THRIVE: Happy Father’s Day!


As the day begins and I consider all that today means there are so many things. Today is commissioning day where the team and I will be prayed for in preparation for the camps this summer. Today is a Sunday and so I will get to hear the preaching of the Word of God. Today is Father’s Day and I am blessed to have a great dad who has been a great role model for me. I reflect back to the moment when I had the aha moment about having a relationship with my Heavenly Father. To thrive requires relationship building! Be it building relationships through reconciliation! Be it building relationships through forgiveness! Be it building relationships through spending time together! All successful ministries come through relationships!

So today, let’s thrive and make the most of our day, accomplishing the good works God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish for our good and His glory!


Today’s verse of the day:

‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; ‘

Psalms 103:13

Are you needing compassion today? Are you needing to give it or receive it? Are you ready to accept it or offer it? Could today be the day to rekindle a relationship out of compassion? Could today be the day to strengthen or rebuild a relationship out of compassion? Could today be the day to start a relationship out of compassion?


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 18


Are you needing compassion? Are you needing reconciliation? Are you needing forgiveness? Let’s get it started today by inviting Jesus into our hearts and our lives! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give compassion! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give reconciliation! Let’s get it started by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean out the negativity and gunk of the past so that we can receive and give forgiveness!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

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

What happens when you realize you missed a few things?


Do you go back and do it? Do you carry it along and then do it last? Do you see how you can integrate it? Do you try to fix it? You might wonder how this came to mind. I realized not checking the dates as I have been blogging of late and have discovered I am off in terms of actual dates versus the dates in the devotional. I know God’s plan is perfect as they still spoke right into those days and have the feeling today I need to go back and play catch up before I move forward again. Earlier I figured I would do it later as the first instance was back in August where 2 days were missed and then I determined to just get back on track to the real days and then I discovered as I finished yesterday I missed 2 days in November. So today is the beginning of catch up. I will date them as the calendar dates instead of the book dates since this is when I am going through them though which won’t align for those who go looking in the actual devotional book. God is good. God’s timing is perfect! So I give this day into His hands trusting Him for the wisdom and discernment to be able to accomplish His will with boldness and courage for His glory.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 2ND


What to do when you’re weak


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”’

Matthew 26:41

Let’s dig a bit deeper into today’s verse to get context with some extra verses and more details using the Amplified version.

‘Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.” And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!” ‘

Matthew 26:36-46

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever looked for a good example of what to do or how to respond in weakness?
  • Ever taken hold of God’s Word that in our weakness His strength is revealed?
  • Ever taken hold of what groups like Alcoholics Anonymous do?
    • Side note: It was an awkward feeling and yet very powerful one I had many years back when I was at a mens’ retreat and one of the men who came had to attend an AA meeting and so a group of us to encourage him said we would go too. I didn’t know what that would mean as I don’t drink. But it was a very powerful moment in two ways. First the support and encouragement to our brother by us going with him and using our free time to be with him there. Second to get to see the power of God working to free men from alcoholism through such an incredible group and 12 step program.
  • It requires honesty to admit you are feeling weak.
  • Admiting that the weakness caused you to fall into temptation is the first step in addressing the temptation and the problem.
  • Denial that you have a problem or a weakness doesn’t help you get stronger or break the tempations power over you.
  • Shrugging it off like it isn’t a big deal doesn’t help you get to the root of the problem or get stronger in dealing with the temptations.
  • So let’s be honest about our weakness in order that we, like those who go to AA, can stand on the foundation for recovery, growth, and strength.
  • So are you someone who won’t be honest and admit weaknesses?
  • Are you someone who likes to portray that you have everything together?
  • Are you someone who because of this brovado find yourself falling into temptation?
  • Do you have temptations that relate to sex, to ethics, to material things, to neglecting God, or any other from a long list of areas of your life?
  • Jesus tells us to avoid temptation when we are weak!
    • Watch for trouble. By doing this we are on the lookout for it and can act before it springs its trap to catch us.
    • Conect with God. When we are feeling weak we need to pray!
  • Let’s consider what God’s Word speaks to us about tempation:
    • ‘No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]. ‘
      1 Corinthians 10:13
    • ‘For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. ‘
      Hebrews 4:15
    • ‘Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. ‘
      James 1:13-15
  • So when you feel weak that is the time to watch out and pray.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When you’re weak, what temptations do you need to watch for?
  • When you’re weak, do you want to connect with God? Why or why not?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If the Holy Spirit guides us, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.”

— George Müller — Featured in: George Müller Quotes

As we move into December we have finished the readings of the Tanakh and I thank Sefaria for their resources in helping me to see the Old Testament in a new way and my friend Lionel for having shared this tool with me. As we kick off December the idea my wife brought up came to mind about going through the book of Luke (who was a doctor) which happens to have 24 chapters which mean we can read one a day and complete it in time for Christmas. To get as many details from this I am going to use the Amplified version to try and grasp all the details Luke gives us to consider and learn.

So today we will read Luke 2:

‘Now in those days a decree went out from [the emperor] Caesar Augustus, that all the inhabited world (the Roman Empire) should be registered [in a census]. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to register for the census, each to his own city. So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was with child. While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to give birth, and she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn; and she wrapped Him in [ swaddling] cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no [private] room for them in the inn. In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah). And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this [wonderful] thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger. And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child, and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.

At the end of eight days, when He was to be circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given [to Him] by the angel [Gabriel] before He was conceived in the womb. And when the time for their purification came [that is, the mother’s purification and the baby’s dedication] according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [set apart as the Firstborn] (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy [set apart and dedicated] to the Lord )” and [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord [to be appropriate for a family of modest means], “ a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons .” Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout [carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). Prompted by the Spirit, he came into the temple [enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him the custom required by the Law, Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed and praised and thanked God, and said, “Now, Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to leave [this world] in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your Salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was previously unknown], And [to bring] the praise and honor and glory of Your people Israel.” And His [legal] father and His mother were amazed at what was said about Him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Listen carefully: this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that is to be opposed— and a sword [of deep sorrow] will pierce through your own soul—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, and had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the [area of the] temple, but was serving and worshiping night and day with fastings and prayers. She, too, came up at that very moment and began praising and giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all who were looking for the redemption and deliverance of Jerusalem.

And when they had done everything [in connection with Jesus’ birth] according to the Law of the Lord, they went back to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child continued to grow and become strong [in spirit], filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor, spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.

Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover Feast. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning [to Nazareth], after spending the required number of days [at the Feast], the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and traveled a day’s journey; and [then] they began searching [anxiously] for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him [everywhere]. Three days later they found Him in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard Him were amazed by His intelligence and His understanding and His answers. When they saw Him, they were overwhelmed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Listen, Your father and I have been [greatly distressed and] anxiously looking for You.” And He answered, “Why did you have to look for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He had said to them. He went down to Nazareth with them, and was continually submissive and obedient to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.’

Luke 2:1-52

So where are you at today? Are you feeling weak and needing God’s strength to make it through? Are you feeling weak and finding that the enemy is trying to tempt you into doing things you shouldn’t be doing? Are you feeling weak and wondering what to do about it? Are you feeling weak and turning to God for wisdom and discernment into how to navigate this time in your life? Let’s get started by connecting with God! Let’s get started with doing things that will energize us, body, soul, and mind. Let’s walk out our today in relationship with Jesus! Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Ever wanted to get stronger in some area of your life?


Ever considered what it would mean? Ever considered what it would take? If you want to get physically stronger then you need to start working out, handling the heavier weights, handling the resistance, handling the time investment, and handling the various positions it puts you into.

What areas of life have you ever wanted to get stronger in? Your faith? Your knowledge of something? Your parenting? Your marriage? Your relationships? Your studies? Your field or industry? You ability to love? Your ability to help?

Ever considered how to get stronger in that area would mean putting in more work? Ever considered how to get stronger in that area would require dealing with bigger and heavier situations? Ever considered how to get stronger in that area would require dealing with more resistance? Ever considered how to get stronger in that area would require a great time investment? Ever considered how to get stronger in that area would require allowing yourself to be put in different positions and situations?

