himself, and often spoken of by his apostles; and many of the primitive Christians thought it would be very soon, and which might be occasioned by the hints that were given of his coming in the other sense. Now this being deferred longer than was expected, the scoffers or mockers take upon them to charge the Lord with slackness in the fulfilment of his promise:

as some men count slackness; as if he had either changed his purpose, or had prolonged it beyond the appointed time, or was unmindful of his promise, and would never fulfil it; whereas he is in one mind, and none can turn him, nor will he delay the fulfilment of his promise beyond the set time; he has fixed a day for his coming, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, and he will keep it: he is not dilatory,

but is longsuffering to us-ward: not to all the individuals of human nature, for the persons intended by us are manifestly distinguished from “some men” in the text, and from scoffers, mocking at the promise of Christ’s coming, in the context, 2 Peter 3:3; and are expressly called beloved, 2 Peter 3:1; and God’s longsuffering towards them is their salvation, 2 Peter 3:15, nor is it true of all men, that God is not willing that any of them should perish, and that everyone of them should come to repentance, since many of them do perish in their sins, and do not come to repentance, which would not be the case, if his determining will was otherwise; besides, a society or company of men are designed, to which the apostle himself belonged, and of which he was a part; and who are described, in his epistles, as the elect of God, called out of darkness, into marvellous light, and having obtained like precious faith with the apostles; and must be understood either of God’s elect among the Jews, for Peter was a Jew, and they were Jews he wrote to; and then the sense is, that the delay of Christ’s coming is not owing to any slackness in him, but to his longsuffering to his elect among the Jews, being unwilling that any of that number among them should perish, but that all of them repent of their sins, and believe in him; and therefore he waits till their conversion is over, when a nation shall be born at once, and they that have pierced him look on him and mourn, and so all Israel shall be saved; or rather of the elect in general, whether among Jews or Gentiles, upon whom the Lord waits to be gracious, and whose longsuffering issues in their conversion and salvation. And upon account of these the Lord stays his coming till their number is complete in the effectual calling; and for their sakes he is longsuffering to others, and bears with a wicked world, with the idolatry, superstition, heresy, profaneness, and impiety, with which it abounds; but when the last man that belongs to that number is called, he will quickly descend in flames of fire, and burn the world, and the wicked in it, and take his chosen ones to himself. The Alexandrian copy reads, “for you”, or your sakes; and so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions. A passage somewhat like to this is met with in a book of the JewsF6, esteemed by them very ancient.

“God prolongs or defers his anger with men; and one day, which is a thousand years, is fixed, besides the seventy years he delivered to David the king.–And he does not judge man by his evil works which he continually does, for if so, the world would not stand; but the holy blessed God defers his anger with the righteous, and the wicked, that they may return, by perfect repentance, and be established in this world, and in the world to come.’

And it is an observation of theirsF7, that when God is said to be “longsuffering”, it is not written ארך אף, but ארך אפים, intimating, that he is longsuffering both to the righteous and the wicked; but then he bears with the latter, for the sake of the former: compare with this passage Revelation 6:9;

not willing that any should perish; not any of the us, whom he has loved with an everlasting love, whom he has chosen in his Son, and given to him, and for whom he has died, and who are brought to believe in him. These, though they were lost in Adam, did not perish; and though in their own apprehensions, when awakened and convinced, are ready to perish; and though their peace, joy, and comfort, may perish for a while, and they may fear a final and total perishing; yet they shall never perish as others do, or be punished with everlasting destruction: and that this is the will of God, appears by his choice of them to salvation; by the provisions of grace for them in an everlasting covenant; by the security of their persons in the hands of Christ; by sending his Son to obtain salvation for them, and his Spirit to apply it to them; and by his keeping them by his power, through faith, unto salvation.

But that all should come to repentance; not legal, but evangelical, without which all must perish; and which all God’s elect stand in need of, as well as others, being equally sinners; and which they cannot come to of themselves, and therefore he not only calls them to it, in his word, and by his spirit and grace, but bestows it upon them; he has exalted Christ at his own right hand, to give it to them; and repentance is a grant from him, a free gift of his grace; and the Spirit is sent down into their hearts to work it in them, to take away the stony heart, and give an heart of flesh; without which, whatever time and space may be given, or means afforded, even the most awful judgments, the greatest mercies, and the most powerful ministry, will be of no avail.

— Bible Commentaries John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible 2 Peter 3

As day 308 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

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

Have you made the decision or will you become part of the panic?


What do you believe? What have you decided? Where does your hope come from? Do you have faith to overcome fear? If today were the last day of your life, do you know what would happen? Where would you end up? Is there anything that would be able to change that destination? What do you expect? What do you believe? What is the truth? What is just rumors? What is real? What is fake? If you woke up and in the news you see a headline of “Election Eve Asteroid” or “Disaster Declaration” or “Two Storms to hit Gulf” or “Middle East peace with Israel what would you do? what would you think? Would it cause worry? Would it cause hope? Would it cause fear? Would it cause faith? In whom will you put your trust?

The Bible warns us to not be alarmed when we hear of wars and rumors of wars. The Bible warns us of scoffers that will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” There are many posts about the signs of the end times and there are many of them that have happened but still a few more to complete.

If Jesus were to come back to today would you be ready? If you were to be lifted up into heaven with Jesus would you have any regrets of things you could have or should have said or done? If you were left behind after millions of people disappeared would there be anything you would have hoped you would have known or heard or believed?

If you hear the truth will you believe it? Do you have to see it to believe it? What would you have to see for you to believe it? Would anything that anyone could show you or tell you about that God has done in and through their lives help change your mind and save your life? The decision of receiving the gift of Jesus as your Lord and Savior will give you eternal life with God. The decision to wait or reject the gift of Jesus as your Lord and Savior will give you eternal life apart from God. Indecision is a decision that will produce the same outcome as rejection. We know that before Jesus comes back the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

So will today be your day? Will today be the day you share your faith with others because you love deeply? God loves you so much that He sent Jesus! Will you love enough to point others to Jesus?


July is in the rearview mirror
Hindsight is 2020 so they say. So will you learn from the past or be doomed to repeat it? Will you learn through the lessons of others or will you be doomed to go through them all on your own? Will you make a decision that will determine for future for the better or the worse? Will you make time and take time to hear from God and allow Him to give you wisdom and direction today? Will you choose to receive Jesus and lock in your final destination? Don’t you want to know clearly where you are going and will end up?

The 49 week challenge – Day 236

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 236 link to join me and sign up.

The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

2020 is continuing to be in the theme of hindsight is 2020. 2020 is continuing with the previous month being in the rearview mirror. 2020 is a year like no other in my lifetime. 2020 is a year in which many are trying to use it for their own purposes and plans.

There are so many things taking place in 2020. There is a pandemic that is impacting our lives. There are storms that are impacting people’s lives. There are natural disasters that are impacting people’s lives. There are reports of astrological events on the horizon. There were amazing adventures in space like the first launch from USA in a decade and many countries launching vehicles into space on a race to Mars. It sure points to the topic of The Dramatic Increase in Travel and Knowledge. When you hear news of Apple becoming the first trillion dollar market cap company and recently hit two trillion, it sure points to the topic of Exponential Growth Marks the Times.

