Revival: It’s the first Friday of 2022, so let’s go and get it, finishing the week strong!


What an incredible first week! Starting a REVIVE week with Repentance, moving on to Renewal, then to Reconciliation, and yesterday to Restoration. What an incredible way to kick off 2022, a year to THRIVE! These past few years have been tough and we survived them, to what degree is another story but we are here and now and so let’s decide to make the changes and embrace the changes necessary to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions out in the world. Be it releasing your child to pursue their dreams and passions through sports and education. Be it organizational changes that come because of unforeseen circumstances. Let’s turn to God and lean in and lean on Him in order to make 2022 a year to THRIVE! Let’s not lean on our understanding but instead on everything and at all times, let’s trust God! Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then allow Him to take care of the rest! Let’s ask Him when we have questions! Let’s seek Him when we are in need of Him! Let’s knock when we need to have something opened! Let’s go about this life in God’s way! Let’s go through the highs and lows, the challenges or as some prefer to say opportunities, the troubles, and the trials remembering to count them all joy because we know that God has overcome the world and that when we persevere through the trials God will have refined us and in the end, we will be complete and lacking nothing! Let’s be steadfast like we read about in Philippians 4:6.

So today let’s find revival! Let’s ask God to help us have a revival first in us and then in the body of Christ and then in the world around us! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in me, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in your church, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to have an everlasting change in our community, spiritual revival! Help us Lord to live out our days in a relationship with You! Help us Lord to walk out each step of each day in Your presence! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to live in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to move in me! Lord, I submit myself to You and ask Lord for You to shape me to be more like Jesus each and every day of my life! I trust in You Lord! I will give my cares, casting my anxiety and concerns on You because you care for me! Help adjust and change my perspective Lord this year into one that can THRIVE because I have a new perspective on myself, You, my current situations and the future You have planned ahead of me! Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into a closer and deeper relationship with you. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but others into being the dads we have been created to be. Help it be a time that will not only motivate me but everyone around me from my wife to my kids to my neighbors to my community to my workplace to the camps to the world at large. Help me Lord to daily come to You humbly and pray for a desperate move of You in and throughout my life and the world around me. Today Lord, I cry out for revival!

Let’s grab some scriptures to help solidify this idea today:

‘and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. ‘

2 Chronicles 7:14

‘‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams; Even on My bond-servants, both men and women, I will in those days pour out My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will bring about wonders in the sky above And signs (attesting miracles) on the earth below, Blood and fire and smoking vapor. The sun shall be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] shall be saved (rescued spiritually).’ ‘

Acts 2:17-21

‘Will You not revive us and bring us to life again, That Your people may rejoice in You? ‘

Psalms 85:6

‘Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.’

Ephesians 3:20-21

Let’s pray throughout this day:

  • Pray for God to bring spiritual revival to your own heart and life.
  • Pray for Jesus to bring spiritual revival to His Church.
  • Pray for a worldwide move of God that will bring salvation to multitudes around the globe.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Day 2 – How has becoming a father changed your perspective on a Father’s love for his children?


So where are you at today? Are you ready to experience a revival? Are you ready to be a catalyst for revival? Are you ready to give your heart and your life up to God? Are you ready to have God clean house and transform you spiritually? Are you ready to get to live 2022 in a way you don’t just have to survive another year but so that you can THRIVE in it? The let’s pray together!


What is your calling? What is your purpose? What does success or completeness look like?


What is God calling you to do? Who is God calling you to be? Where is God calling you to go? When is God calling you? How did God call you?

We know that God created each of us on purpose. We know that God created each of us with purpose. We know that God created each of us for a purpose. Have you discovered yours or are you still seeking?

I remember learning many years back, early in my walk with God that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. There are times when God will call us to do something outside of our comfort zone. There are times when God will call us to His purposes even when we don’t feel qualified to do it. Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified? What’s holding you back? Do you think you aren’t qualified? Have you found your purposes? Do you realize what it is you are to do? Do you realize the similarity of response between when God calls and Nike? So are you ready to just do it when God calls?

Do you know what success will look like? Do you realize that what people view as success may differ from what God is looking to accomplish? Have you ever accomplished what God wanted you to do and found yourself thinking it wasn’t what you expected but rather it was so much better than what you expected? When will you know that you are done and it is complete? Are willing to keep going till God says you are done? Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last? People! Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last and focusing n the best? Faith, Hope, Love and the greatest of these is LOVE. Are you ready to be amazed at what God is able to do in and through you? Remember how Jesus knew success and completion? Remember His Words on the cross?

‘When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ‘

John 19:30

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR NOVEMBER 28TH


Ultimate Achievement


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.’

Philippians 4:1

We see how as Paul begins the final part of his letter to the Philippians that they mean the world to him.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever viewed Paul as a determined adventurer?
  • Ever viewed Paul as someone who perseveres no matter what dangers or obstacles come his way?
  • Ever considered Paul to be dedicated to God’s calling and purpose for his life?
  • Ever considered Paul dedicated to the cause?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how they were his joy and crown?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how much they meant to him?
  • Ever considered how he poured out his heart to the people?
  • Ever grasped the how dear people were to him?
  • Consider how much their faith in Christ brought joy to him.
  • Consider how much their generosity in supporting him doing the work of God brought joy to him.
  • Ever considered how on that day we come before Jesus what we will have to speak for? Paul points to the people as his crown, evidence of his faithfulness in God’s calling.
  • How about you? What message are you giving those who are in your life?
  • How about you? What do you communicate to the people who come into your day?
  • Do you communicate warmth and affection?
  • Do you communicate love and hope?
  • Do you have a problem being able to tell people you love them?
  • You can be tough like Paul and yet be very affectionate to the people too!
  • So today don’t be afraid to show love to others!
  • Today be ready and willing to pour out from the overflow of God love into the lives of those around you.
  • Not fake love but authentic love!
  • Not a going through the motions but a overflow from the heart that causes your mouth to speak in and out of love!
  • Let’s speak with authentic love so that it will build trust.
  • Let’s not make it up or fake it till we make it because then it will build up resentment.
  • So let God fill you to overflowing with His love so that you can then pour into the lives of those around you authentic and unconditional love!
  • Let’s ask God to give us His eyes to see people like He does.
  • Let’s ask God to give us His love to pour into the lives of others.
  • Let’s bring the life changing love of Jesus into this world around us.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, who is your “joy” and “crown”?
  • If you have difficulty expressing affection for people close to you, how would it help to see them the way God sees them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”

John Bunyan

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is it that you have need of? What are you pursuing? What are you seeking? Are you ready for the call? Are you ready for your purpose? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation so that we can walk it all out with Him. Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


No Quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!


Ever gone through a tough time and had to push through? Ever gone through a tough time where it felt like someone was trying to shake you up by changing the rules or the roles? Ever gone through a tough time where someone promised one thing and did something else? Ever gone through a tough time when you were made the sacrificial lamb because of the numbers? Ever gone through a tough time when you weren’t sure if you could or couldn’t trust someone?

What was your response? Were you tempted to quit? Were you tempted to give up? Were you tempted to give in? Did it upset you? Did it frustrate you? Did it cause you to question?

What did you do about it? Where did you take those concerns? What direction or instruction did you receive? Were you going to a reliable source? How did you respond to those instructions? What if they said to forgive them? What if they said to forgive them, face it head-on, and then work to make things right? What if they said to forgive them and hang in there and not give up?

How long would it take for you to become obedient to that instruction? How bad would things have to get before you would consider being obedient to that instruction? Do you realize that by not being obedient there is a larger battle taking place inside of you than outside of you? Do you realize the impact it has on your mind, your body, and your soul? Do you have to hit rock bottom before you will stop trying to avoid or go it your own way? Do you have to obey immediately? Do you start following the instructions right away? Do you start to lean on God rather than your own understandings? Do you start to trust God with everything, acknowledging Him in all your ways so that He will make your path straight? Do you keep casting your cares on God because you know that He cares for you? Do you give it all up to God even though it is still happening rather than being worried or anxious? Do you keep knocking, keep asking, and keep seeking to show your trust that God will open the right door, answer your question, and reveal the truth to you in His perfect timing?

I remember a time when I had to forgive but nearly hit rock bottom before I was ready to obey.

A story about the power of forgiveness

I remember a time when after four bosses/reorgs there were four of us who ended up in a tough situation, three of us were put in a bad position, and I was lied about and set up to be the sacrificial lamb in order to meet the numbers. I remember learning about how when they had done the “stack ranking” two teams stood up for me when my own team was looking to throw me under the bus. I remembered that previous situation and my first response was to forgive and then to face the lies before working to get things fixed up. It was much quicker, had no downward spiral, provided a window to testify of God’s goodness, and later discovered that even though they had put me as a 0 in God’s books and in the outcome the amount I was saving through God’s direction worked out to be better than what the companies gave the person who had the highest rating. God is good! God is greater! God is higher! I can testify to how His way was better than my way. I can testify to how His way was higher than my way. I can testify to how His way gave me a platform to both share God’s goodness, God’s faithfulness, and God’s provision in the midst of this broken world.

2020 was the latest incident where I was being challenged because it kept feeling like a setup. It felt like I was being positioned to fail. I felt like I was being cut off and isolated. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on and why. 2020 had the theme of hindsight is 2020. It took all the way till December for the aha moment, for the light to bring clarity to why the pain, the suffering, the treatment took place. Through it all I forgave. Through it all, I prayed with my wife and kids. Through it all, I trusted God and cast all my cares on Him. And in December it all changed. And in December within 16 days I went from uncertainty to confidence to a completely new reality. The first 12 helped me heal. The last 4 I walked through a door I hadn’t realized God had been preparing all year for me to be ready to walk through. Trust God! Trust God’s Word! Trust God’s wisdom and discernment! Lean not on your own understanding but rather in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight! 2020 finished strong and was a setup to a great start to 2021.

