Beyond the storm, beyond the darkness…


Fear not, just believe! Call on God and He will answer! Allow Him to bring peace in the midst of the storms of life – whether He is calming your heart or calming the storm around you! Allow His light to shine in the darkness that through His light the darkness will flee! Resist the devil and he will flee! Allow the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding to guard your heart and guide your life!

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! No matter what happens, put your trust in God!

We know that in this world we will have troubles and we know that we can have hope because Jesus has overcome the world! We know that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and that when perseverance has completed its work in us we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Will we face struggles? Yes! Inward struggles and outward struggles! The key through them all is that we have Jesus with us and our trust and faith in Him will and can get us through it all! Don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength! Remember God isn’t out there somewhere, He is Emmanuel – God with us! So call on Him in your day of trouble and He will rescue you and you will give Him praise!

Is it easy? No. But in our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! On our own we might not be strong enough, but with God all things are possible! Walking out life with Jesus we have the benefit that in the midst of it all His peace that surpasses all understanding will get us through it all! Allow that peace to cover you! Allow that trust to encourage you! Allow His presence to comfort you! He didn’t send us the Holy Spirit for nothing, He did call him the comforter remember! Don’t worry for worry changes nothing! Instead, pray and bring your request before God!

Today’s message from the daily devotional closes with the following reminder:

‘Perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) makes me think of a beautiful, calm summer’s day, sitting by a deserted lake with not a care in the world and no temptations, no problems and no difficulties to cope with. ‘Perfect peace’ in such circumstances would not be at all surprising or extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible, it is clear that this promise of ‘perfect peace’ is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace comes to you even in the dark places – in the midst of your most difficult struggles and challenges.

–from Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017


Peace in the Dark Places

Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Temptation … Psalm 106:32-39
  2. Trials … 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
  3. Trust … Isaiah 24:1-26:21

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

 

Do you confidence that what we hope for will actually happen? Do you have assurance of things you cannot see?


I remember that year when God called me to start blogging. It was an interesting time as I was prepared to put together a blog where I would share family stuff with family and friends as a private site. But God called me to make it publish and so I told Him if I am to make it public, He needs to help me write it and give me topics and categories and content and …. and so He told me to blog about my morning readings. That year back in 2005, my reading began in the book of Revelation. And hence the name for the blog From 2005 to Eternity. When you start at the end of a book you learn how it will end. When you start at the end of the book you learn how the rest of the book will get wrapped up. In my case, I started at the end of the Bible and learned about the end and why I can have trust and hope for me, for my family, and for other believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I also learned about the importance and the urgency of sharing the love of God with the world around me in order that they may hear the Good News and make the decision for themselves to accept the gift of Jesus and start their own relationship with God! I realized that my blog was going from a casual update on the state of my family to other members of the family and friends to something the world needed to know and hear and learn and believe! I know where I will end up! I know I will be spending eternity with God! I know that I will get to see Jesus face to face! I know heaven is for real! I know many details about heaven! I also know that there will be people left behind who will still have a chance to choose to follow and receive Jesus after the believers are taken away from the earth. I know that there will be some who will choose after that point to believe and be saved. I know that there will be others who will still resist and battle against the truth of God. I know that God’s hope is that everyone will believe and be saved, but we each need to make that decision for ourselves. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only son, that everyone who would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life!  He sent Jesus the first time not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world would be saved! So we need to believe in Jesus, we need to follow after Him, we need to be baptized in His name! I am confident in what I believe in! I know and trust that God’s Word is true! As I continue my journey God has given me glimpses into what I have to look forward to – like getting to see my other 2 daughters in heaven – during the reading of the book “Heaven is for real”. I still remember having the conversation about children with God as I felt a connection with Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters that were prophetess based on my reading and my daughter at the time. I remember asking Him if I would have 4 daughters or if I would have a son, either way would be fine but just wondered. That morning my reading brought me to the story of Abraham and the promised son Isaac. Today we have 2 daughters and 1 son, but on that journey we had 2 pregnancies where we lost the babies. But I know now that I will get to see them and meet them in heaven! I know that they got to skip the trials and the journey on earth and spend eternity with God! I have an assurance of what I have not yet seen! God is good and alive! God is with us! God loves us! God’s plans are good! God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! We need to make a decision! Have you chosen? Will you choose before it is too late? If you haven’t why not decide today and ask Jesus into your heart and into your life?


Be Confident About Your Future – Day 71: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional. Psalm 33:1-11, Mark 16, Leviticus 25, Leviticus 26:1-13

  1. The plans of the Lord … Psalm 33:1-11

1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathers the waters of the sea into jars7 Or sea as into a heap;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

–from Psalm 33

Looking back as the psalmist does to the past, I am able to have confidence in the future! Looking back at the past, remembering what Jesus has done in and through my life gives me hope and confidence about the future! Looking back at what God has been able to do and teach me builds up my faith and trust that He is for me and not against He, He has a plan for me and it is good, He will never leave me nor abandon me, His plans will stand firm forever! Humans may make plans that may fail, but God’s plans are firm forever! If we are willing to partner with God and be obedient to the prompting of His Spirit, then we can make plans and God can guide our steps. And when we go off course, if we are willing to listen, He will get us back on track. So let’s not lose hope but rather let’s trust in Him, let’s praise Him, let’s worship Him, let’s be living sacrifices that show the world around us the greatness of our God! Let’s show His arms extended by the way we live! Let’s show His love by the way we live! Let’s reflect the love of God into the world around us so that we can shine for Him all the days of our lives!

 2. The power of the resurrection … Mark 16:1-20

Jesus Has Risen

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

–from Mark 16

I know that Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve! I know that Jesus came with a purpose on purpose to make a way where there didn’t seem to be a way! I know that Jesus came to teach us how to truly live and how to truly serve! I know that Jesus came and conquered the power of sin and of death by becoming the ultimate sacrifice! I know that He overcame the world and on the third day rose again! I know that He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us! His sacrifice opened the way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies as the curtain tore when He gave up His spirit on the cross and removed the barrier allowing all of us the ability and opportunity to enter into the presence of God and start building a relationship with Him! We are all important to God! We are all created in the image of God! Jesus is real! Jesus is alive! The tomb is empty! Jesus wants to have an intimate relationship with you so that every day in every way, you are walking and talking with Him!

3. The promises of God … Leviticus 25:1-26:13

The Sabbath Year

1The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
The Year of Jubilee
8“ ‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.
13“ ‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.
14“ ‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. 15You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. 16When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops. 17Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.
18“ ‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. 20You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.
23“ ‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers. 24Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
25“ ‘If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. 26If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, 27they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property. 28But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.
29“ ‘Anyone who sells a house in a walled city retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time the seller may redeem it. 30If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and the buyer’s descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. 31But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee.
32“ ‘The Levites always have the right to redeem their houses in the Levitical towns, which they possess. 33So the property of the Levites is redeemable—that is, a house sold in any town they hold—and is to be returned in the Jubilee, because the houses in the towns of the Levites are their property among the Israelites. 34But the pastureland belonging to their towns must not be sold; it is their permanent possession.
35“ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. 36Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. 37You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. 38I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39“ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. 40They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. 42Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.
44“ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
47“ ‘If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, 48they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: 49An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves. 50They and their buyer are to count the time from the year they sold themselves up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years. 51If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them. 52If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly. 53They are to be treated as workers hired from year to year; you must see to it that those to whom they owe service do not rule over them ruthlessly.
54“ ‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, 55for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

–Leviticus 25

1“ ‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.
2“ ‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
3“ ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
6“ ‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
9“ ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.

–from Leviticus 26

What’s next on this earth? I am not sure, but I know that whatever comes my way, God will be with Him and He can use any of it for good! He can take what the devil plans for evil and turn it around for good! He can take what others may plan for evil and turn it around and use it for good! I have so many testimonies of what God has been able to do in and through me by the grace and to the glory of Jesus! Yes, in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world and hence we are able to have hope and the benefits here on earth even before the ultimate rewards of heaven and eternity with Him! Thanks to Jesus we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that by letting perseverance finish its work we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Let’s live lives of forgiveness! Being forgiven! Forgiving others! Being loved! Loving others! Serving one another! Let’s be considerate and honest to one another, treating everyone with the respect they deserve! Remember we don’t own anything and so we need to be good stewards of what God has given to us!

It’s time!


It’s Christmas time! God’s calling you back to Him with the gift of Jesus! He is calling out to you to remember the reason for this season! It’s not about santa. It’s not about getting the most presents! It’s about sharing the love of Jesus with the world around you! It’s to share the gift of Jesus with the people God has brought into your life! Sharing love! Sharing peace! Sharing good will! It may not be the easiest of most comfortable time – imagine being Joseph and Mary having to travel all that way because of a census! So close and ready to have the baby but having to travel about 100 miles on a donkey. It was time! It had purpose to accomplish God’s Word and prophecy! And so we need to grab hold of the truth of Jesus and be ready to do what He has for us so that we can glorify God! So let’s take a hold of the Christmas story for a moment before we jump into today’s reading and let’s get prepared for the Words God will speak to us today!

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

–from Luke 2

 

So let’s praise God for what He has done! Let’s Glorify God for what He has done! Let’s come with an offering to God for the incredible gift of Jesus! Let’s be like David who said that He wouldn’t offer a gift that cost Him nothing and give out of the greatness and amazement of our hearts so that in Jesus’ name God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Are you ready? Are you prepared? How will you respond on that day when Jesus returns? Will you return to God before Jesus returns to the earth? Before the revelation takes place? Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us! Ask Him into your life! Find peace that He sits at the right hand of the Father! Find joy that He is interceding! Find hope because He has paid the ultimate price once and for all!