Ever been in a situation where you felt weak and needed strength in that moment? How did you respond? What did you do? Were you willing to ask for help? Ever been able to draw from greater resources that were or are available to you? It makes me think of a story about a little boy I heard many years ago and managed to find this version online:

A little boy was spending his Saturday morning playing in his sandbox. He had with him his box of cars and trucks, his plastic pail, and a shiny, red plastic shovel. In the process of creating roads and tunnels in the soft sand, he discovered a large rock in the middle of the sandbox.

The boy dug around the rock, managing to dislodge it from the dirt. With no little bit of struggle, he pushed and nudged the rock across the sandbox by using his feet. (He was a very small boy and the rock was very huge.)

When the boy got the rock to the edge of the sandbox, however, he found that he couldn’t roll it up and over the little wall. Determined, the little boy shoved, pushed, and pried, but every time he thought he had made some progress, the rock tipped and then fell back into the sandbox.

The little boy grunted, struggled, pushed, & shoved; but his only reward was to have the rock roll back, smashing his chubby fingers. Finally he burst into tears of frustration. All this time the boy’s father watched from his living room window as the drama unfolded. At the moment the tears fell, a large shadow fell across the boy and the sandbox. It was the boy’s father.

Gently but firmly he said, “Son, why didn’t you use all the strength that you had available?

Defeated, the boy sobbed back, “But I did, Daddy, I did! I used all the strength that I had!”

“No, son,” said the father kindly. “You didn’t use all the strength you had. You didn’t ask me.”

With that the father reached down, picked up the rock, and removed it from the sandbox.

Do you have “rocks” in your life that need to be removed? Are you discovering that you don’t have what it takes to lift them? There is One who is always available to us and willing to give us the strength we need.

Isn’t it funny how we try so hard to do things ourselves. Sadly, many adults who have been Christians for years are trying to do everything themselves and only turning to God as a last resort. God wants to be your first resort. Let Him help you with your trials, tribulations and temperament. He loves you so much . . . all He wants you to do is ask Him to help.

When you are DOWN to nothing…. God is UP to something!!!

[ Author Unknown — from Bill Dorman ]

Before you give up or throw in the towel, might you consider inviting God into your situation? Might you ask for His wisdom, His strength, His power, His help? It might help by focusing on the one with all the wisdom, strength, and power rather than the problem as it can make it easier to ask for help.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 11th


Strength in Weakness


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’

II Corinthians 12:10

So what goes through your mind when you read that? Are you looking for more info, more context? Let’s check out the Amplified version with more context…

‘Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever had to deal with suffering?
  • Ever had to deal with mistreatment?
  • Ever had to go through it with others?
  • Ever found that many ended up bitter and hardened?
  • Ever noticed anyone who responded differently because they happened to find Jesus in the midst of it all?
  • Ever noticed how that person seemed to have a different attitude?
  • Ever noticed in the midst of it all they seemed to be thankful for the little they had or received?
  • Ever noticed in the midst of it all they seemed to have joy?
  • Ever noticed that there might have been a couple or few like that who were shining their lights?
  • Ever noticed that there might have been a couple or few like that who were able to find peace in the midst of the trials and troubles?
  • Ever noticed how grateful they are when the trial or trouble has gone by because of how it helped them encounter God, find God, be found by God and as such they are thankful?
  • In this world we will have troubles! Suffering is a given for us!
  • Our natural tendency is to try and create an environment or life that is void of troubles and suffering but that isn’t how life works.
  • In the midst of trying so hard suffering shows up, troubles and trials arise, and if we don’t have Jesus then we missed the rest of the story and statement He gave us when He shared that we will have troubles when He concludes with the message of hope: “take heart for I have overcome the world“.
  • The nature of this fallen world is that we will have troubles! we will suffer! But we don’t have to lose hope because of this, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!
  • So in the moment when troubles or trials or suffering shows up, let’s choose embrace the situation as a training ground!
  • Let’s choose to ask God for His peace, His strength, His wisdom through it all in order to strengthen us and our faith through His tutoring, teaching, and lessons.
  • Let’s allow God to shine into and through our lives that those watching us will see God’s hand at work and praise Him!
  • Let’s not allow it to suck the joy, the life, the light out of us and cause us to become bitter or hardened!
  • Let’s be ambassadors of peace and love and hope!
  • Let’s be people who bring reconciliation and allow forgiveness to replace bitterness and hardening of hearts!
  • In our weakness, let’s find God’s strength!
  • Weakness isn’t fun or pretty!
  • Being able to admit we are weak and inviting God into the situation, trusting Him in the midst of the experience will reveal Him to you and the world watching!
  • Paul was convinced that suffering produces good and so he took pleasure in it!
  • We see how Paul’s suffering for Christ’s sake and trusting Him turned what was bad into something good, producing fruit!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you normally respond to suffering?
  • How would it help to believe God can turn suffering into something good in your life?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men, for men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to an end of themselves, and whose trust and confidence is not in themselves but in God.”

— from Care for God’s Fruit-trees and other Messages by H. A. Ironside

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you getting to the end of your rope, your abilities, your strength and ready to invite Jesus into your life? Are you open to the idea that you need help beyond what you can do in your own strength? Are you able to spot or identify your weakness in the moment and invite God into help? Are you ready to ask your Heavenly Father to help you in this situation? Let’s pray:

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

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

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


Needing a boost, a jumpstart, to get energized?


Ever gotten to the point where you are feeling weak? Ever gotten to the point where just needed a bit of power to get through something? Ever gotten to the point where you you feel like your tank is empty and start looking for a way to refill? How did you respond? Where did you go? Where did you turn?

When we get to the end of our ropes it is interesting the choices we can make and in some cases we do make. The devil is looking for the weak and the wounded. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Ever watched the nature shows where the predators are watching the flock to see which one will either wander off on its own or looks weak with a tendency to fall behind? Because of this we need to be aware and be wise in terms of how we choose to respond and what we choose to do.

Will you turn to God? Will you cry out to Him for wisdom and discernment? Will you cry out to Him for power and strength? Will you let God recharge the battery? Will you let God give you the strength to press forward? Will you let God be that boost you needed? Will you allow God to jumpstart your engine? Will you let God energize you?

Will you cast your cares, anxieties, and worries upon the Lord because He cares for you? Will you lean on God and trust in Him? Will you allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? When you are at your weakest, are you willing to trust God and see His strength revealed?

Let’s be wise when we are feeling burned out! Let’s not try to do it all in our own strength! Let’s turn to God for help and pursue His will and His way for us!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 11th


Increase your power


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Isaiah 40:29

‘He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are you able to admin your weaknesses in order for God’s strength to be revealed?
  • Are you willing to do what seems counter intuitive in order to grow?
  • Ever considered how Jesus showed the power of God by humbling himself and becoming weak – born as a baby? allowed mankind, sinful man, to kill Him on a cross? he taught the need to serve in order to become great?
  • How do you treat or respond to your weaknesses?
  • How do you treat or respond to other’s weaknesses?
  • Are you willing to become vulnerable?
  • Are you willing to be humble or will you put on a mask in order to fool others that you are strong?
  • Are you willing to admit your weaknesses in order for God’s strength to be revealed in and through your life?
  • Are you willing to give up the threat of admitting weakness in order to open the door for God’s liberating truth and stunning freedom and real change to be made available and powerful in and through your life?
  • Will you be honest with God about your weaknesses?
  • Will you practice sharing your weaknesses with God?
  • Will you do it regularly rather than only when things get tough or there is a crisis?
  • Will you go to God first when faced with such a situation rather than trying to do it all in your own strength or knowledge and then when you get to the end of your rope turn to Him?
  • Will you admin your weakness first or will you need to get to the end of your rope for you to admin you need God’s help?
  • Will you trust God all the time rather than only when there is a crisis in play?
  • Will you grab hold of the reality that this is the day that Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it?
  • Is there something you need to admit to God today? Is there something you need His strength to show up for because of your weakness?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How is admitting our weaknesses the doorway to experiencing God’s strength?
  • It demonstrates trust
  • It demonstrates humility over pride
  • It prepares your heart and mind for all that God can and will be able to do in and through you.
What are some areas of weakness in your life today?
  • giving negative answers

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.”