I am not sure where you are at today. I am not sure who did what to you. I am not sure who said what to you. I am not sure how they did it or why they did it. I just know the first step that is key is to forgive them and then to turn to God for wisdom and discernment on what to do next. It may be to wait. It may be to act. It may be something totally unexpected. Be still and know that He is God! Trust in the Lord in all your ways! Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Be obedient to God’s leading, guiding, and prompting! Then testify of all He has done in and through you and your life to everyone God brings to you to encourage them!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 25th


Getting Back To Work


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. ‘

Nehemiah 4:15

You ever needed God to let you know what is really going on? Ever found out and then had the others wonder how you found out? Let’ check out the context of today’s verse and use the Amplified version to learn more.

‘ But when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious, completely enraged, and he ridiculed the Jews. He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of dust and rubbish, even the ones that have been burned?” Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should get up on it, he would break down their stone wall.” [And Nehemiah prayed] Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their taunts on their own heads. Give them up as prey in a land of captivity. Do not forgive their wrongdoing and do not let their sin be wiped out before You, for they have offended the builders [and provoked You]. So we built the wall and the entire wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart to work. But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches were being closed, they were very angry. They all conspired together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to cause a disturbance in it.

But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. Then [the leaders of] Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, And there is much rubble; We ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.”

Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times (repeatedly), “From every place you turn, they will come up against us.” So I stationed armed men behind the wall in the lowest places, at the open positions [where it was least protected]; and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.”

Now when our enemies heard that we knew about their plot against us, and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Every builder had his sword secured at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [to summon the troops] stood at my side. I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, gather to us there. Our God will fight for us.”

So we carried on with the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Let each man with his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem so that they may serve as a guard for us at night and a laborer during the day.” So neither I, my brothers (relatives), my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each took his weapon [even] to the water.’

Nehemiah 4:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever felt like someone was testing your limits to find out when you would quit or give up?
  • If we considered the measure of what it takes to make someone quite as an indicator Nehemiah shows it would take a lot.
  • We see in the midst of everything thrown his way, nothing was going to keep him down.
  • We see a guy who has a huge task in front of him and all of his help is demoralized.
  • We see how he motivated them and got them to rally around the idea so as to get started building the wall.
  • It didn’t take long though for them to start losing hope between the betrayal from the inside and the opposition from the outside.
  • Ever been insulted to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever been attacked to try and demoralize you and get you to quit? They did.
  • Ever found out in advance and had to come up with a strategy to avoid any panic?
  • Ever came up with a strategy that thwarted the plans and kept everyone focused and on point?
  • Were you able to encourage them with God?
    • ‘When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.” ‘
      Nehemiah 4:14
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader this world needs?
  • Will you lean on and trust God enough to help you be the leader your team needs?
  • Are you able to help them focus on the problem, on what’s important, and live up to God’s calling in and on their lives?
  • Let’s not grow weary in doing good!
  • Let’s take the victory and celebrate by getting the work God has called us to do done!
  • Let’s be like Nehemiah and know that we can’t stop and lose the momentum!
  • Let’s be like Nehemian and keep the focus on completing the good works God has given us to do!
  • Don’t waste time!
  • As leaders let’s focus on celebrating the success not by stopping or taking a break but instead by getting the job done!
  • Let’s take the energy and momentum that the success has created in order that we can get the job done and done well and done quickly.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • When is taking a break a good thing to do? When is it best to get back to work immediately?
  • Describe Nehemiah’s leadership style.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The degree of hope you manifest by persevering through obstacles becomes a measure of your passion.”

Better Than Good
Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live
By Zig Ziglar 

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So have you been through some things and wondering what to do? Are you going through things and wondering what to do? Are you dealing with things and wondering what to do? Why not invite Jesus into the situation and get God’s perspective into what you should do? Ready for some wisdom and discernment from God? Ready to be bold and courageous in stepping out and doing what He instructs? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Are you living an inspired life?


Are you living a life that has been inspired? Are you living a life that is inspiring others? Are you living a life that with extraordinary qualities? Are you living a life where you are able to share those qualities with others? Are you living a life where you are open and available to receive those qualities? What is it that is your inspiration? What is your source of inspiration? Where do you turn for your inspiration? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with creativity? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with innovation? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with imagination? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with originality? Are you living a life that is receiving and overflowing into the lives of others with insight and vision? How has your inspiration been profitable and for what? Have you been able to pass it along to others through reproof, correction, and instruction? Have you found that it is helping complete you? What is your source? What is your foundation? What is it or who is it that has enabled you and positioned you to live such a life?

Is it God? Is it God’s Word? I know for me they are the source. If not for you where does it come from?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 6th


Complete Inspiration


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’

II Timothy 3:16-17

Let’s take a moment and get a bit more insight and clarity by reviewing the context of these words using the Amplified translation:

‘But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate morally weak and spiritually-dwarfed women weighed down by [the burden of their] sins, easily swayed by various impulses, always learning and listening to anybody who will teach them, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres [the court magicians of Egypt] opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, unqualified and worthless [as teachers] in regard to the faith. But they will not get very far, for their meaningless nonsense and ignorance will become obvious to everyone, as was that of Jannes and Jambres. Now you have diligently followed [my example, that is] my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, persecutions, and sufferings—such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but the Lord rescued me from them all! Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith]. But evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced [holding tightly to the truths], knowing from whom you learned them, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings (Hebrew Scriptures) which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus [surrendering your entire self to Him and having absolute confidence in His wisdom, power and goodness]. All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that every word of scripture is God breathed, is inspired by God?
  • Do you realize that God inspired the writers of the scripture to write with their personalities and backgrounds in order to provide us with an instruction manual for life, a love letter for God?
  • God’s Word is divine and never returns void!
  • God’s Word transforms lives!
  • God’s Word is profitable! It is profitable to us individually if and when we decide to invest the time to listen and study it!
  • God’s Word teaches us truth!
  • God’s Word teaches us about the greatness and grace of God!
  • God’s Word teaches us about our need for forgiveness!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to have relationship with God and with others!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to have every kind of relationship!
  • God’s Word teaches us which way to go, affirming when we are going about life the right way and shines the light on us to help us course correct when we are living a life of selfishness and disobedience.
  • God’s Word teaches us the right track to be on, the narrow path which leads to eternal life with God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to live lives that will honor, bless, and glorify God!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to live lives that are fulfilling!
  • God’s Word teaches us the importance of humility and willingness and obedience to God’s Word will shape us into the people God is able to use for His glory and honor and to accomplish His purposes!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to be impactful, being able to accomplish our purpose and help others to accomplish there’s!
  • God’s Word teaches us how to make a difference not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those God brings into and across our lives!
  • God’s Word is available in different translations, formats, and sources to facilitate our ability to get it, read it, study it, and learn from it.
  • God’s Word can be studied through messages shared by preachers and teachers of the Word!
  • So let’s decide today that God’s Word is important and valuable and decide to make time to study it in order to understand it and learn from it.
  • With so many resources available in print and online, let’s decide to read and study God’s Word more deeply! more often!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when Bible study really excited you.
  • What are some resource you can use and ways you can make Bible study a higher priority?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There are some promises in the Bible which I have never yet used; but I am well assured that there will come times of trial and trouble when I shall find that poor despised promise, which I thought was never meant for me, will be the only one on which I can float. I know that the time is coming when every believer shall know the worth of every promise in the covenant.”

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you needing some inspiration? Are you needing to get inspired? Are you looking for a way to live inspired? Will you receive it? Will you give it? Will you share it? Will you accept it? Could today be the day you go to God and God’s Word to not only become inspired but also to be able to overflow with inspiration? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Do you realize that everything needed is taken care of? Do you realize you just have to make the decision to say “I’m yours”?


This morning I found it interesting that the song that started playing in my head was from Stevie Wonder titled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and how it pointed me back to how awesome God is. After realizing that God wants a relationship with me and that it isn’t about rituals and routines, it changed the meaning of songs as I hear the lyrics and realize and consider pointing the love from those songs up to and at God. If you check out the lyrics from the song there are so many aspects that point to stories from God’s Word like the prodigal or lost son as well as the Psalms when they questioned if God could ever take them back. The reality is God has an incredible redemptive plan which Jesus has already fulfilled. Jesus paid it all! He died on the cross once for all of us! Thanks to Jesus the offer of grace has been signed, sealed, and delivered! Now the piece that we see even in the title of the song is that we have to make the choice out of our own freewill to receive this gift of grace through Jesus and tell God “I’m Yours”! Have you done that? Are you ready for that? What would it take for you to make that decision?

Let’s consider of the lyrics from the Stevie Wonder song:

So it has been taken care of! You have to make the choice, the decision, will you accept it, receive it, and say “I’m Yours”?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 28th


Signed, Sealed, and Delivered


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.’

II Corinthians 1:21-22

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Before you read this passage, how sure were you that you were heaven bound?
  • And now? Explain your answer.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“You don’t have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Could today be the day you decide to turn your life over to God? Could today be the day you decided to invite Jesus into your heart? Could today be the beginning of God’s way for your life? Could today be the day you start living by and in accordance with God’s Spirit rather than trying to do it all in your own might and your own power? Are you ready to give your life into God’s hand and stop worrying about tomorrow? Are you ready for the certainty that Jesus has you covered and has taken care of everything for you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


He’s not done with me yet!


As I wake up this morning I know that God has more for me as He’s not done with me yet. He has people He wants me to touch with the love of Jesus. He has people He wants me to impact with compassion and care. He has people He wants me to share Jesus’ truth and love. He’s not done with me yet because there are still things He wants me to learn. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to do. He’s not done with me yet because there are things He wants me to experience. He’s not done with me yet!