Today’s reading begins with Zechariah…

A Call to Return to the Lord

1In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:
2“The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. 4Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?
“Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’ ”

The Man Among the Myrtle Trees

7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
8During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.
9I asked, “What are these, my lord?”
The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”
10Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.”
11And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”
12Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?” 13So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’
16“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
17“Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’ ”

Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

18Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?”
He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”
20Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21I asked, “What are these coming to do?”
He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”

–Zechariah 1

 

A Man With a Measuring Line

1Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
3While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. 5And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
6“Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord.
7“Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” 8For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— 9I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.
10“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11“Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”

–Zechariah 2

 

Clean Garments for the High Priest

1Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
3Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
5Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
6The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
8“ ‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
10“ ‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

–Zechariah 3

 

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.
1Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
12If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
I could hide.
13But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
15Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
20My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
22Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.

–Psalm 55

Trust in the Lord! Let’s live in maturity! Let’s show the world in whom our trust comes from! Jesus came ones for all so that we can receive the incredible gift of God! So let’s not grow weary in doing good! Let’s align with God and walk with Him daily! Let’s hold tightly to God’s promises! Let’s complete the work God has prepared in advance us to do! Let’s walk by faith and not by sight!

1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.
4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

The Certainty of Godʼs Promise

13When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

–Hebrews 6

Do you see what is going on? Can you see the writing on the wall?


Are you seeing the signs of the times? Are you putting the wrong things first? Are you worshipping someone or something other than God? Do you realize the uncertain times? Are you watching governments and countries starting to quarrel or fall? The writing will be on the wall when we see the signs of the times…

4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

–from Matthew 24

In Daniel’s time when the king was becoming too proud to the point of bringing out the special items from the temple and allowing the people at his party to use them, this is when the writing on the wall appeared to the King and require he call for Daniel to help interpret for him.

25“This is the inscription that was written:
mene, mene, tekel, parsin
26“Here is what these words mean:
Mene : God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel : You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres : Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

–from Daniel 5

We need to walk with humility! We need to keep our focus on the real purpose! We need to be worshipping and glorifying God in all we say and do! Don’t set yourself up for troubles by allowing pride to trip you up! Don’t be an adversary to God! Be an ambassador for Him!

Stand up for what is right! Stand up for what is just! Do what is good and what is just! Stand up for what you believe in! Consider Daniel who first got thrown into the fiery furnace with his friends and then as we read in today’s reading from Daniel 6, gets thrown into the den of lions because of people trying to manipulate the situation and the king. Be careful of people who try to sweeten you up in order to manipulate you into doing something that will have grave consequences! Put and keep your trust in God no matter what happens! Put your hope and trust in God even when the world seems to be coming against Him! God’s got a plan and a purpose and we know that in the end, victory and justice belong to the Lord! Even when man can’t rescue you, God can! So let’s live in alignment to God’s will and purpose! Let’s not be swayed but rather let’s live in a way to glorify Him and also be found right in His eyes. Others may look for ways to convict you and some may even try to setup rules that would try to trip you up, but God knows and can hear your calls and cries. God is our salvation! God is with us! There is but one God! His love endures forever! Let us not forget! Let’s share so that others will remember!

Let’s not be proud or haughty! Be at peace and be calm and quieted so that you can be content! Put your trust in God!

Let’s praise the Lord! Let us all praise Him! Let’s praise Him for He is good! Let’s praise the God because He is great! Let’s praise God all the earth! Let’s praise the God for He is good His love endures forever! Let’s trust in God and praise Him!

Let’s be prepared! Let’s hold tight to the truth rather than what others try to find and hear!

So let’s read together the last 2 parts of our reading from the New Testament…

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Personal Remarks

9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lionʼs mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

–2 Timothy 4

The writing’s on the wall! Don’t you see how people turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths! There are so many who don’t want to hear or believe in the truth! So don’t give up! Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. Finish the race! Press on to the end! Trusting in God thru it all in Jesus name I pray!

1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lordʼs people.

Paulʼs Plea for Onesimus

8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

–Philemon 1

Let’s serve the people God has brought into our lives so that we can point them back to Jesus and be restored!


Today’s Reading: Daniel 5, Daniel 6, Psalm 131, Psalm 135, 2 Timothy 4. Philemon 1

What would it take to get your attention?


Does He have your attention? Are you following after Him? Do you live with the hope that goes beyond all circumstances? Do you live knowing that you are free? Praise God for all the yeses.

What would it take to get your attention? Would it need to be a picture of heaven or a picture of hell? Would it need to be incredible blessings and joy or incredible pain and suffering? Would it need to impact you directly or would seeing it happen to those around you be enough? How bad would it have to get? Would there have to be injustice? Would there have to be bloodshed? Would some kind of sin work? Would the lost son type of experience be enough to point you back home? Or would it take something along the lines of what Ezekiel shares in today’s reading?

How far must you walk away from God before you realize it? How far from under His cover and protection would it need to be? It’s not that He would leave you, but He has given you free will to be able to make choices. He won’t give up on you though and hopes you will turn back! His hope is that nobody would perish but that everyone would come to repentance. Will you turn back to Him before it’s too late?

Are you able to see who is plotting evil? Are you able to identify who is giving wicked advice? Do you see who is stirring up the hate? Do you see who is stirring up the anger? Do you see who is stirring up violence? Do you see who is stirring up the division? Do you see who is stirring up the bloodshed?

God sees it all! God knows each though! God knows the heart of the matter! God knows every word! God knows every action! God is just!

As we read in Jeremiah 29:11 about God’s plan it is that we will have a hope and a future! As we read in 2 Peter 3:9 about God’s plan it is not that He is slow to anger but that He is patient in hopes that people will turn back to Him in repentance! As we read in John 3 about God’s plan, Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it!  God desire is that none would perish but that everyone would believe and have everlasting life!

God promises that He would return the Jews back to Israel and God keeps his promise as they returned in 1948. Jesus made a promise and we each have to make a choice if we will receive Him as our Lord and Savior or try to go it alone. If we receive Him, accept Him, follow Him, believe Him, we will be saved!

So those who believe, will you point people to Jesus? Will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Will you take heart when you face troubles and be overcomers? Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of hope! Let’s be ambassadors of love! Let’s help people see Jesus in and thru us! Let’s endure it all so that in the end we can be mature, complete and lacking nothing! Let’s encourage so that we can come together in unity in alignment with the mind of Jesus! Let’s speak in unity! Let’s act in unity so as to glorify God!

Let’s help the world around us to be filled with the spirit of God, so they can be filled with hope and joy and peace as we trust in Him! May it overflow from us into the world around us!

As we consider and contemplate all of this, let’s reflect on the closing information we read today in Romans…

1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jewson behalf of Godʼs truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”

10Again, it says,

“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”

11And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol him.”

12And again, Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule over the nations;
in him the Gentiles will hope.”

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul the Minister to the Gentiles

14I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone elseʼs foundation. 21Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
22This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.

Paulʼs Plan to Visit Rome

23But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lordʼs people there. 26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lordʼs people in Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jewsʼ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lordʼs people there, 32so that I may come to you with joy, by Godʼs will, and in your company be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

–Romans 15

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 9, 10, 11, Romans 15

Do you realize how much you need God?


On day 5 of being at home sick, I pray trusting and believing that God will heal me. I know that He is the ultimate physician and between prayer and petition along with science and medicine, He will provide a way for me to be healthy again! Each day I thank God that I get this time to read thru His Word and reflect upon what He has to say. Each day I praise God because He is able to speak into the very situations and circumstances of my life, aligning His Word for the day with what has or is going to take place. I don’t know what everyone else believes, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

In the world today there are many that seem to be walking away or turning their back on God in order to go and worship someone or something else as their gods. Don’t lose hope for their are those who are still believing and holding onto the faith! God’s will is that we would walk on fire for Him! He doesn’t want us sitting on the fence or standing in the middle being lukewarm, but rather He would we be hot or cold than lukewarm. So let’s not lose hope or lose faith, but let’s keep our faith and press in and press on to all He has planned and in store for us! We know that He works all for His good! We know that He is long suffering for His desire is that nobody should perish but that all would come to repentance and be saved through His Son Jesus Christ!

As we know from history when people turn their backs on God and walk away from Him, people get left to their own ways and they walk out from under the protection and the covering of Jesus. Ezekiel’s message from today’s reading speaks of the judgment and devastation that would take place in their time. Will you choose to receive Jesus into your heart before it is too late? Will you allow God’s love to create a new heart in you and to renew your mind in His ways? Will you choose to return to God before it is too late? How will you handle what will come your way?

It rains on the good and the evil. In this world there will be troubles, but we can take hope who are in Christ Jesus because Jesus has overcome the world! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we have faith in Jesus which will be built up and strengthened, persevering and pressing forward that will help us to mature and in the end be complete and lacking nothing.

If you were going to be repaid for what you have done, what would that look like? What you sow you will reap! What have you been sowing? What will that mean will sprout up and hence what will you reap?

