Category Archives: Story

How far back can you go to better understand your family tree?


Would you consider the 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this? What if it meant giving up something for those 3 days? What if it meant you had to give them up starting tomorrow? Would it have to be significant for you to even consider it? Would it have to be person for you to do it?

Day 5: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 5

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 5 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

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

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


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


My Notes:

  • How well do you know your family? How well do you know or understand the dysfunction of your family? How well do you know how God was able to work in and through your family?
  • What if there was a story of God’s promises?
  • What if there was a story of God’s provision?
  • What if there was a story of God’s salvation?
  • What if there was a story of someone who would deprive someone of their rights?
  • What if there was a story of betrayal and deception?
  • What if there was a pattern? What if there were a fix number of generations between major events?
  • What if there is a story of someone being wicked in God’s sight and required him be put to death?
  • What if there is a story of duty and disobedience to God’s command?
  • What if there is a story of deception and lying?
  • What if there is a story of dress up or disguise and justice?
  • What if there was a story of how something done in secret was brought into the light and revealed?
  • What if there is a story of even as a child about to be born, the child reached out in order to become the first born even though he came out second?
  • What if there is a story of visions and encounters with God?
  • What if there is a story of promises from God?
  • What if there is a story of God’s preparation for His people?
  • What if there was a story about what man had planned for evil that got turned around and used for good by God?
  • What if there was a story of reunion between father and son, who had believed to be dead but was alive?
  • Will you consecrate your things to God?
  • Will you take from what God has given you to give back to Him as an offering? The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Will you give out of reverence to the Lord?

Questions to consider:

  • What do you learn about God, about yourself, or about the world?
  • Is there one verse or thought that stands out to you today?

As day 5 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

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

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


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

COLUMBUS AND THE PSALMS…(The Bible’s Impact on Trade and Taxes [June 10])


Have you ever read through the Bible and found a character that you can relate to? Have you ever read the Bible and found a book or story that you can relate to? I have had several but the two that jump out to me most are Philip the evangelist and the story of the promised son. You may wonder why or how but the story of Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters who were prophetess. I had a baby girl who was able to see things before they were there and I was feeling that I was going to have 4 daughters after making this connection. I have 2 now and as I read the book Heaven is for real, I go to the point where the little boy speaks of his sister he met in heaven which made me cry with tears of joy that my other 2 are already with God in heaven. It’s powerful and it reminds me of how much God loves us and knows us so intimately. After reading this you may wonder how the story of the promised son could play into this when I was thinking of having 4 girls. Well one morning as I was preparing to start my morning reading, I ask God for confirmation of the 4 girls or if I would have a son. I told Him, I would be ok either way but would really like to know. That morning to my amazement my reading spoke of Abraham and Sarah and the promised son Isaac. At that moment I received confirmation and changed the boy name I had on my list to Isaac because I knew I would be getting a son and so to remind me of this confirmation I changed the name I had for a boy from Benjamin to Isaac.

God’s Word is alive! God’s Word never returns void! So any question I get I turn to God!

This morning’s reading comes from Psalms 2

The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed

1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

from Psalm 2

What came to mind when you read the word Son? What came to mind when you read this psalm?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the impact of the Bible on trade and taxes points us to Psalm 2:7-8 and its impact on Christopher Columbus.

‘ I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.’

— from Psalms 2:7-8 

Today’s devotional first speaks of the 1502 book called El Libro de las Profecias (The Book of Prophesies) where Christopher Columbus sites several Psalms that he identified with himself and his discoveries of the New World.

Examples:

Psalm 19:4 – Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

Psalm 72:10 – May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!

Psalm 97:1 – The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!

Columbus even identified himself with the “Son” from Psalm 2:7-8.

So how about you? Are you willing to spend time in God’s Word and allow Him to speak to you through it and through the Holy Spirit? Are you willing to bring Your cares to God and allow God’s Word to speak to you? Are you willing to receive comfort and guidance, wisdom and discernment through the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit right where you are at today? Is today Your day to begin the journey?

Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or question.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. Thank You Lord for a great yesterday to celebrate. Lord give me words to speak, wisdom to think, and discernment to guide my path today so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Facing evil and looking for a way to handle it?


Not sure where to turn? Not sure where to go? Not sure how to respond? Looking for hope? Looking for ideas? Looking for a way that will break the cycle?

Let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers! Amid adversity, we can find hope and a future!

Let’s not allow evil to win by responding their way, let’s fight evil using love and truth! Let’s overcome evil through love and doing good!

Don’t be deceived that it will be easy! We can hold to the truth that in this world we will have troubles but we can also take hold of the truth that thanks to Jesus who overcame the world we can walk in hope and strength! We hold to the truth that because we know in whom we believe that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because of the work it will do in us! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The place to turn is the Bible! It is a handbook to help us through life! It can help ground us when we are at our mountain top times! It can lift us up when we are feeling down and out in the valley times! It can point us in the right direction when we are sure what to do! It can encourage us when we need motivation! With Jesus we can be more than conquerors because He strengthens us!

Let’s consider some words of wisdom from the Bible…

33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –from John 16:33

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –from Romans 8:31-39
13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. –from Proverbs 25:21

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. –from 1 John 4:4

4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. –from 1 John 5:4-5

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” –from John 10:28-30

The book of Revelation has many verses we can check too that can be meditated upon:

  • Revelation 2:7-11
  • Revelation 2:17
  • Revelation 2:26
  • Revelation 3:5-12
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Revelation 12:11

So let’s conquer evil by doing good! Let’s conquer evil by serving others! Let’s conquer evil by loving others! Let’s take hold of who Jesus is and share that truth, love and power with the world around us! Let’s take hold of the truth found in God’s Word (the Bible) and use it, share it, pass it along!

Let’s stick with Jesus and be overcomers! If God is for us who can be against us!

Let’s give God the glory! Let’s testify to what God has done in and through our lives! Our stories can speak life to someone who is questioning! Our stories can provide hope in the midst of turmoil! Our stories can point people to Jesus who can break strongholds of the devil and set them free! Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word on the topic of Getting out of the boat… Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word and a crisis to help break a bitterness and anger foothold through forgiveness…Imagine telling a story to someone who watched you walk through some really tough times and the day before you were to start a new journey how your reading that day was from Job 42:12 and the promise that gave you for the future…Imagine the story you can tell to allow others to be freed by the love and truth of Jesus lived in and through your life…

11And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
–from Revelation 12:11

Need to hear a story? Ask me a question!

Have a story? Why not share it? Someone around you might need it to create the spark needed for them to get on track to what God has for them!


Three Ways to Overcome Evil

Day 354: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. God’s love overcomes everything … Psalms 145:8-13
  2. Jesus overcomes the devil … Revelation 12Revelation 13:1
  3. The people of God overcome opposition … Ezra 6Ezra 7:1-10

Do you realize the value of history?


Are you learning from the past so as not to repeat the bad parts? Are you learning from the past and seeing how it fits together towards where we are at today? Are you learning from the past in order to be prepared for today? Are you learning from the past to see the climaxes that have occurred and are yet to come? How do you view history? What version of history do you know? What is your source of truth? What is your foundation for reality? Ever noticed there are some who not only don’t want to learn from the past they want to try and rewrite it with their own take or spin?