If you are reading this then He’s not done with you yet either. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow! Yesterday is gone! So we need to make the most of each today we get to experience and to live it God’s way, with hope, with love, with truth, and with faith! We need to live our today with our eyes open to be able to see what is in front of us! We need to live our today with our ears open to hearing the prompting of the Holy Spirit! We need to live our today with our hearts and mind ready to be bold and courageous and do all God has called us to do! Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment so that we know! Let’s pray for protection and health so that we know we are walking out today under the hand and protection of God so that we can live out boldly and courageously! He’s not done with you yet either!

So how can we make today count? If today was going to be the last is there anything you need to do that God is calling and asking you to do? If today was going to be the last is there anything that if you didn’t get to do it you would feel regret or would be questioned why you didn’t when you speak to God? He’s not done with us yet, so let’s make today count!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 9th


A Work in Progress


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; ‘

Philippians 1:6

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • God has begun a good work in us and He will work it, complete it until the day Jesus returns!
  • We are living the transformed life because of receiving Jesus
  • Thanks to Jesus all of our sins are forgiven!
  • Thanks to Jesus we join God’s family, we are adopted into God’s family!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the gift of eternity with God!
  • Thanks to Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and lives to be our comforter and our guide!
  • We need to let these truths and the work of God on our lives lead and guide us, as we allow these truths to sink in deeper!
  • We need to hold onto these truths because we have decided to receive Jesus and follow after Him!
  • We need to steep in them and allow them to work on adjusting our attitude and motivations, our thoughts and our habits!
  • We are work in progress till the day we get to see Jesus face to face!
  • We need to stop allowing the lies of the devil to cause us to be so self focused on perfection that we miss out on the process and progress we are making as we walk out this life with Jesus!
  • We need to take hold of the reality that this is a long term plan and process and so we need to mature through it!
  • If you are a new Christian or someone who has been a Christian for a while, don’t try to jump the process or even rush it, pursue it according to God’s plans and purposes!
  • Let’s take hold of everything we can learn in, through, and from God and His Word!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up distortions in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up bad habits in our lives!
  • Let’s allow Him to enter our hearts and start helping us to unpack and clear up selfish attitudes in our lives!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done or already perfect and miss out on what God is, will, and can do in and through us!
  • Let’s not be deceived into thinking we are done and already perfect and then start to swerve or drift off course!
  • Let’s allow God to make the corrections!
  • Let’s keep moving so that He is able to direct our path!
  • Don’t get stuck in Egypt by living in or by denial (phonetically da Nile)
  • You are not alone! And you are not on this journey alone!
  • God has provided you with the Holy Spirit so that you are never having to do this alone!
  • God has committed Himself to lead you and to guide you!
  • God has committed Himself to never leave you nor forsake you!
  • He is here to guide you along the way!
  • He knows the baggage you are carrying from life and He knows what need to be drop, left behind, and what needs to be picked up and discovered!
  • He knows the way we should go and so even when we get to the Y or T in the road, He will give us direction to be able to continue to move forward with Him!
  • We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit! We need to make time and be quiet in order to hear the still quiet voice!
  • We need to be willing to hear the voice of God and walk it out!
  • We need to be aware of all the voices we hear and know God’s voice so that we can know which voice is the voice of truth!
  • Let’s not assume we know all the answers but instead lets confirm with God to ensure we stay on track!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that if He calls us to it He will get us through it!
  • Let’s pay attention to His instruction and then walk it out knowing that He doesn’t call the qualified but rather He qualifies the called!
  • This thing called life is a journey and so let’s not rush it! Let’s go at God’s pace for us!
  • Let’s go at God’s pace and enjoy the thrill of our lives!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does it help you to know that you’re a “work in progress”?
  • It brings peace and relief to know that the lies of the devil that we need to be perfect are just that, lies.
  • It bring hope and joy to know God is with me through this incredible journey called life and what a thrill it has been and will be!
What do you need to do to walk more closely with God on the journey?
  • Start my day with Him
  • Start my day in His Word
  • Invite Him into every step and every decision of every day!
  • Don’t assume I know the answer, confirm with God the answer!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

Theodore Roosevelt

A promise like that from a person would be impossible, but that promise from the God who cannot lie is exciting.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So will you live today for the glory of God and without regret? Will you say the things that need to be said in love and truth for the glory of God? Will you do the things that need to be done in love and truth for the glory of God? He’s not done with you yet and so will live today to become a better version of you who looks more and more like Jesus each day?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Prime Time…


What comes to your mind when you hear or see or read the words Prime Time? Do you think TV hours from 8pm-11pm? Do you think of it as the optimal or best possible time to do something? Do you think of it as the highest priority time? Do you think of it as the best years of your life? Or are you like me who likes math and it resonates around prime numbers (numbers that can only be divided by 1 and itself)?

Today is prime time in my life as I consider ages and even a special birthday. 13 is a prime number. 17 is a prime number. 47 is a prime number. But 20 is 10×2, 4×5 and 51 is 3×17 and so aren’t prime. Happy 17th little one!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 6th


“I Thirst”


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: John 19:28

‘After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • In the midst of trials and troubles, we need to maintain an unclouded mind.
  • Jesus while on the cross never lost focus of what needed to be fulfilled. He maintained an unclouded mind.
  • He knew the prophets and their predictions
  • We see Psalms 22:15 fulfilled on the cross as we consider today’s verse and reflect on what the Psalm says: ‘My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
  • We see Psalms 69:21 fulfilled on the cross as we consider today’s verse and reflect on what the Psalm says: ‘They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
  • Let’s consider what John 19 is saying in the moment:
    • ‘After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.’ — John 19:28-30
  • He took the pain of the cross – crucifixion, one of the most excruciating forms of torture in human history. Painful. Gasping for air. Tremendous thirst.
  • Jesus knew everything that was going on and being fulfilled.
  • Nobody killed Jesus, He gave up His life for you and for me to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.
  • Jesus took on the pain and suffering of the cross in order to pay the just penalty of our sins, the sins of humanity so that everyone who would turn to Him and receive the gift of Grace from God would be able to be saved and reconciled to God.
  • He conquered both sin and death by not only dying on the cross but also resurrecting three days later.
  • He became the substitute, our redeemer
  • He took the death that we deserve because of our sins
  • Jesus made sure every i was dotted and t was crossed in the prophesies so that when He said “It is finished” it was.
  • That is how important we are to God!
  • That is how much God loves us!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Why was it important to Jesus — and to us — that every detail of prophesy be fulfilled?
  • He didn’t want any detail to be missed or and requirement to be missed.
  • To us we know that everything was done in a way that we can be fully reconciled to God through Jesus
How do these fulfilled prophecies strengthen our faith?
  • It is amazing to consider the hundreds and thousands of years that they all took part of or were spoken in and yet, they all were fulfilled through Jesus!
  • Thank you Lord!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In the cross of Christ excess in men is met by excess in God, excess of evil is mastered by excess of love

Louis Bourdaloue

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


What’s it going to take to make things great again?


Will you return to God? Will you be faithful to God? Will you turn back to God? Will you come back into God’s presence like the lost son? God is great! God is faithful to His covenant! Do you love God? Do you faithfully keep His Word? Will you confess your sins? Will you confess the sins of the nation? Will you confess the sins of the people? Will you confess the sins of previous generations that have cause so many to walk away? Because of the sins the people have been scattered rather than coming together in unity. Will you choose today to humble yourself before God? Will you choose to honor God today? Will you give your life into God’s hands and ask for favor and completing the work He has given you to do?

Will you ask? Will you tell what God has put onto your heart? Will you go and do what God has instructed you to complete? Will you go and complete the work that God has given you? Will you inspect the situation? Will you survey the situation of things as they are today? Will you rally the troops? Will you put your hope and trust in God and not be deceived? Will you put your hope and your trust in God and not be deterred? Will you be a doer of the Word rather than just a hearer? Don’t be overwhelmed by the size or scope, but divide the work and allow the people assigned to do their part of the work. Stage by stage allow the work to be completed!

Don’t lose hope if or when people resist doing their part. Someone will step up to complete that work. Trust it all to God!

Are you ready to make it great again? Are you ready to be an instrument of God into the world around you? Are you ready to receive God’s vision and wisdom? How will you respond? Fear Not, just believe! If God calls you to it, He will bring you thru it!

Don’t lose hope … ask God for help! Don’t worry … ask God for help! Fear Not … ask God for help! Worry changes nothing … prayer changes everything!

So let’s meditate on God’s Word as this reading series draws to an end. With just over a week left before a new series, a new journey will begin, let’s reflect together on today’s reading from the New Testament and hear what God has to say to us.

Friendship with the World

1Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. 2You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it. 3And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. 4Unfaithful people! Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. 5Don’t think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, “The spirit that God placed in us is filled with fierce desires.” 6 But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! 9Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Warning against Judging One Another

11Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else?

Warning against Boasting

13 Now listen to me, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.” 14You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. 15What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud, and you boast; all such boasting is wrong.
17So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin.

–James 4

We need to walk in humility! We need to resist the devil! We need put our hope and trust in God! So how will you walk out today? Don’t boast! Trust in God! Let’s complete the good work God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish! Let’s seek the truth! Let’s not be tricked or deceived! Let’s walk in love! Let’s live out love! Let’s allow God’s hand to complete the work it has begun in us so that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name! Let’s not grow weary in doing good!

False Teachers

1False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. 2Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. 3In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
4God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 5 God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people. 6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. 7 He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people. 8That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. 9And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.
These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse! 15 They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
17These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits—for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22 What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”

–2 Peter 2

 


Today's Reading: Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah 3, Psalm 120, James 4, 2 Peter 2

Where does your hope come from?


