Words how power! How will you use the ones that you get to speak?


The Story of Job. – Day 21

You find yourself in a situation, how will you respond? We can’t control the situations or things that will come our way but the one thing we can control is our response. You find yourself in a situation where someone is suffering or mourning or struggling, what words will you choose to use? You find yourself in a situation where you are being challenged, questioned, or attacked, what words will you choose to use? Will you be able to control your tongue in how you respond? Will you be able to choose to speak life and love and hope and truth? Will you choose words that will tear down and destroy and belittle and stir up anger? We are all faced with choices. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. We are all in situations where we need to use our words. How will you choose to use yours today?


Today’s reading comes from Job 16:

‘Then Job answered and said, “I have heard many such things; Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all. Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind? Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]? I also could speak like you, If you were in my place; I could compose and join words together against you And shake my head at you. [But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.

“If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved; And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me? But now God has exhausted me. You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household. You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me]; And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]. His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me. They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me. God hands me over to criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked. I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart, And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target. His arrows surround me. He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy; He pours out my gall on the ground. He attacks me, making wound after wound; He runs at me like a warrior. I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust. My face is red and swollen with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed], Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands, And my prayer is pure. “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard]. Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high. My friends are scoffers [who ridicule]; My eye pours out tears to God. Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me] Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend. For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return.’

Job 16:1-22

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

In today’s reading we see Job giving another rebuttal to his friends. We see how their words haven’t helped but have hurt Job even more not comforting or healing but hurting and destroying. Job was broken from what had happened to him and his family and yet in the midst of that his friends are of no hope and no help. His friends had come under the pretense of being comforters and even sat and mourned with him quietly for 7 days. Unfortunately after that time they turned on him and tormented him more than they tried to comfort him. We see how our words may start out with the right intention but if or when we turn to bitterness · spite · hate · hatred · resentment · malice · ill will · malevolence · malignancy · animosity · antipathy · enmity · hostility · acrimony · venom · poison · vindictiveness · balefulness · vengefulness · vitriol · virulence · perniciousness · meanness · nastiness · bitchiness · cattiness · maleficence and sarcasm the words start to hurt more than they help. Such words build up frustration in everyone. It becomes a matter of the heart. If the table had been turned we learn how Job wouldn’t have treated them the way they were treating him. We learn how he would have used words that would helped strengthen and comfort them. We can’t assume what the other people are going thru. We can’t assume that we understand what they are going thru because we think we went thru something similar since we don’t really know what they have been thru.

Ever noticed how people respond to things they are passionate about? Ever noticed how people can get angry about things they love? Today’s study puts it this way:

Verses 6-17: It is often the case that a person’s anger reflects his or her love. Believers who get angry with God reveal that they care about Him even though they do not fully understand Him.

(In verses 6-14), Job considered God an “enemy” (verse 9). Job was not alone in struggling this intensely with God. Jacob fought with the Angel of the Lord all night (Gen. 32:24-30); Peter argued with God (Acts 10:9-16). Anger with God can sometimes be a catalyst for spiritual growth. It can mean a person is outgrowing a less mature understanding of God.

Verses 6-9: These poignant thoughts from Job lamented his suffering as severe judgment from God, who had worn him out, withered his strength, and chewed him up by severe scrutiny (“sharpeneth his eyes upon me”).

Verses 12-14: Job refers to God as his “adversary”, who had broken, shaken, shot at, and cleaveth my reins.

Verses 15-20: He had no one to turn to in his sorrow, except God (verse 19), who was silent and had not vindicated him.

Verses 18-21: Job was not crying out for a mediator but for an advocate. He wanted a lawyer who would represent him before God. Here again is the gospel in Job, Jesus is the believer’s advocate at the throne of God (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).

Bible-Study.org Chapter 16

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

Let’s pray:

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

What is the quality of the feedback you are receiving?


The Story of Job. – Day 18

When you think about giving or receiving feedback, are there any methodologies or practices you consider in how you deliver it? Do you try the sandwich method where it has to start and end with a positive and then the real meat of the situation comes in the middle? Do you ensure that before you speak you use the T.H.I.N.K. principle: T – is it true? H – is it helpful? I – is it inspiring? N – is it necessary? K – is it kind? Whatever method or model that you use, do you ever consider how it will be/get received by the other person? When you receive feedback, are you observing what technique is being used on you? If they start with something positive are you getting ready for the bomb to be dropped on you when it gets to the inside of the sandwich? If they start with something positive are you waiting for the shoe to drop? Does it make a difference who is trying to give you the feedback? Does it matter if they are someone who has seemed invested and caring about you? Does it matter if they are someone who seemed to not really care or even want to talk before that point? When you receive feedback are you looking for all the queues being used from tone to body language to the actual words being spoken? How do you judge the feedback being provided? Are you able to discern through the Holy Spirit the actual meaning and intent? Are you able to give it up to God to know if it is something that you need to pick up or just leave it alone?

Words have power! We need to use our words wisely! Words have the power to create! Words have the power to tear down! Words have the power to build up! Words have the power to destroy! Words are a gift given by God that we need to be good stewards of! Words have the power to bless! Words have the power to curse! Words have the power to inspire! Words have the power to extinguish! Words have the power to acquit! Words have the power to condemn!


Consider these verses from the AMP translation of the Bible about the importance of how we use our words:

  • Hebrews 11:3 – By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
  • Proverbs 12:6 – The [malevolent] words of the wicked lie in wait for [innocent] blood [to slander], But the mouth of the upright will rescue and protect them.
  • Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.
  • Matthew 12:34–35 – You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man, from his [inner] good treasure, brings out good things; and the evil man, from his [inner] evil treasure, brings out evil things.
  • Matthew 12:36–37 – But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak. For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”
  • Colossians 3:16 – Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
  • Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].
  • Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of [a]human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind].
  • Ephesians 4:25 – Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].
  • Ephesians 4:28 – The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need.
  • Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].
  • Luke 4:22 – And [as He continued on] they all were speaking well of Him, and were in awe and were wondering about the words of grace which were coming from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
  • Romans 3:13 – “Their throat is an open grave; They [habitually] deceive with their tongues.” “The venom of asps is beneath their lips.”
  • Romans 3:14 – “Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
  • Romans 3:19 – Now we know that whatever the Law [of Moses] says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the excuses of] every mouth may be silenced [from protesting] and that all the world may be held accountable to God [and subject to His judgment].
  • Romans 10:9–10 – because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.
  • Romans 15:6 – so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

Today’s reading from the book of Job comes from chapter 13:

‘[Job continued:] “Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. What you know I also know; I am not inferior to you. “But I wish to speak to the Almighty, And I desire to argue with God. But you smear me with lies [you defame my character most untruthfully]; You are all worthless physicians and have no remedy to offer. Oh, that you would be completely silent, And that silence would be your wisdom! Please hear my argument And listen to the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak what is unjust for God, And speak what is deceitful for Him? Will you show partiality for Him [and be unjust to me so that you may gain favor with Him]? Will you contend and plead for God? Will it be well for you when He investigates you [and your tactics against me]? Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man? He will surely reprimand you If you secretly show partiality. Will not His majesty terrify you, And will not the dread of Him fall upon you? Your memorable sayings are [worthless, merely] proverbs of ashes; Your defenses are defenses of [crumbling] clay. “Be silent before me so that I may speak; And let happen to me what may. Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands [incurring the wrath of God]? Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. This also will be my salvation, For a godless man may not come before Him. Listen diligently to my speech, And let my declaration fill your ears. Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated. Who will argue and contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. “Only [O Lord,] do not do two things to me, And then I will not hide myself from Your face: Withdraw Your hand from me and remove this bodily suffering, And let not the dread of You terrify me. Then [Lord,] call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, and then reply to me. How many are my iniquities and sins [that so much sorrow should come to me]? Make me recognize and understand my transgression and my sin. Why do You hide Your face [as if offended] And consider me Your enemy? Will You cause a windblown leaf to tremble? Will You pursue the chaff of the dry stubble? For You write bitter things against me [in Your indictment] And make me inherit and suffer for the iniquities of my youth. You also put my feet in the stocks [as punishment] And [critically] observe all my paths; You set a circle and limit around the soles of my feet [which I must not overstep], While I waste away like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.’

