LL Cool J – Rapping the Bible…(The Bible’s Impact on Music [May 7])


 

When we stop doing things the same way it opens up opportunities for God to work in and through us differently. Today’s reading shares the words of encouragement of:

‘and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord ), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord , “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the Lord , was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. ‘

from 2 Chronicles 5:13-14

Imagine that type of an encounter with God. Imagine having the Holy Spirit show up at work in a way that stops everything in its place because the main thing becomes the main thing, God’s presence is felt and visually apparent in the house. Imagine if the truth of God went from head knowledge to understanding? Imagine if we allowed the Holy Spirit to help us go from knowing about God and knowing about Jesus to knowing God and knowing Jesus and understanding of all that God’s Word has for us. Imagine if we get filled up every day with the Holy Spirit – even to overflowing – and allowed God to lead us and guide us, comfort us and strengthen us, so that we can be like the Holy Spirit pointing people back to Jesus. The more you draw close to Jesus, the more He reveals His Spirit and the more we get filled with the Spirit the more we point people to Jesus! We get to be like what we read in the Bible, we get to be His witnesses in Jerusalem (our hometown, our families, our city), in all of Judea and Samaria (our state and our country) and to the ends of the earth. You don’t have to be a missionary going out there to be a witness, we have the opportunity to be a witness right here and right now. God has put us here for such a day and such a time as this. So Jesus already paid the price and made a way where didn’t seem to be a way when He gave His life on the cross bridging the gap between man and God and providing us with forgiveness. We need to receive the Holy Spirit and cling to Him because that will empower us to take on Acts 1:8 where we read:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

from Acts 1:8

The Old Testament foreshadowed the New Testament. Be it Abraham and Isaac where God provided a ram as the sacrifice that foreshadowed Jesus as the sacrifice. Be it Moses in Egypt where God provided a deliverer that foreshadowed Jesus as the deliverer. Be it Hosea the prophet who God told to marry a prostitute who went out to the streets and the Hosea paid the price to redeem her foreshadowing how Jesus made a way for us who had walked away from God and paid the price to redeem us from our old ways.

So let’s go from a consumer mentality and just taking from God but let’s live our lives as witnesses right here, right now, where God has positioned us to be.

Today’s reading from 2 Chronicles 5 is a powerful one, so let’s read it all together…

1Thus all the work that Solomon did for the house of the Lordwas finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, and stored the silver, the gold, and all the vessels in the treasuries of the house of God.

The Ark Brought to the Temple

2Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of theLord out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3And all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the feast that is in the seventh month. 4And all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5And they brought up the ark, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent; the Levitical priests brought them up. 6And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who had assembled before him, were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.7Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the Most Holy Place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. 8The cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles. 9And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 10There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, 12and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; 13and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever,”
the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the subject of music points us to LL Cool J who used ideas from 2 Chronicles for the lyrics to his song “Can’t Think“. Did you realize that even some rap songs were inspired by the Bible? It is the subject of rapping the Bible. Some people may think different kinds of music aren’t for me, but God’s created music to lift Him up and so no matter what kinds of music it is, God can be worshipped and praised through it. We see in “Can’t Think” from the Greatest of All Times album (G.O.A.T.) how 2 Chronicles 5 is in the lyrics where it says:

The Ark of the Covenant was held by a king
I ain’t tradin my soul in for skins and chrome rims

The Bible inspires all sorts of music and today’s devotional points us to how it inspires religious rap. I remember when we had Sean Slaughter came to our church and sang and it was my first Christian rap experience and it was awesome – having enjoyed dance and rap music I even picked up his CD which I later gave to a guy I met who was doing Teen Challenge while helping someone move who was into rap. God is amazing and doesn’t want anyone to miss out because of their prefered music style or type. We also see many other rappers singing the Bible like Lecrae, Toby Mac, and many others.

So why not put on your favorite type of music on while on your way to work. Why not try something different and make it something out of the Bible or consider the love songs being about God rather than that guy or girls most people think about it? Why not find an internet Christian radio station that plays your type of music? I’ve tried with my phone with thinks like “Google play Christian rap music” or “Good play Christian dance music” and many other combinations based on my mood for music that day. Will you look for ways to get filled with the Holy Spirit in order to be able to overflow into the lives of the people around you witnessing to the greatness of Jesus?

Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Are you ready to start your journey with the Holy Spirit? Let’s pray this together before we go out and start our day…

Sample Sinners Prayer

If it is your first time praying this prayer, why not leave me a comment. If you want to discuss more why not leave me a comment. This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it.

With the world looking for things to disagree about imagine a book across so many languages, people, and places that comes together in a way that doesn’t change. With science books going out of day so quickly as more and more discoveries are made making the old theories invalid, why not take hold of a book that is God’s Word inspired by the Holy Spirit as a manual for us to learn about and experience God. It’s the Bible! The Bible has impact around the world.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I praise You Lord for Your Word that never returns void. I praise You Lord that You provide so many styles of music to take hold of and praise You. Help me Lord as I go out today to be Your witness in the world around me. Help me Lord to walk in the fullness of Your Spirit so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Will you lament or find hope beyond your circumstances?


We know that in this world we will have troubles! So when we have them, how will you choose to deal with your circumstances? Will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Will you worry about what is going on or what’s going to happen? Will you have hope beyond your circumstances?  Will you trust in God? Will you pray and petition God? Will  you turn back to God? Will you come to Him in humility? Will you thank and praise Him? Will you seek forgiveness? Will you lament? Will you find hope?

Today’s reading was an interesting as I turned to it as it was only 2 chapters: one from Lamentations and one from Philippians.

Where are you at today? Do you want me to pray with or for you? Let me know.

Are you seeing how your friends are? Will you stand in the gap?

Let’s take a look at these two situation and readings to help us right where we are at today…

1I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lordʼs wrath.
2He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
4He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
7He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
8Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
9He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.
10Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
11he dragged me from the path and mangled me
and left me without help.
12He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
13He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15He has filled me with bitter herbs
and given me gall to drink.
16He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”
19I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22Because of the Lordʼs great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
28Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.
29Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.
31For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
34To crush underfoot
all prisoners in the land,
35to deny people their rights
before the Most High,
36to deprive them of justice—
would not the Lord see such things?
37Who can speak and have it happen
if the Lord has not decreed it?
38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?
39Why should the living complain
when punished for their sins?
40Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the Lord.
41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven, and say:
42“We have sinned and rebelled
and you have not forgiven.
43“You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
you have slain without pity.
44You have covered yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45You have made us scum and refuse
among the nations.
46“All our enemies have opened their mouths
wide against us.
47We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
ruin and destruction.”
48Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because my people are destroyed.
49My eyes will flow unceasingly,
without relief,
50until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.
51What I see brings grief to my soul
because of all the women of my city.
52Those who were my enemies without cause
hunted me like a bird.
53They tried to end my life in a pit
and threw stones at me;
54the waters closed over my head,
and I thought I was about to perish.
55I called on your name, Lord,
from the depths of the pit.
56You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
57You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
58You, Lord, took up my case;
you redeemed my life.
59 Lord, you have seen the wrong done to me.
Uphold my cause!
60You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
all their plots against me.
61 Lord, you have heard their insults,
all their plots against me—
62what my enemies whisper and mutter
against me all day long.
63Look at them! Sitting or standing,
they mock me in their songs.
64Pay them back what they deserve, Lord,
for what their hands have done.
65Put a veil over their hearts,
and may your curse be on them!
66Pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under the heavens of the Lord.