Where does your help come from? What do you believe? Whom do you follow? With who do you align? Are you walking with or walking away? Are you talking with or talking to or talking at? Are you managing or are you building a relationship? Do you see what is going on around you? Will you be salt and light and make a difference? Will you be positive and encouraging so that people turn back to God? Will you allow your life to shine so that people will glorify your Father in heaven? Will you trust in God no matter what? Will you have hope because you know that the best is yet to come? Yes in this world we will have troubles, but as Jesus tells us, “take heart for I have overcome the world“. Yes, we will face trials, but as God’s Word tells us, “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds” not just for kicks or for giggles, but so that in and through them we will come thru the other end complete and lacking nothing. My hope is in Jesus! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! So don’t lose hope! Don’t lose faith! Trust in God! Don’t go it alone! Don’t try to do it your own way and in your own strength! Turn to God and follow after Him and His ways!


Today’s reading starts in Isaiah …

Vision of Jerusalem’s Catastrophe

1The burden of the Valley of Vision: What is the matter with you now? For you have gone up to the rooftops. 2You were full of noise, a boisterous city, an exultant town? Your dead were not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. 3All your rulers have fled together, then captured without a bow. All who were caught were taken into exile together, though they had fled far off. 4Therefore I said, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly— don’t try to comfort me about the ruin of the daughter of my people.” 5For my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day of panic, trampling and confusion— in the Valley of Vision— of tearing down a wall, a catastrophe on the mountain. 6Elam took up the quiver, with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7So it will come to pass that your choicest valleys will be full of chariots and horsemen posted at the gate. 8So He will expose Judah’s defense, and in that day you will look for the armor in the Forest House. 9Then you will see the breaches in the walls of the city of David—for they will be many—though you collect the water of the lower pool. 10Though you counted the houses of Jerusalem, you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You even made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool—but you did not look to the Maker, or consider the One who planned it long before. 12Now in that day, Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot will call for weeping and wailing, for baldness and putting on sackcloth. 13But instead, there is joy and gladness, slaughtering cattle and killing sheep, meat and drinking wine! “Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die!” 14But Adonai-Tzva’ot revealed in my ears: “Surely this sin will not be atoned for until you die,” says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot. 15Thus says my Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot: “Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house: 16‘What are you doing here, and who are you to be here, that you cut out a grave for yourself, carving out a tomb on the height, chiseling a crypt for yourself in the rock? 17Behold, strong man, Adonai is about to hurl you headlong, and seize you firmly. 18He will roll you up tightly and toss you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and your glorious chariots will be the shame of your Master’s house. 19I will remove you from your post, and pull you down from your station. 20“In that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. 21I will clothe him in your robe and fasten your sash on him. I will give your authority into his hands, so he will be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open. 23I will fasten him as a peg in a firm place, and he will be a throne of honor to his father’s house. 24They will hang all the glory of his father’s house on him—offspring and posterity, all the small vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25“In that day,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot, “the peg that was fastened in a firm place will give way, break away and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off.” For Adonai has spoken.

–from Isaiah 22

Let’s try to get our nation back on track. Let’s try to get it back in alignment with God’s Word, God’s Will and God’s Ways. Let’s not allow it to stray and have to deal with the consequences. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Just as in the old testament, we have watched how people have had to get into pretty bad situations before they had the aha moments which got them to stop and turn back to God! I pray we don’t have to hit rock bottom before we do turn back to God as a nation! How bad do you need it to be before you will turn back? How bad do you need it to be before you start to intercede for others? How will you point people to the hope that is within you?

How much shaking will it take before God can get your attention? Sometimes it takes shaking things up to get your attention! Are you ready?

Shaking Tyre and Sidon

1The burden of Tyre. Wail, ships of Tarshish! For Tyre is destroyed. There is no house and no harbor. From the land of Cyprus, it was revealed to them. 2Be still, inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossing the sea. 3On many waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile was her revenue and a marketplace of nations. 4Be ashamed, O Sidon. For the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not writhed or given birth. I have not reared young men or brought up maidens.” 5When the report reaches Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre. 6Cross over to Tarshish. Wail, you inhabitants of the island! 7Is this your jubilant city? Whose antiquity is from long ago, whose feet have taken her to settle in far off lands? 8Who planned this against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of earth? 9Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned it, to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of earth. 10Overflow through your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish! There is no restraint any more. 11His hand has stretched out over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms. Adonai has given a commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy its strongholds. 12He said, “You will exult no more.” O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest. 13Look, the land of the Chaldeans— this is the people who no longer exist. Assyria set it up for desert animals. They set up their siege towers; they stripped its palaces; they made it a ruin. 14Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your stronghold is destroyed. 15Then it will come about in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, like the days of one king. At the end of 70 years it will happen to Tyre just as in the song of the prostitute: 16“Take a harp, stroll about the city, forgotten harlot! Skillfully play many songs, so you may be remembered.” 17Then it will come about after the end of 70 years that Adonai will take note of Tyre. She will return to her trade and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her wages will be set apart to Adonai. They will not be stored up or hoarded. For her profit will be for those who dwell in the presence of Adonai, as ample food and as fine clothing.

–from Isaiah 23

So will you turn to Jesus? Will you cry out to Jesus? Will you ask Him into your life? Will you ask Him into your heart? Will you pursue Him? Will follow after Him? Will you listen to Him? Will you be obedient to Him? Will you receive His mercies? Will you walk in His light? Will you reflect it into the world around you? Will you receive Him before it is too late? Will grab hold of the love and the hope He is offering? Will you love Him? He loves you so much He gave up His life on the cross to provide for forgiveness for you!

Mercy for a Sinful Woman

1But Yeshua went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn, He came again into the Temple. All the people were coming to Him, and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The Torah scholars and Pharisees bring in a woman who had been caught in adultery. After putting her in the middle, 4they say to Yeshua, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5In the Torah, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6Now they were saying this to trap Him, so that they would have grounds to accuse Him. But Yeshua knelt down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. 7When they kept asking Him, He stood up and said, “The sinless one among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Then He knelt down again and continued writing on the ground. 9Now when they heard, they began to leave, one by one, the oldest ones first, until Yeshua was left alone with the woman in the middle. 10Straightening up, Yeshua said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11“No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Yeshua said. “Go, and sin no more.”

The Light of the World

12Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13Then the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself, so Your testimony is not valid.” 14Yeshua answered them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid. For I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh, but I do not judge anyone. 16Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, because it is not I alone but I with the Father who sent Me. 17Even in your Torah it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one witness for Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness for Me.” 19Then they said to Him, “Where is your Father?” Yeshua answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” 20He spoke these words in the treasury while teaching in the Temple, but no one arrested Him because His hour had not yet come. 21Then again Yeshua spoke to them, “I am going away. You will look for Me and die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22“He won’t kill Himself, will He?” the Judeans asked. “Is that why He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23Yeshua said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world 24Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. If you don’t believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”25So they asked Him, “Who are you?” Yeshua replied, “What have I been telling you from the beginning? 26I have much to say and judge about you. But the One who sent Me is true, and I tell the world what I heard from Him.” 27They didn’t understand that He was talking to them about the Father. 28So Yeshua said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am. I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. 29The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him.” 30As He was speaking these things, many people put their trust in Him. 31Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s children and have never been slaves to anyone! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now the slave does not remain in the household forever; the son abides forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! 37I know you are Abraham’s children; yet you are trying to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38I tell of what I have seen with the Father; so also you do what you heard from the Father.” 39“Abraham is our father,” they replied to Him. Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40But now you are seeking to kill Me—a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. This Abraham did not do! 41You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born as illegitimate children—we have one Father, God Himself!” 42Yeshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for from God I came and now I am here. For I have not come on My own, but He sent Me. 43Why don’t you understand My speech? Because you’re not able to hear My word! 44You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks lies he is just being himself—for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45“But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46Which one of you convicts Me of sinning? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47He who belongs to God hears the words of God. The reason you don’t hear is because you do not belong to God.” 48The Judean leaders responded, “Aren’t we right to say you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Yeshua answered, “I do not have a demon! I honor My Father, yet you dishonor Me. 50But I do not seek My own glory; there is One who is seeking and judging. 51Amen, amen I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” 52“Now we know You have a demon!” the Judean leaders said to Him. “Abraham and the prophets died. Yet You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.’ 53You are not greater than our father Abraham who died, are You? The prophets also died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 54Yeshua answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father who gives Me glory—the One of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55Yet you do not know Him, but I know Him. If I say I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you. Yet I do know Him and keep His Word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was thrilled.” 57Then the Judeans said to Him, “You’re not even fifty years old and you’ve seen Abraham?” 58Yeshua answered, “Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!” 59Then they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Yeshua hid Himself and went out from the Temple.

–from John 8

Will you complete the work?


Will you use the resources God has given you for His purposes? Will you use the resources God has given you to glorify Him? Will you use the resources God has given you to exalt Him higher, so that when people see it, they will give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you use the resources God has given you to complete the work?

Solomon’s Palace Complex

1But it took Solomon 13 years to build and complete his own palace. 2He also built the Forest House of Lebanon: its length was 100 cubits, its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits, built on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars. 3It was paneled with cedar above the side chambers, which were on 45 pillars—15 in a row. 4And there were window frames in three rows, with window opposite window in three ranks. 5And all the doorways had rectangular frame, and with window opposite to window in three tiers. 6He also made a portico of columns, 50 cubits long and 30 cubits wide, with a porch in front, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof. 7He also made the Hall of the Throne where he would judge—the Hall of Justice. It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the ceiling. 8His house where he would dwell, set farther back of the hall, was of the same construction. He also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom Solomon had taken to wife. 9All these were made of expensive stones—stone cut to size and sawed with saws inside and outside—from the foundation to the top and from the outside to the great court. 10The foundation was also made of expensive stones—huge stones, stones eight cubits and stones ten cubits. 11Above were expensive stones, cut to measure, and cedar wood. 12The surrounding great courtyard had three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams, the same as the inner court of the House of Adonai and the portico of the House.