Ever noticed the battles of good and evil that take place throughout history? Do you know how it will end?

Are your sources of history giving you some of the details or are they providing you with the big picture?

Is your main source able to get you beyond just what has happened but also prepare you for what is yet to come? Ever noticed that many of the people who are making claims or forecasts of the future – be it how the planet will be, be it crises that are coming, be it calamities that will happen – are really picking up truths from the book of Revelation and trying to generate fear and worry in order to manipulate people like it is something we can do rather than pointing to the reality that the centerpiece of it all is to start and build a relationship with Jesus so that the best outcome will be?

As this year is coming to an end with today being New Year’s Eve (Dec 31, 2017) we each have a part to play! God gave us all a freewill so that we are just robots or pieces on a board but we need to be a part of this life! God wants an intimate relationship with us but we have to choose Him! We have to decide that we will turn to God! Like the lost son, we need to choose to turn around and go to God the Father! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn us He sent Jesus so that we would know that through a relationship with Him we could be saved! God loves us so much and knew that we couldn’t do it all on our own, so He chose in history to send Jesus so that we would have His story, to be able to choose life and to receive the gift of God of eternal life which doesn’t have to begin after we die but can exist while we are on this earth dying to our old selves and being born again! Being transformed with the old being gone and the new beginning! Jesus’ plan was that we would be able to have a life that we can live to the full!

Why not choose Jesus today so that 2018 will begin with Him in your heart and so that you can get started on the right foot! So before I jump into today’s reading and devotional, I want to offer up this prayer so that if today is your day you can pray this prayer and we can celebrate together as the new beginning starts. (leave me a note as I would be happy to pray with you and celebrate your today with you!)

The Sinner's Prayer

If you prayed this prayer, I thank Jesus for you! I praise God that you made the decision to invite Jesus into your life and begin the incredible new journey into your future! If you did, please leave me a comment and thank you for letting me a part of your story!


History is ‘His Story’

Day 349: Bible In One Year 2018

  • Be guided by the God of history … Psalms 143
    • Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading for today with these pointers…
      • How do you begin to get yourself out of a situation like this?

        Remember the good things

        David chose to think about the positive: ‘I remembered the old days, went over all you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked’ (v.5, MSG).

        Keep worshipping

        Worship can be an oasis in difficult times. David says, ‘I… stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain’ (v.6, MSG).

        Cry out to God for help

        He prays, ‘Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope. Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!’ (v.7, MSG).

        Listen for God’s guidance

        Year after year I have written next to the verse, ‘Show me the way I should go’ (v.8a), a list of areas in which I have desperately needed God’s guidance. It is so encouraging to look back and see the way he has guided me – sometimes in ways beyond anything I could have asked or even imagined.

        –from Day 349: Bible In One Year 2018

  • See behind the scenes of history … Revelation 6
    • Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading for today with these pointers…
      • He reveals what is going on behind the scenes of the events you read and hear about.

        The gospel preached to all nations

        The first rider was given ‘a victory garland. He rode off victorious, conquering right and left’ (v.2, MSG).

        This sounds like Jesus himself, the conqueror of death, the crowned King of the universe going out to proclaim good news to the nations.

        Wars and military power

        The second rider ‘was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people slay each other. To him was given a large sword’ (v.4).

        History has been full of violence and warfare, as people have sought to dominate and control each other.

        Injustice and inequality

        The third rider ‘was holding a pair of black scales in his hand’ (v.5).

        Prices had been inflated (v.6). There was an economic disaster. As is the case today, while some live in terrible poverty, others live in luxury (v.6), untouched by the needs of the poor.

        The curse of death

        The fourth rider ‘was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him’ (v.8a).

        Death takes its toll in history. As we read the history of this world it is one of violence (‘kill by sword’), starvation (‘famine’) and disease (‘plague’), as well as other random causes of death (‘the wild beasts of the earth’) (v.8b).

        The persecuted church

        ‘… those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained’ (v.9).

        Persecution of Christians continues to the present day. Millions of Christians throughout the world live in daily fear of secret police, vigilantes, or state repression and discrimination. They are suffering because of their faith in Jesus.

        The beginning of the end

        Jesus predicted similar upheavals to the ones described here – ‘these are the beginning of birth-pains’ (Matthew 24:8). These will no doubt include social and political upheavals, as well as natural disasters.

        The six seals give a general view of history between the first and second coming of Jesus.

        –from Day 349: Bible In One Year 2018

  • Look at God’s love in history … Malachi 1, Malachi 2:1-16
    • The challenge to us all is:

      Single-minded determination to see God’s name honoured

      ‘Set your heart to honour my name’ (v.2).

      Receive ‘life and peace’

      God has covenanted (promised) to give ‘life and peace’ (v.5) – these are two of the greatest blessings you can ever receive.

      Worship God with reverence and awe

      This should be our response to God’s extraordinary generosity and kindness: ‘This called for reverence and [Levi] revered me and stood in awe of my name’ (v.5).

      Teach the truth

      ‘True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips’ (v.6a).

      Live a righteous life

      ‘He walked with me in peace and uprightness’ (v.6b). Christian leaders must set an example by living holy lives.

      Lead a life of helping others to find a relationship with God

      ‘… and turned many from sin’ (v.6b).

      –from Day 349: Bible In One Year 2018

Qualified vs Called

What’s your calling?


Have you been called to do something? How did you respond? Did you accept it? Did you reject it? Did you fight it? Did you argue it?

What’s you calling? How will you respond?

I know in my life so far God has called me to many things. Some I received open armed like being a husband and a father! Some I fought and argued against because I didn’t think I was qualified enough! I remember being a crossroads where someone was offering me 2 opportunities and asked me what I thought. I started telling the story (linked to above) which then lead me to the right decision God had for me. I remember the entire time saying to myself “Why am I telling this story? God I pray you will let me in on it too!”

So what is it God has called you to today that you are living out?

What decision are you needing to make? How will you answer the call? How long will it take for you to answer it? Do you realize the importance of accepting it? Do you realize the impact it will have not only on your life and story but on the lives God will bring across your path? It may not be easy, but it will be worth it! He will be with you in it and thru it when He has called you to it! Be it with hiring! Be it with making financial decisions! Be it with people conflicts! God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! So put your trust in Him and step out in faith believing that He who has started a good work in you will continue to perfect till the day of Christ Jesus’ return!

We can’t allow fear to hold us back from our calling! I know in my story of not thinking I was qualified enough that the enemy was trying to keep me from being able to accomplish everything God needed and desired for me to have my faith built up in and thru. The devil will try to bring up fear and doubt to keep us from answering the call! The devil will give us reasons to worry what will or would or could happen if we stepped in or stepped up! But we need to take hold of God’s promises! We need to grab hold of His Word “Fear Not, Just Believe!” Let’s remember when they were walking into the promised land how Moses called them to “Be bold and courageous”. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, courage is judgment that something else is more important than fear! Its pressing forward despite fear! It’s moving from who you think you are and who you think you can be!

Today’s reading when Ezekiel is being called, we see that God knows that fear is going to show up when He says:

6And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.