–Lamentations 3

Imagine living thru such a time! Imagine seeing it! Imagine hearing it!

Now let’s read Philippians in Paul’s letter to see what he says…

Imitating Christʼs Humility

1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

–Philippians 2

 

Are feeling weary? Are you feeling burdened?


How are you today?

Are you feeling tired and worn out? Are you feeling fatigued or burnt out? Are you feeling bushed or pooped? Do you know why?

Are you feeling like you are carrying the weight of the world? Are you feeling weighed down by worry and troubles? Are you feeling upset or distressed about something? Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Do you know why?

Where are you focused? Is it money? Is it possessions? Is it winning? What is creating these feelings? Is it work? Is it stress? Is it pressure? How can you get passed it?

As I started looking at definitions around these questions an interesting verse came up…

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Although that is what it started with there is more…

29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

–from Matthew 11:29-30

turn-to-jesus-who-is-the-answer-matthew-11_28

There is an answer! There is hope! There is an option! There is a future free from being weary and burdened! Will you choose it?

The answer is Jesus!


Today’s reading triggered these questions for me as we start with Isaiah 46…

Idols a Weary Burden

1Bel bows down; Nebo stoops over. Their idols are for beasts and cattle. The things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. 2They stoop, they bow down together, they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. 3“Listen to Me, house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, borne by Me from birth, carried from the womb. 4Even to your old age I will be the same, until you are gray I will carry you. I have done it; I will bear you; I will carry you; I will deliver you. 5To whom will you liken Me, or make Me equal or compare Me, that we should be alike? 6They lavish gold from a purse and weigh out silver on the scales. They hire a goldsmith so he makes a god. They bow down. Yes, they worship it. 7They lift it upon a shoulder and carry it. They set in its place and there it stands. It does not budge from its place. Even if one cry to it, it cannot answer, nor save anyone from his trouble.”

Purpose for Cyrus

8“Remember this, and be assured. Recall it to mind, you transgressors. 9Remember the former things of old: For I am God—there is no other. I am God, and there is none like Me— 10declaring the end from the beginning, from ancient time, what is yet to come, saying, “My purpose will stand, and I will accomplish all that I please.” 11From the east I am calling a bird of prey, a man for My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; I will bring it to pass; I have planned it; surely I will do it. 12Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: 13I bring My justice near, it is not far off. So My salvation will not delay. I put salvation in Zion, My glory in Israel.”

–from Isaiah 46

God’s desire is that we won’t grow weary and that we aren’t burdened as we read from Matthew. In Galatians we get instructions around not growing weary…

9Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.

–Galatians 6:9-10

which points to focus and points to purpose and direction. God’s ways are different than our ways, they are higher than our ways. Nothing is impossible with God or put another all things are possible with God! So let’s turn to God and His Word for wisdom and instruction! Let’s receive and ask Jesus to come into our lives so that we can walk with Him! Let’s share the load He offers which is described as easy and light! Let’s not lean on our own understand and be led astray by selfish desires! Let’s acknowledge God in all our ways so that He will make our path straight! Let’s follow in the footsteps of Jesus so that we can live, and live life to the full!

Today’s reading continues with warnings now into Isaiah 47…

Catastrophe of Babylon

1Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no more be called tender and delicate. 2Take the millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, uncover the leg, cross the rivers. 3Your nakedness will be uncovered, and your shame will be exposed. I will take vengeance, and will spare no one. 4Our Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name, is the Holy One of Israel. 5Sit in silence, go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will no more be called the mistress-queen of kingdoms. 6I was angry with My people. I profaned My heritage. I gave them into your hand, but you showed them no mercy. You made your yoke very heavy on the aged. 7You said, “Forever, I will be the eternal mistress-queen!” You did not lay these things to heart or remember their end. 8Now then, hear this, voluptuous one, dwelling securely, saying in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me! I will not sit as a widow, or know the loss of children,” 9These two things will come upon you in a moment, in one day— loss of children and widowhood— they will come upon you in full measure in spite of your many sorceries and your many spells. 10You felt secure in your wickedness, You said, “No one sees me.” Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, so you have said in your heart, “I am—there is no one else beside me!” 11But calamity will come upon you. You won’t know how to charm it away. Disaster will fall on you, for which you cannot atone. Catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you. 12Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, which you have toiled over since your youth. Perhaps you will succeed? Perhaps you will cause terror? 13You are weary of your consultations. So many! So let the astrologers, star-gazers, predicting by new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. 14Behold, they shall be as stubble. Fire will consume them. They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame! It is not a coal for warming by or a fire to sit before! 15So much have they become to you, with whom you have toiled, trafficking with you from your youth, each wandering about his own way. No one will save you!

–from Isaiah 47

Let’s stop and turn to God! He knows right where we are at and exactly what we need, even before we ask. So ask! He promises that

7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. –Matthew 7:7-8

Let’s turn to God who knows our hearts. For those who know Jesus, have you A.S.K.? For those who haven’t asked Jesus into your heart is there anything holding you back? Don’t let the fear created by the enemy whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy you but rather invite Jesus in whose desire is to give you life and life to the full! God is your salvation! God has sent Jesus as our savior! He has made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He provided the only answer when no answer seem to be available! He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son, in order that Justice could be served! So now it becomes a choice to each of us, do we choose Jesus or not!

So let’s seek justice! Let’s live justly! Let’s seek to align with God and walk in His ways!

