Happy Thanksgiving


The Story of Job. – Day 16

As I start this day and consider all that I have to be thankful for, it starts with: FOR THE

  • My incredible wife – who is loving and caring and fits the bill of finding something good and who has helped me receive favor from the Lord.
  • My children – who are gifts from God. From my oldest daughter to my youngest daughter to my son. They are all blessing me by being 3 John 1:4 children and walking in the truth.
  • My extended family – my parents who raised me, my sister who grew up with me, my uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents who loved me
  • My friends – who grew up with me, who work with me, who put up with me, who go thru it with me
  • My church – that pointed me to Jesus, that showed me to serve, that showed me the love of God, that showed me to lead, that shows me
  • My job – where God positioned me for the second half of my life when he spoke Job 42:12 over it. With great managers and coworkers who are looking to make things better for people looking to make their own way through their own personal ventures.
  • My home where I get to spend time with and have gotten to raise my family
  • My incredible neighbors who have helped me to learn and grown living out in the country

This life isn’t always going to be easy but I can walk in the faith and the confidence of God’s Word and God’s promises. And EVEN THOUGH there are days where I feel like I am walking thru the valley of the shadow of death, I know I can fear no evil. EVEN THOUGH I couldn’t have my family together for thanksgiving this year, God has positioned us to be able to be where we need to be in order to accomplish His will and His purpose in and through the lives of others.

And I even take hold of the hard times. I remember those days when things were so tough and I grew bitter and wouldn’t forgive, but BECAUSE OF that I have learned the power of forgiveness and have been able to share that truth with so many others. BECAUSE OF the trials of betrayal and lies, I have learned how to forgive and share that truth with others going thru similar issues ever since.

Here is an opportunity given to me to share a Story Slam with my new workplace at the time and getting to share the power of forgiveness with them through my testimony.

I will get back into the book of Job’s text tomorrow but wanted to leave everything with a Happy Thanksgiving message not only FOR THE things God has given us but also EVEN THOUGH we had trials and troubles and especially BECAUSE OF what God was able to do in and through those times.


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

Let’s pray:

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

On Thanksgiving-eve, can you be thankful?


THE STORY OF JOB. – DAY 15

What if you had lost your possessions? What if you had lost your monetary worth? What if you had lost your children? What if you had lost your health? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

What if your friends started to judge you? What if your friends started to accuse you? What if your friends started to attack you? What if your friends started to try and shame you? What if your friends blamed you for something you didn’t do? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

Can you find hope in the midst of troubles? Can you find joy in the midst of trials? Can be thankful FOR THE things God has done in and through you? Can you be thankful EVEN THOUGH things haven’t always been easy? Can you be thankful BECAUSE OF the trials and tests and troubles, knowing that they will all work together for God because of your faith and trust in God?


Today’s reading of Job from God’s Word comes from Job 11:


‘Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said, “Shall a multitude of words not be answered? And should a talkative man [making such a long-winded defense] be acquitted? Should your boasts and babble silence men? And shall you scoff and no one put you to shame? For you have said, ‘My teaching (doctrine) [that God knowingly afflicts the righteous] is pure, And I am innocent in your eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips [to speak] against you, And [that He would] show you the secrets of wisdom! For sound wisdom has two sides. Know therefore that God forgets a part of your wickedness and guilt. “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you [by searching] discover the limits of the Almighty [ascend to His heights, extend to His widths, and comprehend His infinite perfection]? His wisdom is as high as the heights of heaven. What can you do? It is deeper than Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead). What can you know? It is longer in measure [and scope] than the earth, And broader than the sea. If God passes by or arrests, Or calls an assembly [of judgment], who can restrain Him? [If He is against a man, who can call Him to account for it?] For He recognizes and knows false and worthless men, And He sees wickedness, will He not consider it? But a hollow (empty-headed) man will become intelligent and wise [Only] when the colt of a wild donkey is born as a man. “If you direct your heart [on the right path] And stretch out your hands to Him, If sin is in your hand, put it far away [from you], And do not let wrongdoing dwell in your tents; Then, indeed, you could lift up your face [to Him] without moral defect, And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear. For you would forget your trouble; You would remember it as waters that have passed by. And your life would be brighter than the noonday; Darkness [then] would be like the morning. Then you would trust [with confidence], because there is hope; You would look around you and rest securely. You would lie down with no one to frighten you, And many would entreat and seek your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].”’

Job 11

Today’s study comes from these two sources:


Study Notes:

We see another one of Job’s friends step in today and look for an audience with God too, but unfortunately Zophah was wanted the audience in order for God to speak to Job’s iniquity and need to repent. We see how another close friend of Job decides to accuse Job that what he has been going through must be in retaliation to something he had done wrong. As with Job’s other friend who spoke, Zophah is trying to get Job to repent without realizing the reality of the situation. Just as the disciples ask Jesus who sinned to make the man blind from birth, Job’s friends are assuming guilt because of the struggles Job has been going through. Zophah gets started with rebuke · reprimand · reproach · admonishment · admonition · reproval · remonstration · disapproval · disapprobation · criticism · censure · blame · condemnation · fault-finding · telling-off · rap over the knuckles · slap on the wrist · dressing down · blast · ticking off · wigging · serve · rating · reprehension and censure · criticism · castigation · stricture · denunciation · damnation · vilification · opprobrium · reproof · disapproval · disapprobation · flak · a bad press · reprobation · arraignment · excoriation · objurgation. We know from the Bible that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We also know that God convicts us out of love unlike Satan who condemns in order to destroy. Zophah starts out with the assumption that for all this to have happened that Job is guilty. Zophah then goes on to name call Job a talker, a liar, and a mocker. Zophah takes Job’s claim of integrity and twists it by going to the extreme that Job was really saying he was sinless and then Zophah attacked him for it. Zophah wouldn’t stop there, he alleges that not only was Job guilty and unrepentant but also an empty talker, with all that hot air he was spouting off about his innocence and God’s apparent injustice was enough that Zophah would have to speak up and take a stand. Even though Job had earlier acknowledged his sin while maintaining his innocence, Zophah had to respond and retaliate.

As I consider this and ponder this, the words “vengeance is mine says the Lord” come to mind in that we shouldn’t and don’t need to be judging others about things we don’t know and we don’t understand because God won’t be fooled nor mocked and He is able to take care of things himself without our need to judge and accuse. Let’s not fall into the first response being to accuse or assume, let’s make our first response to turn to God for wisdom and discernment how He would choose to use us in the midst of a friends troubles and trials? We need to be considering how when we point at someone there are other fingers pointing back at ourselves and we need to be checking our own lives and hearts and take responsibility and accountability for our own lives. We need to be looking in the mirror and considering what do we need to be doing about our own lives to get more aligned with God’s will and purpose and plan. Receiving Jesus gives us salvation, but God’s plan is that we will have life and life more abundantly and so we need to be move forward from that starting point in alignment with His purpose, plan, and will in order to walk into all the good He has planned for our lives, even in the midst of the trials and troubles.

As we get to verse 5 and following, we learn in today’s study how the words being spoken by Zophah to Job were not helpful but hurtful, they would be helpful if it had been a self-reflection to himself, but in the position Job was in the words brought little to no value.

Verses 5-6: Pastor and scholar Andrew W. Blackwood wrote about this passage, “Such a remark might have considerable value if spoken while looking into the mirror. But from a man who is not suffering, to a man who is suffering, this remark is cruel and utterly without any value at all.”

Job 11:5 “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;” Plead with thee according to thy desire: he would soon put thee to silence. We are commonly ready, with great assurance, to interest God in our quarrels. But they are not always in the right who are most forward to appeal to his judgment, and prejudge it against their antagonists.