–from Ezekiel 2

Do you ever realize how sometimes it is easier to convince a complete stranger than to convince someone you know well? Ever find that people you don’t know can receive information better than people who would seem to have fewer boundaries? Family? Old friends? etc?

Today’s reading we see how God warns Ezekiel of such challenges…

4He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”

–from Ezekiel 3

But whether they will hear and listen or not, we are to be watchmen and tell them what we are seeing, what is coming, what is about to be and they can choose how they will listen and respond. Ezekiel was called to be a watchman!

Ezekielʼs Task as Watchman

16At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
22The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 23So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.
24Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. 27But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.

–from Ezekiel 3

Some will hear what you have to say and listen but others will refuse it! Take a look around and see what is going on! Do some seem hard hearted? Do some seem rebellious? Do some seem to be more interested in stirring up division that fostering unifying behaviors and unity?

How can you tell the story? How can you try to get the message across? How can you speak the truth in a way that some will hear it and receive it? Some learn by hearing! Some learn by seeing! Some learn by doing! Let’s take a look at what Ezekiel tried…

Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

1“Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.
4“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.
6“After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.
9“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10Weigh out twenty shekels of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11Also measure out a sixth of a hin of water and drink it at set times. 12Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.” 13The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.”
14Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”
15“Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”
16He then said to me: “Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, 17for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin.

–Ezekiel 4

How do you think they would respond? Do you think people would get the memo? What do you think it would or will take to share the message God has for you with others and to have them not only hear it but receive it? Do you see what is going on around you?

Don’t you desire that everyone make it to be in heaven? Do you desire that you get to spend eternity with everyone so you can praise God together? Will you align your heart to God’s heart who doesn’t want anyone to perish but that everyone would have everlasting life! God’s not slow in keeping His promises! He is patient with us! He doesn’t want anyone to perish but that everyone would come to repentance, turning their lives back to Him! We all have free will though! We all have to make the choice for ourselves! And even with our best attempts there are some that will still not turn back to God! Even when God has blessed the nation so much, there are many who reject Him! Walk to talk about irony, there are missionaries from around the world where former missionaries had visited and raised up a people who are now going back to the countries where those missionaries had come from to preach the Good News there. There is no place on earth that doesn’t need to have the Good News preached and shared! Try different ways to share it! Say it! Show it! Do it!

Let’s review what God says to Ezekiel…

Godʼs Razor of Judgment

1“Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barberʼs razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. 2When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword. 3But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. 4Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.
5“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.
7“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not evenconformed to the standards of the nations around you.
8“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. 9Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. 10Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. 11Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will shave you; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. 12A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.
13“Then my anger will cease and my wrath against them will subside, and I will be avenged. And when I have spent my wrath on them, they will know that I the Lord have spoken in my zeal.
14“I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I the Lord have spoken. 16When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food. 17I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the Lord have spoken.”

–Ezekiel 5

Consider how you would, will, are or have respond/responded to the results of an election. Was it in alignment to God’s plans? Do you realize that there is no authority except that which is given by God? Do you realize that there were put there for a purpose? (When I was positioned to be President of the homeowners association, God had a plan and I didn’t fully grasp it till that time was completed!) So how will you respond? Will you revolt? Will you stand your ground? Will you be paid to go and create trouble? Will you stand up for what you believe in? (Like Daniel and his friends) Will you do what is right? Will you do what is just? Will you do what is good? Consider where you are at! Consider what has happened! Consider how you will respond! Consider how you should respond! Consider how God desires for you to respond!

If we take a look at today’s reading, we can learn that government was set in place for our good. Let’s review it together now…

Submission to Governing Authorities

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is Godʼs servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are Godʼs servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are Godʼs servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

–from Romans 13

So why not live out our lives in love! So why not live out our lives in righteousness! Love is the answer to succeeding in life! Love is the way to a successful life! Love is …

Love Fulfills the Law

8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

–from Romans 13

So let’s not lose time! Let’s not waste our time and efforts on things that won’t help! Let’s not waste our time and effort on things that won’t produce good fruit! We want to draw people closer to God since each day we are getting closer to Jesus’ return! So let’s live as light into the dark world around us! Let’s shine the light of Jesus reflecting from us into the world around us!

The Day Is Near

11And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

–from Romans 13

So no matter what has or is taking place, how will you choose to live? Today’s reading concludes with that message also given to the Colossians…

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as Godʼs chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Instructions for Christian Households

18Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

–Colossians 3

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 2, 3, 4, 5, Romans 13, Colossians 3

You do realize that some of the predictions people make were written a long time ago right?


There are people who are trying to use scare tactics to gain control. There are people who are using scare tactics to gain access. There are people who are using prophecy to prove their version of reality and cause for the final outcome. There are people who make claims of doom and gloom which when I hear them, I think to myself, “well, that is what the book of revelation says will happen” but the cause or the trigger or the threats don’t seem to align with the outcome they are proclaiming.

Ever seen the number of prophecies that came true through Jesus’ life and death and resurrection? Ever considered the prophecies that are yet to come?

Before taking what the politicians and scientist and other non-scientist are saying as fact rather than just their stories, put it up against the standard that is solid and reliable! The Bible!

Do you see how people try to deny the truth of the Bible when it doesn’t help their cause but when it does they bring it in without actually referencing it as their source?

Do you realize the hope and the truth that can be found in the Bible? Like…

“Leviticus 16 is about the Day of Atonement, an annual ceremony designed to cleanse the sins of the people of ancient Israel (vv.29-30). It was a day when goats were killed so that God’s people could know life (vv.15-17, 20-22). These animals died because sin, the people’s offenses against God, required the payment of death (10:1-3; Romans 6:23).

The same is true today. Sin still causes death, but Scripture reveals that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and that Jesus’ blood is the “perfect sacrifice” for our sins (10:13; Hebrews 9:12-14). He’s paid the price for what we’ve broken (2 Corinthians 5:21).”

— from Day 3 of the devotional Our Daily Journey: A 30-Day Walk With Jesus

So let’s make sure that when we are considering what is being said that we consider the facts vs the stories that are being told rather than assuming the sources of the stories is really looking out for our best interest compared to their own agenda.

what-do-the-facts-tell-us

Now in day to day conversation with friends, family, and coworkers, it is best to not have that initial perspective as it will cause your to miss out on real conversation – we need to initially come at it with the perspective that we are in the conversation with good intentions. Yes we may discover through the process that it’s not the case, but that isn’t a good way to start the conversation since it is based on the fact that there is a relationship or a developing relationship.


So let’s jump into today’s reading and see if we can find more examples of things said in the past that have come true or are yet to come in the future even though they were prophesied or spoken of hundreds if not thousands of years ago.


Do you realize that you were created on purpose and for a purpose by the hands of God?

Do you realize that your calling or purpose may seem overwhelming at the moment, but that when God calls you to it, He will get you through it? Do you realize that He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called? We don’t have to be perfect to come to God! Once we start the relationship with Him, then He starts the work in our heart and the renewing of our mind. He will give us the words to speak! He will give us wisdom to make decisions! He give us words of wisdom to speak into situations! He will give us undeserved favor to be able to be in a specific situation at a specific time in order to be used for His purposes!