Last night was an incredible drive-in service on the topic of loving deeply! There are so many events taking place in the world that are trying to stir up bitterness and anger rather than love and hope. God’s Word from 1 Peter 3:1-11 that was shared last night spoke of how deep challenges and struggles provide opportunity for us all to love more deeply. There was a 5pm service yesterday too and there will be a 9am and 11am set of services today where people will get to hear and receive the message too. What will be your part in helping the world love more deeply? Where are you on your journey today? Finish strong!

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Today’s reading gets us started with Acts 21:
    • ‘After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. After saying goodbye to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home. We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ” When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples. When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.” (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.) The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Get rid of him!” As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?” “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?” Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.” After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic :’
      Acts 21:1-40
  • Today’s reading continues with Acts 22:
    • ‘“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ “ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. “ ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him. “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ “ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.” The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered. Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains. The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.’
      Acts 22:1-30
  • As we look into God’s Word today’s reading connects the new with the old starting with Numbers 6:
    • ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. “ ‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long. “ ‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord , the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord . “ ‘If someone dies suddenly in the Nazirite’s presence, thus defiling the hair that symbolizes their dedication, they must shave their head on the seventh day—the day of their cleansing. Then on the eighth day they must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest is to offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to make atonement for the Nazirite because they sinned by being in the presence of the dead body. That same day they are to consecrate their head again. They must rededicate themselves to the Lord for the same period of dedication and must bring a year-old male lamb as a guilt offering. The previous days do not count, because they became defiled during their period of dedication. “ ‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the period of their dedication is over. They are to be brought to the entrance to the tent of meeting. There they are to present their offerings to the Lord : a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and a basket of bread made with the finest flour and without yeast—thick loaves with olive oil mixed in, and thin loaves brushed with olive oil. “ ‘The priest is to present all these before the Lord and make the sin offering and the burnt offering. He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the Lord , together with its grain offering and drink offering. “ ‘Then at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that symbolizes their dedication. They are to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering. “ ‘After the Nazirite has shaved off the hair that symbolizes their dedication, the priest is to place in their hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and one thick loaf and one thin loaf from the basket, both made without yeast. The priest shall then wave these before the Lord as a wave offering; they are holy and belong to the priest, together with the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. After that, the Nazirite may drink wine. “ ‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows offerings to the Lord in accordance with their dedication, in addition to whatever else they can afford. They must fulfill the vows they have made, according to the law of the Nazirite.’ ” The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “ ‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”’
      Numbers 6:1-27
  • Today’s reading then concludes with Jeremiah 26:
    • ‘Early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the Lord : “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord ’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord . Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you, and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse among all the nations of the earth.’ ” The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord . But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the Lord ’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord . When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the Lord and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord ’s house. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!” Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.” Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “ ‘Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’ “Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the Lord and seek his favor? And did not the Lord relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!” (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord ; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men. They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.) Furthermore, Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.’
      Jeremiah 26:1-24

As day 236 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

What would it take for you to realize that now is the time?


God’s timing is perfect! God is good all the time! So if now is the time that God wants you to do something, what would it take to get your attention? Are you in a position where you would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s still quiet voice? Are you in a position that would you need God to be more assertive and use His big booming voice? Are you in a position where you know what God wants and you are needing a whale moment to get back on track like Jonah? Are you in a position where you had to be away from things for a bit and just needed a burning bush moment like Moses?

Let’s say now is the time! This is the day! Today you must begin! What is it going to take to get your attention? What is it going to be that makes you realize your purpose? What is your position and response going to be?

Will you forgive if God is calling you to forgive?

Will you go if God is calling you to go?

Will you return if God is calling you back?

Will you be obedient if God is calling you to something you feel is so much bigger than you can imagine?

Will you need a sign, like a burning bush? Will you need a sign, like a staff that turns into a snake and back? Will you need a sign, like your hand being covered with leprosy and then back? Do you need a sign to be willing to do what God asks?

What is it going to take for you to realize the time is now? Will it be something small and still? large and loud? dramatic and daring? clear and obvious?

We have all been created on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose! Will you grab hold of God’s purpose on your life?


2020 Hindsight 
(clarity of vision)
The 49-Week Challenge 
(Day 131)

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 131 link to join me and sign up.

April is in the rearview mirror

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

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

Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:


My Notes:

  • Does it have to be something amazing to get your attention?
  • Does it have to be something supernatural to get your attention?
  • Could it be a prompting of the Holy Spirit?
  • Would it take something that shook you to your core with fear and trembling?
  • The calling or purpose need to be something big?
  • The calling or purpose need to be something you deem important?
  • Would it require you to perform signs and wondered?
  • Would it require you step out of your comfort zone and into a space of faith?
  • Would you press in and persevere even when trials and troubles show up?
  • What if God is calling you back unto Himself?
  • What if God is calling you to point people back to Himself?
  • What if God is calling you to help people into repentance?
  • What if God is calling you to seek Him in order to live?
  • What if God is calling you to tell other to seek Him in order to live?
  • What if God is calling you to justice or to lift up justice?
  • What if God is calling you to righteousness or to life up righteousness?
  • What if God is calling you to seek good rather than evil?
  • What if God is calling you to hate evil and love good?
  • How bad does it really have to get before we will all turn back to God?
  • Are you part of the remnant that will turn back to God? Or will you resist and refuse God no matter how bad things get?
  • What if God is calling you to be obedience more than sacrifice?
  • Will you need to go through many plagues like the pharaoh of Egypt made the people go through before you will listen, respond, and obey God?
  • Will you be part of the group that hears from God and listens so that you are protected from the plague?
  • Will you be part of the group that hears from God and rejects it so that you are doomed to suffer through the plague?
  • Will you trust God through it all because You know that He is in control and is able to take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good?
  • Will you be part of the redeemed?
  • Will you be part of the voices of the redeemed that say so?
  • Will you receive Jesus who paid the price and become redeemed?
  • Will you choose to give to God what is good rather than bad?
  • Will you choose to give to God something that is of worth?
  • Will you give God your best?
  • Will you give God your first?
  • Will you give God from what He has already given you to show that you can do better with 90% and God’s blessing than holding back and keeping 100% for yourself without God’s blessing?

As day 131 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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

The Sinner’s Prayer

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

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

When He calls you to it…


When He calls you to it, He will have prepared you. When He calls you to it, He will get you through it. When He calls you to it, will you receive it? When He calls you to it, will you believe Him? When He calls you to it, will you trust Him? When He calls you to it, will you do it? What if there were signs?

Trust God’s Word. Trust whatever God calls you to He will walk you through it. Receive God’s power and anointing when it comes upon you and transforms you. Don’t resist! Don’t reject! Obey and walk it out with Him! Remain humble and trusting in God! Don’t allow pride to rob you nor rot you of all God has purposed and planned for you! Pride comes before the fall! Don’t be arrogant! Give glory and acknowledge God!

Turn back to God if you mess up. Turn back to God in humility and ask for forgiveness, confessing what you had done and has caused you to miss the mark. We need to make sure our heart is pure. We need to not be so interested in the outside but rather more on what is on the inside as from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Seek first the kingdom of God!


Today’s reading gets us started with the Saul and Samuel in 1 Samuel 10…

‘Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the Lord has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’ “When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine. They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept. “When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.” As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy. When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?” And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?” When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship. “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant. “We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.” “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked. “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom. Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the Lord at Mizpah. And he said, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you. But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by tribes and clans.” So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the Lord , and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the Lord , and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord , “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the Lord . Then Samuel sent the people home again. So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else. When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them. [Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.]’