Job 11:6 “And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that [they are] double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less] than thine iniquity [deserveth].” “Secrets of wisdom”: Job would have been much wiser if he had only known the unknowable secret of God; in this case the scene in heaven between God and Satan would have clarified everything. But Job couldn’t know the secret wisdom of God (verses 7-9). Zophar should have applied his point to himself. If God’s wisdom was so deep, high, long and broad, how was it that he could understand it and have all the answers? Like his friends, Zophar thought he understood God and reverted to the same law of retaliation, the sowing and reaping principle, to again indict Job. He implied that Job was wicked (verses 10-11), and thought he was wise, thought actually he was out of control as if he were a “wild donkey” (verse 12). As terrible as the attack of Satan had been on Job, Zophar felt that it was not enough for the sins of Job. Zophar wanted God to speak out loud and condemn Job, where they could all hear it. In God is all Wisdom and Truth. Zophar was saying to Job, that he had no wisdom. He thought if Job had been wise, he would have repented of his sins by now.

Job 11:7 “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Literally, can you attain to the searching out of God? Can you suppose, that is, that whatever your wisdom, learning, subtlety, sagacity, power of insight, you will be able to search out and fully know the character, attributes, modes of thought and actions of the Most High? No. In one sense, all men do well to profess themselves “Agnostics”. Not that they can know nothing of God, but that they can never know him fully and never exhaust the knowledge of him. As the apostle says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God”! “how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:33-34). “Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Rather. Can you attain to the perfection of the Almighty? Understand, i.e., his inconceivable perfectness. He was asking Job if he thought that he really could know God? He was saying that the wisdom and knowledge of Job would not help him to know God. He was telling Job, that in no way could he measure up to the expectations of the Almighty God. Zophar was a tormenter, not a comforter.

Job 11:8 “[It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” Literally, the heights of the heavens; what can you do? But the meaning is probably that expressed in the Authorized Version. God’s perfectness is unattainable by man’s thought, as the heights of the heavens are by his feet. Deeper than hell; literally, than Sheol, or the receptacle of the dead (see comment on Job 10:21). Paul speaks of the “deep things,” or rather, “the depths” of God (see 1 Cor. 2:10). “What canst thou know? How small a part of the Divine nature can any man thoroughly comprehend and know!

Job 11:9 “The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” Length is generally ascribed to the earth, and width to the sea. The ends of the earth are used for a great distance, and the sea is called the great and wide sea (see Psalm 72:1). But God and his perfections, particularly his wisdom and understanding, are infinite (Psalm 147:5). And will admit of no dimensions; as his love, so his wisdom, has a height which cannot be reached, a depth that cannot be fathomed, and a length and breadth immeasurable (see Eph. 3:18). From hence it appears that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and incomprehensible; and since he is to be found in Christ, and in him only, it is in vain for us to seek for him elsewhere. Next the sovereignty of God is spoken of. This was speaking of the perfection of the Almighty filling the earth and the seas. The following Scripture says it best.

Job Chapter 11 Study

Ever had someone throw your words back in your face and use them in the totally opposite way? We see starting in Job 11:10 how Zophah does just that.

Verses 10-12: In his rhetorical question in 9:12, Job had compared his own cries to the braying of a wild donkey (6:5). Here, Zophar echoes his question but draws the opposite conclusion and accuses Job of being foolish and “empty-headed” (Psalms 10:14: 39:5).

Job 11:10 “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?” Namely, a person or family. “And shut up”: In prison, or in the hands of an enemy, or in the net of affliction and trouble (Psalm 66:11). “Or gather together”: Make our condition straight and narrow, as some interpret it. Or, gather together as tares to the fire, or gather to himself man’s breath and spirit (Job 34:14). “Then who can hinder him? From doing what he pleases with his creatures? Who can either block the sentence, or oppose the execution? Who can control his power or arraign his wisdom and justice? If he, who made all out of nothing, thinks fit to reduce all to nothing; if he that separated between light and darkness, dry land and sea at first, is pleased to gather them together again. If he that made, think proper to unmake, who can turn him; alter his mind, or stay his hand, or impede or impeach his proceedings? The answer of course, was no one, not even Satan. We must keep remembering that God gave Satan permission to do this to Job. This was in no way a punishment on Job for sins. This was a proving to Satan and to the on-looking angels that Job was truly a righteous man, and that nothing Satan could do to him would change that.

Job 11:11 “For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider [it]?” Though men know but little of God, and therefore are very unfit judges of his counsels and actions, yet God knows man exactly. He knows that every man in the world is guilty of much vanity and folly, and therefore sees sufficient reason for his severity against the best men. “He seeth wickedness also”: He perceives the wickedness of evil men, though it be covered with the veil of religion. “Will he not then consider it?” Shall he only see it as an idle spectator, and not observe it as a judge to punish it? The worst of this was that Zophar was accusing Job of being vain in his own conceit. He was saying that Job had been pretending to be a Godly man, but was not faithful to God in his heart.

Job 11:12 “For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass’s colt.” Man, who since the fall is void of all true wisdom, pretends to be wise, and able to pass a censure upon all God’s ways and works. “Born like a wild ass’s colt”: Ignorant, dull, and stupid, as to divine things, and yet heady and untraceable. Such is man by his birth; this evil is now natural and hereditary, and therefore common to all men. Of consequence it is not strange, if Job partake of the common distemper. Zophar believed that the troubles which had come to Job was because he was vain and puffed up with pride. Zophar believed they came on Job to cause him to repent.

Job Chapter 11 Study

With Zophah’s assumption of Job being a sinner, He points to God’s power of forgiveness if Job will be willing to confess his sin and repent. We learn how Zophah seemed to believe God worked on a tit for tat type of a system or that you get something from God because you first gave God something. But the earth is the Lord’s and everything it, there is nothing we can give God that He doesn’t already have.

We know that isn’t how God’s economy works. We know that isn’t how God works. We know that even simply through the example of Jesus who while we were yet sinners, He died for us. God didn’t wait for us to be good enough, clean enough, smart enough, … He knew that the only way to make a way was to take things into His own hands and hence the ultimate sacrifice, once for all, made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.

We learn as we start in verse 13 how Zophah continues with the message to Job with the conclusion that his sin would lead to his death.

Verses 13-20: Zophar continues to assume that Job is a sinner but reminds him that God will forgive his sin upon his confession and repentance. Zophar asserted that God operates on the basis of “You give Me something, and I will give you something.” But God does not operate this way. His creation has nothing to give Him that is worth any value (Isa. 64:6).

Verses 13-14: Zophar started out this section speaking directly to Job, “If thou prepare …” and concluded speaking proverbially, “But the “eyes of the wicked …”. In so doing Zophar avoided directly calling Job wicked, but succeeded with ever greater force by being indirect. In the end, he told Job that his sin would bring about his death.

Job 11:13 “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;” Thy business, O Job, is not to quarrel with thy Maker, or his works. But to address thyself to him by prayer and supplication, sincerely repenting of all your hard speeches, and other sins against God, and seeking him with a pure and upright heart; without which your prayers will be in vain. “Stretch out thine hands”: I.e. pray, which is here described by its usual gesture (as Job 15:25; Psalm 88:9). “Towards him”: I.e. to God, as appears both from the nature of the thing, and from the context.

Job 11:14 “If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.” If you have in your hand, or possession, any goods gotten by injustice or oppression, as it seems they supposed he had. Or, he means more generally, if you allow yourself in any sinful practices, the hand being put for action, whereof it is the instrument. “Put it far away”: Keep yourself at a great distance, not only from such actions, but also from the very occasions and appearances of them. “Let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles”: That is, in thy habitation, either in thyself or in thy family. Whose sins Job was obliged, as far as he could, to prevent or reform, as it seems he had done (Job 1:5). He said, tabernacles, because anciently the habitations of great men consisted of several tents or tabernacles. He was giving Job advice here. He wanted Job to put his wickedness far from him, so that God would hear his plea for forgiveness.

