The Story of Job. – Day 10

How do you take accusations in the midst of your trials and challenges? How do you handle criticism that is off base and untrue? How do you handle your friends or people you thought were your friends when they start saying things about you that you know are untrue and hurtful?

Today’s reading we get to see Job’s response to Eliphaz’s words:

‘Then Job answered and said, “Oh, that my grief could actually be weighed And placed in the balances together with my tragedy [to see if my grief is the grief of a coward]! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; Therefore my words have been incoherent, Because the arrows of the Almighty are within me, My spirit drinks their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass? Or does the ox low over his fodder? Can something that has no taste to it be eaten without salt? Or is there any flavor in the white of an egg? My soul refuses to touch them; Such things are like loathsome food to me [sickening and repugnant]. “Oh that my request would come to pass, And that God would grant me the thing that I long for! I wish that it would please God to crush me, That He would let loose His hand and cut me off. Then I would still have consolation, And I would jump for joy amid unsparing pain, That I have not denied or hidden the words of the Holy One. What strength do I have left, that I should wait [and hope]? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient and endure? Is my strength and endurance that of stones, Or is my flesh made of bronze? Is it that I have no help within myself, And that success and wisdom have been driven from me? “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not abandon (turn away from) the fear of the Almighty. My brothers have acted deceitfully like a brook, Like the torrents of brooks that vanish, Which are dull and dirty because of ice, And into which the snow melts and hides itself; When it is warm, they are silent and cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. The paths of their course wind along, They go up into nothing and perish. [Your counsel is as helpful to me as a dry streambed in the heat of summer.] The caravans of Tema looked [for water], The caravans of Sheba waited for them [in vain]. They were put to shame and disappointed because they had trusted [that they would find water]; They came there and were ashamed. Indeed, you have now become like a dried-up stream, You see a terror [believing me to be a victim of the wrath of God] and are afraid [to be compassionate]. Did I ever say, ‘Give me something, ’ Or, ‘Pay a bribe for me from your wealth,’ Or, ‘Rescue me from the adversary’s hand,’ Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’? “Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have erred. How painful are words of honesty. But what does your argument prove? Do you intend to reprove my words [with a convincing argument], When the words of one in despair belong to the wind [and go ignored]? You would cast lots (gamble) over the fatherless And bargain away your friend. Now please look at me, And see if I lie to your face [for you know that I would not]. Turn away [from your suspicion], let there be no injustice; Turn away, my righteousness and vindication is still in it. Is there injustice or malice on my tongue? Can my palate not discern what is destructive?’

Job 6

Today’s study notes come from the following 2 studies:

My study notes:

In using the amplified version of the text, we can get a lot of the additional context from the text and so was why I chose the Amplified version for this study.

We read in the start of Job’s words about his grief. We learn looking into that word that it was from the word (כעשׂ ka‛aś) – we also learn that it can be interpreted in two ways: “vexation, trouble, grief; Ecclesiastes 1:18; Ecclesiastes 2:23; or it may mean anger; Deuteronomy 32:19; Ezekiel 20:28.”

It speaks to the level and gravity of what he was going thru and how much he wanted his friends to understand the extent of his sorrow and his suffering before passing judgement on him and trying to condemn him.

We read how he was trying to get a measure by putting them into a scale in order to measure the weight of his sorrows, griefs, and woes. We read how he compares them to the weight of the sand of the sea. We see that the impact of all this pain is making it hard for him to fully express himself.

Job shares how the pain he is suffering is so much greater than anything man could cause. We learn in the studies how the pain was more to his heart, because it had to have been allowed by God, and yet he had loved God so much – with all that he had – and still was having to suffer so severely.

We learn how Job is comparing his plea with the animals as they don’t bray or low for nothing and neither is his complaint without cause. In today’s study we find the reminder that even though we may have cause to complain unlike beasts, wild or domesticated, we as rational beings should display a better spirit.

With Job’s depiction, we learn how he feels that his life has lost its pleasantness as food without salt. He lost his children, taking away his joy. Job speaks to his life to compare to how nauseating he is feeling as well as to answer Eliphaz.

We learn how Job is just wanting God to finish this process that is going on. We learn how his preference was that God would stop the suffering and the misery with death so it would be over with as we learned in chapter 3. Even though Eliphaz spoke to God granting long life, we learn how Job wasn’t wanting that right now without his health and his children to share it with.

Job had taken hold of God’s revelation and his commands and hence pursued them and followed them in his life. He shared what he believed. He realizes the holiness of God. He knows there is a reason for everything that happens. He knew there was purpose behind it, even when it didn’t feel good.

We learn in the studies how “had no strength to bear up against these accumulated trials; that he was afraid that he should be left to sink under them, and to complain of God; and that his friends were not to wonder if his strength gave way, and he uttered the language of complaint.“.

We see how Job was feeling that there was no hope in him to get out of this, he had no more strength to try. We see how any hope of deliverance had left him.

His friends weren’t helping him. He compares their help to a dry riverbed in the hot of the summer.

We don’t find Job admitting to having sinned but instead he asks his friends to teach him, help him understand where he erred, to show him where they think he had sinned for he didn’t know of anything that would have caused his current situation.

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?

Don’t forget the past or you will be doomed to repeat it.

Do you remember the lessons you learned from life experiences? Do you remember the lessons you learned from other people’s shared experiences? Do you remember the lessons you saw other people experience? Are you taking them as stepping stones to share with others in order to help them avoid the pitfalls? Are you taking them as guidance to keep yourself and others from getting tripped up? Are you taking them as instruction on the dos and don’ts for life? Are you passing them along to the next generation? Are you capturing them in a way that can be shared and learned from? Are you teaching others what you have learned? We don’t need to dwell in the past, we just need to remember it so that we won’t repeat the mistakes. It is ok to make a mistake once and learn from it. Don’t forget the past or you will be doomed to repeat it.

Today’s reading from God’s Word finishes up 1 Kings 15 and jumps into 1 Kings 16.

‘Baasha son of Ahijah began to rule over all Israel in the third year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Baasha reigned in Tirzah twenty-four years. But he did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight and followed the example of Jeroboam, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.’

1 Kings 15:33-34

‘This message from the Lord was delivered to King Baasha by the prophet Jehu son of Hanani: “I lifted you out of the dust to make you ruler of my people Israel, but you have followed the evil example of Jeroboam. You have provoked my anger by causing my people Israel to sin. So now I will destroy you and your family, just as I destroyed the descendants of Jeroboam son of Nebat. The members of Baasha’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.” The rest of the events in Baasha’s reign and the extent of his power are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Baasha died, he was buried in Tirzah. Then his son Elah became the next king. The message from the Lord against Baasha and his family came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani. It was delivered because Baasha had done what was evil in the Lord ’s sight (just as the family of Jeroboam had done), and also because Baasha had destroyed the family of Jeroboam. The Lord ’s anger was provoked by Baasha’s sins. Elah son of Baasha began to rule over Israel in the twenty-sixth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in the city of Tirzah for two years. Then Zimri, who commanded half of the royal chariots, made plans to kill him. One day in Tirzah, Elah was getting drunk at the home of Arza, the supervisor of the palace. Zimri walked in and struck him down and killed him. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Then Zimri became the next king. Zimri immediately killed the entire royal family of Baasha, leaving him not even a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends. So Zimri destroyed the dynasty of Baasha as the Lord had promised through the prophet Jehu. This happened because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed, and because of the sins they led Israel to commit. They provoked the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, with their worthless idols. The rest of the events in Elah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. Zimri began to rule over Israel in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa’s reign in Judah, but his reign in Tirzah lasted only seven days. The army of Israel was then attacking the Philistine town of Gibbethon. When they heard that Zimri had committed treason and had assassinated the king, that very day they chose Omri, commander of the army, as the new king of Israel. So Omri led the entire army of Israel up from Gibbethon to attack Tirzah, Israel’s capital. When Zimri saw that the city had been taken, he went into the citadel of the palace and burned it down over himself and died in the flames. For he, too, had done what was evil in the Lord ’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit. The rest of the events in Zimri’s reign and his conspiracy are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. But now the people of Israel were split into two factions. Half the people tried to make Tibni son of Ginath their king, while the other half supported Omri. But Omri’s supporters defeated the supporters of Tibni. So Tibni was killed, and Omri became the next king. Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-first year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned twelve years in all, six of them in Tirzah. Then Omri bought the hill now known as Samaria from its owner, Shemer, for 150 pounds of silver. He built a city on it and called the city Samaria in honor of Shemer. But Omri did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit. The people provoked the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, with their worthless idols. The rest of the events in Omri’s reign, the extent of his power, and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Omri died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became the next king. Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years. But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him. And as though it were not enough to follow the sinful example of Jeroboam, he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal. First Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. Then he set up an Asherah pole. He did more to provoke the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him. It was during his reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid its foundations, it cost him the life of his oldest son, Abiram. And when he completed it and set up its gates, it cost him the life of his youngest son, Segub. This all happened according to the message from the Lord concerning Jericho spoken by Joshua son of Nun.’