Job 13

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

As today’s reading begins we see that Job’s patience for his friends is starting to fade, we start with hearing how all they had discussed about God’s power and wisdom were not beyond Job but were things that he knows and understands because of what he has already seen and experienced. We see how Job then confronts them that he is not inferior to them when it comes to the things of God and how he didn’t like their condescending and unsympathetic words and tone. Job wasn’t put back by the arguments and attacks by his friends in his time of pain and suffering but instead was even more motivated to have an audience with God. Job wants to understand and reason with God what has taken place. Job first speaks out against his friends, the people who were to be his counsel, his advisers, his helpers with the fact that they would have been more helpful and seemed wiser had they not spoken at all aligning to the words from Proverbs which read:

Even a [callous, arrogant] fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips he is regarded as sensible (prudent, discreet) and a man of understanding.

Proverbs 17:28

We see through today’s reading that even in the midst of his pain and his suffering, that Job hadn’t lost his ability to reason and have wisdom. He wants his friends to listen more than they speak in order that they would be able to attend to what he has to say on his own behalf and hear his cries and conviction to God. We see how Job believes that God will reprimand and condemn them for their judgement and motives. We see how he is questioning their true friendship based on how they were treating him during such a low point in his life. We hear how Job is putting his trust in God rather than his friends. We see how just like in a court trial, Job presents his case before he hands it over to God in prayer. We see how in verse 17 he declares it. We see how in verse 18 he brings his cause and his confidence in God for his justification. We see how in verse 19 he speaks to how if he gave up his hope and his faith in God then who would be his salvation? We see how his belief in his own innocence was attached to his faith and if he gave up on one it would be like giving up on the other.

Job was done his rant and reply to his friends and we see how starting in verse 20 that Job starts to express regret or disappointment, to lament and please with God. We hear Job’s cry to God to meet with him in order to end his pain and stop the terror of the experiences he was going through. Job was more concerned with his relationship with God than the pain and suffering and wanted to ensure that his relationship with God, the God he loved and worshiped would be restored.

Today, we have the benefit of the full Bible that includes the New Testament and the hope of Jesus. Without the hope of the saving Jesus and the resurrection, Job still speaks in alignment to what was yet to come when it comes to man dying and buried. We see this in our concluding verse and what is still yet to come. This ailment was eating away at Job’s body like a moth eating away at a piece of clothing.

‘While I waste away like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.’

Job 13:28

The New Testament speaks to us about the end of our time on earth with verses like:

13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. 16 For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the [a]archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom judgment [that is, the authority to act as judges] was given. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had refused to worship the beast or his image, and had not accepted his mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead [the non-believers] did not come to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 [a]Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) and holy is the person who takes part in the first resurrection; over these the second death [which is eternal separation from God, the lake of fire] has no power or authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with Him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

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

Let’s pray:

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

What will you believe?


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


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

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

2 Samuel 17

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

Jeremiah 45

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

Jeremiah 46

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

Luke 22:47-62

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

2 Timothy 1:1-7

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

Psalms 78

What are you doing? Don’t you remember?


Consider the words you are using. Why are you using such words? Don’t you remember what was told on how to use your words? Consider your actions. Why are you acting that way? Don’t you remember what was told on how to act? What is your motivation for such things? What is your purpose for such things? What is your reason for such things?

Do you remember the wisdom of Proverbs 18:21?

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

Do you remember the wisdom of James 3:5-6?

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

–James 3:5-6–

What about your actions, do you remember what Matthew 7:1-6 says?

1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

–Matthew 7:1-6–

Do you remember the wisdom of Colossians 3:17?

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father

–Colossians 3:17–

So consider what you are doing. Consider not only the what but the how and the why. Remember to promises and purposes of God. Don’t forget and stray. Draw closer to God and walk out the rest of your life with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, instruct you and comfort you.


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from:


We need to consider the history we receive and learn from in Judges. We need to take hold of the promises of Jesus through Isaiah. Take hold of the testimony about Jesus and John in Luke. Take hold of God’s grace shared through Paul in 1 Timothy 1. Let’s respond in accordance to the wisdom from Psalms 20.

Is your word good enough?


Do you need to make a vow or is your word good enough? Do you need to sign a contract or is your word good enough? What do you think of when it comes to integrity? What do you think of when it comes to commitment? What do you think of when it comes to truth? Is your word good enough that others can trust you? Is your word good enough that others can depend on you? Is your word good enough that your yes is yes and your no is no? How good is your word? Is your word good enough?

Do you realize that words have power? Do you realize that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path? Do you realize that God’s Word is true! Do you realize that God’s Word is our offensive weapon against the devil? It is like a sword!


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 30.

‘Then Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: A man who makes a vow to the Lord or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do. “If a young woman makes a vow to the Lord or a pledge under oath while she is still living at her father’s home, and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lord will forgive her because her father would not let her fulfill them. “Now suppose a young woman makes a vow or binds herself with an impulsive pledge and later marries. If her husband learns of her vow or pledge and does not object on the day he hears of it, her vows and pledges will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept her vow or impulsive pledge on the day he hears of it, he nullifies her commitments, and the Lord will forgive her. If, however, a woman is a widow or is divorced, she must fulfill all her vows and pledges. “But suppose a woman is married and living in her husband’s home when she makes a vow or binds herself with a pledge. If her husband hears of it and does not object to it, her vow or pledge will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept it on the day he hears of it, her vow or pledge will be nullified, and the Lord will forgive her. So her husband may either confirm or nullify any vows or pledges she makes to deny herself. But if he does not object on the day he hears of it, then he is agreeing to all her vows and pledges. If he waits more than a day and then tries to nullify a vow or pledge, he will be punished for her guilt.” These are the regulations the Lord gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and a young daughter who still lives at home.’

Numbers 30

Today’s reading continues into Hosea 8.

‘“Sound the alarm! The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord , for they have broken my covenant and revolted against my law. Now Israel pleads with me, ‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late. The people of Israel have rejected what is good, and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent, and princes without my approval. By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold, they have brought about their own destruction. “O Samaria, I reject this calf— this idol you have made. My fury burns against you. How long will you be incapable of innocence? This calf you worship, O Israel, was crafted by your own hands! It is not God! Therefore, it must be smashed to bits. “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind. The stalks of grain wither and produce nothing to eat. And even if there is any grain, foreigners will eat it. The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot. Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves— sold themselves to many lovers. But though they have sold themselves to many allies, I will now gather them together for judgment. Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king. “Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning! Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them. The people love to offer sacrifices to me, feasting on the meat, but I do not accept their sacrifices. I will hold my people accountable for their sins, and I will punish them. They will return to Egypt. Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities and will burn up their fortresses.”’

Hosea 8

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 10.

‘“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel. “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.’

Matthew 10:16-33

Today’s reading then takes us into Romans 8.

‘So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.’

Romans 8:1-11

Today is a new beginning with new responsibilities. Today is a new beginning with the need for vision. Today is a new beginning with the need to be not only a good steward but also a good shepherd. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to know how to proceed. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to be sensitive to His prompting and direction. To God there are no surprises and so today I stop to listen to what the Holy Spirit will tell me and walk it out in a way that I hope to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalm 119.

‘Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord . Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord ; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. Don’t let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.’

Psalms 119:1-24

The power of words…


Words have power! We need to choose our words wisely because they will have impact! How will you choose to use words when you need to use them today? They have the power to build up and to tear down! Will you use them to build people up? Will you use them to tear strongholds down? How will you fill up your heart? Will you invite Jesus in to help get things cleaned up? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks so we need to make sure we are filled up with good things in our hearts! Will you try to live a life where your words will glorify God? Why not make today be about speaking the Word of God to encourage one another? Do you realize the power of the words being used by the people around you? Do you ever find people apologizing for words they use in front of you? Do they do it for everyone or just you? Will you challenge and encourage one another in order to strengthen, encourage, and build up one another in love? Consider your words! Consider the impact they could have in the very situation you find yourself! Consider “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Do you realize that sometimes keeping quiet is the right answer? Do you realize that sometimes they are processing something and not really wanting you to solve it for them? Seek wisdom in every situation! Pray without ceasing getting wisdom from the Holy Spirit so that you will know not only what to say but also if you should just stay quiet. There are good and bad words! There are words that build up and words that destroy! There are words to lift up and words that strike down! So we need to be purposeful in the words that we use and choose to speak!


