Stand up for what you believe in!


What do you believe? Do you believe something that is true or just believed to be? Do you believe something that has been proven or something that is temporary? Do you believe something that will last the test of time or something that continues to change? Consider the science we took in school and what parts of it have been disproven and now there are new facts? Consider the Word of God which remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow – now people may come up with different translations or paraphrases but the source hasn’t changed. Consider what is right and what is wrong, yes there are absolutes. Consider what is good and what is bad, yes there are absolutes. Is what you believe a truth or an opinion? Is what you believe a truth or a feeling? Is what you believe a truth or a myth? We need to make sure what we believe is a solid foundation rather than shifting sands that the wind and waves can wash away. We need to make sure what we believe is aligned with the cornerstone of life which is Jesus so that we stay on track. Consider the 10 commandments, Jesus didn’t make them go away but rather to accomplish them, He called us to a higher standard in order to be able to raise the bar. We need to take a stand so that the average doesn’t keep going down but instead can start going up. We need to take a stand so that love is poured out all around us. We need to take a stand so that people around us can have hope. We need to take a stand so that faith can abound and there will be renewing and rejuvenating of lives and relationships.

So what do you believe? Will you stand up for what you believe? Would you give your life for what you believe?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 308 of 312)


Are you ready to step up? Are you ready to become who God is calling you to be? Are you ready to be who God created you to be? Are you ready to go beyond your comfort zone in order to be who God is calling you to be?

Are you keeping your truth a secret out of obedience or fear?

Is your safe place really safe or something that will be torn down?

Are you investing in things that are temporary or things that will last for eternity? Are you investing in stuff or souls that will last forever? Are you helping the poor? Are you helping the orphans? Are you helping the widows?

Are you believing in the king who rode in on a donkey?

Are you ready to be restored? Will you invite the Lord into your heart? Are you ready for your strength to be renewed?

Who will you believe? Will you take courage and do what God is calling you and trusting His Word?

Are you ready to live in the new rather than the old? Are you ready for your home to be with God? Or will you reject God and spend eternity apart from Him?

Will you walk with God as your helper? Will you take hold of His promises which are good and true? Are you walking in freedom that has been purchased through Jesus or walking in bondage to sin and the temptations of the devil?

Let’s close reading today’s psalm together:

‘Praise the Lord ! Let all that I am praise the Lord . I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the Lord !’

Psalms 146

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 stand for your principles and what you believe in?


What if you don’t understand? Will you ask and question? What if you get an alternative would you give in or stand firm? What if you ask the questions and make your case and they still reject it? What if you they talk down to you or try to make you feel less? What if they reject the truth and replace it with their own version of reality? What will you do? Where will you turn? How will you know? What if today or tomorrow happen to be that day of challenge?

Will you start your today by putting on the full armor of God?

13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Will you start your today by praying and asking God to give you wisdom? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to give you a peace no matter what happens? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to give you direction, discernment, and wisdom? Will you stand firm? Will you trust God through it all? Will you resist the lies and attacks of the devil? Will you receive both the protection of the armor and the strength and power that comes through the Word of God?

What if you get the call? What if you get selected? What if you get the news? What if it takes praying and fasting? What if it takes asking others to join you in the process? What if it is a family matter? What are you going to do?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

(Day 307 of 312)


How would you respond if they rejected you? or your ask?

How would you respond if they refused or wronged you?

How would you respond if they respond in a way that seems to despise you?

Will you ask wise advisers for input?

Will you seek justice and mercy?

Will you live out as a servant leader?

Will you show mercy and kindness to others without scheming?

Will you receive the promised blessings from God?

Will you put God’s will and God’s plan before your own?

Will you turn to God and do what He asks of you?

Nothing is impossible for God! What may seem impossible with people is not impossible for God! With God all things are possible.

Let’s be strong and finish the task put before us!

Let’s be symbols and sources of blessings!

Let’s love truth and peace!

How far are you willing to go to make sure the right thing happens? Are you willing to appeal the decision?

Will you warn people if you sense trouble ahead? Will you share this with them in order to save their lives?

How will you respond if they won’t listen? How will you respond when the casualties you warned of happen? How will you respond?

Will you already be with God or will you still be in tribulation when the time comes?

Will you be undecided or even outright rejecting Jesus throughout the tribulation and have to deal with the related troubles? Will you be deceived from the truth? Will you be consumed by it? Will you spend eternity with God or will you spend eternity apart from God, tormented day and night forever and ever?

Is your name in the book of life? Have you decided to receive the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ? Or are you willing to deal with the consequences? Are you willing to deal with the judgement for all the things you had done or not done?

‘And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.’

Revelation 20:15

Will you exalt God? Will you praise God and His greatness? Will you pass on to the next generation all that God is and has done in your life? Will you proclaim His greatness? Will you sign for joy? Will you thank God? Will you glorify Him through sharing examples? Will you share how God’s promises are true and trustworthy? Will you call upon the Lord and be saved?


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:

What will you believe?


Are you working it out your way or God’s way? Are you trying to hear what you want to hear or to actually receive wisdom? Do you want truth or do you want a story? Who can you trust? How can you make sure you are right with God first? How can you confirm it is from God and it is what you are supposed to do? Do you have others who are believers who affirm/confirm it for you? Do you have others who bring conflicting recommendations? Does the recommendation align to God’s Word? What will you believe when you are given a suggestion or recommendation? Who can you trust?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started in 2 Samuel 17:

‘Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.” When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?” “Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are. “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom! Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.” Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there. When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem. Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn. When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb. David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether, an Ishmaelite. His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead. When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”’

2 Samuel 17

‘The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ “Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord , have spoken!’”’