Justice for the Oppressed

1A psalm of David. Adonai, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight me. 2Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to my help. 3Draw out also a spear and battle-axe. Stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul: “I am your salvation.” 4May those who seek my life be ashamed and disgraced. May they be turned back and humiliated —those who plot evil against me. 5May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of Adonai driving them off. 6May their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of Adonai pursuing them. 7For without cause they hid their net for me, and without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 8Let ruin come upon him by surprise. Let the net he hid entangle himself —into that same pit let him fall. 9Then my soul will rejoice in Adonai and delight in His salvation. 10All my bones will say: “Adonai, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor and needy from one who robs him?” 11Violent witnesses rise up. They question me about things I know nothing about. 12They repay me evil for good— my soul is forlorn. 13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth. I afflicted my soul with fasting, my prayer kept returning to my heart. 14I went about mourning as though for my own friend or brother. I bowed down dressed in black as though for my own mother. 15But at my stumbling they gathered in glee. Wretches gathered against me whom I did not know, tearing at me without ceasing. 16They mocked profanely, as if at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth. 17My Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages— my solitary existence from the lions. 18I praise You in the great assembly, acclaiming You among a throng of people. 19Do not let my deceitful enemies gloat over me without cause, nor let those who hate me for nothing wink an eye. 20For they never speak shalom, but devise deceitful words against the quiet ones in the land. 21Yes, they open their mouth wide against me, saying: “Aha! Aha! Our own eyes have seen it!” 22You have seen it, Adonai—be not silent! Adonai, be not far from me. 23Arise, awaken to my defense, to my cause—my God and my Lord! 24Vindicate me, Adonai my God, according to Your justice, and do not let them gloat over me. 25Don’t let them say in their heart: “Aha! Just what we wanted!” Don’t let them say: “We swallowed him up!” 26May they be ashamed and humiliated, those who rejoice over my misery. May they who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27May they shout for joy and be glad, those who delight in my righteous cause. May they always say: “Exalted be Adonai, who delights in His servant’s shalom.” 28Then my tongue will declare aloud Your justice and Your praises all day.

–from Psalms 35

Miracles are happening all around you. Miracles are available all around you. Will you have eyes to see and ears to hear so that you can be used to be a miracle by God? Will you have faith to look and faith to ask for help when you are in need? Will you be an instrument of God to fulfill a miracle? Will you be a witness to God’s greatness by receiving a miracle? Will you testify to what God is doing in and thru you? Will you testify of God’s great love and God’s great power? Will you share it with the world around you so that they can hear the Good News and find hope?

Imagine the following situation…imagine being Paul…imagine being the man just trying to fill his stomach and earthly needs…

A Lame Beggar Walks

1Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the time of prayer. 2A man lame from birth was being carried—every day they used to put him at the Temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg for tzadakah from those entering the Temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he began asking to receive tzadakah. 4But Peter, along with John, looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!” 5So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati, get up and walk!” 7Then grabbing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. 8Jumping up, he stood and began walking; and he went with them into the Temple, walking and leaping and praising God! 9Now all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10They began to realize he was the one who used to sit begging for tzadakah at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were filled with wonder and astonishment over what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks at the Temple

11While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people together came running toward them in the place called Solomon’s Portico. 12But when Peter saw, he responded to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us—as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Yeshua—the One you handed over and disowned before Pilate, though he had decided to release Him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. 15You killed the Author of life—the One God raised from the dead! We are witnesses of it. 16Now through faith in the name of Yeshua, His name has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Indeed, the faith through Yeshua has given this man perfect health in front of you all. 17“Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders did. 18But what God foretold through the mouth of all His prophets—that His Messiah was to suffer—so He has fulfilled. 19Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out, 20so times of relief might come from the presence of Adonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you. 21Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets. 22Moses said, ‘Adonai your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. Hear and obey Him in all that He shall say to you. 23And it shall be that every soul that will not listen to that Prophet shall be completely cut off from the people.’ 24Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel on have announced these days. 25You are the sons of the prophets and also of the covenant that God cut with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26God raised up His Servant and sent Him first to you, to bless you all by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

–from Acts 3

Take your faith and share it! Take your faith and give it away! Accept Jesus in faith! Allow Him to transform you from the inside out!

So will you receive God’s love? So will you give God’s love? Will you be a conduit for God’s love to reach the world around you? Will you make a difference in the lives of the people around you today? If not now then when? If not you then who? If not here then where? The world you live in needs you! The world you walk in everyday is looking for hope and truth and joy! The world is looking for a glimmer of hope in this dark world! Will you be that light shining through the darkness that will point them to Jesus and transform their lives forever? Don’t rush your day hoping to just get thru it! Purpose with each step, with each word, with each action that God will work in and through you to help those around you who are hurting and needing help! They may not be as obvious as the man at the temple, but they are all around you! So will you share love with them? Wondering what that might look like? Consider the following and if you replace love with your name how that would appear…

The Superior Way of Love

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all that I own and if I hand over my body so I might boast but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not brag, it is not puffed up, 5it does not behave inappropriately, it does not seek its own way, it is not provoked, it keeps no account of wrong, 6it does not rejoice over injustice but rejoices in the truth; 7it bears all things, it believes all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. 8Love never fails— but where there are prophecies, they will pass away; where there are tongues, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

–from 1 Corinthians 13

 

How will you respond? It’s time…


Will you turn to God or away from Him? Will you go on your own wisdom or will you ask God for His wisdom? Will you try to do it all in your own strength or will you turn to God in your weakness and ask for His strength?

Who you going to trust?

How will you respond? It’s time…


God is God of all! He is the God of the mountains! He is the God of the valleys! He is the God of the plains! He is God of all! Don’t doubt God! Turn to Him! Trust in Him! Obey God!