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. — Ephesians 4:29

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. — Proverbs 18:21

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, — Matthew 12:36

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. — Colossians 4:6

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, … — Ephesians 4:11-16

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. — 1 Corinthians 14:26

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. — Proverbs 12:18

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. — James 1:26

Therefore encourage one another with these words. — 1 Thessalonians 4:18

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. — Colossians 3:8

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. — Ephesians 5:4

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. … — 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. — Proverbs 25:11

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. — Proverbs 16:24

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. — Proverbs 10:19

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! — Psalm 141:3

Don’t go it alone! God gave us His Word so that we wouldn’t be without a manual for this life! Turn to God! Turn to His Word for wisdom! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! God’s Word is a love letter from our heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional speaks to words in the following three ways:

  • First, it is used in the sense of our words. The things we say can be good or bad (Proverbs 25:11–20).
  • Second, it is also used in the sense of the Word of God. This is supremely Jesus Christ (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2), but also refers to the Word of God in the Scriptures and in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 4:1–16).
  • Third, the Bible also uses the phrase ‘word of the Lord’ in the sense of prophecy (Jeremiah 42:7). God continues to speak to the church through prophetic messages (1 Timothy 4:14). Of course we need to distinguish the Old Testament prophets, whose ‘words’ were definitely ‘the word of the Lord’ and are now part of Scripture, from prophetic ‘words’ today, which need testing against Scripture.

–from Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017


Words, the Word of God and ‘words’

Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Use your words to good effect … Proverbs 25:11-20
  2. Devote yourself to the Word of God … 1 Timothy 4:1-16
  3. Listen carefully to the ‘words’ of the prophets … Jeremiah 40:7-42:22

Today’s reading comes from God’s Word…

Words are powerful…how will you yours?


Do you realize it is important to know when to speak and when to remain silent? Do you realize it is important to use your words wisely? Do you realize the power of your words? Do you realize that words spoken and unspoken have purpose? Did you speak to build up? Did you remain silent? What was the heart reason for speaking up or remaining quiet? Will you use your words to build up? Will you use your words to tear down? Will you use them to build up and heal people? Will you use them to tear down strongholds and attacks of the devil?

Let’s consider some Bible verses that speak to this topic…

Ephesians 4:29 — Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 — Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Romans 14:19 — So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Proverbs 18:21 — Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Matthew 12:36 — I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Hebrews 10:25 — Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Colossians 4:6 — Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Ephesians 4:11-16 — And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, …

1 Corinthians 14:26 — What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

1 Corinthians 10:23 — “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Luke 6:45 — The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Proverbs 12:18 — There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Psalm 19:14 — Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 5:13 — Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

James 1:26 — If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

Hebrews 10:24-25 — And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 3:13 — But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 — Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:8 — But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Ephesians 5:4 — Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Ephesians 4:1-32 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …

1 Corinthians 15:33 — Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 — Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. …

1 Corinthians 8:1 — Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

Romans 15:4 — For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:1-11 — We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, …

Acts 20:32 — And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

John 3:16-17 — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Matthew 7:1 — “Judge not, that you be not judged.

Matthew 5:44 — But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 4:3 — And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Zechariah 7:1-14 — In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the Lord, saying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? …

Isaiah 3:1-26 — For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. …

Proverbs 31:10 — An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Proverbs 27:17 — Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 25:11 — A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Proverbs 21:23 — Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 16:24 — Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 10:19 — When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Psalm 141:3 — Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Ever considered famous words spoken that turned situations around? Winston Churchill’s speech (and their finest hour speech)? Abraham Lincoln’s speech? Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech? Theodore Roosevelt’s speechJohn F. Kennedy’s speech? Ronald Reagan’s speech? William Wilberforce’s speech? and so many more…

Ever considered Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost?

Ever noticed how as far as we have come some messages still resonate and still seem applicable to the world we live in today?

Ever noticed the impact the words spoken had on the situation and in some cases the world? on the outcome of wars? on suffering? on human rights?

We need to find a way to control our tongue so that we don’t let it lash out and cause collateral damage to the people around us. We need to realize that our words do have power!

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

–from James 3


Your Words Are Powerful

Day 192: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 16:28-33, Proverbs 17:1-4, Acts 28:17-31, 2 Kings 21, 2 Kings 22

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/192

  1. Power to bring peace … Proverbs 16:28-17:4
  2. Power to convince and convert … Acts 28:17-31
  3. Power to change a nation … 2 Kings 21:1-22:20
    • Power of the written word
    • Power of the spoken word

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for Your Word and that it never returns void! Grant us wisdom today in how we will use our words in ways that will glorify and lift you up! Help us Lord that our words will be for Your glory! Help us Lord that our words will heal and build up and restore! Help us Lord to avoid speaking or writing words that will hurt others and turn them from you. Help our words be words that point people to You for the glory of Your kingdom in Jesus’ name. I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What are you investing in?


Are you investing in something that will last? Are you investing in something that is trustworthy? Are you investing in something that has a good return? Are your investments a sign of good stewardship? Are your investments into things that will last? Are you investments into the right areas?

Investments…what does that mean to you? Time? Money? Effort? People? Property? Stocks? Stuff?

where-will-you-invest-and-spend-effort-time-money

Are you investing in things that will last forever? An example of such an investment is to invest in people – eternal souls. Are you investing in things that will glorify God? An example of such an investment is to be salt and light to the world around you. Another example is to walk in love. Another example is to be sharing the fruits of the spirit. Are you investing in things that will make a difference? Are you building a legacy?

How are you investing your time, energy, and money? 


Today’s reading brings us into Isaiah again which triggered the above questions…ponder them as you read through today’s reading and see what God has to say to you…

No Profit in Casting Idols

1“But now listen, Jacob My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.” 2Thus says Adonai who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Do not fear, Jacob My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5This one will say, ‘I am Adonai’s.’ That one will be called by the name Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘Adonai’s’ and will take the name Israel.”

First and Last

6Thus says Adonai, Israel’s King and his Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am the first, and the last, and there is no God beside Me. 7Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and announce it! Let him arrange it in order for Me— as I established the ancient nation. Let them declare to them what is coming and future events. 8Do not dread or be afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? So you are My witnesses! Is there any God beside Me? Is there any other Rock? I know of none.

Folly of Idols

9Those who fashion idols are empty. Their precious things do not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol for no profit? 11Behold, all his friends will be ashamed, for the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble. Let them stand up. Let them dread. Let them be put to shame together. 12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. Yet when he is hungry, his strength fails. When he drinks no water, he gets tired. 13A carpenter stretches out a line; he marks it with a pencil; he shapes it with planes; he marks it with a compass; he shapes it like the figure of a man —like the beauty of a man— so that it may sit in a shrine. 14He chops down cedars for himself, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine and rain nourishes it. 15Then it is something for a man to burn. so he takes one of them and warms himself. He also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an idol and bows before it. 16He burns half of it in the fire. With this half, he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17Yet with the rest he makes a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships. He even prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” 18They do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. 19No one reflects in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire and I also baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate—and then I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I bow before a block of wood?” 20He is feeding on ashes. A deceived heart has led him astray, so he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Isn’t what is in my right hand a fraud?” 21Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I formed you, you are My servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! 22I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23Sing, O heavens, for Adonai has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it! For Adonai has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified through Israel. 24Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am Adonai, Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens alone, spreading the earth abroad by Myself, 25causing the omens of boasters to fail, making fools of diviners, turning wise men backward and making their knowledge foolish, 26while confirming the word of His servant, fulfilling the counsel of His messengers, saying of Jerusalem, “She will be lived in” and of the cities of Judah, “They will be built, and I will raise up their ruins,” 27while saying to the deep, “Be dry, I will dry up your rivers,” 28while saying of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall fulfill all My purpose” while saying to Jerusalem, “You will be built” and to the Temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

–from Isaiah 44

God knows your name! God knows your every thought! God sees each tear that falls! God hears you when you call! God created you on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So let’s be good stewards of all we have – time, money, effort. Let’s use it to glorify God and point others to Him! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who have yet to meet Jesus! Let’s allow the Spirit to work in and thru us for to glory of God! Let’s be strengthen by the Lord to do the work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s keep our eyes on God and the work He has for us to do today! How will we invest our time? Will it make a difference to the people around us? Will their lives be impacted because we are there?