Is there violence which grows into wickedness? What will come from what you are sowing? God’s Word tells us: “Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.” While we speak of sowing and reaping, let’s consider it as it relates to God’s Word from today’s reading…

A Singular Evil Comes

1The word of Adonai came to me saying:
2“You, son of man, thus says Adonai Elohim concerning the land of Israel: An end! The end has come on the four corners of the land.
3The end is upon you. I will send My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
4My eyes will not spare you nor will I have pity, but I will bring your ways upon you, for your abominations in your midst. Then you will know that I am Adonai.”
5Thus says Adonai Elohim: An evil, a singular evil, behold, it comes.
6An end has come, the end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it is coming!
7Doom has come upon you, inhabitant of the land! The time has come, the day is near—panic, not joyful shouting on the hills.
8Now, soon, I am about to pour out My fury on you. I will exhaust My anger on you. I will judge you according to your ways. I will bring all your abominations on you.
9My eye will not spare you nor will I have pity—I will repay you for your ways—your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that it is I, Adonai, who strikes.
10Behold, the day! Look, it is coming! Doom has gone out. The rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed.
11Violence grows into a rod of wickedness. Nothing will come from them, nothing from their crowd, nothing from their tumult, nothing distinctive among them.
12The time has come—the day draws near. The buyer will not rejoice, the seller will not play the mourner, for wrath is on the entire crowd.
13For a seller will not regain what he sold, as long as they are alive. For the vision against her whole crowd will not be revoked. No one will preserve his life, because of his iniquity.
14“They have blown the horn. They have made everyone ready. Yet no one goes to the battle. Surely My wrath is on her whole crowd.
15Outside is the sword, inside plague and famine. Whoever is in the field will die by the sword. Whoever is in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.
16Those survivors who escape will head for the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity.
17All hands will be feeble. All knees will turn to water.
18They will also gird on sackcloth. Horror will cover them. Shame will be upon all faces. Baldness will be upon all their heads.
19They will throw their silver in the streets. Their gold will be as garbage. Their silver and their gold cannot deliver them in the day of Adonai’s wrath. They will not satisfy their appetite or fill their bellies, for their iniquity is a stumbling block.
20They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and made images of their abominations and their detestable idols. Therefore I made it niddah to them.
21I will give it into the hands of the strangers as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.
22I will turn My face from them, as they will profane the place I treasure. Robbers will enter it and profane it.
23“Forge the chain! For the land is full of bloodshed. The city is full of violence.
24I will bring the wicked of the nations. They will possess their houses. So I will end the pride of the strong, when their holy places are profaned.
25Shuddering comes. They will seek peace but there will be none.
26Disaster upon disaster will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will seek a vision from a prophet, but Torah will perish from the kohen and counsel from the elders.
27The king will mourn. The prince will be clothed with despair. The hands of the people of the land will tremble. By their conduct I will deal with them. By their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am Adonai.”

–Ezekiel 7

What is your god? What are you bowing down to? What you allowing to drive you? Will you turn to Jesus and allow Him to be your Lord and Savior? Don’t walk too far away! Don’t turn your back on God! Come back under the covering of the Lord! Allow Him to keep the fiery darts from hitting you! Allow the blood of Jesus to be the prism through which God sees you! Before it is too late!

Let’s praise God! Let’s grab hold of Psalms 117 today…

Praise Him, All You Nations

1Praise Adonai, all you nations! Glorify Him, all you peoples.
2For great is His lovingkindness toward us, and Adonai’s truth endures forever. Halleluyah!

–Psalms 117

Believers, we need to come together in unity! We are the body! We are the church! Let’s live lives that allow others to praise our Father in heaven! Let’s live lives that produce fruit that causes people to praise our Father in heaven! So lets live our lives to the Lord! We know that in the end every tongue will confess and every knee will bow because Jesus Christ is Lord! Let’s live in love and not live lives that will cause others to slip or swayed from the ways of the Lord! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of love! Let’s put on the full armor of God! Let’s live our faith!

So let’s do what is right and what is fair! Let’s pray and give thanksgiving! Let’s share the hope that is within us to those around us who are in need of that hope! Let’s share the mysteries God reveals to us so that we can plan seeds of hope, water seeds of hope so that God can make that seed take root and help it to grow! Show them to power of God working in and thru you in the good times and the challenging times! Let’s share how Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, the believers! Let’s finish the work God has given us to do so that we can receive the reward and message that we can hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.

 



Today’s reading: Ezekiel 6,7, 8, Psalms 117, Romans 14, Colossians 4

It’s a matter of the heart!


Where are you at today? What is the state of your heart? What has been allowed in? What’s stuck in there? What needs to be cleaned out? What are your options? Have you asked Jesus in to help create a new heart in you?

Is your heart hardened? Is your heart softened? Is your heart damaged? Is your heart healed?

What heritage do you want to have? What legacy do you want to leave? Will you stand up for something? Will you fall for anything? Will you keep going it your own way? Will you turn around and seek God’s face, God’s will, God’s desire, God’s plan for your life?

Where does your trust come from? Are you trusting in man? Are you trusting in self? Are you trusting in God? Do you realizes the pros and cons of each of these?

Are you able to tell the difference between good and evil? Are you able to tell the difference between right and wrong? Is your heart so hard that you can’t? Why not give your heart up to God and allow Him to create a new heart in you? Why not focus on renewing your mind?

Want to be blessed? Put your trust in God! Put your confidence in God! Then there will be no need to fear because you know God and your trust and confidence are in Him, no matter what comes your way! When fear or anxiety tries to show itself, you can give it up to God!

Don’t be fooled by emotions! Don’t allow things to mess with your heart that don’t belong! God will search your heart to know the basis of your life! God will try your mind to understand where you are rooted! So what would you expect the outcome to be based on your ways and the fruits of your works? Will you do things legally? Will you do things properly? Will you live justly? Will you live righteously? Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Let’s build upon the solid foundation provided by Jesus! Let’s keep things straight by lining up to Jesus as our cornerstone!

God never ran away, so if you are feeling far from God you need to turnaround and turnback to Him!

God will never leave you nor abandon you! Will you leave and abandon Him? Have you left and abandoned Him? Will you turn back to Him as the lost son did and be received?

Are you willing to receive correction? Are you willing to listen and receive and accept correction? Are you too stiff necked?

Will you be moldable in God’s hand? Will you allow God to recreate you? Will you ask Jesus into your heart and become a new creation? God has incredible plans for you! God’s plans are good! Will you turn back to Him and align with those plans? Will you allow Him to transform you from the inside out? We are but clay in God’s hands! If a nation is heading away, He is able to uproot, to pull down, and to destroy it! If a nation will turn from its wicked ways, God can relent from destroying it, or even rebuild it or plant it!

So if we consider where we are at today as a nation…how will the nation respond to a message like this…

“I am about to bring calamity against you, and devise disaster against you. Turn back now—everyone from his evil way—and amend your ways and your doings.

–from Jeremiah 18

Would you respond like this…

‘It’s hopeless! So we will walk after our own plans, and each of us will act in the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

–from Jeremiah 18

Do you realize the setup that is making? Do you realize the consequence of such a move? God gave you an option! You have freewill to choose! And you are deciding to walk away and deal with the consequences of your decision! Do you know what happened or what was said back in Jeremiah’s time? Do you realize the pendulum of history? people going towards God and away from God? Well consider this warning as a warning for us, right here and right now facing this dilemma…

13Therefore thus says Adonai: “Ask now among the nations, whoever has heard such things? The virgin of Israel has done a most terrible thing.
14Does the snow of Lebanon abandon the rock of the field? Or is the cold water flowing from afar pulled back?
15Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to a delusion and stumble in their ways— off the ancient paths— to walk on side-tracks, rather than a built-up highway.
16Their land will become a horror, a perpetual hissing— every one passing by will be stunned and shake his head.
17Like an east wind, I will scatter them before the enemy. I will see their back, not their face, in the day of their calamity.”
–from Jeremiah 18

Don’t shoot the messenger or you will just stop getting messages! Knowing the message gives you the opportunity to respond! Do what it says! Do the opposite of what it says! Do nothing! How will you respond? Will you be part of the remnant who will call on God and trust in God and follow after Him? Will you be rebellious and do the opposite of what He said? Will you sit on the fence and do nothing? The result will be based on your obedience or disobedience! Partial obedience is still disobedience! Will you choose to do what God is asking and telling you to do?

Put your hope and your trust in God!

There is an answer to it all and His name is Jesus! He was the answer to all God’s promises and all the prophecy of the Bible! In His life and death, He fulfilled 353 prophecies. Paul who was originally against Jesus and The Way had a revelation on the road to Damascus where He had a divine encounter with Jesus and it transformed the rest of his life and provides us with a large portion of the Bible. He declared it before king Agrippa! He is letting those in authority know! As God gives him favor and brings him before kings, Paul testifies of Jesus and life transformed! Paul is able to share the good news no matter his circumstances! At home, on the road, in prison, before the authorities…As we share, as we testify what Jesus is doing and has done in and through our lives, people may not be ready to receive it right away, but it is planting the seed and in some cases watering a seed that others have planted and then it is in God’s plan to make it grow!

So let’s not be about tearing down people, let’s be about tearing down strongholds that are holding them back! Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but rather against powers and principalities of this dark world! Our weapons are no man made, but through God they are spiritually powerful in order to tear down strongholds! They allow us to tear down false arguments! They allow us to tear down things that are trying to exalt themselves above God and against the knowledge of God! We need to take every thought captive in obedience to Jesus! We need to be able to do what is right in obedience to God! Will your words speak truth? Will your presence speak in action? Let’s be humble servants as we lead! Let’s be bold in proclaiming the truths of God! It’s not about pumping ourselves up but giving it all over to God!


Today’s reading is from: Jeremiah 1718, Acts 26, and 2 Corinthians 10.

Do you see what is going on?


Take a look around and consider. Don’t just trust what you see on TV. Don’t just trust what you hear on the radio. Consider what information is available and surfacing.

Search the market place! Search the political space! Search the social place!

Can you find someone who is doing what is right? Can you find someone who is doing what is faithful to God? Can you find someone who really means what they say?