Ahab and the Prophets

1Now King Ben-Hadad of Aram gathered all his army. With him were 32 kings, along with horses and chariots. He marched up, besieged Samaria and attacked it. 2Then he sent messengers into the city to King Ahab of Israel, 3and said to him, “Thus says Ben-Hadad: ‘Your silver and gold are mine! Your best wives and children are also mine.” 4The king of Israel replied, “As you say, my lord the king: I am yours, along with all I have.” 5Then the messengers came back and said, “Thus says Ben-Hadad: Indeed I sent word to you, ordering you to give me your silver, your gold, your wives and your children. 6Now I will send my servants to you tomorrow at this time, and they shall search your palace and the houses of your courtiers. Whatever is valuable in your eyes, they shall seize in their hand and take it away.” 7Then the king of Israel summoned all the elders of the land and said, “Please know and see how this man is bent on evil! For he sent someone to me for my wives, my children, my silver and my gold, and I didn’t refuse him.” 8All the elders and all the people said to him, “Don’t listen to him or consent.” 9So he said to the messengers of Ben-Hadad, “Tell my lord the king: All that you sent to your servant at first, I will do, but this thing I cannot do,” The messengers departed and reported to him. 10Then Ben-Hadad sent word to him again saying, “May the gods do so to me and even more, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people at my feet.” 11The king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him: ‘Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.” 12On hearing this reply—while he and the other kings were drinking in the booths—he said to his servants, “Take your positions.” So they stationed themselves against the city. 13Then behold, a prophet approached King Ahab of Israel and said, “Thus says Adonai: Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day, and you will know that I am Adonai.” 14Ahab asked, “By whom?” He said, “Thus says Adonai: By the young men of the rulers of the provinces.” Then he asked, “Who should begin the battle?” “You!” he answered. 15So he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces. There were 232. After them he mustered all the people of all the children of Israel, 7,000. 16They marched out at noon, while Ben-Hadad was drinking himself drunk in the booths—he and the 32 kings allied with him. 17The young men of the rulers of the provinces marched out first. Ben-Hadad sent out scouts, who reported to him saying, “There are men coming out from Samaria.” 18He said, “Whether they are coming out for peace, take them alive, or whether they are coming out for battle, take them alive.” 19Now when the young men of the rulers of the provinces marched out of the city, with the army following them, 20each man struck down his foe. Then the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, but King Ben-Hadad of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21Then the king of Israel went out, struck the horses and chariots, and inflicted on the Arameans a great defeat. 22The prophet then approached the king of Israel and said to him, “Go, strengthen yourself. Consider carefully what you should do, for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will march up against you.” 23Meanwhile, the servants of the king of Aram said to him, “Their God is a God of the mountains—that’s why they were stronger than us. But let’s fight against them in the plain. Then surely we’ll be stronger than them. 24So this is what you should do: remove the kings, each from his post, and appoint governors in their place. 25Then muster an army like the army that you lost—horse for horse and chariot for chariot—and let’s fight against them in the plain, and surely we’ll be stronger than them!” He listened to their advice and acted accordingly. 26It came about at the turn of the year that Ben-Hadad mustered the Arameans and marched up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27Now the children of Israel were mustered, given provisions, and marched against them. But when the children of Israel encamped before them, they looked like two little flocks of goats while the Arameans covered the land. 28Then a man of God approached the king of Israel and spoke to him saying, “Thus says Adonai: Because the Arameans have said, ‘Adonai is a God of the mountains, but He is not a God of the valleys,’ therefore I will deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am Adonai.” 29So they encamped one over against the other seven days. On the seventh day the battle was joined, and the children of Israel struck down 100,000 of the Aramean foot soldiers in a single day. 30The rest fled to Aphek into the city and the wall fell upon 27,000 men that were left. But Ben-Hadad fled into the city, into an inner chamber. 31His officials said to him, “Look now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Please let’s put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and surrender to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life.” 32So they girded sackcloth on their loins, put ropes on their heads, came to the king of Israel and said, “Your servant Ben-Hadad says: ‘Please let me live.’” He replied, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 33The men took it as a good sign and were quick to catch on, so they said, “Yes, Ben-Hadad is your brother.” “Go, bring him,” he said. So Ben-Hadad came out to him and he took him up into his chariot. 34Then he said to him, “The cities which my father took from your father I will give back, and you may set up markets for yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria.” “Then I will let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him and let him go. 35Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow by the word of Adonai, “Strike me please!” But the man refused to strike him. 36Then he said to him, “Because you did not obey the voice of Adonai, behold, as soon as you leave me, a lion shall kill you.” As soon as he left him, a lion found him and killed him. 37Then he found another man, and said, “Strike me please!” So the man struck him and wounded him. 38Then the prophet left and waited for the king by the road, disguising himself with a headband over his eyes. 39As the king was passing by, he cried to the king and said, “Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a man turned aside and brought another man to me and said, ‘Guard this man! If by any means he is missing, then your life will be for his life, or else you will weigh out a talent of silver.’ 40Then as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” The king of Israel said to him, “So will your sentence be—you yourself have decided it.” 41Then he quickly took the headband away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42Then he said to him, “Thus says Adonai: ‘Because you have released out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life will be in place of his life and your people in place of his people.’” 43Then the king of Israel went home to Samaria sullen and resentful.

–from 1 Kings 20

What is yours? What isn’t yours? The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! What is ours is only what has been given to us by God to be good stewards of! What is theirs? So if you take away what is God’s but has been given to another for them to be stewards of, what will that mean and how will that play out?

Naboth Murdered for His Vineyard

1Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, next to the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. 2Ahab spoke to Naboth saying, “Give me your vineyard, so I may have it for a garden of herbs, since it’s right next to my house. I’ll give you a better vineyard than it in exchange, or if it seems better to you, I’ll give you its price in money.” 3But Naboth said to Ahab, “Adonai forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4So Ahab went into his house sullen and resentful because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him, when he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” He lay down on his bed, turned away his face and would eat no food. 5Then his wife Jezebel came to him and asked him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you are eating no food?” 6Then he told her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and asked him: ‘Give me your vineyard for money, or if it pleases you, I’ll give you another vineyard for it,’ but he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7Then his wife Jezebel said to him, “Now, do you really govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, eat some food, and let your heart be merry! I will get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 8So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. 9She wrote in the letters saying, “Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. 10Then seat two sons of Belial before him, and let them testify against him saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” 11So the men of his city—the elders and the nobles who lived in his city—did just as Jezebel had bid them, just as was written in the letters that she had sent to them. 12They proclaimed a fast then seated Naboth at the head of the people. 13Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him, and the worthless men testified against him, against Naboth, before the people saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king!” Then they carried him out of the city and stoned him to death. 14Then they sent word to Jezebel saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” 15Now when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to sell you for money—for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16As soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite to take possession of it. 17Then the word of the Adonai came to Elijah the Tishbite saying: 18“Arise, go down to meet King Ahab of Israel, who is in Samaria. Behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19You shall speak to him saying, ‘Thus says Adonai: Have you murdered and then taken possession?’ You shall also speak to him saying, ‘Thus says Adonai: In the same place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your blood too.’” 20Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, my enemy?” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself over to do what is evil in Adonai’s eyes. 21‘Behold, I will bring evil upon you, utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel. 22I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasa son of Ahijah because you provoked My anger by leading Israel to sin.’ 23“Adonai has also spoken about Jezebel saying: ‘The dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. 24Any of Ahab who die in the city, the dogs will eat; or any who die in the country, the birds of the sky will eat.’” 25Surely there was none like Ahab, who sold himself over to do evil in Adonai’s eyes, at the instigation of Jezebel his wife. 26He did grossly loathsome acts in following idols just like all that the Amorites had done, whom Adonai had dispossessed before the children of Israel. 27Now when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his body, fasted, lay in sackcloth and walked about subdued. 28Then the word of Adonai came to Elijah the Tishbite saying: 29“Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but in his son’s days I will bring the evil upon his house.”

–from 1 Kings 21

Who will sway you from following after God? What can sway you from God’s love? Where would you go to get out from under God’s protection? Why would you …?

Will you turn back to God? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you choose today before it’s too late? Will you receive God’s greatest gift through His mercy?

The Angel with a Little Scroll

1Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud with a rainbow over his head. His face was like the sun and his feet like pillars of fire. 2He had in his hand a little scroll that was open. He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3and he cried out with a loud voice, just as a lion roars. When he cried out, the seven thunders spoke. 4And when the seven thunders had spoken, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said. Do not write it down!” 5Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven 6and swore by the One who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay. 7But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel—when he is about to trumpet—the mystery of God is completed, just as He declared to His servants the prophets. 8Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel standing on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little scroll. And he tells me, “Take and eat it. It will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10So I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth; but when I had swallowed it, my stomach was made bitter. 11And they tell me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

–from The Revelation 10

How long will you wait? How long will it take? How far will you go? How far is enough?

How many witnesses would it take for you to receive it or accept it? Will you decide today before it’s too late? Will you choose to receive the greatest gift of all before it’s too late?