Jeremiah 45

‘The following messages were given to Jeremiah the prophet from the Lord concerning foreign nations. This message concerning Egypt was given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, and his army were defeated beside the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. “Prepare your shields, and advance into battle! Harness the horses, and mount the stallions. Take your positions. Put on your helmets. Sharpen your spears, and prepare your armor. But what do I see? The Egyptian army flees in terror. The bravest of its fighting men run without a backward glance. They are terrorized at every turn,” says the Lord . “The swiftest runners cannot flee; the mightiest warriors cannot escape. By the Euphrates River to the north, they stumble and fall. “Who is this, rising like the Nile at floodtime, overflowing all the land? It is the Egyptian army, overflowing all the land, boasting that it will cover the earth like a flood, destroying cities and their people. Charge, you horses and chariots; attack, you mighty warriors of Egypt! Come, all you allies from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia who are skilled with the shield and bow! For this is the day of the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, a day of vengeance on his enemies. The sword will devour until it is satisfied, yes, until it is drunk with your blood! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will receive a sacrifice today in the north country beside the Euphrates River. “Go up to Gilead to get medicine, O virgin daughter of Egypt! But your many treatments will bring you no healing. The nations have heard of your shame. The earth is filled with your cries of despair. Your mightiest warriors will run into each other and fall down together.” Then the Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah this message about King Nebuchadnezzar’s plans to attack Egypt. “Shout it out in Egypt! Publish it in the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes! Mobilize for battle, for the sword will devour everyone around you. Why have your warriors fallen? They cannot stand, for the Lord has knocked them down. They stumble and fall over each other and say among themselves, ‘Come, let’s go back to our people, to the land of our birth. Let’s get away from the sword of the enemy!’ There they will say, ‘Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is a loudmouth who missed his opportunity!’ “As surely as I live,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “one is coming against Egypt who is as tall as Mount Tabor, or as Mount Carmel by the sea! Pack up! Get ready to leave for exile, you citizens of Egypt! The city of Memphis will be destroyed, without a single inhabitant. Egypt is as sleek as a beautiful heifer, but a horsefly from the north is on its way! Egypt’s mercenaries have become like fattened calves. They, too, will turn and run, for it is a day of great disaster for Egypt, a time of great punishment. Egypt flees, silent as a serpent gliding away. The invading army marches in; they come against her with axes like woodsmen. They will cut down her people like trees,” says the Lord , “for they are more numerous than locusts. Egypt will be humiliated; she will be handed over to people from the north.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes, and all the other gods of Egypt. I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him. I will hand them over to those who want them killed—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the Lord , have spoken! “But do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. For I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children will return from their exile. Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet, and no one will terrorize them. Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” says the Lord . “I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you, but with justice; I cannot let you go unpunished.”’

Jeremiah 46

‘But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.” So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.’

Luke 22:47-62

‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’

2 Timothy 1:1-7

‘O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord , about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men. But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns. Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan. For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams. He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them. He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts. He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet. He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels. He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague. He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt. But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness. He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies. He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them. He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes. But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols. When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel. Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people. He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession. Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs. Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths. Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor. He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame. But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved. There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth. He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.’

Psalms 78

How do you know if it is true?


Is there absolute truth? Is there an authority of what is true? Is there an authority that shows or describes right from wrong? Is there an authority that explains how life is to be lived? Is there an authority that explains what love is? Is there an authority that shows the way, the truth, and the life we are to be living?

Do you think there are absolutes or are there partial, qualified, or conditional? Do you think there is such things as unconditional or does there need to be conditional? Do you think there is such thing as fully and impartial or does there need to be partiality? Do you think there is such think a absolute or does there need to be qualifications?

What about when it comes to truth? Is there a way to know and understand absolute truth? Is there a way to know and understand how to get to the truth when people have different perspectives or views? Is there a way to know and understand a source to use to bring clarity to if something is true or not?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

‘The Israelites had vowed at Mizpah, “We will never give our daughters in marriage to a man from the tribe of Benjamin.” Now the people went to Bethel and sat in the presence of God until evening, weeping loudly and bitterly. “O Lord , God of Israel,” they cried out, “why has this happened in Israel? Now one of our tribes is missing from Israel!” Early the next morning the people built an altar and presented their burnt offerings and peace offerings on it. Then they said, “Who among the tribes of Israel did not join us at Mizpah when we held our assembly in the presence of the Lord ?” At that time they had taken a solemn oath in the Lord ’s presence, vowing that anyone who refused to come would be put to death. The Israelites felt sorry for their brother Benjamin and said, “Today one of the tribes of Israel has been cut off. How can we find wives for the few who remain, since we have sworn by the Lord not to give them our daughters in marriage?” So they asked, “Who among the tribes of Israel did not join us at Mizpah when we assembled in the presence of the Lord ?” And they discovered that no one from Jabesh-gilead had attended the assembly. For after they counted all the people, no one from Jabesh-gilead was present. So the assembly sent 12,000 of their best warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found 400 young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the remaining people of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the 400 women of Jabesh-gilead who had been spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the Lord had made this gap among the tribes of Israel. So the elders of the assembly asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel is not wiped out. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.” Then they thought of the annual festival of the Lord held in Shiloh, south of Lebonah and north of Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards. When you see the young women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to the land of Benjamin to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be sympathetic. Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find wives for all of them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not actually give your daughters to them in marriage.’” So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. Each man caught one of the women as she danced in the celebration and carried her off to be his wife. They returned to their own land, and they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. Then the people of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes. In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.’

–Judges 21

‘The Lord gave me another message. He said, “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness. In those days Israel was holy to the Lord , the first of his children. All who harmed his people were declared guilty, and disaster fell on them. I, the Lord , have spoken!” Listen to the word of the Lord , people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord ?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. Therefore, I will bring my case against you,” says the Lord . “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come. “Go west and look in the land of Cyprus ; go east and search through the land of Kedar. Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this? Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord . “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

“Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder? Strong lions have roared against him, and the land has been destroyed. The towns are now in ruins, and no one lives in them anymore. Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power. And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the Lord your God, even though he was leading you on the way! “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River? Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken! “Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best. How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine? No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign Lord , have spoken!