1 Kings 16

‘During the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, saw another vision, following the one that had already appeared to me. In this vision I was at the fortress of Susa, in the province of Elam, standing beside the Ulai River. As I looked up, I saw a ram with two long horns standing beside the river. One of the horns was longer than the other, even though it had grown later than the other one. The ram butted everything out of his way to the west, to the north, and to the south, and no one could stand against him or help his victims. He did as he pleased and became very great. While I was watching, suddenly a male goat appeared from the west, crossing the land so swiftly that he didn’t even touch the ground. This goat, which had one very large horn between its eyes, headed toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the river, rushing at him in a rage. The goat charged furiously at the ram and struck him, breaking off both his horns. Now the ram was helpless, and the goat knocked him down and trampled him. No one could rescue the ram from the goat’s power. The goat became very powerful. But at the height of his power, his large horn was broken off. In the large horn’s place grew four prominent horns pointing in the four directions of the earth. Then from one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and the east and toward the glorious land of Israel. Its power reached to the heavens, where it attacked the heavenly army, throwing some of the heavenly beings and some of the stars to the ground and trampling them. It even challenged the Commander of heaven’s army by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple. The army of heaven was restrained from responding to this rebellion. So the daily sacrifice was halted, and truth was overthrown. The horn succeeded in everything it did. Then I heard two holy ones talking to each other. One of them asked, “How long will the events of this vision last? How long will the rebellion that causes desecration stop the daily sacrifices? How long will the Temple and heaven’s army be trampled on?” The other replied, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the Temple will be made right again.” As I, Daniel, was trying to understand the meaning of this vision, someone who looked like a man stood in front of me. And I heard a human voice calling out from the Ulai River, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of his vision.” As Gabriel approached the place where I was standing, I became so terrified that I fell with my face to the ground. “Son of man,” he said, “you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end.” While he was speaking, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. But Gabriel roused me with a touch and helped me to my feet. Then he said, “I am here to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath. What you have seen pertains to the very end of time. The two-horned ram represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy male goat represents the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes represents the first king of the Greek Empire. The four prominent horns that replaced the one large horn show that the Greek Empire will break into four kingdoms, but none as great as the first. “At the end of their rule, when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue, will rise to power. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people. He will be a master of deception and will become arrogant; he will destroy many without warning. He will even take on the Prince of princes in battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power. “This vision about the 2,300 evenings and mornings is true. But none of these things will happen for a long time, so keep this vision a secret.” Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it.’

Daniel 8

‘“So God sent back the same man his people had previously rejected when they demanded, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Through the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush, God sent Moses to be their ruler and savior. And by means of many wonders and miraculous signs, he led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness for forty years. “Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.’ Moses was with our ancestors, the assembly of God’s people in the wilderness, when the angel spoke to him at Mount Sinai. And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us. “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us some gods who can lead us, for we don’t know what has become of this Moses, who brought us out of Egypt.’ So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written, ‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you carried your pagan gods— the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan, and the images you made to worship them. So I will send you into exile as far away as Babylon.’ “Our ancestors carried the Tabernacle with them through the wilderness. It was constructed according to the plan God had shown to Moses. Years later, when Joshua led our ancestors in battle against the nations that God drove out of this land, the Tabernacle was taken with them into their new territory. And it stayed there until the time of King David. “David found favor with God and asked for the privilege of building a permanent Temple for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who actually built it. However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the Lord . ‘Could you build me such a resting place? Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’ “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”’

Acts 7:35-53

‘And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.’

1 John 2:28-29

‘See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.’

1 John 3:1-10

‘I will sing of your love and justice, Lord . I will praise you with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence. My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.’

Psalms 101

We want to live under the protection and direction and blessings of God don’t we? We want to live our lives in a way that will not only glorify God but bless all those God brings into our lives right? We want to walk out our lives in a way that will lift up God and give Him the praise right? So let’s take hold the gift of Jesus and invite Him into our lives and then live out our lives in relationship with Him all the remaining days of our lives.

Let’s pray:

Leave me a comment so that I can pray for your decision and your situation.

What makes a good shepherd?

  • Knowing what the flock really needs. (What are there deeper hungers?)
  • Knowing your purpose. (Feeding then what they ask for will make you popular but giving them what they need will have greater impact)
  • Knowing how to teach them rather than feed them. (If you just feed people, you will make them dependent on dole outs, and you will end up making them weak. If you also teach people, then you can help them stand not just on their own two feet but help them stand on more solid ground.)
  • Concerned about making the flock stronger. (Helping them learn and grow so that they become stronger rather than needing to be their strength)
  • Be ready to be unpopular if it will help the flock get to greener pastures. (People may open their mouths for food but not as quick to open their hearts and minds to receive what they need to know and you want to teach)
  • Unites and brings together. (Don’t try to divide and conquer. Help to bring healing to the flock over the things that divide them. Keep your convictions and treat others with respect. Let’s gather people together rather than allowing it to get scattered in the wind)
  • Teach with our actions rather than just trying to feed the temporary need. (Let’s go beyond just readers or hearers of the Word, let’s become doers of the Word so that people can see it and glorify our Father in heaven. Show compassion for the people God sends to you.)
  • Lead with compassion. (Rather than normal leadership values like communication, consultation, consolidation and so on, let’s lead with compassion)

Let’s consider a list of things to consider…

  1. Loves his sheep and develops a close, intimate relationship with them so that they know his voice and trust him
  2. Understands the needs of the sheep better than they do
  3. Understands what threatens sheep and what makes them sick
  4. Works tirelessly to provide protection and security
  5. Leads them to fresh pastures and fresh water
  6. Searches out sheep when they stray
  7. Defends sheep against all their enemies
  8. Provides protection while they sleep
  9. Shears them and examines each one for injury or disease
  10. Goes ahead of sheep and prepares the path
  11. Disciplines and corrects them
  12. Comforts sheep when they are hurt or fearful
  13. Keeps sheep “on the move” so they don’t get into a rut
  14. Liberally anoints them with oil to prevent disease or to heal an injury
  15. Keeps sheep from fighting and from hurting each other
  16. Cares for, loves sheep, and sacrifices his life for them
  17. Rejoices in the health, well-being, and prosperity of his flock
  18. Will leave the flock to search for lost sheep
  19. Experiences great joy in finding lost sheep
  20. Carries the lambs close to his heart
  21. Gently leads those with young
  22. Gets deepest satisfaction from seeing that sheep are contented, well-fed, and safe

Living Water…

Are you finding that you are thirsting for something in your life? Are you looking to quench that thirst? Are you looking for living water where it will produce good fruit and healing? Are you looking for living water that will allow life to live and survive? Living water that can even tame the dead sea?

Do you realize the source of that living water?

37On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water’” will flow from within him. 39He was speaking about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. –from John 7

13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  –from John 4

7For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. 8And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. 9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. 10All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. –from Zechariah 14

There are many references to living water in the Bible. You can review and read some of them here and here.

So let’s turn to God and put all of our hope and trust into Him! Trust Him with all your heart, mind, and soul! We all need Him! Without Him we are nothing! Let’s receive and accept His grace and mercy!

Before it is too late, let’s turn back to God! Before it is too late, let’s ask Him for forgiveness! Before it is too late, let’s ask Jesus into our hearts and be transformed! Before it is too late, let’s receive the gift of God that is Jesus Christ that we may be saved!

Let’s close with our reading from the New Testament…

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

A Final Charge to Timothy

10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

–2 Timothy 3

Before it is too late, let’s be rescued by God! Before it is too late, stick to God’s way of life, God’s purpose, God’s faith, God’s patience, God’s love, God’s endurance! Let’s share the Word of God with others! God’s Word will point people to the truth of the need of a savior and of salvation! All scripture is from God – He spoke it into the people who received it and penned it! God’s Word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness! God’s Word will ensure that His servants are thoroughly equipped for every good work that He has prepared in advance for us to do! So let’s go about doing good work!

Saved in Order to Do Good

1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Final Remarks

12As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.

–from Titus 3







Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 47Ezekiel 48Psalm 262 Timothy 3Titus 3

It’s not all about you! It’s not all about stuff! It’s not about having to, it’s about getting to!