What type of sign will it take

What type of a sign would it take for you to choose? What type of a sign will it take for you to decide? Is today your day? I don’t want you to be left behind…And whatever you decide make sure you don’t miss your second chance!

Two Witnesses

1Then a measuring rod like a staff was given to me, saying, “Get up and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count those worshiping in it. 2But do not measure the court outside the Temple—leave it out, because it has been given to the nations, and they shall trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3And I will grant authority to My two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” 4These are the two olive trees and the two menorot that are standing before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone wishes to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and consumes their enemies. If anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These two have the power to shut the heavens, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying. And they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish. 7When they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the abyss will make war on them, and overcome them and kill them. 8And their corpses will lie in the open street of the great city that figuratively is called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9Some from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their corpses for three and a half days, not allowing them to be placed into a grave. 10Those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them. They will celebrate and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet; and great fear fell on those who were watching them. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13At that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14The second woe is past. The third woe is coming soon.

The Seventh Trumpet

15Then the seventh angel trumpeted, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed One. And He shall reign forever and ever!” 16And the twenty-four elders seated on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying, “We thank you, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and begun to reign. 18The nations were enraged, but Your wrath has come and the time for the dead to be judged— to reward Your servants, the prophets and kedoshim, and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy the destroyers of the earth.” 19Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant appeared in His Temple. And there were flashes of lightning and rumblings and clashes of thunder and an earthquake and heavy hail.

–from The Revelation 11

Facing another tough time? Facing another challenge?


How will you respond?

Will you start to wine and complain? Will you grumble and look for someone to blame? Will you start to find reasons to do bad things? Will you riot? Will you become violent?

OR

Will you turn to God? Will you plead your case with Him? Will you ask Him for wisdom? Will you wait upon Him? Will you grab hold of His Word that says “In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because I have overcome the world“? Will you grab hold of His Truth that says “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, allow your faith to be strengthened building up your ability to endure, and allow your endurance to build up so that you will finish strong being complete, perfect, and lacking nothing“?

Will you remember what He has already done and look forward in anticipation of what He will do next? He produced miracles! He brought freedom! He provided food! How will you respond the next big thing shows up? Will you forget about the past or will grab hold of it and praise God for what He is about to do? Will you forget about the past and start to grumble again? How are you keeping track of and remembering what God has already done for you, in you, and through you?

How will respond?

Will you respond in love? Will you respond with frustration? Will you respond in anger? Will you respond with a gentle hand? Will you respond with a clenched fist? What will your reaction say? What will your body language say? What will your voice say? What will be see in your eyes? What will be the overflow of your heart?

So where are you at today? Are you being faced with another challenge? Are you facing some tough times? How will you respond? Are you ready for the consequences of your response? Choose wisely! Choose the right way! Don’t get tripped up because of you see or what others are saying! Go it God’s way!


Today’s reading starts with preparation and then into responses, let’s take a look…

Red Heifer and Cleansing Water

1Adonai spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 2“This is the statute of the Torah which Adonai commanded saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael that they bring to you a flawless red heifer on which there is no blemish and on which has never been a yoke. 3Give her to Eleazar the kohen. He will take her outside the camp and slaughter her in his presence. 4Then Eleazar the kohen is to take some of the blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tent of Meeting. 5“While watching, he is to burn the heifer, her hide, flesh, blood and refuse. 6The kohen is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool, and cast them into the midst of the burning heifer. 7“Afterward, the kohen is to wash his clothes and bathe his flesh with the water, and afterward he may come back into the camp. Still the kohen will be unclean until evening. 8Also the one burning it is to wash his clothes and bathe his flesh with the water, and he will be unclean until evening. 9“A clean man is to gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They are to be for the community of Bnei-Yisrael to use as water of purification from sin. 10“The one who gathers the heifer’s ashes is also to wash his clothes as well as be unclean until evening. It will be a permanent statute for Bnei-Yisrael and for the outsider living among them. 11“Whoever touches any dead body will be unclean for seven days. 12He is to purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day. Then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean. 13Anyone touching the dead body of any man, who does not purify himself, defiles Adonai’s Tabernacle, and that person will be cut off from Israel. Because the cleansing water was not sprinkled on him, he is unclean and his uncleanness will remain on him. 14“This is the Torah for whenever a person dies in a tent. Anyone entering the tent or anyone inside the tent will be unclean seven days. 15Any open container not having a lid fastened on it will also be unclean. 16Anyone out in the open field who touches a dead body, whether killed by a sword or was killed by a natural cause, or touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17“For the unclean one, they are to take some of the ash of the burnt purification offering, and pour some fresh water into a jar. 18Then a clean person will take some hyssop, dip it into the water, and, sprinkle it on the tent, all of the furnishings, and the people who were there, as well as the one touching the bone, the one killed, the corpse or the grave. 19The clean person will sprinkle the unclean one on the third and seventh days. He is to purify himself on the seventh day, and on the seventh day he is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he will be clean. 20However, that man who is unclean but does not purify himself will be cut off from the community. He has defiled the Sanctuary of Adonai, since the cleansing water was not sprinkled on him. He is unclean. 21This will be a permanent ordinance for them. The one sprinkling the cleansing water is also to wash his clothes, and anyone touching the cleansing water will be unclean until evening. 22Anything touched by an unclean person becomes unclean, and anyone touching it will be unclean until evening.”

–from Numbers 19

Now when the challenge shows up how will the response look?

Water from the Rock

1In the first month, the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael arrived at the wilderness of Zin. The people stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2Now there was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3The people quarreled with Moses saying, “If only we had died when our brothers died before Adonai! 4Now why have you brought the community of Adonai into this wilderness, for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why have you brought us from Egypt to bring us to this evil place—a place without grain, fig, grapevine or pomegranate—and there’s no water to drink!” 6So Moses and Aaron went from before the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to them. 7Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 8“Take the staff and gather the assembly, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give out its water. You will bring out water from the rock, and you will give the community something to drink, along with their livestock.” 9So Moses took the staff from before the presence of Adonai, just as He had commanded him. 10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly in front of the rock. He said, “Listen now, you rebels! Must we bring you water from this rock?” 11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with the staff. Water gushed out and the community and its livestock drank. 12But Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in Me so as to esteem Me as holy in the eyes of Bnei-Yisrael, therefore you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given to them.” 13These are the waters of Meribah where Bnei-Yisrael contended with Moses, and where Adonai showed Himself holy among them.

Edom Denies Passage

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. “Thus says your brother, Israel: ‘You know all the hardship that came on us. 15Our forefathers went down to Egypt, so we lived there for a very long time. The Egyptians mistreated us, and our fathers. 16But we cried out to Adonai, He heard our cry, sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. See now, we are at Kadesh, a town on the frontier of your territory. 17Permit us to pass through your territory. We will not cross through any field or vineyard or drink water of any well. But we will travel on the king’s highway. We will not deviate to the right or left until we will have passed through your territory.’” 18But Edom said to him, “You may not pass through me—or I will march out against you with the sword.” 19Bnei-Yisrael then said to him, “We will travel on the main road, and if we or our livestock even drink any of your water, we will pay its price. It’s nothing, just to pass through on foot!” 20He answered, “You may not pass through!” Yet Edom came out to oppose them with a large and well-armed people. 21Since Edom refused to permit Israel to cross through her territory, Israel turned away from them.