— 1 Samuel 10

‘This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it on, but do not wash it.” So I bought the loincloth as the Lord directed me, and I put it on. Then the Lord gave me another message: “Take the linen loincloth you are wearing, and go to the Euphrates River. Hide it there in a hole in the rocks.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as the Lord had instructed me. A long time afterward the Lord said to me, “Go back to the Euphrates and get the loincloth I told you to hide there.” So I went to the Euphrates and dug it out of the hole where I had hidden it. But now it was rotting and falling apart. The loincloth was good for nothing. Then I received this message from the Lord : “This is what the Lord says: This shows how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing! As a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the Lord . They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me. “So tell them, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: May all your jars be filled with wine.’ And they will reply, ‘Of course! Jars are made to be filled with wine!’ “Then tell them, ‘No, this is what the Lord means: I will fill everyone in this land with drunkenness—from the king sitting on David’s throne to the priests and the prophets, right down to the common people of Jerusalem. I will smash them against each other, even parents against children, says the Lord . I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.’” Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before it is too late. Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains. For then, when you look for light, you will find only terrible darkness and gloom. And if you still refuse to listen, I will weep alone because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, because the Lord ’s flock will be led away into exile. Say to the king and his mother, “Come down from your thrones and sit in the dust, for your glorious crowns will soon be snatched from your heads.” The towns of the Negev will close their gates, and no one will be able to open them. The people of Judah will be taken away as captives. All will be carried into exile. Open up your eyes and see the armies marching down from the north! Where is your flock— your beautiful flock— that he gave you to care for? What will you say when the Lord takes the allies you have cultivated and appoints them as your rulers? Pangs of anguish will grip you, like those of a woman in labor! You may ask yourself, “Why is all this happening to me?” It is because of your many sins! That is why you have been stripped and raped by invading armies. Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil. “I will scatter you like chaff that is blown away by the desert winds. This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you,” says the Lord , “for you have forgotten me, putting your trust in false gods. I myself will strip you and expose you to shame. I have seen your adultery and lust, and your disgusting idol worship out in the fields and on the hills. What sorrow awaits you, Jerusalem! How long before you are pure?”’

– Jeremiah 13

‘As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.” “Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.” “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’ “As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world— from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation. “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.’

— Luke 11:37-54

‘Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names. For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father. ” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,’

— Hebrews 1:1-6

‘Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.’

– Psalms 47

Do you see what is going on? Can you see the writing on the wall?


Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you putting the wrong things first? Are you worshipping someone or something other than God? Do you realize the uncertain times? Are you watching governments and countries starting to quarrel or fall? The writing will be on the wall when we see the signs of the times…

4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

–from Matthew 24

In Daniel’s time when the king was becoming too proud to the point of bringing out the special items from the temple and allowing the people at his party to use them, this is when the writing on the wall appeared to the King and require he call for Daniel to help interpret for him.

25“This is the inscription that was written:
mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26“Here is what these words mean:
Mene : God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel : You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres : Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

–from Daniel 5

We need to walk with humility! We need to keep our focus on the real purpose! We need to be worshipping and glorifying God in all we say and do! Don’t set yourself up for troubles by allowing pride to trip you up! Don’t be an adversary to God! Be an ambassador for Him!

Stand up for what is right! Stand up for what is just! Do what is good and what is just! Stand up for what you believe in! Consider Daniel who first got thrown into the fiery furnace with his friends and then as we read in today’s reading from Daniel 6, gets thrown into the den of lions because of people trying to manipulate the situation and the king. Be careful of people who try to sweeten you up in order to manipulate you into doing something that will have grave consequences! Put and keep your trust in God no matter what happens! Put your hope and trust in God even when the world seems to be coming against Him! God’s got a plan and a purpose and we know that in the end, victory and justice belong to the Lord! Even when man can’t rescue you, God can! So let’s live in alignment to God’s will and purpose! Let’s not be swayed but rather let’s live in a way to glorify Him and also be found right in His eyes. Others may look for ways to convict you and some may even try to setup rules that would try to trip you up, but God knows and can hear your calls and cries. God is our salvation! God is with us! There is but one God! His love endures forever! Let us not forget! Let’s share so that others will remember!

Let’s not be proud or haughty! Be at peace and be calm and quieted so that you can be content! Put your trust in God!

Let’s praise the Lord! Let us all praise Him! Let’s praise Him for He is good! Let’s praise the God because He is great! Let’s praise God all the earth! Let’s praise the God for He is good His love endures forever! Let’s trust in God and praise Him!

Let’s be prepared! Let’s hold tight to the truth rather than what others try to find and hear!

So let’s read together the last 2 parts of our reading from the New Testament…

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Personal Remarks

9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lionʼs mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

–2 Timothy 4

The writing’s on the wall! Don’t you see how people turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths! There are so many who don’t want to hear or believe in the truth! So don’t give up! Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. Finish the race! Press on to the end! Trusting in God thru it all in Jesus name I pray!

1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lordʼs people.

Paulʼs Plea for Onesimus

8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

–Philemon 1

Let’s serve the people God has brought into our lives so that we can point them back to Jesus and be restored!


Today’s Reading: Daniel 5, Daniel 6, Psalm 131, Psalm 135, 2 Timothy 4. Philemon 1

Are you able to see the signs of the time?


Do you see what is going on around you? Are you able to tell what it means? How about the seasons? Are you seeing leaves changing color and falling? Are you seeing flowers starting to bloom? [fall in the northern hemisphere vs spring in the southern hemisphere] How about on a spiritual level? What are you seeing happen in the country? What is going on with the world economies? What’s going on with the world governments? Do you see any conspiracies?

Imagine if God spoke to you the words “Maher-shalal-hashbaz” which can be interpreted as “Hurry to the spoils!” or “He has made haste to the plunder!”. Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you be sensitive to what the Spirit says to you? Don’t try to force your way but walk in alignment to God’s will and plan! If He closes a door then know He has something else planned! You can knock to see if it will open, but don’t knock it down because it may be that you need to knock on other doors to find the right one.

Where are you at in regards to your relationship with God? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you on the journey with Him through this thing called life? What will it take for you to jump onboard? What’s holding you back from being all in with and for Jesus? Receive the gift of grace from Jesus! Receive the gift of forgiveness from Jesus! Receive the gift of a hope and a future from Jesus! All you have to do is accept it and receive it!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Assyria Will Rise to Judah’s Neck

1Then Adonai said to me: “Take yourself a great tablet, and write on it with a man’s stylus: ‘Maher-shalal-hashbaz.’” 2So I took for myself trustworthy witnesses—Uriah the kohen and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. 3Then I went to the prophetess; and she conceived and bore a son. Then Adonai said to me: “Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz. 4For before the child will have knowledge to cry ‘my father!’ or ‘my mother!’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.” 5Then Adonai spoke to me further, saying: 6“Because these people have refused the softly flowing waters of Shiloah, and rejoice with Rezin and Remaliah’s son, 7therefore behold, Adonai is bringing on them the waters of the River— mighty and massive— Assyria’s king with all his glory! It will rise over all its channels and spill over all its banks. 8Then it will sweep through Judah, overflow as it passes through, reaching even to the neck! So the spread of its wings will be the full breadth of your land! Immanuel! 9Make an uproar, O peoples— but you will be broken in pieces. Give ear, all you of far countries. Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! 10Take counsel together, but it will amount to nothing. Speak a word, but it will not stand. For God is with us! 11For thus Adonai spoke to me, with a strong hand, warning me that I should not walk in the way of these people, saying: 12 “Do not say: ‘It’s a conspiracy!’ about everything that these people call a conspiracy. You must not fear or tremble at what they fear. 13Adonai-Tzva’ot, Him will you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, trembling at Him. 14He will be a Sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15Many among them will stumble, fall, and be broken, snared and caught. 16Bind up the testimony, seal the instruction with My disciples. 17I will wait for Adonai, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look eagerly for Him. 18Here I am with the children that Adonai has given me as signs and wonders in Israel, from Adonai-Tzva’ot who dwells on Mount Zion. 19When they say to you: “Consult the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people seek their God? Should a people consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20To Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light. 21They will pass this way that are hard-pressed and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God. Whether they turn their faces upward 22or look to the earth, behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.