Hiram the Bronze Craftsman

13King Solomon sent for and had Hiram brought from Tyre. 14He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, while his father was a man of Tyre, a coppersmith, and he was filled with wisdom, understanding and skill to do any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and executed all his work. 15He fashioned the two bronze pillars, 18 cubits high and 12 cubits in circumference each. 16He also made two capitals of molten bronze to set upon the tops of the pillars (the height of each capital was five cubits), 17nettings of latticework and twisted threads of chain work for the capitals were on top of the pillars—seven for the one capital and seven for the other capital. 18So he made the pillars with two rows of pomegranates all around on the netting covering the capitals on top of each capital. 19The capitals that were on the top of the pillars in the portico were of lily design, four cubits high. 20So also the capitals on the two pillars—close to the belly next to the netting were the pomegranates in rows of 200 around both capitals. 21Thus he set up the pillars at the porticos of the Temple. He set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz. 22On the top of the pillars was lily design. So the work of the pillars was finished. 23Next he made the sea of cast metal, ten cubits across from brim to brim, circular in form, five cubits in its height and 30 cubits in circumference. 24Under its brim there were gourds encircling it, ten per cubit, completely surrounding the sea. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with it. 25It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts were inward. 26It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the petals of a lily; it held 11,000 gallons. 27Then he made ten bases of bronze—the length of each base was four cubits, the width four cubits and the height three cubits. 28The structure of the bases was as follows: they had borders, and borders between the frames, 29and on the borders that were below the frames were lions, oxen and cheruvim. On the frames there was a pedestal manner above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work. 30Each base had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. Its four legs had brackets; the brackets were beneath the laver, cast with wreaths at each side. 31Its opening inside the crown at the top was a cubit high, and its opening was round like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half, and also on its opening were engravings, and their borders were square, not round. 32The four wheels were underneath the borders, and the axles of the wheels were in the base. The height of a wheel was a cubit and half. 33And the structure of the wheels was like the structure of a chariot wheel; their axletrees, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast metal. 34There were four brackets at the four corners of each base; each bracket was of one piece with the base itself. 35On top of the base there was a band half a cubit high encircling it—its braces and its borders were part of it. 36On the plates of the braces and on its borders, he engraved cheruvim, lions and palm trees, wherever there was clear space around each, with encircling wreaths. 37He made the ten bases like this—all of them cast from the same mold, the same size and same shape. 38Then he made ten basins of bronze: one basin held 220 gallons. Each basin was four cubits, and on each of the ten bases was one basin. 39Then he set up the laver stands, five on the right side of the House and five on the left side of the House, and set up the sea of cast metal on the right side of the House eastward, toward the south. 40Then Hiram made the basins, the shovels, and the sprinkling bowls. So Hiram finished doing all the work that he performed for King Solomon on Adonai’s House: 41the two pillars, the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, the two nettings to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 42the 400 pomegranates for the two nettings, two rows of pomegranates for each to cover the two bowls of the capitals on top of the pillars, 43the ten bases and the ten basins on the bases, 44the one sea and the 12 oxen under the sea, 45the pots, the shovels and the basins. All these vessels Hiram made for King Solomon in the House of Adonai were made of polished bronze. 46The king had them cast in the plain of the Jordan, with clay of the ground between Sukkot and Zarethan. 47Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were too many—the weight of the bronze could not be determined. 48So Solomon made all the equipment that was to be in the House of Adonai: the golden altar, the table on which was the bread of the presence, of gold; 49the menorahs—five on the right side and five on the left in front of the inner Sanctuary—of pure gold; the flowers, the lamps and the tongs, of gold; 50the cups, the snuffers, the bowls, the wick trimmers and the fire pans, of pure gold; the hinges for the doors of the inner House, the Holy of Holies, and for the doors of the House, that is, of the Temple, of gold. 51When all the work that King Solomon did in Adonai’s House was finished, Solomon brought in the things that his father David had dedicated—the silver, the gold and the vessels—and put them in the treasuries of the House of Adonai.

–from 1 Kings 7 (TLV)

Will people see what you are doing, what you have done, what you are about to do and praise your Father in heaven? Will you live life to a higher calling?

The Temple Furnishings

1Moreover, he made a bronze altar 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and ten cubits high. 2He also made the Sea of cast metal ten cubits across from brim to brim, perfectly round. It was five cubits high and its circumference was 30 cubits. 3Beneath it, figures like bulls were set all around it, ten cubits encircling the Sea. The bulls were in two rows, cast in one piece with it. 4The Sea stood on 12 bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The Sea rested upon them and their hindquarters were all turned inward. 5It was a handbreadth thick, and the brim was like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held 3,000 vats. 6He also made ten basins for washing and placed five on the right side and five on the left. In them the items used for the burnt offering were rinsed, but the kohanim washed in “the Sea”. 7Next he made the ten menorot of gold in the manner prescribed for them and set them in the Temple, five on the right hand and five on the left. 8He also made ten tables and placed them in the Temple, five on the right side and five on the left. He also made 100 gold bowls. 9Then he made the courtyard of the kohanim and the great courtyard and doors for the courtyard. He overlaid the doors with bronze. 10He set the Sea on the south side at the southeast corner. 11Huram also made the pots, the shovels and the bowls. So Huram-abi finished the work that he had undertaken for King Solomon in the House of God: 12the two pillars, the bowls and the two capitals on the top of the pillars, and the two lattice-works to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 13and the 400 pomegranates for the two lattice-works (two rows of pomegranates for each lattice-work to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were upon the top of the pillars). 14He also made the stands, the basins upon the stands, 15and the one Sea with the 12 bulls under it, 16as well as the pots, the shovels and the meat hooks. All the utensils Huram-abi made for King Solomon for the House of Adonai were of polished bronze. 17The king had them cast with clay earth from the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zeredah. 18Solomon made all these utensils in such great quantities that the weight of the bronze could not be determined. 19Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the House of God, including the golden altar, the tables on which was the Bread of Presence, 20the menorot with their lamps of pure gold to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed 21with the flowers and the lamps and the tongs of gold, the purest gold, 22and the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons and the fire-pans of pure gold, and the doors of the House—the inner doors for the Holy of Holies and the doors of the House, that is, the Temple—were of gold.

–from 2 Chronicles 4 (TLV)

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Do you turn to Jesus our counselor, our comforter, our guide? Do you ask Jesus who is mediating for us, bridging the gap, and sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me? Do you turn to Jesus who gave it all, once for all, no additional sacrifice required after all He did?

Yeshua, Mediator of a Better Covenant

1Now here is the main point being said. We do have such a Kohen Gadol, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. 2He is a priestly attendant of the Holies and the true Tent—which Adonai set up, not man. 3For every kohen gadol is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, so it is necessary for this One also to have something to offer. 4Now if He were on earth, He would not be a kohen at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Torah. 5They offer service in a replica and foreshadower of the heavenlies—one that is just as Moses was instructed by God when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For He says, “See that you make everything according to the design that was shown to you on the mountain.” 6But now Yeshua has obtained a more excellent ministry, insofar as He is the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises. 7For if that first one had been faultless, there would not have been discourse seeking a second. 8For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says Adonai, when I will inaugurate a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not remain in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says Adonai. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Adonai. I will put My Torah into their mind, and upon their hearts I will write it. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11And no more will they teach, each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Adonai,’ because all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more.” 13In saying “new,” He has treated the first as old; but what is being made old and aging is close to vanishing.

–from Hebrews 8 (TLV)

Do you realize there is a purpose for the Sabbath? Do you realize it was created on purpose for a purpose? Do you realize the importance of it? Now don’t get me wrong, remember how the law can be summarized in the two Jesus gave us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your strength, and your soul! and Love your neighbor as yourself! So we aren’t to neglect helping someone because of the day of the week! Let’s consider how Jesus put it…Have you got your own inner circle? Who can you trust? Who do you share with? Do you have a Be attitude?

Shabbat in the Grain Fields

1Now during Shabbat, Yeshua was passing through grain fields; and His disciples were picking and eating heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not permitted on Shabbat?” 3Then answering them, Yeshua said, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry, and those with him? 4How he entered into the house of God, took and ate the showbread which only the kohanim are permitted to eat, and even gave it to those with him?” 5He said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat.”

Shabbat Controversy at the Synagogue

6On a different Shabbat, Yeshua entered the synagogue and was teaching. A man was there, whose right hand was paralyzed. 7But closely watching Him were the Torah scholars and Pharisees, to see if He heals on Shabbat, so that they might find grounds to accuse Him. 8But He knew their opinions and said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Get up and stand in our midst.” And getting up, the man stood. 9Yeshua said to them, “I ask you, is it permitted on Shabbat to do good or to do evil, to save or to destroy a life?” 10Then looking around at everyone, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man did, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed among themselves what they might do to Yeshua.

Appointing the Twelve

12And it was during these days that Yeshua went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent all night in prayer to God. 13When day came, He called His disciples, choosing from among them twelve whom He also named emissaries— 14Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and Jacob and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; 15and Matthew and Thomas; Jacob the son of Alphaeus; Simon who was called the Zealot; 16Judah the son of Jacob; and Judah from Kriot, who became a traitor.