Aaron Gathered To His People

22The entirety of the community of Bnei-Yisrael set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23Now at Mount Hor, near the Edomite border, Adonai said to Moses and Aaron, 24“Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land, which I have given to Bnei-Yisrael, because you rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and take them up Mount Hor. 26Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, and Aaron will be gathered up and will die there.” 27Moses did as Adonai commanded. They ascended Mount Hor before the eyes of the whole community. 28Moses removed Aaron’s garments and placed them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there at the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar descended the mountain. 29When they saw that Aaron had died, the entire community mourned Aaron 30 days.

–from Numbers 20

Let’s remember what God has done! Let’s celebrate what God has done! Let us not forget how GREAT His LOVE is for us!

In Celebration of God’s Reign

1For the music director, a psalm for the sons of Korah. 2Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of joy! 3For Adonai Elyon is awesome, a great King over all the earth. 4He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. 5He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loved. Selah 6God is gone up amidst shouting, Adonai amidst the sound of the shofar. 7Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 8For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with a skillful song. 9God reigns over the nations. God sits upon His holy throne. 10The princes of the peoples are gathered as a people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of earth belong to God— He is greatly exalted!

–from Psalms 47

So let’s serve others! Let’s not lead by creating fear, but by serving others! Let’s show them God by the way we serve them! Let’s allow our lives to be a testimony of how great our God is! Let’s allow our lives to be witnessing to everything God is doing in and through our lives! Let’s be servant leaders by following in Jesus’ footsteps! Let’s live in love! Let’s be an example to all those God brings into our path.

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

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

–from 1 Corinthians 9

So let’s till the soil to soften hearts! So let’s plan seeds to bring encouragement! So let’s water that they are filled! Then let’s give it up to God who will make it grow! Let’s be helping create and find good soil! Let’s help pull up the weeds! Let’s help protect the seeds from the lies and attacks like a spiritual scarecrow!

Storytelling Opens Hearts

1Again Yeshua began to teach by the sea. A large crowd gathered around Him, so He got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the crowd was by the sea on the land. 2He began teaching them many things by parables, and in His teaching, He said to them: 3“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. 4It happened that as he sowed, some fell beside the road; and the birds came and ate it up. 5“Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it didn’t have much soil. It sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7“Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8“And others fell into the good soil and were producing fruit, springing up and increasing. They yielded a crop, producing thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” 9And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10When Yeshua was alone, those around Him with the Twelve started asking Him about the parables. 11And He told them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God. But for those who are outside, everything is in parables, so that 12‘Seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing, they may hear and not understand, so they may not turn back and be forgiven.’” 13He said to them, “Don’t you grasp this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones beside the road where the word is sown. Whenever they hear, satan comes quickly and takes away the word that has been sown in them. 16“These are the ones sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves but last only a short while. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18“And others are the ones sown among the thorns. They have heard the word; 19but the worries of the world, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20“And those are the ones sown on the good soil. They hear the word and accept it and produce fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

Reaping What You Sow

21He also was saying to them, “Is a lamp put under a basket or a bed? No, shouldn’t it be placed on a lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything kept secret except that it would come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24Then He continued, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you; and more will be added to you. 25For whoever has, to him more will be given. And whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

What Is the Kingdom of God Like?

26And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like when a man spreads seed on the soil 27and falls asleep at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows. He himself doesn’t know how. 28Automatically, the earth brings forth a crop—first the blade, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ready, at once he sends in the sickle, for the harvest has come.” 30Yeshua also said, “How should we picture the kingdom of God? Or by what story shall we present it? 31It is like a mustard seed when it’s planted in the ground. Though the smallest of all seeds in the earth, yet when planted it grows up and becomes the largest of all the herbs. 32It puts forth big branches, so the birds of the air can nest in its shade.” 33With many such parables He used to tell them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34But apart from a parable, He wasn’t speaking to them. Yet when they were alone, to His own disciples He would explain everything.

Power Over Nature

35Now on that same day in the evening, He says to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side.” 36After leaving the crowd, they take Him along in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. 37A great windstorm arises, and the waves were rushing into the boat. The boat was beginning to fill up. 38But Yeshua was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They wake Him up and say to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” 39So He woke up and rebuked the wind. And He said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became totally calm. 40And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Even now you have no faith?” 41They were struck with awe and said to one another, “Who is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

–from Mark 4

How important is purity in your camp?


How about your home? How about your family? How about your friends? How about your company? How about your team? How about your relationships? How about your workplace? How about your neighborhood? How about your church?

Are you living it? Are you being protective of it? Are you aware of what is going on? Have you setup safety rules about it? Have you setup boundaries to enforce it? Will you work to avoid and prevent jealousy? Will work to produce unity?

Is it a priority to you? Is it a priority to those around you? Is it a priority for those above you? Is it a priority for those under you?

How can you tell? Is there evidence? Is there something visible that demonstrates it to be true?

Will you be a blessing to others? Would you pray his on others?

24The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. 27“So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.

–from Numbers 6


 

Today’s reading that starts with Numbers 5, Numbers 6 kicks off on this topic. Today’s reading then concludes in 1 Corinthians 1.

We need to make the unity of the body a priority! We need to be thankful for what God has done and continues to do in and through our lives! We need to keep our focus on God’s wisdom! We need to be people who live out Jesus to this world! We need to give away the grace that God has provided us! We need to be ambassadors of peace! We need to be living testimonies of who God is!

So s let today be a great day! Help others find the truth!


Today’s reading concludes with…

Greetings

1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!

Thanksgiving

4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge—6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.

Concern about Disunity

10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.

Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”
–from 1 Corinthians 1

 

 

 

What will you do when you are cornered?


Nowhere to go! Nowhere to run! What seems to be an immovable object on one side! They are closing in! What will you do? Where will you turn? Where will you find hope? Where will you find answers? Do you run at them? What do you do? How will you know the right thing to do? Will you sit there and just accept whatever happens? Will you do something?

We need to turn to God! We need to cry out to Him for wisdom and instruction! We need to put our hope and our trust in Him! His plans are for good! He can use what the enemy has planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! So don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Turn to God to understand His plan and how you can glorify Him in and through the situation you are finding yourself in!