Cyrus the Anointed

1Thus says Adonai to His anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him, to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates may not be shut. 2I will go before you and make crooked places straight. I will shatter bronze doors and cut through iron bars. 3I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I am Adonai, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by name, I have given you a title of honor, though you have not known Me. 5I am Adonai—there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me, 6so they may know, from the rising to the setting of the sun, that there is no one besides Me. I am Adonai—there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness. I make shalom and create calamity. I, Adonai, do all these things. 8“Rain down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down justice. Let the earth open up, let salvation sprout, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Adonai, have created it.” 9Oy , to one who quarrels with his Maker, like a pot among the pots of the earth! Shall the clay say to the potter, “What have you made?” Or does your work say, “It has no handles”? 10Oy , to him who says to his father, “What have you begotten?” Or to a woman, “What have you born?” 11Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, “Ask Me about the things to come upon My children. Then you will commit to Me the work of My hands. 12I made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and I commanded all their host. 13“I stirred Cyrus up in righteousness and I will level all his roads. He will build My city and set My exiles free, with no price or bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. 14Thus says Adonai: “Egypt’s toil, Ethiopia’s merchandise, and the tall Sabeans will come over to you and be yours. They will walk behind you in chains. They will bow down to you, and pray, saying, ‘Surely God is with you!’ There is none else— no other God!”

Mystery of Creation

15Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16All of them will be ashamed, disgraced— idol-makers go in dishonor together. 17Israel has been saved by Adonai with an everlasting salvation. You will not be put to shame or disgraced, for ever and ever. 18For thus says Adonai— He is God who fashioned the heavens, who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it desolate but formed it to be inhabited— “I am Adonai—there is no other!” 19“I have not spoken in secret, in a place of a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in desolation.’ I, Adonai, speak righteousness, declaring uprightly.”

No Other God and Savior

20“Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! Those who carry their wooden idols have no knowledge, praying to a god who cannot save. 21Declare and present your case, Indeed, let them consult together. Who foretold this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Is it not I, Adonai? There is no other God beside Me —a righteous God and a Savior— there is none besides Me! 22Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God—there is no other. 23By Myself I have sworn— the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and is irrevocable: that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. 24They will say of Me, ‘Only in Adonai is righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25In Adonai all the seed of Israel will be justified and give praise.”

–from Isaiah 45

Ask the Spirit to fill you up. Ask the Spirit to give you divine appointments today. Ask the Spirit to give you words of encouragement, words of instruction, words of direction so that you can invest into everyone God brings across your path today. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the surface. Ask the Spirit to give you ears to be sensitive to what is really going on so that you can hear it. Ask the Spirit to help you be bold and courageous to not only hear what is being said, but to be able to speak the words He gives you to speak as He did with Peter.

The Ruach Fills the Disciples

1When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out. 5Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans? 8How is it that we each hear our own birth language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome 11(both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!” 12And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?” 13Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”

Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd

14But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day! 16But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes. 21And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’ 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed. 24But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it. 25For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope, 27because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay. 32“This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses! 33Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36“Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”

Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.” 40With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” 41So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins

42They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. 43Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries. 44And all who believed were together, having everything in common. 45They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. 46Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.

–from Acts 2

Have you already received Jesus? Have you already asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned back to God? Have you already been baptized in the name of Jesus?

What’s holding you back? It’s worth the investment!

Let’s be looking for the opportunity because God’s Word doesn’t return void and to this very day there are people being saved! How will you be investing into the lives who have received Him? How will you be investing into the lives who are yet to receive Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time…what will you do?


Are you in the right state of mind? Are you focused on the right things? Are you doing the right things? Are you focused? Are you serving? Are you leading? Are you following? Do you know what time it is? Do you know what is coming? Do you know what is required? Where will you go? Where will you turn? What will you do?


Nothing is hidden from God! You can’t trick Him! You can’t fool Him! Nothing is unknown to Him! So what does He see? How have you been living? What is it saying about you? What is your life song singing about you? What will God say to you? Do you need to change? Do you know what you need to change? What will it take for you to align with God’s will? What will it take for you to walk in obedience to Him and His Word and His will? Will you do something about it? Do you just want to deal with the consequences?

Curse on House of Jeroboam

1At that time, Abijah, Jeroboam’s son fell sick. 2Jeroboam said to his wife, “Please go disguise yourself, so they won’t recognize you as Jeroboam’s wife, and go to Shiloh. Look, the prophet Ahijah who told me that I would be king over these people is there. 3Take with you ten loaves, biscuits and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” 4Jeroboam’s wife did so. She got up and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see for his eyes were dim because of his age. 5Adonai had said to Ahijah, “Look! Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is sick. You are to say such and such to her, for she will be in disguise.” 6As soon as Ahijah heard the sound of her feet as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this disguise? But I have been sent to you with a difficult message. 7Go tell Jeroboam, thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘I raised you up from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel. 8I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it you. Yet you have not been like My servant David who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, doing only what was right in My eyes. 9Instead you have done more evil than all who were before you, and have gone and made yourself other gods—molten images to vex Me—and have cast Me behind your back. 10Therefore, I am about to bring evil on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off to Jeroboam even one man, bond and free, in Israel. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns the dung until it is all gone. 11Anyone who belongs to Jeroboam and dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and anyone who dies in the field, the birds of the sky will eat. For Adonai has spoken it. 12“As for you, arise and go to your house. As soon as you set foot in the town, the boy will die. 13All Israel will lament over him and bury him, for it is only him of Jeroboam’s house who will be buried, because in him alone, of all Jeroboam’s house, something good was found toward Adonai, the God of Israel. 14“Moreover Adonai will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam that day. So now, what else? 15Adonai will strike Israel until it sways like a reed in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their Asherah poles, provoking Adonai. 16So He will give up Israel because of the sins of Jeroboam which he committed, and caused Israel to commit.” 17Then Jeroboam’s wife got up, left and went to Tirzah. As soon as she stepped over the threshold of the house, the child died. 18They buried him and all Israel lamented over him, just as was the word of Adonai that He spoke through His servant Ahijah the prophet. 19As for the rest of the deeds of Jeroboam, how he made war and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20The days that Jeroboam reigned were 22 years and then he slept with his fathers. His son Nadab reigned in his place.

Idolatry and Consequences

21Meanwhile Rehoboam son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became king, and he reigned 17 years in Jerusalem—the city where Adonai had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put His Name. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22Judah did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. They provoked Him to jealousy with more than all that their forefathers had done with the sins that they committed. 23They also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every leafy tree; 24and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did the same abominations as those of the nations that Adonai had driven out before the children of Israel. 25Now it came to pass in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt marched against Jerusalem. 26He took away the treasures of the House of Adonai and the treasures of the royal palace. He took away everything—even taking all the golden shields that Solomon had made. 27So King Rehoboam made in their place bronze shields and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, watching over the doorway of the royal palace. 28Whenever the king went to the House of Adonai, the guard would carry them and bring them back into the guardroom. 29Now the rest of the deeds of Rehoboam and all that he did—are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31Then Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. Then his son Abijam became king in his place.