Job 11:15 “For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear:” With cheerfulness and holy boldness. “Without spot”: Having a clear and unspotted conscience. “Yea, thou shalt be steadfast”: Shall have a strong and comfortable assurance of God’s favor, and shalt be settled, without any fear of losing thy happiness. After Job had driven his iniquity out of his life, then he could look to heaven and to God for help. He reminded Job that if he was steadfast in the LORD, he had nothing to fear.

Job 11:16 “Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away:” Thy happiness shall be so great that it shall blot out the remembrance of thy past miseries. “And remember it as waters that pass away”: Remember it no more than men remember either a land-flood, which, as it comes, so it goes away suddenly and leaves few or no marks or memorials behind it. Or the waters of a river, which pass by in constant succession. Zophar believed that if Job would repent, his troubles would go away and he would remember them no more. It would be gone as the water passes away.

Job 11:17 “And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.” Literally, shall arise above the noonday; i.e. “exceed it in splendor.” Instead of the “thick darkness” to which Job is looking forward (Job 10:21-22). He shall bask in a light brighter than that of the sun at noon. “Thou shalt shine forth”: The Hebrew cannot possibly bear this meaning. The uncommon word used is allied with “obscurity”, and if a verb should mean “thou shalt be obscure,” rather than “thou shalt shine forth.” But it is perhaps a substantive, meaning “darkness;” and the translation of the Revised Version is perhaps correct: “Though there be darkness.” “Thou shalt be as the morning”: “Thy light,” as Professor Lee explains, “shall gradually rise and expand itself far and wide.” It shall dispel the darkness, and take its place,” shining more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). Zophar was saying if Job would do as he had suggested, he would not face the darkness of the grave and hell. He would bask in the Light of the LORD which was greater than the noonday sun. He would be renewed in the LORD.

Job 11:18 “And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig [about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety.” From coming into like darkness, difficulties, and distress again, and from every evil and enemy. Nothing shall come nigh to disturb and hurt, nothing to be feared from any quarter, all around: or “shalt be confident”. Have a strong faith and full assurance of it, in the love of God, in the living Redeemer, and in the promises which respect the life that now is, and that which is to come. “Because there is hope”: Of the mercy of God, of salvation by Christ, and of eternal glory and happiness, as well as of a continuance of outward prosperity. Faith and hope mutually assist each other. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and hope of better and future things on a good foundation encourages faith and confidence. “Yea, thou shalt dig about thee”: To let in stakes for the pitching and fixing of tents to dwell in, and for more commodious pasturage. Or for wells of water, for the supply both of the family and the flocks. Or rather, for ditches and trenches to secure from thieves and robbers, or for drains to carry off floods of water. “And thou shalt take thy rest in safety”: Lie down on the bed and sleep in the night season in peace and quietness, having nothing to fear. Being well entrenched, and secure from plundering and flooding. And, more especially, being hedged about and protected by the power and providence of God (see Psalm 3:5). The Targum is, “thou shall prepare a grave, and lie down, and sleep secure.” Zophar was saying something that really would happen to Job after he was restored. It was not something that Zophar really wanted for Job however. He said this to remind Job of the wonders of how it used to be. Job’s hope was not in what Zophar had said, or not said, but in the LORD.

Job 11:19 “Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.” Either lie down on his bed, as before, or by his flocks, and where they lie down, and none should disturb him or them. Not thieves and robbers, such as the Chaldeans and Sabeans had been to him, nor lions, bears, or wolves. “Yea, many shall make suit unto thee”: Make their supplications, present their requests and petitions for relief under necessitous circumstances, or for protection from the injuries and insults of others. As the poor and needy, the widow and fatherless, had done to him in times past, when in his prosperity, and when he was a friend unto them, and the father of them (see Prov. 19:6). Or, “the great ones shall make suit to thee”; to have his favor and friendship, his counsel and advice, his company and conversation. He should be applied unto and courted by men of all sorts, which would be no small honor to him (see Psalm 45:12). When Job was restored, there would be no warring parties from his neighbors. Instead of stealing from Job, they would be bringing things to him. Again, this was not what Zophar wished for Job, but it was what would happen.

Job 11:20 “But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.” Or be consumed. Either with grief and fears for their sore calamities; or with long looking for what they shall never attain, as this phrase is taken (Psalm 69:3; Jer. 14:6; Lam. 4:17). And this shall be thy condition; O Job, if thou persist in thine impiety. “They shall not escape”: They shall never obtain deliverance out of their distresses, but shall perish in them. “As the giving up of the ghost”: I.e. shall be as vain and desperate as the hope of life is in a man, when he is at the very point of death. Or, as a puff of breath, which is gone in a moment without all hopes of recovery. Zophar was speaking this, as if it was the fate of Job. In reality, he was speaking of himself and what would come to him, because he had spoken evil of Job. He was saying that Job had no other hope, but death. He would be needing the prayers of Job to save himself from the fate he just spoke of Job.

Job Chapter 11 Study

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

Let’s pray:

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

The Story of Job. – Day 14


Ever wondered why? Ever gone looking for answers? Ever questioned the reason or the logic? Ever questioned the intentions or the purpose? Ever asked for an explanation? Ever questioned the perspective?

What is keeping your spirits up? What is keeping your keep going attitude? Is it God’s divine care? Is it God’s supervision? Is it God’s gift of life? Is it God’s loving kindness?

We don’t know the reasons but we do know that by being believers that:

‘And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. ‘

Romans 8:28

Imagine a life that is without the knowledge of Jesus. Imagine a life that is unaware of who God really is. Imagine a life that is void of the truth of God.

So even in the midst of the trials and the troubles, the challenges and the struggles, lets let our lives shine for God and allow our faith and hope and love overflow in order that others would see when we come out the other side how great our God is. Let’s be more than just an attitude of gratitude and be thankful FOR THE. Let’s step it up to even be more than the EVEN THOUGH gratitude and thankfulness. Let’s press on into being thankful when we are in the midst of it all and thank God BECAUSE OF what we are going through, because we can take hold of Romans 8:28 and know that in and through all of this will be for good. Don’t lose hope, keep your trust in God! Don’t lose faith, keep your trust in God! Don’t lose your will to persevere, keep your trust in God and consider it all pure joy when we face trials of many kinds so that through the process we will get to the end with God’s work being complete so that we will persevere and be complete and lacking nothing!


Today’s reading comes from Job 10:

‘“I am disgusted with my life and loathe it! I will give free expression to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me [and declare me guilty]! Show me why You contend and argue and struggle with me. Does it indeed seem right to You to oppress, To despise and reject the work of Your hands, And to look with favor on the schemes of the wicked? Do You have eyes of flesh? Do You see as a man sees? Are Your days as the days of a mortal, Are Your years as man’s years, That You seek my guilt And search for my sin? Although You know that I am not guilty or wicked, Yet there is no one who can rescue me from Your hand. ‘Your hands have formed and made me altogether. Would You [turn around and] destroy me? Remember now, that You have made me as clay; So will You turn me into dust again? Have You not poured me out like milk And curdled me like cheese? [You have] clothed me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your providence (divine care, supervision) has preserved my spirit. Yet these [present evils] You have hidden in Your heart [since my creation]: I know that this was within You [in Your purpose and thought]. If I sin, then You would take note and observe me, And You would not acquit me of my guilt. If I am wicked, woe to me [for judgment comes]! And if I am righteous, I dare not lift up my head. For I am sated and filled with disgrace and the sight of my misery. Should I lift my head up, You would hunt me like a lion; And again You would show Your marvelous power against me. You renew Your witnesses against me And increase Your indignation and anger toward me; Hardship after hardship is with me [attacking me time after time]. ‘Why then did You bring me out of the womb? Would that I had perished and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not existed; [I should have been] carried from the womb to the grave.’ Would He not let my few days alone, Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer Before I go—and I shall not return— To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death], The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself , [The land] of the shadow of death, without order, And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”’