1These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. 2The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah. 3The Lord’s messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, another of Josiah’s sons. In August of that eleventh year the people of Jerusalem were taken away as captives.

Jeremiah’s Call and First Visions

4The Lord gave me this message: 5“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” 6“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth! 10Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.” 11Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?” And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.” 12And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.” 13Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked, “What do you see now?” And I replied, “I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.” 14“Yes,” the Lord said, “for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. 15Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken! “They will set their thrones at the gates of the city. They will attack its walls and all the other towns of Judah. 16I will pronounce judgment on my people for all their evil—for deserting me and burning incense to other gods. Yes, they worship idols made with their own hands! 17“Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them. 18For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand against the whole land— the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah. 19They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

–from Jeremiah 1

What do you see going on around this country? What do you hear is going on around this company? What sources are being held up and which seem to be getting covered up? What is the truth? What is the truth from the past saying about this situation? What are the plans for the future being presented saying about this situation? Do you realize the impact? Do you realize the results? Do you consider the possibilities? Consider the character! Consider the platform! Consider the impact! Consider the benefits! Consider the truth! Consider the reality! When your options look bad from one angle, are you willing to look at it from other perspectives too to make sure you can see it from all sides? We need to get beyond the emotions in order to be able to get to logic! When we’ve faced trauma, there will be triggers that get us to a state where we need to find a way to diffuse it so that we can move from emotions to logic! Be it with the support person on the phone! Be it with the coworker who you are facing off with! Be it with the political atmosphere taking place around us. If we can get to the data, the facts, the truth and get beyond the stories and the feelings (as hard as that is), then we can ask God to speak into that situation and give us wisdom to make the right decision for the future!  So will you be willing to hear God’s plan? Will you be willing to pursue God’s purpose? Or will we go our own way and even it pushes us further away from God and raises the risks and concerns about the future for us and the generations to come? It’s an important time and an important season! We have all been given free will and so we all get to decide for ourselves what we will think, say, and do! We will all create our own stories! We will all get to see the outcomes too!

The Lord’s Case against His People

1The Lord gave me another message. He said, 2“Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness. 3In those days Israel was holy to the Lord, the first of his children. All who harmed his people were declared guilty, and disaster fell on them. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 4Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! 5This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. 6They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ 7“And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. 8The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. 9Therefore, I will bring my case against you,” says the Lord. “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come. 10“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus; go east and search through the land of Kedar. Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this? 11Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! 12The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord. 13“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

The Results of Israel’s Sin

14“Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder? 15Strong lions have roared against him, and the land has been destroyed. The towns are now in ruins, and no one lives in them anymore. 16Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power. 17And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the Lord your God, even though he was leading you on the way! 18“What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River? 19Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken! 20“Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. 21But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best. How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine? 22No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!

Israel, an Unfaithful Wife

23“You say, ‘That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’ But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate. 24You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them! 25When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’ 26“Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this. 27To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ 28But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah. 29Why do you accuse me of doing wrong? You are the ones who have rebelled,” says the Lord. 30“I have punished your children, but they did not respond to my discipline. You yourselves have killed your prophets as a lion kills its prey. 31“O my people, listen to the words of the Lord! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’ 32Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me. 33“How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you! 34Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses! 35And yet you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn’t angry with me!’ But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned. 36First here, then there— you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before. 37In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all.

–from Jeremiah 2

Are we being unfaithful today? Are we being disobedient? Are we missing the mark? Are we rejecting God as a nation? Are you part of the remnant? What will you do? How will you respond? Don’t give up! Keep your hope and trust in God! Yes in this world we will have troubles, but we can have faith and take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Yes in this world we will face trials of many kinds! As Jesus told us, consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds – seems counter intuitive but that’s not where the statement or story ends – for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Let’s do our part! Let’s use the skills we have to provide for ourselves! We see how Paul answered the call! We see how Paul’s life was transformed by an encounter with Jesus! We see how the world was transformed by his passion and obedience to go and do and say what God gave him to say! We see how he knew the Jewish history and was able to take those facts in order to speak to the truth of who Jesus is! So let’s live out our lives with passion to complete the work God has for us to do! Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to create a new heart in us! Let’s invite Jesus into our lives so that we can have a renewing of our minds! And let’s be the people God created and purposed for us to be!

Paul Meets Priscilla and Aquila in Corinth

1Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. 3Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.
4Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. 5And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”
7Then he left and went to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile who worshiped God and lived next door to the synagogue.8Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.
9One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him,Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! 10For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me. 11So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.
12But when Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. 13They accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.”
14But just as Paul started to make his defense, Gallio turned to Paul’s accusers and said, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case involving some wrongdoing or a serious crime, I would have a reason to accept your case. 15But since it is merely a question of words and names and your Jewish law, take care of it yourselves. I refuse to judge such matters.” 16And he threw them out of the courtroom.
17The crowd then grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right there in the courtroom. But Gallio paid no attention.

Paul Returns to Antioch of Syria

18Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.
19They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. 20They asked him to stay longer, but he declined. 21As he left, however, he said, “I will come back later,God willing.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22The next stop was at the port of Caesarea. From there he went up and visited the church at Jerusalem and then went back to Antioch.
23After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went back through Galatia and Phrygia, visiting and strengthening all the believers.

Apollos Instructed at Ephesus

24Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. 25He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. 26When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.
27Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. 28He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.
–from Acts 18

 

Ever found that songs are playing throughout your day?


For me words trigger it. I hear a word and a song queues up in my head. Words I read…words I hear…have keywords that start a tune playing in my head. Other times, the radio just plays the right song for the day I am going through. There are two that I always will remember…one was that day driving to the tax lady and hearing 7×70 which was the trigger to me learning the importance of forgiveness and breaking free from the anger, the frustration, and the bitterness that had been building up for month because of lies and mistreatment that took place at work. The second one was when I was considering a new job and had felt 95% sure I knew where I was going and to my surprise it wasn’t but on my way home from an event the new company was putting on every song that played kept telling me that this was the one, the right one, and as I passed the buildings from my former employer, I said to God this feels so right and as I got to the end of the highway to my surprise the biggest and brightest rainbow was right there to affirm where my next job would be.

Songs are powerful and informational and instructional. Are you hearing songs? Are you singing songs? Is your life making a difference to others through the song your life is writing?

Are songs playing throughout your day? Have you noticed and appreciated the message they are speaking into and over you? Are you listening to the right stations?

One my first visit to HQ for the new company the car had Air1 playing, I had never heard of it and then when I got home, I ended up finding out there was a station in the area – a little ways a way so not always a clear signal, but between that in the car and the online radio stations I can listen to on my my computer along with other stations I have managed to find (as I like rap and rock music too) it helps put good thoughts and encouragement into my every day!

Does your life story speak of your love? Can others tell that you love them because God first loved you? Can others see Jesus’ hands and arms extended because of the way you love them?