The Sermon on the Plain

17Then Yeshua came down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of His disciples and a multitude of people, from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, 18had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those disturbed by defiling spirits were being healed. 19Everyone in the crowd was trying to touch Him, because power flowed from Him and He was healing them all. 20And looking up at His disciples, He said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and jump for joy! For behold, your reward is great in heaven! For their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way.” 24But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25Woe to you who are full, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets the same way.” 27“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for the ones who mistreat you. 29To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from the one who takes your cloak, do not hold back your shirt. 30Give to every one who asks you; and whoever takes something of yours, make no demands upon him. 31“Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are doing good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do this. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to take, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of Elyon, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil ones. 36Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you.” 37Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.” 39He also spoke this parable to them: “The blind cannot show the way to the blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye, to take it out.” 43“For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again does a rotten tree produce good fruit. 44Each tree comes to be known by its own fruit. For figs are not gleaned out of briars; neither are bunches of grapes gathered from thorn bushes. 45“Out of the good treasure of his heart the good man brings forth good, and out of evil the evil man brings forth evil. For from the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.” 46“Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master’ and do not do what I say? 47Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what he is like. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And when a flood came, the torrent burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49“But the one who hears yet does not do is like a man who built a house upon land without a foundation. When the torrent burst against it, immediately it collapsed—and the destruction of that house was great!”

–from Luke 6 (TLV)

Let’s produce good fruit! Let’s shine for Jesus so that when people see us they glorify our Father in heaven!

You have to do your part! Finish Strong!


It’s more than just believing! Ever heard the phrase “faith without works is dead”?

Faith without works is dead

So we need to do our part! Where are you at today? He got you this far, so what will you do in faith believing that He will help you out to complete the work He has set before you to accomplish? We see how God helped get the promised land setup for the tribes of Israel, now it was a matter of them completing the process and possessing the land. Where are you at in your journey? Are you in place? Are you now going to press forward in faith and believe for all that God has for you? Will you settle for what you have like that is enough and all that God intended? Even though you know He has more for you?

Let’s take a look and see how our reading today speaks into this subject…

Keep and Do Torah

1Now it came about after many days, when Adonai had given rest to Israel from all their enemies around them, and Joshua was old and advanced in years, 2that Joshua summoned all Israel, their elders, their heads, their judges and their officials, and said to them: “I have grown old and am advanced in years. 3Now you have seen all that Adonai your God has done to all these nations because of you, for it was Adonai your God who was fighting for you. 4Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance, according to your tribes, these nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun. 5So Adonai your God, He Himself will thrust them out from before you, and drive them from before you, so you will possess their land, just as Adonai your God spoke to you. 6“Be very resolute to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Torah of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right or to the left, 7and not intermingle with these nations who are still remaining among you. Do not mention the names of their gods or swear by them or worship them or bow down to them. 8But cling to Adonai your God, as you have done to this day. 9For Adonai has driven out from before you great and mighty nations. As for you, no one remained standing before you to this day. 10One of you can put a thousand to flight, for Adonai your God, He Himself is fighting for you, just as He said to you. 11For your own sake, therefore, be most mindful to love Adonai your God. 12For if you ever go back and cling to the remnant of these nations that are still remaining among you, and intermarry with them, and you associate with them and they with you, 13know for certain that Adonai your God will no longer drive these nations out from before you. Instead they will become a snare and a trap for you, a scourge in your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which Adonai your God has given you. 14“Now today I am about to go the way of all the earth. You will know with all your heart and with all your soul that not one word of the good things which Adonai your God spoke concerning you has failed to happen. All of them have come to pass for you; not one word has failed. 15Now it will be that just as all the good things which Adonai your God has spoken to you have come upon you, so all the evil things will Adonai bring upon you, until He has wiped you off this good land which Adonai your God has given you. 16When you transgress the covenant of Adonai your God, which He commanded you, and go and worship other gods and bow down to them, then will the anger of Adonai burn against you, and you will perish quickly off this good land which He has given you.”

–from Joshua 23

Let’s do our part out of love! Let’s do our part out of trust! Let’s do our part our of hope! Let’s do our part because God first loved us! Let’s do our part because did His part! Let’s be obedient to all He has called us to do and to be!

Whom Will You Worship?

1Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned Israel’s elders, heads, judges and officials. So they presented themselves before God. 2Then Joshua said to all the people: “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘From ancient times your fathers—Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor—lived beyond the River and worshipped other gods. 3Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, 4then to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it as his own, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5“So I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst, and afterward I brought you out. 6I brought your fathers out of Egypt. When you came to the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Sea of Reeds with chariots and horsemen. 7But when they cried out to Adonai, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, then He brought the sea upon them, and it covered them; and your eyes saw what I did to the Egyptians. Then you stayed in the wilderness for a long time. 8“Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites who were living beyond the Jordan. Though they fought against you, I gave them into your hand, and you possessed their land when I destroyed them from before you. 9Then Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, rose and fought against Israel. He even sent and called for Balaam son of Beor to curse you. 10But I refused to listen to Balaam; instead, he had to keep blessing you. Thus I delivered you from his hand. 11“Then you crossed over the Jordan and came to Jericho, but the men of Jericho fought against you—the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—but I delivered them into your hand. 12Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove them out from before you—the two kings of the Amorites—not by your sword or your bow. 13I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities that you had not built and you have settled in them, vineyards and olive groves that you had not planted, that you are eating. 14“Now therefore, fear Adonai and worship Him in sincerity and in truth. Get rid of the gods that your fathers had worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and worship Adonai. 15If it seems bad to you to worship Adonai, then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve—whether the gods that your fathers worshipped that were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will worship Adonai!” 16Then the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake Adonai to worship other gods! 17For it was Adonai our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us all along the way that we travelled and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. 18It was Adonai who drove out from before us all the peoples, the Amorites that lived in the land. Therefore we also will worship Adonai, for He is our God.” 19But Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to worship Adonai, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not pardon your transgression and your sins. 20If you forsake Adonai and worship foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done good to you.” 21But the people said to Joshua, “No! For we will worship Adonai.” 22So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses to yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves Adonai, to worship Him.” “We are witnesses,” they responded. 23“Now therefore, get rid of the foreign gods that are in your midst, and incline your hearts to Adonai, God of Israel.” 24And the people said to Joshua, “We will worship none but Adonai our God, and we will obey none but His voice.” 25So Joshua cut a covenant with the people that day, and set for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26Then Joshua wrote these words in the scroll of the Torah of God. Also he took a great stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the Sanctuary of Adonai. 27Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone will be a witness to us. For it has heard all the words of Adonai which He has spoken to us. So it will be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” 28Joshua then dismissed the people, each to his own inheritance. 29Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Adonai, died at the age of 110 years. 30So they buried him in the territory of his own portion in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 31Israel worshipped Adonai all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work of Adonai that He had done for Israel. 32Joseph’s bones, which Bnei-Yisrael had brought up from Egypt, they buried in Shechem, in the parcel of ground that Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for 100 pieces of silver. It became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 33Then Eleazar son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeah, which had been given to Phinehas his son, in the hill country of Ephraim.

–from Joshua 24

So, who will you trust? Who will you worship?

Worship at His Holy Hill

1Adonai reigns, let the peoples tremble. He is enthroned upon the cheruvim— let the earth shake! 2Adonai is great in Zion and He is exalted above all the peoples. 3Let them praise Your great and awesome Name: holy is He. 4The might of a king loves justice. You have established fairness. You executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 5Exalt Adonai our God and worship at His footstool: holy is He. 6Moses and Aaron were among His kohanim—also Samuel among those calling on His Name. They called on Adonai and He answered them. 7He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud. They kept His testimonies, and the decree that He gave them. 8Adonai our God, You answered them. A forgiving God You were to them, though You avenged their misdeeds. 9Exalt Adonai our God, and worship at His holy hill, for holy is Adonai our God.

–from Psalms 99

Let’s not forget but rather let’s give thanks! Pray for one another! Share praise reports with one another to encourage one another! Let’s celebrate the reconciling power of Jesus! Let’s share it with the people God has brought into our lives! Let’s serve others! Even as leaders let’s be servant leaders! Not ruling out of fear but serving out of love!

Greetings

1Paul, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by God’s will, and Timothy our brother, 2To the kedoshim, the faithful brothers and sisters in Messiah, who are at Colossae: Grace and shalom to you from God our Father!

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, whenever we pray for you. 4For we heard of your trust in Messiah Yeshua and the love you have for all the kedoshim 5because of the hope stored up for you in heaven. You heard before about this hope in the true message of the Good News 6that has come to you. In all the world this Good News is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has in you since you first heard it and came to truly know God’s grace. 7You learned it from Epaphras—our dearly loved fellow slave, who is a faithful servant of Messiah on our behalf. 8He also made clear to us your love in the Ruach. 9For this reason also, ever since we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We keep asking God that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding— 10to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11We pray that you may be strengthened with all the power that comes from His glorious might, for you to have all kinds of patience and steadfastness. With joy 12we give thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the kedoshim in the light. 13He rescued us from the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves. 14In Him we have redemption—the release of sins.

Ben-Elohim Is Supreme

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created— in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, whether thrones or angelic powers or rulers or authorities. All was created through Him and for Him. 17He exists before everything, and in Him all holds together. 18He is the head of the body, His community. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead— so that He might come to have first place in all things. 19For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of His cross— whether things on earth or things in heaven! 21Once you were alienated from God and hostile in your attitude by wicked deeds. 22But now He has reconciled you in Messiah’s physical body through death, in order to present you holy, spotless and blameless in His eyes— 23if indeed you continue in the faith, established and firm, not budging from the hope of the Good News that you have heard. This Good News has been proclaimed throughout all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.

The Mystery Revealed

24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and in my physical body—for the sake of His body, Messiah’s community—I fill up what is lacking in the afflictions of Messiah. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission, given to me for you, in order to declare His message in full— 26the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His kedoshim. 27God chose to make known to them this glorious mystery regarding the Gentiles—which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory! 28We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Messiah. 29To this end I labor, striving with all His strength which is powerfully at work in me.

–from Colossians 1

 

Complete the work! God will keep his side, will you keep your side?


Ever had a task to do? Ever had work to complete? Did you do your part? Have you noticed God will keep His Word and do His part? Will you finish or leave it partially or even mostly done? Do you realize the impact? It’s your choice, so choose wisely!