A Great Light in Galilee

23But there is no gloom to her who was in anguish, as in time past. He treated lightly the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will bring glory— by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan— Galilee of the Gentiles.

–from Isaiah 8

Do you see the light? Will you be light and salt to the world around you? Will you allow the world to hear the good news? Will you be light in this dark world so that people will be able to see the truth? Will you lift up your light so that more is visible? Will you make a difference so that the world can see that there is hope? Will you reflect the light of Jesus to the world around you in darkness just like the moon lights up the sky by reflecting the light of the sun? Will you shine before it’s too late?

Will you point people to the one who can bring true peace into their lives? Jesus the prince of peace! Will you point people who are looking for direction and advice to the one who is given the name of wonderful counselor? Will you align with Him?

1The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine. 2You will multiply the nation. You will increase the joy. They will rejoice before You like the joy in the harvest, as they revel when they divide spoil. 3For You will break the burdensome yoke and the rod on his shoulder— the war-club of his oppressor— as in the day of Midian. 4For every stomping boot quaking and cloak rolled in blood will be for burning— fuel for the fire.

Prince of Peace

5For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 6Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end— on the throne of David and over His kingdom— to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.

Warning About Defiance

7Adonai sent a word to Jacob, and it fell upon Israel. 8All the people will know what Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria say in pride and in arrogance of heart: 9“The bricks are fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones. The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” 10Therefore Adonai raises up Rezin’s adversaries against them, and spurs on his enemies. 11The Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west— they will devour Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 12Yet the people will not turn back to the One who strikes them, nor will they seek Adonai-Tzva’ot. 13So Adonai will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and bulrush in a single day. 14The elder and the man of rank— he is the head. The prophet who teaches falsehood— he is the tail. 15The leaders of this people lead them astray. Those they mislead are swallowed up. 16Therefore Adonai will have no joy in their young men, nor will He have compassion on their orphans and widows, for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 17For wickedness burns like a fire and consumes the briers and thorns It kindles the thickets of the forest, so they roll up in a column of smoke. 18By the wrath of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the land burnt up; The people are as fuel for the fire. No one spares his brother. 19One grabs with the right hand but is hungry, and eats with the left hand but is not satisfied. Everyone will eat the flesh of his own arm— 20Manasseh will devour Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh, both are against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is outstretched.

–from Isaiah 9

Do you know the day in which you live? Do you want to know? Have you asked? Will you ask? Do you know who to ask? Do you realize there is an answer? Turn to God and God’s Word!

Make Me Know the Number of My Days

1For the music director, for Jeduthun, a psalm of David. 2I said: “I will guard my ways, so I will not sin with my tongue. I will muzzle my mouth while the wicked are before me.” 3So I became utterly speechless, kept silent even from good, but my anguish was stirred up. 4My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: 5“Let me know, Adonai, my end and what the number of my days is. Let me know how short-lived I am. 6Behold, You made my days mere hand-breadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Surely all humanity is but vapor. Selah 7Everyone goes about as a mere phantom. Surely they are making an uproar in vain, heaping up stuff— yet not knowing who will gather it. 8And now, my Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. 9Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of a fool. 10I am speechless, not opening my mouth —for You have done it. 11Remove Your scourge from me. I perish by the blow of Your hand. 12With rebukes You chasten one for iniquity and You consume like a moth what he finds pleasure in. Surely all humanity is but a vapor. Selah 13Hear my prayer, Adonai, and listen to my cry— do not keep silent at my tears. For with You I am an outsider, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 14Turn your gaze away from me, so I may smile again, before I go, and am no more.”

–from Psalms 39

Do you realize that no matter where you are at, Jesus can make a way? Miracles go beyond the pages of the bible and are still taking place today! Will you be part of a miracle? Will you be open and available to be a part of a miracle? Will you be willing to respond to God’s prompting and be part of the miracle God wants and needs you to be? Will you ask for what you have need of? Will you seek for what you have need? Will you knock to open up that door to help fill your need? Ask God!

Water to Wine

1On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, 2and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!” 4Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” 6Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. 7Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. 8Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it. 9Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom 10and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” 11Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Yeshua Purges the Temple

12After this Yeshua went down to Capernaum with His mother, brothers, and disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13The Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep, and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there.15Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!” 18The Judean leaders responded, “What sign do You show us, since You are doing these things?” 19“Destroy this Temple,” Yeshua answered them, “and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Judean leaders then said to Him, “Forty-six years this Temple was being built, and You will raise it up in three days?” 21But He was talking about the temple of His body. 22So after He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He was talking about this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken. 23Now when He was in Jerusalem for the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, seeing the signs He was doing. 24But Yeshua did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for He knew what was in man.

–from John 2

Do you realize how much you have to be thankful for? Do you realize the importance of unity? Do you realize the wisdom you need is available through God?

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge— 6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”

–from 1 Corinthians 1

 

 

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

Wondering what to do?


You got this far and now what? You wonder how will you get through it? You wonder how you will get what it will take to make it through?

Imagine living through the various trials and challenges. Imagine seeing your freedom realized. Imagine seeing the Red Sea part so you can escape on dry ground. Imagine getting into the wilderness. Now what? What will you eat? How will you survive?

Where do you turn? Will you remember the miracles of the past and trust God for them? Will you pray and praise Him? Will you wine and complain? Will you trust rather than worry? Will you depend on God for today? Will you not worry about tomorrow and just trust Him for your needs today? Today’s reading begins at just such a time, let’s see how faithful God is…