Today’s reading continues from where yesterday’s was in Song of Songs…

Awake and Waiting

1I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, O friends, Drink, yes, drink your fill, O lovers! 2I sleep, but my heart is awake. A voice! My lover is knocking! “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one! For my head is drenched with dew, my locks with dewdrops of night.” 3I have stripped off my coat. How can I put it on again? I have washed my feet. How can I soil them? 4My lover extended his hand through the opening —my heart yearned for him. 5I rose to open for my lover. My hands dripped with myrrh, yes, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock. 6I opened to my lover— but my lover had departed, he was gone! My soul went out to him when he spoke. I searched for him, but did not find him. I called him, but he did not answer me. 7The guards making rounds in the city found me. They beat me, bruised me. The guards on the walls took my veil from me. 8Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you, if you should find my lover, what will you tell him? That I am sick from love! 9How is your lover different from other lovers, O most beautiful among women? How is your lover different from other lovers that you charge us so? 10My lover is dazzling and ruddy, standing out among ten thousand. 11His head is purest gold, his hair is wavy, black as a raven. 12His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, washed with milk, mounted in their settings. 13His cheeks are like a bed of spice, towers of sweet-scented perfume. His lips are lilies, dripping with liquid myrrh. 14His hands are rods of gold set with jasper. His abdomen is carved ivory inlaid with sapphires. 15His legs are pillars of alabaster set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon— excellent like the cedars. 16His mouth is sweetness. Yes, he is totally desirable. This is my lover! Yes, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

–from Song of Songs 5

Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? Have you been trying to fill that hole in your heart? First fill it with Jesus and then allow Him to lead you and guide you into the right and fruitful relationship with others.

1Where has your lover gone, most beautiful among women? Where has your lover turned, so we may seek him with you? 2My lover went down to his garden, to the beds of balsam to graze his flocks in the gardens and to gather lilies. 3I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. He browses among the lilies.

Acclaiming the Bride’s Beauty

4You are beautiful, my darling, like Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners. 5Turn your eyes away from me, for they overwhelm me! Your hair is like a flock of ewe goats descending down from Gilead. 6Your teeth are like a flock of ewes that have come up from the washing. Each of them has a twin, and none among them is missing. 7Your temple is like a slice of pomegranate behind your veil. 8There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and young women beyond number. 9Yet my dove, my perfect one is unique. She is her mother’s only one— a virtuous child of the one who bore her. Maidens saw her and called her blessed. Queens and concubines praised her. 10Who is this that appears like dawn? As beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners. 11I went down into the garden of nut trees to look at the fruit of the valley, to see if the vine had budded, or the pomegranates had bloomed. 12Before I was aware, my soul set me among the chariots of my princely people.

–from Song of Songs 6

Do you realize how beautiful you are to God? Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize how much He cares for you? Will you turn back to God? Will you run to Him?

1Come back, come back, O Shulammite! Come back, come back, that we may look upon you. Why do you gaze at the Shulammite like the dance of Mahanaim? 2How lovely are your sandaled feet, O nobleman’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hand. 3Your navel is a round goblet, may it not lack mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat enclosed with lilies. 4Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 5Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon near the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus. 6Your head crowns you like Carmel, and the hair of your head like purple. The king is captivated in its tresses! 7How beautiful and how pleasing you are, O Love, with your delights! 8Your stature is like a date palm and your breasts like its clusters. 9I said, “I will climb the date palm and take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apple.

The Bride’s Appeal

10May your mouth be like the best wine, going down smoothly for my beloved, causing the lips of sleepers to speak. 11I am my lover’s, and his desire is for me. 12Come, my beloved, let us go out into the field. Let us spend the night in the villages. 13Let us go out early to the vineyards, —let us see if the vine has budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed— there I will give you my love. 14The mandrakes have given off fragrance, and over our door is every choice fruit, both new and old, that I have stored up for you, my lover.

–from Song of Songs 7

How much do you want what God has for you? Do you realize you were created to have a relationship with Him? He loves you so much! He will never leave you nor abandon you! Will you call to Him? Will you receive Him into your life? Will you choose Him?

1O, that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. If I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. 2I would lead you and bring you into my mother’s house— she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink from the nectar of my pomegranate. 3O that his left hand were under my head, and his right hand embraced me. 4 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, Do not arouse or awaken love until it so delights.

Protecting Love

5Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her lover? Under the apple tree I roused you. There your mother travailed with you. There she who was in labor gave you birth. 6Set me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as Sheol. Its flames are bolts of fire, the flame of Adonai. 7Many waters cannot quench love, nor rivers wash it away. If one gave all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly despised. 8We have a little sister, still without breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? 9If she is a wall, we will build on her a turret of silver. If she is a door, we will fence her in with cedar plank. 10I am a wall, and my breasts like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes as one bringing shalom. 11Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers. Each was to bring for his fruit a thousand pieces of silver. 12My very own vineyard is before me. The thousand are for you, Solomon, and two hundred for those who tend the fruit. 13You who abide in the gardens, friends are listening for your voice. Let me hear it! 14Come quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices!

–from Song of Songs 8

So will you trust Him? Will you give it up into His hands? Will you come palms up? allowing things to be added and removed? He will never forget us! He will never leave us! He may be silent, but even the teacher is silent during the test. So don’t worry! Don’t fear! Trust and believe in Him!

Trust in His Chesed

1For the music director, a psalm of David. 2How long, Adonai? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 3How long must I have cares in my soul and daily sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 4Look at me and answer, Adonai my God. Light up my eyes, or I will sleep in death. 5Or else my enemy will say: “I have overcome him!” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 6But I trust in Your lovingkindness, my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to Adonai, because He has been good to me.

–from Psalms 13

He loves you! He wants you to be part of His family and for you to be adopted in as a child of God! So let’s walk in the hope! Let’s not lose hope! Let’s not fear! Let’s be bold and courageous as we walk with and serve God! Let’s walk as ambassadors of peace! Let’s walk as ambassadors of love! Let’s walk as ambassadors of hope! People need it! People need to hear about the hope that is in you! People need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow Jesus to become a real part of their lives! How are you modeling it? What song is being written through your life to be able to help others come to know of Jesus? What song is being written through the way you are living out life that will help others see hope and love? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not waste what we have been given but be good stewards of our time and energy!

1See how glorious a love the Father has given us, that we should be called God’s children—and so we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 2Loved ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 4Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness—indeed, sin is lawlessness. 5You know that Yeshua appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who sins has seen Him or known Him. 7Children, let no one mislead you! The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Yeshua is righteous. 8The one who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. Ben-Elohim appeared for this purpose—to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one born of God practices sin, because God’s seed remains in him. He cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Loving Children Emulate His Actions

10It is clear who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil by this—anyone who does not act righteously or love his brother is not of God. 11For this is the message you have heard from the beginning—we should love one another. 12Do not be like Cain, who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, while his brother’s were righteous. 13Do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer—and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16We have come to know love by this—Yeshua laid down His life for us, and we also ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17But if someone has material possessions and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18Children, let us not love with word or talk, but in deed and truth! 19By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and set our heart at rest before Him 20whenever our heart condemns us. For God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21Loved ones, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23Now this is His commandment—that we should believe in the name of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24The one who keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. We know that He abides in us by this—by the Spirit He has given us.

–from 1 John 3

I just had an aha moment…People ask me how can I …. It’s because of Jesus!

I joke about work life balance and having to make life busy to make sure it is balanced but the reality is that without Jesus and His love I couldn’t do any of it! It’s by His grace and His love for I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

 

 

Ever been deceived? Ever been tricked? Ever been lied to?


