Are you ready? Do you believe? Will you go? Will you testify? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 22nd)


Are you ready? Have you received Jesus and been given power? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you trust Him? Even in the midst of challenges, trials, or troubles will you keep your hope and trust in Him? Will you allow your faith to be strengthened through them and hold even tighter to Jesus? Will you share the Good News of God? Will you testify to all that God has done in and through you? Will you testify of all that you have seen God do around you? There is victory when we take hold of the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of the lamb, and we share the testimonies of our life — some put it as by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony is how we overcome! So don’t lose hope! Don’t fight against others who also believe but may not be part of your group or your team but rather let’s take hold of the truth and keep our focus on God! It’s not about who is greatest or who is the best or who is first among us but rather it is all about glorifying God through our words, our actions, and our lives! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s make time to spend it with Him and let’s live out our lives in a way that will give God the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s testify to Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the world, and our Lord! Let’s share of the good things He has done, He is doing, and He will do!

Today’s reading speaks of great things in Luke 9.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag,nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed,because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9 Herod said,“John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them,“You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist.But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying,“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him,Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son,for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus,knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him,because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

–from Luke 9

Do you realize the impact on the arts through today’s reading? Do you realize the impact on the world through today’s reading? Have you ever seen or heard of the Transfiguration  by Raphael?

Jan 22 - Luke 9 - Transfiguration by Raphael - showing Jesus with the prophets Moses and Elijah and the apostles


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the incredible things that You have allowed for me to read, see, hear, and experience. You are so amazing and to even have called and asked me to start this blog back in 2005 so that I could capture what was going on over that time is amazing to me too. You aren’t out there somewhere but rather You are with us and You speak into our lives and lead us and guide us through Your Word and Your Spirit. My life has been touched and I know that being sensitive and obedient to the still quiet voice is important because then no matter what situation comes my way I can pause and receive wisdom, discernment, and direction. We need to know Your voice Lord and be ready to respond to Your instruction. Help me Lord as I prepare for this day, a day of new beginnings so that in and through it all Lord You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to share Your love and the hope of Jesus that is in me with those around me so they too may receive the joy of the Lord which is my strength – that even in my times in the valley I would and they will know that I am tying myself to You as my rock, my fortress, and my strength. I give this day up into Your hands in hopes that it will give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s praise Him!


We should be able to do it daily! Today is Friday for me and how many times will someone say “Thank God it’s Friday”? Who is up for saying “Thank God it’s today” everyday! This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

So today let’s submit our today to Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the prince of peace! Let’s praise Him in all we do! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s make our lives living sacrifices that are poured out to Him and for Him that through every thought, word, and deed we give and get Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Will you stand up? Will you take a stand? Will you get out of your comfort zone in order to glorify God? Will you get up and make a difference in the lives of those around you so that God will be lifted up and praised? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Will you open the door to invite others into a moment of worshipping God?

Why not opened up the door today! Help others to come into God’s presence and praise Him!

Isn’t He worth more than a sporting event? So why not make sure we can have the same energy, the same exuberance, the same excitement when we come to praise Him? Only God deserves to get worshipped and praised! Everyone else is human and we need to put first things first and align to God’s purpose and plan for our lives! So will He be your focus for today? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God? Will today be the day of breakthru? Will today be the day of new beginnings? Will today be the day of transformation?

Need somewhere to start getting some of that Hallelujah feeling? Check out Psalms 146–150!

Don’t know Jesus yet? Why not invite Him into your heart today? Why not ask Him to forgive you and to lead you for the rest of your life? Want to discuss it more? Feel free to reach out to me as I would be happy to talk with you and help you plug into a Christian body by helping you look for a church in your area.

For those of us who receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, for those of us who have invited Him into our heart, one day we will get to be a part of the Hallelujah party! Let’s put on the full armor of God that we can stand firm until that day! Let’s lift Him up so that He receives the glory! Let’s lift Him up for all He is doing, has done, and is about to do! Let’s participate in God’s victory by sharing our testimonies for we know that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimonies!

Let’s be God’s people! Let’s not allow darkness to get footholds but rather let’s be salt and light into this dark world! Let’s be the people who will praise and worship God!