Manna From Heaven

1They journeyed on from Elim, and the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2But the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3Bnei-Yisrael said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of Adonai in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat, when we ate bread until we were full. But you have brought us into the wilderness, to kill this entire congregation with hunger.” 4Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. The people will go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I can test them to find out whether they will walk according to My Torah or not. 5So on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather day by day.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all Bnei-Yisrael, “In the evening you will know that Adonai has brought you out from the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning, then you will see the glory of Adonai. For He heard your complaining against Him. What are we? You complain against us?” 8Then Moses said, “Adonai will give you meat to eat in the evening and enough bread to fill you in the morning, since Adonai hears your complaints that you mutter against Him, what are we? Your complaining is not against us, but against Adonai!” 9Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, ‘Come near before Adonai, because He has heard your complaining.’” 10Then, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of Adonai appeared in the cloud. 11Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 12“I have heard the complaining of Bnei-Yisrael. Speak to them saying, ‘At dusk you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am Adonai your God.’” 13So when evening fell, quails came up and covered the camp. Moreover, in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp. 14When the layer of dew was gone, on the surface of the desert was a thin, flake-like frost, as fine as the frost on the ground. 15When Bnei-Yisrael saw it, they said one to another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Then Moses said to them, “It is the bread that Adonai has given you to eat. 16This is the word that Adonai has commanded. Every man is to gather according to his needs, an omer per person, according to the number of people per household. Each man is to take it for those who are in his tent.” 17Bnei-Yisrael did so, and some gathered more, some less. 18When they measured it with an omer, those who gathered more had nothing left over, and those that gathered less did not lack at all. Every man gathered according to his appetite. 19Also Moses said to them, “Let no one save any of it until the morning.” 20However, they did not listen to Moses. Some of them preserved it until the morning—but it bred worms and rotted. So Moses was angry with them. 21So they gathered it morning by morning, each man according to his needs, and as the sun became hot it melted. 22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each individual. So all the leaders of the community came and informed Moses. 23But he said to them, “This is what Adonai has said. Tomorrow is a Shabbat rest, a holy Shabbat to Adonai. Bake whatever you would bake, and boil what you would boil. Store up for yourselves everything that remains, to be kept until the morning.” 24So they set it aside until the morning, just as Moses instructed, and it did not rot nor were there any worms. 25Then Moses said, “Eat that today, because today is a Shabbat to Adonai. Today you will not find it in the field. 26You are to gather it for six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat, and there will be none.” 27Yet on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and they found none. 28Adonai said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My mitzvot and My Torah? 29See, Adonai has given you the Shabbat, so on the sixth day He gives you the bread of two days. Let every man stay in his place, and let no man go out on the seventh day.” 30So the people rested on the seventh day. 31The house of Israel named it manna . It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32Then Moses said, “This is what Adonai has commanded. Let a full omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.” 33Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put a full omer of manna inside. Store it up before Adonai, to be kept throughout your generations.” 34Just as Adonai commanded Moses, Aaron stored it up in front of the Testimony, to be preserved. 35Bnei-Yisrael ate the manna for 40 years. They ate the manna until they came to an inhabited land, when they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. 36Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
–from Exodus 16

Don’t forget how much you can trust God! Don’t forget how He has and will meet your needs! Don’t forget what He’s done in you and through you and for you! Trust Him because He is trustworthy and faithful! Don’t worry about it – lean into and onto God! Will you stand by the leader God has given you? Will you come alongside and hold up their arms to ensure that victory is achieved? Don’t be a whiner! Don’t be a complainer! Trust God! Don’t allow trials and tests to trip you up!

Test and Quarreling

1All the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael journeyed from the wilderness of Sin in stages, according to the command of Adonai, and camped in Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Adonai?” 3But the people thirsted for water there, and they complained against Moses and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? To kill us with thirst, along with our children and cattle?” 4So Moses cried out to Adonai saying, “What am I to do for these people? They are about ready to stone me.” 5Adonai said to Moses, “Walk before the people, and take of the elders of Israel with you, along with your staff with which you struck the river. Take it in your hand and go. 6Behold, I will stand before you, there upon the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink.” Then Moses did just so in the eyes of the elders of Israel. 7The name of the place was called Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of Bnei-Yisrael, and because they tested Adonai saying, “Is Adonai among us, or not?”

War Against Amalek

8Then the Amalekites came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men, go out, and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10So Joshua did as Moses said, and fought the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. But when he let down his hand, the Amalekites prevailed. 12Moses’ hands grew heavy, so they took a stone, put it under him, and he sat down. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands were steady until the sun went down. 13So Joshua overpowered the Amalekites and his army with the edge of the sword. 14Adonai said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the hearing of Joshua, for I will utterly blot out the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven.” 15Then Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-Nissi. 16Then he said, “By the hand upon the throne of Adonai, Adonai will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

You realize that everything is God’s? The earth and everything in it and on it! You realize He made it all and know how it all works and can use it for His glory! Will you allow Jesus to work in and through you to prepare you to be able to meet with God?

The King of Glory

1A psalm of David. The earth is Adonai’s and all that fills it— the world, and those dwelling on it. 2For He founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. 3Who may go up on the mountain of Adonai? `Who may stand in His holy place? 4One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully. 5He will receive a blessing from Adonai, righteousness from God his salvation. 6Such is the generation seeking Him, seeking Your face, even Jacob! Selah 7Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in. 8“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai strong and mighty, Adonai mighty in battle! 9Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in. 10“Who is this King of glory?” Adonai-Tzva’ot—He is the King of glory! Selah
–from Psalms 24

Do you realize what it will take? Faith! Not works, just faith! Will you have and show your trust and confidence in God? Will you believe in the things unseen and hoped for? Will you trust God with it all? Believing credited Abraham with righteousness and to be called a friend of God!

Abraham Set Right by Faith

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2For if Abraham was set right by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4Now to the one who works, the pay is not credited as a gift, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but trusts in Him who justifies the ungodly, his trust is credited as righteousness— 6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man whose sin Adonai will never count against him.” 9Is this blessing then only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? For we say, “trust was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10In what state then was it credited? While circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised! 11And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of the trust he had while he was uncircumcised, so he might be the father of all who are trusting while uncircumcised—that righteousness might be credited to them as well. 12Also he is the father of the circumcised, to those not only circumcised but also walking in the footsteps of the trust of our father Abraham before his circumcision.

Trusting in the Promise

13For the promise to Abraham or to his seed—to become heir of the world—was not through law, but through the righteousness based on trust. 14For if those who are of the Torah are heirs, trust has become empty and the promise is made ineffective. 15For the Torah brings about wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there a violation. 16For this reason it depends on trust, so that the promise according to grace might be guaranteed to all the offspring—not only to those of the Torah but also to those of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all 17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”). He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist. 18In hope beyond hope, he trusted that he would become the father of many nations according to what was spoken—“So shall your descendants be.” 19And without becoming weak in faith, he considered his own body—as good as dead, since he was already a hundred years old—and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20Yet he did not waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God. Rather, he was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21He was fully convinced that what God has promised, He also is able to do. 22That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23Now not only for his sake was it written that it was credited to him, 24but for our sake as well. It is credited to us as those who trust in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead. 25He was handed over for our transgressions and raised up for the sake of setting us right.
–from Romans 4

So will you believe it? Will you live it? Will you?

Will you choose before it is to late? Will you be prepared before it is too late? We all have a chance to choose! Some will choose to believe and be saved! Some will choose to not believe! Some will choose to wait on making any decision. Choose wisely and before it is too late! Watch for the signs! Don’t be fooled! Let’s be faithful that we may spend eternity with God!

1Now when Yeshua went out and was going away from the Temple, His disciples came up to point out to Him the Temple buildings. 2“Don’t you see all these?” He responded to them. “Amen, I tell you, not one stone will be left here on top of another—every one will be torn down!”

Signs of the End of Time

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray! 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 7For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15“So when you see ‘the abomination of desolation,’ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17The one on the roof must not go down to take what is in his house, 18and the one in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20Pray that your escape will not happen in winter, or on Shabbat. 21For then there will be great trouble, such as has not happened since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22And unless those days were cut short, no one would be delivered. But for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“So if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. Or, ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28For wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather. 29“But immediately after the trouble of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Watching for Messiah’s Return

32“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 36But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone. 37“For just as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left. 42Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The Faithful Servant

45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow servants, and he eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51And he will cut him in two and assign his place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
–from Matthew 24

 

 

 

What’s coming…


How much will it take for you to get it? Will you respond before it is too late? Will you see the signs and still go your own way? Will you think you are ok because of the blessings you have today? Will you realize and remember that God is just and as such justice is coming? There is hope for those who will turn to Jesus and receive Him. There is still time because God is a patient God. Turn back and receive what He has to offer before it is too late!