It’s not all about feelings, because feelings can be wrong. It’s not all about emotions, because emotions can be wrong. What are you using as your reference point for a source of truth and direction? Does your reference point stand firm and unmoving? Does your reference point shift and move? Have you picked up the Word of God? Are you hearing the direction of loving God and loving people? Are you hearing the calling to a higher standard? Have you invited to be the center and invited Him into your heart? Are you letting your light shine so that others will see it and glorify your Father in heaven? Are you willing to yield authority to God? You do realize that every good and perfect gift comes for your Father in heaven right (aka God)? Where are your morals? What is the makeup of the moral fabric? Are you able to distinguish between right and wrong? What about scientific stuff? What about technology? When God gave dominion over all the earth to man, the expectation was that man would have the fixed reference point of God and that we would yield to His will! God wants a relationship with each of us! Will you have a relationship with Him today? Have you already started on? Will you get started today? Will you start to look to the bible as your reference point? God is the unmovable reference point you need for life – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Today’s reading continues in Ecclesiastes…

Futility of Human Pleasures

1I said within myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to see what is good.” Yet behold, this too was meaningless. 2I said of laughter, “It is madness!” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3I thought deeply about how to cheer my flesh with wine—letting my heart guide me with wisdom—and how to grasp folly, so that I could see what was worthwhile for the sons of men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4I increased my possessions. I built myself houses and I planted myself vineyards. 5I made royal gardens and parks for myself, and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I constructed for myself pools of water to irrigate a forest of flourishing trees. 7I purchased male and female servants and had other servants who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than all my predecessors in Jerusalem. 8I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as the treasure of kings and the provinces. I acquired male and female singers for myself, as well as the luxuries of humankind—vaults and vaults of them. 9So I became far wealthier than all before me in Jerusalem, yet my wisdom stayed with me. 10I denied myself nothing that my eyes desired; I withheld from my heart no enjoyment. My heart took delight from all my toil— this was my reward for all my labor. 11Yet when I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended to accomplish it, behold, it all was futile and chasing after the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Futility of Human Wisdom

12Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly. For what more can the one who succeeds the king do than what he has already done? 13I realized that: Wisdom is more beneficial than folly as light is better than darkness. 14A wise man has his eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness. Yet, I also came to realize that the same destiny befalls them both. 15Then said I in my heart: “I, even I, will have the same destiny as a fool. So why have I become so wise?” I said in my heart, “This too is meaningless.” 16For the wise man, together with the fool, is not remembered forever. For in the days to come both will be forgotten. Alas, the wise, just like the fool, must die! 17And so I hated life, because the work done under the sun was grievous to me. All is but vapor and chasing after the wind. 18I also hated all the fruit of my toil for which I had labored under the sun, because I must leave it to the one who comes after me. 19Who knows if he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master over all the fruit of my toil for which I had wisely labored under the sun. This too is futile. 20So I turned my heart over to despair over all the things for which I had toiled under the sun. 21For sometimes a man, who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, must hand over as an inheritance to someone who did not work for it. This also is futile and a great misfortune. 22For what does a man get for all his toil and longing of his heart for which he labors under the sun? 23For all his days, his work is pain and grief. Even at night his mind does not rest. This also is futility. 24There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their labor. This too, I perceived, is from the hand of God. 25For who can eat and who can have joy, apart from Him? 26For to the one who pleases Him, He gives wisdom, knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating wealth to give it to one who pleases God. This also is only vapor and striving after the wind.

–from Ecclesiastes 2

Do you realize the season you are in? Do you realize the timing?

A Time For Everything

1For everything there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven: 2a time to give birth and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted; 3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up; 4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to discard; 7a time to tear apart and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak; 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9What gain, then, does the laborer get with his toil? 10I have seen the task that God has given to the children of men to keep them occupied.

Yet Eternity In Their Heart

11He has made everything beautiful in its time. Moreover, He has set eternity in their heart—yet without the possibility that humankind can ever discover the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy themselves in their lifetime. 13Also when anyone eats and drinks, and finds satisfaction in all of his labor, it is the gift of God. 14I know that everything that God does will endure forever. There is no adding to it or taking from it. God has made it so, that they will revere Him. 15Whatever exists, has already been and whatever will be, has already been, but God recalls what has passed. 16I have also seen under the sun: In the place of justice there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there was wickedness. 17I said in my heart: “The righteous and the wicked, God will judge. For there is a time for every activity and for every deed.”

Humans Same As Beasts?

18I also said in my heart, “As for the sons of man, God tests them so that they may see that they are but animals.” 19For the destiny of humankind and the destiny of animals are one and the same. As one dies, so dies the other. Both have the same breath—a human has no advantage over an animal—both are fleeting. 20Both go to one place. Both were taken from the dust, and both return to the dust. 21Who knows that the spirit of the sons of man ascends upward and the animal’s spirit descends into the earth? 22So I perceived that nothing is better than for man to enjoy his works, because that is his portion. For who can bring him back to see what will be in the future?

–from Ecclesiastes 3

We need to give it all up to God! The good and the tough times! We need to realize that if God isn’t in it, we are working in vain! We need to realize that since everything is God’s we need to be good stewards of what He has given us and need His help to get it done! Without having God in the plans, the plans are futile! Trying to do it alone was never part of God’s plan which is why we learn about one another as well as having a relationship with Jesus! So let’s be good stewards! Let’s be good examples in our words and our actions so that others will see us and glorify God! It’s not all about us! It’s not about having to do it, it’s about the opportunity that we get to do it!

Futility of Human Labor

1Again I looked and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter. Power is in the hand of their oppressors, but they had no comforter. 2So I considered the dead, who are already dead, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive. 3Yet better than both is one who has not yet been, who has never seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4Then I saw that all toil and all skill that is done come from man’s envy of his neighbor; this too is fleeting and striving after the wind. 5The fool folds his hands together and eats his own flesh. 6Better is a handful with tranquility than two handfuls of toil and striving after the wind. 7Again I saw something futile under the sun: 8There is one who has no one else, neither son nor brother, yet there is no end to all his toil. His eyes are not content with riches. “So, for whom am I toiling, and depriving myself of prosperity?” This too is meaningless— a grievous task!

Two Are Better Than One

9Two are better than one, because they get a good return for their effort. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his companion. But oy to the one who falls and has no one to lift him up! 11Furthermore, if two lie together, then they will be warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12Though a man might overpower one, two can stand against him. Moreover a threefold cord cannot be quickly broken. 13Better is a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. 14For he came out of prison to become king—though he was born poor in his kingdom. 15I considered all the living that walk under the sun as well as the next youth who stands in his place. 16There is no end to all the people—to all who were before him. Also those who will come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this too is meaningless and striving after the wind.

Watch Your Words Before God

17Watch your feet when you go to the House of God. Draw near to listen, rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing wrong.

–from Ecclesiastes 4

Let’s learn God’s Word so that we can be living it in front of the world we live in! Let’s learn God’s Word so that our words and our actions are speaking in spirit and in truth! Let’s learn God’s Word so that we always have the one offensive weapon ready if the devil shows up in a situation! Let’s learn God’s Word so that by having the full armor of God on we will be able to stand firm and withstand the attacks not only on us but those around us who God has brought into our lives and we can be peacemakers, encouragers, hope makers, love builders in Jesus’ name! We’ve been given the opportunity, the privilege and the honor to get to go out as ambassadors, so let’s live up to the calling God has put into and onto our lives!

1Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one born of Him.

Love God—Live God’s Word

2We know that we love God’s children by this—when we love God and obey His commandments. 3For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?

Believe God’s Own Testimony of Yeshua

6Messiah Yeshua is the One who came by water and blood—not by water only, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify— 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are one. 9If we accept men’s testimony, God’s testimony is greater—for this it is the testimony that God has given about His Son. 10The one who trusts in Ben-Elohim has the testimony in himself; the one who does not trust in God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given about His Son. 11And the testimony is this—that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12The one who has the Son has life; the one who does not have Ben-Elohim does not have life.

Walk Now in Eternal Privileges

13I wrote these things to you who believe in the name of Ben-Elohim, so you may know that you have eternal life. 14Now this is the confidence we have before Him—that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have the requests we have asked from Him. 16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask, and God will give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death—I am not saying you should ask about that. 17All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not leading to death. 18We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; rather, the One born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And we know that Ben-Elohim has come and given us insight, so that we may know Him who is true—and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Yeshua the Messiah. This One is the true God and eternal life. 21Children, guard yourselves from idols.

–from 1 John 5

Are you helping those closest to you? Your family? Your friends? Your inner circle?

Do they get it? Do they know what to expect? Do they know how to respond? Do they realize that they get to too?