Hallelujah — Day 361: Bible In One Year 2018

  • The Hallelujah psalms … Psalms 148:1-6
  • The Hallelujah party … Revelation 18:17-19:10
  • The Hallelujah people … Nehemiah 7:4-8:18

Facing evil and looking for a way to handle it?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need to hear a story? Ask me a question!

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


Three Ways to Overcome Evil

Day 354: Bible In One Year 2018

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

Do you realize where it came from?


Are you so proud that you think it was all in your own strength? Are you so stubborn that you won’t be swayed? Do you realize that it was said before to make sure you couldn’t take full credit? Do you realize that it was said before to make sure you couldn’t give credit to someone else? Have you heard it? Have you listened? Have you considered?

God created everything! He spoke it into motion! God is eternal – He knows the beginning and the end! The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! When you read God’s Word, don’t you hear the fact that things aren’t that different? Human nature isn’t that different. God is Love! God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah 48…

Who Foretold These Things?

1Hear this, house of Jacob, who are called by the Name of Israel, who came from the wellspring of Judah, who swear by the Name of Adonai and confess the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness. 2For they call themselves by the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel, Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name. 3“I foretold the former things long ago. They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to be heard. Suddenly I acted, so they came about. 4For I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is iron sinew, and your forehead bronze. 5So I foretold it to you long ago. before it came about I made you hear, lest you should say, ‘My idol did them, my carved image, yes, my molded image commanded them.’ 6You have heard. See all of it. So will you not admit it? I proclaim to you new things from now on—hidden things that you have not known. 7They are created now, not long ago. Before today you had not heard them. So you will not say, ‘Sure, I knew them.’ 8You have not heard; you never knew; even from long ago your ear has not been open. For I knew that you are treacherous, and from birth were called a rebel. 9For My Name’s sake I defer My anger, for My praise I will restrain it for you— otherwise I would cut you off. 10Behold, I have refined you, though not as silver. I tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11For My own sake, for My own sake, I act. For how should I be profaned? I will not give My glory to another. 12Listen to Me, Jacob, Israel whom I called: I am He; I am the first; I am also the last. 13Surely My hand founded the earth, My right hand spread out the heavens. When I call to them, they stand together. 14Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them foretold these things? Adonai loves him. He will do His will against Babylon— His arm against the Chaldeans. 15I, I have spoken, yes I called him. I will bring him, so his ways will succeed. 16Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So now Adonai Elohim has sent Me, and His Ruach.” 17Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am Adonai your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. 18If only you had listened to My commandments! then your peace would be like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19Your seed would have been like sand, and your offspring like its grains. Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before Me.” 20“Get out of Babylon, flee from Chaldea! With a shout of joy, proclaim this, send it out to the end of the earth, say: ‘Adonai has redeemed His servant Jacob! 21They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He caused the water to flow out of the rock for them. He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.’” 22“There is no shalom,” says Adonai, “for the wicked.”

–from Isaiah 48

Jesus came to save! Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, He came that through Him the world could be saved! Have you heard of Jesus? Have you asked Him into your heart? Has your life been transformed thanks to Jesus? Have your eyes been opened to all God has called you to be? Have your ears been opened to hear the still quiet voice of the Spirit who will lead you, guide you, instruct you, and direct you? Is today your day to ask Jesus into your life? Is today the day you make Jesus more than just a good teacher and a good example, but actually make Him Lord of your life? Is today the day you ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to become the savior of your life?

Second Servant Song: Light of the Nations

1Listen, to Me, islands! Pay attention, peoples far away. Adonai called Me from the womb, from My mother’s belly He named Me. 2He made My mouth like a sharp sword. in the shadow of His hand He hid Me. He made Me a polished arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. 3He said to Me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” 4But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and futility. Yet surely the justice due to me is with Adonai, and my reward with my God.” 5So now says Adonai, who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, to gather Israel back to Him. For I am honored in the eyes of Adonai and My God has become my strength. 6So He says, “It is too trifling a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved ones of Israel. So I will give You as a light for the nations, that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth.” 7Thus says Adonai, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to the One despised, to the One the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of Adonai who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Compassion on Zion’s Children