Today’s reading speaks to this topic…

1Now these are the portions that Bnei-Yisrael possessed in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the kohen and Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the ancestral houses of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael apportioned to them. 2Their inheritance was by the lot, as Adonai had commanded by Moses’ hand, for the nine tribes and half-tribe. 3For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe across the Jordan. But he gave no inheritance to the Levites among them. 4For the children of Joseph became two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. They gave no portion to the Levites in the land, except towns to live in, with their pasturelands around them for their livestock and for their cattle. 5As Adonai had commanded Moses, so Bnei-Yisrael did, and apportioned the land.

Caleb Inherits Hebron

6Then the children of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word that Adonai had spoken to Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea concerning me and you. 7I was 40 years old when Moses the servant of Adonai sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him back word as it was in my heart. 8Nevertheless, my fellows that went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear, but I fully followed Adonai my God. 9So Moses swore on that day saying: ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have fully followed Adonai my God.’ 10So now behold, Adonai has kept me alive, just as He said, these 45 years, since the time that Adonai spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness, and now behold, I am 85 years old today. 11I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me—as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12Now therefore, give me this hill country about which Adonai spoke on that day. For you heard on that day how the Anakim were there as well as great, fortified cities. Perhaps Adonai will be with me, and I will drive them out, just as Adonai has spoken.” 13So Joshua blessed him, and he assigned Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his portion. 14Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he followed Adonai the God of Israel fully. 15Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba, for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

–from Joshua 14

Don’t doubt God! Don’t be a neighsayer! Be a believer and walk out God’s call in faith! Do your part and allow God to take care of the rest! Will you allow obedience to lead you into the reward God promises?

Inheritance of Judah

1Now the allotment for the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families was as far as the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. 2Their southern border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay projecting southward. 3Then it proceeded south of the Ascent of Akrabbim and passed on to Zin, and then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and passed on to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned toward Karka. 4It passed along to Azmon and went on to the Wadi of Egypt, where the border ended at the sea—this will be your southern border. 5The eastern border is the Salt Sea to the end of the Jordan. The border on the northern side was from the bay of the sea at the end of the Jordan. 6It then went up to Beth-hoglah and passed north of Beth-arabah, and went up to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 7The border then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal, facing the Ascent of Adummim, which is south of the wadi. Next the border passed along to the waters of En-shemesh and ended at En-rogel. 8Then the border went up the Valley of Ben-hinnom to the southern flank of the Jebusites—that is, Jerusalem—and went up to the top of the mountain that flanks the Hinnom Valley to the west, which is at the northern end of the Rephaim Valley. 9From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and went out to the towns of Mount Ephron, then curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10From Baalah the border turned westward to Mount Seir, passed along to the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon) and went down to Beth-shemesh, then passed Timnah. 11Next the border went out to the slope north of Ekron, then went out to Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah, went on to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea. 12The western border was the Great Sea and its coastline. These were the borders around the children of Judah according to their clans. 13Now to Caleb son of Jephunneh he gave a portion among the children of Judah, at the command of Adonai to Joshua—Kiriath-arba, which is Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). 14So Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak—Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, children of Anak. 15Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir (now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher). 16Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah as a wife to the one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it.” 17So Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s kinsman, captured it, so he gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 18Now it came about when she came to him, that she persuaded Othniel to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her: “What do you need?” 19“Give me a blessing,” she said. “For you have given me land in the Negev, you should also give me springs of water.” So he gave her the Upper Springs and the Lower Springs. 20This is the portion of the tribe of the children of Judah by their clans: 21the towns at the end of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kavzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet, 28Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30El-tolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31Ziklag, Madmanna h, Sansannah, 32Lebaot, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—a total of 29 towns, with their villages. 33In the lowland: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34Zanoach, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah and Gederothaim—14 towns with their villages. 37Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, 38Dilan, Mizpeh, Joktheel, 39Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40Cabbon, Lahmas, Chithlish, 41Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah and Makkedah— 16 towns with their villages. 42Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44Keilah, Achzib and Mareshah—9 towns with their villages. 45Ekron with its towns and villages; 46from Ekron to the sea, all that were under Ashdod’s hand, with their villages, 47Ashdod, its dependencies and its villages; Gaza, its dependencies and its villages, all the way to the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Great Sea. 48In the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51Goshen, Holon and Giloh—11 towns with their villages. 52Arab, Rumah, Eshan, 53Janum, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah, 54Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—9 towns with their villages. 55Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57Kayin, Gibeah and Timnah—10 towns with their villages; 58Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, 59Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon—6 towns with their villages. 60Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim) and Rabbah—2 towns with their villages. 61In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En-gedi—6 towns with their villages. 63As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out. So the Jebusites continue to live among the children of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.

–from Joshua 15

Step up and step into all that God is calling you to be and to do! Complete the work so that you won’t have the nuisance or the pain of a job half or partially done! Imagine life today if the Israelites had of completed the work and hadn’t left the remnant to be a pain in their side. Imagine in your life if you had of completed the work rather than just partially finished it! Where would you be now?

Let’s be thankful for what we have and rejoice in the Lord always! Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength! Let’s allow our words and our actions to proclaim the goodness of God through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!

Greetings

1Paul and Timothy, slaves of Messiah Yeshua, To all the kedoshim in Messiah Yeshua who are in Philippi with the overseers and servant-leaders: 2Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Thanksgiving and Prayers of Joy

3I thank my God at every memory of you, 4always praying with joy in every prayer of mine for you all, 5because of your sharing in the Good News from the first day until now. 6I am sure of this very thing—that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Messiah Yeshua. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart—for you all are partakers of grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News. 8For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Messiah Yeshua. 9Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment, 10in order to approve what is excellent—so that in the Day of Messiah you may be sincere and blameless, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Yeshua the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God.

Even in Chains, Proclaiming Messiah

12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the Good News. 13And so my imprisonment in the cause of Messiah has become well known throughout the whole Praetorian Guard and to everyone else. 14Because of my imprisonment, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord to dare more than ever to speak the message fearlessly. 15Some are proclaiming the Messiah out of envy and strife, but others out of good will. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News. 17The former proclaim Messiah not sincerely, but out of selfishness—expecting to stir up trouble for me in my imprisonment. 18But what does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in dishonesty or in truth, Messiah is being proclaimed—and in this I rejoice! Yes, and I will keep rejoicing,

To Live Is Messiah

19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, through your intercession and the help of the Ruach of Messiah Yeshua. 20My eager expectation and hope is that in no way will I be put to shame, but that with complete boldness Messiah will even now, as always, be exalted in my body—whether through life or through death. 21For to me, to live is Messiah and to die is gain. 22But if to live on in the body means fruit from my work, what shall I choose? I do not know. 23I am torn between the two—having a desire to leave and be with Messiah, which is far better; 24yet for your sake, to remain in the body is more necessary. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith— 26so that your confidence in Messiah Yeshua might overflow because of me through my coming to you again. 27Only live your lives in a manner worthy of the Good News of the Messiah. Then, whether I come and see you or I am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit—striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the Good News 28and not being frightened in any way by your opponents. For them this is a sign of destruction, but for you salvation—and that from God. 29For to you was granted for Messiah’s sake not only to trust in Him, but also to suffer for His sake— 30experiencing the same struggle you saw in me and now you are hearing in me.

–from Philippians 1

 

Just because someone says “No” doesn’t mean you should give up!


Does their “no” mean “no” or does it mean “not yet” or does it mean “not that way”? Don’t give up! Press onward! We know that sometimes when we ask God He says “no” and other times he says “not yet” and other times “not that way”. He knows the best way for us and wants the best for us. Consider the parable of the man who gets company and starts knocking on his neighbor’s door to help with supplies…

5Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for  a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

–from Luke 11

Are you facing a challenge and people pushing back? What will you do? What does God want you to do? What is God telling you to do about it? Let’s take a look at Moses and how God speaks to him to keep going and not give up! He gives Moses the words to speak! Spend time with God so that you know what He wants you to do and to say.

How Will Pharaoh Listen?

1Adonai said to Moses, “Now you will see what I am going to do to Pharaoh. By way of a strong hand he will let them go, and drive them out of his land.” 2God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Adonai. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, as El Shaddai. Yet by My Name, Adonai, I made Myself known to them. 4I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage where they journeyed. 5Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of Bnei-Yisrael, whom the Egyptians are keeping in bondage. So I have remembered My covenant. 6Therefore say to Bnei-Yisrael: I am Adonai, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8So I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and give it to you as an inheritance. I am Adonai.” 9Moses spoke this way to Bnei-Yisrael, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and cruel bondage. 10So Adonai told Moses, 11“Go, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that will he let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land.” 12But Moses said to Adonai, “Bnei-Yisrael have not listened to me. So how would Pharaoh listen to me—I, who have uncircumcised lips?” 13Then Adonai spoke to Moses and to Aaron and gave to them a charge forBnei-Yisrael and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out of the land of Egypt. 14These are the heads of their father’s houses. The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These are the families of Simeon. 16These are the names of the sons of Levi ­according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years. 17The sons of Gershon were Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. 19The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20Amram married Jochebed, his father’s sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years. 21The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zichri. 22The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba daughter of Amminadav, sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24The sons of Korah were Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites. 25Eleazar, Aaron’s son, married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites according to their families. 26These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom Adonai said, “Bring Bnei-Yisrael out from the land of Egypt according to their divisions.” 27These are the ones that spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring Bnei-Yisrael out from Egypt. These are that same Moses and Aaron. 28So it happened on the day when Adonai spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29that Adonai said to Moses, “I am Adonai. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything that I tell to you.” 30But Moses said to Adonai, “I am of uncircumcised lips, so how would Pharaoh listen to me?”

 
–from Exodus 6

God knows them better than they know themselves. He knows if they are sensitive to the prompting of the spirit or if they are hard hearted. He knows how much effort or force it will take when He sends you in there and you keep hearing “no”. Don’t give up! Press on towards the calling God has placed on you!