Today’s reading starts off with just such a situation, let’s see what happens for I am sure it will show God’s ability to rescue and save…

Sea of Reeds Showdown

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, so that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You are to camp by the sea, opposite Baal-zephon. 3Pharaoh will say concerning Bnei-Yisrael, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land—the wilderness has shut them in!’ 4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so he will follow after them. Then I will be glorified over Pharaoh along with all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai.” So they did so. 5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we let Israel go from serving us?” 6So he prepared his chariots and took his people with him. 7He took 600 of the finest chariots, along with all other chariots of Egypt, and captains over them. 8Adonai hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so he pursued Bnei-Yisrael, for Bnei-Yisrael went out with a high hand. 9But the Egyptians pursued them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, as well as his charioteers and his army, and overtook them as they were encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth opposite Baal-zephon. 10When Pharaoh drew near, Bnei-Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them! So they were terrified, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai. 11They said to Moses, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? 12Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” 13But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever! 14Adonai will fight for you, while you hold your peace.” 15Then Adonai said to Moses, “Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward. 16Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. 17Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen. 18Then the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I have been glorified over Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” 19Then the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. Also the pillar of cloud moved from in front and stood behind them, 20and so came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel—there was the cloud and the darkness over here, yet it gave light by night over there—neither one came near the other all night long. 21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. Adonai drove the sea back with a strong east wind throughout the night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided. 22Then Bnei-Yisrael went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, while the waters were like walls to them on their right and on their left. 23But the Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen. 24Now it came about during the morning watch that Adonai looked at the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and caused the army of the Egyptians to panic. 25He took off their chariot wheels and caused them to drive heavily, so that the Egyptians said, “Get away from the presence of Israel! For Adonai fights for them against the Egyptians!” 26Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters come back upon the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched his hand out over the waters, and the sea returned to its strength at the break of dawn. The Egyptians were fleeing from it, but Adonai overthrew them in the midst of the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen and the entire army of Pharaoh that went after them into the sea. Not one of them remained. 29But Bnei-Yisrael had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were like walls to them on their right hand and on their left. 30So Adonai saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31When Israel saw the great work that Adonai did over the Egyptians, the people feared Adonai, and they believed in Adonai and in His servant Moses.
–from Exodus 14

Imagine that sight!

God moves the immovable object - God parts the red sea.png

Imagine if people saw evidence found at the bottom of the Red Sea – what would they think? What would they do?

It's amazing how modern technology and research verify and validate the Word of God - Red Sea Combo Wheels and Bones.jpg

God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word is truth! God’s Word is a love letter from our Heavenly Father!

So next time you are between a rock and hard place what are you going to do? Where will you turn? Who will you all upon? Will you go to the one who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine? Will you call out to the one who can help? Will trust Him? Will you believe Him? Will you honor Him? Will you obey Him? Will you worship Him – in spirit and in truth? Will you serve Him all the days of your life?

Today’s reading continues in Exodus…How long will that high last for you? Will remember? Will you press on? Will you trust Him? Will you walk in the truth that He is for you and not against you? Will you grab a hold of Him and not let go? Or will you forget? Will you wine and complain?…

Song of Moses and Miriam

1Then Moses and Bnei-Yisrael sang this song to Adonai: I will sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea. 2Adonai is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. 3Adonai is a warrior—Adonai is His Name! 4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has hurled into the sea, and his chosen captains have sunk into the Sea of Reeds. 5The deeps cover them. They sank to the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, Adonai, is glorious in power. Your right hand, Adonai, dashes the enemy to pieces. 7In the greatness of Your excellency You overthrow those who resist You. You send forth Your wrath— it consumes them as stubble. 8With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps became firm ground in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall gorge on them! I will draw my sword— my hand will destroy them.” 10You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11Who is like You, Adonai, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in praises, doing wonders? 12You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13You in Your lovingkindness led the people You have redeemed. You guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. 14When the peoples hear, they will tremble—anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. 15Then the chiefs of Edom are terrified. Trembling grips Moab’s mighty men. All of Canaan’s inhabitants will melt away. 16Terror and dread will fall on them. By the greatness of Your arm they become still as a stone, till Your people cross over, Adonai, till the people whom You purchased cross over. 17You bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, Adonai, that You have made for Yourself to dwell in— the Sanctuary, Adonai, which Your hands have prepared. 18Adonai will reign forever and ever! 19For Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, but Adonai brought the waters of the sea back over them. Yet Bnei-Yisrael walked in the midst of the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing, 21as Miriam sang to them: Sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!

Bitter Waters Made Sweet

22Then Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Reeds. They went out into the wilderness of Shur. But they travelled three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink from the waters because they were bitter. On account of this it was called Marah. 24So the people complained to Moses saying, “What are we going to drink?” 25So he cried out to Adonai, and Adonai showed him a tree. When he threw it into the waters, they were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them. 26He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. So they camped there by the waters.
–from Exodus 15

How long will you celebrate? How long will you remember? How long will you walk in the power? How long will you walk in the truth? How long will you walk with the hope? How long will you persevere? How long will you endure? How long….?

Do you realize our actions, our beliefs, our faith doesn’t change how great God is? Do you realize God is love! God is truth! So let’s put our hope and trust in Him and never forget what He has done for us! We can’t be good enough to meet the bar! Our only hope and choice is to accept and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior – He has paid it all!

No One Is Acceptable

1Then what is the advantage of being Jewish? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2Much in every way. First of all, they were entrusted with the sayings of God. 3So what if some did not trust? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4May it never be! Let God be true even if every man is a liar, as it is written, “that You may be righteous in Your words and prevail when You are judged.” 5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? God is not unrighteous to inflict wrath, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7But if by my lie the truth of God abounds to His glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8And why not say, “Let us do evil, so that good may come” — just as we are being slandered and as some claim that we say. Their condemnation is deserved! 9What then? Are we better than they? No, not at all. For we have already made the case that all—both Jewish and Greek people—are under sin. 10As it is written, “There is no one righteous—no, not one. 11There is no one who understands, no one who seeks after God. 12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless. There is no one who does good—no, not even one! 13Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they keep deceiving. The poison of vipers is under their lips. 14Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16Ruin and misery are in their paths, 17and the way of shalom they have not known. 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those within theTorah, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become accountable to God. 20For no human, on the basis of Torah observance, will be set right in His sight—for through the Torah comes awareness of sin.

How God Accepts Us

21But now God’s righteousness apart from the Torah has been revealed, to which the Torah and the Prophets bear witness—22namely, the righteousness of God through putting trust in MessiahYeshua, to all who keep on trusting. For there is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24They are set right as a gift of His grace, through the redemption that is in

Messiah Yeshua.

25God set forth Yeshua as an atonement, through faith in His blood, to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed. 26Through God’s forbearance, He demonstrates His righteousness at the present time—that He Himself is just and also the justifier of the one who puts his trust in Yeshua. 27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith. 28For we consider a person to be set right apart from Torah observance. 29Is God the God of the Jewish people only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.
–from Romans 3

So, will you trust Him? What’s it going to take for you to let go of your desire to control? What’s it going to take for you to give it up into God’s hands? What is it going to take for you to receive the grace given freely by God through Jesus? Will you have to hit rock bottom? Will you be able to choose before it is too late?