James Hudson Taylor

“God did not promise us a trouble free, griefless life. He did promise us that all our sins and griefs He would bear, if we would take them to the Lord in prayer.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So are you energized today? Do you need some energy? Do you have enough power to make it through the day? Will you humble yourself and pray to God that He will help you with power and strength to get His perfect will and plan done for today?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Are you able to find the strength to keep going?


When you are faced with a troubling time, are you able to find the strength to keep going? Does it matter what kind of trouble it is when it comes to being able to know if or where you will be able to find the strength to keep going? Does it matter where the trouble is coming from or to when it comes to being able to know if or where you will be able to find the strength to keep going? Does it matter if it is relational vs solitary? Does it matter if it is at home vs at work? Does it matter if it is scientific vs opinion? Does it matter if it is fact vs fiction? Does it matter if it directed at you vs someone else? Does it matter if it is life vs death? Does it matter if it will impact your ability to make a living?

Do you have a source of strength or does it need to be created? Do you have a way to receive it or does it require you seeking it? Do you know where to go or where to turn to find it or get it? Are you able to find the strength to keep you going? Have you learned something that is robbing you of strength that you need to unlearn? Compare it to the elephant… The wild elephant and the power it has vs the circus elephant who has learned that whatever is attached to its leg is too strong to keep going. Are there things you need to unlearn? Are there things you need to do to be able to receive the strength you need when you need it?

Ever considered turning to God’s love letter to you? Ever considered turning to the book that has the answers? Ever invited God into the situation? Ever turned to the bible to get wisdom and direction? Let’s reflect on this a bit using verses from God’s Word:


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 31st

His Strength

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Ephesians 6:10-11

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ‘

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • We need to be prepared!
  • We need to understand the equipment we have available to us!
  • We need to use all of the equipment we have available to us!
  • We need to guard our identity in the truth of God! (Ephesians 6:14) Put another way we need to be secure in who we are which in some translations we read “HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH“. So let’s put on the belt of truth!
  • We need to guard our hearts in the righteousness of God! (Ephesians 6:14) Put another way we need to put on both the righteousness of Christ as well as living righteously for God, protecting our hearts from the temptations of the devil that tries to entangle us in sinful ways. So let’s put on the breastplate of righteousness!
  • We need to be whole and at peace so that we can be ready! (Ephesians 6:15) Put another way we need be standing firm, protecting our feet from the shaky ground of worry and anxiety that will rob us of our peace! So let’s put on our feet the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace!
  • We need to be filled with and covered with the Word of God as our shield! (Ephesians 6:16) Put another way we have the Word of God ready to defend against the lies of the devil that get thrown at us like fiery darts! So let’s take up the shield of faith!
  • We need to guard our minds to resists the lies and deception of the devil in order that we can we live with God’s freeing truth rather than getting entrapped by the devil’s strongholds! (Ephesians 6:17) Put another way we have to take every thought captive and make sure that they align with God’s Word! We need to take every thought captive remembering the character and faithfulness of God! We need to wash our minds in God’s Word regularly to keep it clear about our salvation that was accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection and how we continue to wash our minds or sanctify ourselves as we live out the rest of our lives! So let’s put on the helmet of salvation!
  • We need to take up the weapon God has given us against the devil which is both defensive (like all the rest of the armor) but is also the only offensive weapon, His Word! (Ephesians 6:17) So let’s take up the sword of the Spirit that is the Word of God, just like Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness, in order to not only defend against the lies of the devil but also counter on the offensive with the truth of the scripture back at him. Let’s check it out how Jesus modelled taking up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!
  • ‘Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.’ — Luke 4:1-13
  • Don’t be mistaken about the devil and who Satan is! Don’t make too little of him! Don’t make too much of him! (C.S. Lewis warns of this and that we need to avoid these extremes)
  • Consider the book of Ephesians and how we are given instruction and direction on how to relate to God, to our family, to believers, and to unbelievers!
  • Don’t be surprised to find yourself in a spiritual battle!
  • Consider all we can grasp in Ephesians 6 on the subject of spiritual warfare!
    • The devil wants to trip us up!
    • The devil has ploys to try and block our walk with God!
    • The devil will use temptation!
    • The devil will use whatever kind he believes will work in or on your like temptation of or for sex, money, power, pleasure, and possessions.
    • The devil is trying to find the right lure to catch us or at least get us off track by chasing after it!
    • The devil will even package it to make it look appealing even though the reality is that it will be harmful to us!
    • The devil tries to rob, to kill, and to destroy by confusion in order to get us off track!
    • The devil try to get us unsettled by or through planting misinformation!
    • The devil will even throw accusations our way to get in our heads and make us doubt God’s love and God’s forgiveness!
  • So before we head out for today, let’s go back to the beginning and get prepared, put on the full armor of God, and then be able to protect ourselves from the fiery darts and then go on the offensive through the Word of God when attacks come our way!
  • We aren’t to fight in the ways of the world!
    • We are to fight with truth!
    • We are to fight with grace!
    • We are to fight with faith!
    • We are to fight in a way that gives us the resources necessary to be effective!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
In what ways can you identify Satan’s ploys of temptation, confusion, and accusation in your own life?
  • Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings
  • Be filled with the Word of God by meditating on His Word daily
  • Compare what you are experiencing against the Word of God and taking captive every thought
Are you fighting effectively? Why or why not?
  • Sometimes
  • Today yes, as I was praying for my daughter and going through what she should do.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“To the degree that God will use you, the devil—to an equal degree—will try to destroy you.”

Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Exodus 5
    • We need to know our audience and help them understand
    • Don’t give up because of the words and actions of man, trust in God and persevere
    • Don’t lose hope because things look to be heading in the wrong direction, trust in God and walk in obedience to Him
    • Don’t lose hope because they try to turn others against you, trust in God and lean not on your own understanding
    • Get ready for the miracles of God!
    • It may get worse before it gets better! (reflections of 2020 before things changed)
  • Exodus 6
    • Don’t look at things from the perspective of how big your problems are, instead look at things from the perspective of how big your God is!
    • What if going thru this brings you closer to God?
    • What if going thru this will build your relationship with God, allowing you to know Him more?
    • What if going thru this will help you to grasp His name? (יהוה)
    • God will free you!
    • God will deliver you!
    • God will redeem you!
    • God will take you!
    • You will be His people! He will be your God!
    • Don’t give up just because they won’t listen!
    • Go beyond just what you can do in your own strength! Lean in and on the Lord!

Do you have strength? Do you need strength? Are you ready to accept it from God?

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Story of Job. – Day 7


Today we will complete the study of chapter 4. As we saw yesterday it was the start of the conversation and accusations of his friends after 7 days of mourning without anyone speaking.


‘The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered. “Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Dread and trembling came upon me, Which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my skin stood on end! The spirit stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, and then I heard a voice, saying: ‘Can [mortal] man be just before God or be more righteous than He? Can a man be pure before his Maker or be more cleansed than He? God puts no trust or confidence, even in His [heavenly] servants, And He charges His angels with error. How much more [will He blame and charge] those who dwell in houses (bodies) of clay, Whose foundations are in the dust, Who are crushed like a moth. Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces and destroyed; Unobserved and unnoticed, they perish forever. Is not their tent-cord drawn up within them [so that the tent collapses]? Do they not die, and yet without [acquiring] wisdom?’’

Job 4:10-21

Today’s notes from the study of Job 4:10-11.

We see as we start today’s reading and study how Eliphaz tries to demonstrate through his description that in spite of strength and resources, wicked people experience calamities. We see that the lion’s characteristics are described through 5 different words to represent the wicked people and calling out Job.