Last night as I was serving I took some notes and am putting them here to share.


When you consider what’s going to happen, you need to realize that the only hope we have is Jesus. The book of Revelation is revealing Jesus.  Jesus is my hope, how about you?

As we consider the first 3.5 years of the tribulation, lets see what we can find…

  • Traits that emerge
    • (1) God is JUST and justice is coming
  • One day God is going to right every wrong
  • Rev 5 – we see the revelation of the scroll and that nobody was able to unseal it because nobody was worthy causing John to weep
    • it was the title deed to the world
    • If the scroll couldn’t be opened there was no hope
  • Rev 6 – Lamb opens
    • Matt 24:21-22
      • 21For the trouble at that time will be far more terrible than any there has ever been, from the beginning of the world to this very day. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 22But God has already reduced the number of days; had he not done so, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, God will reduce the days.
    • (1a) God judges with patience
    • v9-11 … we see the in the 5th seal being open that the souls of the martyrs are asking how much longer till judgment day and they are avenged. They are given white robes and told to be patient because it is going to be a bit longer.
      • 2 Peter 3:9
        • 9The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.
      • God doesn’t want anyone to be lost and keeps trying all the way to the end, but there are still people who won’t turn back to Him and repent of their ways.
      • God still loves this world. He doesn’t love the evil taking place though.
      • God’s patience isn’t something to be toyed with nor abused, nor taken for granted
      • Romans 2:4
        • 4Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.
        • Don’t misinterpret or mistake patience for God being ok with how we are living
      • God sent judges in the book of Judges – they were sent to deliver the people from the sin
      • We need to keep sharing the good news
      • Consider Noah… it took 120 years to build the boat
        • people had 120 years to take God seriously
        • people had 120 years to change their ways
        • people had 120 years to get into the Ark
        • Noah was a creature of righteousness and blameless
        • He preached righteousness, yet nobody believed
        • Matt 24:38
          • 38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; 39yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes.
    • (1b) God’s judgment is progressive
      • there is a limit to His patience
      • Three 7s show the progression, the opportunities for people to turn, the chances to change
        • 7 seals
        • 7 trumpets
        • 7 bowls
      • It was progressing through each…7 chances through each seal. 7 chances through each trumpet. 7 chances through each bowl
      • Repent, turn back and God could stop the judgment against you
        • But as we read there are still people who don’t and won’t
      • The progression is like birth pain which get stronger and harder and more frequent
        • 1st seal – Conqueror
        • 2nd seal – World War breaks out
        • 3rd seal – Affects of World War on the world – famine and poverty
        • 4th seal – wide spread death
        • 5th seal – martyrs asking when and God saying to be patient, still a bit more time
        • It’s interesting to consider what John is seeing as he tries to describe it since you know he hasn’t seen anything like this before and is saying things like “it was like” “as a” could it be some of the sophisticated military machines that we have or are yet to come? could it be …
        • Rev 7:1 – could you imagine no wind at all
        • Rev 8 – could you imagine 1/2 hour of complete silence in heaven?
      • New progression starts as opportunities to turn back to God continue (144000 Jewish saved)
        • Trumpet 1 – 1/3 of the earth destroyed
        • Trumpet 2 – 1/3 of the sea destroyed
        • Trumpet 3 – 1/3 of the rivers and streams
        • Trumpet 4 – 1/3 of the sky destroyed (sun, moon, stars, goes dark)
        • Trumpet 5 – Torture of man begins…they will wish they were dead and could die, but won’t
        • Trumpet 6 – 1/3 of the human race killed
        • Trumpet 7 – Judgment, Reward, Destruction begins now
      • Consider two farmers…one who believes and one who doesn’t. One who doesn’t work the field on the Sabbath and one who does. The one who goes against God’s way gets a better harvest and questions the other farmer. The other farmer’s response was “God doesn’t settle accounts in October”. God’s timing is perfect and everyone who doesn’t turn back to God will deal with the judgment because they haven’t been written in the book of life.
      • So don’t judge what is taking place today to mean what will happen, God’s timing is perfect. God is just, and justice is coming.
      • There will be a time when everyone has to give an account
  • (1) God is just
  • (2) God is merciful
    • 144000 Jewish evangelists
    • 2 witnesses speaking to try and convince more
      • some think it may be Moses and Elijah
      • We see in Rev 11 that they are killed, raised back to life, and then raised up to heaven
      • 1/10 of Israel gets destroyed
    • Rev 14:6-7 – Before final judgment, He sends an angel to share salvation
      • 6Then I saw another angel flying high in the air, with an eternal message of Good News to announce to the peoples of the earth, to every race, tribe, language, and nation. 7He said in a loud voice, “Honor God and praise his greatness! For the time has come for him to judge all people. Worship him who made heaven, earth, sea, and the springs of water!”
    • God reaches out through it all trying to get people to turn to Him, to repent
    • People still don’t turn back

God is Just! Jesus is our only hope

We need to deal with the sin problem and only Jesus can deal with it!

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight!


Last night as I looked up in the sky and saw the beautiful redish sky the thought came to mind from back when I was a child “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” As I said that God’s Word popped into my head asking if I could interpret the time in which I am living. Looking it up so I can quote it here, I found Matthew 16:3. As I read it I was so surprised at it’s words based on what had taken place last night…

2But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3“And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?

–from Matthew 16

Tonight while at a board meeting the topic of the Star of Bethlehem came up, the star that the wise men followed in looking to find Jesus. It’s been over 2000 years since the last time and it is in the news for it will appear in the sky tonight!

When we read about the star we hear about how Jesus was about 2-3 years old as they found Him in His house.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

–from Matthew 2

Have you noticed the timing of the blood moons this year?

Jewish Feasts and Blood Moons

Coincidences? Flukes? Or could there be something more to all of this?

Are you ready? What if today was the day? Are you ready? Do you know where you would be?

Setup my phone to do a bit of time-lapse…

http://Time lapse of the sky

Signs of the times…


Do you see what is going on all around you? Are you able to tell what is coming? Are you seeing the signs going on all around? Do you see what is going on around the world? Do you see what is going on with the politics of the world? Do you see what is going on with the financial world? Do you see what is going on nationally and across the nations? Do you see where there is agreement? Do you see where there are disagreements?

What does that mean for you? What does it mean for your family? What does it mean for your neighborhood? What does it mean to your region? What does it mean to the world?

Are you noticing the signs of the times?


This morning we hear about some times that were being discussed by Jesus…

Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of Jerusalem

(Matthew 24.15-21; Mark 13.14-19)
20“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills; those who are in the city must leave, and those who are out in the country must not go into the city. 22 For those will be ‘The Days of Punishment,’ to make come true all that the Scriptures say. 23How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! Terrible distress will come upon this land, and God’s punishment will fall on this people. 24Some will be killed by the sword, and others will be taken as prisoners to all countries; and the heathen will trample over Jerusalem until their time is up.