Job 10

Today’s study of God’s Word comes from these two bible studies:


Study Notes:

We see as today’s reading begins that Job identifies himself as not wicked. We also see him using that innocence to start accusing God. We see how Job even starts to speak out in a flippant , flip , glib , frivolous , tongue-in-cheek , waggish , whimsical , joking , jokey , jesting , jocular , playful , roguish , impish , teasing , arch , mischievous , puckish , in fun , in jest , witty , amusing , funny , droll , comic , comical , chucklesome , lighthearted , high-spirited , bantering , frolicsome , sportive , jocose way. We see how it is even somewhat acerbically, acrimoniously, bitingly, caustically, maliciously, sneeringly speaks out. He asks if God is seeing thru human eyes, like his friends were, his spiritual condition. Job knew that God is the ultimate authority and so the decision would have to come from Him. We know because we saw how this all got started that it is the devil that is testing Job in an attempt to get Job to curse God. We know because we read in the beginning the limitations as well as permission that had to be given by God for this to even take place. But that hasn’t been revealed and so neither Job nor his friends can realize the purpose or the plan of God in and through this. Job’s friends similar to the disciples base their questions and their questions and reasons on what those in the past had said or expressed. The disciples learned from Jesus how their initial thoughts were wrong when He shared the reality of why the man was born blind and it wasn’t because of guilt but it was rather in order to show God’s glory to the world.

We learn in our reading how instead of cursing God, Job questions what the purpose of him even being born was, why was he alive. We learn through Job’s Word how incredible creation of man is and how it begins at conception. Job was unable to understand all the time and effort to create him, care for him, and then to put him thru all of this and destroy him and so questioned it. His expression is very similar to Psalm 119:73 which says “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands”. Our life is finite and we came from the dust and will return to it. His comparison to milk which given time curdles and is thrown out points to his uncertainty and questions. We see how he compares that with the creation that takes place in the womb in the forming of a person.

Through it all we learn:

‘You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your providence (divine care, supervision) has preserved my spirit. ‘

Job 10:12

And yet, Job questions or wonders if this testing wasn’t something God had planned in His divine purpose.

‘Yet these [present evils] You have hidden in Your heart [since my creation]: I know that this was within You [in Your purpose and thought]. ‘

Job 10:13

With what Job was going through, we learn how he is asking God for a peaceful journey to death.

‘Would He not let my few days alone, Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer Before I go—and I shall not return— To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death], The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself , [The land] of the shadow of death, without order, And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”’

Job 10:20-22

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

Let’s pray:

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

Thanksgiving … It’s not just a day and it’s not just an attitude!


Today there was a great sermon message speaking to being thankful. It spoke of three stages of thankfulness and many biblical examples of how they can and have been applied. Thanksgiving is to be something we do all the time, continually, in all our ways, in all circumstances. Thanksgiving is something we should have because we allow the peace of Christ be the controlling factor in our hearts.

Scriptures:


The Grumble Free Year – imagine that. Imagine the experiment which was written and shared thru The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members, and One Impossible Goal (Book by Tricia Goyer).


Complaining and grumbling come naturally, no need to teach or train how to do that. Sometime it becomes so common place in our lives that we diminish the affect it has on the relationships around us by driving a wedge between us and who or whatever we are complaining about it. It also is something that affects and offense to God. Everyday God gives everything we need. We have new mercies every morning from God. Imagine the impact of grumbling on an 11 day trip to the promised land became 4 decades of wandering in the desert.

‘The L ord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who murmur [in discontent] against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they are making against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the L ord , ‘just what you have spoken in My hearing I will most certainly do to you; your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, even all who were numbered of you, your entire number from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, not one of you shall enter the land in which I swore [an oath] to settle you. ‘

Numbers 14:26-30

Just because you think you are grumbling against others doesn’t mean that it isn’t being heard or offensive to God. Don’t you want to give God the glory He so deserves? Grumbling and complaining it keeps us out of the promises God has for us. It is important to not only try to change our attitude without starting in the heart but it doesn’t end there.

Gratitude and thankfulness take practice and efforts. How can we grow and develop in this area? After the 40 years and the new generation is getting ready to enter into the promised land, we see how Moses speaks to them to not forget what God has done for you.

‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. ‘

Deuteronomy 8:10

Consider these words of Moses as the people were about to enter into the promised land: “FOR THE

This is the basic level of gratitude. Looking back and giving God thanks for the blessings He has already given into your life. Thanksgiving begins in the heart.
Thank You God FOR THE _______________.

Inward grumbling can still be known and heard by God! Can you be thankful for what you have, for the abilities you have, for the time, for the provision.

‘Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle. ‘

Psalms 103:1-5

We need to look back and be thankful. We need to share and learn of the stories of what God has done so that we can not only be thankful but also share reasons to be thankful. Don’t stop at this level.

Consider the words of David in the midst of the valley: “EVEN THOUGH

‘Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord .’

Psalms 23:4-6

We can now take our gratitude to the next level, EVEN THOUGH. David is thanking God even though he is in a dark time in his life, even though he is walking thru a valley, even though his enemies are after him. What might try to get you ungrateful, discourage, depressed, or even angry that would be considered enemies of you? Enemy of insecurity? fear? doubt? illness? sickness? challenge? difficulty? In the midst of it all God wants to commune with you. Looking back is the FOR THE, in the middle of all that is going on right now, EVEN THOUGH, even if everything is going bad around me, God is with me through it.

‘Though the fig tree does not blossom And there is no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fails And the fields produce no food, Though the flock is cut off from the fold And there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord ; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.’

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Even though … Habakkuk says that he will choose to rejoice, to shout in exultation for God’s salvation.

‘Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. ‘

Job 13:15

Job has a maturing level of thankfulness and gratitude. LIke Paul and Silas in prison – they choose to sing at the midnight hour, the darkness part of the night and God opens the doors of the prison. We need to sing praises to our Jesus! We need to sing praises to our God! God brings a new aspect when we are generous with our praise!

Consider the words of Paul: “BECAUSE OF

‘Now I want you to know, believers, that what has happened to me [this imprisonment that was meant to stop me] has actually served to advance [the spread of] the good news [regarding salvation]. My imprisonment in [the cause of] Christ has become common knowledge throughout the whole praetorian (imperial) guard and to everyone else. Because of my chains [seeing that I am doing well and that God is accomplishing great things], most of the brothers have renewed confidence in the Lord, and have far more courage to speak the word of God [concerning salvation] without fear [of the consequences, seeing that God can work His good in all circumstances].

but the former preach Christ [insincerely] out of selfish ambition [just self-promotion], thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment. What then [does it matter]? So long as in every way, whether in pretense [for self-promotion] or in all honesty [to spread the truth], Christ is being preached; and in this I rejoice. Y es, and I will rejoice [later as well], ‘

Philippians 1:12-14, 17-18

The next level of gratitude is BECAUSE OF what we are going thru. It is thanking God because of His purpose in the midst of the challenges. We might not understand the situation and we know that God in and through it all is doing something in and thru me that I am going to trust are going to be good! Paul shows how because he was in chains people were coming to Jesus. He is getting prison guards saved because of him being in prison. The message of Christ is being preach and so Paul gives God praise and thanks BECAUSE of it all. He is grateful and gracious level. We can take holder of

‘And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. ‘

Romans 8:28

God’s Word speaks to how God works all things together for good for those who love God! We know from God’s Word that he works all things together for good for those who love God and called according to His purposes. We can be grateful for each element of our lives no matter how good or bad, because He knows the bigger picture and how they are all working together, the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to come out with purpose and good. A BECAUSE OF attitude isn’t that we are thankful because of each of the bad things that happen, but because of God’s truth that we read in Romans 8:28 and can take hold

‘While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].” ‘

Luke 17:11-19

We can look and find good in everything, no matter how bad things get. God keeps his eyes on us, just like He did like the lepers. Jesus gave them instructions to follow before He healed them. We need to follow God’s basic instructions. As they were going to show themselves to the priest, all 10 were cleansed and one saw that they were healed, they kept walking and believing while they were headed to the priest. One turned back and fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus “Thank you”. How many cry out for help but don’t turn back and cry out Thank you? They were probably all thankful of the healing in their hearts. Only one returned to express his thanks to Jesus.