Back to Teaching His Own

1Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom they come! 2It would be better for him to have a millstone put around his neck and to be hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3“Keep yourselves alert! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” 5Then the emissaries said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6Then the Lord said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7But if you have a slave who is plowing or tending sheep, who among you will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come right in, and recline at table’? 8But won’t he instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat! Dress yourself and wait on me while I eat and drink; and afterward, you may eat and drink’? 9He doesn’t thank the slave because he did what he was commanded, does he? 10So you too, when you’ve done everything you are commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves. We have done only what we were supposed to do.’”

On the Move through Samaria

11Now while going up to Jerusalem, Yeshua was passing between Samaria and the Galilee. 12As He entered a certain village, ten men with tza’arat came toward Him. They stood some distance away 13and raised their voices, saying, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the kohanim.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 16And he fell at Yeshua’s feet, facedown, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Yeshua answered and said, “Weren’t ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18Weren’t any found who came back to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19Then Yeshua said to the man, “Stand up and go! Your faith has made you well.” 20Now when Yeshua was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be seen. 21Nor will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘There!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22Then Yeshua said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go and chase after them. 24For just as the lightning flashes from one part of the sky and lights up another part, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25But first He must suffer much and be rejected by this generation. 26As it was in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. 27They were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28“It was just the same in the days of Lot. They were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29But on the day Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30Things will be the same on the day when the Son of Man is made fully known. 31In that day, the one who is on the roof, and his possessions in the house, must not go down to take them away. In the same way, the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding at the same place. One will be taken and the other left.” 36 37“Where, Lord?” they replied. And He said to them, “Where there is a corpse, there also will the vultures be gathered.”

–from Luke 17


Do you care? Do you love? Do you share or express it?

Do you care about others? Do you love others? Do you share that fact with them? Do you express it in ways that others would realize it? We are to love God and love people – by doing both of these we should be able to fulfill the law. When we look at times over history when God has sent prophets to correct the people it has been because they were missing the mark in one of these two areas. When people see you, do they know that you care? Do you share and help people in the area of reconciliation? Do you care about people with grace?

Today’s reading starts with David weeping over Absalom who had been out to get him…

David Weeps Over Absalom

1The king was shaken. So he went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. As he walked he cried, “My son Absalom! O my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! Absalom, my son, my son!” 2Then Joab was told, “Look, the king is weeping and mourning over Absalom!” 3So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops, for the troops heard it said that day, “The king is grieving over his son.” 4So the troops entered into the city stealthily that day, like troops who are ashamed after running away in battle. 5The king covered his face and cried with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 6Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your servants—who this day have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines— 7by loving those who hate you, and hating those who love you! For you have shown today that officers and officials are nothing to you. For today I realize that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, then it would have pleased you well. 8So now arise, go out, and speak to the heart of your servants! For I swear by Adonai that if you do not go out, not a single man will stay with you tonight, and that would be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.” 9So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the troops saying, “See, the king is sitting at the gate,” all the troops presented themselves before the king. Meanwhile, Israel had fled each man to his tent.

David’s Restoration and Grace

10All the people throughout all the tribes of Israel were at strife saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and he saved us from the hand of the Philistines. Yet now he had to flee from the land because of Absalom, 11but Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why are we silent about restoring the king?” 12Then King David sent word to Zadok and Abiathar the kohanim saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah saying, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace? The talk of all Israel had reached the king at his residence. 13‘You are my kinsmen, my bone and my flesh! Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 14“Also say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me and even more if you do not become my army commander before me continually, in place of Joab!’” 15Thus he turned the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, and then they sent word to the king, “Come back, you and all your servants.” 16So the king returned and reached the Jordan. Meanwhile, Judah came to Gilgal in order to meet the king, to escort the king over the Jordan. 17Then Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David 18accompanied by 1,000 men of Benjamin. Also Ziba the servant of Saul’s household, with his 15 sons and 20 slaves, rushed to the Jordan ahead of the king. 19They ferried across the ford to bring the king’s household and they did whatever seemed good in his eyes. Now, Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king when he was crossing over the Jordan, 20so he implored the king, “Let my lord not hold me guilty, and not remember the iniquity that your servant committed on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Let the king not take it to his heart. 21For your servant knows that I have sinned. So behold, I have come today the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 22But Abishai son of Zeruiah answered and said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Adonai’s anointed?” 23But David said, “What have I to do with you sons of Zeruiah that you should be my adversary today? Should any man be put to death in Israel this day? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?” 24Then the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die,” and the king swore it to him. 25Then Mephibosheth son of Saul came down to meet the king. Now he had neither dressed his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes from the day the king departed until the day he came home in shalom. 26Now it came to pass when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why did you not go with me Mephibosheth?” 27“My lord the king, my own servant deceived me,” he answered. “For your servant had said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. 28However, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like an angel of God. So do what is good in your eyes. 29For all my father’s household deserved only death at the hand of my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those eating at your own table! What right do I have yet to cry to the king?” 30Then the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decreed, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 31“So let him take all,” Mephibosheth replied to the king, “as long as my lord the king has come back to his own home in shalom.” 32Then Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and he approached the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan. 33Now Barzillai was a very aged man—80 years old—and he had provided for the king during his residence at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 34The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 35But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years are left of my life that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 36I am now 80 years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I listen any more to the voice of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be yet a burden to my lord the king? 37Your servant would merely cross over the Jordan with the king. But why should the king reward me with such a reward? 38Please let your servant go back, and let me die in my own hometown, near the grave of my father and my mother. But look, here is your servant Chimham—let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good in your eyes.” 39The king answered, “Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good in your eyes. Whatever you ask of me, I will do for you.” 40When all the people had crossed over the Jordan and as the king was about to cross over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, so he returned to his own place. 41Then the king crossed over to Gilgal, and Chimham and all the people of Judah crossed over with him, and also half the people of Israel escorted the king over. 42Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal you away by escorting the king and his household over the Jordan, along with all David’s men that were with him?” 43Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. So why are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gifts?” 44Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “We have ten shares in the king, so in David we have even more than you. Why then did you despise us? Weren’t we the first to speak of restoring our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

–from 2 Samuel 19

Will justice prevail? Will reason prevail? Will grace and mercy prevail? Will truth prevail?

1Now a worthless fellow happened to be there, a Benjamite named Sheba son of Bichri. He blew the shofar and said, “We have no portion in David, no inheritance in the son of Jesse! Every man to his tents, O Israel!” 2So all the men of Israel withdrew from following David and followed Sheba son of Bichri, but the men of Judah kept close to their king from the Jordan to Jerusalem. 3Now when David arrived at his palace in Jerusalem, the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left to take care of the palace, and put them in a guarded house. He provided for them but he did not cohabit with them. So they were confined until the day they died, living in widowhood. 4Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon to me the men of Judah within three days and be here yourself.” 5So Amasa went to summon Judah but he took longer than the set time that he had allotted him. 6Then David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. So take your lord’s servants and pursue him lest he find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.” 7So Joab’s men went after him, along with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men, and set out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 8When they were at the great stone that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military uniform, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his waist; and as he stepped forward, it fell out. 9Then Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you my brother?” With his right hand Joab took Amasa by the beard to kiss him. 10But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s other hand. So he stabbed him with it in the groin and poured out his entrails to the ground, and did not strike him again, for he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri. 11Meanwhile, one of Joab’s young men stood over Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12Yet Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the midst of the highway. So when the man saw that all the people stood still, he dragged Amasa from the highway into the field and threw a garment over him because he saw that everyone passing by him paused.  13Once he removed him from the highway, everyone passed on, following Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 14Now he went through all the tribes of Israel, to Abel and Beth-Maacah. All the Berites gathered together and indeed followed him. 15They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-Maacah and cast up a siege ramp against the city. It stood against the outer fortification and all the people with Joab battered the wall in order to topple it. 16Then a wise woman cried out from the city, “Listen! Listen! Please tell Joab to come over here that I may speak with him.” 17When he approached her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he answered. Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your handmaid.” “I’m listening,” he answered. 18Then she spoke up saying, “They used to say in old time, ‘They shall surely seek counsel at Abel and that’s how they settled any dispute. 19I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. Are you seeking to destroy a mother city in Israel? Why would you devour Adonai’s inheritance?” 20Joab replied saying, “Never! Far be it from me that I would devour up or ruin. 21The matter is not so; but a fellow from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba son of Bichri his name, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give him up alone and I will withdraw from the city.” So the woman replied to Joab, “Look here, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22Then the woman approached all the people wisely. So they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it over to Joab. He then blew the shofar and they were dismissed from the city, each to his tent. Then Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23Now Joab remained over all the army of Israel; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24Adoram was over the forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25Sheba was scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were kohanim; 26and Ira the Jairite also was a kohen to David.