“You say, ‘That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’ But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate. You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them! When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’ “Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this. To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah. Why do you accuse me of doing wrong? You are the ones who have rebelled,” says the Lord . “I have punished your children, but they did not respond to my discipline. You yourselves have killed your prophets as a lion kills its prey. “O my people, listen to the words of the Lord ! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’ Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me. “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you! Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses! And yet you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn’t angry with me!’ But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned. First here, then there— you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before. In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all.’

–Jeremiah 2

‘“If a man divorces a woman and she goes and marries someone else, he will not take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, so why are you trying to come back to me?” says the Lord . “Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not been defiled by your adultery with other gods? You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer. You sit alone like a nomad in the desert. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and your wickedness. That’s why even the spring rains have failed. For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless. Yet you say to me, ‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth. Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’ So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.”’

–Jeremiah 3:1-5

‘So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him. For a long time he had been homeless and naked, living in the tombs outside the town. As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power. Jesus demanded, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs. So Jesus gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned. When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them. So Jesus returned to the boat and left, crossing back to the other side of the lake. The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.’

–Luke 8:26-39

‘I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter. Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need. Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. Everybody here sends greetings. Please give my greetings to the believers—all who love us. May God’s grace be with you all.’

–Titus 3:12-15

‘Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil. Your unfailing love, O Lord , is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord . How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around. Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again.’

–Psalms 36

Are you filled with the Spirit?


Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you received the Holy Spirit? Do you make time to be filled up daily so that others may receive the overflow? Do you make time to meditate on God’s Word in order to receive wisdom through the Bible for what is about to happen today? The Holy Spirit isn’t a thing but a person in the trinity. The Holy Spirit isn’t an it but a He. He will be your comforter and your guide! He is your counselor and your advocate! He will bring conviction and revelation of truth! He will intercede and teach! He is a witness to everything, verifying and testifying to the facts. Why not invite God into your day right now even before you start today’s reading. Why not ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up to overflow so that not only you will receive what God has but you will also be able to overflow into all the lives of all the people God is preparing to bring into your life or across your path today? Let’s get filled up as we prepare to start today so that we won’t run out of gas part way through the day!

Today’s reading beings in Exodus 28.

‘“Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests. Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. These are the garments they are to make: a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother, Aaron, and his sons to wear when they serve me as priests. So give them fine linen cloth, gold thread, and blue, purple, and scarlet thread.

“The craftsmen must make the ephod of finely woven linen and skillfully embroider it with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces. The decorative sash will be made of the same materials: finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. “Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. Six names will be on each stone, arranged in the order of the births of the original sons of Israel. Engrave these names on the two stones in the same way a jeweler engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in settings of gold filigree. Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the Lord . Make the settings of gold filigree, then braid two cords of pure gold and attach them to the filigree settings on the shoulders of the ephod.

“Then, with great skill and care, make a chestpiece to be worn for seeking a decision from God. Make it to match the ephod, using finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Make the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square. Mount four rows of gemstones on it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald. The second row will contain a turquoise, a blue lapis lazuli, and a white moonstone. The third row will contain an orange jacinth, an agate, and a purple amethyst. The fourth row will contain a blue-green beryl, an onyx, and a green jasper. All these stones will be set in gold filigree. Each stone will represent one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it like a seal. “To attach the chestpiece to the ephod, make braided cords of pure gold thread. Then make two gold rings and attach them to the top corners of the chestpiece. Tie the two gold cords to the two rings on the chestpiece. Tie the other ends of the cords to the gold settings on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. Then make two more gold rings and attach them to the inside edges of the chestpiece next to the ephod. And make two more gold rings and attach them to the front of the ephod, below the shoulder-pieces, just above the knot where the decorative sash is fastened to the ephod. Then attach the bottom rings of the chestpiece to the rings on the ephod with blue cords. This will hold the chestpiece securely to the ephod above the decorative sash. “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord . Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord ’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord ’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord .

“Make the robe that is worn with the ephod from a single piece of blue cloth, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. Reinforce the opening with a woven collar so it will not tear. Make pomegranates out of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and attach them to the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and pomegranates are to alternate all around the hem. Aaron will wear this robe whenever he ministers before the Lord , and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the Lord ’s presence in the Holy Place. If he wears it, he will not die. “Next make a medallion of pure gold, and engrave it like a seal with these words: Holy to the Lord . Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the Lord will accept the people. “Weave Aaron’s patterned tunic from fine linen cloth. Fashion the turban from this linen as well. Also make a sash, and decorate it with colorful embroidery. “For Aaron’s sons, make tunics, sashes, and special head coverings that are glorious and beautiful. Clothe your brother, Aaron, and his sons with these garments, and then anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they can serve as my priests. Also make linen undergarments for them, to be worn next to their bodies, reaching from their hips to their thighs. These must be worn whenever Aaron and his sons enter the Tabernacle or approach the altar in the Holy Place to perform their priestly duties. Then they will not incur guilt and die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and all his descendants after him.’

Exodus 28

Today’s reading then takes us into Job 17.

‘“My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger. “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. What if I go to the grave and make my bed in darkness? What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”’

Job 17

Today’s reading next takes us into the New Testament starting in Mark 3.

‘Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.

Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him. Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.’

Mark 3:1-12

Today’s reading then continues into 1 Corinthians 9.

‘Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves? What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. ‘

1 Corinthians 9:1-14

As we prepare to close today’s reading, let us meditate on today’s psalm. Let’s read Psalms 59 together.