Will getting good things help you realize what is going on? Will getting corrected help you realize what is going on? Will getting instructed help you realize what is going on? How bad would things have to get to wake you up and get your attention? How sensitive are you to what is taking place around you?

Do you see the behavior? Do you know what God requires? Do you realize that God is in charge? Do you realize He has authority? Do you refuse to obey Him? Do you realize the pain and suffering that is taking place because of all of the disobedience? Do you realize the pain and suffering people are causing because of their bad behaviors? Hurting people hurt people!

Do you realize the power of forgiveness? The power of you forgiving others? The power of others forgiving you? The power of God’s forgiveness? Do you realize Jesus is the answer?

Will you turn back to God? Will you go back home to God? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you stop rejecting God? Will you stop pushing Him away? Will you stop denying Him? Will you stop trying to be self sufficient? Will you stop trying to go it alone? Will you stop trying to do it all yourself?

Are you apart from God? Why did you leave God? Why haven’t you honored God? Why are you being stubborn? Why have you rebelled against God?

Do you realize there are good and bad people around you? The bad ones looking to trip you up? There is no limit or limits on what they are willing to do. Do you realize how they try to take away the rights of others? Do you realize they don’t provide justice or even equal justice to the oppressed? Do you hear lies from those you are supposed to trust? Do you hear lies from those who are supposed to be leading or in authority?

The battle belongs to the Lord! Vengeance is the Lord’s!

 


Today’s reading gets us started in Jeremiah…

The Sin of Jerusalem

1People of Jerusalem, run through your streets!
Look around! See for yourselves!
Search the marketplaces!
Can you find one person
who does what is right
and tries to be faithful to God?
If you can, the Lord will forgive Jerusalem.
2Even though you claim to worship the Lord,
you do not mean what you say.
3Surely the Lord looks for faithfulness.
He struck you, but you paid no attention;
he crushed you, but you refused to learn.
You were stubborn and would not turn from your sins.
4Then I thought, “These are only the poor and ignorant.
They behave foolishly;
they don’t know what their God requires,
what the Lord wants them to do.
5I will go to the people in power
and talk with them.
Surely they know what their God requires,
what the Lord wants them to do.”
But all of them have rejected the Lord’s authority
and refuse to obey him.
6That is why lions from the forest will kill them;
wolves from the desert will tear them to pieces,
and leopards will prowl through their towns.
If those people go out, they will be torn apart
because their sins are numerous
and time after time they have turned from God.
7The Lord asked, “Why should I forgive the sins of my people?
They have abandoned me
and have worshiped gods that are not real.
I fed my people until they were full,
but they committed adultery
and spent their time with prostitutes.
8They were like well-fed stallions wild with desire,
each lusting for his neighbor’s wife.
9Shouldn’t I punish them for these things
and take revenge on a nation such as this?
10I will send enemies to cut down my people’s vineyards,
but not to destroy them completely.
I will tell them to strip away the branches,
because those branches are not mine.
11The people of Israel and Judah
have betrayed me completely.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

The Lord Rejects Israel

12The Lord’s people have denied him and have said, “He won’t really do anything. We won’t have hard times; we won’t have war or famine.” 13-14They have said that the prophets are nothing but windbags and that they have no message from the Lord. The Lord God Almighty said to me, “Jeremiah, because these people have said such things, I will make my words like a fire in your mouth. The people will be like wood, and the fire will burn them up.”
15People of Israel, the Lord is bringing a nation from far away to attack you. It is a strong and ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know. 16Their archers are mighty soldiers who kill without mercy. 17They will devour your crops and your food; they will kill your sons and your daughters. They will slaughter your flocks and your herds and destroy your vines and fig trees. The fortified cities in which you trust will be destroyed by their army.
18The Lord says, “Yet even in those days I will not completely destroy my people. 19When they ask why I did all these things, tell them, Jeremiah, that just as they turned away from me and served foreign gods in their own land, so they will serve strangers in a land that is not theirs.”

God Warns His People

20The Lord says, “Tell the descendants of Jacob, tell the people of Judah: 21 Pay attention, you foolish and stupid people, who have eyes, but cannot see, and have ears, but cannot hear. 22 I am the Lord; why don’t you fear me? Why don’t you tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary of the sea, a permanent boundary that it cannot cross. The sea may toss, but it cannot go beyond it; the waves may roar, but they cannot break through. 23But you people! You are stubborn and rebellious; you have turned aside and left me. 24You never thought to honor me, even though I send the autumn rains and the spring rains and give you the harvest season each year. 25Instead, your sins have kept these good things from you.
26“Evildoers live among my people; they lie in wait like those who lay nets to catch birds, but they have set their traps to catch people. 27Just as a hunter fills a cage with birds, they have filled their houses with loot. That is why they are powerful and rich, 28why they are fat and well fed. There is no limit to their evil deeds. They do not give orphans their rights or show justice to the oppressed.
29“But I, the Lord, will punish them for these things; I will take revenge on this nation. 30A terrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31prophets speak nothing but lies; priests rule as the prophets command, and my people offer no objections. But what will they do when it all comes to an end?”

–from Jeremiah 5

Do you see what is taking place? Do you see what is going on around you? Can you see beyond the physical realm into the real battle is is underway? Is there any message that would turn people and their hearts back to God? What do you think it would take nowadays?

Jerusalem Is Surrounded by Enemies

1People of Benjamin, run for safety! Escape from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa and build a signal fire in Beth Haccherem. Disaster and destruction are about to come from the north. 2The city of Zion is beautiful, but it will be destroyed; 3kings will camp there with their armies. They will pitch their tents around the city, and each of them will camp wherever they want. 4They will say, “Prepare to attack Jerusalem! Get ready! We’ll attack at noon!” But then they will say, “It’s too late, the day is almost over, and the evening shadows are growing long. 5We’ll attack by night; we’ll destroy the city’s fortresses.”
6The Lord Almighty has ordered these kings to cut down trees and build mounds in order to besiege Jerusalem. He has said, “I will punish this city because it is full of oppression. 7As a well keeps its water fresh, so Jerusalem keeps its evil fresh. I hear violence and destruction in the city; sickness and wounds are all I see. 8People of Jerusalem, let these troubles be a warning to you, or else I will abandon you; I will turn your city into a desert, a place where no one lives.”

Rebellious Israel

9The Lord Almighty said to me, “Israel will be stripped clean like a vineyard from which every grape has been picked. So you must rescue everyone you can while there is still time.”
10I answered, “Who would listen to me if I spoke to them and warned them? They are stubborn and refuse to listen to your message; they laugh at what you tell me to say. 11Your anger against them burns in me too, Lord, and I can’t hold it in any longer.”
Then the Lord said to me, “Pour out my anger on the children in the streets and on the gatherings of the young people. Husbands and wives will be taken away, and even the very old will not be spared. 12Their houses will be given to others, and so will their fields and their wives. I am going to punish the people of this land. 13Everyone, great and small, tries to make money dishonestly; even prophets and priests cheat the people. 14 They act as if my people’s wounds were only scratches. ‘All is well,’ they say, when all is not well. 15 Were they ashamed because they did these disgusting things? No, they were not at all ashamed; they don’t even know how to blush. And so they will fall as others have fallen; when I punish them, that will be the end of them. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Israel Rejects God’s Way

16The Lord said to his people, “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths and where the best road is. Walk in it, and you will live in peace.”
But they said, “No, we will not!” 17Then the Lord appointed sentries to listen for the trumpet’s warning. But they said, “We will not listen.”
18So the Lord said, “Listen, you nations, and learn what is going to happen to my people. 19Listen, earth! As punishment for all their schemes I am bringing ruin on these people, because they have rejected my teaching and have not obeyed my words. 20What do I care about the incense they bring me from Sheba, or the spices from a distant land? I will not accept their offerings or be pleased with their sacrifices. 21And so I will make these people stumble and fall. Parents and children will die, and so will friends and neighbors.”
Invasion from the North
22The Lord says, “People are coming from a country in the north; a mighty nation far away is preparing for war. 23They have taken up their bows and swords; they are cruel and merciless. They sound like the roaring sea, as they ride their horses. They are ready for battle against Jerusalem.”
24“We have heard the news,” say the people of Jerusalem, “and our hands hang limp; we are seized by anguish and pain like a woman in labor. 25We don’t dare go to the countryside or walk on the roads, because our enemies are armed and terror is all around us.”
26The Lord says to his people, “Put on sackcloth and roll in ashes. Mourn with bitter tears as you would for an only child, because the one who comes to destroy you will suddenly attack. 27Jeremiah, test my people, as you would test metal, and find out what they are like. 28They are all stubborn rebels, hard as bronze and iron. They are all corrupt, going around and spreading gossip. 29The furnace burns fiercely, but the waste metals do not melt and run off. It is useless to go on refining my people, because those who are evil are not taken away. 30They will be called worthless dross, because I, the Lord, have rejected them.”

–from Jeremiah 6

Oh Jesus, give us wisdom for today! Oh Jesus, help us to see beyond our circumstances! Oh Jesus, help to have hope for what is yet to come when we spend eternity with you! Oh Jesus, that you that we have hope beyond our circumstances! Oh Jesus, help us to know what we need to do here and now while we await your return so that in and through it we can give you the praise, the honor, and the glory in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

We know it won’t be easy! We know that not everyone will be ready to hear it! We know that we will face trials! We know we will face troubles! But we have hope thanks to Jesus!