The Coming of the Son of Man

(Matthew 24.29-31; Mark 13.24-27)
25  “There will be strange things happening to the sun, the moon, and the stars. On earth whole countries will be in despair, afraid of the roar of the sea and the raging tides. 26People will faint from fear as they wait for what is coming over the whole earth, for the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 27 Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your salvation is near.” –from Luke 21

I remember when I started to blog back in 2005 and how it spoke to me how the time is getting closer as it started in the book or Revelation. Every year when I read through the Bible and get to the book of Revelation, it seems to continue to feel even closer than it did that first year. The signs of the time. Take a look around so that you won’t be surprised. Be prepared!

It may not be easy, but it will be worth it! In this world we will face trials and challenges, but that’s not a bad thing. Jesus told us in James 1 to consider it all joy when we face trials. Jesus also tells us in John 33 that in this world we will face challenges, but to not lose hope for He has overcome the world!

Today’s reading speaks to this in Hebrews 2

10It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share his glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation. 11He purifies people from their sins, and both he and those who are made pure all have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family. 12 He says to God, “I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their meeting.” 13  He also says, “I will put my trust in God.” And he also says, “Here I am with the children that God has given me.” 14Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, 15and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. 16 For it is clear that it is not the angels that he helps. Instead, he helps the descendants of Abraham. 17This means that he had to become like his people in every way, in order to be their faithful and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people’s sins would be forgiven. 18And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered. –from Hebrews 2

What will you do when you don’t know what to do? Do what you know to do! Where will you turn when you don’t know where to turn? Turn to God! Need wisdom? Seek it with all you are! Turn to God’s Word! Today’s reading continues into Proverbs…

1Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It’s stupid to get drunk. 2Fear an angry king as you would a growling lion; making him angry is suicide. 3Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them. 4A farmer too lazy to plow his fields at the right time will have nothing to harvest. 5A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out. 6Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is! 7Children are fortunate if they have a father who is honest and does what is right. 8The king sits in judgment and knows evil when he sees it. 9Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin? 10The Lord hates people who use dishonest weights and measures. 11Even children show what they are by what they do; you can tell if they are honest and good. 12The Lord has given us eyes to see with and ears to listen with. 13If you spend your time sleeping, you will be poor. Keep busy and you will have plenty to eat. 14The customer always complains that the price is too high, but then he goes off and brags about the bargain he got. 15If you know what you are talking about, you have something more valuable than gold or jewels. –from Proverbs 20

Be prepared…


Are you ready? Do you know what you would do? Do you know what you will do? Do you understand the signs and the warnings? Do you realize what you will need to do? Be prepared in advance!

The Awful Horror

(Matthew 24.15-28; Luke 21.20-24)
14“You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ standing in the place where he should not be.” (Note to the reader: understand what this means!) “Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills. 15Someone who is on the roof of a house must not lose time by going down into the house to get anything to take along. 16Someone who is in the field must not go back to the house for a cloak. 17How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! 18Pray to God that these things will not happen in the winter! 19For the trouble of those days will be far worse than any the world has ever known from the very beginning when God created the world until the present time. Nor will there ever be anything like it again.
20But the Lord has reduced the number of those days; if he had not, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, he has reduced those days. 21“Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’—do not believe it. 22For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will perform miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God’s chosen people, if possible. 23Be on your guard! I have told you everything ahead of time.

— from Mark 13:16-23

Remember what you have been told! Remember the signs! Remember the instructions! Be prepared! Don’t be fooled! Don’t be tricked! Be prepared! He will be coming back! Just not like a normal person! Remember so that you aren’t tricked!

The Coming of the Son of Man

(Matthew 24.29-31; Luke 21.25-28)
24“In the days after that time of trouble the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, 25the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 26 Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27He will send the angels out to the four corners of the earth to gather God’s chosen people from one end of the world to the other.

— from Mark 13:24-27

He will be coming back like He left! He will be coming in the clouds with great power and glory! Be ready for His return! Remember the signs! Remember the lessons you have learned! Remember His instruction! Remember His message! Get ready! Be prepared when you spot the signs! Take a look around you…Are you getting ready?

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

(Matthew 24.32-35; Luke 21.29-33)
28“Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near. 29In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin. 30Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

— from Mark 13:28-31


There is a reason why my blog is called from 2005 to Eternity and it started back in 2005 when my devotionals were coming from the book of Revelation which was seeming pretty close. Every year when I get to that book in my readings, it feels even closer! Consider the signs! Consider the time! Consider your heart! Are you ready! Are you prepared?


How will you get ready? What will you tolerate? How will you respond? Are you serving? Are you positioning yourself?

Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

16I repeat: no one should think that I am a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a fool, just so I will have a little to boast of. 17Of course what I am saying now is not what the Lord would have me say; in this matter of boasting I am really talking like a fool. 18But since there are so many who boast for merely human reasons, I will do the same. 19You yourselves are so wise, and so you gladly tolerate fools! 20You tolerate anyone who orders you around or takes advantage of you or traps you or looks down on you or slaps you in the face. 21I am ashamed to admit that we were too timid to do those things! But if anyone dares to boast about something—I am talking like a fool—I will be just as daring. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23Are they Christ’s servants? I sound like a madman—but I am a better servant than they are! I have worked much harder, I have been in prison more times, I have been whipped much more, and I have been near death more often. 24Five times I was given the thirty-nine lashes by the Jews; 25three times I was whipped by the Romans; and once I was stoned. I have been in three shipwrecks, and once I spent twenty-four hours in the water. 26In my many travels I have been in danger from floods and from robbers, in danger from my own people and from Gentiles; there have been dangers in the cities, dangers in the wilds, dangers on the high seas, and dangers from false friends. 27There has been work and toil; often I have gone without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty; I have often been without enough food, shelter, or clothing. 28And not to mention other things, every day I am under the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29When someone is weak, then I feel weak too; when someone is led into sin, I am filled with distress. 30If I must boast, I will boast about things that show how weak I am. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus—blessed be his name forever!—knows that I am not lying. 32When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas placed guards at the city gates to arrest me. 33But I was let down in a basket through an opening in the wall and escaped from him.

— from 2 Corinthians 11:16-33


How will your story glorify God? How will the trials and the testing shine His love and His light into the world around you? What words of encouragement do you have to share? What wisdom have you to share? What help can you offer out of your weakness? How can God’s strength be revealed in and through it all?


Those that don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it! Those who forget the past aren’t prepared! Those who forget where there hope comes from aren’t ready for what is yet to come! Don’t forget! Remember what you have been told and what you have learned so that you will be prepared!

24Then they rejected the pleasant land, because they did not believe God’s promise.
25They stayed in their tents and grumbled and would not listen to the Lord.
26So he have them a solemn warning that he would make them die in the desert
27and scatter their descendants among the heathen, letting them die in foreign countries.
28Then at Peor, God’s people joined in the worship of Baal and ate sacrifices offered to dead gods.
29They stirred up the Lord’s anger by their actions, and a terrible disease broke out among them.
30But Phinehas stood up and punished the guilty, and the plague was stopped.
31This has been remembered in his favor ever since and will be for all time to come.
32At the springs of Meribah the people made the Lord angry, and Moses was in trouble on their account.
33They made him so bitter that he spoke without stopping to think.
34They did not kill the heathen, as the Lord had commanded them to do,
35but they intermarried with them and adopted their pagan ways.
36God’s people worshiped idols, and this caused their destruction.
37They offered their own sons and daughters as sacrifices to the idols of Canaan.
38They killed those innocent children, and the land was defiled by those murders.
39They made themselves impure by their actions and were unfaithful to God.
40So the Lord was angry with his people; he was disgusted with them.
41He abandoned them to the power of the heathen, and their enemies ruled over them.
42They were oppressed by their enemies and were in complete subjection to them.
43Many times the Lord rescued his people, but they chose to rebel against him and sank deeper into sin.
44Yet the Lord heard them when they cried out, and he took notice of their distress.
45For their sake he remembered his covenant, and because of his great love he relented.
46He made all their oppressors feel sorry for them.
47Save us, O Lord our God, and bring us back from among the nations, so that we may be thankful and praise your holy name.
48Praise the Lord, the God of Israel; praise him now and forever! Let everyone say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!