‘Rescue me from my enemies, O God. Protect me from those who have come to destroy me. Rescue me from these criminals; save me from these murderers. They have set an ambush for me. Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord , though I have not sinned or offended them. I have done nothing wrong, yet they prepare to attack me. Wake up! See what is happening and help me! O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, wake up and punish those hostile nations. Show no mercy to wicked traitors. Interlude They come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths; their words cut like swords. “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer. But Lord , you laugh at them. You scoff at all the hostile nations. You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies. Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons; stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees, O Lord our shield. Because of the sinful things they say, because of the evil that is on their lips, let them be captured by their pride, their curses, and their lies. Destroy them in your anger! Wipe them out completely! Then the whole world will know that God reigns in Israel. Interlude My enemies come out at night, snarling like vicious dogs as they prowl the streets. They scavenge for food but go to sleep unsatisfied. But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.’

Psalms 59

How will you respond when you are called before the king?


Are you prepared for the day when you will be called before the authority? Are you prepared for the day when you will be asked to give a reason for the hope that is within you? Are you prepared for the day when you will be called to give an answer? Where does your answer come from? Where does your hope come from? We need to realize that it isn’t about if but it is about when. We need to realize that we don’t have to worry or stress about it either. Put your trust in Jesus and let the Holy Spirit speak through you.


11“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Luke 12:11-12

Will you be like Peter and John who when asked about their power and allow the Holy Spirit to give your answer?

7 They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:1-22

Will you be like Joseph who gives God the glory for being able to interpret dreams not of his own strength or power?

Today’s reading starts us out in Genesis 41 when Joseph gets called before Pharaoh.

‘Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank. Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows! At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up. But he fell asleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain, plump and beautiful, growing on a single stalk. Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were shriveled and withered by the east wind. And these thin heads swallowed up the seven plump, well-formed heads! Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was a dream. The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant. Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant. And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.” Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.” So Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River, and I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. But then I saw seven sick-looking cows, scrawny and thin, come up after them. I’ve never seen such sorry-looking animals in all the land of Egypt. These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows. But afterward you wouldn’t have known it, for they were still as thin and scrawny as before! Then I woke up. “In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, full and beautiful, growing on a single stalk. Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were blighted, shriveled, and withered by the east wind. And the shriveled heads swallowed the seven healthy heads. I told these dreams to the magicians, but no one could tell me what they mean.” Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine. “This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land. This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased. As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and he will soon make them happen. “Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.”

Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.” Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah. He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt. He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt. As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure. During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” At last the seven years of bumper crops throughout the land of Egypt came to an end. Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food. Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.’

Genesis 41

God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. So let’s put our hope and trust in Him, not worrying or doubting, so that when the time comes we will stand firm, trusting His leading and prompting through the Holy Spirit who will give us the words and the boldness to proclaim Jesus in and through our answers we have to give in a way to glorify God. Let us not act by the ways of men instead of God’s Way.

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 10.

‘Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt, for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and all Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.” Rehoboam replied, “Come back in three days for my answer.” So the people went away. Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?” The older counselors replied, “If you are good to these people and do your best to please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.” But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?” The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’” Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. But Rehoboam spoke harshly to them, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!” So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of God, for it fulfilled the Lord ’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded, “Down with the dynasty of David! We have no interest in the son of Jesse. Back to your homes, O Israel! Look out for your own house, O David!” So all the people of Israel returned home. ‘

2 Chronicles 10

Today’s reading continues into 2 Chronicles 11.

‘When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself. But the Lord said to Shemaiah, the man of God, “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin: ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and did not fight against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam remained in Jerusalem and fortified various towns for the defense of Judah. He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. These became the fortified towns of Judah and Benjamin. Rehoboam strengthened their defenses and stationed commanders in them, and he stored supplies of food, olive oil, and wine. He also put shields and spears in these towns as a further safety measure. So only Judah and Benjamin remained under his control. But all the priests and Levites living among the northern tribes of Israel sided with Rehoboam. The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and moved to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons would not allow them to serve the Lord as priests. Jeroboam appointed his own priests to serve at the pagan shrines, where they worshiped the goat and calf idols he had made. From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the Lord , the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the Lord , the God of their ancestors. This strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and for three years they supported Rehoboam son of Solomon, for during those years they faithfully followed in the footsteps of David and Solomon.

Rehoboam married his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Eliab son of Jesse. Mahalath had three sons—Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. Later Rehoboam married another cousin, Maacah, the granddaughter of Absalom. Maacah gave birth to Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and they gave birth to twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. Rehoboam appointed Maacah’s son Abijah as leader among the princes, making it clear that he would be the next king. Rehoboam also wisely gave responsibilities to his other sons and stationed some of them in the fortified towns throughout the land of Judah and Benjamin. He provided them with generous provisions, and he found many wives for them.’

2 Chronicles 11

Today’s reading brings us into the New Testament with John 11. Just because what is put in front of us may seem impossible we can see through Joseph and so many other stories like in today’s reading from John 11 that all things are possible for God. So trust in Him! Lean not on your own understanding! Listen and do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do and to say. Remember God’s timing is perfect and so we need not rush it along but rather we can follow after Him in order that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in perfect timing.

‘A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?” Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”’

John 11:1-16

Today’s reading continues into 1 Thessalonians 2

‘Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again. We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy.’

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20

and then into 1 Thessalonians 3.

‘Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless.’

1 Thessalonians 3:1-5

So as we close let’s take hold of the truth of God not allowing fear nor worry nor trials nor troubles rob us from all that God has planned and purposed for our lives. Listen for the word of God through the Holy Spirit.

Let’s meditate now as we close in psalms with Psalms 29.

‘Honor the Lord , you heavenly beings ; honor the Lord for his glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with bolts of lightning. The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” The Lord rules over the floodwaters. The Lord reigns as king forever. The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.’

Psalms 29

Are you ready for reconciliation?