  1. The roaring of the lion: The word used here (אריה ‘aryêh) or in a more usual form (ארי ‘ărı̂y), is from, ארה ‘ârâh, to pull, to pluck, and is probably given to the lion as the puller in pieces, on account of the mode in which he devours his prey, Bochart, however, contends that the name is not from, ארה, because, says he, the lion does not bite or crop his food like grass, which, he says, the word properly means, but is from the verb ראה râ’âh, to see, because, says he, the lion is the most keen-sighted of the animals; or rather from the fire of his eyes – the terror which the glance of his eye inspires. So the Greeks derive the word lion, λέοντα leonta, from λάω laō, to see. See Beehart, Hieroz. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 715.
  2. The voice of the fierce lion: The word here translated “fierce lion” (שׁחל shı̂chal) is from שׁחל shachal, to roar, and hence, given for an obvious reason to a lion. Bochart understands by it the swarthy lion of Syria; the lion which the Arabians call adlamon. This lion, says he, is dark and dingy. The usual color of the lion is yellow, but Oppian says that the lion in Aethiopia is sometimes found of a dark color, μελανόχροος melanochroos; see Bochart, Hieroz. Lib. i. c. 1, p. 717, 718.
  3. The teeth of the young lions: The word used here, כפיר kephı̂yr, means a “young lion already weaned, and beginning to hunt for prey.” – Gesenius. It thus differs from the גוּר gûr, which means a whelp, still under the care of the dam; see Ezekiel 19:2-3; compare Bochart, Hieroz. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 714. Some expression is here evidently to be understood that shall be applicable to the voice, or the roaring of the lion. Noyes supplies the words, “are silenced.” The words “are broken” can be applicable only to the teeth of the young lions. It is unnatural to say that the “roaring” and the “voice” are broken. The sense is, that the lion roars in vain, and that calamity and destruction come notwithstanding his growl; and as applied to men, it means that men who resemble the lion are disappointed and punished.
  4. The old lion: The word used here, לישׁ layı̂sh, denotes a lion, “so called,” says Gesenius,” from his strength and bravery,” or, according to Urnbreit, the lion in the strength of his old ago; see an examination of the word in Bochart, Hieroz. P. i. Lib. iii. c. 1, p. 720. Perisheth for lack of prey – Not withstanding his strength and power. That is, such a thing sometimes occurs. Eliphaz could not maintain that it always happened. The meaning seems to be, that as the strength of the lion was no security that he would not perish for want, so it was with men who resembled the lion in the strength of mature age.
  5. The stout lion’s whelps: The word here rendered “stout lion,” לביא lâbı̂y’, is probably derived from the obsolete root לבא lâbâ’, “to roar,” and it is given to the lion on account of his roaring. Bochart, Hieroz. P. i. Lib. iii. c. 1. p. 719, supposes that the word means a lioness. These words complete the description of the lion, and the sense is, that the lion in no condition, or whatever name indicative of strength might be given to it, bad power to resist God when he came forth for its destruction. Its roaring, its strength, its teeth, its rage, were all in vain. Are scattered abroad – That is, when the old lion is destroyed, the young ones flee, and are unable to offer resistance. So it is with men. When the divine judgments come upon them, they have no power to make successful resistance. God has them under control, and he comes forth at his pleasure to restrain and subdue them, as he does the wild beasts of the desert, though so fearful and formidable.

*Found details on the lion here: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/job/4.htm


From the study we are following, it adds the following insight into verses 10-11:


Job 4:10 “The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.” Understand vanishes, or perishes (out of Job 4:9). Or, is restrained, or suppressed, as may be gathered out of the following branch of this verse. “And the teeth of the young lions are broken”: The power of such mighty ones to do mischief is taken away from them, and they and their families are brought to ruin. The teeth of lions are very strong in both jaws; they have fourteen teeth, four incisors or cutters, four canine or dog teeth, six molars or grinders.

Job 4:11 “The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.” Dares not venture out of his den in search of prey, amidst the roar of thunder. The blaze of lightning, and the violence of the storm, that blast of God, mentioned in the preceding verse. “And the young lion’s whelps are scattered abroad”: Are so affrighted with the lightning and thunder, that, being separated, they flee in different ways, and cannot find the path which leads to the den of the lioness, their dam. Thus do the divine judgments suddenly oppress, scatter, and bring to nothing the fierce and powerful tyrants of the earth, and unexpectedly strip them of all their wealth gotten by injustice and oppression. Eliphaz now, was relating Job to evil men who were spoken of as lions. He was saying that Job had abused his power as a leader. The old lion was a tyrant who had lost his power. In this last statement, it was a terrible blow to Job, because his children were called the whelps. They were taken from Job, but they were not scattered, they were in heaven with God. Job’s friend spoke of them, as if they were lost for the sins of their father. All of the statements from Job’s friend were not true, because they were not from God.

Book of Job – Job 4

Ever had people tell you that they received a word from God for you? Ever checked it against God’s Word to confirm the truth of it? Ever found it to be true? Ever found it to be false? Ever not checked and just assumed it was true or false without verifying? Ever not checked and later found out they were wrong? Turn to God for wisdom so that you won’t be mislead or tricked by the plans and ploys of the devil.

When we receive the Holy Spirit after accepting Jesus into our hearts and lives, He can speak and confirm or rebuke what is being said. We need to turn to God for wisdom. We can’t just try to go through life man’s way but instead we need to seek first the kingdom of God and go it His way. We need to choose the narrow road that leads to life rather than going mans way on the broad road that leads to death.


Reference links for today:

From BibleHub.com: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/job/4.htm

From Bible-Studys.org: https://www.bible-studys.org/Bible%20Books/Job/Job%20Chapter%204.html


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

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

What makes today happy?


Is it a special day? Is there a party? Is there a reason? Is there something special about it?

Today is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t let anything rob us of that joy for the joy of the Lord is our strength! There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy, how about you?


The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.


There ain’t nothing
gonna steal my joy


Does it have to be a holiday? Does it have to be a weekend? Does it have to be a birthday? Does it have to be an anniversary? Does it have to be a party? Does it have to be a gathering? Or can it all be about the overflow of the joy of the Lord pouring out of your life?



Not feeling it? Why not fill up with Him? Did you listen to the above 2 songs? If not and you are questioning start with the one just above and then the first one. Don’t read on till you have listen to both and then come back to this point and continue.

Feeling it more? Needing more? Why not try going to the first one and watch it in YouTube and and allow YouTube to play thru a few more worship songs? This is the day the Lord has made! Music doesn’t work for everyone, so let’s do something powerful and turn to God’s love letter found in the Bible.



Even on special days, sometimes we need to know how much we are loved. Even on special days, the devil will try to rob us of our joy. Even on special days, people will do things or say things that will try to rob us of our joy. But we can’t let that cause us to lose our joy for the joy of the Lord of the joy is our strength and so if we feel it draining from us, lets turn back to God and be refilled. Let’s allow God’s Word to be our fuel for a new day so that in and through us and our lives God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 5
  • Nehemiah 6
  • Nehemiah 7:1-4
  • Ezekiel 46
  • Ezekiel 47:1-12
  • Acts 24:1-9
  • Revelation 17:11-18
  • Psalms 138

We need to defend the oppressed. We need to support the orphans and widows.

We need to ensure that the rules and ways of doing business don’t harm the oppressed.

Let’s live out our lives in a way that shows reverence to God so that in and through our lives, as living sacrifices, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Let’s live out our lives with the wisdom of the Lord

Let’s not be fooled or tricked but rather live out our lives with the discernment that comes with the Holy Spirit. Trust God!

Let’s complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish.

Let’s be living sacrifices to our God that are pleasing to Him.

Let’s be living out our lives to supporting life and flourishing.

Let’s allow the living water of Jesus to flow in and through us so that there will be life wherever we go.

Let’s be a part of the victory by being on Jesus’s side.

Let’s be a part of the people who will spend eternity with God and not in the pit with the devil.

Let’s give God thanks and praise Him.

‘I give you thanks, O Lord , with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord , for all of them will hear your words. Yes, they will sing about the Lord ’s ways, for the glory of the Lord is very great. Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord , endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.’

Psalms 138:1-8

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

Let’s pray:


This morning when I landed on Bing to get my reward points it started with this page:


Yes, today is my birthday but that isn’t what makes it happy. Thank You Jesus for this new day You have created and have prepared in advance for me. Thank You Jesus for the strength I receive through the joy You have provided me. Thank You for today!

Where do you turn when things get tough?


Ever heard people say that when the going gets tough the tough gets going? But how do they do that? How can they be so tough? How do they persevere? What is it that can drive them to press on? What is it that can motivate them to keep going? Can it endure? How long can it endure? Is it pure human strength or is it something bigger? How do they know to keep going? How do they know which way to go?