–from 1 Kings 14

Have you walked away from God? Have you turned your back on Him? What do you think will happen? What did you expect to happen? What will it take for you to turn back? What will it take for you to return to God? How bad does it have to get? How low do you have to sync? We all have to make the choice for ourselves! Take a look around, it’s a hurting world and it needs to the reality, the truth, and the hope of God! Take a look around, it’s hurting people who are hurting people! We need to turn back, we need to fill up, we need to step up, we need to share and care, we need to help others see the truth and reality of who God is in and through us! We need to speak life and hope and truth! We need to help them realize they get to choose whom they will serve and whom they are serving and how God is worth serving so much more!

Shishak Attacks Jerusalem

1Now it came to pass, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and he had become strong, that he and all Israel with him forsook the Torah of Adonai. 2It so happened that in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak of Egypt marched against Jerusalem—because they had been unfaithful to Adonai— 3with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and innumerable troops that came with him from Egypt: Lybians, Sukkites and Cushites. 4He captured the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. 5Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the officers of Judah who had gathered in Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says Adonai: ‘You have abandoned Me— so I also have abandoned you into the hand of Shishak.’” 6Then the officers of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “Adonai is just.” 7But when Adonai saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Adonai came to Shemaiah saying: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but grant them some measure of deliverance, and My wrath will not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 8However, they will become subjects to him so that they may learn the difference between serving Me and serving the kings of the earth.” 9So Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and took away the treasures of the House of Adonai and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took away everything; he even took away the golden shields that Solomon had made. 10So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace them and entrusted them to the hands of the captains of the royal guard that guarded the entrance to the royal palace. 11Whenever the king entered into the House of Adonai, the guards would carry them and then bring them back into the guard chamber. 12Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the anger of Adonai turned from him and He did not destroy him completely. Indeed there were good things in Judah. 13So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned as king. Rehoboam was 41 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 17 years in Jerusalem—the city that Adonai had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put His Name there. His mother’s name was Naamah, the Ammonite. 14But he did evil because he had not set his heart to seek Adonai. 15Now the acts of Rehoboam, from beginning to end, are they not written in the chronicles of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer for genealogies? There were continuous wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 16Then Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. Then his son Abijah became king in his plac

–from 2 Chronicles 12

So who are you following? Who is leading you? Who is guiding you? Who is instructing you? Who is correcting you? Who is your source of hope?

Abijah’s Bold Speech

1In the 18th year of King Jeroboam, Abijah began to reign over Judah. 2He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3Abijah went into battle with an army of valiant warriors, 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam arranged for battle against him 800,000 chosen men, mighty warriors. 4Abijah stood on top of Mount Zemaraim, which is a hill of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me Jeroboam and all Israel! 5Don’t you know that Adonai, God of Israel, has given kingship over Israel to David forever—to him and his sons by a covenant of salt? 6Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master. 7Riffraff and scoundrels gathered around him and pressed hard on Rehoboam son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted and could not stand up to them. 8“So now, do you intend to oppose the kingdom of Adonai, which is in the hand of David’s descendants? Are you indeed a great multitude—and with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made for you as gods? 9Have you not banished the kohanim of Adonai, the sons of Aaron, as well as the Levites, and then appointed your own priests—just as the peoples of the lands do? Can whoever comes to consecrate himself with a bull from a young cow and seven rams become a priest—for gods of nothing? 10“But as for us, Adonai is our God! And we have not forsaken Him. We have the sons of Aaron ministering as kohanim to Adonai and the Levites in their work. 11Every morning and evening they burn to Adonai burnt offerings and sweet incense. They set the rows of bread on the pure table and they light the golden menorah with its lamps burning every evening—for we keep the service of Adonai Eloheinu—but you have forsaken Him. 12So look, God is with us at our head, and His kohanim with the signal trumpets to sound an alarm against you. O men of Israel, do not fight against Adonai, the God of your fathers—for you will not succeed!” 13But Jeroboam had commanded the ambush to go around and come from the rear. So while they were in front of Judah, the ambush was behind them. 14When Judah turned around, behold, the battle was before and behind them. They cried out to Adonai and the kohanim blew the trumpets. 15Then the men of Judah raised a battle cry, and as the men of Judah shouted, God struck down Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16Then men of Israel fled before Judah and God delivered them into their hand. 17So Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, and 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18Thus men of Israel were subdued at that time, while the children of Judah prevailed—because they relied upon Adonai, the God of their fathers. 19Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured towns from him: Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages, and Ephron with its villages. 20Jeroboam could not muster strength again in the days of Abijah. Finally Adonai struck him and he died. 21But Abijah grew powerful and took to himself 14 wives and fathered 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the chronicles of the prophet Iddo. 23Then Abijah slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. During his days the land was untroubled for ten years.

–from 2 Chronicles 13

So does knowing help you choose? If you read the end of the book first will that help you to get through the rest of it? If you know how it ends will that help you in deciding how to live out your life?

The Heavenly Throne of Adonai

1After these things I looked, and behold, a door was standing open in heaven. And the first voice, which I had heard speaking with me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2Immediately I was in the Ruach; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One seated on the throne. 3And the One who was seated was like jasper and carnelian in appearance, and a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders dressed in white clothes with golden crowns on their heads. 5And out from the throne come flashes of lightning and rumblings and clashes of thunder—and seven torches of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. 6And before the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. In the middle of the throne and around it were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like an ox, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes all around and within. They do not rest day or night, chanting, “Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, asher haya v’hoveh v’yavo! Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts, who was and who is and who is to come!” 9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the One seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before the One seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. And they throw their crowns down before the throne, chanting, 11“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, For You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created!”

–from The Revelation 4

Do you realize who is worthy? Do you realize who is on the throne? Will you choose before it is too late?

A Scroll with Seven Seals

1And I saw in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne a scroll, written on both the front and the back, sealed with seven seals. 2I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” 3No one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5Then one of the elders tells me, “Stop weeping! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed—He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Worshiping the Lamb

6And in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as having been slain—having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated on the throne. 8When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense—which are the prayers of the kedoshim. 9And they are singing a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals. For You were slain, and by Your blood You redeemed for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10You have made them for our God a kingdom and kohanim, and they shall reign upon the earth.” 11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders—their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. 12They were chanting with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea and everything in them, responding, “To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever!” 14And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

–from The Revelation 5

 

It’s not all about you! It’s not all about stuff! It’s not about having to, it’s about getting to!


It’s not all about feelings, because feelings can be wrong. It’s not all about emotions, because emotions can be wrong. What are you using as your reference point for a source of truth and direction? Does your reference point stand firm and unmoving? Does your reference point shift and move? Have you picked up the Word of God? Are you hearing the direction of loving God and loving people? Are you hearing the calling to a higher standard? Have you invited to be the center and invited Him into your heart? Are you letting your light shine so that others will see it and glorify your Father in heaven? Are you willing to yield authority to God? You do realize that every good and perfect gift comes for your Father in heaven right (aka God)? Where are your morals? What is the makeup of the moral fabric? Are you able to distinguish between right and wrong? What about scientific stuff? What about technology? When God gave dominion over all the earth to man, the expectation was that man would have the fixed reference point of God and that we would yield to His will! God wants a relationship with each of us! Will you have a relationship with Him today? Have you already started on? Will you get started today? Will you start to look to the bible as your reference point? God is the unmovable reference point you need for life – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!