To Macedonia and Achaia

1After the uproar died down, Paul called together the believers and with words of encouragement said good-bye to them. Then he left and went on to Macedonia. 2He went through those regions and encouraged the people with many messages. Then he came to Achaia, 3where he stayed three months. He was getting ready to go to Syria when he discovered that there were Jews plotting against him; so he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4Sopater son of Pyrrhus, from Berea, went with him; so did Aristarchus and Secundus, from Thessalonica; Gaius, from Derbe; Tychicus and Trophimus, from the province of Asia; and Timothy. 5They went ahead and waited for us in Troas. 6We sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later we joined them in Troas, where we spent a week.

Paul’s Last Visit to Troas

7On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day. 8Many lamps were burning in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window, and as Paul kept on talking, Eutychus got sleepier and sleepier, until he finally went sound asleep and fell from the third story to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10But Paul went down and threw himself on him and hugged him. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he is still alive!” 11Then he went back upstairs, broke bread, and ate. After talking with them for a long time, even until sunrise, Paul left. 12They took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

From Troas to Miletus

13We went on ahead to the ship and sailed off to Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had told us to do this, because he was going there by land. 14When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15We sailed from there and arrived off Chios the next day. A day later we came to Samos, and the following day we reached Miletus. 16Paul had decided to sail on by Ephesus, so as not to lose any time in the province of Asia. He was in a hurry to arrive in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost, if at all possible.

Paul’s Farewell Speech to the Elders of Ephesus

17From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. 18When they arrived, he said to them, “You know how I spent the whole time I was with you, from the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19With all humility and many tears I did my work as the Lord’s servant during the hard times that came to me because of the plots of some Jews. 20You know that I did not hold back anything that would be of help to you as I preached and taught in public and in your homes. 21To Jews and Gentiles alike I gave solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus. 22And now, in obedience to the Holy Spirit I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me. 24 But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.
25“I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. 26So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. 28So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son. 29I know that after I leave, fierce wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. 30The time will come when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers away after them. 31Watch, then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you for three years.
32“And now I commend you to the care of God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the blessings God has for all his people. 33I have not wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. 35I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’”
36When Paul finished, he knelt down with them and prayed. 37They were all crying as they hugged him and kissed him good-bye. 38They were especially sad because he had said that they would never see him again. And so they went with him to the ship.

— from Acts 20

 


 

 

 

End of an era?


Are you for or against? Are you trusting or doubting? Do you believe or abstain? Do you have hope or despair?

Do you scheme against God’s plan? Do you worship someone or something other than God?

Will you be willing to listen and hear the good news? Will you be willing to receive the good news? What if it is a message of peace?

Where does your hope come from?

My hope comes from God! His Word found in the Bible! His promises found in the Bible! His Son Jesus Christ who created the way! Jesus who loved us so much that He not only gave up His life on the cross, but also conquered the grave by resurrecting on the 3rd day and is now seated at the right hand of the father interceding for me.

Where are you at? Where is your country at? Where is the world at? Where are we standing? Is it time for a change? Is it the…

End of an era?


Today’s reading begins at an interesting place. It begins in the book of Nahun at a time when the Assyrian Empire was about to end. His name means comforter and the message came at a time when the people needed some comforting. So let’s jump into our reading and learn what God has to speak to us in and through His Word today…

1This message concerning Nineveh came as a vision to Nahum, who lived in Elkosh.

The Lord’s Anger against Nineveh

2The lord is a jealous God,
filled with vengeance and rage.
He takes revenge on all who oppose him
and continues to rage against his enemies!
3The lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great,
and he never lets the guilty go unpunished.
He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm.
The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
4At his command the oceans dry up,
and the rivers disappear.
The lush pastures of Bashan and Carmel fade,
and the green forests of Lebanon wither.
5In his presence the mountains quake,
and the hills melt away;
the earth trembles,
and its people are destroyed.
6Who can stand before his fierce anger?
Who can survive his burning fury?
His rage blazes forth like fire,
and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence.
7The lord is good,
a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.
8But he will sweep away his enemies
in an overwhelming flood.
He will pursue his foes
into the darkness of night.
9Why are you scheming against the lord?
He will destroy you with one blow;
he won’t need to strike twice!
10His enemies, tangled like thornbushes
and staggering like drunks,
will be burned up like dry stubble in a field.
11Who is this wicked counselor of yours
who plots evil against the lord?
12This is what the lord says:
“Though the Assyrians have many allies,
they will be destroyed and disappear.
O my people, I have punished you before,
but I will not punish you again.
13Now I will break the yoke of bondage from your neck
and tear off the chains of Assyrian oppression.”
14And this is what the lord says concerning the Assyrians in Nineveh:
“You will have no more children to carry on your name.
I will destroy all the idols in the temples of your gods.
I am preparing a grave for you
because you are despicable!”
15Look! A messenger is coming over the mountains with good news!
He is bringing a message of peace.
Celebrate your festivals, O people of Judah,
and fulfill all your vows,
for your wicked enemies will never invade your land again.
They will be completely destroyed!

–from Nahum 1

Do you see destruction in your past? Do you see despair in your past? Do you see pain in your past? Do you see suffering in your past?

Don’t let your past define you! Hear God calling you to Himself today and turn to Him! Receive the good news and ask Jesus into your heart! Allow your life to be turned around and transformed so that things can be different! Allow the hope that is within you to grow and to flourish! Allow yourself to be new! The old is gone and the new has come! Don’t be held back by the lies of the past! Don’t allow the lies of the devil to try and hold you back from all that God has planned for you! The devil’s plan is to rob, kill, and destroy whereas God’s plan is that we will have a full life.

The Fall of Nineveh

1Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh.
Man the ramparts! Watch the roads!
Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces!
2Even though the destroyer has destroyed Judah,
the lord will restore its honor.
Israel’s vine has been stripped of branches,
but he will restore its splendor.
3Shields flash red in the sunlight!
See the scarlet uniforms of the valiant troops!
Watch as their glittering chariots move into position,
with a forest of spears waving above them.
4The chariots race recklessly along the streets
and rush wildly through the squares.
They flash like firelight
and move as swiftly as lightning.
5The king shouts to his officers;
they stumble in their haste,
rushing to the walls to set up their defenses.
6The river gates have been torn open!
The palace is about to collapse!
7Nineveh’s exile has been decreed,
and all the servant girls mourn its capture.
They moan like doves
and beat their breasts in sorrow.
8Nineveh is like a leaking water reservoir!
The people are slipping away.
“Stop, stop!” someone shouts,
but no one even looks back.
9Loot the silver!
Plunder the gold!
There’s no end to Nineveh’s treasures—
its vast, uncounted wealth.
10Soon the city is plundered, empty, and ruined.
Hearts melt and knees shake.
The people stand aghast,
their faces pale and trembling.
11Where now is that great Nineveh,
that den filled with young lions?
It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs—
walked freely and without fear.
12The lion tore up meat for his cubs
and strangled prey for his mate.
He filled his den with prey,
his caverns with his plunder.
13“I am your enemy!”
says the lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“Your chariots will soon go up in smoke.
Your young men will be killed in battle.
Never again will you plunder conquered nations.
The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.”

–from Nahum 2

How is society looking these days? Does it seem people are living aligned with God or are they rebelling against Him? Are you seeing some pursuing God and others running from Him? Are you seeing people who are trying to live His way and others who are revolting against it? Are you seeing people holding tightly to the promises of Jesus and others who are trying to tear it down? Are you seeing it in the news? Are you hearing about it on the news? Do you hear what is happening around the globe? Do you hear of the troubles? Do you hear of the trials? In the book of Revelation, we see that Jesus wins! In the book of Revelation we see how we will all have to go before the judgement seat to give an answer for how we have lived! In the book of Revelation we also learn the importance of being in the book of life where those people will get to spend eternity with God whereas those who aren’t in the book of life will have to spend eternity apart from God.

The lord’s Judgment against Nineveh

1What sorrow awaits Nineveh,
the city of murder and lies!
She is crammed with wealth
and is never without victims.
2Hear the crack of whips,
the rumble of wheels!
Horses’ hooves pound,
and chariots clatter wildly.
3See the flashing swords and glittering spears
as the charioteers charge past!
There are countless casualties,
heaps of bodies—
so many bodies that
people stumble over them.
4All this because Nineveh,
the beautiful and faithless city,
mistress of deadly charms,
enticed the nations with her beauty.
She taught them all her magic,
enchanting people everywhere.
5“I am your enemy!”
says the lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“And now I will lift your skirts
and show all the earth your nakedness and shame.
6I will cover you with filth
and show the world how vile you really are.
7All who see you will shrink back and say,
‘Nineveh lies in ruins.
Where are the mourners?’
Does anyone regret your destruction?”
8Are you any better than the city of Thebes,
situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water?
She was protected by the river on all sides,
walled in by water.
9Ethiopia and the land of Egypt
gave unlimited assistance.
The nations of Put and Libya
were among her allies.
10Yet Thebes fell,
and her people were led away as captives.
Her babies were dashed to death
against the stones of the streets.
Soldiers threw dice to get Egyptian officers as servants.
All their leaders were bound in chains.
11And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard.
You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy.
12All your fortresses will fall.
They will be devoured like the ripe figs
that fall into the mouths
of those who shake the trees.
13Your troops will be as weak
and helpless as women.
The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy
and set on fire and burned.
14Get ready for the siege!
Store up water!
Strengthen the defenses!
Go into the pits to trample clay,
and pack it into molds,
making bricks to repair the walls.
15But the fire will devour you;
the sword will cut you down.
The enemy will consume you like locusts,
devouring everything they see.
There will be no escape,
even if you multiply like swarming locusts.
16Your merchants have multiplied
until they outnumber the stars.
But like a swarm of locusts,
they strip the land and fly away.
17Your guards and officials are also like swarming locusts
that crowd together in the hedges on a cold day.
But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up,
all of them will fly away and disappear.
18Your shepherds are asleep, O Assyrian king;
your princes lie dead in the dust.
Your people are scattered across the mountains
with no one to gather them together.
19There is no healing for your wound;
your injury is fatal.
All who hear of your destruction
will clap their hands for joy.
Where can anyone be found
who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

–from Nahum 3

So will you take that hope that is within you and share it with the world around you in hopes that they too may receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior and be saved? Will you hear the good news and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and be saved? Will you allow those who hear the good news to be lifted up? Will you move beyond any hierarchy to helping others reach their full potential? Will you be an encourager to them?