11 from Psalm 106:24-48

What’s going on?


Do you see the signs of what is to come? Do you see the signs of the times? So what are you doing about it? What will you do with this information? Will you deny the truth and create your own version of reality? Will ignore the facts in order to setup your own agenda? Will receive and accept the truth and the facts and grab onto them so that you are able to walk forward in it?

We see Jesus’ response when people came to Him in an attempt to trick Him because they didn’t believe and didn’t receive the miracles that He had already done. He offered them the only miracle they would get to see of being His resurrection after being dead and buried for three days. He put it in this ways:

The Demand for a Miracle

(Mark 8.11-13; Luke 12.54-56)
1 Some Pharisees and Sadducees who came to Jesus wanted to trap him, so they asked him to perform a miracle for them, to show that God approved of him. 2But Jesus answered, “When the sun is setting, you say, ‘We are going to have fine weather, because the sky is red.’ 3And early in the morning you say, ‘It is going to rain, because the sky is red and dark.’ You can predict the weather by looking at the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs concerning these times! 4 How evil and godless are the people of this day! You ask me for a miracle? No! The only miracle you will be given is the miracle of Jonah.” So he left them and went away.
— from Matthew 16 (GNT)

It doesn’t take much to ruin a good thing. It only takes a little to ruin the batch. Be careful what you allow into your life, your mind, and your heart! Be aware of what is taking place in and around you. Be prepared for what is to come. Trust God who can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Remember how important we are to Him. Don’t allow lies and rumors to get you off track. Hold onto the hand of Jesus and walk this life trusting in Him!

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

(Mark 8.14-21)
5When the disciples crossed over to the other side of the lake, they forgot to take any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Take care; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7They started discussing among themselves, “He says this because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8Jesus knew what they were saying, so he asked them, “Why are you discussing among yourselves about not having any bread? What little faith you have! 9Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand men? How many baskets did you fill? 10 And what about the seven loaves for the four thousand men? How many baskets did you fill?11How is it that you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? Guard yourselves from the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”
12Then the disciples understood that he was not warning them to guard themselves from the yeast used in bread but from the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
— from Matthew 16 (GNT)

You don’t overcome yelling with more yelling. Try lowering your voice and see the response. See if rather than creating a bigger uproar, you end up calming the situation down. Don’t get drawn into a shouting match, keep your composure and act the way you are supposed to. It’s amazing what will happen. Know your audience!

1“My fellow Jews, listen to me as I make my defense before you!” 2When they heard him speaking to them in Hebrew, they became even quieter; and Paul went on:
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up here in Jerusalem as a student of Gamaliel. I received strict instruction in the Law of our ancestors and was just as dedicated to God as are all of you who are here today. 4 I persecuted to the death the people who followed this Way. I arrested men and women and threw them into prison. 5The High Priest and the whole Council can prove that I am telling the truth. I received from them letters written to fellow Jews in Damascus, so I went there to arrest these people and bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

(Acts 9.1-19; 26.12-18)
6“As I was traveling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute,’ he said to me. 9The men with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10I asked, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ and the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that God has determined for you to do.’ 11I was blind because of the bright light, and so my companions took me by the hand and led me into Damascus.
12“In that city was a man named Ananias, a religious man who obeyed our Law and was highly respected by all the Jews living there.13He came to me, stood by me, and said, ‘Brother Saul, see again!’ At that very moment I saw again and looked at him.14He said, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see his righteous Servant, and to hear him speaking with his own voice. 15For you will be a witness for him to tell everyone what you have seen and heard. 16And now, why wait any longer? Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by praying to him.’

Paul’s Call to Preach to the Gentiles

17“I went back to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the Temple, I had a vision, 18in which I saw the Lord, as he said to me, ‘Hurry and leave Jerusalem quickly, because the people here will not accept your witness about me.’ 19‘Lord,’ I answered, ‘they know very well that I went to the synagogues and arrested and beat those who believe in you.20 And when your witness Stephen was put to death, I myself was there, approving of his murder and taking care of the cloaks of his murderers.’ 21‘Go,’ the Lord said to me, ‘for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
22The people listened to Paul until he said this; but then they started shouting at the top of their voices, “Away with him! Kill him! He’s not fit to live!” 23They were screaming, waving their clothes, and throwing dust up in the air. 24The Roman commander ordered his men to take Paul into the fort, and he told them to whip him in order to find out why the Jews were screaming like this against him. 25But when they had tied him up to be whipped, Paul said to the officer standing there, “Is it lawful for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried for any crime?”
26When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked him, “What are you doing? That man is a Roman citizen!”
27So the commander went to Paul and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes,” answered Paul.
28The commander said, “I became one by paying a large amount of money.”
“But I am one by birth,” Paul answered.
29At once the men who were going to question Paul drew back from him; and the commander was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had put him in chains.
Paul before the Council
30The commander wanted to find out for sure what the Jews were accusing Paul of; so the next day he had Paul’s chains taken off and ordered the chief priests and the whole Council to meet. Then he took Paul and made him stand before them.
— from Acts 22 (GNT)

Don’t worry! Don’t be jealous! Trust in God and do good! Wanting to be happy? Seek for your happiness in the Lord! Give yourself fully to the Lord! Be patient and avoid trying to rush things, wait on God for His perfect timing! Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble! So let’s walk in obedience to God today and allow His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The Destiny of the Wicked and of the Good

1Don’t be worried on account of the wicked;
don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.
2They will soon disappear like grass that dries up;
they will die like plants that wither.
3Trust in the Lord and do good;
live in the land and be safe.
4Seek your happiness in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.
5Give yourself to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will help you;
6he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.
7Be patient and wait for the Lord to act;
don’t be worried about those who prosper
or those who succeed in their evil plans.
8Don’t give in to worry or anger;
it only leads to trouble.
9Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land,
but the wicked will be driven out.
10Soon the wicked will disappear;
you may look for them, but you won’t find them;
11 but the humble will possess the land
and enjoy prosperity and peace.
12The wicked plot against good people
and glare at them with hate.
13But the Lord laughs at wicked people,
because he knows they will soon be destroyed.
14The wicked draw their swords and bend their bows
to kill the poor and needy,
to slaughter those who do what is right;
15but they will be killed by their own swords,
and their bows will be smashed.
16The little that a good person owns
is worth more than the wealth of all the wicked,
17because the Lord will take away the strength of the wicked,
but protect those who are good.
18The Lord takes care of those who obey him,
and the land will be theirs forever.
19They will not suffer when times are bad;
they will have enough in time of famine.
20But the wicked will die;
the enemies of the Lord will vanish like wild flowers;
they will disappear like smoke.
21The wicked borrow and never pay back,
but good people are generous with their gifts.
22Those who are blessed by the Lord will possess the land,
but those who are cursed by him will be driven out.
— from Psalm 37 (GNT)