Today’s reading continues in Ecclesiastes…

Futility of Human Pleasures

1I said within myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to see what is good.” Yet behold, this too was meaningless. 2I said of laughter, “It is madness!” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3I thought deeply about how to cheer my flesh with wine—letting my heart guide me with wisdom—and how to grasp folly, so that I could see what was worthwhile for the sons of men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. 4I increased my possessions. I built myself houses and I planted myself vineyards. 5I made royal gardens and parks for myself, and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I constructed for myself pools of water to irrigate a forest of flourishing trees. 7I purchased male and female servants and had other servants who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than all my predecessors in Jerusalem. 8I also amassed silver and gold for myself, as well as the treasure of kings and the provinces. I acquired male and female singers for myself, as well as the luxuries of humankind—vaults and vaults of them. 9So I became far wealthier than all before me in Jerusalem, yet my wisdom stayed with me. 10I denied myself nothing that my eyes desired; I withheld from my heart no enjoyment. My heart took delight from all my toil— this was my reward for all my labor. 11Yet when I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended to accomplish it, behold, it all was futile and chasing after the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Futility of Human Wisdom

12Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly. For what more can the one who succeeds the king do than what he has already done? 13I realized that: Wisdom is more beneficial than folly as light is better than darkness. 14A wise man has his eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness. Yet, I also came to realize that the same destiny befalls them both. 15Then said I in my heart: “I, even I, will have the same destiny as a fool. So why have I become so wise?” I said in my heart, “This too is meaningless.” 16For the wise man, together with the fool, is not remembered forever. For in the days to come both will be forgotten. Alas, the wise, just like the fool, must die! 17And so I hated life, because the work done under the sun was grievous to me. All is but vapor and chasing after the wind. 18I also hated all the fruit of my toil for which I had labored under the sun, because I must leave it to the one who comes after me. 19Who knows if he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master over all the fruit of my toil for which I had wisely labored under the sun. This too is futile. 20So I turned my heart over to despair over all the things for which I had toiled under the sun. 21For sometimes a man, who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, must hand over as an inheritance to someone who did not work for it. This also is futile and a great misfortune. 22For what does a man get for all his toil and longing of his heart for which he labors under the sun? 23For all his days, his work is pain and grief. Even at night his mind does not rest. This also is futility. 24There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their labor. This too, I perceived, is from the hand of God. 25For who can eat and who can have joy, apart from Him? 26For to the one who pleases Him, He gives wisdom, knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating wealth to give it to one who pleases God. This also is only vapor and striving after the wind.

–from Ecclesiastes 2

Do you realize the season you are in? Do you realize the timing?

A Time For Everything

1For everything there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven: 2a time to give birth and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted; 3a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up; 4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to discard; 7a time to tear apart and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak; 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9What gain, then, does the laborer get with his toil? 10I have seen the task that God has given to the children of men to keep them occupied.

Yet Eternity In Their Heart

11He has made everything beautiful in its time. Moreover, He has set eternity in their heart—yet without the possibility that humankind can ever discover the work that God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy themselves in their lifetime. 13Also when anyone eats and drinks, and finds satisfaction in all of his labor, it is the gift of God. 14I know that everything that God does will endure forever. There is no adding to it or taking from it. God has made it so, that they will revere Him. 15Whatever exists, has already been and whatever will be, has already been, but God recalls what has passed. 16I have also seen under the sun: In the place of justice there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness there was wickedness. 17I said in my heart: “The righteous and the wicked, God will judge. For there is a time for every activity and for every deed.”

Humans Same As Beasts?

18I also said in my heart, “As for the sons of man, God tests them so that they may see that they are but animals.” 19For the destiny of humankind and the destiny of animals are one and the same. As one dies, so dies the other. Both have the same breath—a human has no advantage over an animal—both are fleeting. 20Both go to one place. Both were taken from the dust, and both return to the dust. 21Who knows that the spirit of the sons of man ascends upward and the animal’s spirit descends into the earth? 22So I perceived that nothing is better than for man to enjoy his works, because that is his portion. For who can bring him back to see what will be in the future?

–from Ecclesiastes 3

We need to give it all up to God! The good and the tough times! We need to realize that if God isn’t in it, we are working in vain! We need to realize that since everything is God’s we need to be good stewards of what He has given us and need His help to get it done! Without having God in the plans, the plans are futile! Trying to do it alone was never part of God’s plan which is why we learn about one another as well as having a relationship with Jesus! So let’s be good stewards! Let’s be good examples in our words and our actions so that others will see us and glorify God! It’s not all about us! It’s not about having to do it, it’s about the opportunity that we get to do it!

Futility of Human Labor

1Again I looked and saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and behold, I saw the tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter. Power is in the hand of their oppressors, but they had no comforter. 2So I considered the dead, who are already dead, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive. 3Yet better than both is one who has not yet been, who has never seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4Then I saw that all toil and all skill that is done come from man’s envy of his neighbor; this too is fleeting and striving after the wind. 5The fool folds his hands together and eats his own flesh. 6Better is a handful with tranquility than two handfuls of toil and striving after the wind. 7Again I saw something futile under the sun: 8There is one who has no one else, neither son nor brother, yet there is no end to all his toil. His eyes are not content with riches. “So, for whom am I toiling, and depriving myself of prosperity?” This too is meaningless— a grievous task!

Two Are Better Than One

9Two are better than one, because they get a good return for their effort. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his companion. But oy to the one who falls and has no one to lift him up! 11Furthermore, if two lie together, then they will be warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12Though a man might overpower one, two can stand against him. Moreover a threefold cord cannot be quickly broken. 13Better is a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. 14For he came out of prison to become king—though he was born poor in his kingdom. 15I considered all the living that walk under the sun as well as the next youth who stands in his place. 16There is no end to all the people—to all who were before him. Also those who will come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this too is meaningless and striving after the wind.

Watch Your Words Before God

17Watch your feet when you go to the House of God. Draw near to listen, rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing wrong.

–from Ecclesiastes 4

Let’s learn God’s Word so that we can be living it in front of the world we live in! Let’s learn God’s Word so that our words and our actions are speaking in spirit and in truth! Let’s learn God’s Word so that we always have the one offensive weapon ready if the devil shows up in a situation! Let’s learn God’s Word so that by having the full armor of God on we will be able to stand firm and withstand the attacks not only on us but those around us who God has brought into our lives and we can be peacemakers, encouragers, hope makers, love builders in Jesus’ name! We’ve been given the opportunity, the privilege and the honor to get to go out as ambassadors, so let’s live up to the calling God has put into and onto our lives!

1Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one born of Him.

Love God—Live God’s Word

2We know that we love God’s children by this—when we love God and obey His commandments. 3For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?

Believe God’s Own Testimony of Yeshua

6Messiah Yeshua is the One who came by water and blood—not by water only, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the One who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify— 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are one. 9If we accept men’s testimony, God’s testimony is greater—for this it is the testimony that God has given about His Son. 10The one who trusts in Ben-Elohim has the testimony in himself; the one who does not trust in God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given about His Son. 11And the testimony is this—that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12The one who has the Son has life; the one who does not have Ben-Elohim does not have life.

Walk Now in Eternal Privileges

13I wrote these things to you who believe in the name of Ben-Elohim, so you may know that you have eternal life. 14Now this is the confidence we have before Him—that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have the requests we have asked from Him. 16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask, and God will give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death—I am not saying you should ask about that. 17All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not leading to death. 18We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; rather, the One born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And we know that Ben-Elohim has come and given us insight, so that we may know Him who is true—and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Yeshua the Messiah. This One is the true God and eternal life. 21Children, guard yourselves from idols.

–from 1 John 5

Are you helping those closest to you? Your family? Your friends? Your inner circle?

Do they get it? Do they know what to expect? Do they know how to respond? Do they realize that they get to too?

Back to Teaching His Own

1Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom they come! 2It would be better for him to have a millstone put around his neck and to be hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3“Keep yourselves alert! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and seven times returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” 5Then the emissaries said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6Then the Lord said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7But if you have a slave who is plowing or tending sheep, who among you will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come right in, and recline at table’? 8But won’t he instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat! Dress yourself and wait on me while I eat and drink; and afterward, you may eat and drink’? 9He doesn’t thank the slave because he did what he was commanded, does he? 10So you too, when you’ve done everything you are commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves. We have done only what we were supposed to do.’”

On the Move through Samaria

11Now while going up to Jerusalem, Yeshua was passing between Samaria and the Galilee. 12As He entered a certain village, ten men with tza’arat came toward Him. They stood some distance away 13and raised their voices, saying, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the kohanim.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 16And he fell at Yeshua’s feet, facedown, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Yeshua answered and said, “Weren’t ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18Weren’t any found who came back to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19Then Yeshua said to the man, “Stand up and go! Your faith has made you well.” 20Now when Yeshua was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be seen. 21Nor will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘There!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 22Then Yeshua said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go and chase after them. 24For just as the lightning flashes from one part of the sky and lights up another part, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25But first He must suffer much and be rejected by this generation. 26As it was in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. 27They were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28“It was just the same in the days of Lot. They were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29But on the day Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30Things will be the same on the day when the Son of Man is made fully known. 31In that day, the one who is on the roof, and his possessions in the house, must not go down to take them away. In the same way, the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding at the same place. One will be taken and the other left.” 36 37“Where, Lord?” they replied. And He said to them, “Where there is a corpse, there also will the vultures be gathered.”