Barnabas and Saul Are Commissioned

1Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. 2One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” 3So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

Paul’s First Missionary Journey

4So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. 5There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant.
6Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing.
9Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. 10Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? 11Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.
12When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Paul Preaches in Antioch of Pisidia

13Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14But Paul and Barnabas traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia.
On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services. 15After the usual readings from the books of Moses and the prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.”
16So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. “Men of Israel,” he said, “and you God-fearing Gentiles, listen to me.
17“The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them multiply and grow strong during their stay in Egypt. Then with a powerful arm he led them out of their slavery. 18He put up with them through forty years of wandering in the wilderness. 19Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance. 20All this took about 450 years.
“After that, God gave them judges to rule until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’
23“And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Savior of Israel! 24Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized. 25As John was finishing his ministry he asked, ‘Do you think I am the Messiah? No, I am not! But he is coming soon—and I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the sandals on his feet.’
26“Brothers—you sons of Abraham, and also you God-fearing Gentiles—this message of salvation has been sent to us! 27The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets’ words that are read every Sabbath. 28They found no legal reason to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway.
29“When they had done all that the prophecies said about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from the dead! 31And over a period of many days he appeared to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people of Israel.
32“And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, 33and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm says about Jesus:
‘You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.’
34For God had promised to raise him from the dead, not leaving him to rot in the grave. He said, ‘I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.’ 35Another psalm explains it more fully: ‘You will not allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.’ 36This is not a reference to David, for after David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried with his ancestors, and his body decayed. 37No, it was a reference to someone else—someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay.
38“Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do. 40Be careful! Don’t let the prophets’ words apply to you. For they said,
41‘Look, you mockers,
be amazed and die!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it.’”
42As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people begged them to speak about these things again the next week. 43Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God.

Paul Turns to the Gentiles

44The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. 45But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said.
46Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. 47For the Lord gave us this command when he said,
‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’”
48When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. 49So the Lord’s message spread throughout that region.
50Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. 51So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. 52And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

–from Acts 13

 

Where does your confidence come from?


On what are you basing this confidence of yours? What are you trusting in that makes you so confident? On what do you rest this trust of yours? What is this confidence that you have? What are you relying on? What is this “guarantee” that makes you yourself rely on it? What is your source of confidence? What makes you so confident?

During the good times? During the trials? During the troubles?

On whom are you depending? Who are you counting on? In whom do you now trust? Now on whom do you rely? What are you now relying on? In whom are you trusting?

Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you trust in Him like Daniel and his friends did when they wouldn’t bow down and then got thrown into the fiery furnace? Will you trust in Him like Daniel did when he kept praying and seeking God and then got thrown into the lions’ den? Will you trust in Him like David when he stood up to Goliath with just his slingshot and some stones? Will you trust Him in the midst of the storm? Will you trust Him when you are coming under attack like Hezekiah did when confronted by Sennacherib came to attack him?

Trust in God who is trustworthy! Trust in God who is faithful! Trust in God who is Love! Trust in God who will never leave you nor forsake you! Trust in God and turn back to Him!


Today’s reading begins with Isaiah 36…

Sennacherib Dares Jerusalem

1Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2The king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a massive army. The Rab-shakeh stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool in the highway of the washer’s field. 3Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came out to him. 4So the Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What is this confidence you’ve relied on? 5I say your strategy and strength for war are only words of a lip. Who do you rely on now, so that you have rebelled against me? 6Behold, you rely on this splintered reed as a staff—Egypt! If a man leans on it, it will go into the palm of his hand and pierce it—thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 7“‘But if you say to me: ‘We trust in Adonai our God’—is it not He whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, and then said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar’? 8“So now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,ooo horses—if you could put riders of your own on them. 9So, how can you repulse a single lieutenant—the least of my master’s servants? Yes, you’re relying on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen. 10“Moreover, have I now come up against this land to destroy it without Adonai’s approval? Adonai said to me: ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’” 11Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh: “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the language of the Jews when the people on the wall are listening.” 12But the Rab-shakeh said: “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Hasn’t he sent me to the men who sit on the wall—who will eat their own waste and drink their own urine with you?” 13Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews and said: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14Thus says the king: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you! 15Nor let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in Adonai by saying, “Adonai will surely deliver us—this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ 16“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! For thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me. Then everyone will eat from his own vine and fig tree, and everyone will drink water from his own cistern, 17until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.’ 18“Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘Adonai will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, when did they deliver Samaria from my hand? 20Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will Adonai deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 21But they were silent, and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 22Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.

–from Isaiah 36

God knows what He is doing! God knows the heart and minds of every person! God’s sees beyond the surface right to the intention! God is trustworthy! We don’t need to fear others, we need to trust in God! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Many create fake gods but put your hope and your trust in the one and only God! The God who is a saving God! The God who is not only Lord but also Savior! Realize whose fight it is! Realize the battle belongs to the Lord! Remember we already know who wins (feel free to read the end of the book if you haven’t already read that God wins)!

Hezekiah Tears His Clothes

1When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the House of Adonai. 2Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe and the senior kohanim, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz. 3Then they said to him: “Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of distress, rebuke and contempt. For children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength for giving birth. 4Perhaps Adonai your God, will hear the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words which Adonai your God has heard. So offer prayer for the remnant that is left.” 5When the officials of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them: “Thus you will say to your master, ‘Thus says Adonai: Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the boys of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7Behold, I am putting a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor, and will return to his own country; then I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’” 8Then the Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard he had withdrawn from Lachish. 9Now he had heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, saying: “He has come out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah saying: 10“Thus you will say to King Hezekiah of Judah, saying, do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying: ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands—utterly destroying them—so will you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered those my fathers destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, or the children of Eden who were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, or the king of Arpad, or the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, or Ivvah?’” 14Then Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the House of Adonai and spread it before Adonai. 15Hezekiah prayed to Adonai saying: 16“Adonai-Tzva’ot, God of Israel, who is enthroned upon the cheruvim, You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17Incline Your ear, Adonai, and hear! Open Your eyes, Adonai, and see! Listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who was sent to mock the living God. 18It is true, Adonai, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, 19and have cast their gods into the fire—for they were not gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20Now, Adonai our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone are Adonai!” Answered Prayer and Sennacherib’s Demise 21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: ‘Because you prayed to Me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22this is the word that Adonai has spoken about him: “The virgin Daughter of Zion will despise you and mock you. The daughter of Jerusalem will shake her head at you. 23Whom did you taunt and blaspheme? Against whom did you raise your voice and haughtily lift up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24Through your servants, you have blasphemed my Lord and said: ‘With my many chariots I have climbed to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon! I cut down its tall cedars and choice cypress trees. I have gone to its farthest peak, its thickest forest. 25I dug and drank water, and with the sole of my feet, I dried up all the streams of Egypt.’ 26Have you not heard? I did it long ago! From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass— that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of rubble. 27Their inhabitants are weak handed, shattered and ashamed. They are like the grass of the field and green herb, like grass on roofs, scorched before it is grown up. 28But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 29Because your raging against Me and your arrogance reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way that you came.” 30So this shall be the sign to you: This year you will eat what grows by itself, in the second year what springs from that. But in the third year, you will sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32For from Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot shall perform this.” 33Therefore thus says Adonai concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come to the city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege-ramp against it. 34By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come into this city” —it is a declaration of Adonai. 35“For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” 36Then the angel of Adonai went out and struck down 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When the men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 37So King Sennacherib of Assyria withdrew, and returned home, and stayed in Nineveh. 38It also came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, that his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer struck him down with the sword, and escaped into the land of Ararat. Then his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.

–from Isaiah 37

Jesus came the first time to save the world, not to condemn it! Jesus will return for the final battle! Jesus already conquered the grave! Jesus already completed the payment! We know this because on the cross He cried out “It is finished!” So don’t worry and don’t fear! Put your trust in God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Daily walk with Him and talk with Him! Allow Him to lead you and guide you! Allow Him to comfort you and encourage you! Why not step out today being bold and courageous because you know in whom you trust! Why not step out today being bold and courageous because you know where your confidence comes from!

Betrayed and Arrested

1When Yeshua had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2Now Judah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place, because Yeshua had often met there with His disciples. 3So Judah, having taken a band of soldiers and some officers from the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, comes there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4Then Yeshua, knowing all the things coming upon Him, went forward. He said to them, “Who are you looking for?” 5“Yeshua ha-Natzrati,” they answered Him. Yeshua tells them, “I am.” Now Judah, the one betraying Him, was also standing with them. 6So when Yeshua said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So again He asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 8Yeshua answered, “I told you, I am! If you’re looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9This was so the word would be fulfilled that He spoke: “I did not lose one of those You have given Me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the kohen gadol , and cut off his right ear. Now the servant’s name was Malchus. 11So Yeshua said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup the Father has given Me—shall I never drink it?”