Ever looked into God’s Word? Ever realized that all the wisdom you need can be found in it? Ever realized that when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we have power that is greater than anything we can or could ever do in our own strength? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you given Him permission and access to everything? Have you decided to receive His wisdom and guidance? Have you decided to obey His commands? Have you decided to receive the greatest gift available that can only come through grace by faith? Have you accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus?

Let’s imagine a world where we love God and love people as our only commands. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. Love our neighbor as ourselves. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being patient, being kind, without envy, without boasting, and without pride. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives without dishonoring others, without being selfish and forcing our own ways, without being easily angered, and without keeping records of wrongs and so forgiving. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being truthful and rejoicing in it rather than delighting in evil. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives always protecting, always, trusting, always hoping, and always persevering. Imagine a world were we can be people who love in its purest form where we live out our lives being with never failing love and that love being what helps us keep going, even when the going gets tough!

So when the going gets tough, how will you respond and why will you respond that way?


Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Kings 19:

‘When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord . And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, insults, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver the baby. But perhaps the Lord your God has heard the Assyrian chief of staff, sent by the king to defy the living God, and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!” After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’” Meanwhile, the Assyrian chief of staff left Jerusalem and went to consult the king of Assyria, who had left Lachish and was attacking Libnah. Soon afterward King Sennacherib received word that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was leading an army to fight against him. Before leaving to meet the attack, he sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message: “This message is for King Hezekiah of Judah. Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria. You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different? Have the gods of other nations rescued them—such nations as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? My predecessors destroyed them all! What happened to the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?” After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord ’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord . And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord : “O Lord , God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord , and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord , and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. “It is true, Lord , that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord , are God.” Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria. And the Lord has spoken this word against him: “The virgin daughter of Zion despises you and laughs at you. The daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head in derision as you flee. “Whom have you been defying and ridiculing? Against whom did you raise your voice? At whom did you look with such haughty eyes? It was the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have defied the Lord. You have said, ‘With my many chariots I have conquered the highest mountains— yes, the remotest peaks of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypress trees. I have reached its farthest corners and explored its deepest forests. I have dug wells in many foreign lands and refreshed myself with their water. With the sole of my foot I stopped up all the rivers of Egypt!’ “But have you not heard? I decided this long ago. Long ago I planned it, and now I am making it happen. I planned for you to crush fortified cities into heaps of rubble. That is why their people have so little power and are so frightened and confused. They are as weak as grass, as easily trampled as tender green shoots. They are like grass sprouting on a housetop, scorched before it can grow lush and tall. “But I know you well— where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me. And because of your raging against me and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I will make you return by the same road on which you came.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Here is the proof that what I say is true: “This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. And you who are left in Judah, who have escaped the ravages of the siege, will put roots down in your own soil and will grow up and flourish. For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem, a group of survivors from Mount Zion. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! “And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: “His armies will not enter Jerusalem. They will not even shoot an arrow at it. They will not march outside its gates with their shields nor build banks of earth against its walls. The king will return to his own country by the same road on which he came. He will not enter this city, says the Lord . For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David, I will defend this city and protect it.” That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there. One day while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria.’

2 Kings 19:1-37

Today’s reading then brings us into Ezekiel 25:

‘Then this message came to me from the Lord : “Son of man, turn and face the land of Ammon and prophesy against its people. Give the Ammonites this message from the Sovereign Lord : Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord ! Because you cheered when my Temple was defiled, mocked Israel in her desolation, and laughed at Judah as she went away into exile, I will allow nomads from the eastern deserts to overrun your country. They will set up their camps among you and pitch their tents on your land. They will harvest all your fruit and drink the milk from your livestock. And I will turn the city of Rabbah into a pasture for camels, and all the land of the Ammonites into a resting place for sheep and goats. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped and danced and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people, I will raise my fist of judgment against you. I will give you as plunder to many nations. I will cut you off from being a nation and destroy you completely. Then you will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the people of Moab have said that Judah is just like all the other nations, I will open up their eastern flank and wipe out their glorious frontier towns—Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. And I will hand Moab over to nomads from the eastern deserts, just as I handed over Ammon. Yes, the Ammonites will no longer be counted among the nations. In the same way, I will bring my judgment down on the Moabites. Then they will know that I am the Lord . “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Edom have sinned greatly by avenging themselves against the people of Judah. Therefore, says the Sovereign Lord , I will raise my fist of judgment against Edom. I will wipe out its people and animals with the sword. I will make a wasteland of everything from Teman to Dedan. I will accomplish this by the hand of my people of Israel. They will carry out my vengeance with anger, and Edom will know that this vengeance is from me. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken! “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt. Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will raise my fist of judgment against the land of the Philistines. I will wipe out the Kerethites and utterly destroy the people who live by the sea. I will execute terrible vengeance against them to punish them for what they have done. And when I have inflicted my revenge, they will know that I am the Lord .”’

Ezekiel 25:1-17

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Acts 17:

‘While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there. He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.” Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.) So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.’

Acts of the Apostles 17:16-34

Today’s reading then continues into Revelation 8:

‘When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.’

Revelation 8:1-5

Today’s reading concludes in Psalms 120:

‘I took my troubles to the Lord ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Rescue me, O Lord , from liars and from all deceitful people. O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment? You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals. How I suffer in far-off Meshech. It pains me to live in distant Kedar. I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!’

Psalms 120:1-7

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

Let’s pray:

Salvation Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me, thank you for dying on the cross for me. Jesus, please forgive me for all the evil things that I have done. I am sorry. Jesus, I want to be a child of God and follow you, please teach me to do what is right. Jesus, I want You to be my Lord and Savior, please come into my Heart, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Jesus, please protect me from the evil one, and save me, so that I may go to Heaven with You. I also pray that you would save my friends and family. I love you Jesus, I want to know You, and be close to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.  

Sign your name here.

Looking for something that will encourage and strengthen?


Where do you turn? Do you know of any good sources? Do you know where you can learn more? Do you know where you can read more? Do you know where there is truth that can encourage not only you but those around you? Do you know where this is truth that can strengthen and lift both you and those you are leading? Do you know where Thomas Jefferson turned? Do you know what he spoke to and spoke from during his second inaugural address?

God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God’s Word can both motivate, encourage, and strengthen you and those you are leading. When I think of the rough day yesterday, I left work late and went to a Team Meeting for worship and art being lead by our incredible worship pastor. He went to Exodus 33 and shared verses 12-17. Between our time together of worship and the preaching of the Word, I was motivated, encouraged, and strengthened to get back up and press forward.  It spoke to how the overflow of our hearts is what we pour into ministry. It spoke to how when we have God’s presence that all things are possible. It spoke to how God responds to big faith.

12Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
17And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 
–from Exodus 33

The 5 points that our worship pastor shared were incredible and used real life stories and examples as well as other part of the Bible to speak God’s truth to us so that we could get inspired, encouraged, and strengthened.

Defined by his presence

  1. Continue to learn – v13
    • Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
  2. God promises his presence and his rest – v14
    • And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
  3. Moses wanted more of God – v15-16
    • 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
  4. God’s presence makes us different – v16
    • 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
  5. Moses hunger was pleasing to God – v17
    • 17And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

Today’s reading comes from Exodus 39…

Making the Priestly Garments

‘From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments, for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, in the style of the ephod, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. It was square. They made the breastpiece doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth when doubled. And they set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle was the first row; and the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. And they made on the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. And they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece. And they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. They attached the two ends of the two cords to the two settings of filigree. Thus they attached it in front to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. And they made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue, and the opening of the robe in it was like the opening in a garment, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates— a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate around the hem of the robe for ministering, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They also made the coats, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, and the turban of fine linen, and the caps of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twined linen, and the sash of fine twined linen and of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, embroidered with needlework, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the Lord .” And they tied to it a cord of blue to fasten it on the turban above, as the Lord had commanded Moses. Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses; so they did. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the covering of tanned rams’ skins and goatskins, and the veil of the screen; the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat; the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand; the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons for their service as priests. According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.