–from Luke 17

 

Do you believe in good and evil?


Do you believe in right and wrong? Do you believe in true and false? Do you believe in righteousness and wickedness? Do you believe in virtuous and dishonoring? Do you believe in diligence and slothfulness? Do you believe and wisdom and foolishness? Do you believe in up and down? Do you believe in North and South? Do you believe in good and evil?

If you don’t, why not? Don’t you realize the battle that is taking place all around you? The battle taking place in the seen and the unseen?

Let’s jump back into the book of wisdom – Proverbs – and see what today’s reading has in store…

The Righteous and the Wicked

1Whoever loves knowledge loves correction, but whoever hates reproof is stupid. 2A good man obtains favor from Adonai, but He condemns a person with evil schemes. 3No one is made secure by wickedness, but a righteous root will not be moved. 4A virtuous wife is her husband’s crown, but a dishonoring one is like rottenness in his bones. 5The plans of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the household of the righteous will stand. 8A man is praised according to his insight, but one with a twisted mind is despised. 9Better to have little honor and a servant than to have glory and no bread.

Caring for Animals and Land

10A righteous person cares for the life of his animal, yet even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 11The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases daydreams lacks sense. 12The wicked covets the loot of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Fruit of Mouth

13An evil one is ensnared by the sin of lips, but the righteous one escapes trouble. 14By the fruit of his mouth a man will be satisfied with good. The work of a man’s hands will reward him. 15A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but the wise listen to advice. 16A fool shows his irritation immediately, but a prudent person overlooks an insult. 17A trustworthy witness tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18Reckless speech is like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue for only a moment. 20Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. 21No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery. 22Lying lips are detestable to Adonai, but those who act faithfully are His delight. 23A clever person conceals his knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.

Diligence or Sloth

24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will become forced labor. 25An anxious heart weighs one down, but a good word cheers him up. 26The righteous gives his friend guidance, but the way of the wicked leads astray. 27A lazy person does not roast his game, but a diligent person prizes his possessions. 28In the path of righteousness is life— it is a path to immortality.

–from Proverbs 12

Do you realize the power of words? Do you manage what comes out of your mouth? Do you control what you say? Do you realize the impact of what comes out of your mouth? Do you realize what is going on inside of you? From the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks! So take inventory and make sure you aren’t carrying around stuff you shouldn’t and that God never intended for you to! Use your words to build up others and to tear down strongholds! Your words have the power of life and death so make sure you realize what you are able to say before you left it fly past your lips!

Guard the Way of Integrity

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good things, but the treacherous crave violence.
3He who watches his mouth protects his life, but whoever opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.
5A righteous person hates lying, but the wicked acts in shameful disgrace.
6Righteousness guards one who walks in integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor person hears no threat.
9The light of the righteous shines brightly. The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10Arrogance yields nothing but strife. Wisdom belongs to those who take advice.
11Wealth gained by fraud dwindles, but he who gathers by labor increases it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises instruction will pay a penalty, but whoever respects a mitzvah will be rewarded.
14Wise instruction is a fountain of life, turning one away from snares of death.
15Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Everyone shrewd acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.

The Wise and the Foolish

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18He who spurns discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever accepts correction will be honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning away from evil.
20He who walks with wise men is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23The fallow field of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away by injustice.
24He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent with discipline.
25The righteous eats to his heart’s content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

–from Proverbs 13

Do you sing? Do you dance? Do you party? Do you do any of that for God? Do you do any of that to God? Do you do any of that for yourself? So why not praise God with those gifts and talents!

Praise with Singing and Dancing

1Halleluyah! Sing to Adonai a new song, His praise in the assembly of the kedoshim.
2Let Israel rejoice in its Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in their King.
3Let them praise His Name with dancing. Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.
4For Adonai takes pleasure in His people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
5Let the kedoshim exult in glory. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6Let God’s high praises be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand—
7to execute vengeance upon the nations and rebukes on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9to carry out the sentence decreed— this is the glory of all His kedoshim. Halleluyah!

–from Psalms 149

Do you have treasure? Real treasure that will last? Will it last forever? Even after you leave this earth? Why not store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We are in a season! We need to be ready for each day and each season that is yet to come! So let’s be patient! Jesus is coming back! He won’t rush it because His will is that nobody would perish but that everyone would repent and turn back to God! He is coming back! Are you sharing His love and His hope with the world? How about the world around you? How about your friends and family and neighbors? Are you praying for those in need? for the sick?

Rotten Riches

1Come now, you rich, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.
3Your gold and your silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the workers who mowed your fields—which you kept back by fraud—are crying out against you. And the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts for a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous person—he does not resist you.

Be Patient for His Coming

7So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it until it receives the early and late rain.
8You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts because the coming of the Lord is near.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the doors.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the outcome of Adonai—that Adonai is full of compassion and mercy.
12But above all, my dear brothers and sisters, do not swear—either by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath. But let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no,” be “no”—so that you may not fall under judgment.

Praying for the Sick

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
18He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back,
20let him know that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

–from James 5

We aren’t to only pray in the midst of an emergency, although we should! We are to pray without ceasing since we are to be in relationship with God and hence talking with Him all throughout the day! He can speak to us even before something happens and help us get or be prepared! He can even make sure we avoid stuff we are supposed to be avoiding!

Jesus gave it all! Jesus died, was buried in a tomb, and on the 3rd day was resurrected from the dead and defeated death! He is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide so that we are never alone! Have you invited Jesus into your heart yet? Have you started this life changing process of asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Are you ready for a change? Are you ready for something different? What’s it going to take?

Praying Along the Way

1Now Yeshua was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2Then Yeshua said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, sanctified be Your Name, Your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
5Then Yeshua said to them, “Which of you has a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6because a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.’
7Then from within he may answer, saying, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even if the friend will not get up and give him anything out of friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9“So I say to you, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’
11What father, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12And if he asks for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach ha-Kodesh to those who ask Him!”

Crowds Demand a Sign from Heaven

14Now Yeshua was driving out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute one spoke and the crowds were amazed.
15But some among them said, “By beelzebul, the ruler of demons, He drives out demons.”
16Others, testing Him, were demanding from Him a sign from heaven.
17But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a house against a house falls.
18Now if satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say by beelzebul I drive out the demons.
19But if by beelzebul I drive out demons, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason, they will be your judges.
20But if by the finger of God I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21“When a strong one, fully-armed, protects his own estate, his possessions are safe.
22But as soon as someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, then he takes away the armor that he had trusted in and divides up his plunder.
23He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places looking for rest. Not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house where I came from.’
25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and settle there. And that man’s last condition becomes worse than the first.”
27Then as Yeshua was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd, raising her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that carried You and the breasts that nursed You!”
28But He said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
29With the crowds increasing, Yeshua began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation. It demands a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31The Queen of the South will rise up at the Judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation. And indeed, one greater than Jonah is here.
33“No one lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand so that those entering may see the light.
34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is sick, your body is full of darkness.
35Therefore, watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36If then your body is full of light, with no part of it dark, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its gleam.”