Interrogated and Tried

12Then the band of soldiers, with the captain and the officers of the Judeans, seized Yeshua and tied Him up. 13They led Him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the kohen gadol that year. 14Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Judean leaders that it was better for one man to die on behalf of the people. 15Simon Peter was following Yeshua with another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the kohen gadol , so he went with Yeshua into the court of the kohen gadol . 16But Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the kohen gadol , went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17The maidservant at the door says to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this Man’s disciples too?” He says, “No, I’m not.” 18The servants and officers were standing around a fire they had made, because it was cold and they were warming themselves. And Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. 19The kohen gadol then questioned Yeshua about His disciples and His teaching. 20“I have spoken openly to the world,” Yeshua answered him. “I always taught in the synagogues and the Temple, where all the Jewish people come together. I spoke nothing in secret. 21Why question Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look, they know what I said.” 22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby gave Yeshua a slap, saying, “Is that the way you answer the kohen gadol ?” 23Yeshua answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, give evidence of the wrong; but if rightly, why hit Me?” 24Then Annas sent Him, still tied up, to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol . 25Now Simon Peter was standing outside and warming himself. So they said to him, “Aren’t you one of His disciples too?” He denied it and said, “No, I’m not!” 26One of the servants of the kohen gadol , a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him?” 27Again Peter denied it, and immediately a rooster crowed. 28Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so they would not become unclean but might eat the Passover. 29Therefore Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If He weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have handed Him over to you.” 31Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him by your Torah!” The Judean leaders responded, “We are not authorized to put anyone to death.” 32This happened so that the word Yeshua spoke would be fulfilled, signifying what kind of death He was about to die. 33So Pilate went back into the Praetorium, called for Yeshua, and asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34“Are you saying this on your own,” Yeshua answered, “or did others tell you about Me?” 35Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and ruling kohanim handed You over to me! What have You done?” 36Yeshua answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Judean leaders. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here.” 37So Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king, then?” Yeshua answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, so that I might testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out again to the Judean leaders. He said to them, “I find no case against Him. 39But it’s your custom that I release someone for you at Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted back, “Not this One, but Bar-Abba!” Now Bar-Abba was a revolutionary.

–from John 18

Can you trust what you are standing on?


What do you believe? What is your foundation? What is the basis for your belief? Is it solid? Is it dependable? Is it reliable? Can you trust it? Can it hold you up? Can you align to it? Are you able to walk out life because of it? Are you able to know how to live because of it? Are you able to get answers? Are you able to find hope? Are you expectant of what is yet to come? Does it set a standard that is high? Does it raise the bar? Are you able to call out? Are you able to know that the best is yet to come for you?

Is your foundation Jesus Christ? Is your cornerstone Jesus Christ?


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Trust the Rock of Ages

1In that day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city. He appoints salvation as its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter— one that keeps faith. 3You keep in perfect peace one whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in Adonai forever, for the Lord Adonai is a Rock of ages. 5For He humbles those dwelling on high, leveling the lofty city, leveling it to the ground, bringing it down to the dust. 6Feet will trample it down, feet of the afflicted, the footsteps of the poor. 7The way of the righteous is straight. Upright One, You make smooth the path of the righteous. 8Yes, in the way of Your judgments, Adonai, we have waited for You. Your Name and Your remembrance is the desire of our soul. 9My soul longs for You at night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10Though grace is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness. Even in a land of uprightness he will act wrongly, not perceiving the majesty of Adonai. 11Adonai, Your hand is lifted up, yet they do not see it; They will see Your zeal for the people and be put to shame. Yes, fire will devour Your enemies.

Your Dead Will Live!

12Adonai, You will establish shalom for us, for all our works You have done for us. 13Adonai Eloheinu, other lords beside You have had dominion over us, but we remember Your Name alone. 14The dead do not live— dead souls do not rise. Thus You punished and destroyed them and wiped out all memory of them. 15You have increased the nation, Adonai, You have increased the nation. You are glorified as You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16Adonai, they sought You in distress, they poured out a whispered prayer when Your discipline was upon them. 17As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so we were before You, Adonai. 18We have been with child, we have been in pain, yet we gave birth to wind. We are accomplishing no deliverance for the earth, nor are inhabitants of the world coming to life. 19Yet it will be: “Your dead will live! My corpses will rise! Awake and shout for joy, you who dwell in the dust! Your dew is like the dew of the dawn. The land of dead souls will come to life! 20Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little while, until the wrath is past. 21For behold, Adonai is coming out from His place to punish inhabitants of the earth for iniquity. The earth will disclose her bloodshed, no longer covering up her slain.

–from Isaiah 26

Who do you depend on? Who do you rely on? Who are you leaning on? Are you leaning on God rather than your own understanding? Is your hope and trust in God? Is God your strength? Do you realize that in your weakness God will be your strength? Jesus is coming back! God’s plan is one of redemption for those who choose to follow Him! God’s plan is one of forgiveness for those who choose to follow Him! Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you invite Him into your heart?

Leviathan the Dragon

1In that day Adonai will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent with His fierce, great, strong sword, Leviathan the twisted serpent! He will slay the dragon in the sea.

Second Song of the Vineyard

2“In that day sing to her, ‘A vineyard of delight!’ 3I, Adonai, watch over it, I water it every moment. I guard it day and night, so that no one may harm it. 4It is not that I have wrath. Who would give me thorns and thistles? Into battle I would march against them! I would burn them up altogether! 5Rather let them rely on My strength. Let them make peace with Me— make peace with Me.”

Israel Will Blossom Again

6In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7Did He strike Israel as He struck those who struck them? Or were they slain as their slayers were slain? 8You contended with her by banishing her, by driving her away. With His fierce wind He expelled them on the day of the east wind. 9So by this will Jacob’s sin be atoned and this the full price to remove his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like shattered chalk stones, so that the Asherah poles and incense rise no more. 10The fortified city is a lonely habitation, forlorn and forsaken like the desert. There the calf will graze, there lie down and consume its branches. 11When the boughs are withered, they will be broken off. Women come and set them on fire, for it is a people of no understanding. Therefore their Maker will show them no mercy—He who formed them will give them no grace. 12It will come about in that day, Adonai will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael. 13It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

–from Isaiah 27

Do you realize the importance of the cornerstone in building up? It ensures that everything is aligned! It ensures everything is in its right place! It ensure that you can build up in strength on that solid foundation! Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb! He came as the sacrificial lamb to give His all that we might be saved! He came as the lamb who showed us how to live a servant’s life! He came to be an example for us to follow! He is coming back as the Lion to finish things off! He will come back to complete the work! He has already won the battle against death! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation so that the new heaven and the new earth will come! He will come back as we read in the book of Revelation and we will all live together in harmony with Him!

Will you choose to spend eternity with God? Will you choose to spend eternity apart from God?

Will you choose to align with Jesus? Will you let Jesus be your solid foundation? Will you listen to His instruction? Will you align to His way? Will you live a transformed life?

A Cornerstone of Zion

1Oy , the proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks! Its glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is at the head of the fertile valleys of those overcome with wine! 2Behold, Adonai is strong and mighty, like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a downpour of overflowing water, He hurls it down to earth with His hand. 3The proud crown of Ephraim’s drunks will be trampled underfoot. 4The glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the fertile valley, like a first-ripe fig before summer— whoever sees it, swallows it up while it is still in his palm. 5In that day Adonai-Tzva’ot will be a crown of glory, a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, 6a spirit of judgment for him who sits on the judgment seat, and strength for those turning back the battle at the gate. 7But these also reel from wine and stagger from strong drink —the kohen and the prophet reel from strong drink— are confused because of wine, they stagger because of strong drink, they are muddled in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8Since all the tables are full of the filth of vomit, no place is left. 9To whom will He teach knowledge? To whom will He explain the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast? 10For it must be ‘precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ 11For through stammering lips and a foreign tongue He will speak to this people, 12To whom He said, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary, here is repose”— but they would not listen. 13So the word of Adonai is to them ‘precept on precept, precept on precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ So they walk, and fall backward, and are broken, trapped, and captured. 14Therefore hear the word of Adonai, you scoffers, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem: 15“Because you have said, ‘We cut a covenant with death, we made a pact with Sheol, so when the overflowing scourge passes through, it won’t come for us, for we have made lies our refuge, and hid ourselves in falsehood’— 16Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone, a firm foundation— whoever trusts will not flee in haste. 17But I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line. Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death is annulled, and your pact with Sheol will not stand. An overflowing scourge will pass through and you will be its trampling place. 19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you—morning by morning, by day and by night passing through. It will be sheer terror to understand the message.’” 20For too short is the bed to stretch on, too narrow the blanket to wrap up in. 21For Adonai will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will quake with awe as at the valley of Gibeon, to do His deed, His strange deed, and to work His work, His extraordinary work. 22So now, stop your scoffing, lest your shackles be strengthened! For I have heard from Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot of destruction determined upon the whole land. 23Give ear and hear my voice! Pay attention and hear my words. 24Does a plowman plow all day to sow the seed? Does he continually break open and harrow his ground? 25No! When he has leveled its surface, he scatters dill and sows cumin, plants wheat in rows, places barley, and rye on its border. 26For his God teaches him judgment, instructing him. 27For dill is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin. Rather, dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod. 28Bread grain is crushed, but not endlessly. Rumbling cart wheels and horses over it would only crush it to powder. 29This also comes from Adonai-Tzva’ot: Wonderful is His counsel, great is His wisdom.

