What do you do when it feels cold and dark?


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

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

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

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


Jesus is the key and the answer


What do you do when it feels cold and dark?

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


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 16-19

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Let’s pray:


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

Their is a difference between what we deserve vs what is available.


Ever messed up? Ever made a mistake? Ever missed the mark? Ever done something you were sorry for? Ever done something you weren’t proud of? Ever broken a rule? Ever broken the law? Ever done something unfair? Ever done something immoral? Ever done something immoral?

Do you realize what the penalty is? Do you realize what the repercussions are? Do you realize what could of or should of happened to you because of it? Do you realize the impact it had on others and on you?

Do you realize we all have a choice? Do you realize we all have options? Do you realize there is a way out? Do you realize there is a way into hope? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the faults? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the bad? Do you realize that there is a way to restore or regain what was lost? Do you realize that there is a way to be redeemed? Do you realize that there is a way to be vindicated? Do you realize there there is a way to get help?

Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of wisdom? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of encouragement? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will sustain you? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will renew you?

Want help? Need help? Know where to go and find help?

Turn back to God! Cry out to Jesus! Trust in Him! Lean on Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah 50..

1Thus says Adonai: “Where is the divorce certificate, by which I sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? See, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2Why was no one there when I came? Why was there no one to answer when I called? Is My hand too short to redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea at My rebuke, I make rivers a wilderness— their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. 3I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering.”

Third Servant Song: Face Like Flint

4Adonai Elohim has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to give heed as a disciple. 5Adonai Elohim has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn back. 6I gave My back to those who strike, and My cheeks to those pulling out My beard; I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting. 7For Adonai Elohim will help Me. Therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. 8The One who vindicates Me is near. Who will accuse Me? Let us stand up to each other. Who is My adversary? Let him confront Me. 9See, Adonai Elohim will help Me. Who is he who would condemn Me? See, they all wear out like a garment. A moth will eat them up. 10Who among you fears Adonai? Who hears the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of Adonai and lean on his God. 11“Behold, all you who kindle a fire, encircling yourselves with firebrands. Walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have lit. This you will have from My hand: you will lie down in torment.”

–from Isaiah 50

Looking for justice? Turn to God! Looking for comfort? Turn to God! Looking for righteousness? Turn to God! Looking for salvation? Turn to God! Looking for strength? Turn to God! Looking for joy? Turn to God! Looking for gladness? Turn to God! Afraid of the unknown? Turn to God! Ask the Spirit of God to come into your heart! Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior!

Comfort Zion With Justice

1“Listen to Me, you who pursue justice, you who seek Adonai. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you. For when I called him, he was but one, then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 3For Adonai will comfort Zion. He will comfort all her waste places. He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of Adonai. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and a sound of melody. 4“Pay attention to Me, My people, give ear to Me, My nation. For Torah will go out from Me, My justice as a light to the peoples. 5My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the nations. The coastlands will wait for Me— for My arm they will wait expectantly. 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die like gnats, but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness never wane. 7Listen to Me, you who know justice, a people with My Torah in their heart: Do not fear the taunt of men, nor be dismayed at their insults. 8For the moth will eat them like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever and My salvation for all generations.” 9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Adonai, awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? 10Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a path for the redeemed to pass over? 11Now the ransomed of Adonai will return, and come to Zion with singing. Everlasting joy will be upon their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12“I, I am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man, who dies, or a son of man, who is given up like grass?” 13But you forgot Adonai your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Are you in constant dread all day because of the fury of the oppressor as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14Soon one bowed down will be released. He will not die and go to the Pit, nor will his bread be lacking. 15“For I am Adonai your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name. 16I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you with the shadow of My hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” 17Awake, awake! Stand up, Jerusalem! From Adonai’s hand you have drunk the cup of His fury, the chalice of reeling that you have drained to the dregs. 18There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has raised. 19These two things have befallen you —who will mourn for you?— devastation and destruction, famine and the sword. How will I comfort you? 20Your sons have fainted. They lie at every street corner, like an antelope in a net. They are full of Adonai’s fury, the rebuke of your God. 21Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine. 22Thus says your Lord, Adonai your God who defends His people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of reeling, the bowl of My wrath. You will never drink it again. 23Then I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we may walk over you.’ You have made your back like the ground and like a street for passersby.

–from Isaiah 51

Will you choose before it is too late? Will you ask Jesus into your life and follow after Him the rest of your life? Will you call upon Jesus and be saved?

Judgment is coming! Eternity is at stake! We each need to make our own choice and decision!

Don’t worry about revenge! The battle is the Lord’s and vengeance is His!

God Really Judges

1For the music director: “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David. 2Do you really speak of justice, O “gods”? Do you judge with fairness, sons of man? 3No, in heart you devise injustice. Your hands weigh out violence on earth. 4The wicked are strangers from the womb. Speaking lies, they go astray from birth. 5Their venom is like a serpent’s venom, like a deaf cobra shutting its ear— 6not hearing the voice of charmers, or a cunning spell binder. 7O God, break their teeth in their mouths. Tear out the fangs of young lions, Adonai. 8Let them flow away like water that runs off. When he bends his bow, let the arrows be cut off. 9Like a slug melting away as it slithers, like a woman’s miscarriage, may they never see the sun. 10Even before your pots can feel a thorn —whether alive or ablaze— He will sweep the wicked away. 11The righteous one will rejoice when he beholds vengeance, when he washes his feet in the blood of the wicked. 12Then men will say: “There really is a reward for the righteous. There really is a God who judges on earth!”

–from Psalms 58

Don’t try to trick or deceive God! He knows your every thought! Don’t try to cheat God! He already owns everything and knows your heart! Walk with Him! Trust Him! Live life to the full in and through Him! Let’s be living lives that testify of God’s goodness and great love! Let’s be living lives that testify to His power and greatness! Let’s allow the Spirit of God to work in us and through us for the glory of our God! We need to be telling people God’s way! We need to go beyond man’s way and do it God’s way! From the beginning people tried to stop God, but as today’s reading tells us “If it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” Don’t lose hope in the trial, the troubles, and the persecution! Trust in God! Rejoice that you were considered worthy!

Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Ruach

1On the other hand, a man named Ananias together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a property. 2He kept back some of the proceeds, with his wife’s full knowledge, and brought part of it and set it at the feet of the emissaries. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, it was your own, wasn’t it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? How did this deed get into your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God.” 5As soon as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came upon all who heard about it. 6The young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud, then carried him out and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter responded to her, “Tell me if you sold the land for this much.” She said, “Yes, for that much.” 9Then Peter said to her, “How did you agree to test the Ruach Adonai? Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door—they will carry you out, too!” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came back in, they found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole community and all who heard these things.

Signs and Wonders, Angelic Jailbreak, and Bold Witness

12Meanwhile, through the hands of the emissaries many signs and wonders were happening among the people. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13But no one else dared to join them, though the people continued to think highly of them. 14Yet more than ever those trusting in the Lord were added—large numbers of men and women. 15They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on stretchers and cots, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16Crowds were also gathering from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. 17But the kohen gadol rose up, and all those with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18They grabbed the emissaries and put them in a public jail. 19But during the night an angel of Adonai opened the prison doors, and leading them out he said, 20“Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people the whole message about this Life.” 21Now when they heard that, they entered the Temple at daybreak and began teaching. When the kohen gadol and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, even the council of elders of Bnei-Yisrael, and sent to the prison to have the prisoners brought in. 22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported, 23saying, “We found the prison locked with maximum security and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened up, we found no one inside.” 24When the captain of the Temple and the ruling kohanim heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering where this would lead. 25But someone came and reported to them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went off with the officers and brought the emissaries—but not with force, because they feared they might be stoned by the people. 27When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. The kohen gadol questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!” 29Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whom you seized and had crucified. 31This One God exalted at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and removal of sins. 32And we are witnesses of these events—as is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” 33Now when they heard this, they became enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful what you are about to do with these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, joined up with him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37After this fellow, Judah the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and got people to follow him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will come to an end; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” They took his advice, 40called in the emissaries, flogged them, ordered them not to continue speaking in the name of Yeshua, and let them go. 41So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were considered worthy to be dishonored on account of His name. 42And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.

–from Acts 5

So choose to be on the winning side! Choose to walk in the victory that has already been won. Jesus has won! So choose to walk with Him and be on His side!

The Victory of the Resurrection

1Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the Good News which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it,
2and by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you—unless you believed without proper consideration.
3For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that He appeared to Kefa, then to the Twelve.
6Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time— most of them are still alive, though some have died.
7Then He appeared to Jacob, then to all the emissaries,
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
9For I am the least of the emissaries, unworthy to be called an emissary because I persecuted God’s community.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace toward me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than them all—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether then it is I or they, so we proclaim, and so you believed.
12Now if Messiah is proclaimed—that He has been raised from the dead—how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised!
14And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is meaningless and your faith also is meaningless.
15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised up Messiah—whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, not even Messiah has been raised.
17And if Messiah has not been raised, your faith is futile—you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished.
19If we have hoped in Messiah in this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all people.
20But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.
23But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah;
24then the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all rule and all authority and power.
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27For God has “put all things in subjection underneath His feet.” But when the psalmist says that “all” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put all things under Messiah.
28Now when all things become subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to the One who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they immersed for them?
30And why are we in danger every hour?
31I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
32If, for human reasons, I fought with “wild animals” at Ephesus, what good is that to me? If the dead are not raised, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
34Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37As for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but a bare seed, maybe of wheat or something else.
38But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.
40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing while the earthly is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
43Sown in dishonor, raised in glory! Sown in weakness, raised in power!
44Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body! If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48Like the one made of dust, so also are those made of dust; and like the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49And just as we have borne the image of the one made from dust, so also shall we bear the image of the One from heaven.
50Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility , and this mortal must put on immortality.
54But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility and this mortal will have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”
56Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah.
57But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
58Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

–from 1 Corinthians 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are being called to do something…


You are being called to go! You are being called to show! You are being called to speak!

Will you obey the calling? Will you go where you are supposed to go? Will you show them what you are supposed to show them? Will you tell them what you are supposed to speak to them?

What will it take for you to do what you are supposed to do? Will you try to run away? Will you try to hide? Will you put others at risk because of your stubbornness? Will you put yourself ahead of others rather than being obedient and doing what you are supposed to do?

Will you provide the news of hope? Will you provide the news of love? Will you provide the news of correction? Will you provide the news of direction? What will you do?


Let’s look at an example of being called… Let’s look at an example of wanting to resist the call…Let’s look and see how that plays out…

Jonah Runs From His Mission

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying: 2“Rise, go to the great city Nineveh and call out to her, for their evil has risen before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish, from the presence of Adonai. He went down to Jaffa and found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fee and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish—away from the presence of Adonai. 4Then Adonai hurled a forceful wind into the sea and there was such a mighty storm on the sea that the ship was about to shatter. 5So the sailors were afraid and cried out, each man to his own god. Then they cast the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest part of the ship, to lay down and fell fast asleep. 6So the chief sailor came near to him and said to him, “What, are you sleeping? Get up! Call out to your god. Perhaps the gods will consider us, so we will not perish!” 7Then each man said to his companion, “Come, let’s cast lots—so we may know because of whom this evil is happening to us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account is this evil happening to us? What is your profession and where did you come from? What is your land and from what nation are you?” 9He said to them, “I am a Hebrew and I fear Adonai God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear and they said to him, “What have you done?” For the men knew that he had fled from the presence of Adonai, because he had told them. 11So they said to him, “What should we do to you so the sea will become calm for us?”—for the storm was raging on. 12“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he said to them, “then the sea will become calm for you. For I know it is because of me that this great storm is upon you.” 13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to the land, but they could not, because the sea kept raging against them. 14So they cried to Adonai and said, “Please, Adonai, don’t let us perish on account of the soul of this man and don’t put innocent blood on us. For you, Adonai, have done as you pleased.” 15So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea—and the sea stilled from its raging. 16Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear of Adonai, and they offered a sacrifice to Adonai and made vows.