Dinner with a Pharisee

37As He spoke, a Pharisee asked Yeshua to eat with him, so He entered and sat down.
38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Yeshua did not do the ritual handwashing before the meal.
39But the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40Fools! Didn’t He who created the outside also create the inside?
41But give as tzadakah those things that are within, and indeed everything is pure to you.
42“But woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint, rue, and every garden herb, yet bypass justice and the love of God. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.
43Woe to you Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces.
44Woe to you, for you are like unmarked tombs, and people walk over them without knowing.”
45But answering, one of the Torah lawyers says to Him, “Teacher, when You say these things, You insult us too.”
46Then Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah lawyers as well, for you weigh the people down with burdens hard to carry, yet you yourselves will not touch the burdens with even a finger.
47“Woe to you, for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your own fathers killed!
48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, for indeed they killed them and you are building their tombs.
49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they will kill and persecute,
50so that the blood of the prophets shed since the foundation of the world might be required from this generation—
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the one who perished between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.’
52“Woe to you, Torah lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter, and you stood in the way of those entering.”
53When Yeshua left there, the Torah scholars and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to interrogate Him on many issues,
54plotting against Him to catch Him in His words.

–from Luke 11

 

What is the treasure you seek?


Is it a treasure you can bring with you everywhere you go? Is it a treasure that will last forever? Is it a treasure you can store somewhere safe where thieves can steal and rust cannot destroy? Is it a treasure that will make a difference every day? Is it a treasure that will help you every day of your life? Is it a treasure that will make your life better? Is it a treasure that will help you improve your life and the lives of those around you? Is it a treasure that will never run out? Is it a treasure that will refill?

Have you found it? Are you treasuring it?

Today’s reading starts with Proverbs 7…

Treasure Torah’s Teaching

1My son, keep my words and treasure my mitzvot within you. 2Keep my mitzvot and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your relative. 5They will keep you from a seducing woman, from the foreign woman with her seductive speech. 6For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice. 7I saw among the naïve, I noticed among the youth, a young man lacking understanding, 8crossing the street near her corner, walking in the direction of her house, 9in the twilight of the evening, in the darkest hours of the night. 10All of a sudden, a woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute and with a cunning heart. 11She is loud and defiant. Her feet never stay at home— 12now in the streets, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks. 13So she grabs him and kisses him and with a brazen face says to him: 14“I had to sacrifice fellowship offerings; today I paid my vow. 15So I’ve come out to meet you, to seek your presence eagerly— and I found you! 16I have spread my couch with tapestry of dyed Egyptian linens. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let’s drink our fill of love till morning! Let’s delight ourselves with love. 19For my husband is not at home— he’s gone on a long journey. 20He took a bag of money with him— he won’t come home until full moon.” 21With her persistent pleading she entices him, with smooth talk she seduces him. 22Suddenly he follows her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a stag bounding toward a trap, 23till an arrow pierces its liver. Like a bird darting into a snare, he never considered his own soul! 24Now then, sons, listen to me, pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray onto her paths. 26For many are the victims she has brought down, and numerous are all her slain. 27Her house is a highway to Sheol, leading down to the chambers of death.

–from Proverbs 7

Seek wisdom! Ask Jesus into your heart! Allow your faith to build! Store up and invest in eternity! God’s way is so much great and better and higher than anything we could ever do on our own!

Wisdom Appeals at the Gates

1Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift her voice? 2On the topmost heights along the way, at the crossroads, she takes her stand. 3Beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: 4“To you, O men, I call out! My cry is to all mankind! 5O naïve ones, learn prudence! Fools, gain understanding! 6Listen, for I speak excellent things, and my lips utter right things. 7For my mouth speaks truth, and my lips detest wickedness. 8All the words of my mouth are righteous, Nothing in them is perverse or crooked. 9All of them are straightforward to the discerning, and right to those who find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than choice gold. 11For wisdom is better than jewels, nothing you desire compares with her. 12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and acquire knowledge with discretion. 13To fear Adonai is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and a perverse mouth. 14Counsel and sound wisdom are mine. I have understanding and power. 15By me kings reign and princes decree justice. 16By me princes govern, and all nobles who judge righteously. 17I love those who love me. Those who earnestly seek me find me. 18With me are wealth and honor, enduring riches and righteousness. 19My fruit is better than refined gold, my harvest better than choice silver. 20I walk in the way of righteousness, along paths of justice. 21I endow substance to those who love me and fill their treasuries.

Wisdom Before Creation

22“Adonai brought me forth, the first of His way, before His works of old. 23From eternity I was appointed from the beginning, before the world began. 24When there were no depths, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25Before the mountains were shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth. 26He had not yet made the land, the fields, or the first dust of the earth. 27 When He set the heavens in place, I was there. When He inscribed the horizon on the face of the ocean, 28when He established the skies above, when He securely fixed the fountains of the deep, 29when He set the boundaries for the sea, so that the waters never transgress His command, when He laid out earth’s foundations— 30then I was the craftsman beside Him, I was His daily delight, always rejoicing before Him, 31 rejoicing in His whole world, and delighting in mankind. 32“So now, children, listen to me! Blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Heed discipline and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. 35For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from Adonai. 36But whoever fails to find me harms his life— all who hate me love death.”

–from Proverbs 8

Let’s live our lives in love! Loving God and loving others! Let’s allow God’s love to flow through us into the lives of those around by showing them grace!

Be Gracious to Your Servants

1A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes— You enthroned in the heavens. 2Behold, as the eyes of slaves to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a slave-girl to the hand of her mistress— so our eyes look to Adonai our God, till He shows us favor. 3Show us favor, Adonai, show us favor! For we have endured much contempt. 4Our soul has had enough of the scorn of those at ease, the contempt of the proud.

–from Psalms 123

Let’s use our words for good! Words have power! Words have the power to build up and to tear down! Let’s use them to build up others and teardown strongholds! Ever heard sayings about your mouth? “Loose lips sink ships”, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“… Today’s reading speaks to taming the tongue and the dangers of the tongue…

Dangerous Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, since you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4See also the ships—though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member—yet it boasts of great things. See how so small a fire sets a blaze so great a forest! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of evil placed among our body parts. It pollutes the whole body and sets on fire the course of life—and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7For every species of beasts and birds, reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Adonai and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the image of God. 10From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be. 11A spring doesn’t pour out fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.

Gentle Wisdom from Above

13Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct let him show his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in shalom by those who make shalom.

–from James 3

So, let’s not go it alone! Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. God has much for us to do! Let’s team up and go out there and take back the ground the devil is trying to steal from us! Let’s stand up for something rather than falling for everything! Let’s go and bring back a good report of how God was able to work in and through us! Let’s go and exhibit what it is like to be a good neighbor! Let’s show the love of God and our love for people! Let’s live each day to make a difference!

Yeshua Sends Out the Seventy

1Now after these things, the Lord assigned seventy others and sent them out by twos before Him into every town and place where He Himself was about to go. 2And He was telling them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3“Go forth! Look, I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4Do not be burdened with a money belt, travel bag, or shoes; and do not greet anyone along the way. 5Whatever home you enter, first say, “Shalom be on this home.” 6If a son of shalom is there, your shalom will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7And remain in this same home, eating and drinking the things they offer, for the worker is deserving of his wage. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8“Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what they set before you. 9Then heal the sick in that town, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10But if you enter a town and they do not welcome you, then go out into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town sticking to our feet, we wipe off as a witness to you. But know this! The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town. 13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14Yet it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the Judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum? You won’t be lifted up to heaven, will you? No, you will go down as far as Sheol. 16The one who listens to you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

Returning with a Good Report

17Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons submit to us in Your name!” 18And Yeshua said to them, “I was watching satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names have been written in the heavens.” 21In that very hour, He was overjoyed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and said, “I praise You, Father, Master of the universe, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You. 22All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” 23Then turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you are seeing yet did not see, and to hear what you are hearing yet did not hear.”

Who Is My Neighbor?

25Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” 26Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27And he replied, “You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28Yeshua said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” 29But wanting to vindicate himself, he said to Yeshua, “Then who is my neighbor?” 30Yeshua replied, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by robbers, who stripped him and beat him. Then they left, abandoning him as half dead. 31And by chance, a kohen was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling came upon him; and when he noticed the man, he felt compassion. 34He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then setting him on his own animal, he brought him to a lodge for travelers and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him. And whatever else you spend, upon my return I will repay you myself.’ 36Which of these three seems to you a neighbor to the one attacked by robbers?” 37And he said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Go, and you do the same.”

At Home with Miriam and Martha

38Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!” 41But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; 42but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

–from Luke 10