–from 2 Samuel 20

Will you step up to do what is right? Will you step up to do what is just? Will you be someone who helps bridge relationships in a spirit of reconciliation? How will you help?

Justice for the Gibeonites

1Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year, so David sought the face of Adonai. Adonai replied, “It is because of Saul and his bloody house, for he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2So the king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not of Bnei-Yisrael but a remnant of the Amorites; however, Bnei-Yisrael had sworn a covenant with them. Yet Saul had tried to eradicate them in his zeal for Bnei-Yisrael and Judah.) 3David asked the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? How may I make atonement so that you would bless the inheritance of Adonai?” 4The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; nor is it our right to put any man to death in Israel.” “Whatever you say, I will do for you,” he said. 5Then they said to the king, “The man who consumed us and plotted against us to annihilate us from remaining in any of Israel’s territory, 6let seven men of his sons be given over to us and we will hang them up before Adonai at Gibeah of Saul, Adonai’s chosen.” “I will give them over,” the king said. 7Now the king spared Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan son of Saul, because of Adonai’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8But the king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul—Armoni and Mephibosheth; also the five sons of Michal daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite, 9and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites. So they hanged them on the hill before Adonai, so that all seven fell together. They were put to death during the days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest. 10Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it on the rock for herself, from the beginning of harvest until the rain poured on them from the sky. She did not let the birds of the sky rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. 11David was told what Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12So David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the open square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day that the Philistines killed Saul in Gilboa. 13He had the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan brought up from there, and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14So they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of his father Kish. They did all of what the king commanded. Afterward, God was moved by prayer for the land. 15Once again the Philistines made war with Israel, so David went down with his servants and fought against the Philistines. But David became weary. 16So Ishbi-benob—who was a descendant of the Raphah, whose spear weighed 300 shekels of bronze, who was girded with new armor—thought to kill David. 17But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You must not go out with us to battle anymore. You must not quench the lamp of Israel!” 18Now it came to pass after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob, and Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, a descendant of the Rapha. 19Then there was war again with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Beth-lehemite killed Goliath the Gittite—his spear had a shaft like a weaver’s beam. 20Once again there was war at Gath, where there was a champion that had on every hand six fingers and on every foot six toes— a total of 24, and he also was a descendant of the Rapha. 21When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of David’s brother Shimea killed him. 22These four were born to the Rapha in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

–from 2 Samuel 21

So let’s not grow weary in doing what is good! Let’s provide God’s wisdom to those around us! Let’ provide guidance in alignment to God’s Word! Let’s share our faith, our hope, and our trust in Jesus with the world around us that they may see it and praise our Father in heaven! Let’s share good and sound advice to those around us!

Advice for Behavior in Community

1But as for you, speak things that are fitting for sound instruction.
2Older men are to be clear-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
3Likewise, older women are to be sanctified in demeanor—not backbiting or enslaved to much wine. Let them be teachers of what is good, 4so that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, managing their household, kind, submitted to their own husbands, so that God’s word may not be dishonored.
6Likewise urge the younger men to be self-controlled, 7in all things showing yourself to be an example of good deeds—integrity in instruction, dignity, 8sound speech beyond criticism—so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
9Urge slaves to submit themselves to their own masters in all things, well-pleasing and not back-talking, 10not stealing but showing all good faithfulness, so that they may do credit to the teaching about God our Savior in everything.
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12training us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live in a manner that is self-controlled and righteous and godly in the present age. 13We wait for the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua. 14He gave Himself for us so that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and so that He might purify for Himself a chosen people, zealous for good deeds.
15So communicate these things, and encourage and correct with complete authority. Let no one look down on you.

–from Titus 2



Do you remember? Will you remind others? Hope for the future!

It’s been said that those who forget or don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. Do you remember? Have you learned from the past? Have you forgotten and doing it over again? Do you need to go through the pain and the suffering yourself or can you learn from the experiences of others? Do you need to experience things on your own to get it? Are you willing to learn from the experiences of others? Are you willing to use history as a teacher and then live out today in a way that won’t repeat the past? How do you live? How will you learn? What will it mean for your present and future? How good is your memory? How long can you remember what you said, what you promised, what you are to do? How long can you remember what others have said and done? How long can you remember the miracles God has done in and through your life? Do you remember what He has done? for you? in you? through you?

Today’s reading triggered all these questions in my mind. What happened…What was said…What was promised…What was forgotten…

Cutting the Covenant at Sinai

1Then to Moses He said, “Come up to Adonai, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2Moses alone is to approach Adonai, but the others may not draw near, nor are the people to go up with him.” 3So Moses came and told the people all the words of Adonai as well as all the ordinances. All the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Adonai has spoken, we will do.” 4So Moses wrote down all the words of Adonai, then rose up early in the morning, and built an altar below the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He then sent out young men of Bnei-Yisrael, who sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings of oxen to Adonai. 6Then Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins and the other half he poured out against the altar. 7He took the Scroll of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. Again they said, “All that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey.” 8Then Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Adonai has cut with you, in agreement with all these words.” 9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. 11Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank. 12Then Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the Torah and the mitzvot, which I have written so that you may instruct them.” 13So Moses rose up along with his attendant Joshua, and Moses went up onto the mountain of God. 14To the elders he said, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. See, Aaron and Hur are with you—whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of Adonai settled upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17The appearance of the glory of Adonai was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of Bnei-Yisrael. 18So Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up onto the mountain. Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.
–from Exodus 24

Could you last a week? Could you last a month? Could you last 40 days? How long are you able to remember? Does it matter how big of a miracle it was? Do it matter how incredible it was? Does it matter how much of an impact it had on your life? How long would you be able to remember?

Tabernacle: Ark, Table, Menorah

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering. 3These are the contributions which you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4blue, purple and scarlet cloth; fine linen and goat hair; 5ram skins dyed red, sealskins, acacia wood; 6oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastplate. 8“Have them make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. 9You are to make it all precisely according to everything that I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all the furnishings within—just so you must make it. 10“Now they are to make an Ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits in length, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11You are to overlay it with pure gold, inside and out, and make a crown of gold around it. 12You are to cast four rings of gold for it, and place them in its four feet. Two rings will be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13Also make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14You are to put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, in order to carry the Ark. 15The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it. 16You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark. 17“Then you are to make an atonement cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, one cubit and a half wide. 18Also make two cheruvim of gold, from hammered work, at the two ends of the atonement cover. 19Make one cheruv at one end and one cheruv at the other end. Of one piece with the atonement cover you are to make the cheruvim at its two ends. 20The cheruvim are to spread out their wings above, shielding the atonement cover with their wings, each facing its companion. The faces of the cheruvim are to be turned toward the atonement cover. 21You are to put the atonement cover on top of the Ark, and inside the Ark you will put the Testimony that I will give you. 22“I will meet with you there. I will speak with you from above the atonement cover—from between the two cheruvim that are on the Ark of the Testimony—about all that I will command you, for Bnei-Yisrael. 23“You will make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24You are to overlay it with pure gold, and make a crown of gold around it. 25Make a border a single handwidth wide around it and a golden crown for the border all around. 26Also make four gold rings for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. 27The rings are to be close to the borders, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 29You are also to make the dishes, pans, jars and bowls to pour drink offerings, from pure gold. 30Always set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me. 31“You are to make a menorah of pure gold, by hammered work. Its base, stem, cups, bulbs and flowers are to be one piece. 32There are to be six branches coming out of the sides, three branches of the menorah out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 33There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms in one branch, each with a bulb and flower, then three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, each with a bulb and flower, and so forth for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 34Within the menorah will be four cups made like almond blossoms, with bulbs and flowers. 35There is to be a bulb under two branches of the first piece, a bulb under two branches of the second piece, and a bulb under two branches of the third piece, for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 36Their bulbs and their branches are to be one piece—all of it a single hammered work of pure gold. 37“You are also to make the seven lamps for it, and set the lamps up to shed light over the space before it. 38“The tongs and the censers are to be of pure gold. 39It is to be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these pieces. 40See that you make them according to their pattern being shown to you on the mountain.
–from Exodus 25

So let’s remember! Let’s be people who walk in love! Let’s not allow hate or bitterness to take root in our hearts! Let’s not allow worry or doubt take root and cause fear! Let’s put our hope and trust in God and remember everything He has done for us, in us, and through us!