–from Jonah 1

Do you believe? If you believe then why would you go away from where you have been called? If you believe then why would you turn away from what you are supposed to do? Do you really want to put others at risk? What would it take for you to reconsider your ways? What would it take for you to turn back to do what God has called you to do? How big would it need to be? How long before you will agree to do what you have been called to do?

1Now Adonai prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah’s Prayer of Distress

2Then Jonah prayed to Adonai his God from the belly of the fish, 3saying: “From my distress I cried to Adonai and He answered me. From the belly of Sheol I cried for help and you heard my voice. 4For you hurled me from the deep into the heart of the seas, and currents swirled around me. All your waves and your breakers swept over me.” 5And I said, “I have been banished from before your eyes. Yet I will continue to look toward your holy Temple.” 6Waters surrounded me up to my soul. The deep sea engulfed me— reeds clung to my head. 7To the bottoms of the mountains I went down. The earth with her bars was around me, forever! Yet You brought my life up from the Pit, Adonai my God. 8As my soul was fading from me, I remembered Adonai and my prayer came to You, toward Your holy Temple. 9Those who watch worthless empty things forsake their mercy. 10But I, with a voice of thanks will sacrifice to you. What I vowed, I will pay. Salvation is from Adonai.” 11Then Adonai spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

–from Jonah 2

God is the god of second chances. This is true for you and for those God wants you to speak truth, hope, live to in and through love! So will you share that with others? Will you give that gift to others? Will you be a catalyst for forgiveness? Will you be a catalyst for salvation? Will you help others to realize where they are at and help them to come to the reality of the love of God? The Love of Jesus? Jesus was in the grave for 3 days before He rose … paralleling what happened to Jonah. Jesus came to speak the message of hope and truth to the world … paralleling the message Jonah has to share with the people of Nineveh. There are many things from the old testament that foreshadows what was to happen in the new testament. So don’t be an impediment to what God wants to do in and through you and your life! Here the call and be the catalyst He wants you to be to help the lives of others.

Nineveh Repents

1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Rise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out to it the proclamation that I am telling you.” 3So Jonah rose and went to Nineveh according to the word of Adonai. Now Nineveh was a great city to God—the length of a three day journey. 4So Jonah began to come into the city for one day’s journey, and he cried out saying: “Another forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” 5Then the people of Nineveh believed God and called for a fast and wore sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, covered himself in sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7He made a proclamation saying: “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, no man or beast, herd or flock, may taste anything. They must not graze nor drink water. 8But cover man and beast with sackcloth. Let them cry out to God with urgency. Let each one turn from his evil way and from the violence in his hands. 9Who knows? God may turn and relent, and turn back from his burning anger, so that we may not perish.” 10When God saw their deeds—that they turned from their wicked ways—God relented from the calamity that He said He would do to them, and did not do it.

–from Jonah 3

Don’t be sad when you are successful! Success can be one of the biggest challenges you will or could ever face. God’s plan in the story of Jonah isn’t any different from what we read in the new testament. God’s plan is one of salvation. In 2 Peter, we read…

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. –from 2 Peter 3:9

That is because…

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. –from John 3

God sent Jonah to Nineveh with the same hope that they would turn from their evil ways and turn back to Him and be saved! So if you are successful in sharing the good news and people’s lives are turned around, how will you respond? Don’t try to be the judge…leave that in God’s hands. You know God’s heart so don’t be surprised when He is as great as you believe! We all need God’s grace! We all need God’s love! We all need God’s salvation!

Jonah’s Displeasure at God’s Mercy

1But it greatly displeased Jonah and he resented it. 2So he prayed to Adonai and said, “Please, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my own country? That’s what I anticipated, fleeing to Tarshish—for I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and full of kindness, and relenting over calamity. 3So please, Adonai, take my soul from me—because better is my death than my life.” 4Yet Adonai said, “Is it good for you to be so angry?” 5So Jonah went out from the city and sat east of the city. There He made a sukkah and he sat under it, in the shade, until he saw what would happen in the city. 6Then Adonai God prepared a plant and it grew up over Jonah, to give shade over his head to spare him from his discomfort. So Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But God at dawn the next day prepared a worm that crippled the plant and it withered away. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint. So he implored that his soul would die, saying, “My death would be better than my life!” 9Then God said to Jonah, “Is it good for you to be so angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said, “I am angry enough to die!” 10But Adonai said, “You have pity on the plant for which you did no labor or make it grow, that appeared overnight and perished overnight. So shouldn’t I have pity on Nineveh— the great city that has in it more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left—as well as many animals?”

–from Jonah 4

So where will you stand today? So what will you do today? Will you make a difference? Will you be the difference? How will you choose to live?

We need to let them know before it is too late! We need to share God’s good news before it’s too late! We need to speak to them before the day of judgment! Let’s be as Jonah who did what God called him to do (hopefully without needing to be swallowed by a giant fish) so that everyone gets to hear the good news and can turn back to God before it is too late! Let’s speak the good news to both those we consider friends and those who tend to be against us most of the time (or you may even call your enemies) for Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies! Time is coming! Jesus is coming back! So let’s share His love with the world around us that they may turn to God as the people of Nineveh did and be saved!

Let’s speak life over them! Let’s speak power of them! Let’s speak truth over them! Let’s do it all in LOVE!

The Kingdom Is Coming Now

1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”

The Spirit Rests on Yeshua

9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.