Where are you at? Did someone do something really bad to you? Did you do something really bad to someone else? Are you ready to forgive them? Are you ready to ask for forgiveness? Are you willing to meet them right where they are at? Are you willing to go back in order to find reconciliation?

Don’t allow bitterness and fear to rob you for forgiveness and freedom. Don’t allow your mistakes and bad decisions rob you from truth and love. Choose wisely in order that true forgiveness, true freedom, and true love win over bitterness, fear, mistakes, and bad decisions. Invite God into the situation and find wisdom about how to proceed. Will you keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking until God provides you wisdom? Will you wrestle with God in order to know what you are to do? How far will you go in order to receive a blessing?

Today’s reading starts for us in Genesis 32.

‘As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him. When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.

Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom. He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban, and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’” After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!” Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups. He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.” Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord , you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’ I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps! O Lord , please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children. But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’” Jacob stayed where he was for the night. Then he selected these gifts from his possessions to present to his brother, Esau: 200 female goats, 20 male goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 female camels with their young, 40 cows, 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys, and 10 male donkeys. He divided these animals into herds and assigned each to different servants. Then he told his servants, “Go ahead of me with the animals, but keep some distance between the herds.” He gave these instructions to the men leading the first group: “When my brother, Esau, meets you, he will ask, ‘Whose servants are you? Where are you going? Who owns these animals?’ You must reply, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob, but they are a gift for his master Esau. Look, he is coming right behind us.’” Jacob gave the same instructions to the second and third herdsmen and to all who followed behind the herds: “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. And be sure to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob thought, “I will try to appease him by sending gifts ahead of me. When I see him in person, perhaps he will be friendly to me.” So the gifts were sent on ahead, while Jacob himself spent that night in the camp.

During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said. “Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.)’

Genesis 32

We continue in our reading to Genesis 33. Will you be persistent and not give up? Will you continue in order that your blessing is receive? Will you choose wisely in order to receive the wisdom necessary to complete the work that God has promised in order to be able to not only complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish but so that You can accomplish it the right way?

‘Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, “Who are these people with you?” “These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,” Jacob replied. Then the servant wives came forward with their children and bowed before him. Next came Leah with her children, and they bowed before him. Finally, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed before him. “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.” But Jacob insisted, “No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift. “Well,” Esau said, “let’s be going. I will lead the way.” But Jacob replied, “You can see, my lord, that some of the children are very young, and the flocks and herds have their young, too. If they are driven too hard, even for one day, all the animals could die. Please, my lord, go ahead of your servant. We will follow slowly, at a pace that is comfortable for the livestock and the children. I will meet you at Seir.” “All right,” Esau said, “but at least let me assign some of my men to guide and protect you.” Jacob responded, “That’s not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve received me warmly, my lord!” So Esau turned around and started back to Seir that same day. Jacob, on the other hand, traveled on to Succoth. There he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth (which means “shelters”). Later, having traveled all the way from Paddan-aram, Jacob arrived safely at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan. There he set up camp outside the town. Jacob bought the plot of land where he camped from the family of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of silver. And there he built an altar and named it El-Elohe-Israel.’

Genesis 33

Our reading now brings us into 2 Chronicles 1 and 2 Chronicles 2.

‘Solomon son of David took firm control of his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him very powerful. Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel—the generals and captains of the army, the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle was located there. (This was the Tabernacle that Moses, the Lord ’s servant, had made in the wilderness.) David had already moved the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri and grandson of Hur was there at Gibeon in front of the Tabernacle of the Lord . So Solomon and the people gathered in front of it to consult the Lord . There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord ’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it. That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel. Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia ; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver, and horses for 150 pieces of silver. They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.’

2 Chronicles 1

Will you make your choices wisely? Will you choose what is best not only for you but also for those God has put under your care? Choose wisely!

‘Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord , and also a royal palace for himself. He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen. Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram at Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace. I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever. “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him? “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David. “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them. An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent. In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley, 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil. ” King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon: “It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! Praise the Lord , the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented. His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father. “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned. We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.” Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.’

2 Chronicles 2

Now let’s continue today’s reading into the New Testament starting in John 8. Let’s receive the truth! Let’s choose truth and be set free! Let’s accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

‘Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.” “Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.#8:39 Some manuscripts read if you are really the children of Abraham, follow his example. Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”’

John 8:31-47

Let’s check our character and speak words that show what we believe in. Let’s speak the truth in love! Let’s receive the Holy Spirit and live by His ways, His instruction, His direction, and His comfort. Let’s produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let’s align with the Holy Spirit and not be swayed nor persuaded to do what the devil temps us with.

As we continue into our reading, we now read from Galatians 5.

‘So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.’

Galatians 5:16-26

So let us close and meditate on today’s psalm from Psalms 23.

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.’

Psalms 23

MOTTOES, SEALS, AND INSCRIPTIONS…(The Bible’s Impact on the Academy – Education) [Sept 22]


How interested are you in the truth? What do you believe about the truth? Are you a seeker of the truth? Why do you want to know the truth? Why do you want to find the truth? Who knows the truth? Who can show you the truth? Who will share the truth? Where can you find the truth? Where can you look for the truth? When does the truth matter to you? When will you want the truth? When will you search for the truth? When is the truth important to you? How about now? Do you realize the power of the truth? Do you realize there is freedom through the truth?


Let’s jump into today’s reading to see what we can learn and find through John 8


The Woman Caught in Adultery
53[[They went each to his own house, 
1but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”8And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

I Am the Light of the World

12Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”19They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
21So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

from John 8

So is the truth important to you? Are there witnesses you can ask? Are there witnesses you can trust? If you hear the truth will you know? If you hear the truth will you receive it? If you know the truth then are you ready to walk in the new found freedom? Reviewing today’s reading will you take hold of it? Reviewing today’s reading will you believe God’s Word? Will you believe? Will you receive? Will you perceive? Will you conceive? Don’t be deceived by those who would draw you away from the truth! Don’t be misconceived and miss out on the truth!


Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on Education or Academy on the subject of Mottoes, Seals, and Inscriptions and the impact of John 8:32 on so many of them.

‘and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ‘  

John 8:32

Today’s devotional speak to how these famous words of Jesus are popular in governmental and educational institutes. It points out educational examples like Oxford University’s original motto (which has been changed to come the book of Psalms), the California Institute of Technology motto, Idaho State University seal. It points out governmental examples like the Dominican Republic coat of arms and is explicitly called out in their constitution that they show the Bible open to John 8:32 in the center of the shield, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in the lobby of the original headquarters because John 8:32 serves as a philosophical foundation of their work


So how important is the truth to you? Is it important enough that you would put it as the center of your life? Is it important enough that you would make foundational in your life? Will you take hold of today’s reading and grab hold of the truth Jesus provides? Will you allow the truth to set you free?


Let’s pray… Be it a prayer of relationship with God…

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.Be it your daily prayer with God…

Be it a specific prayer from God’s Word like…

image from https://b2bconcertofprayer.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/b2b-concert-of-prayer-jabez-prayer-863/
https://b2bconcertofprayer.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/b2b-concert-of-prayer-jabez-prayer-863/

Whatever or however you pray, it is all about having and building and living out your relationship with Jesus. So how will you start your today?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for the plans You have for me. Help me Lord to be the husband and the dad that my family needs. Help me to be the son and brother that my family needs. Help me to be the friend and good neighbor that my friends and all those I encounter today will require. Help me Lord to live out today in a way that will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

How do you interpret things? How do you know what is real?


Do you have a source of truth that you can compare things to? How do you know if the news is real? Do you have a measuring stick that is able to help you interpret? How do you know if the reports are true? Do you have a cornerstone on which to be able to compare it and make sure it is on the level? Do you have a source of truth that doesn’t change that you can use to keep you from over-reacting to the news out there? Ever noticed how most of the news that gets reported is bad news? Who will you trust more? The news reports? God’s promises found in His Word – the Bible?

There is a battle going on for our souls! There is a battle of good vs evil! And depending on your source of truth and reality what you listen, watch, and read can impact how you feel going through life! With everything they report in the news be it on tv, the radio, the few papers that remain, and on the internet it is very possible to think that evil is winning or gaining ground if you don’t have a source of truth like the Bible to speak the truth in love about the realities! I’ve read the end of the book and a lot of what people forecast be it global warming, cooling, climate change, etc. align to the revelation shared in the Bible – so it is part of the plan of the end times but it seems people try to use it to manipulate or create fear in the populate in order to control them or get their own way. Even the fears or battles against terrorism and other such things might make people believe that evil is winning if they aren’t comparing what is being broadcasted against God’s Word as the measuring stick or voice of truth! What voice do you choose to listen to? Will it be the voice of God through the Holy Spirit? Will you listen to that still quiet voice who is comforter and our guide? The ultimate victory goes to Jesus the way, the truth, and the life! The ultimate victory goes to Jesus the name above all names!

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–from Philippians 2

So when we put the truth first and measure everything else against it we have something that we can lean on and trust in! In this battle between good and evil we get to choose how we will respond and make a difference! We can choose to help the good and be on the winning site! We can choose to sit back and pretend nothing is going on and allow evil to gain ground! We can choose to help evil take ground! We can make a difference in the here and now but the choice of making a difference in the lives of the people around us is ours to make!

When you walk into a room are you lighting up the place? Are you improving the room? Are you improving the atmosphere? Are you spreading the love and joy of the Lord? If not, why not? Why not fill yourself daily with the Holy Spirit and fill up your heart and mind with the Word of God so that wherever you go you can speak truth in love into the life of the people that come across your path?

This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s make a difference! Let’s be world changers! Let’s positive impact on the people around us! Let’s fill our circle of influence with love! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s allow our lights to shine into this dark world! Don’t try to overcome evil with evil but overcome it with love!

TODAY! Happy Today!


You Can Make a Difference

Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Cry out to God for good to triumph …
    • 6I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”
      Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!
      7O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
      you protected me on the day of battle.
      8Lord, do not let evil people have their way.
      Do not let their evil schemes succeed,
      or they will become proud.

      9Let my enemies be destroyed
      by the very evil they have planned for me.
      10Let burning coals fall down on their heads.
      Let them be thrown into the fire
      or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
      11Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.
      Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

      12But I know the Lord will help those they persecute;
      he will give justice to the poor.
      13Surely righteous people are praising your name;
      the godly will live in your presence.

      –from Psalms 140:6-13

  2. Be those who overcome evil with good …
    • 18“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:
       
      19“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
      20“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
      22“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
      24“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,
       
      To them I will give authority over all the nations.
      27They will rule the nations with an iron rod
      and smash them like clay pots.
       
      28They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
      29“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

      –from Revelation 2:18-29

    • 1“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
       
      “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
      4“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
      6“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

      –from Revelation 3:1-6

    • –> Live a holy life
      –> Be authentic

      –from Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. Watch God turn the tables on evil …
    • Joyce Meyer writes, ‘I believe that God has a great call and purpose for your life as he did for Esther’s. Your assignment may not be the deliverance of a nation, but whatever God has called you to is extremely significant. Whatever it is, be diligent to embrace the preparation process it requires so that you will be well-equipped when the time comes for you to act.’

      –from Day 345: Bible In One Year 2018

    • The King’s Banquet
      1These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. 2At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.
      5When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. 6The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.
      7Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. 8By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.
      9At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
      Queen Vashti Deposed
      10On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas—11to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.
      13He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.
      15“What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”
      16Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.
      19“So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. 20When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”
      21The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. 22He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.