Haters Won’t Prevail

1A Song of Ascents. “How many times they have been hostile to me, even from my youth” —let Israel now say—2“How greatly they have been hostile to me, even from my youth. Yet they have not prevailed against me. 3Plowmen plowed on my back—they made their furrows long!” 4Adonai is righteous—He has cut the ropes of the wicked. 5May all who hate Zion be driven back in disgrace. 6Let them be like grass on the roofs, which withers before it springs up—7with it a reaper cannot fill his hand, nor can a binder of sheaves fill his lap. 8So the passersby may never say: “The blessing of Adonai be upon you—we bless you in the Name of Adonai.”
–from Ps 129

Will you be an ambassador for love? Will you be an ambassador for peace? Will you?

Will you submit to God and study His ways? Will you pursue Him and His directions? Will you follow Him and His instructions? Will you imitate Him so that you will glorify and exalt Him by the way you live your life?

Misdirected Zeal

1Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have zeal for God—but not based on knowledge. 3For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming: 9For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. 13For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.” 14How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? 15And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!” 16But not all heeded the Good News. For Isaiah says, “Adonai, who has believed our report?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. 18But I say, have they never heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” 19But I say, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, with a nation empty of understanding I will vex you.” 20And Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I became visible to those who did not ask for Me.” 21But about Israel He says, “All day long I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
–from Romans 10

So will you let your light shine? Will you allow others to see Jesus in and through you? Will you point them to the one that can make a difference in their lives? Do you point them to the one who gave it all for our sake? Do you share His love with those He sends into your life? Do you share His hope with those around you? Will you glorify Him by the way you live out today? What if He took the punishment for all that you had done? (He did – even to the point of death on a cross) What if you betrayed Him? (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god) Will you receive the mercy and grace He provides? He won’t force Himself on you, so will you freely receive His gift of salvation? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? He overcame the world, so that we can have hope! (In this world you will have troubles, but take hope for Jesus has overcome the world!)

Judah’s Remorse

1When daybreak came, the ruling kohanim and elders of the people conspired against Yeshua to put Him to death. 2And they tied Him up, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. 3Then Judah, His betrayer, saw that Yeshua had been condemned. Feeling remorse, he brought the thirty silver pieces back to the ruling kohanim and elders, 4saying, “I’ve sinned, betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What’s that to us? You see to it yourself!” 5After tossing the silver into the Temple sanctuary, he left. Then he went off and hanged himself. 6But the ruling kohanim took the silver pieces and said, “It is not permitted to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So after they conferred, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a cemetery for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the “Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of Him on whom a price had been set by Bnei-Yisrael; 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as Adonai arranged for me.”

“Kill the King!”

11Now Yeshua stood before the governor. The governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “You say so,” Yeshua said. 12And while He was accused by the ruling kohanim and elders, He did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against you?” 14Yeshua did not answer, not even one word, so the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now during the feast, the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner, anyone they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17So when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over out of envy. 19While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous Man, for today I’ve suffered many things in a dream because of Him.” 20Now the ruling kohanim and elders persuaded the crowds that they should ask for Bar-Abba and destroy Yeshua. 21But the governor responded, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Bar-Abba!” 22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Yeshua, who is called Messiah?” “Execute Him!” all of them say. 23But Pilate said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be executed!” 24When Pilate saw he was accomplishing nothing, but instead a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this blood,” he said. “You see to it yourselves!” 25All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released to them Bar-Abba. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Nailed to a Stake

27Then the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe around Him. 29And after braiding a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. And falling on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and they took the staff and beat Him over and over on the head. 31When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him away to crucify Him. 32As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene, Simon by name. They forced him into service, to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (that is to say, Place of a Skull), 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall to drink; but after tasting, He was unwilling to drink it. 35And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36And they sat down and kept guard over Him there. 37Over His head they put the charge against Him, which read: “THIS IS YESHUA, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 38Then two outlaws were executed with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are Ben-Elohim, come down from the stake!” 41Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars and elders, were also mocking Him. 42“He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the stake, and we’ll believe in Him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim.’” 44Even the outlaws who were executed with Him were ridiculing Him in the same way.

Yeshua Lays Down His Life

45Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 47When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” 48Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. 49But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” 50And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. 52And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. 53And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and what was happening, they became terribly frightened and said, “This really was the Son of God!”

The Tomb Is Sealed

55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Yeshua from the Galilee, serving Him. 56Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also become a disciple of Yeshua. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60And he laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone up to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Now Miriam from Magdala was there, and the other Miriam, sitting opposite the tomb.

Guarding the Tomb

62Now on the next day, which is after the preparation, the ruling kohanim and Pharisees were gathered before Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember how that deceiver said while He was still alive, ‘After three days I’m to be raised.’ 64Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, so His disciples do not come and steal Him away. They will tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first!” 65“You have a guard,” Pilate said to them. “Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone along with the soldiers of the guard.
–from Matthew 27


Do you want to leave a legacy?

What are you teaching them? What are they learning from watching you? Are your words aligning to your actions? Where are you pointing them? Where are you leading them? How are you encouraging them? How are you empowering them? What will they remember? What will they take with them? Be it your kids? Be it your employees? Be it your neighbors? Be it your friends? Be it … how will you pass on to them what you have received?

The love of God! The truth of God! The hope of God! The Word of God! The promises of God! The wisdom of God! The direction of God! The fact that God is with them! The fact that God is for them! The fact that He wants to have and build a relationship with them!

Today’s reading starts with the offspring of Esau who are the Edomites, as they left Canaan in Genesis 36. We see this topic continue as we move into Acts and watch Paul chose to mentor – to speak into and to train up in the ways he should go. Let’s jump into Acts 16 and see where it takes us today…

1Now Paul came to Derbe and Lystra. There was a disciple there named Timothy, son of a woman who was a Jewish believer and a Greek father,
2who was well-spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.
3Paul wanted this man to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him for the sake of the Jewish people in those places—for they all knew that his father was Greek.
4As they were traveling through the cities, they were handing down the rulings that had been decided upon by the emissaries and elders in Jerusalem, for them to keep.
5So Messiah’s communities were strengthened in the faith and kept increasing daily in number.

Going West to Macedonia

6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Ruach ha-Kodesh to speak the word in Asia.
7When they came to Mysia, they were trying to proceed into Bithynia, but the Ruach of Yeshua would not allow them.
8So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9Now a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man from Macedonia was standing and pleading with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”
10As soon as he had seen the vision, immediately we tried to go to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.
11So we put out to sea from Troas and made a straight course for Samothrace, the next day on to Neapolis,
12and from there to Philippi—which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia as well as a Roman colony. We stayed in this city for several days.
13On Yom Shabbat, we went outside the gate to the river, where we expected a place of prayer to be. We sat down and began speaking with the women who had gathered.
14A woman named Lydia—a seller of purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, a God-fearer—was listening. The Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying.
15When she was immersed, along with her household, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she insisted.
16It so happened that as we were going to prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination, who was bringing her masters much profit from her fortune-telling.
17Following after Paul and us, she kept shouting, saying, “These men are servants of El Elyon, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”
18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul was irritated and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Messiah Yeshua to come out of her!” And it came out of her that very moment.
19But when her masters saw that the hope of profit was gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities.
20And when they brought them to the chief authorities, they said, “These men are throwing our city into an uproar! Being Jewish,
21they advocate customs which are not permitted for us to accept or practice, being Romans.”
22Then the crowd joined in the attack on them. So the chief authorities ripped their clothes off them and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to guard them securely.
24Having received this charge, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Salvation for a Jailer’s Household
25But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26Suddenly there was such a great earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors were unlocked, and everyone’s chains came loose.
27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing the prisoners had escaped.
28But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”
29The jailer called for lights and rushed in; and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
30After he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They said, “Put your trust in the Lord Yeshua and you will be saved—you and your household!”
32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him, along with everyone in his household.
33He took them that very hour and washed their wounds, and at once he was immersed—he and all his household.
34The jailer brought them to his house and set food before them, and he was overjoyed that he with his entire household had put their trust in God.
35When day came, the chief authorities sent their police officers, saying, “Release those men.”
36But the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The chief authorities have sent orders to release you. So come out now, and go in shalom.”
37But Paul said to the officers, “They have beaten us publicly without a trial—men who are Roman citizens—and have thrown us into prison. And now they are sending us away secretly? No! Let them come themselves and lead us out!”
38The police officers reported these words to the chief authorities. They became afraid when they heard they were Romans,
39so they came and apologized to them. After they escorted them out, they kept begging them to leave the city.
40When Paul and Silas went out of the prison, they visited Lydia’s house. And when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then departed.
–from Acts 16

How many lives will you touch? How many lives will be transformed? How many lives will God allow you to enter into? What will you do with the favor and the position you have been given? Will you give them the key? That Jesus is the way to be saved? Will you stand up for your rights? When improperly charged, will you ask for or wait for an apology?