Fishermen Follow Him

14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God. 15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.

Demons Flee at His Command

21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.

The Hurting Become Whole

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.

–from Mark 1

 

 

 

 

How do you live when things are going well?


Are you thankful for what you have? Are you appreciative for what you have? Are you grateful for what you have? Do you thank God for such blessings? Do you try to stay as close to God as when you were being through tough times? Are you wandering off? Are you straying from God and His ways? Are you moving away from center and swaying away? Do you think you can do it on your own? Have you forgotten about God? Are you setting the stage so that the next generation may think you did it on your own and there is no God? Are you setting up a future where things could go bad, really bad because people will be walking out from under the covering and protection of God?

Take a look around you! Consider the generation now and what “self” type living has done and is doing to the world around you! We need to never forget what He has done, what He is doing, and what He has promised daily! We need to make sure that not only are we going to be ok, even during a time of peace and prosperity, but that the next generation realizes that the reason for where we are at – blessed and peaceful – is because of God’s love and covering and instruction and wisdom! Don’t let them forget! Pass on the Good News! Help them to see and know about God! Help them see and know the truth of having a relationship with God!

Today’s reading continues in 1 Kings with Solomon as king and Israel at a place of peace and abundance…

Solomon’s Official Staff

1Now King Solomon reigned over all Israel, 2and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, the kohen; 3Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, the recorder; 4Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, kohanim; 5Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the officers; Zabud son of Nathan the kohen, the king’s personal attendant; 6Ahishar, in charge of the household; Adoniram son of Abda in charge of the forced labor. 7Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each had to make provision for a month in the year. 8These were their names: Ben-Hur, in the hill-country of Ephraim; 9Ben-Deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 10Ben-Hesed, in Arubboth (his were Socoh and all the land of Hehper); 11Ben-Abinadab in all the height of Dor (Taphath, Solomon’s daughter was his wife); 12Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as beyond Jokmeam; 13Ben-Geber, in Ramot-Gilead (his were the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and also his were the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14Ahinadab son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath, Solomon’s daughter, as wife); 16Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and one who was the officer in the land. 20Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in abundance, eating and drinking and rejoicing.

–from 1 Kings 4

So proclaim God’s goodness so that the next generation will know! Tell of the things God has done through the highs and the lows so that they will know where to turn and who to turn to! Testify about where you were, what happened, and how God got you thru to the other side! They need to know so that when they face challenges they know where to turn and what to do! Let’s remember how Jesus came to fulfill the law and how He gave His all that we could be reconciled to God and be saved!

Our Righteous Judge

1For the music director, to the tune of “The Death of the Son,” a psalm of David. 2I will praise Adonai with my whole heart. I will tell about all Your wonders. 3I will be glad and rejoice in You. I will sing praise to Your Name, Elyon! 4When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before You. 5For You upheld my right and my cause. You sat upon the throne, judging righteously. 6You rebuked the nations, You destroyed the wicked— blotting out their name forever and ever. 7The enemy is finished, in ruins forever. You overturned their cities— even the memory of them has perished. 8But Adonai reigns forever. He established His throne for judgment. 9He judges the world in righteousness and governs the peoples justly. 10Adonai is a stronghold for the oppressed, a high tower in times of trouble. 11Those who know Your Name trust You— for You, Adonai, never have forsaken those who seek You. 12Sing praises to Adonai, who dwells in Zion. Declare His deeds among the peoples. 13He who avenges blood remembers. He will not forget the cry of the afflicted. 14Be compassionate to me, Adonai. See my affliction from those hating me. Lift me up from the gates of death. 15Then I will tell all your praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion, rejoicing in Your salvation. 16The nations sank into the pit they made. The net they hid caught their own foot. 17Adonai is known for executing judgment. The wicked one is trapped in the work of his own hands. Selah 18The wicked will turn to Sheol, as will all the nations that forget God. 19For the needy will not forever be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. 20Arise, Adonai, do not let man triumph. Let the nations be judged before You. 21Strike them with terror, Adonai. Let the nations know they are only human. Selah

–from Psalms 9

Turn to God! Call upon Him! Ask Him! Speak with Him! Build a relationship with Him! Never forget Him!

1Therefore leaving the basic teaching of the Messiah, let us move on toward maturity—not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of trust in God, 2of teaching about immersions, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3Now this we will do, if God permits. 4For it is impossible for those who once were enlightened—having tasted of the heavenly gift and become partakers of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 5and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the olam ha-ba , 6and then having fallen away—to renew again to repentance, since they are again crucifying Ben-Elohim for themselves and publicly disgracing Him. 7For the earth—having soaked up the rain frequently falling on it—brings forth vegetation useful to those for whom it is farmed; and it shares in God’s blessing. 8But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed—its end is to be burned over. 9But even though we speak like this, loved ones, concerning you we are convinced of better things—things coming with salvation. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love that you showed for His name, in having served and continuing to serve the kedoshim. 11But we long for each of you to show the same eagerness for the certainty of hope to the very end— 12so you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those inheriting the promises through trust and perseverance.

The Promise and the Oath

13Now when God made His promise to Abraham—since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, “Surely I will bless you, and surely I will multiply you.” 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham reached the promise. 16For people swear by someone greater; and the oath, as confirmation, is an end to all their disputing. 17In the same way God, determining to point out more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchanging nature of His purpose, guaranteed it with an oath. 18So by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady—a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain. 20Yeshua has entered there as a forerunner on our behalf, having become Kohen Gadol “forever, according to the order of Melechizedek .”

–from Hebrews 6

So will you be fishers of men? Will you plant seeds of hope? Will you plant seeds of love? Will you plant seeds of encouragement? Will you shine light, life, hope into the world around you? Will you speak love, joy, peace to the people around you? Will you make a difference to the people God has brought into your life? How will you make a difference today? How will lives be transformed because you shared Jesus with them?