Deceived? Been given a promise and then given something different? Tricked? Believing they were good to their word but then rather than bread given a stone? Lied? Told one thing but it never came to be a reality?

The key in such a situation is to forgive them so that anger, bitterness, frustration, sadness don’t come over you. Forgiveness is the key to freedom!

Things may not always be what they appear, but God is true, God is love, God is for real! You can trust Him! He is faithful! The world around you may not be, but He is!

Even when the one who you trusted tries to go through with the promises, there may be others who work around the system and shortcut the plan! We may not know how it will all play out, but if we stick with God, we know that in the end we will be on the winning team!

Betrayal of Abner

1Now the war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. While David grew steadily stronger, the house of Saul grew steadily weaker. 2Sons were born to David in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3his second was Chileab by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third was Absalom son of Maacah daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; 4the fourth was Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. 6During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner strengthened his position in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah; and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Why have you slept with my father’s concubine?” 8But Abner became very angry over Ish-bosheth’s words and said, “Am I a dog’s head from Judah? To this day I’ve been loyal to the house of Saul your father, to his kinsmen, and to his friends, and I haven’t handed you over to David—yet today you are accusing me of wrongdoing with this woman. 9May God do so to Abner and even more if, as Adonai has sworn to David, I don’t accomplish this for him— 10to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah, from Dan to Beersheba!” 11But Ish-bosheth could not respond to Abner another word, because he was afraid of him. 12Then Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf saying, “Whose is the land? Make your covenant with me, and see, my hand will be with you to bring all Israel over to you.” 13“Good!” said David. “I will cut a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you will not see my face unless you first bring Saul’s daughter Michal when you come to see my face.” 14Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for 100 Philistine foreskins.” 15So Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish. 16But her husband accompanied her, weeping as he went, and followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return!” So he returned. 17Now Abner had a word with the elders of Israel saying, “In times past you wanted David to be king over you. 18So now do it! For Adonai has spoken of David saying, ‘By the hand of My servant David I will deliver My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 19Abner also spoke in the hearing of Benjamin. Then Abner went to Hebron to speak in the hearing of David about all that was agreeable to Israel and to the whole house of Benjamin. 20When Abner came to David in Hebron along with 20 other men, David held a banquet for Abner and the men with him. 21Abner said to David, “Let me get up and go rally all Israel to my lord the king, so that they may cut a covenant with you, and you may reign over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he departed in shalom. 22Just then, David’s soldiers and Joab came from a raid, bringing with them much spoil. By then Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he departed in shalom. 23When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, they told Joab, saying, “Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in shalom.” 24Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you—why did you send him away? Now he is getting away! 25You know Abner son of Ner—surely he came to deceive you, to spy on your goings and comings, and to find out all that you are doing.” 26When Joab left David, he sent messengers after Abner, so they brought him back from the well of Sirah, though David knew nothing about it. 27Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside within the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the groin, so that he died—on account of the blood of his brother Asahel. 28When David heard about it afterward, he said, “I and my kingdom are innocent before Adonai forever from the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29May it whirl on Joab’s head and on all his father’s house. May the house of Joab never be without someone with discharge or tza’arat, lame or one fallen by the sword or one who lacks food.” 30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in battle. 31Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Rend your clothes, gird with sackcloth, and lament before Abner.” King David walked behind the platform. 32When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king lifted up his voice and wept aloud at Abner’s grave, and all the people wept. 33Then the king chanted a lament for Abner and said, “Should Abner die like a senseless fool? 34Your hands were not bound, your feet were never put in fetters. As one falls before the children of iniquity, so did you fall.” Then all the people wept again over him. 35Then all the people came to urge David to eat some food while it was still day, but David vowed saying, “May God do so to me and even more if I taste food or anything else before the sun sets.” 36All the people took note of it and it pleased them, just as everything the king did pleased all the people. 37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not the king’s will to kill Abner son of Ner. 38Then the king said to his soldiers, “Don’t you realize that a prince and a great man has fallen in Israel today? 39So today I am vulnerable, even though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me to handle. May Adonai reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

–from 2 Samuel 3

God’s got a plan! He can use what has happened to us for His glory! He can take what the devil planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! He can take what was meant to destroy us and turn it around and make us even stronger because we have a platform built upon the truth, the love, the hope, the reality of God as our foundation through Jesus Christ as the cornerstone to be able to bring praise, honor, and glory to God through our testimonies! Will you tell your story? Will you share your stories? Will you allow others to hear of God’s greatness? Forgiveness! Grace! Love! Finish Strong!

The Conspiracy Grows

1Now it happened that when Yeshua had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2“You know that Passover comes in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be executed.” 3Then the ruling kohanim and elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the kohen gadol named Caiaphas. 4They plotted together in order that they might seize Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 5“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.”

A Woman Anoints Yeshua for Burial

6Now while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, 7a woman came up to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil. And she poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table. 8But when the disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9It could have been sold for a lot, and the money given to the poor!” 10But Yeshua, knowing this, said to them, “Why do you cause trouble for this woman? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 11You always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have Me. 12For when she poured this oil on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13Amen, I tell you, wherever this Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Betrayed and Sold for Silver

14Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judah of Kriot, went to the ruling kohanim 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they weighed out thirty shekels of silver for him. 16From then on, Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over. 17Now on the first day of matzah , the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; at your house I am to keep the Passover with My disciples.”’” 19The disciples did as Yeshua had ordered them, and they prepared the Passover. 20Now when it was evening, Yeshua was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21As they were eating, He said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” 22And being very sorrowful, they began, each one, to say to Him, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?” 23And He replied, “The one who dipped his hand in the bowl with Me, he’s the one who will betray Me. 24The Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 25And Judah, the one betraying Him, replied, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?” Yeshua said to him, “You’ve said it yourself.” 26Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins. 29But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 30After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Yeshua said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 33But Peter replied to Him, “Though all fall away because of You, I’ll never fall away.” 34Yeshua said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35“Even if I must die with You,” Peter says to Him, “I’ll never deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

“Your Will Be Done”

36Then Yeshua comes with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He tells the disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took along Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” 39Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40Then He comes to the disciples and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “So couldn’t you keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again for a second time He went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, let Your will be done.” 43And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So He left them again and prayed a third time, saying the same words once more. 45Then He comes to the disciples and says to them, “Still sleeping? Taking your rest? Look, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”

Taken into Custody

47While Yeshua was still speaking, here came Judah, one of the Twelve, and with him a big crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim and elders of the people. 48Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The One I kiss, He’s the One—seize Him!’ 49And immediately Judah drew near to Yeshua and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50“Friend,” Yeshua said to him, “do what you’ve come to do.” Then they came up and threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 51And suddenly, one of those with Yeshua stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and he struck the kohen gadol ’s servant and cut off his ear. 52Then Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53Or do you suppose that I cannot call on My Father, and at once He will place at My side twelve legions of angels? 54How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55At that hour Yeshua said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would a revolutionary? Every day I sat teaching in the Temple, and you didn’t seize Me. 56But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples fled, abandoning Him. 57Now those who had seized Yeshua led Him away to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol , where the Torah scholars and elders had gathered. 58Peter was following Him from a distance as far as the courtyard of the kohen gadol . And after going inside, he was sitting with the guards, to see the outcome.