Challenge today grow in our expression of gratitude rather than just our attitude of gratitude. What has God done to you and how are you going to express it?

Sing your praise to the Lord! Praise all that you have to be thankful for!

Starts in the heart but don’t let it end there, let it be an expression of gratitude! Let’s not neglect to express our gratitude to God!


Thank you for such an incredible message Pastor Larry Murrell (@sermon8tor) Thanksgiving … It’s not just a day and it’s not just an attitude! https://www.facebook.com/eastridgechurch/videos/551859588966793/


If you knew that the words you were about to speak would be your last…


How would you say them? How would you capture them? How would you broadcast them? Who would you say them to? Who would you talk about? Who would you share it with? What would you say? What would be your purpose? Where would you say them? Where would you share them? When would you say them? Why would that be the statement? Why would those be the words? Why would those people need to hear it or receive it? Why haven’t you shared it before? Why would you have to wait till it was the end?


Today’s reading starts with the last words of David in 2 Samuel 23…

‘These are the last words of David: “David, the son of Jesse, speaks— David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. “The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: ‘The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain.’ “Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. One must use iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.”

These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three —the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle. Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder! Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord . “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it.

These are examples of the exploits of the Three. Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three. There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. Other members of the Thirty included: Asahel, Joab’s brother; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem; Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod; Helez from Pelon ; Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai from Hushah; Zalmon from Ahoah; Maharai from Netophah; Heled son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin); Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai from Nahale-gaash ; Abi-albon from Arabah; Azmaveth from Bahurim; Eliahba from Shaalbon; the sons of Jashen; Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar; Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar; Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah; Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh; Hezro from Carmel; Paarai from Arba; Igal son of Nathan from Zobah; Bani from Gad; Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah; Ira from Jattir; Gareb from Jattir; Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.’

2 Samuel 23

‘Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord ’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done. These things happened because of the Lord ’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. So on January 15, during the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. Jerusalem was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah’s reign. By July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the famine in the city had become very severe, and the last of the food was entirely gone. Then a section of the city wall was broken down, and all the soldiers fled. Since the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, they waited for nightfall. Then they slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden and headed toward the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian troops chased King Zedekiah and overtook him on the plains of Jericho, for his men had all deserted him and scattered. They captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons. He also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains, and the king of Babylon led him away to Babylon. Zedekiah remained there in prison until the day of his death.

On August 17 of that year, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard and an official of the Babylonian king, arrived in Jerusalem. He burned down the Temple of the Lord , the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings in the city. Then he supervised the entire Babylonian army as they tore down the walls of Jerusalem on every side. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who remained in the city, the defectors who had declared their allegiance to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. But Nebuzaradan allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind to care for the vineyards and fields. The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars in front of the Lord ’s Temple, the bronze water carts, and the great bronze basin called the Sea, and they carried all the bronze away to Babylon. They also took all the ash buckets, shovels, lamp snuffers, basins, dishes, and all the other bronze articles used for making sacrifices at the Temple. The captain of the guard also took the small bowls, incense burners, basins, pots, lampstands, ladles, bowls used for liquid offerings, and all the other articles made of pure gold or silver. The weight of the bronze from the two pillars, the Sea with the twelve bronze oxen beneath it, and the water carts was too great to be measured. These things had been made for the Lord ’s Temple in the days of King Solomon. Each of the pillars was 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference. They were hollow, with walls 3 inches thick. The bronze capital on top of each pillar was 7 1 / 2 feet high and was decorated with a network of bronze pomegranates all the way around. There were 96 pomegranates on the sides, and a total of 100 pomegranates on the network around the top. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took with him as prisoners Seraiah the high priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three chief gatekeepers. And from among the people still hiding in the city, he took an officer who had been in charge of the Judean army; seven of the king’s personal advisers; the army commander’s chief secretary, who was in charge of recruitment; and sixty other citizens. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took them all to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And there at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them all put to death. So the people of Judah were sent into exile from their land. The number of captives taken to Babylon in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 3,023. Then in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year he took 832 more. In Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year he sent Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took 745 more—a total of 4,600 captives in all.

In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on March 31 of that year. He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. So the Babylonian king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived. This continued until the day of his death.’

Jeremiah 52

‘And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched. Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.’

Luke 24:36-53

‘I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.’

2 Timothy 4:1-8

‘How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord . With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Interlude What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord , who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield! Show favor to the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.’

Psalms 84

Thank you for being such an incredible wife is what I would share with my wife. Thank you for being such incredible children with specific details is what I would share with my kids for I am so proud of the incredible people they are and will be. Thank you for being such incredible parents is what I would share with my parents. Thank you for being an incredible sister is what I would share with my sister. Thank you for being such incredible pastors who helped me realize the importance of Jesus and a relationship with Him. Thank you for being a friend. I would look to give specifics for each person. I would ask them not to live out the rest of their lives in fear but with love and hope through Jesus. We need to be prepared at all times to share the Good News of Jesus and encourage others to fight the good fight and finish strong.

I would also share how no matter what things I can give or leave behind the one thing that I would want to make sure everyone received was the greatest gift of all which is Jesus. Jesus is such an incredible part of my life and I would want all the people in my life to be able to have that same blessing and receive Him into their lives. How I hope that they will all invite Jesus into their hearts so that we will get to spend eternity with one another in Heaven. How they are that important that even thought I tried to share Him through my life, I wouldn’t want to get the opportunity to share my last words with them without sharing Jesus with them. I would let them know that I love them because God taught me how important they are and that God loves them even more.

I would want to share how we have all missed the mark and it is only by Jesus that we are reconciled back unto God. I would want to share some key verses with them like:

8Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.” 13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 3:8-16

8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same LORD is LORD of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:8-15

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD.

Romans 6:23

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

I would also share with them a link to my blog that shares my daily posts from that calling God put on my life to start a blog and to make it public and to share His Word and how it speaks to me daily.

  • Faith, Hope, Love – the greatest of these is love.
  • Forgive
  • Nothing is impossible with God
  • If God calls you to it, He will get you through it
  • God’s timing is perfect
  • Don’t give up
  • Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will complete its work in you so that you will be lacking nothing
  • Take heart when you face trials and troubles of this world for Jesus has overcome this world.

Don’t be judgmental! Don’t taunt or find joy in the pain of others! Let’s do good to all!


We are to weep with those who are weeping! We are to celebrate with those who celebrate. Not the reverse…Don’t be kicking people when they are down. Don’t be mocking people when they are going thru troubles. Even if they are your enemies, we are not to hate them and only love our neighbors. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us! Don’t allow judgment and malice to take root in your heart! Allow your heart to be filled with overflowing of the love of God! Just because someone else is being corrected or given discipline doesn’t mean you should celebrate in it! Seek God in all your way! Acknowledge God in all your ways! Lean not on your own understanding of what is going on because you don’t know it all … the why. Don’t be acting in a way that makes you the next target! Do you really want that attention? God cannot be mocked!

Put your trust in God who is love! His love endures forever! Give thanks to God! Do not fear for the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid for God is your helper! Take refuge in God rather than putting your hope and trust in people. He is trustworthy and His love endures forever! Need help? Call out to God who is your help and your salvation! Ask Jesus into your heart and choose life! Yes, Jesus did get rejected even though He is the foundation and the cornerstone. So align to the cornerstone and stand on the rock of Jesus! Cry out to God and ask for His salvation and help you find success! Let’s praise God! Let’s exalt God! He is good and His love endures forever!