Calling Fishermen at the Kinneret

1It happened that the crowds were pressing upon Yeshua to hear the word of God as He was standing by the Lake of Kinneret, 2when He saw two boats standing beside the lake. Now the fishermen had left them and were washing the nets. 3Getting into one of the boats, Simon’s boat, Yeshua asked him to push out a ways from the land. Then sitting down, He taught the crowds from the boat. 4When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Go out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But at Your word I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Yeshua’s knees, saying, “Go away from me, Master, for I am a sinful man!” 9For amazement had gripped him and all who were with him, over the catch of fish they had netted; 10so also Jacob and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were partners with Simon. But Yeshua said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on, you will be catching men.” 11So when they had brought the boats to the landing, they left everything and followed Him.

Yeshua Heals and News Spreads

12Now while Yeshua was in one of the towns, a man covered with tza’arat appeared. And when he saw Yeshua, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Master, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed!” Immediately, the tza’arat left him. 14Yeshua ordered him to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to the kohen. Then bring an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 15But the news about Yeshua was spreading all the more, and many crowds were coming together to hear and to be healed of their diseases. 16Yet He would often slip away into the wilderness and pray.

Crowds Gather from the Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem

17Now on one of those days, Yeshua was teaching. Pharisees and Torah scholars were sitting there, who had come from every village of the Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem. And Adonai’s power to heal was in Him. 18And behold, men were carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher, trying to bring him in and place him before Yeshua. 19But when they found no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his stretcher through the tiles, right in the middle before Yeshua. 20When He saw their faith, He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” 21Then the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this fellow speaking blasphemies? Who can pardon sins but God alone?” 22Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, replied to them, “Why are you raising questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins….” He said to the paralyzed one, “I tell you, get up and take your cot, and go home!” 25Immediately he got up before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26Astonishment took hold of them, and they glorified God and all were filled with awe, saying, “We’ve seen incredible things today!”

The Banquet at Levi’s House

27After these things, Yeshua went out and observed a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28And leaving everything, he got up and followed Him. 29Levi made a great banquet for Yeshua at his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 30The Pharisees and their Torah scholars began murmuring to His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31And Yeshua answered and said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick do. 32I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinful to repentance.” 33But they said to Him, “John’s disciples often fast and offer prayers, as do the disciples of the Pharisees. But Your disciples are eating and drinking.” 34But Yeshua said to them, “You cannot make the guests of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36Now he was also telling them a parable. “No one tears a patch from a new garment to use it on an old garment. Otherwise he will rip the new, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will be spilled out, and the skins will be destroyed. 38But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39No man who drinks old wine wants new, because he says, ‘The old is fine.’”

–from Luke 5

 

 

 

 

How do you remember?


How do you remember what happened? How do you remember how it happened? How do you remember the way it happened? How do you remember where it happened? How do you remember when it happened? How do you remember why it happened? How do you remember who was there? How do you remember what came of it? How do you remember?

Don't forget - find ways to remember

When you were saved? When you a prayer was answered? When you were given wisdom? When you were given instruction? When you were blessed? When you prayed for something? When you went through trials? When you had a breakthrough? When you got married? When you had kids? When you graduated? When you bought your first home? When you got your first car? When you got your first job? When you got a new job? How do you remember?

How will you remember what you learned? How will you realize what is right at hand? How will you know right from wrong? How will you know the right way? How will you know the right person? How will you use what you have been taught? How will you use what you have? How many attempts will it take?

Ways to remember key points - ask questions

Will you turn to God and ask? Will you share the experiences with others? Will you write down the experiences? Will you talk to people about them? How will you remember?


Today’s reading …

Three Harvest Festivals

1“Observe the month of Aviv and keep the Passover to Adonai your God, for in the month of Aviv Adonai your God brought you out from Egypt by night. 2You are to sacrifice the Passover offering to Adonai your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place Adonai chooses to make His Name dwell. 3You are not to eat hametz with it. For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt. 4No hametz should be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day may be left overnight until the morning. 5You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates that Adonai your God is giving you. 6Rather, at the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell, there you will sacrifice the Passover offering in the evening at sunset—the time of your coming out from Egypt. 7You are to cook and eat it at the place Adonai your God chooses, then you will turn around in the morning and journey home. 8For six days you are to eat matzot . On the seventh day there is to be a solemn gathering for Adonai your God—on it you are to do no work. 9Seven weeks you are to count for yourself—from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you will begin to count seven weeks. 10Then you will keep the Feast of Shavuot to Adonai your God with a measure of a freewill offering from your hand, which you are to give according to how Adonai your God blesses you. 11So you will rejoice before Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God chooses to make His Name dwell—you, your son and daughter, slave and maid, Levite and outsider, orphan and widow in your midst. 12You will remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you are to take care and do these statutes. 13“You are to keep the Feast of Sukkot for seven days, after gathering in the produce from your threshing floor and winepress.” 14So you will rejoice in your feast—you, your son and daughter, slave and maid, Levite and outsider, orphan and widow within your gates. 15Seven days you will feast to Adonai your God in the place He chooses, because Adonai your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hand, and you will be completely filled with joy. 16Three times a year all your males are to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses—at the Feast of Matzot, the Feast of Shavuot, and the Feast of Sukkot. No one should appear before Adonai empty-handed— 17the gift of each man’s hand according to the blessing Adonai your God has given you.

Judges Appointed

18“Judges and officers you are to appoint within all your gates that Adonai your God is giving you, according to your tribes; and they are to judge the people with righteous judgment. 19You are not to twist justice—you must not show partiality or take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and distorts the words of the righteous. 20Justice, justice you must pursue, so that you may live and possess the land that Adonai your God is giving you. 21You are not to plant for yourself an Asherah pole of any kind of wood beside the altar of Adonai your God that you make for yourself. 22Nor are you to set up a pillar for yourself—Adonai your God hates this.

–from Deuteronomy 16

Will you share it? Will you write it down? Will you pass it along from generation to generation that there will be a legacy?