–from Isaiah 28

So will you stop to listen? Will you actively listen to what God is saying to you? Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you set it as your foundation? Will you align to the cornerstone? Will you build your life up upon it? Will you be different? Will you live different from the ways of the world? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

Will you follow after Jesus? Will you obey His command? Will you live the life of a servant? When you lead will you lead as a servant? When you work will you work as a servant? When you go, will you go as a servant? Will you stand firm on the foundation that is Jesus Christ? Will you choose to believe? Will you choose to obey? Will you choose to serve and be Jesus’ hands extended to the world around you?

Will you walk in the light? Will you be like the moon who we see because it reflects the light of the sun? Will you reflect the light of the Son to the world around you?

The Faithful Hear the Shepherd’s Voice

1“Amen, amen I tell you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7So Yeshua said again, “Amen, amen I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All those who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12The hired worker is not the shepherd, and the sheep are not his own. He sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees. Then the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep. 13The man is only a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. 14“I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not from this fold; those also I must lead, and they will listen to My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, so that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” 19Again a division arose among the Judeans because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon. He’s insane! Why listen to Him?” 21Others said, “These are not the sayings of someone who is plagued by a demon. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can it?”

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.24Then the Judean leaders surrounded Him, saying, “How long will You hold us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us outright!” 25Yeshua answered them, “I told you, but you don’t believe! The works I do in My Father’s name testify concerning Me. 26But you don’t believe, because you are not My sheep. 27My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. 28I give them eternal life! They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Judean leaders picked up stones to stone Him. 32Yeshua answered them, “I’ve shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone Me?” 33The Judean leaders answered, “We aren’t stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy. Though You are a man, You make Yourself God!” 34Yeshua answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Writings, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You speak blasphemy,’ because I said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim’? 37“If I don’t do the works of My Father, don’t believe Me! 38But if I do, even if you don’t trust Me, trust the deeds. Then you may come to know and continue to understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” 39Therefore they tried to capture Him again, but He escaped from their hand. 40Again He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first started immersing, and He stayed there. 41Many people came to Him and were saying, “John performed no sign, but all John said about this man was true.” 42And many trusted in Him there.

–from John 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!


Where are you at today? What do you believe? Where do you stand? What guides your steps? Where does your hope come from? What would it take to turn you to God? Where would you have to go to make things clear to you? What is it going to take for you to receive the gift of God? Will you believe and be saved? Will you believe after it is too late? Is today your day? If not today, then when? If not you, then who?

Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…

Ode of Ethiopia

1Oy ! The land of whirring wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 2that sends ambassadors by sea, in papyrus vessels upon the water. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and wide, a nation powerful and oppressive, whose land the rivers divide. 3All you inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! when a shofar is blown, listen! 4For so Adonai has said to me: “I will remain quiet, and look from My dwelling place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in harvest heat.” 5For before the harvest, as soon as blossoming is over and flower becomes ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, He will cut back and remove the twigs. 6They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and the beasts of the land. The birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the land will winter upon them. 7At that time tribute will be brought to Adonai-Tzva’ot from a nation tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, a nation powerful and oppressive, whose land the rivers divide— to the place of the Name of Adonai-Tzva’ot—Mount Zion!

–from Isaiah 18

Don’t walk away anymore, come back to God, the one and only God, the one who loves you so much that He sent His son to come and provide a way to be reconciled to Himself! God is Love! In Him there is no darkness! Come back to Him!

Egypt Will Know Adonai

1The burden of Egypt: Behold, Adonai rides upon a swift cloud and comes to Egypt. Egypt’s idols tremble before Him and Egypt’s heart melts within them. 2I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian. Everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor— city against city, kingdom against kingdom. 3The spirit of Egypt will drain within it, and I will confuse its counsel. So they will resort to idols, charmers, mediums and familiar spirits. 4I will give the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master—a fierce king will rule over them. It is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva’ot. 5The waters from the sea will dry up, and the river will be drained dry. 6Then the channels will stink. The streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. Reeds and rushes will rot. 7The bulrushes by the Nile, by the mouth of the Nile, and everything sown by the Nile will wither, blow away and be no more. 8Then the fishermen will lament. All who cast hooks in the Nile will mourn, and those who spread nets on the waters will languish. 9Moreover the workers of fine flax, and the weavers of white cloth will be ashamed. 10Her pillars will be crushed, All hired workers will be grieved in soul. 11The princes of Zoan are utter fools. Pharaoh’s wisest counselors are stupid. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”? 12Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you now! Let them know what Adonai-Tzva’ot has purposed against Egypt. 13The princes of Zoan are fools. the princes of Noph are deceived. The cornerstone of her tribes have led Egypt astray. 14Adonai has mixed within her a spirit of dizziness. They make Egypt stagger in every work, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit. 15There will be no work for Egypt to do, for head or tail, palm branch or rush. 16In that day Egypt will be like women trembling with fear, because of the shaking hand of Adonai-Tzva’ot, which He is about to wave over it. 17The land of Judah will terrify Egypt. Anyone who mentions it will be afraid, because of what Adonai-Tzva’ot has surely purposed against it. 18In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan, swearing allegiance to Adonai-Tzva’ot. One used to be called the City of the Sun. 19In that day there will be an altar to Adonai in the middle of the land of Egypt, and next to the border a pillar to Adonai. 20It will be as a sign and a witness to Adonai-Tzva’ot in the land of Egypt. For they will cry to Adonai because of oppressors, and He will send them a savior and defender—and he will deliver them. 21So Adonai will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Adonai in that day. They will worship with sacrifice and offering. They will vow to Adonai, and fulfill it. 22So Adonai will strike Egypt—striking yet healing—so they will return to Adonai, and He will respond to them and heal them. 23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the earth. 25For Adonai-Tzva’ot has blessed, saying: “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.”

–from Isaiah 19

God will provide! God has provided a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! God is good! All the time! What have you need of? Where are you looking for answers? If we will give even the little we have, God can take it, multiply it, and provide for all our needs! Don’t worry! Give it over to Jesus and trust in Him! It goes beyond just feeding your body, it’s about feeding the soul!

New Manna in the Wilderness

1Afterwards, Yeshua went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2A large crowd kept following Him, because they were watching the signs He was performing on the sick. 3Then Yeshua went up the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples. 4Passover, the Jewish feast, was near. 5Lifting up His eyes and seeing a large crowd coming to Him, Yeshua said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these may eat?” 6Now Yeshua was saying this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do. 7Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii isn’t enough to buy bread for each to get a little bit!” 8One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9“There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what’s that for so many?” 10Yeshua said, “Make the people recline.” There was much grass in the area. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11Then Yeshua picked up the loaves. And having given thanks, He distributed bread to everyone who was reclining. He did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When the people were full, Yeshua said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftovers, so nothing is wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had finished eating. 14When the people saw the sign that Yeshua performed, they began to say, “This is most certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15Realizing that they were about to come and seize Him by force to make Him king, Yeshua withdrew again to the mountain, Himself alone.

The Savior on the Sea

16Now when evening came, Yeshua’s disciples went down to the sea. 17Getting into a boat, they set out to cross the sea toward Capernaum. By now it had become dark, and still Yeshua had not come to them. 18A great wind began to blow, stirring up the sea. 19After they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they catch sight of Yeshua walking on the sea, approaching the boat. They were terrified! 20But Yeshua says to them, “I am. Don’t be afraid.” 21Then they wanted to take Him into the boat, and right away the boat reached the shore where they were headed.

The Bread from Heaven

22The next day, the crowd remaining on the other side of the sea realized that no other boat had been there except the one, and that Yeshua hadn’t gone into the boat with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away alone. 23Some other boats from Tiberias came close to the place where they had eaten the bread after the Master had given thanks. 24So when the crowd realized that neither Yeshua nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and set off for Capernaum to find Him. 25When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” 26Yeshua responded to them, “Amen, amen I tell you, you seek Me not because you saw signs, but because you ate all the bread and were filled. 27Don’t work for food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him, God the Father has put the seal of approval.” 28Then they said to Him, “What shall we do to perform the works of God?” 29Yeshua answered them, “This is the work of God, to trust in the One He sent.” 30So they said to Him, “Then what sign do You perform, so that we may see and believe You? What work do You do? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘Out of heaven He gave them bread to eat.’” 32Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, it isn’t Moses who has given you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is the One coming down from heaven and giving life to the world.” 34So they said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on!” 35Yeshua said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty. 36But I told you that you have seen Me, yet you do not believe. 37Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone coming to Me I will never reject. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of the One who sent Me. 39“Now this is the will of the One who sent Me, that I lose not one of all He has given Me, but raise each one on the last day. 40For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41Some of the Judeans started to grumble about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They were saying, “Isn’t this Yeshua the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Yeshua answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves! 44No one can come to Me unless My Father who sent Me draws him—and I will raise him up on the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has listened and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God—He has seen the Father. 47“Amen, amen I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began arguing with one another, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53So Yeshua said to them, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55“For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who eats of Me will also live because of Me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven—not like the bread your fathers ate and then died. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum.

Fallout from a Hard Teaching

60So when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can listen to it?” 61But Yeshua knew His disciples were murmuring, so He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man going back up to the place where He was before? 63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no benefit. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life! 64Yet some of you do not trust.” Yeshua knew from the beginning who were the ones who did not trust, as well as which one would betray Him. 65Then He told them, “For this reason I’ve told you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by the Father.” 66From this time, many of His disciples left and quit walking with Him. 67So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to leave also, do you?” 68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! 69We have trusted and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70Yeshua answered them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is the adversary!” 71Now He was speaking of Judah, the son of Simon of Kriot—for he, one of the Twelve, was about to betray Him.

–from John 6