What will you share? How will you shine? How will be salt and light into the world in which you live? How will you instruct them?

Today’s reading concludes in Matthew where Jesus instructs the 12…

Instructions to the Twelve

1Yeshua summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, so they could drive them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness.
2Now these are the names of the twelve emissaries: first, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother;
3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; Jacob, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4Simon the Zealot, and Judah the man from Kriot, the one who also betrayed Him.
5Yeshua sent out these twelve and ordered them, “Do not go to the Gentiles, and do not enter into any Samaritan town.
6But go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7As you go, proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!’
8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tza’arat, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
9Do not get gold or silver or copper for your money belts,
10or a bag for the journey, or two shirts, or sandals, or a walking stick; for the worker is entitled to his food.
11“Whatever town or village you shall enter, find out who in it is worthy and stay there until you leave.
12As you come into the house, greet it.
13If the household is worthy, let your shalom come upon it. But if it’s not worthy, let your shalom return to you.
14And whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, as you leave that house or that town, shake the dust off your feet.
15Amen, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment than for that town.
16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues.
18You will be brought before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles.
19But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you should say, for it shall be given to you in that hour what you should say.
20For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death.
22And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved.
23Whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next. Amen, I tell you, you will never finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.
25It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26“So do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
27What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear in your ear, proclaim from the housetops!
28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
29“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from your Father’s consent.
30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
31So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32“Therefore whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father who is in heaven.
33But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
34“Do not think that I came to bring shalom on the earth; I did not come to bring shalom, but a sword.
35For I have come to set ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.’
37“He who loves father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me.
38And whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me isn’t worthy of Me.
39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
40“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives the One who sent Me.
41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a tzaddik in the name of a tzaddik shall receive a tzaddik’s reward.
42And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, amen I tell you, he shall never lose his reward.”
–from Matthew 10

Live to leave a legacy

Are you staying teachable?

Do you realize you don’t know it all? Do you realize that there are still things you can learn? Do you realize where you can turn to learn? Do you realize who is available to teach you? Do you realize there is someone who can speak wisdom, truth, hope, love, and life into your life? Are you available to receive it?

So are you ready? Are you available? Are you?

Today’s reading comes from Proverbs 4 again but this time verse 7.

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

–from Proverbs 4

We shouldn’t avoid gaining wisdom. We should be looking to get wisdom. And through that teaching, learn how to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of the person or thing. It’s more than just head knowledge, we need to understand it, we need to comprehend it, we need to appreciate it, we need to gain awareness of it.

Just reading it, isn’t, we need to apply it. So when you get wisdom, now what will you do with it? How will you put it into application? How will you make it a part of your life?

Do you know where to get wisdom? Turn to God and ask!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

–from James 1:5

Ask believing in Him! Ask trusting in Him! Ask without doubt and without fear! Don’t set yourself up to be tossed around by the waves of life, allow your focus, your hope, and your trust to be in and come from the Lord!

Think you have it all under control? Think you have it all figured out? And now where are you heading? What direction are you walking? I suspect you know, it is away from God! It’s similar to the story of the prodigal son. Will you learn through experiencing it or will you learn through someone else’s experiences? Do you need to feel it to believe it? Do you need to see it to be believe it? Or can  you have faith to believe without seeing?

Consider this lesson…

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

–from Luke 15

Where are you at? Are you in a spot where you are open to learn? Are you in a spot to be able to listen to wisdom and then get insight out of it? Are you mentally ready to receive it? Are you emotionally ready to receive it? Are you spiritually ready to receive it?

Wisdom is available! Are you willing to humble yourself and ask for some?

Are you humble enough to be teachable? If not, what’s holding you back? What will it take to breakthrough?

Today’s devotional (Forward – Day 5 of 7) is on this subject and it’s lesson goes like this:

“How to Grow in Teachability”

From the time the people of God left Egypt, God has sent many prophets to call them back to God. The people of God have repeatedly failed to be learners—the result was that they went backward, not forward.

Being unteachable never leads you toward God, but away from God. It never results in upward spiritual movement, but in spiritual decline. When God corrects us, He is calling us back to Himself. When we reject His correction, we move away from Him dangerously. When we choose not to learn personally, we forfeit the privilege to lead others.

There are four characteristics of a leader who is growing in their teachability.

Ongoing Humility: Many times, our own mistakes move us to great humility. The world calls it weakness, but God calls it strength.

Learning to Learn: Growing in teachability involves us learning to learn from God and others. The result is that we will become wiser the longer we live.

Gaining Wisdom: We discover wisdom from God’s Word as we read it, meditate upon it, and practice what it says. When we do this, our future is limitless and our hope abounds.

Growing Daily: Remember that God uses His people, at time, to speak to us. People can help shape the vision that God places within our heart.

Today, ask the Lord to counsel and instruct you. “Lord, through your Holy Spirit please counsels me, grow me, develop me, and develop within me a growing teachability. Lord, use me for your glory, and use those around me to teach me.”


Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!

Ever heard the saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” by George Santayana? It’s important to not forget! It’s important to refresh the who, the what, there where, the why, the when, and the how! Take a look around and see what is taking place in the world. Do you realize the cycle that is taking place? Solomon who was so wise put it this way “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Do you notice the repetition? Do you notice the rise and the fall? Do you notice the pendulum swaying to and fro? Are you seeing anything taking place that seems familiar that has happened but people aren’t stopping to remember and charging right back in to repeat the past? What would it take for someone to stop? What if we stopped trying to go our own way and turned back to God? What if we shared the good things God has done with our children to teach them, train them, correct them, and direct them? Consider how things swung bad every time people forgot about what God had done in the past to get them where they are today! Consider how the pendulum would swing every time they would remember and turn back to God? Take a look at the world around you! What will you do to share the good news of God with those around you? What will you do to make a difference in the lives of those God has brought into your sphere of influence? Will you testify to the good things God has done in and through your life? Will you speak words of encouragement to your children? Will you speak the truth and the hope that is within you to those you work with? What’s it going to take? What’s it going to be? Will you sit there and do nothing? Ever heard the quote by Edmund Burke? … “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So let’s not do nothing! Let’s be doers of the Word!

Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!

As I do on Sundays, I go through the old testament readings from the week. This week that will cover Isaiah 40-46.

Isaiah 40: Words of Hope

  • Speaks to the coming of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus
  • We have a limited time on this earth, so we need to make sure we use it wisely
  • God’s Word lasts forever
  • Speaks to the coming of Jesus, the shepherd
  • There is nobody like God! There is nobody better than God!
  • Nothing compares to who He is and all that He is
  • Everything is the Lord’s
  • God sees all things. God knows all things.
  • God renews the strength of those who put their trust in Him!

Isaiah 41: God’s Assurance to Israel

  • God is trustworthy
  • We do not have to be afraid when God is with us.
  • God is our protector and saves
  • In our weakness, God’s strength is revealed
  • God is our provider
  • There is only one God and God challenges the false gods
  • God knows the plans and can swart them

Isaiah 42: The Lord’s Servant

  • God speaks of the coming of Jesus.
    • “Here is my servant, whom I strengthen—the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased. I have filled him with my Spirit, and he will bring justice to every nation. 2He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. 3He will not break off a bent reed nor put out a flickering lamp. He will bring lasting justice to all. 4He will not lose hope or courage; he will establish justice on the earth. Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching.”
  • God created the heavens and stretched them out; he fashioned the earth and all that lives there; he gave life and breath to all its people.
  • God speaks to Jesus’ calling
    • 6“I, the Lord, have called you and given you power to see that justice is done on earth. Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations. 7You will open the eyes of the blind and set free those who sit in dark prisons.”
  • Let’s worship God for there is but one! Let’s give Him the position in our hearts He deserves. Let’s praise Him!
    • 10Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise, all the world! Praise him, you that sail the sea; praise him, all creatures of the sea! Sing, distant lands and all who live there! 11Let the desert and its towns praise God; let the people of Kedar praise him! Let those who live in the city of Sela shout for joy from the tops of the mountains! 12Let those who live in distant lands give praise and glory to the Lord! 13The Lord goes out to fight like a warrior; he is ready and eager for battle. He gives a war cry, a battle shout; he shows his power against his enemies.
  • God promises to help His people
  • Will you not listen? Will you not learn?
  • God’s plan is for good. God’s laws are to guide and protect. Will you align?