Yeshua’s Trial Begins

59Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get false testimony against Yeshua so they could put Him to death. 60But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I’m able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days!’” 62The kohen gadol stood up and said to Yeshua, “Have You no answer? What’s this they’re testifying against You?” 63But Yeshua kept silent. The kohen gadol said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God, tell us if You are Mashiach Ben-Elohim!” 64“As you have said,” replied Yeshua. “Besides that, I tell you, soon after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the kohen gadol tore his clothes and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66What’s your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67Then they spat in His face and pounded Him with their fists. Others slapped Him and demanded, 68“Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Which one hit You?”

Peter Denies Yeshua

69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A servant girl came over to him and said, “You also were with Yeshua of the Galilee.” 70But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71When he went onto the porch, another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 72Again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the Man!” 73A little while later, some of the bystanders approached Peter and said to him, “Surely you’re one of them, too—your accent gives you away.” 74Then he began to curse and to swear an oath: “I do not know the Man!” Right then, a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter reminded himself of the word Yeshua had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went away and wept bitterly.

–from Matthew 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you come back will you tell about what happened?


Ever gotten to go somewhere and have an incredible experience? Do you comeback and share it with others? Do you tell stories of what took place? How about when God calls you to do something? or to go somewhere? or to say something? Do you share that experience and what God did in and through you? Do you tell stories of how by you being obedient and doing what God called you to do something happened? Do you tell stories of how by you being obedient and going somewhere as God called you something happened? Do you tell stories of how when God prompted you to speak and you were obedient and you did, how God showed up? Do you speak of the great things God does in and through  you? Do you live as an encourager to others so that God’s glory can not only be heard, but seen and felt? So what took place in your life today? Who have you shared it with? How did God move in your life today? How will you glorify God? How will speak of His great love? How will you speak of His amazing grace? How will you speak of the power and the authority He has given you? Does anyone else know about what He has done in and through you? Do you realize how many people around you need that encouragement?

Today’s reading continue yesterday’s beginning when the people who went out (the 72) came back…

The Return of the Seventy-Two

17The seventy-two men came back in great joy. “Lord,” they said, “even the demons obeyed us when we gave them a command in your name!” 18Jesus answered them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20But don’t be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus Rejoices

(Matthew 11.25-27; 13.16, 17)
21At that time Jesus was filled with joy by the Holy Spirit and said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen. 22“My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said to them privately, “How fortunate you are to see the things you see! 24I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.”
–from Luke 10

Do you talk about it? Do you write about it? Do you hear about it? What’s your story? Valley times? Mountain top times? How did God’s power work in and through those times. They say hindsight is 20:20, looking back what do you see, what did you learn? Was it how obedience can make you avoid pitfalls? Was it how obedience can help you avoid the pain? Was it that through the pain, the answer was forgiveness? Was it that you needed to learn about the pain to be able to relate better with others around you who are suffering? What was it for you? I share through Social media. I share through my blog. I share with those I work with who see what I am going through and God is able to speak through those situations. Especially when my response is counter culture. Like forgiving someone! So many stories that help to encourage others as well as my self when I am faced with challenges and struggles. It points me back to Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith! It puts my eyes back on Him and the final destiny with Him in Heaven! (search forgiveness, still quiet voice, nothing, … on the blog and hear what God has done or said or shared with me.)

It’s amazing what someone else’s faith can do. Will you be an encouragement to others up? Imagine if your actions could encourage someone going through trouble and suffering, would you do it? If your faith could encourage other to press on, would you do it? If your love for others would encourage others would you do it? Today’s reading continues…

7So, in all our trouble and suffering we have been encouraged about you, friends. It was your faith that encouraged us, 8because now we really live if you stand firm in your life in union with the Lord. 9Now we can give thanks to our God for you. We thank him for the joy we have in his presence because of you. 10Day and night we ask him with all our heart to let us see you personally and supply what is needed in your faith. 11May our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus prepare the way for us to come to you! 12May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow more and more and become as great as our love for you. 13In this way he will strengthen you, and you will be perfect and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all who belong to him. –from 1 Thessalonians 3

So let’s share how much God loves! Let’s share how much God cares! Let’s not just keep it bottled up, but rather, let’s share it!

God’s Complete Knowledge and Care

1Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
2You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.
3You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions.
4Even before I speak, you already know what I will say.
5You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.
6Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.
7Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence?
8If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
9If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west,
10you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.
11I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night,
12but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.
15When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there—
16you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.
17O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are!
18If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
19O God, how I wish you would kill the wicked! How I wish violent people would leave me alone!
20They say wicked things about you; they speak evil things against your name.
21O Lord, how I hate those who hate you! How I despise those who rebel against you!
22I hate them with a total hatred; I regard them as my enemies.
23Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts.
24Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.
–from Psalm 139

Have you been touched? Have you been able to keep quiet? Have you been able to keep it to yourself?


Has your life had a divine encounter? Has your life been transformed? Have you had your eyes opened to the truth? Are you able to see things more clearly because of the transformation? Are you keeping it all to yourself? Are you not sharing the good news with others? How have you been able to keep it to yourself? What is keeping you from sharing?

God had a plan for me and when I moved thousands of miles away from my comfort zone, He provided a divine encounter. He provided a special invitation to a Christmas pageant/production at a near by church. He provided a powerful encounter of worship and preaching that drew us even closer. He provided incredible teaching from God’s Word that opened my eyes to the truth. He provided divine appointments where not only was I able to learn about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but also to experience it. He provided divine appointments where I didn’t only learn about freedom through Cleansing Stream, but also had been freed from years of violent responses when I was hit in the head through the power of forgiveness. Not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of men at a men’s retreat, but God spoke to me about how He wanted me to get more involved in my community where I was called into a higher level of leadership within my homeowners association. It also got me plugged into serving at the church where I was involved in productions – acting, signing on the stage as well as off stage with media, and production. It has impacted me at work and my interactions with others to the point where I even started to blog about it. My plan was a private site but God called me to open it up and to share my time with Him with others that His Word would be heard and be a testimony to many others. So to say the least, I haven’t been able to keep quiet. Today’s Word triggered this thought and topic to me because the two men who had a divine encounter with Jesus couldn’t keep it to themselves either.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

27Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted.
28When Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?”
“Yes, sir!” they answered.
29Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen, then, just as you believe!”— 30and their sight was restored. Jesus spoke sternly to them, “Don’t tell this to anyone!”
31But they left and spread the news about Jesus all over that part of the country.
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

When we are freed and start to speak of what God has done in and through our lives, there will be people who try to play it down or call it something else. Jesus even faced that type of doubt and fear…

Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Speak

32As the men were leaving, some people brought to Jesus a man who could not talk because he had a demon. 33But as soon as the demon was driven out, the man started talking, and everyone was amazed. “We have never seen anything like this in Israel!” they exclaimed.
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is the chief of the demons who gives Jesus the power to drive out demons.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

There are many people who don’t know. There are many people who have never heard. There are people held back by fear. There are people held back by doubt. But what can you do? What can you say to speak hope and life to those God brings into your life? You may be the only experience they have ever had and so you need to speak up and speak out. You need to provide a hand up rather than just a handout. Today, let’s make a difference!