If you haven’t yet, what is stopping you from making today your day? If not now, then when? If now right here, then where? If not you, then who? Do you really want to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Why not partner with God? Do you really want to try and do it on your own? Why not partner with God? Jesus is knocking at the door to your heart! Will you open it and let Him move in? Live to Glorify God! Live to get the approval of God! It’s all about Him! Keep Jesus in the center for a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken! Walk in humility, serving others!

Seven Woes

1Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying, “The Torah scholars and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3So whatever they tell you, do and observe. But don’t do what they do; for what they say, they do not do. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5All their works they do to be noticed by men. They make their tefillin wide and their tzitziyot long. 6They love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called rabbi by men. 8“But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man on earth your father; for One is your Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13“But woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not enter yourselves, nor do you let those enter who are trying to go in. 15“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make one convert. And when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourself. 16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ 17O fools and blind ones! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19O blind ones! Which is greater, the offering or the altar that makes the offering holy? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. 24O blind guides, straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel! 25“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. 26O blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. 27“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, you appear righteous to men on the outside, but are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the tzaddikim. 30And you say, ‘If we’d been alive in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn’t have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers! 33O snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? 34“Because of this, behold, I’m sending you prophets and wise men and Torah scholars. Some of them you will kill and execute at the stake, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. 35And so, upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36Amen, I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

Holy Temple to Be Destroyed

37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘ Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
–from Matthew 23

Don’t wait too long! Don’t miss out on getting to spend eternity with God!

 

Imagine getting to see the first coming…


Imagine getting to be a part of the first time something happened. Imagine the excitement and the energy around it. Imagine the miracles and the touched lives. Imagine the full impact of witnessing it. Imagine missing out the reality and the truth of it all. Imagine missing out on the reason and the purpose. Imagine getting to know about rather than truly know. Imagine getting close, but not reaching out to touch and be touched. Imagine being a spectator rather than a participant. Imagine what could of, would of, and should of been.

Consider the fact that He is coming back again! Consider the preparedness and the opportunity to be ready for the next time! Consider the loss if we miss the second chance? Consider the outcome and challenges if we miss the second coming?

So let’s hold onto and grab onto what was and is and is to come! Let’s be ready and on watch for His return! Let’s be sharing the hope that is within us so that others can join in and not miss out! Let’s speak love, hope, and truth so that others may know of this Jesus of which we speak! Let’s be prepared!


Today’s reading…

(Mark 14.1, 2; Luke 22.1, 2; John 11.45-53)

1When Jesus had finished teaching all these things, he said to his disciples, 2“In two days, as you know, it will be the Passover Festival, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3Then the chief priests and the elders met together in the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, 4and made plans to arrest Jesus secretly and put him to death. 5“We must not do it during the festival,” they said, “or the people will riot.”

Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany

(Mark 14.3-9; John 12.1-8)

6Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a dreaded skin disease. 7While Jesus was eating, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar filled with an expensive perfume, which she poured on his head. 8The disciples saw this and became angry. “Why all this waste?” they asked. 9“This perfume could have been sold for a large amount and the money given to the poor!” 10Jesus knew what they were saying, and so he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? It is a fine and beautiful thing that she has done for me. 11You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me. 12What she did was to pour this perfume on my body to get me ready for burial. 13Now, I assure you that wherever this gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

(Mark 14.10, 11; Luke 22.3-6)

14Then one of the twelve disciples—the one named Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15and asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him. 16From then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.

Jesus Eats the Passover Meal with His Disciples

(Mark 14.12-21; Luke 22.7-13, 21-23; John 13.21-30)

17On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Where do you want us to get the Passover meal ready for you?” 18“Go to a certain man in the city,” he said to them, “and tell him: ‘The Teacher says, My hour has come; my disciples and I will celebrate the Passover at your house.’” 19The disciples did as Jesus had told them and prepared the Passover meal. 20When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat. 21During the meal Jesus said, “I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely, Lord, you don’t mean me?” 23Jesus answered, “One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will, but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!” 25Judas, the traitor, spoke up. “Surely, Teacher, you don’t mean me?” he asked.Jesus answered, “So you say.”

The Lord’s Supper

(Mark 14.22-26; Luke 22.14-20; 1 Corinthians 11.23-25)

26While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take and eat it,” he said; “this is my body.” 27Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. “Drink it, all of you,” he said; 28“this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” 30Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

(Mark 14.27-31; Luke 22.31-34; John 13.36-38)

31Then Jesus said to them, “This very night all of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says, ‘God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.” 33Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!” 34Jesus said to Peter, “I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.” 35Peter answered, “I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!”And all the other disciples said the same thing.

~from Matthew 26 (GNT)

God’s Anger and Mercy

19But one of you will say to me, “If this is so, how can God find fault with anyone? Who can resist God’s will?” 20But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21After all, the man who makes the pots has the right to use the clay as he wishes, and to make two pots from the same lump of clay, one for special occasions and the other for ordinary use. 22And the same is true of what God has done. He wanted to show his anger and to make his power known. But he was very patient in enduring those who were the objects of his anger, who were doomed to destruction. 23And he also wanted to reveal his abundant glory, which was poured out on us who are the objects of his mercy, those of us whom he has prepared to receive his glory. 24For we are the people he called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles. 25This is what he says in the book of Hosea:
“The people who were not mine I will call ‘My People.’ The nation that I did not love I will call ‘My Beloved.’

26And in the very place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called the children of the living God.”

27And Isaiah exclaims about Israel: “Even if the people of Israel are as many as the grains of sand by the sea, yet only a few of them will be saved; 28for the Lord will quickly settle his full account with the world.” 29It is as Isaiah had said before, “If the Lord Almighty had not left us some descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

Israel and the Gospel

30So we say that the Gentiles, who were not trying to put themselves right with God, were put right with him through faith; 31while God’s people, who were seeking a law that would put them right with God, did not find it. 32And why not? Because they did not depend on faith but on what they did. And so they stumbled over the “stumbling stone” 33that the scripture speaks of:
“Look, I place in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall. But whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.”

~from Romans 9 (GNT)

Confidence in God’s Protection

1I wait patiently for God to save me; I depend on him alone.
2He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.
3How much longer will all of you attack someone who is no stronger than a broken-down fence?
4You only want to bring him down from his place of honor; you take pleasure in lies. You speak words of blessing, but in your heart you curse him.
5I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.
6He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.
7My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter.
8Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.
9Human beings are all like a puff of breath; great and small alike are worthless. Put them on the scales, and they weigh nothing; they are lighter than a mere breath.
10Don’t put your trust in violence; don’t hope to gain anything by robbery; even if your riches increase, don’t depend on them.
11More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him
12and that his love is constant.
You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds.

~from Psalm 62 (GNT)

Don’t give up! Remember! Don’t forget! Tell of God’s great work in your life! Share how much He has done for you so that the next generation will know! Share what He has done through you so that others can know there is hope! Share how much He cares! It’s not too late yet!