Investigations and Witnesses

1“You are not to sacrifice to Adonai your God a bull or a sheep that has a defect or anything bad—for that would be an abomination to Adonai your God. 2Suppose there is found in your midst—within one of your gates that Adonai your God is giving you—a man or woman who does what is evil in the eyes of Adonai your God by transgressing His covenant. 3This person goes and serves other gods and worships them—the sun or moon or any of the heavenly host, which I have not commanded. 4It is told to you and you have heard about it, and you investigate thoroughly and indeed it is true and the thing certain—this abomination has been done in Israel. 5Then you are to bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and stone that man or woman with stones to death. 6By the word of two or three witnesses, the one who is to die is to be put to death. No one is to be put to death by the word of one witness. 7The hand of the witnesses is to be first to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you are to purge the evil from your midst. 8“Suppose a matter arises that is too hard for you to judge—over bloodshed, legal claims or assault—matters of controversy within your gates. Then you should go up to the place Adonai your God chooses, 9and come to the Levitical kohanim and the judge in charge at that time. And you will inquire, and they will tell you the sentence of judgment. 10You are to act according to the sentence they tell you from that place Adonai chooses, and take care to do all that they instruct you. 11You are to act according to the instruction they teach you and the judgment they tell you—you must not turn aside from the sentence they tell you, to the right or to the left. 12The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the kohen who stands to serve there before Adonai your God, or to the judge, that man must die. So you are to purge the evil from Israel. 13Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not act presumptuously again.

Torah for Kings

14“When you come to the land that Adonai your God is giving you, possess it and dwell in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations around me,’ 15you will indeed set over yourselves a king, whom Adonai your God chooses. One from among your brothers will be appointed as king over you—you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16Only he should not multiply horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to multiply horses, because Adonai has said to you, “You must never go back that way again.” 17Nor should he multiply wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn aside, nor multiply much silver and gold for himself. 18“Now when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll, from what is before the Levitical kohanim. 19It will remain with him, and he will read in it all the days of his life, in order to learn to fear Adonai his God and keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes. 20Then his heart will not be exalted above his brothers, and he will not turn from the commandment to the right or to the left—so that he may prolong his days in his kingship, he and his sons, in the midst of Israel.

–from Deuteronomy 17

Will you obey it? Will you witness to it? Will you live up to it?

Coronation of Messianic King

1Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples mutter vanity? 2The kings of earth set themselves up and rulers conspire together against Adonai and against His Anointed One : 3“Let’s rip their chains apart, and throw their ropes off us!” 4He who sits in heaven laughs! Adonai mocks them. 5So He will speak to them in His anger, and terrify them in His fury: 6“I have set up My king upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7I will declare the decree of Adonai. He said to me: “You are My Son— today I have become Your Father. 8Ask Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance, and the far reaches of the earth as Your possession. 9You shall break the nations with an iron scepter. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s jar.” 10So now, O kings, be wise, take warning, O judges of the earth! 11Serve Adonai with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish along your way— since His wrath may flare up suddenly. Happy is everyone taking refuge in Him!

–from Psalms 2

Share the truth! Share your experiences! Learn from other people’s experiences so you won’t have go through it all yourself!

True and False Apostles

1I wish that you would put up with a little foolishness from me, but indeed you are putting up with me. 2For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I betrothed you to one husband, to present you to Messiah as a pure virgin. 3But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds might be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion and purity to the Messiah. 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Yeshua whom we did not proclaim, or if you receive a different spirit that you did not receive, or a different “good news” that you did not accept, you put up with that well enough! 5For I consider myself in no way inferior to the “super special” emissaries. 6Even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge. No, in every way we have made this clear to you in all things. 7Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed to you God’s Good News free of charge? 8I robbed other communities by taking wages from them for service to you. 9When I was present with you and I was in need, I did not burden anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. In everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and I will continue to do so. 10As the truth of Messiah is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off the opportunity from those who want an opportunity in what they boast about to also be regarded just as we are. 13For such men are false emissaries, deceitful workers masquerading as Messiah’s emissaries. 14And no wonder, for even satan masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their deeds.

Paul Boasts in the Lord

16I say again, let no one consider me to be a fool. But if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I also may boast a little. 17What I am saying, I am saying not according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this self-confident boasting. 18Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19For you, being so wise, put up with fools gladly. 20For you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone puts on airs, if someone slaps you on the face. 21To my shame I must say that we have been weak. Yet whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I speak in foolishness—I dare, too. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they servants of Messiah? I am more so—I speak like I’m out of my mind—in labors much more, in prisons much more, in beatings more brutal, near death often. 24Five times from the Jewish leaders I received forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent in the open sea. 26In my many journeys I have been in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the desert, dangers in the sea, dangers among false brothers, 27in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Besides these other things, there is daily pressure on me of concern for all of Messiah’s communities. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? 30If I must boast, I will boast of my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Yeshua, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33and I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

–from 2 Corinthians 11

Remember from where your hope comes! Remember from where your help comes! Remember in whom you trust! Remember what He has done in and through you!

Ben-David Enters Jerusalem

1Now as they draw near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, to the Mount of Olives, Yeshua sends two of His disciples 2and says to them, “Go into the village ahead of you. Right away as you enter it, you will find a colt tied up that no one has ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Master needs it.’ And right away he will send it back here.” 4They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a door. And they untied it. 5Some people standing there began saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They answered just as Yeshua had told them, and the people let them go. 7And they brought the colt to Yeshua and laid their cloaks on it, and He sat on it. 8Many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread branches cut from the fields. 9Those going before and those following kept shouting, “Hoshia-na! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hoshia-na in the highest!” 11And He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around at everything, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve, since it was already late.