8Thus says Adonai: “In a time of favor I will answer you. in a day of salvation I will help you. I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the land, to make them possess its desolate inheritances, 9saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’ to those in darkness, ‘Be shown!’ Along the roads they will graze— their pasture will be on all the barren heights. 10They will not hunger or thirst, nor scorching wind or sun strike them, for their compassionate One will lead them, and will guide them by springs of water. 11I will make all My mountains a road, and My highways will be raised up. 12“Behold, these shall come from afar. behold, these from the north and from the west, and from the land of Sinim. 13Shout for joy, heavens! Rejoice, earth! Break forth into ringing shouts, O mountains! For Adonai has comforted His people and has compassion on His afflicted.” 14But Zion said: “Adonai has forsaken me, Adonai has forgotten me.” 15“Can a woman forget her nursing baby or lack compassion for a child of her womb? Even if these forget, I will not forget you. 16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me. 17Your children will come quickly. Your destroyers and devastators will go away from you. 18Lift up your eyes around and see: all of them will gather and come to you.” “As I live” —it is Adonai’s declaration— “you will wear them all as jewelry and bind them on like a bride.” 19For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land will now be surely too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away. 20The children of your bereavement will yet say in your ears, “The place is too cramped for me! Make room for me to settle in.” 21Then you will say in your heart, “Who has borne these for me? Wasn’t I bereaved of my children— barren, an exile and wandering? So who has raised these? Behold, I was left alone— these, where were they?” 22Thus says Adonai Elohim: “Look, I will lift My hand to the nations, and raise My banner to the peoples! They will bring your sons on their chest, and carry your daughters on their shoulders. 23Kings will be your guardians, their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their face to the ground, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Adonai— those hoping in Me will not be ashamed.” 24Can plunder be taken from the mighty, or captives of the righteous freed? 25For thus says Adonai: “Yes, captives of the mighty will be taken and the prey of the tyrant will be freed. For I will oppose your adversary. I will save your children. 26I will feed your oppressors their flesh. They will be drunk with their blood as with sweet wine. Then all flesh will know that I, Adonai, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

–from Isaiah 49

Do you realize that even those who oppose you can open doors for you to testify of the greatness of God? Do you realize that even those who persecute you can ask questions they didn’t expect the answer to be Jesus? Do you realize that God goes before you preparing all the good works He has for you to do? Do you realize that God loves you? Right here! Right now! And He loves you too much to stop at that! He sees your potential! He sees beyond the here and the now into the what can be and what could be and what will be! Are you willing to become everything God has planned and purposed for you to be? Are you willing to give up the selfish things in order to step up and become who God created you to be? Are you willing to become a vessel that God can use to perform miracles through? If God can get it through you, He will get it to you! Pray today for wisdom! Pray today for courage! Pray today for an obedient spirit and heart to hear and then do! Let’s foster unity!

Standing Before the Sanhedrin

1As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the kohanim and the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees came up to them. 2They were indignant because Peter and John were teaching the people and announcing in Yeshua the resurrection of the dead. 3So they grabbed them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5On the next day, the rulers and elders and Torah scholars were gathered together in Jerusalem. 6Annas the kohen gadol was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all those who were of high-priestly descent. 7When they had placed Peter and John in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or in what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are on trial today for a mitzvah done for a sick man, as to how this fellow was healed, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati—whom you had crucified, whom God raised from the dead—this one stands before you whole. 11This Yeshua is ‘the stone—rejected by you, the builders—that has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!” 13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and figured out they were laymen without training, they were amazed. They began to realize that these men had been with Yeshua. 14But seeing the healed man standing with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15When they had ordered Peter and John to go out of the council chamber, they began to confer with one another, 16saying, “What shall we do with these men? For indeed, it’s obvious to everyone living in Jerusalem that a remarkable miracle has happened through them, and we cannot deny it. 17But so it won’t spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak anymore to anyone in this name.” 18So they called them in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Yeshua. 19But Peter and John replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. 20For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21After threatening them again, they let them go—finding no way they could punish them on account of the people, because they all were glorifying God for what had happened. 22For the man in whom this miracle of healing had happened was more than forty years old.

Prayer for Courage

23As soon as they were released, Peter and John went to their own people and reported all that the ruling kohanim and elders had said to them. 24When they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Master, ‘You made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in them.’ 25You said by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, ‘Why did the nations rage and the peoples plot foolish things? 26The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against Adonai and against His Anointed One.’ 27“For truly both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together in this city against Your holy Servant Yeshua, whom You anointed. 28They did whatever Your hand and Your purpose predetermined to happen. 29And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your word with utmost courage— 30while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.” 31When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Ruach-Filled Community Life

32Now the whole group of those who believed was one in heart and mind. No one would say anything he owned was his own, but they had everything in common. 33With great power the emissaries were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and abundant favor was upon them all. 34No one among them was needy, for all who were owners of lands or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds 35and set them at the feet of the emissaries. And the proceeds were distributed according to the need each one had. 36Now Joseph, also called Barnabas by the emissaries (which is translated Son of Encouragement), was a Levite and native of Cyprus. 37He sold a field that he owned and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the emissaries.