Isaiah 43: God Promises to Rescue His People

  • Don’t be afraid!
  • He will stick by you as you walk through deep waters so that you won’t be overwhelmed
  • Hard trials that come by won’t hurt you
  • He wants to set us free
  • He wants to save our lives because we are precious to Him
  • Israel is the Lord’s witness
    • “Summon my people to court. They have eyes, but they are blind; they have ears, but they are deaf! 9Summon the nations to come to the trial. Which of their gods can predict the future? Which of them foretold what is happening now? Let these gods bring in their witnesses to prove that they are right, to testify to the truth of their words. 10“People of Israel, you are my witnesses; I chose you to be my servant, so that you would know me and believe in me and understand that I am the only God. Besides me there is no other god; there never was and never will be. 11“I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you. 12I predicted what would happen, and then I came to your aid. No foreign god has ever done this; you are my witnesses. 13I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do.”
  • Don’t get tired of doing what is right and what is good
    • “But you were tired of me, Israel; you did not worship me. 23You did not bring me your burnt offerings of sheep; you did not honor me with your sacrifices. I did not burden you by demanding offerings or wear you out by asking for incense. 24You didn’t buy incense for me or satisfy me with the fat of your animals. Instead you burdened me with your sins; you wore me out with the wrongs you have committed. 25And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you. 26“Let us go to court; bring your accusation! Present your case to prove you are in the right! 27Your earliest ancestor sinned; your leaders sinned against me, 28and your rulers profaned my sanctuary. So I brought destruction on Israel; I let my own people be insulted.”

Isaiah 44: The Lord Is the Only God

  • He is the first, the last, the only
  • Don’t chase after idolatry for it will be ridiculed
  • God is the Creator and the Savior
  • God doesn’t need our help, He wants to be in relationship with us

Isaiah 45: God is in control

  • Raises up/appoints kings
  • God created … God knows the future
  • God created the heaven and the earth
  • God is the Lord of all

Isaiah 46: God cares for you

  • Remember the past
  • Turn to God
  • Keep your focus on God and His ways and His will
  • God’s plans never fail

If you don’t get it now, will you keep a hold of it for later?

It’s interesting how sometimes you will have conversations and wonder to yourself, “what did that mean?” When that happens do you just dust it off or do you take a hold of it to see what it could mean later? Do you put that in your back pocket for later? Today’s reading is interesting as just such a situation arises where Jesus says something but his parents don’t fully grasp it, but His mother put that into her memory chest (in her heart).

41Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. 43When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; 44they thought that he was with the group, so they traveled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. 46On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. 48His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” 49He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand his answer. 51So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favor with God and people. –Luke 2:41-52

Ever been somewhere and heard someone say “out of the mouth of babes”? It’s interesting how the filter that seems to build up as we get older doesn’t exist with children. They speak what they believe and trust. As I even say that it reminds me of how Jesus spoke of how we are to have the faith like a child. We are to be more like children! Ever had the conversation, when are you going to grow up? Ever heard a response that well I know I am getting older, but do I have to grow up? It’s a fine line because we also need to mature in our knowledge and trust of God so that we can go from milk to the meat of the matter. We see this spoken to in 1 Corinthians as well as in Hebrews. So do you see the difference? Do you notice what was being spoken and the truth of the situation? Will you hope and trust God like a child? Will you take your wisdom and knowledge of God and share it with others like an adult? How will your light shine in the world around you? How will you allow God’s process to work in and through you? What will be seen as you build your life on the foundation of Jesus with Jesus as your cornerstone? When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became new! We were born again, but this time into the spiritual realm. So let’s allow our thoughts to come into alignment with God’s thoughts! Let’s allow His will to be our will. Let’s allow time with God daily to renew our minds! Let’s allow time with God daily to build our relationship with Him. Let’s live the transformed life God has given us as a gift!

17In the Lord’s name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless 18and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. 19They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint. 20That was not what you learned about Christ! 21You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. –Ephesians 4:17-24

Let’s get rid of things that distract, destroy, deceive us! Let’s hold onto the truth and renew our minds, getting rid of the junk and replacing it with hope, love, and truth. Let’s devote ourselves to living in alignment with God’s plans and God’s will for our lives!

57You are all I want, O Lord; I promise to obey your laws.
58I ask you with all my heart to have mercy on me, as you have promised!
59I have considered my conduct, and I promise to follow your instructions.
60Without delay I hurry to obey your commands.
61The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget your law.
62In the middle of the night I wake up to praise you for your righteous judgments.
63I am a friend of all who serve you, of all who obey your laws.
64Lord, the earth is full of your constant love; teach me your commandments.

–Psalm 119:57-64

Can you handle the truth?

If you were a part of something so incredible and so amazing, could someone pay you to tell the story a different way? If you were there and experienced a miracle, could someone persuade you to lie about it for any sum of money? Is there anything that someone could use to get you to stop telling others about the great things that have happened in, through, and around your life?

Now imagine if you had experienced what the guards did and saw everything that they saw, how would you respond?

The Report of the Guard

11While the women went on their way, some of the soldiers guarding the tomb went back to the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12The chief priests met with the elders and made their plan; they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers 13and said, “You are to say that his disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. 14And if the Governor should hear of this, we will convince him that you are innocent, and you will have nothing to worry about.”
15The guards took the money and did what they were told to do. And so that is the report spread around by the Jews to this very day.

~from Matthew 28 (GNT)

But the story didn’t end there. Jesus was seen again which wouldn’t have aligned with the story or the lies. And so we see…

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

(Mark 16.14-18; Luke 24.36-49; John 20.19-23; Acts 1.6-8)
16The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. 18Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

~from Matthew 28 (GNT)

So do you realize that is our calling too? To GO! To MAKE disciples! To BAPTIZE! To TEACH!

Are you a greeter? Are you welcoming? Are you an encourager? Are you going out of your way and possibly even out of your comfort zone in order to be welcoming to others? Are you someone who is trying to build unity? Are you someone who is trying to protect it? Are you someone who stands for the truth?

Final Instructions

17I urge you, my friends: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people’s faith and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them! 18For those who do such things are not serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites. By their fine words and flattering speech they deceive innocent people. 19Everyone has heard of your loyalty to the gospel, and for this reason I am happy about you. I want you to be wise about what is good, but innocent in what is evil. 20And God, our source of peace, will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 21Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings; and so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, fellow Jews.
22I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, send you Christian greetings.
23My host Gaius, in whose house the church meets, sends you his greetings; Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.

Concluding Prayer of Praise

25Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your faith, according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. 26Now, however, that truth has been brought out into the open through the writings of the prophets; and by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations, so that all may believe and obey.
27To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.

~from Romans 16 (GNT)

Consider where you are at. Consider the state of things. And speak with bold and courageous tone what God wants you to say.

Don’t give up! Don’t lose faith! Don’t lose hope!

The Prayer of an Elderly Person

1Lord, I have come to you for protection;
never let me be defeated!
2Because you are righteous, help me and rescue me.
Listen to me and save me!
3Be my secure shelter
and a strong fortress#

71.3: One ancient translation a strong fortress; Hebrew to go always you commanded.

to protect me;

you are my refuge and defense.
4My God, rescue me from wicked people,
from the power of cruel and evil people.
5Sovereign Lord, I put my hope in you;
I have trusted in you since I was young.
6I have relied on you all my life;
you have protected#

71.6: Some ancient translations protected; Hebrew unclear.

me since the day I was born.

I will always praise you.
7My life has been an example to many,
because you have been my strong defender.
8All day long I praise you
and proclaim your glory.
9Do not reject me now that I am old;
do not abandon me now that I am feeble.
10My enemies want to kill me;
they talk and plot against me.
11They say, “God has abandoned him;
let’s go after him and catch him;
there is no one to rescue him.”
12Don’t stay so far away, O God;
my God, hurry to my aid!
13May those who attack me
be defeated and destroyed.
May those who try to hurt me
be shamed and disgraced.
14I will always put my hope in you;
I will praise you more and more.
15I will tell of your goodness;
all day long I will speak of your salvation,
though it is more than I can understand.
16I will go in the strength of the Lord God;
I will proclaim your goodness, yours alone.
17You have taught me ever since I was young,
and I still tell of your wonderful acts.
18Now that I am old and my hair is gray,
do not abandon me, O God!
Be with me while I proclaim your power and might
to all generations to come.
19Your righteousness, God, reaches the skies.
You have done great things;
there is no one like you.
20You have sent troubles and suffering on me,
but you will restore my strength;
you will keep me from the grave.
21You will make me greater than ever;
you will comfort me again.
22I will indeed praise you with the harp;
I will praise your faithfulness, my God.
On my harp I will play hymns to you,
the Holy One of Israel.
23I will shout for joy as I play for you;
with my whole being I will sing
because you have saved me.
24I will speak of your righteousness all day long,
because those who tried to harm me
have been defeated and disgraced.
~from Psalm 71