      –from Esther 1

    • 1But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made. 2So his personal attendants suggested, “Let us search the empire to find beautiful young virgins for the king. 3Let the king appoint agents in each province to bring these beautiful young women into the royal harem at the fortress of Susa. Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the harem, will see that they are all given beauty treatments. 4After that, the young woman who most pleases the king will be made queen instead of Vashti.” This advice was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect.
      5At that time there was a Jewish man in the fortress of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. He was from the tribe of Benjamin and was a descendant of Kish and Shimei. 6His family had been among those who, with King Jehoiachin of Judah, had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 7This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.
      8As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai’s care. 9Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
      10Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had directed her not to do so. 11Every day Mordecai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out about Esther and what was happening to her.
      12Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. 13When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the harem. 14That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the next morning she was brought to the second harem, where the king’s wives lived. There she would be under the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the concubines. She would never go to the king again unless he had especially enjoyed her and requested her by name.
      15Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was Mordecai’s uncle. (Mordecai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested, and she was admired by everyone who saw her.
      16Esther was taken to King Xerxes at the royal palace in early winter of the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vashti. 18To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces and giving generous gifts to everyone.

      –from Esther 2:1-18

Will you walk out the plan God has for you?


Will you walk in the peace that goes beyond all understanding through the highs and the lows of being obedient and walking out God’s plan? Will you walk in the joy that goes beyond happiness for a moment by walking out obedience knowing that you are in the will of God? Will you walk out the plan God has for you trust Him and continuing to follow Him even when you get to experience the mountain top highs or the valley lows? Have you had an encounter with God yet? Have you started your life long relationship with Jesus yet? Have you received direction? Have you received confirmation? Have you seen the signs and wonders? Will you align with the voice of truth?

Will you walk out the plan God has for you and your life?

What vision has God given you? Will you take hold of it and pursue it? Will you seek His wisdom and discernment to be able to go for it? How will God use you to transform your community? How will you bring Jesus to the people God has brought into your life? How will you share the love and joy of Jesus with the people around you? Will they notice the difference? Will they experience God’s presence in and through you?

Without vision the people perish! Do you see where you are at? Do you see where things could be? Will you share the vision with the people around you in order to help lead them forward into the presence of God?

Will you take it beyond a dream or a hope by putting your vision into action? Will you take the vision and take action in order to transform the world around you? We need God’s vision because without God’s vision, action is leading to nightmares!


Today’s devotional:

From Vision to Action

Day 336: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Importance of vision … Proverbs 29:10-18
  2. Power of vision … 1 John 2:28-29, 1 John 3:1-10
  3. Fulfillment of vision … Daniel 8:15-27, Daniel 9:1-19

Today’s reading from God’s Word

 

 

 

TRUST!


Trust what does it mean to you? Is it easy to give? Is it easy to receive? What does it take? How long does it take? Is there criteria for someone to gain your trust? Anything specific? Who can have it? Who can’t? Where can you find it? Why is it so hard? Why is it so easy?

Trust is defined as:

NOUN
  1. firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something:
    “relations have to be built on trust” · “they have been able to win the trust of the others”
    synonyms: confidence · belief · faith · certainty · assurance · conviction · credence · reliance
    antonyms: distrust · mistrust · doubt
    • acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation:
      “I used only primary sources, taking nothing on trust”
    • the state of being responsible for someone or something:
      “a man in a position of trust”
      synonyms: responsibility · duty · obligation
    • literary
      a person or duty for which one has responsibility:
      “rulership is a trust from God”
    • literary
      a hope or expectation:
      “all the great trusts of womanhood”
  2. confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.
  3. a body of trustees.
    • an organization or company managed by trustees:
      “a charitable trust” · “the National Trust for Historic Preservation”
    • US
      dated
      a large company that has or attempts to gain monopolistic control of a market.
  4. commercial credit:
    “my master lived on trust at an alehouse”
VERB
trusts (third person present) · trusted (past tense) · trusted (past participle) · trusting (present participle)
  1. believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of:
    “I should never have trusted her” · “he can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation” · “a trusted adviser”
    synonyms: rely on · depend on · bank on · count on · be sure of
    • (trust someone with)
      allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence:
      “I’d trust you with my life”
      synonyms: entrust · consign · commit · give · hand over · turn over · assign
    • (trust someone/something to)
      commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of:
      “they don’t like to trust their money to anyone outside the family”
    • have confidence; hope (used as a polite formula in conversation):
      “I trust that you have enjoyed this book”
      synonyms: hope · expect · take it · assume · presume · suppose
    • have faith or confidence:
      “she trusted in the powers of justice”
      synonyms: put one’s trust in · have faith in · have (every) confidence in · believe in · pin one’s hopes/faith on · confide in
      antonyms: distrust · mistrust · doubt
    • (trust to)
      place reliance on (luck, fate, or something else over which one has little control):
      “trusting to the cover of night, I ventured out”
  2. allow credit to (a customer).

So what about God? Do you trust Him? Will you trust Him? What would it take for you to start trusting in Him right here and right now? What are the obstacles keeping you from being able to trust Him? To give Him all of your heart? To give Him all control? We all have freewill and because of that we need to choose – individually. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be robots but rather to choose on our own.

Unfortunately some people take that freewill and choose to do things that aren’t very nice and can really hurt others. Hurting people hurt people. Will you trust God enough to receive Him and try to make a difference in the lives of the hurting people around you?

God is love! God so loved the world that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son, who came and gave His life on the cross as one sacrifice to cover all and enable us to be reconciled to God! We get to choose if we will receive that gift of God! We get to choose if we will ask Him into our hearts and lives! We get to choose if we will trust Him!