Today’s reading continues working on Pharaoh’s hard heart…

1So Adonai said to Moses, “See, I have set you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. 2You are to speak all that I command you and Aaron your brother is to speak to Pharaoh, so that he will let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land. 3Yet I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4But Pharaoh will not listen to you, so I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and bring forth My armies, My people Bnei-Yisrael, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5The Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I stretch out My hand against Egypt, and bring out Bnei-Yisrael from among them.” 6So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded them. 7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh. 8Adonai told Moses and Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh speaks to you saying, ‘Prove yourselves with a miracle,’ then you are to say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, so that it may become a serpent.’” 10So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did as Adonai had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11Then Pharaoh called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they too, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. 12For each man threw down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. So he did not listen to them— just as Adonai had said.

Ten Plagues Begin: Blood

14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. 15Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he is coming out to the water, and stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take the staff that was transformed into a serpent in your hand. 16You are to say to him: Adonai, God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you, saying, ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me in the wilderness,’ and behold, you have not listened. 17This is what Adonai says: ‘By this you will know that I am Adonai. Behold, I will strike the waters that are in the river with the staff that is in my hand, and they will be turned to blood. 18The fish that are in the river will die, the river will become foul, and the Egyptians will hate to drink water from the Nile.”’ 19Adonai said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, over their pools and over all their ponds, so that they become blood. There will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.” 20So Moses and Aaron did as Adonai commanded. He lifted up the staff and struck the waters that were in the river in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the waters of the Nile turned to blood. 21When the fish that were in the river died, the river became so foul that the Egyptians could not drink water from the river. The blood was throughout all the land of Egypt. 22But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them—just as Adonai had said. 23Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and did not even take it to heart. 24So all the Egyptians dug around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink of the water from the Nile. 25Seven days were fulfilled after Adonai had struck the Nile. 26 Then Adonai said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him: This is what Adonai says: ‘Let My people go, so they may serve Me. 27If you refuse to let them go, see, I will strike all your territory with frogs. 28The river will swarm with frogs. They will go up and enter your house, into your bedroom, upon your bed, into the houses of your servants, upon your people, into your ovens, and in your kneading bowls. 29The frogs will climb up on you, your people and all your servants.’”
–from Exodus 7

Each time Pharaoh went back on his word was tough. Each time they had to go back in was tough. Each response from Pharaoh towards the Jewish people was hard. But God encouraged and told Moses to press on! So sync with God and allow Him to guide your steps, your words, your thoughts, and your actions!

Throughout the storms, God will protect you! Through the storms He will help you to accomplish His mission in and through your life! He is interested in the lives of those around you too! Let’s consider what Paul had to go through …

Sailing for Rome

1When it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they handed Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan Cohort. 2So we boarded a ship from Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, and we set out to sea—accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3The next day we set down at Sidon. Julius, treating Paul kindly, let him go to his friends to receive care. 4Setting out to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5When we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came down to Myra in Lysia. 6There the centurion found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7Sailing slowly for a number of days, with difficulty we made it to Cnidus. As the wind did not allow us to go further, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone. 8Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea. 9Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was already dangerous because the Fast had already gone by, Paul kept warning them, 10telling them, “Men, I can see that the voyage is about to end in disaster and great loss—not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives!” 11But the centurion was persuaded more by the pilot and the captain of the ship than by what was said by Paul. 12And because the harbor was unsuitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to set out to sea from there—if somehow they might reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete facing northeast and southeast, and spend the winter there.

Storm and Shipwreck

13When the south wind blew gently, supposing they had obtained their purpose, they raised the anchor and started coasting along the shore by Crete. 14But before long, a hurricane-force wind called “the Northeaster” swept down from the island. 15When the ship was caught and could not face into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16As we ran under the shelter of a small island called Cauda, we were barely able to get control of the dinghy. 17When the crew had hoisted it up, they made use of ropes to undergird the ship. Then fearing they might run aground on the Syrtis, they let down the anchor and so were driven along. 18But as we were violently battered by the storm, the next day they began throwing cargo overboard. 19On the third day, they threw out the ship’s gear with their own hands. 20With neither sun nor stars appearing for many days, and no small storm pressing on us, all hope of our survival was vanishing. 21As they had long been without food, Paul stood up in their midst and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not sailed from Crete, to avoid this disaster and loss. 22Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you—but only of the ship. 23For this very night, there came to me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve. 24He said, ‘Do not fear, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and indeed, God has granted you all who are sailing with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I trust God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we must run aground on some island.” 27Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors began to sense that they were nearing some land. 28So they took soundings and found the water was twenty fathoms deep. A bit farther along, they took another sounding and found it was fifteen fathoms deep. 29Fearing that we might run aground on the rocks, they threw out four anchors from the stern. They were longing for day to come. 30Now the sailors were trying to escape from the ship and had lowered the dinghy into the sea, pretending they were going to put out anchors from the bow. 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men remain on the ship, you cannot be saved!” 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the dinghy and let it drift away. 33As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have kept waiting and going without food, having taken nothing. 34Therefore, I urge you to take some food—for this is for your survival, since not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” 35And when he had said these things, he took bread, gave thanks to God before them all, broke it, and began to eat. 36Then all were encouraged and took some food themselves. 37(In all we were 276 persons on the ship.) 38When they had eaten enough, they began to lighten the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea. 39Then when daylight came, they did not recognize the land; but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they planned to run the ship aground if they could. 40So they cut off the anchors and left them in the sea, while loosening the ropes of the rudders at the same time. Then, hoisting the forward sail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41But they struck a sandbar between the seas and ran the ship aground. The bow stuck fast and remained immovable, and the stern began to break up by the pounding of the waves. 42The plan of the soldiers was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would escape by swimming away. 43But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those able to swim to throw themselves overboard first and get to land— 44and the rest to get there on boards and pieces of the ship. And in this way all were brought safely to land.
–from Acts 27

Don’t lose hope! Put your trust completely in God! Allow His way to be your way! Allow His plan to be your plan! His instructions to be your directions! Follow after Him for the glory of His Kingdom!

Don’t think you are being gypped because someone else doing what you do is making more! Don’t think you aren’t being treated fairly because of the inequality! Remember the deal you made and be happy with it! Complete the work for the pay you negotiated! Let’s consider how this plays out from today’s reading…

Parable of the Day Laborers

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2Now when he had agreed with the workers for a denarius per day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing in the marketplace, idle. 4And to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ 5So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour and did the same. 6And about the eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing around. And he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle the whole day?’ 7“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him. “He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too.’ 8“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ 9And those who had come about the eleventh hour each received a denarius. 10And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they too received a denarius. 11“But when they received it, they began to grumble against the master of the house, 12saying, ‘These last guys did one hour, and you’ve made them equal to us, who bore the burden and scorching heat of the day!’ 13“But answering, he said to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go. But I want to give this last guy the same as you. 15Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16“So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Third Prediction: Death and Resurrection

17Now as Yeshua was going up to Jerusalem, He took the Twelve aside privately; and on the way he told them, 18“Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the ruling kohanim and Torah scholars. They will condemn Him to death 19and hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify. Yet on the third day, He will be raised up.”

Leading by Serving

20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came with her sons to Yeshua, and she was kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21“What do you want?” He said to her. She said to Him, “Declare that these two sons of mine might sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your kingdom.” 22But Yeshua replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” “We are able,” they say to Him. 23He said to them, “You shall indeed drink My cup. But to sit on My right and left, this isn’t Mine to grant. Rather, it’s for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” 24Now when the ten heard, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25But Yeshua called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones play the tyrant over them. 26It shall not be this way among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first among you shall be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

29Now as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30And here two blind men sitting by the roadside, when they heard that Yeshua was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!” 31The crowd warned them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Master, Ben-David!” 32Yeshua stopped and called out to them. “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said. 33They said to Him, “Master, let our eyes be opened!” 34Moved with compassion, Yeshua touched their eyes. Instantly they regained their sight and followed Him.
–from Matthew 20

We are to be servant leaders! Jesus taught us in His life how we aren’t to be the dictators, we are to be the servant leaders He demonstrated! He didn’t come to be served, but to serve! So let’s start this day looking for ways to serve others!

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a giver? What principles guide you in this?


Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15; 9:6-11:4,12-15;
Psalm 120:5-7; Proverbs 22:29


You weren’t just call to do it, but to complete it. You were ready to want it, so now press on complete the work that God has called you to do.

And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

Are you in a time of abundance? Are you in a time of lack?

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack-that there may be equality. As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack."

How are you sowing? Where is your heart as you sow? Be cheerful.

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

"He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever."
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

We are not in a battle against flesh, but against powers against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Let’s be ready and stand firm. We don’t fight with the same weapons, but with spiritual armor – Helmet of Salvation – to protect our mind, the Breastplate of Righteousness – to protect our heart, the Shield of Faith – to protect us from the fiery darts that get shot at us every day, the Belt of Truth, that holds it all together, put on your feet the Shoes of Readiness having been prepared in the Gospel of Peace that we will be able to move forward and stand firm on the Rock of Jesus and a single spiritual weapon – the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

Helmet of Salvation Shield of Faith Belt of Truth Shoes of Readiness
Sword of the Spirit

Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed-lest I seem to terrify you by letters. "For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us-a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.

But "he who glories, let him glory in the LORD." For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

There are many that will try to twist or take away the truth. There are many who will try to lead you astray. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Lean not on your own understanding, but put your trust in God. And as my three year old likes to remind me, “Do not be afraid, God is with you – Joshua 1:9”. From the mouth of babes.

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly-and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-you may well put up with it!

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


WORSHIP

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,
That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.
Psalm 120:5-7

WISDOM

Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.
Proverbs 22:29