The Fruit of the Faithful

12The next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He would find any fruit on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing except leaves, because it wasn’t the season for figs. 14And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 15Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the Temple and started to drive out those selling and buying in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those selling doves, 16and He wouldn’t let anyone carry goods through the Temple. 17And He began to teach them, saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 18The ruling kohanim and Torah scholars heard this and began looking for a way to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. 19Whenever evening came, Yeshua and His disciples would leave the city. 20As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree shriveled from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree You cursed has shriveled up!” 22And Yeshua answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God! 23Amen, I tell you, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says is happening, so shall it be for him. 24For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your transgressions.” 26[footnote: Some mss. add: But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.]

A Question for a Question

27Again they come to Jerusalem. While Yeshua was walking in the Temple, the ruling kohanim, Torah scholars, and elders come up to Him. 28And they start saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?” 29Yeshua said to them, “I will put one question to you. Answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The immersion of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me!” 31They began to dialogue among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘From men’…?” They were afraid of the crowd, for all held that John really was a prophet. 33So answering Yeshua, they say, “We don’t know.” And Yeshua tells them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

–from Mark 11

Are you aware of what impact you are having?


Do you know what your words are saying to people? Do you know what your actions are doing to people? Do you realize the impact you are having on others? Do realize what you are doing? Are you even aware of what’s taking place? Consider it! Consider the response(s) you are getting!

Today’s reading starts with us learning about Joseph. Consider the situation described. Consider if you were one of the brothers how you would feel. Imagine if you were told such a dream by one of your siblings. Imagine if you being treated as second fiddle to them. How would you feel? Now imagine if you were Joseph. Hmmm. How will God use that situation? How will God’s greater plan turn what some planned for evil and use it for good? God doesn’t get surprised! So let’s take a look and see what we can grasp from the story today…

Joseph, Favored Son

1Now Jacob dwelled in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the genealogies of Jacob. When Joseph was 17 years old (he was a youth), he was shepherding the flocks with his brothers—with the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age. So he had made him a long-sleeved tunic.
4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak to him in shalom.
5Then Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers—and they hated him even more.
6He said to them, “Please listen to this dream I dreamed.
7There we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field. All of a sudden, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8“Will you truly be a king over us?” his brothers said to him. “Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and because of his words.
9But then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “I have just dreamed another dream. Suddenly, there was the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowing down to me!”
10He told it to his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him and said to him, “What’s this dream you dreamed? Will we really come—your mother and I with your brothers—to bow down to the ground to you?”
11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the speech in mind.

Joseph Betrayed

12Then his brothers went to graze their father’s flocks at Shechem.
13Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers grazing the flocks in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” “Here I am,” he said to him.
14Then he said to him, “Go now, and check on the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flocks and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” he said. “Please tell me where they’re grazing.”
17The man said, “They moved on from here. For I heard them saying, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18Now they saw him from a distance. Before he was close to them they plotted together against him in order to kill him.
19They said to one another, “Here comes the master of dreams!
20Come on now! Let’s kill him and throw him into one of those pits, so we can say that an evil animal devoured him. Then let’s see what becomes of his dreams.”
21But Reuben heard and rescued him out of their hands, saying, “We must not beat him to death.”
22In order to rescue him from their hand and to return him to his father, Reuben said to them, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him!”
23So as soon as Joseph came up to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic (the long sleeved tunic that he had on).
24Then they took him and threw him into the pit. (Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.)
25Then they sat down to eat bread. When they looked up, behold, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balsam, and myrrh—going to bring them down to Egypt.
26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on!
27Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not lay our hand on him—since he’s our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers listened to him.
28When some men, Midianite merchants, passed by, they dragged Joseph up and out of the pit and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.
30Then he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I—where should I go?”
31So they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a billy goat, and they dipped the tunic into the blood.
32Then they sent the long-sleeved tunic, and it was brought to their father, and they said, “We found this. Do you recognize whether or not it is your son’s tunic?”
33He did recognize it and said, “My son’s tunic! An evil animal has devoured him! Joseph must be torn to pieces!”
34Jacob tore his clothing and put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.
35All his sons got up along with all his daughters to console him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” So his father kept weeping for him.
36Meanwhile the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar an official of Pharaoh, the commander of the bodyguards.
–from Genesis 37

Can you see the innocence of Joseph’s stories or do you think he was acting maliciously? Can you see the frustration of his brothers with the coat of many colors, with the dreams, with the favoritism? Can you see the build up that was taking place? Do you think they went too far? Do you think it could have been handled differently? Do you think someone might have been able to speak into the situation and diffuse it? God doesn’t get surprised and can use every situation to His glory. He can take what others plan for evil and turn it around use it for good! So no matter where you are and what you are going through keep your focus on God and put your hope and trust in Him! Do what you are supposed to do and let God take care of the rest. Even if you are tricked. Even if you are misjudged. Even if you are forgotten. God will not forget and God will never leave you nor abandon you! Put your hope and trust in Him!

Today’s reading continues in Genesis…Are you good to your word? Are you able to do what you promised? Will you play with trickery and then get bit when you get tricked? How will you walk? How will live? How will your example model life for others?