–from Exodus 39:1-43

Mar 3 - Encouragement and Strength from Exodus - Ephod of Aaron.jpg

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible points to Thomas Jefferson’s second inaugural speech and how he used both Exodus and Romans 13:4 to speak to the people of the United States.

I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.

–from Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Speech

So where are you at today? Are you needing motivation, encouragement, and strength? Are the people around you needing to be motivated, encouraged, and/or strengthened? What are you going to do? Where are you going to turn? How will you respond? Do you know where your hope and your source come from? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteous, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but fully trust in Jesus’ name.

Every morning I start my day in the Bible. On days when it is either cut short, missed, or interrupted it prevents me from getting filled up. It keeps me from being fully prepared for the day. When I do get to finish fully, the Holy Spirit fills me up and I live and pour out my life with the overflow of all that God is and has poured into and over my life. It is the reason people may wonder why am I so joyful, why am I the way I am and the reality is that it is because of Jesus living in and through me. It is because God has poured so much into me that I am overflowing into the lives of the people He brings into my life. It is because His Word never returns void!

So where are you at today? Looking for something or someone that will encourage and strengthen? Are you turning to God’s Word? Are you crying out to God? Are you in relationship with Jesus? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you, comfort you and encourage you? Are you willing to give it up and over to God so that He can pour into you and your life and the lives of the people around you in a way that will encourage and strengthen you and then?

Today you get to choose! Today you don’t get to choose what comes your way but you will get to choose how you will respond. From the overflow of the heart your mouth will speak. So what is in your heart? What will the overflow be? Will your words be words that build up or tear down? Will your words be words that cause life or cause death? Will your words build up others? Will your words tear down strongholds?

So what will you choose? The decision is one that only you can make. The power is yours!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift it up Lord and take hold of the Words from Exodus 33 and how I want to continue to learn more about you and seek your face. I want Your presence with me everywhere I go so that I go where You want me to go, I do what You want me to do, and I say what You want me to say. If You don’t come with me, I don’t want to go! Without You life isn’t worth it. With You all things are possible for nothing is impossible with You. So Lord I take this time seeking You , diligently seeking You for I know then I will find you. I come boldly believing and trusting in You for I know that bold faith will shine Your glory to the world around me. Help me today to step out in the right mindset and focus so that in all that I think, say, and do that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. I want go where You go. I want to stay where You stay. And so Lord guide my steps I pray. Allow me to pick up the encouragement and strength from Your Word that today I will walk out this day with the overflow in order to be able to pour into the lives of everyone who comes across my path. I lift all this up to You Lord and ask that Your wisdom and discernment will lead and guide as Your Spirit will comfort and direct so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Who does God say you are? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 21st)


Do you remember life before you had that encounter with God? Do you remember who you were then? Do you remember the transformation that took place when you realized that it was all about having a relationship with Him? Do you remember the difference it made in your life to realize it was more than just ritual and routine but was all about having an intimate relationship with God through Jesus? Do you remember how the old faded or is fading away? Do you remember the newness of life that has begun? Do you remember that sense of new beginning? Do you remember those old things that were keeping you from becoming all God desires and has planned for you fading away and the new things that have started to appear? Do take hold of the fruits of the Spirit that have started to produce?

Who does God say you are? A child of God! A son or daughter? A husband or wife? A father or mother? A servant leader? …

I have moments throughout my life where God has called me to be more that what I thought I could be. He called me to be a good husband and father. He called me to step up and be part of the leadership of my community. He called me to step up and lead the community. He called me to get involved in the lives of kids. He called me to make a difference in the lives of kids. He called me to go to camps. He called me to lead a camp. He called me to get involved in His church. He called me to step up and be a servant leader in my church.  He called me to a good employee and lead.

I have stories about how I resisted those for a time because it felt so much bigger than myself like the time when I resisted to the point of getting the ultimatum of obeying or being nothing. I have learned that if God calls me to it, He will get me through it! Nothing is too big for God and so I need to not lean on my own understanding but rather in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will be my strength. I need to tie up to Him when I am feeling weak and allow His strength which is more than enough to be what helps me get in and get through. When He called me to become president of the homeowners association, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into serving in worship and arts, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to act, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into men’s leadership, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a deacon on the church board, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for a camp for foster teens, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for the content management system at work, I had to lean on Him!

God has a plan and God has a purpose for each of us! God takes us right where are loving us unconditionally and to the fullest amount. God doesn’t want us to stay where we were but He has plans and dreams for our lives that can feel frightening at times because they are so much more than we could have ever asked or imagined. His ways are not our ways, His ways are bigger and better. So we need to lean not on our own understanding but rather in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our path straight! Do limit yourself because of the lies of the devil! The devil is real and He is trying to rob you from all God’s blessings by speaking lies that you aren’t this and aren’t than and why would God ever… so resist the devil’s lies and he will flee and instead run to God, call out to God, trust in the Lord with all your strength, your mind, all your heart and soul! Stay close to God! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you!

So take time and seek God! Take time and read God’s Word! Take time and be with God’s church! Take time and consider what God has planned for you! This is the day that the Lord has made! God didn’t want to leave you where you were but His plan through Jesus is to give you a hope and a future! God wants to walk with you into all the amazing plans He has for your life! When you start to feel weak or afraid, draw closer to God, lean on Him more because in our weakness, His strength is revealed! All things are possible for those who believe!


Today’s reading comes from Matthew 16:18 …

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

–from Matthew 16:18

Do you realize how this impacted the world of art? Have you been to St. Peter’s Basilica? Have you consider the impact of Jesus’ words to Peter and how it impacted the world? Have you seen how these words have impact the world of art done by Michelangelo? Ever seen such incredible pictures from the Basilica?

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Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You aren’t done with me yet and that I am still clay being molded into the person You desire for me to be. I thank You Lord that You aren’t limited by my abilities but are able to take what I have and use it for Your glory. I thank You Lord that Your plans for me are good. I thank You Lord for Jesus who came and made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that thanks to Your plans I have a hope and a future. Lord, grant me wisdom for today. Lord, help me when I get stuck or feel weak to hold on tighter to You. Help me to be like David who when he was so drained, he strengthened himself in you! Nothing is impossible with You Lord and so I put all my hope and trust in You so that in and through my life You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Can you live giving it all?


How many ways can we consider this? How many ways can we say this?

Are you committed? Are you dedicated? Are you convicted? Are you decided?

How are you living your life? Are you a halfway type of person? Are you part way in type of person? What are you involved in? What are you you committed to? What are you dedicated to? What are you convicted to?What have you decided is your focus?

Are you wholeheartedly committed to living after God and His ways?

Are you all in?

Are you trying to live out your life fully after God? Are you fully 100% committed to doing what the Lord calls you to do? Are you in with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength, and all of your mind?

Is there anything bad or getting in the way of you being able to accomplish this?

Are there things that you need to remove from your life in order to be able to better follow after God?

God’s looking for people! Will you step up? Will you raise your hand? Will you come forward?

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. –2 Chronicles 16:9

Will you be fully committed so that even in those weakest or darkest moments, God will be able to give you strength?

Will you allow Jesus to be the Lord of all of your life? Partial doesn’t cut it. If Jesus isn’t the Lord of all of your life, He isn’t Lord at all in your life!

Let’s consider the times throughout the Bible where we hear about “all of our heart”…

  • 4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  –from Deuteronomy 6
  • 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. –from Matthew 22
  • 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; –from Proverbs 3
  • 34Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. –from Psalm 119
  • 69Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. –from Psalm 119
  • 1Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. –from Psalm 111
  • 1Of David. I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. –from Psalm 138
  • 14Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! –from Zephaniah 3
  • 6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. –from Nehemiah 4
  • 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters, –from Colossians 3

Do you want to have a full life? There is but one way! Do you 10 out of 10? Consider these words from John 10:10…

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. –John 10:10

As our devotional today concluded, it speaks the truth of what a full live looks like when it says…

It’s a life of love, trust, gratitude, joy and meaningful work. In the passages for today we see why and how we should live wholeheartedly.

–from Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

Life on this planet is short, so let’s make the most of it and live wholeheartedly!