Have you gone thru some pain that has strengthened your faith? Have there been things that have happened to you that in the moment were horrible but built your faith and trust? I know for me the best example I have is around forgiveness. I was on a downward spiral because of what had happened and how I was being treated. I kept receiving message that I needed to give them forgiveness but I had so many reasons for why I shouldn’t and I couldn’t because of what they had done to me. Until that day when I got to my tipping point and listened to what God said. I trusted Him but wasn’t being obedient to Him until that tipping point. 7×70 came on the radio and the process of forgiveness began…first to those who had hurt me and then I heard that still quiet voice say “as you forgive others, I will forgive you” and started asking God to forgive me for not having listened and forgiven earlier. God brought a peace over me that goes beyond all understanding and comprehension, the anger, the bitterness, the frustration, the hate, … gone – all gone, God removed them and repaired my heart and mind and I was transformed and walked out a new me. With God all things are possible! Nothing is impossible with God! I praise Jesus for having taught me the lesson. I would never have asked for it to happen to me, but with the hundreds of people I have been able to share the hope and power of forgiveness, I was able to speak hope, life, and truth into the lives so many thanks to God’s patience with me and being able to help me to forgive others.


Trust in the Lord

Day 190: Bible In One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/190

Devotional, Psalms 82, Acts of the Apostles 27:13-44, 2 Kings 18, 2 Kings 19:1-13


  1. Trust in the Lord in the midst of injustice and oppression … Psalm 82:1-8
  2. Trust in the Lord in the midst of disaster and turmoil … Acts 27:13-44
  3. Trust in the Lord in the midst of evil and distress … 2 Kings 18:1-19:13

Ever been unheard?


Ever been at a place where you speak and nobody seems to be listening? Ever had a time where your words seems to just echo around the place but nobody seems to hear them? Ever shared your heart and felt unheard? Have you spoken to encourage others but nobody listened? Have you spoken to warn others but nobody heard? What would it take? What will it take? How far do things have to go before they realize the truth from your words?

You are not alone! It’s happened to many over the history of the world and will probably keep happening till the end of times! Are you listening? Are you hearing? Are you doing anything about it? Have you processed it? Are you now acting based on what you have learned?

Take a look around! Consider the warnings! Consider the division! Consider the hopelessness! Consider the fear! Consider the doubt! Consider the bitterness! Consider the fights and arguments! Consider what things are supposed to be! Consider how we are supposed to be acting! Consider where our hearts are supposed to be! Consider when we will all come into alignment with God’s purpose and plan! Consider when we will start to live in LOVE! Consider when we will start to live in unity! Consider when we will start to live lives of encouraging others! Consider when we will start to have faith and trust in God’s Word and start to live in alignment to it! Consider when we will put our trust in God and lean not on our own understanding! Consider when we will no longer doubt or fear because our hope comes from God who sent us Jesus!

What’s it going to take to get our attention? What’s it going to take to get us to respond!

How long will it take to get our attention? How much pain and suffering before we turn back to God and return to the protection of His covering?

Do you want to be on point or held accountable for having pushed people away from God? Do you want to be on point or held accountable for how people are living their lives today? Do you want to be on point or held accountable for what is being said and done?

Turn to Jesus! He is our shepherd and God promises that He won’t lose one from His flock!

Turn to Jesus! He will make it so we don’t have to be afraid nor dismayed!

Jesus is coming back! Jesus came to pave the way for us to have hope beyond our circumstances! Jesus came to pave the way for us to follow after Him! Jesus came to raise the bar on how life is supposed to be lived out! Jesus came to set us back on track! So when He comes back…how will He find you? What will He see of your stewardship? What will He see of your life? Will you get to hear Him say “Well done my good and faithful servant”?

Don’t be swayed by those who preach different from what God’s Word says! Don’t be swayed by those who try to add or remove things from what God’s Word says! It’s not Jesus plus, it’s just Jesus that we need to be saved! Jesus is more than enough! There are some who speak the Word of God from their position of leadership! There are some who twist and contort God’s Word! Don’t be swayed! Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Put your trust in God! Compare their words against the fruits? Are they living and producing the fruits of the spirit? You realize that there are no laws against them? They are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

Don’t be illusioned by those who are trying to lead you astray! Don’t be fooled by those who are speaking their own ideas rather than the truths of God! Don’t walk in the stubbornness of your own heart! Take God’s Word at face value rather than trying to fool yourself!

Are you with Him? Are you against Him? You get to choose!

Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you try to go it alone? You get to choose!

Will you spend eternity in heaven? Will you speak eternity apart from God? You get to choose!

Will you choose life and get to live it to the full before it is too late?

Don’t be left behind! Don’t be one who gets forgotten! Don’t be one who chooses to go it alone!

Will you share and spread the Good News in every situation and circumstance? Don’t hold back sharing the love of Jesus with the world around you!

Let’s live our day in faith, believing in God and what Jesus has set into motion!

Let’s live our day in hope, trusting in Jesus who is the savior of the world!

Don’t ignore the truth! Don’t miss out on the truth! Trust in Jesus!

Let’s consider the following from God’s Word against what is taking place in society today…

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In unrighteousness they suppress the truth, 19because what can be known about God is plain to them—for God has shown it to them. 20His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made. So people are without excuse—21for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark.
22Claiming to be wise, they became fools. 23They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the form of mortal man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. 24Therefore God gave them over in the evil desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies with one another. 25They traded the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them up to shameful passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for what is against nature. 27Likewise the men abandoned natural relations with women and were burning with passion toward one another—men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to recognize God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what is not fitting. 29They became filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. 31They are foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree—that those who practice such things deserve death—they not only do them but also approve of others who practice the same.

–from Romans 1

Where are you at today? Will you turn back to God and ask for forgiveness? Will you choose to invite Jesus into your heart and life so that you will walk with Him daily through your life? Is today your day? Are you already walking with Him? Are you already talking with Him?

Let’s live today like it matters!


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 23Jeremiah 25, Romans