Jesus Has Pity for the People

35 Jesus went around visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness. 36 As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 So he said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. 38Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

Not everyone is going to want to hear! Not everyone is going to want to respond! But don’t fear, just believe and put your trust in God! God has greater plans for you! God’s plan for you and those around you isn’t that anyone should perish, but that through Jesus Christ we will all have eternal life with Him! So don’t stop sharing because some people don’t what to hear. Don’t stop sharing because some people threaten you. Press in to what God calls you to and get it done! It’s incredible what God can do in and through us if we open up and allow Him to flow through us into the lives of those He brings into our lives. But don’t allow pride to trip you up. Don’t allow others to lift you up but point them all to Jesus. There is a risk when people are able to see and experience God working through you that they may get misdirected and think it is about you, but we need to make sure we point them to the true source and the true savior of the world … Jesus!

In Iconium

1The same thing happened in Iconium: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles became believers. 2But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the Gentiles and turned them against the believers. 3The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders. 4The people of the city were divided: some were for the Jews, others for the apostles.
5Then some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to mistreat the apostles and stone them. 6When the apostles learned about it, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia and to the surrounding territory. 7There they preached the Good News.

In Lystra and Derbe

8In Lystra there was a crippled man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. 9He sat there and listened to Paul’s words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10and said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and started walking around. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us!” 12They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.
14When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15 “Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness.” 18Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.
19Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowds over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20But when the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in Pisidia. 22They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught. 23In each church they appointed elders, and with prayers and fasting they commended them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
24After going through the territory of Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25There they preached the message in Perga and then went to Attalia, 26and from there they sailed back to Antioch, the place where they had been commended to the care of God’s grace for the work they had now completed.
27When they arrived in Antioch, they gathered the people of the church together and told them about all that God had done with them and how he had opened the way for the Gentiles to believe. 28And they stayed a long time there with the believers.
— from Acts 14 (GNT)

Let’s sing songs of praise to God! Let’s celebrate the incredible things He is and has and will do in and through our lives! Let’s make each day so filled with joy because He is with us that it will be hard for others to hold back or to get down, let’s give us a reason for the joy that is within us! Let’s not allow our circumstances to direct our attitudes and actions. Let’s allow Jesus working in us to drive our attitude and responses to everything that comes our way!

12Many enemies surround me like bulls;

they are all around me,
like fierce bulls from the land of Bashan.
13They open their mouths like lions,
roaring and tearing at me.
14My strength is gone,
gone like water spilled on the ground.
All my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like melted wax.
15My throat is as dry as dust,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have left me for dead in the dust.
16An evil gang is around me;
like a pack of dogs they close in on me;
they tear at my hands and feet.
17All my bones can be seen.
My enemies look at me and stare.
18  They gamble for my clothes
and divide them among themselves.
19O Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
20Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
21Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless before these wild bulls.
22  I will tell my people what you have done;
I will praise you in their assembly:
23“Praise him, you servants of the Lord!
Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
Worship him, you people of Israel!
24He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them,
but answers when they call for help.”
25In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done;
in the presence of those who worship you
I will offer the sacrifices I promised.
26The poor will eat as much as they want;
those who come to the Lord will praise him.
May they prosper forever!
27All nations will remember the Lord.
From every part of the world they will turn to him;
all races will worship him.
28The Lord is king,
and he rules the nations.
29All proud people will bow down to him;#

22.29: Probable text will bow down to him; Hebrew will eat and bow down.
all mortals will bow down before him.
30Future generations will serve him;
they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation.
31People not yet born will be told:
“The Lord saved his people.”
— from Psalm 22 (GNT)

So today as we get started, let’s put on the full armor of God and be prepared for what will be ahead of us. Let’s share the Good News of how God has worked in and through our lives and how He wants to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Yes, you reading this text, that is you. He wants to make a difference in your life because He loves you so much. Yes, you reading this, He wants to hear you sharing the Good News with others as you have been transformed and saved. Yes, you reading this text, if you want to hear more or talk more, please leave me a comment for me to respond to … feel free to read through other postings if that is more comfortable for you. Do a search about something that is on your mind.

 

Don’t ask to make it easier, ask to be made stronger!


When it hurts too much try cry, lean on Jesus and He will comfort you.

God’s not somewhere out there, He is a personal God who desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Take time today to hear from God’s heart. He loves you and desires the best for You. God’s got a plan…

In Jeremiah – through the Old Testament we read:

11I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. 12Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. 13 You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. 14Yes, I say, you will find me, and I will restore you to your land. I will gather you from every country and from every place to which I have scattered you, and I will bring you back to the land from which I had sent you away into exile. I, the Lord, have spoken.’

— Jeremiah 29:11-14

So don’t give up and don’t give in! Seek God and build up your relationship with Him!

Some may think that God wants to judge and condemn us, but that is shown to be wrong when He sent Jesus. In the end we will be judged, however, before that we are given freewill to choose who we will follow and how we will live. The New Testament speaks to it this way:

14 As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
— John 3:14-21

So today, not matter what you are facing, don’t turn in fear, don’t run away. Put on the full armor of God and stand firm. Ask God to make you stronger. Ask God to fill you up with the Holy Spirit that you may have wisdom and courage to take on the lies and the attacks of the enemy.

10Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. 12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. 19And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel’s secret. 20For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison. Pray that I may be bold in speaking about the gospel as I should.
— Ephesians 6:10-20 (GNT)

God brought you to it, He can and will get you through it!

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

1There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. 3When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape. 4But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. 5All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. 7It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. 8But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. 9God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. 13Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.
14We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.
16Be joyful always, 17pray at all times, 18be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
19Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; 20do not despise inspired messages. 21Put all things to the test: keep what is good 22and avoid every kind of evil.
23May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.
25Pray also for us, friends.
26Greet all the believers with the kiss of peace.
27I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
— 1 Thessalonians 5

So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not give up nor turn away, but let’s hold onto the hand of God and press forward for He will get us through it! Let’s complete the work that God is calling us to that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Are you sharing your stories?


How will your kids know what you have gone through if you don’t tell them? How will your family know about the challenges and the victories you have faced if you don’t tell them? How will they know it wasn’t easy and took effort in every part of your life to make it through? How will they know how God responded and what He did for you if you don’t share your stories with them?


When I consider my blog, I remember all the things I have gone through and all the stories there are to tell. I have mountain top stories and I have valley stories. I have stories about what happens if you allow a bitter root to take a hold as well as the incredible power and freedom that comes through forgiveness (giving and receiving). I have stories about ultimatums when God asks me to do things and courage to step up when I don’t know if I am qualified or able to accomplish what God is calling me to walk into. I have stories of visions and affirmation. I have stories of promises and purpose. I have stories about door that opened and doors that remained closed. I have stories of deliverance and stories of healing. God has done such incredible things.

What stories do you have? Are you sharing it with your kids? Are you sharing it with your family? Are you sharing it with your friends? It can and will encourage them. There are many good reasons to share including a quote from God’s Word that speaks to how we are and can achieve victory. The first ingredient is Jesus: “By the blood of the lamb” and the second ingredient requires us “and the words of our testimony”!

So take time to share today with those around you!