For those of us who have received Jesus and invited Him into our lives, we know we have eternity to spend with Him and so we need to share this hope that is within us with the world around us that God has provided to each of us as a way to help point them to Him.


Wholehearted Living

Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Brevity of life … Psalm 102:1-11
  2. Certainty of resurrection … 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
    • Let’s consider and remember these words of wisdom from today’s devotional…
    • Paul tells us what was at the heart of his preaching, and why he followed Jesus so wholeheartedly: ‘The gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand’ (v.1). This is the gospel whereby you are saved (v.2); hold firmly to it.

      The message

      It is a very simple message, ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’ (vv.3–4).

      His death had a great purpose. It was ‘for our sins’. The power of sin is broken. Sins can be forgiven.

      While sin’s power is broken, its presence remains in our lives. But one day, even the presence of sin will be removed.

      You can be sure of this because of the resurrection. This is the certainty of your hope for the future.

      Jesus died and was buried. One day you will die and be buried. Jesus was raised from the dead. One day you will also be raised.

      The evidence

      The resurrection is a sign in this world of the future God has in store. Paul spoke of the future in light of what God had done: ‘He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead’ (Acts 17:31). Faith is not irrational. Faith is grounded on the event of the resurrection.

      Paul gives some of the evidence for the resurrection. First, he highlights that Jesus was ‘buried’ and ‘raised according to the Scriptures’. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were written about before he was born.

      Second, he points to Christ’s appearances to Peter, to the twelve, to 500 others, to James, all the apostles, and finally, to Paul himself (1 Corinthians 15:6–8).

      This is not an exhaustive list of the appearances – but enough to show it is well attested. He shows that the resurrection is rooted in history, grounded in Scripture and confirmed by experience.

      The importance

      The resurrection really matters. If there is no resurrection, the consequences are dire. The resurrection was the basis of Paul’s preaching. Without it ‘everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors… a string of barefaced lies’ (vv.14a–15, MSG). Since that was what they based their faith on, without the resurrection ‘your faith is futile’ and ‘you are still in your sins’ (v.17). There would be no hope for the future, ‘those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost’ (v.18). In fact, Paul concludes that without it Christianity is worse than nothing: ‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people’ (v.19).

      The result

      ‘But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries’ (v.20, MSG). Therefore, the resurrection is certain. One day all those who are ‘in Christ’ will be raised from the dead. Then death will be destroyed (v.26). ‘God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive – a perfect ending!’ (v.28, MSG).

      Because the resurrection is certain, Paul writes, we endanger ourselves every hour (v.30): ‘I die every day’ (v.31). He is 100%, wholeheartedly fully committed to the Lord. He even fought wild beasts in Ephesus (v.32). He was willing to risk his life because of the certainty of the resurrection.

      This is the reason why Paul urges us to ‘stop sinning’ (v.34). Satan’s tactics often start with doubt. If he can make us doubt, then next he will tempt us to sin. In one sense, all sin stems from unbelief.

       

      The message of Jesus, his death and resurrection, is good news. It is the gospel. You are to receive it and believe it. You are to take your stand on it. You are to hold it firmly. Like Paul, pass it on to others.

      –from Day 234: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Eyes of the Lord … 2 Chronicles 16:1-18:27

Day 234 of 365 …

Strengthen yourself in the Lord!


In a bind? In a tough spot? In a situation? Turn to God to be your strength and to strengthen you! Allow Him to meet you right where you are at and help you! Allow Him to grant you wisdom for the very situation so that you can move forward in His blessing and guidance to complete the work He has for you to do!

Today’s reading from 1 Samuel speaks right into this situation…

Descendants of Benjamin

1Benjamin fathered Bela his firstborn, Ashbel second, Ahrah third, 2Nohah the fourth, and Rapha fifth. 3Bela’s sons were: Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4 Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, 5 Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. 6These were the sons of Ehud—the heads of clans of the inhabitants of Geba, who were taken captive to Manahath: 7Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he took them captive and fathered Uzza and Ahihud. 8Shaharaim fathered children in the country of Moab after divorcing his wives Hushim and Baara. 9By his wife Hodesh he fathered Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10Jeuz, Sachiah and Mirmah. These were his sons, family leaders. 11By Hushim he fathered Abitub and Elpaal. 12The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod with its villages; 13Beriah and Shema, leaders of the clans living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. 14Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, 15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16Michael, Ishpah, Joha were sons of Beriah. 17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber 18Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were sons of Elpaal. 19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were sons of Shimei. 22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothiah, 25Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26Shamsherai, Shechariah, Athaliah 27Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri were sons of Jeroham. 28These were leaders of the clans listed in their genealogies. These lived in Jerusalem. 29Now the father of Gibeon dwelt in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maacah, 30and his firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31Gedor, Ahio and Zecher 32and Mikloth who fathered Shimeah. They lived with their relatives in Jerusalem, opposite their relatives. 33Ner fathered Kish and Kish fathered Saul. Saul fathered Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 34Jonathan’s son was Merib-baal and Merib-baal fathered Micah. 35Micah’s sons: Pithon, Melech, Taarea and Ahaz. 36Ahaz fathered Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah fathered Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri fathered Moza, 37Moza fathered Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38Azel had six sons and these were their names: Azrikam, Bocru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan—all these were sons of Azel. 39The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush second, and Eliphelet third. 40Now the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons—150. All these were descendants of Benjamin.

–from 1 Chronicles 8

What if someone took everything you loved and owned? What if they burned down everything that they didn’t take? What would you do? How would you respond? What if 1/3 of the people who were going out with you were too tired to go all the way? How would you respond?

Raid on Amalek

1Now it came to pass, when David and his men returned to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2taking the women in it captive, young and old, without killing anyone, but carried them off as they went their way. 3So when David and his men came to the town, behold, it was burned with fire—and their wives, their sons and their daughters had been taken captives. 4Then David and the troops with him lifted up their voice and wept until they there was no more strength in them to weep. 5Even David’s two wives were taken captive—Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. 6So David was in a serious bind, for the troops were calling for his stoning, for all the troops were bitter of soul, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Adonai his God. 7Then David said to Abiathar the kohen son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I pursue after this raiding band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue! For you will surely overtake and you will surely rescue!” 9So David went, he and the 600 men with him, and came to the Wadi Besor, where those left behind remained— 10for 200 men stayed behind because they were too exhausted to cross Wadi Besor. Yet David pursued, he and the other 400 men. 11Then they found an Egyptian in the open field and brought him to David, gave him bread to eat and water to drink, 12and they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two cakes of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came back to him, for he had eaten no bread and drunk no water for three days and three nights. 13Then David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” “I am a young Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,” he said. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I fell sick. 14We made a raid in the Negev of the Cherethites, and on Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb; also we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15Then David asked him, “Will you lead me to this raiding band?” “Swear to me by God that you won’t kill me or deliver me into my master’s hands,” he said, “and I will lead you to this marauding band.” 16So he led him down, and behold, they were scattered over all the area, eating, drinking and feasting because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17David attacked them from the twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled. 18So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 19There was nothing of theirs missing, whether young or old, sons or daughters, spoils or anything else that had been carried off—David recovered everything. 20David took all the flocks and the herd that they had driven ahead of the other cattle, so they said, “This is David’s spoil.” 21When David reached the 200 men—who had been too exhausted to follow David and were left at Wadi Besor—they came out to meet David and to meet the men with him, so David approached these people and greeted them. 22But all the wicked men and worthless fellows among those who accompanied David said, “Because they did not accompany us, we shouldn’t give them any of the spoil that we’ve recovered, except every man may take his wife and his children and leave.” 23“You must not do so, my brothers with what Adonai has given us,” David said. “It is He who has protected us and gave into our hands the raiding band that attacked us. 24Who would listen to you in this matter? The share of him who went down to the battle is to be the same as that of him who remained by the baggage. They will share alike.” 25So it has been from that day forward—he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26When David arrived at Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Look, a blessing for you from the spoil of the enemies of Adonai,” 27to those in Beth-el, Ramoth-Negev, Jattir, 28Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29Racal, to those in the towns of Jerahmeelite, to those in the towns of the Kenites, 30Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31Hebron and to all the places where David and his men had roamed.