–from Acts 4

Let’s pursue love today! Let’s desire the gifts from God! Let’s desire prophecy! Ever looked up prophecy?

miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture

Today’s reading concludes on this subject…

Orderly Governing of the Gifts

1Pursue love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to people but to God—for no one understands, but in the Ruach he speaks mysteries. 3But one who prophesies speaks to people for building up, urging on, and uplifting. 4One who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but one who prophesies builds up the community. 5Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues—unless he interprets, so that the community may be built up. 6But now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you—unless I speak to you by way of revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7It is the same for lifeless things that make a sound—like a flute or a harp. If they make no distinction in the tones, how will what is played be recognized? 8For if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9So also with you with your tongue—unless you utter speech that is intelligible, how will what is spoken be understood? For you will be talking to the wind! 10It may be that there are many kinds of languages in the world—and none without meaning. 11If then I do not understand the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12Likewise with you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, keep trying to excel for the building up of the community. 13Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15What is it then? I will pray in my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, and I will also sing praises with my mind. 16Otherwise if you give thanks and praise in the spirit, how will one filling the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he has no idea what you’re saying? 17For you certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. 18I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19However, in Messiah’s community I would rather speak five words with my mind, so I may also instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brothers and sisters, stop being children in your thinking—rather, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21In the Prophets it is written, “By those with strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people. And not even then will they listen to me,” says Adonai. 22Therefore tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers—but prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 23So if Messiah’s whole community comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and uninstructed or unbelieving people come in, won’t they say that you are crazy? 24But if all are prophesying and some unbelieving or ungifted person comes in, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all. 25The secrets of his heart become known, and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring, “God really is among you!” 26What is it then, brothers and sisters? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27If someone speaks in a tongue, let it be by two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. 28But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the community but speak to himself and to God. 29Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others evaluate. 30But if something is revealed to another sitting nearby, let the first one become silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, so all may learn and be encouraged. 32The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33for God is not a God of confusion, but shalom. As in all the communities of the kedoshim, 34let women keep silent in the communities, for it is not permitted for them to speak out. Rather let them be in order, as the Torah also says. 35If they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home—for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak out in the community. 36Did the word of God originate with you? Or did it reach you alone? 37If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38But if someone does not recognize it, he is not recognized. 39Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But let everything be done decently and in order.

–from 1 Corinthians 14

 

Has it been a while?


Is it late? Is there a reason why? Is there a reason why we shouldn’t start now? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t invite others to be a part of it? Why not go back? Why not come back? Will you get ready? Will you be prepared? Will you not just be going thru the motions, but actually come prepared? Come ready for what is ahead? Come ready for what God can do in and thru this moment?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles with this example…

Hezekiah and all Israel Celebrate Pesach

1Hezekiah then sent word to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of Adonai at Jerusalem to keep the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 3For they were not able to celebrate it at the regular time, since not enough kohanim had consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The matter seemed right in the eyes of the king and of the entire community. 5So they decided to issue a decree and to proclaim it throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. For it had not been celebrated as prescribed for a long time. 6At the king’s command, the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials saying: “You men of Israel, turn back to Adonai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who acted unfaithfully against Adonai, the God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror as you see. 8Do not stiffen your neck as your fathers did, but reconcile to Adonai, and come to His Temple, which He has consecrated forever, and worship Adonai your God that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9For if you return to Adonai, your brothers and children will receive compassion before their captors, and will return to this land. For Adonai your God is compassionate and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10As the couriers traveled from town to town through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were scorned and mocked. 11Nevertheless some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of Adonai. 13Now a very large assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Matzot in the second month. 14They arose and removed the altars and all the incense altars that were in Jerusalem, and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The kohanim and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of Adonai. 16They stood at their post as prescribed in the Torah of Moses, the man of God. The kohanim sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that had not concecrated themselves, therefore the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for everyone that was not ceremonially clean in order to concecrate them to Adonai. 18Although a great multitude of the people—many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, they still ate the Passover lamb contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying: “May Adonai who is good, atone for 19every one who prepares his heart to seek Adonai, the God of his fathers, even though he is not pure according to rules of the sanctuary.” 20Adonai heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21So the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Matzot for seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the kohanim were praising Adonai every day with loud instruments for Adonai. 22Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who demonstrated good understanding of the service of Adonai. For seven days they ate their assigned portions while sacrificing peace offerings and praising Adonai, the God of their fathers. 23Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness. 24Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel. 27Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.