So let’s reflect on the words from Galatians from today’s reading…Let’s start with the plan that we are to do good to all…

Doing Good to All

1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each otherʼs burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5for each one should carry their own load. 6Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not Circumcision but the New Creation

11See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6

It’s a matter of the heart! We need to make the choice and choose to follow after Jesus! We need to ask Him for forgiveness and into our hearts so that we can be new creations with the old being gone and the new having come!

Let’s celebrate with others who have come into the faith! Let’s turn to God with thanksgiving and praise because of the grace and mercy He has brought into their lives! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed love to motivate the works! Let’s celebrate how God has allowed hope to produce endurance! Let’s allow the power of the Holy Spirit to break thru the lies and open up the truth even greater into the lives of the people around us!

Today’s reading concludes with 1 Thessalonians…

1Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.

Thanksgiving for the Thessaloniansʼ Faith

2We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8The Lordʼs message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

–1 Thessalonians 1

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 25, 26, Psalms 118, Galatians 6, 1 Thessalonians 1

Thankful for God and His Word of Truth!


As I awake this Thanksgiving morning and I consider the blessings I have to be so thankful for, I lift up my eyes and thank Jesus who took me from where I was and brought me to where I am. Jesus took me from excuses and brought me to opportunity. Jesus took me from shifting sands to solid ground! Jesus took me from being about me to being about others! Jesus proved to me that I can’t out give Him! It may not come back as money, but it will come back as blessings, more blessings than I can contain or hold onto! Blessed with an incredible wife! Blessed with incredible children! Blessed with an incredible family! Blessed with a beautiful house! Blessed with great leadership at church and at work! Blessed with a great church family! Blessed with a great workplace! Blessed with directions and instructions! More blessed than I can even count! Blessed that He called me into His family back in 2000. Blessed that He called my wife into His family at the same time! Blessed that He filled us up and brought us forward through baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit, Cleansing Stream, membership classes, serving and being part of leadership teams! More blessed than I can even count! Too blessed to be stressed! I am thankful for His calling to start this blog! Thankful for taking the focus off of me which had been my idea for starting to blog and putting the focus on Him and eternity spent with Him! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. –Ephesians 3

10″Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. –Malachi 3

 

All things are possible for those who believe! Believe and be saved! Why not today, a day we are to be sharing how thankful we are! Why not today, a day to reflect on all the blessings! Will today be your day to get started?

Ever been in a situation where you could use if or when? We find in the Bible there are times which means we need to make a choice and not everyone will choose to make that choice. Let’s consider the following “If” statements found in the Bible and consider how we responded. Did we respond which makes it a “when” or are we still out there somewhere…

1″Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2″All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: 3″Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. 4″Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock… –Deuteronomy 28

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. –2 Chronicles 7:14

We each have to make a decision for ourselves! We each have to make a choice about how we will live! We each get to decide how we will live! We don’t have to do anything because of the freewill we have been given, but we get to if we want to!

We each get to choose for ourselves! It’s not that we need to be responsible for our parents nor our parents responsible for us! We each get to choose for ourselves and the way we will live sits on our own shoulders! If a man lives a good life and then his child doesn’t they will each get their respective judgment be it life or death. Or vice versa the parent’s judgment won’t fall on the child and the child’s judgment won’t fall on the parent.

We get to choose and until we die we still have time to make the choice…Today’s reading contains the following nuggets of wisdom…

19“Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
21“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24“But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

–from Ezekiel 18

We all will get judged according to our own ways! Will you repent and turn back to God before it is too late? Will you invite Jesus into your heart and allow God to create a new heart in you? Will you invite Jesus in and allow God to transform you from the inside out? Will you invite Jesus in and allow God to adopt you into His family?

Let’s consider the Psalm of David from today’s reading…

1May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

–Psalm 20

It’s not Jesus plus something, it’s Jesus! Let’s consider Paul’s experience told in Galatians 2…

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

1Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
6As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

Paul Opposes Cephas

11When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17“But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesnʼt that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

–Galatians 2

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 17, 18, Psalm 20Galatians 2

Thankful? For? About? Because?


Don’t be useless! Appreciate what you have! Be thankful! What are you thankful for today? What are you thankful about today? What is the reason for your thankfulness?

Will you share it? Will you tell others about it? Will you speak of it?

You don’t want to be cut off from the vine! You want to allow the provision that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the purpose and the plans that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! You want to allow the promises that flows from it to flow into and thru your life! So don’t close up and hold onto it for yourself, but rather pass it along so that you can be used as a conduit to others!

You were created on purpose with a purpose for a purpose! So take that purpose and be useful! Don’t waste what you have been given, but rather take it and be a good steward of it so that you can multiply it and grow it and share it with those around you to the glory of God!

Let’s be faithful with the gifts we have been given! Let’s use them for unselfish purposes! Let’s focus on how we can use it to expand God’s kingdom! Let’s focus on how we can share God’s love with the world around us! Let’s take our thankfulness and share it so that other can also be thankful! Let’s take our joy and pass it on so that others can have joy! Let’s be ambassadors of peace so that others can find peace in the midst of everything going on in their lives! Let’s be faithful so that others can receive the good news and share in the blessings of God in and thru our lives and the life of the church!

Will you have compassion for those around you? Do you see a need? What will you do about it? Are you so focused on yourself that you are missing out on what God has enabled and empowered you to do for others? Will you put your trust in God rather than yourself? Don’t miss out on the truth and the hope so that you also miss out on why you can be thankful! God so loves the world that He sent His one and only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! Will you receive the gift of Jesus into your life? Will you accept it with thanksgiving and praise? Will you lift Him up in a way that will give God all the praise, the honor, and the glory?

Don’t waste the gift you have been given! Don’t sell yourself and lose out on the most incredible gift of God! Don’t sell yourself and miss out the reality that you have already been bought for a price when Jesus went to the cross for you. Don’t waste or mutilate the incredible gifts of God and then miss out on the truth, the hope, and the love He has for you. Turn from your wicked ways and turn back to God! Humble yourself and pray! Seek God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your soul, and all of your strength! He will then hear from heaven, forgive your sins, and heal your land!

Do you really want to risk the anger of God against you? Do you really want to walk out from underneath His covering? Do you really want to go and try to do it all on your own?

Do you think it would be worth selling your soul and losing out on real life?

Do you think allowing lust and exposure to rob you of God’s real plan and purpose for your life?

Do you think you can trust them more than you could trust God? Do you realize what they are and will do to you?

Don’t be arrogant! Don’t be unconcerned! Instead, help the needy and the poor!

Consider your behavior and your acts for you don’t want to be humiliated!

Let’s conclude and consider how our reading ends today with Galatians 1…

1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under Godʼs curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under Godʼs curse!
10Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from my motherʼs womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lordʼs brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they praised God because of me.

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 15, 16, Galatians 1

Do you realize what happens when you see something?


Do you realize you can’t unsee it? Do you realize that it’s not a case of garbage in and garbage out, it’s garbage in and garbage sticks or stays? Have you ever seen something and wished you could unsee it? Have you ever looked at something thinking it was going to bring you joy or pleasure and realized it has robbed you or stolen something from you? Have you ever read something that had a big impact on your life? for the better or even for the worse? How do you filter what you should or shouldn’t see? How do you filter what your kids should or shouldn’t see? How do you filter what is good and beneficial to see vs what is bad and detrimental? Do you allow the lust of the eyes to look? The eyes are the lamp of the body! Are your eyes healthy and allowing light into your soul? Are your eyes being opened to be enlightened? Are your eyes able to see what is real? Where are your eyes fixed?