Judah and Tamar

1About that time Judah went down from his brothers and he camped near an Adullamite man, whose name was Hirah.
2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua, and he took her as wife and slept with her.
3Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er.
4She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan.
5She gave birth to yet another son and she called him Shelah. He was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.
6Then Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai put him to death.
8Then Judah said to Onan, go to your brother’s wife to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a seed for your brother.
9But Onan knew that the seed would not be his. So every time he went to his brother’s wife he would destroy it on the ground so as not to provide a seed for his brother.
10What he did was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so He put him to death also.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up,” because he thought, “Otherwise he too might die, like his brothers.” So Tamar went and stayed in her father’s house.
12Now the days became many, and Shua’s daughter, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah consoled himself, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13Then Tamar was told, “Look! Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his flocks.”
14And she removed her widow’s clothes from herself, covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself, and sat by the entrance to the springs on the way to Timnah (for she saw that Shelah had grown up and she had not been given to him as a wife).
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face.
16So he turned aside to her along the way and said, “Please let me sleep with you” (for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law). “What,” she asked, “will you give me to sleep with me?”
17“I will send you a young goat from the flock,” he said, “Provided you give a pledge until you send it,” she said.
18“What kind of pledge shall I give you?” he asked. “Your seal, and your cord, and your staff in your hand,” she said. So he gave them to her and he slept with her, and she got pregnant by him.
19After she got up and left, she removed her veil from herself and put on her widow’s clothes.
20When Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he could not find her.
21He asked the men of her area saying, “Where is the cult prostitute? She was at the springs along the way.” But they said, “There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.”
22So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her, and the people of that place also said, ‘There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.’”
23Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, or we’ll be held in contempt. Behold, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been a prostitute—look, she’s even pregnant by prostitution.” “Bring her out!” Judah said, “and let her be burned.”
25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law saying, “I’m pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” Then she said, “Do you recognize whose these are—the seal, the cords and the staff?”
26Then Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I didn’t give her to my son Shelah.” He was not intimate with her again.
27Now when it was time for her to give birth, behold there were twins in her womb.
28While she was giving birth, one stuck out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it to his hand saying, “This one came out first.”
29But as he was pulling his hand back in, behold, his brother came out. So she said, “How you have broken through! The breach is because of you.” And he named him Perez.
30Afterward his brother, on whose hand was the scarlet thread, came out. And he named him Zerah.
–from Genesis 38

Thing may not be what they appear! We need to turn to God even when the situation seems familiar and in the past you handled it a specific way. We need God’s wisdom daily, in every situation, in every circumstance, we need His direction and guidance. So ask, seek, knock – for those who ask find answers, those who see will find, and those who knock get it opened for them.

There are times when your troubles may try to follow you. Keep your eyes on Go and allow His Spirit to lead you and guide you, protect you and shield you. Do you realize that there are some people who believe in a lot of gods? Do you realize there are people who aren’t aware of GOD? Will you share the truth? Will you share the love? Will you share the reason for the hope that is within you? Will you be a catalyst for hope, love, joy? Will you point people to the one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine?

Today’s reading continues into Acts…Let’s catch up with Paul and see how he is doing and what we can learn from his experiences…

Synagogue Responses Vary

1After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them.
3He opened them and gave evidence that Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, saying, “This Yeshua, whom I declare to you, is the Messiah.”
4Some of them were convinced and became attached to Paul and Silas, as were a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and no small number of the leading women.
5But some of the Jewish people became jealous. Taking some wicked fellows of the marketplace and gathering a crowd, they stirred the city into an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to bring Paul and Silas out to the mob.
6When they did not find them, they instead began dragging Jason and some of the brethren before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here too,
7and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.”
8Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused.
9But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue.
11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, because they received the message with goodwill, searching the Scriptures each day to see whether these things were true.
12Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13But when the Jewish people of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they came there too, agitating and inciting the people.
14Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
15Those escorting Paul brought him as far as Athens. After receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

An Unknown God in Athens

16Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols.
17So he was debating in the synagogue with the Jewish people and the God-fearers, as well as in the marketplace every day with all who happened to be there.
18Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What’s this babbler trying to say?” while others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign deities”—because he was proclaiming the Good News of Yeshua and the resurrection.
19So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about?
20For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.”
21Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious.
23For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.
25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
26From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory.
27They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,
28for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’
29Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination.
30Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent.
31For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”
32Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.”
33So Paul left from their midst.
34But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Aereopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
–from Acts 17

So how will you press on? How will you move forward? How will you answer the call? How will you explain the hope that is within you? How will you give an answer when someone asks? Do you have a story? Do you have a testimony of what God has done in and through you? Do you have a story of how you were transformed? Do you have a story ready to tell when someone asks? Be prepared! God is setting up the good works He has for you to do! Be prepared to get it done!

Today’s reading concludes in Matthew. Are you feeling the pressure of this world? Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Would you be willing to hand it over to God? Would you be willing to trade it for something that is easy and light? Let’s hear what Jesus has to say…

Signs and Wonders Bear Witness

1When Yeshua had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
2Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples
3and said to Yeshua, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4Yeshua replied, “Go report to John what you hear and see:
5the blind see and the lame walk, those with tza’arat are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.
6Blessed is the one who is not led to stumble because of Me.”

A Prophet Without Honor

7Now as they were leaving, Yeshua began to talk to the crowd concerning John. “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8No? So what did you go out to see? A man dressed in finery? Look, those who wear finery are in the palaces of kings!
9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, even more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way before You.’
11“Amen, I tell you, among those born of women, none has arisen greater than John the Immerser. Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12From the days of John the Immerser until now, the kingdom of heaven is treated with violence, and the violent grasp hold of it.
13For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied until the time of John.
14And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
15He who has ears, let him hear!
16“But to what shall I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call to one other, saying,
17‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We wailed, but you did not mourn.’
18“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’
19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
20Then Yeshua began to denounce the towns where most of His miracles had happened, because they did not turn from their sins.
21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22Nevertheless I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you.
23And you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will go down to Sheol! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.
24Nevertheless I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.”
Yeshua Teaches the Ways of His Father
25At that time Yeshua said in response, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants.
26Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You.
27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
28Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’
30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
–from Matthew 11

Jesus offers a trade! Jesus is willing to take our weary and burdened lives and give us rest. Jesus is willing to swap the heaven and hard life for an easy and light one. Are you willing to do it His way? Are you willing to give it over to Him? In this world we will have troubles, but we are able to take heart for He has overcome the world! In this world we will face trials, but we can consider them pure joy for when they complete their work in us we will be complete and lacking nothing!

When you come back will you tell about what happened?


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

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

The Return of the Seventy-Two

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

Jesus Rejoices

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Complete Knowledge and Care

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