–from 1 Samuel 30

You are invited! You are wanted! Will you go? Will you participate? Will you be humble and go? Will you be too proud and busy and miss out on what is most important?

Invitation to the Wedding Feast

1Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they wouldn’t come. 4Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “Look, I’ve prepared my meal. My oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5“But paying no attention, they went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest grabbed his servants, humiliated them, and killed them. 7Now the king became furious! Sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers and set fire to their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go into the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’ 10And those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to look over the guests, he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was silent. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

–from Matthew 22

Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Allow God to direct your steps and your words!

A Trap about Paying Taxes

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap Him with a word. 16And they sent to Him some of their disciples, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are honest and teach the way of God in truth. And what others think doesn’t concern You, for You do not look at men’s appearance. 17Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Yeshua, knowing their wickedness, said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21“Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Religious Leaders Ask a Tricky Question

23On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

The Greatest Mitzvot

34But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place. 35And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Yeshua Overturns the Arguments

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they say to Him. 43“Then how is it,” He says to them, “that David by the Ruach calls him ‘Lord’? 44For he says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word. Nor did anyone dare from that day on to question Him any longer.

–from Matthew 22

 

 

 

 

Do you need help? Do you really need help?


If you answer yes, have you asked for help? Have you turned to the one who can help? Have you talked with them about what you need and how they can help? It’s more than just a routine, it’s all about having and building and strengthening that relationship! If we aren’t living in relationship with Him and we aren’t walking in alignment with Him and we don’t ask Him, how can we expect to get help when we need it? We need to ask!

God is just! God is patient! God’s wants everyone to turn back to Him as He doesn’t want anyone to perish! God loves us so much and unconditionally that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way to bridge the gap between the rebelliousness of man and the love of God. Jesus paid the price or the penalty that justice required from a just God! So when we accept and live in relationship with Jesus, we can always have hope because even when we slip up, God is ready to forgive us (if we’ll ask) and allow us to step back under the cover of His love through Jesus. When Jesus comes back, let’s be ready! Let’s choose now to receive Him as our Lord and Savior and live in relationship with God! Let’s be in continuous conversation with Him!


We see in today’s reading how He is ready to help, but nobody turned to Him and nobody asked Him for help…

God’s Punishment of the Rebellious

1The Lord said, “I was ready to answer my people’s prayers, but they did not pray. I was ready for them to find me, but they did not even try. The nation did not pray to me, even though I was always ready to answer, ‘Here I am; I will help you.’ 2I have always been ready to welcome my people, who stubbornly do what is wrong and go their own way. 3They shamelessly keep on making me angry. They offer pagan sacrifices at sacred gardens and burn incense on pagan altars. 4At night they go to caves and tombs to consult the spirits of the dead. They eat pork and drink broth made from meat offered in pagan sacrifices. 5And then they say to others, ‘Keep away from us; we are too holy for you to touch!’ I cannot stand people like that—my anger against them is like a fire that never goes out. 6“I have already decided on their punishment, and their sentence is written down. I will not overlook what they have done, but will repay them 7for their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They have burned incense at pagan hill shrines and spoken evil of me. So I will punish them as their past deeds deserve.” 8The Lord says, “No one destroys good grapes; instead, they make wine with them. Neither will I destroy all my people—I will save those who serve me. 9I will bless the Israelites who belong to the tribe of Judah, and their descendants will possess my land of mountains. My chosen people, who serve me, will live there. 10They will worship me and will lead their sheep and cattle to pasture in the Plain of Sharon in the west and in Trouble Valley in the east. 11“But it will be different for you that forsake me, who ignore Zion, my sacred hill, and worship Gad and Meni, the gods of luck and fate. 12It will be your fate to die a violent death, because you did not answer when I called you or listen when I spoke. You chose to disobey me and do evil. 13And so I tell you that those who worship and obey me will have plenty to eat and drink, but you will be hungry and thirsty. They will be happy, but you will be disgraced. 14They will sing for joy, but you will cry with a broken heart. 15My chosen people will use your name as a curse. I, the Sovereign Lord, will put you to death. But I will give a new name to those who obey me. 16Anyone in the land who asks for a blessing will ask to be blessed by the faithful God. Whoever takes an oath will swear by the name of the faithful God. The troubles of the past will be gone and forgotten.”

The New Creation

17  The Lord says, “I am making a new earth and new heavens. The events of the past will be completely forgotten. 18Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create. The new Jerusalem I make will be full of joy, and her people will be happy. 19I myself will be filled with joy because of Jerusalem and her people. There will be no weeping there, no calling for help. 20Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them. 21-22People will build houses and get to live in them—they will not be used by someone else. They will plant vineyards and enjoy the wine—it will not be drunk by others. Like trees, my people will live long lives. They will fully enjoy the things that they have worked for. 23The work they do will be successful, and their children will not meet with disaster. I will bless them and their descendants for all time to come. 24Even before they finish praying to me, I will answer their prayers. 25 Wolves and lambs will eat together; lions will eat straw, as cattle do, and snakes will no longer be dangerous. On Zion, my sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.”
–from Isaiah 65
There will be a new heaven and a new earth! There will be a place where there is no more pain and no more suffering! There will be a place with no more tears! There is a right way and a wrong way! There are outcomes based on our actions! Will anyone stand up, stand in the gap, and do something by saying no because that is so outside of being ok?

The Lord Judges the Nations

1 The Lord says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house, then, could you build for me, what kind of place for me to live in? 2I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me. 3“The people do as they please. It’s all the same to them whether they kill a bull as a sacrifice or sacrifice a human being; whether they sacrifice a lamb or break a dog’s neck; whether they present a grain offering or offer pigs’ blood; whether they offer incense or pray to an idol. They take pleasure in disgusting ways of worship. 4So I will bring disaster upon them—the very things they are afraid of—because no one answered when I called or listened when I spoke. They chose to disobey me and do evil.” 5Listen to what the Lord says, you that fear him and obey him: “Because you are faithful to me, some of your own people hate you and will have nothing to do with you. They mock you and say, ‘Let the Lord show his greatness and save you, so that we may see you rejoice.’ But they themselves will be disgraced! 6Listen! That loud noise in the city, that sound in the Temple, is the sound of the Lord punishing his enemies! 7“My holy city is like a woman who suddenly gives birth to a child without ever going into labor. 8Has anyone ever seen or heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a day? Zion will not have to suffer long, before the nation is born. 9Do not think that I will bring my people to the point of birth and not let them be born.” The Lord has spoken. 10Rejoice with Jerusalem; be glad for her, all you that love this city! Rejoice with her now, all you that have mourned for her! 11You will enjoy her prosperity, like a child at its mother’s breast. 12The Lord says, “I will bring you lasting prosperity; the wealth of the nations will flow to you like a river that never goes dry. You will be like a child that is nursed by its mother, carried in her arms, and treated with love. 13I will comfort you in Jerusalem, as a mother comforts her child. 14When you see this happen, you will be glad; it will make you strong and healthy. Then you will know that I, the Lord, help those who obey me, and I show my anger against my enemies.” 15The Lord will come with fire. He will ride on the wings of a storm to punish those he is angry with. 16By fire and sword he will punish all the people of the world whom he finds guilty—and many will be put to death. 17The Lord says, “The end is near for those who purify themselves for pagan worship, who go in procession to sacred gardens, and who eat pork and mice and other disgusting foods. 18I know their thoughts and their deeds. I am coming to gather the people of all the nations. When they come together, they will see what my power can do 19and will know that I am the one who punishes them. “But I will spare some of them and send them to the nations and the distant lands that have not heard of my fame or seen my greatness and power: to Spain, Libya, and Lydia, with its skilled archers, and to Tubal and Greece. Among these nations they will proclaim my greatness. 20They will bring back all your people from the nations as a gift to me. They will bring them to my sacred hill in Jerusalem on horses, mules, and camels, and in chariots and wagons, just as Israelites bring grain offerings to the Temple in ritually clean containers. 21I will make some of them priests and Levites. 22“Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure. 23On every New Moon Festival and every Sabbath people of every nation will come to worship me here in Jerusalem,” says the Lord. 24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me. The worms that eat them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never be put out. The sight of them will be disgusting to all people.”
–from Isaiah 66