Imagine if the last thing your eyes saw before you could see no more was devastation. Imagine if the last things your eyes saw before you could see no more was killing. Imagine if the last things your eyes saw before you could see no more were loved ones (family) being killed and  friends being killed. Imagine if right after that your eyes couldn’t see anymore and those were the last images to ever be seen…Do you realize how important it is the things we allow ourselves to see? They can’t be unseen and could torment you for a very long time.

Imagine if you had received a promise that you would be saved from the devastation. Imagine if you were told that you would see it but that you wouldn’t have to suffer it. Imagine if you were told you would be rescued and don’t have to worry about the travesty that you were about to witness.

We don’t need to seek revenge! Vengeance is mine says the Lord! Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay! We don’t need to bear a grudge, we are to love our neighbors! Don’t take revenge but instead leave room for God’s wrath! God knows what is happening to you! God knows what is going thru your mind and their mind! God is working this out in and thru each of you in a way that will produce good! God can take the plans for evil and turn them around and use them for good! Consider what happened to Joseph! Consider what happened to the exiles who stood strong with God! Consider Daniel and his friends! Was it easy? No! Was it worth it? Yes! Was God lifted up because of their faith and trust in Him? Yes! So don’t lose hope when you face trials of many kinds, but rather consider it pure joy for it will build up your faith and perseverance working in you so that in the end you will mature, complete, and lacking nothing! Don’t lose hope when you face troubles, because you will face troubles in this world, take hold of the hope of Jesus who overcame the world!

Let’s live our lives so that the people around us learn about Jesus and are saved! Let’s live lives that they want to have and will start to turn to and seek Jesus for themselves! Let’s let our lights shine into this dark world so that they will be able to see the hope and the love of God in and through our lives! Let’s be living sacrifices to God! Let’s live as holy temples to the Holy Spirit living in us so that it draws others towards God and points them to Jesus! Let’s be allowing God’s love to flow out of our hearts and thru our mouths to lift up people’s heads who are down, help them to receive the grace of God, help them be transformed by the power of Jesus as we were transformed!

It’s with our hearts that we believe and are justified! It’s with our mouths that we profess our faith and are saved!

Let’s help people so they won’t need to be put to shame! To do this we need to believe in Jesus and help them to do the same! For we know that as Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” It’s not about where you come from or came from, because it is about the God we believe in and He will bless all who call on Him! All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! 

If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how will they know? If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how can they call on Him and be saved? If we don’t go into the world and share the Good News, how will they know? We are being sent into the world! We are being sent out to share the Good News! We are being sent out to not only teach but also to create disciples! We are being send out to also baptize them in the name of Jesus! We are being sent out to deliver the Good News!

We just have to do our part! Different people over time have received the message, but not all of them have received it!

Let’s thank God for today! Let’s give Him praise! Let’s pray!

Even as the week of american thanksgiving day is drawing near, we should be thankful daily for all God is doing and has done in and thru our lives! We have so much to be grateful! We should be bearing fruit, good fruit because of the hope that is within us and the saving power of Jesus! We should be sharing the grace of God with everyone God gives us the opportunity to share it with! Let’s walk in love! Let’s talk in love! Let’s speak the truth in love! Let’s be doing good work to the glory of God! Let’s not give up but be strengthened by God so that we can have endurance and patience, giving joyful thanks to the Father! Let’s live as though we have been forgiven since we have received Jesus into our heart and have been saved! Let’s forgive others as we have been forgiven! Jesus paid it all, so we didn’t have to, although in all reality we couldn’t have done enough to pay it off!

No matter what we go thru today, let’s praise God and lift up Jesus!


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 39, 50, Romans 10, Colossians 1

Know how to find hope beyond your circumstances?


There is war and treat of war! There are nations against nations and kingdom against kingdoms! There are famines and earthquakes! In the days of Jeremiah they were told that there would swords, famine, and plagues before the city would be given to Babylon! But in and thru it all there was still hope given by God!

36“You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon’; but this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
42“This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. 43Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.’ 44Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.”

–from Jeremiah 32

We need to see beyond today! We need to look beyond the here and the now! We need a vision for the future! As we read in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s plan is for us to have a hope and a future! We need to turn to Him, trust in Him, and walk aligned with Him in and thru the trials and troubles! We need to use the trials to build up our faith and persevere so that in the end we will be mature, complete and lacking nothing! God will restore! No matter what is going on! No matter what has happened! Don’t lose faith! Don’t lose hope! Don’t give up! Put your trust in God! Walk in His ways! Acknowledge Him so that He will make your path straight! It’s about finding unity within the body! It’s about coming together in unison rather than be remembered for our bickering and divisive ways! Let’s rejoice in the Lord! Let your gentleness be evident and obvious to everyone! Don’t be anxious about anything, instead pray and fellowship with God, petition and bring your needs before God, be thankful giving God the praise, the honor and the glory in Jesus’ name and give your requests into God’s hands! Now peace…allow God’s peace that goes beyond all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus! So if you are wondering what to do and how to live, consider what Paul says next…

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

–from Philippians 4

Jeremiah gets a second reminder for hope in the future! A promise for restoration! God speaks to Him this way…

Promise of Restoration

1While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: 2“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: 3‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ 4For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword 5in the fight with the Babylonians: ‘They will be filled with the dead bodies of the people I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.
6“ ‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
10“This is what the Lord says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,

“Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
for the Lord is good;
his love endures forever.”

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the Lord.
12“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate and without people or animals—in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks. 13In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the Lord.
14“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
15“ ‘In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from Davidʼs line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.
16In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’
17For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’ ”
19The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20“This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’ ”
23The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24“Have you not noticed that these people are saying, ‘The Lord has rejected the two kingdoms he chose’? So they despise my people and no longer regard them as a nation. 25This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’ ”

–from Jeremiah 33

Will you cry out to God for wisdom? Will you cry out to God for help? Will you turn to Him when you face trials and troubles? Will you put all your hope and trust in God?

Will you allow God to bring health and healing back into the country after such a divisive and tenuous event? Will you ask Him to come and heal your land? Will you humble yourself and pray? Will ask Him for forgiveness? Will you grab hold of the promise that if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, turning back to Him, seeking His face, turning away from their wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land!

Will you see as God sees it? Will you see it as it will be rather than where it is today? Will you allow Him to give you eyes to see beyond today? Will you allow Him to give you hope beyond your circumstances?

So let’s grab hold of the truths of God! Let’s take hold of His promises! Let’s turn to Jesus and ask Him into our very situation so that He can intervene and intercede on our behalf!

Once we asked Jesus into our hearts, we were born again! We are new creation where the old is gone and the new has come! The great news is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! So if you are feeling a spirit of condemnation rather than correction, it is not from God! Jesus paid it all! Jesus did what we couldn’t do for ourselves! We just have to receive it, the gift of life and of hope! We just need to believe it and live it! We just have to live with a different mindset! Yes we may have suffering in the present, but it will lead to future glory thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus! Because we are more than conquerors thru Jesus!

Let’s reflect on this as we read the final chapter of today’s reading from Romans…

Life Through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to Godʼs law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are Godʼs children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for Godʼs people in accordance with the will of God.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He 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? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who 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. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither 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


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3233, Romans 8

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

Reflections…


Have you taken time to reflect on how you got to where you are? Do you ever consider how you got from where you were to where you are? Do you ever consider what it took to get to where you are right now?

Do you track life? Do you write it down? What do you do to help you remember the adventures? The highs? The lows? The journeys in between?

