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

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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 in God

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

Do you see what’s going on all around us?


Do you see the bickering? Do you see the bantering? Do you see the taunting? Do you see the lying? Do you see the deception? Do you see the plotting? Do you see the evil? Do you see the blame game? Do you see the violence? Do you see those trying to create division? Do you see miscarriage of justice? Do you see double standards? Do you see destruction? Do you see arguments? Do you see fighting? Do you see the law being paralyzed? Do you see wickedness?

Do you see the hope? Do you see the love? Do you see the good? Do you see the helping hands? Do you see the healing hands? Do you see the truth? Do you see the unity? Do you see the rest? Do you see a future?

So what are you doing about it? Where are you turning? How are you sharing? How are you caring? How are you daring? Are you calling? Are you listening?


This isn’t new, but there is an answer. Depending on how people choose to respond will impact which answer is required. Let’s go back and take a look at Habakkuk…

1This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

2How long, O lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 3Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.

The Lord’s Reply

5The lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. 6I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. 7They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like. 8Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey. 9“On they come, all bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand. 10They scoff at kings and princes and scorn all their fortresses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them! 11They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12O lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal— surely you do not plan to wipe us out? O lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us, to punish us for our many sins. 13But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they? 14Are we only fish to be caught and killed? Are we only sea creatures that have no leader? 15Must we be strung up on their hooks and caught in their nets while they rejoice and celebrate? 16Then they will worship their nets and burn incense in front of them. “These nets are the gods who have made us rich!” they will claim. 17Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?

–from Habakkuk 1

There will be correction till the end times when the final judgment will take place. Take a look around and consider the correction that is necessary based on what you are seeing. We need to be pointing people back to God! We need to be introducing them to Jesus! For there is only way and it is with and thru Jesus! We need to turn this place back to God! We need to get people to see through the charades and the lies and the tricks. We need to get people to truly desire real change not the false promises. We need to put the right people in place for the benefit of the people in alignment with the will of God so that there is a push for unity rather than division, love rather than hate, truth rather than lies, and hope rather than despair. God is patient with us! His hope is that nobody would perish but turn back and receive eternal life! God is just! The battle belongs to the Lord! So don’t worry or be anxious, put your trust in Him – lift your care up to Him! Do what He is telling you! Walk in alignment to His commands! Hear His voice and obey His direction and instructions! And watch Him take care of it!

1I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the lord says and how he will answer my complaint.

The Lord’s Second Reply

2Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. 3This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. 4“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. 5Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. 6“But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, ‘What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve! You’ve become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on?’ 7Suddenly, your debtors will take action. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless. 8Because you have plundered many nations, now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 9“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses with money gained dishonestly! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger. 10But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11The very stones in the walls cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12“What sorrow awaits you who build cities with money gained through murder and corruption! 13Has not the Lord of Heaven’s Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. 15“What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness. 16But soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the Lord’s judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame. 17You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down. You destroyed the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and filled the towns with violence. 18“What good is an idol carved by man, or a cast image that deceives you? How foolish to trust in your own creation— a god that can’t even talk! 19What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols, ‘Wake up and save us!’ To speechless stone images you say, ‘Rise up and teach us!’ Can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside. 20But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.”

–from Habakkuk 2

So let’s praise God! Let’s glorify God! Let’s worship God! He knows what He is doing! He knows what is taking place and justice will be served! His timing is perfect! His ways are higher and better than our ways! So let’s just do what He is calling us to do and trust Him with the rest!

Habakkuk’s Prayer

1This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: 2I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. 3I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. 4His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. 5Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One! 7I see the people of Cushan in distress, and the nation of Midian trembling in terror. 8Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation! 9You brandished your bow and your quiver of arrows. You split open the earth with flowing rivers. 10The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging waters. The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands in submission. 11The sun and moon stood still in the sky as your brilliant arrows flew and your glittering spear flashed. 12You marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations in your fury. 13You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and stripped their bones from head to toe. 14With his own weapons, you destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. 15You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters piled high. 16I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. 17Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
(For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)

–from Habakkuk 3

Are you going around as an encouragement to the world around you? Are you sharing the fact there is hope still with them? Are you sharing the fact there is love still with them? Are you sharing there is still joy with them? Are you sharing the good news? aka Good News! Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you go where He calls you? Will you obey His instructions? Will you align to the calling? It’s not always easy, but we have hope! Jesus told us that in this world we would have troubles but that we can take heart because He has overcome the world! Jesus told us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because they do a work in us – building up our faith, building up our endurance, working in us that in the end we will complete and lacking nothing! We have rights! So we are good to receive them and exercise them!

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

1Paul went first to Derbe and then to Lystra, where there was a young disciple named Timothy. His mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek. 2Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, 3so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey. In deference to the Jews of the area, he arranged for Timothy to be circumcised before they left, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. 4Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 5So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

A Call from Macedonia

6Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. 7Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. 8So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
9That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
Lydia of Philippi Believes in Jesus
11We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across to the island of Samothrace, and the next day we landed at Neapolis. 12From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.
13On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.

Paul and Silas in Prison

16One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
19Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20“The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21“They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”
22A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
25Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
35The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
37But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
38When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.

–from Acts 16