–from 2 Chronicles 30

Do you see what is wrong? Do you see what is going wrong? Do you see what’s in the way? Do you see what what needs to go? Do you see what needs to stay? Do you see what needs to get added back in? Do you know what your part is? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to give? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to get to be a part? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is be involved? Will you embrace the power of doing what is right, what is good, and what is true?

Restoring the Kohanim and Levites

1When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property. 2Then Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites together with their divisions, each of the kohanim and Levites according to his service: for burnt offerings, peace offerings, to minister, to praise, or to sing praises in the gates of the courts of Adonai. 3The king also contributed a portion of his own assets for the burnt offerings: the morning and the evening burnt offerings and the burnt offerings for Shabbatot, the New Moons and the moadim, as it is written in the Torah of Adonai. 4Moreover, he commanded the people, the residents of Jerusalem, to give the portion allotted to the kohanim and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the Torah of Adonai. 5As soon as the word spread, Bnei-Yisrael gave generously the firstfruits of their grain, wine, oil, honey and all the produce of the field, as well as tithe of all the abundance. 6The children of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah, also brought in the tithe of bulls and sheep, and the tithe of the sacred things consecrated to Adonai their God. They piled them in heaps. 7In the third month the heaps began to accumulate and finished in the seventh month. 8When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Adonai and His people Israel. 9Hezekiah asked the kohanim and the Levites about the heaps. 10Azariah the chief kohen from the house of Zadok, replied to him saying, “Ever since the gifts began to be brought into the House of Adonai, we have had enough to eat and more than enough, for Adonai has blessed His people with plenty left over.” 11Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare storerooms in the House of Adonai, and they prepared them. 12They faithfully brought in the offerings and the tithes and the consecrated gifts. Conaniah the Levite was the leader in charge over them and Shimei his brother was next in rank. 13Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader in charge of the House of God. 14Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, distributing the offering of Adonai and the consecrated gifts. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in the towns of the kohanim, making allocations to their brothers by divisions—to great and little alike, 16only considering genealogical records, to the males three years old and upward—to all who entered into the House of Adonai, to perform the daily duties according to their responsibilities and their divisions— 17to the kohanim who were genealogically registered by their ancestral houses, as well as to the Levites 20 years old and upward, according to their duties and their divisions. 18The genealogical registry included all their little ones, their wives and sons and daughters of the entire assembly. Thus in their faithfulness they consecrated themselves as holy. 19As for the sons of Aaron, the kohanim, who lived in the fields of the common lands of their towns—in every town—men were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the kohanim and to all who were genealogically registered among the Levites. 20Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah. He did what was good, right and true before Adonai his God. 21Every work he undertook in the service of the House of God and in the Torah and the mitzvot to seek his God, he did wholeheartedly and succeeded.

–from 2 Chronicles 31

Let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that testify to who Jesus is! Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling! Let’s love them as Jesus loves them! Let’s see them as Jesus sees them! Let’s help them as Jesus would desire for us to help them! Let’s stand in the gap! Let’s intercede for others! Let’s intercede for the believers who are being persecuted that God will lift them up and strengthen them and encourage them! Let’s intercede for the non believers that they will be touched and transformed and come the realization of Jesus!

The Son Glorifies the Father

1Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You. 2Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent. 4I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”

Yeshua Prays for His Disciples

6“I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. 8The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13“But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17“Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. 18Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”

Interceding for All Believers

20“I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message, 21that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You; and these knew that You sent Me. 26I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

–from John 17

Let’s not be working in and through things with power struggles! Let’s not be working in and thru things with an iron fist! Let’s be servant leaders! Let’s lead other by serving them! Let’s be pouring into their lives! Servant leadership is the only type that will make a real difference!

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9