Today’s reading starts out with such a recollection by Moses…

Israel’s Journeys Reviewed

1These are the journeys of Bnei-Yisrael when they came out of Egypt by their divisions under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
2Moses recorded the stages of their journeys at Adonai’s command. These then are their journeys by stages.
3Bnei-Yisrael set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the first day after Passover. They went out with a high hand in the sight of all Egypt.
4Now the Egyptians were burying those whom Adonai had struck down among them. Adonai had brought judgments on all their first-born and their gods.
5Bnei-Yisrael left Rameses and encamped at Succoth.
6They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
7They left from Etham and turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped before Migdol.
8They left from before Pi-Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the wilderness. They traveled three days journey into the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah.
9They departed from Marah and went to Elim. There were twelve water springs and 70 palm trees in Elim, so they camped there.
10They left Elim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.
11They set out from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the wilderness of Sin.
12They left from the wilderness of Sin and camped in Dophkah.
13They then left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
14They left from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15They set out from Rephidim and encamped in the Sinai wilderness.
16They departed from the Sinai wilderness and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
17They left from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
18Departing Hazeroth, they camped at Rithmah.
19Leaving Rithmah, they camped at Rimmon-perez.
20They left from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.
21They departed Libnah and camped at Rissah.
22They left Rissah and camped at Kehelah.
23They left Kehelah and camped at Mount Shepher.
24They departed Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
25They departed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
26They left Makheloth and camped in Tahath.
27They left from Tahath and camped in Terah.
28They left Terah and camped in Mithkah.
29They departed Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.
30They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
31They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.
32Departing Bene-jaakan, they camped at Hor-haggidgad.
33Leaving Hor-haggidgad, they camped at Jotbah.
34They left Jotbah and camped at Abronah.
35They departed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.
36They left Ezion-geber and encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
37Leaving Kadesh, they camped at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom.
38Aaron the kohen went up Mount Hor at Adonai’s command and died there, in the fortieth year since the departure of Bnei-Yisrael from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
39Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40The Canaanite king of Arad, who was living in the Negev in the territory of Canaan, heard of the coming of Bnei-Yisrael.
41They departed from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
42They left Zalmonah and encamped at Punon.
43Departing Punon, they camped at Oboth.
44Leaving Oboth, they camped at Ije-abarim on the border of Moab.
45They moved on from Ijim and camped at Dibon-gad.
46They moved on from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.
47They departed from Almon-diblathaim and camped at the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
48They moved on from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
49They camped along the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim.
50Adonai spoke to Moses along the Jordan in the plains of Moab across from Jericho saying,
51“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52You must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You must destroy all their idols and cast images, and demolish their high places.
53You will take possession of the land, so you will settle in it, because I have given it to you to possess.
54“You are to divide the land by lot according to your families. To the large, make their inheritance larger, and to the small, make their inheritance smaller. Whatever comes out of the lot will be theirs. You are to distribute the inheritance according to your ancestral tribes.
55“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living.
56Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”

–from Numbers 33

Do you give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Do you thank Him for all He has done to get you where you are at today? God took my work and has multiplied it! God took my work and allowed me to make connections and build relationships with so many people around the company! Good took my weaknesses and used my willingness to glorify His power and might! God rewarded me in my lack thanks to His abundance! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He granted me favor with leadership to the point where when one opportunity wouldn’t work, they didn’t stop but found another way! God is so good! He is awesome! He is so faithful! I find myself at a place that I would hope to be at but had given it up to Him for His perfect will and His perfect timing! And He has made it happen!

Today’s reading continues speaking to the importance of inviting God into your praise and giving Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Praise is Awaiting You in Zion

1For the music director, a psalm, a song of David. 2Praise is awaiting You in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be fulfilled. 3O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. 4Records of sins overwhelm me— You will atone for our transgressions. 5Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House—Your holy Temple. 6You respond to us in righteousness with awe-inspiring works —O God of our salvation— hope of all ends of the earth and farthest seas, 7who establishes mountains by His power, being girded with might, 8who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples. 9Those dwelling in the uttermost parts stand in awe of Your signs. You make morning and evening shout for joy. 10You visit the land and make it abundant, greatly enriching it— the stream of God is full of water. You prepare their grain, for so You have prepared the earth. 11You drench her furrows, leveling the ridges. You soften her with showers, blessing her growth. 12You crown the year with Your goodness. Your wagon tracks drip with abundance. 13Pastures of the wilderness overflow and hills are robed with joy. 14Meadows are clothed with flocks and valleys are covered with grain— they shout for joy, yes, they sing!

–from Psalms 65

Don’t hold a grudge! Forgive! Let it go and give it up to God! Don’t allow the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Forgive those who hurt you! Forgive those who have mistreated you! Forgive those who did things to trip you up! Don’t hold onto it for it is a weight you were never asked or expected to carry around for the rest of your life! Let’s live out love rather than hate! Let’s live out love rather than anger! Let’s live out love rather than frustration! Let’s give it all up to God and allow His joy that goes beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds! Let’s be encouragers to those around us! Let’s be build who help our character to be built up but also call others to a higher standard! Let’s be sharing the love of God with everyone around us! Let’s be allow others to come to the realization of how great God’s love is for them!

Today’s reading continues into this theme…

Forgive the Repentant Sinner

1So I made up my mind that I would not come to you again causing sorrow. 2For if I cause you sorrow, then who is there cheering me on but the one I have made sorrowful? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came I wouldn’t have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice—having confidence in you all that my joy is yours. 4For out of much distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears—not to make you sorrowful, but to let you know the love that I have especially for you. 5But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate—to all of you. 6For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough. 7So instead you should forgive him and encourage him. Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9For to this end I also wrote, that I might know your character, whether you are obedient in all things. 10Now anyone you forgive, I also forgive. For indeed, what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), I did it for you in the presence of Messiah, 11so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Revealing Messiah’s Fragrance

12Now when I arrived in Troas for the Good News of Messiah, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13I had no rest in my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus my brother. So I said farewell to them, and I set out for Macedonia. 14But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us reveals everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Himself. 15For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing—16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. Who is competent for these things? 17For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.

–from 2 Corinthians 2

Realize not everyone is ready to hear the good news! Some have hardened hearts and won’t respond well to it. They will look for ways to trip you up! They will look for ways to distract! They will look for way to raise questions! Some are more interested with tradition than the truth! Some are more interested in tradition that the right things! They are more focused on the way it’s been than the way it should be! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up plowing the hard soil, planting seeds, watering the seeds and waiting on God to make it grow!

Today’s reading concludes in Mark with…

Hearts Harden

1Now the Pharisees and some of the Torah scholars who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Yeshua. 2And they saw that some of His disciples were eating bread with unclean hands, that is, not washed. 3(For the Pharisees and all Jewish people do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing. There are many other traditions they have received and hold, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels.) 5The Pharisees and Torah scholars questioned Yeshua, “Why don’t Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders? Why do they eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. 7And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8Having left behind the commandment of God, you hold on to the tradition of men.” 9He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of God, in order that you may validate your own tradition. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever you might have gained from me is korban (that is, an offering to God),’ 12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13making void the word of God with your tradition that you’ve handed down. And you do many such things.” 14Then Yeshua called the crowd again and began saying to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand. 15There is nothing outside the man that can make him unholy by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy.” 16[footnote: Some mss. Add: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.] 17When He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? 19For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.” 20And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.”

Miracles Touch Gentile Lives

24Yeshua got up and left from there to the region of Tyre. When He had entered a house, He didn’t want anyone to know; but He couldn’t escape notice. 25A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him. She came immediately and fell at His feet. 26The woman was a Greek, from Syrophoenicia. And she kept begging Yeshua to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He was telling her, “First let the children get their fill, for it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28“Yes, Master,” she said to Him, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then He said to her, “Because of this word, go your way! The demon has left your daughter.” 30She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31Again He left the region of Tyre and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of the Decapolis. 32They bring Him a deaf man who had a speech impediment, and they beg Him to lay His hand on him. 33Yeshua took him aside from the crowd to a private place, and He put His fingers in the man’s ears. After spitting, He touched the man’s tongue. 34Looking up to heaven, He says to the man, “Ephphatha,” which means “Be opened!” 35Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly. 36Yeshua ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them, the more they continued proclaiming it. 37People were completely astounded, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear and the mute speak!”

–from Mark 7